Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hurry. Hurry hard !

Monday evening I went to the Brier.

The Brier is our national, men's curling championship competition running for 9 days at the Metro Centre in Halifax.  It is in a different major city each year.  Not to brag, but the Brier has the best curling in the world.   There are three draws a day with four sheets of ice being played on for each draw.

I wasn't sure which games to go see so I contacted my ex (Russ) who in his day was a curling rock star.  He advised me that the teams to watch were Ontario, Newfoundland and Alberta, so I bought tickets on an evening when those three teams were playing.

True to his assessment, they each won their respective game.

The crowds are almost as entertaining as the the action on the ice.  A Nova Scotia contingent in one section were all wearing shiney yellow sou'westers. A keen gent from Saskatchewan ran back and forth on the walkway with a huge provincial flag and yelling "Sas--catch--eeee-waaaan".  There seemed to be a good number rooting on Newfoundland and British Columbia and waving their respective flags.  I'm not sure who the older man down near the ice was rooting for, but he was covered in a huge collection of Brier pins.  It's amazing that he could get up and walk under the weight of all that metal !  Up at one end of the stadium was a group who held up signs with the  letters: S O C I A B L E.  And when they held the signs up high we could see that on their T-shirts was another message with one letter on each: C A N A D I A N.  Not sure if I get the reference but I definitely liked their enthusiasm.

Across the arena I saw someone waving a large flag I did not recognize.  I now know what it is, but I didn't then.  How about you ?

I've always enjoyed watching curling on TV, and during my marriage played often.   It's an exciting, highly strategic game, requiring real skill and experience.  What could be more exciting that going to the Brier ?  Well.  Ummmmm.   Errrrrrr.  Watching it at home actually.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoyed the excitement of the crowd and the thrill of being so close to some real stars of curling, BUT, it was so hard to focus on just one game with four games going on simultaneously in front of me.  The crowd would cheer or gasp and I'd be frantically looking from sheet to sheet to see what I'd missed. 

The picture below is of skip Glenn Howard of Ontario holding the broom as his teammates sweep a rock to get it into the house.  Ontario is unbeaten after 8 games.  Sadly they thumped the heck out of the young Nova Scotia team and the game ended early.

Our seats were good.  We were in the third row back on the middle of the side.  Unfortunately nothing beats the view presented by the overhead cameras above each house. (The house is the target area with concentric circles that is found at each end of the sheet.)  So there I am.   At the Brier.  In person.  And I keep looking up at the jumbotron above me to see the position of the rocks in the house.  I was basically resorting to watching TV to get a clearer view of what was happening right in front of me.  I had been told that curling was one of those sports that was better watched on TV than in person.  Now I understand why folk say that.
Nevertheless, I'm glad I had the experience and would do it again.

Hurry hard.  All the way.  Don't stop.  WHOA !


  1. I believe the flag you show is the flag for Labrador.

  2. Good for you Anne. I'd never seen it before. I must confess I didn't know Labrador had its own flag. Sybil

  3. Very cool flag Labrador..
    Excellent post Sybs ;0)
    xo j.


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