Monday, March 12, 2007

2007 Tim Horton's Brier

The Brier - the Canadian men's curling championship - is an 80-year tradition and the nation's most prestigious athletic title. Well, perhaps not quite, but it's only place you'll see the manager of the Penetanguishene beer store and the manager of the Collingwood Weed Man play on national television for their sport's highest honour.

The CFO and I attended the semi-final draw in Hamilton between Ontario and Manitoba. This was our second Brier, the first being six years ago in Ottawa, and I made a couple of observations about this event. First, Hamilton puts the "ham" in ham 'n egger, and nowhere is this more apparent than in and around Copps Coliseum. Second, curling fans are an eccentric group, but none more so than Jack, an maniacal Ontario cheerleader who looks like he played in the 1927 Brier. Jack sprints around the arena, hurdling over cameras and straight-arming children while he screams his province's name and waves a flag tied to a telescopic golf ball retriever. Fortunately for old Jack, Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton just couldn't put the rocks on the button. Which is a shame for Jeff, because the insurance broker sitting behind me seemed to know exactly where he should have placed them.


Road Hammer said...

When I was playing in my work league on Friday night, I thought of the ultimate labour saving device.

It's called "The Lazy Man's Curling Broom".

What you do is take a garden variety, gas-powered Whipper Snipper and take out the wire/twine that is used to cut weeds along your fence or deck.
Then, you place some felt or some other kind of fabric on the bottom on the outside of the cylinder (which fomerly contained the wire or twine) spins around, and there you go - adjustable speeds and all.

Sweeping would be a thing of the past.

Think there would be a market for it?

Paul said...

Any comments about the 9th/10th end controversy?

David said...

Hammer, this is an excellent idea. In fact, I clean my bath tub with a similar device made by Black & Decker. I'd suggest that Randy Ferbey would be your first customer. He already uses one of those three-foot broom-crutches on his deliveries - why not an automatic sweeper for his team?

Paul, not sure which controversy you're referring to. Unfortunately, I was writing a paper during the final and only read about it this morning. I have no doubt, however, that the guy who was sitting behind me on Saturday could have offered a full break-down of that controversy. It looks like Gushue's call to go for two in the 7th has columnists suggesting he needs Russ Howard's counsel on a regular basis.

Paul said...

I was referring to the fact that Stoughton, down four after nine was ready to shake, but was informed by Warren Hansen that the CCA's contract with the CBC (yes, another one of those) forbid it. They were required to play the tenth. I thought Jeff's solution was clean and tidy, and sent exactly the right message to Hansen.

David said...

Paul, yes - thanks very much. No one in the audience knew why they were doing itD, but you're absolutely right that it was an appropriate and powerful gesture. The fans loved it. Nothing like the CBC to blight the game.

Paul said...

Oh, I don't blame the CBC. I blame Hansen. He has mismanaged the public face of Curling in this country for far too long, and we need to find some way to replace him at the helm of the CCA.