After a busy Friday and Saturday at UCC helping run High School Nationals I was relax and take a load off by spending all Saturday at Copps to watch draws 3-5 of the Tim Horton's. Where/when do I do my school work you ask? ummmm.... I'd rather not say.
Anyway going to a sporting event allows me to revive my "Game Reports" segments. This was my first live arena curling event, so I'll start with some observations. With 4 draws going on at the same time it was tough to follow any single match, and some of the continuity of the matches were lost on me. On the other hand it was cool being able to observe some sweet shots going on in other sheets when "your" game is a bit slow. Although the analysis on TV is nice, sitting in the stands will give you plenty of insight on the various possibilities a team faces. A nice old couple was kind enough to answer my questions and share their insight into the game. Finally the atmosphere is pretty hard to beat, being so close to the curlers means they'll acknowledge you make a witty remark, and curlers playing on Sheets A and D (the ones on the ends), would often talk to the fans during breaks.
Two teams I saw were particularly impressed me. Team Manitoba skipped by Jeff Stoughton, battled back from a 5-1 deficit to lose in an extra end when Jeff failed to draw a piece of the button on his last rock. It was a throw he had successfully made in his previous throw. Manitoba lost 7-6.
The other team that impressed me was Team Northern Ontario skipped by Al Harnden. They upset the vaunted team Alberta headed by Kevin Martin, and fought hard against Staughton's Manitoba in the next draw. Unlike some other teams at the Brier the Northern Ontario team was not a very well know or flashy team. Apparently the team is composed of one member from each age bracket starting with the 20's. They made some pretty slick shots, including an around-the-horn comebacker to prevent a steal of 3.
I would definitely recommend going to a major curling event if it ever comes to a town near you.