The period between Christmas and New Year’s used to be a vibrant one for curling. As a junior curler, I used to revel in the old CFRB bonspiel held at Thornhill Country Club. It was always a good chance to have a great party. And the party was really why we were all there.
There was also a family bonspiel held at my curling club, Weston. It used to be on Boxing Day, but that’s long since changed to allow staff a little longer well-deserved break.
But more recently, there was a televised Skins Game during this time, usually featuring a West-versus-East format with four top teams on each side playing down. It actually started as more of a local event in Toronto, or Oshawa to be exact. It was known at the GM Goodwrench Skins and was a battle of top GTA rinks. That morphed into the M+M Skins Game and it was aired on Sportsnet. While the event was popular, it never really worked from a business standpoint and the plug was pulled a few years ago.
It’s a bit strange to me that there aren’t any events during this week between Christmas and New Years. The calendar is certainly jammed all the rest of the year and you wonder why someone hasn’t tried to start something – maybe an outdoor event like the hockey game that’s happening in Buffalo on New Year’s Day. They did have an outdoor exhibition at Rockefeller Centre a while back, but why not a one game exhibition between Ferbey and Martin or Howard and Middaugh or Russ Howard and Brad Gushue? It would be fun.
For now, I’m left to find my curling fix elsewhere.