Some thoughts after the London Brier:
* The bronze medal game certainly isn’t a popular contest as far as the curlers are concerned. All four teams that made the playoffs spoke out against the game, calling it dumb. The CCA handed out a seven-point memo saying why it was brought in and this paragraph caught my attention: “Contrary to the popular belief of some, it will make little or no difference to ticket revenue, even though a person can still purchase a single game ticket, but it does make the weekend ticket package more attractive.” Not sure I understand the logic there. It would seem there’s a value attached to every ticket and so the 7,000 people who attended obviously paid something towards their seat.
* Congrats to Jim Henderson of Sweep, the late, great curling magazine. He won his third Scotty Harper Award at the Brier. Not bad for a photographer.
* So who was that guy in the patch last night who had people lined up to have their picture taken with him? Why none other than Jack Cox, the Ontario flag-waver who was put into a harness this week. He was as popular as most of the curlers and there were even T-shirts made up with his likeness on it.
* Speaking of the Patch, Chairman Peter Inch told me today there were just under 3,000 there last night. In what may be the only criticism I had of this event, the lineups to get a beer were ridiculous, taking about 20-30 minutes. A guy can get thirsty in that time.
* London won’t break any attendance records but it certainly did have a great atmosphere all week. And it will finish in the black, which is always a good way to end things. I don’t suspect the CCA will be getting rich from its take, but it’s better than the last time the big shootout was in Ontario. I’m thinking we’ll be back here within the next decade.
* Finally a Mea Culpa on my last post on the CCA directing the Olympic Trials to Toronto (which shows why I need to review my Journalism 101 texts). So it seems the CCA DID approach the Toronto Curling Association and ask them to put in a bid. And it seems the TCA DID get together to try and put in a bid. So kudos to both. But the real Bad Guys in all of this were the folks at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Seems they weren’t willing to move the Leafs or the Marlies from the Air Canada Centre or the Ricoh Centre for the Trials and they weren’t willing to punt the Royal Winter Fair from the Direct Energy complex where it’s been a fixture and would be held at the same time as the Trials. Apparently no other facilities were appropriate for the event.