Friday, March 7, 2014

Brier round-up: Vegas hurting attendance, lineup shuffles and relegation madness

Some interesting stories in today’s papers on the popular topics being discussed at this year’s Tim Hortons Brier.
First up, in the Sun chain papers, Terry Jones has a possibility on why there are so few folks at the Canadian championship this week – that they spent their money going to Las Vegas.

Who would have ever figured that the decidedly daffy Continental Cup, an event that features singles, mixed doubles and skins games held in Las Vegas would out-draw the 85th Brier in Canada in average per draw attendance with all the grand national rock concert's built in tradition and history? 
It's now, unquestionably, going to work out that way here. 
How did this happen? 
Believe it or not, it's because the fans who usually go to the Brier every year decided to go to Las Vegas this year instead. 
"I think Las Vegas got a lot of them," said Brier boss Warren Hansen. "I think a lot of people went there who would have come here.

Attendance at the Brier has been disastrous with one observer saying there were less than 100 people in the stands for one of the morning draws this week.


Meanwhile, Paul Wiecek in the Winnipeg Free Press weighs in on the upcoming musical chairs about to take place at season’s end. He talks about the number of teams changing and the possibilities of who is going to play wear.

However he also brings up the point that this Team Canada thing is putting a wrench into a lot of the deal-making.

Consider: Jeff Stoughton third Jon Mead said Friday the odds "are about 60-40" that he will at least semi-retire from curling after this season if playoff-bound Team Manitoba loses this weekend, but almost 100 per cent that he will continue curling with Stoughton next year if they win.
"We'd go back asTeam Canada if we win this thing," said Mead, "and that would be avery, very tough thing to walk away from."

And then the CBC offered up a local angle to the relegation story, now more glaring since the participants in next year’s Battle of the Bottom are known.

One of those is Nova Scotia and in the CBC story, Mark Dacey, the last N.S. skip to win the championship, had some strong words for the new system that will go into place next year.

Mark Dacey, the 2004 Brier champion skip, said the decision is bad news for amateur curling. 
"For me it's theworst day ever in Nova Scotia curling History," he said Thursday at the Mayflower Curling Club in Halifax.

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