Saturday, April 5, 2014

Canadian world championship expectations aren't fair any more

It shouldn’t surprise us any more when a Canadian team – men, women, junior, senior – doesn’t win a world championship.

But let’s face it: it does.

And when they do win, we think that’s how it should be. It’s not a big deal. Ho-hum.

For the record, this marks the first time since 1991-92 that Canada will go two years without a world men’s title.

We still think we should win every time, all the time and so when a team such as Kevin Koe’s ends up in the bronze medal game it just doesn’t seem right.

Koe’s squad lost back-to-back games to a couple of Nordic teams, first to Thomas Ulsrud in the 1-2 game and then to Oskar Eriksson in the semi and has now been relegated to the much-loathed bronze medal contest.

I’ll give Al Cameron, the excellent CCA communications man, credit for putting the positive spin on things in his release of the situation:

Team Canada will take aim at extending its medal streak at the World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, to 13 years on Sunday (late Saturday in Canada) in the bronze-medal game at Capital Gymnasium.

I’m sure if you asked Koe and team if they’re happy about a bronze medal they’d answer no (of course they still have to win that). I remember many years ago talking to Kerry Burtnyk about losing in the world championship and he said he had to answer for it all summer – no one remembered he won the Brier, everyone wanted to know why he lost the world championship.

It’s obviously different these days as the quality – if not the quantity – of great curlers and teams around the world is great. Still, for Canadian teams it’s win or nothing, I believe.

And that’s probably just not fair. I think in the future, we won’t win as much as used to. Better get used to that.

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