Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Final, final Brier thoughts

Here are a few leftover thoughts from the Brier:
• I wrote a column that appeared in some editions of the Globe this past Saturday. It was on the need for the CCA to fix the draw at the Brier and Scotties so big games are held at appropriate times during Brier week. This year’s bad example was the Alberta-Ontario titlt at 9:30 Thursday morning. I interviewed Warren Hansen about this issue and listened intently but I still think there is a way around his problem. It just doesn’t seem like it could be that hard to arrange this. The column is here.

• I think one of the problems with the Brier’s aging demographic is that the event is treated like something for old folks. Before the start of the final, there was a brass quartet playing. Now it was nice and everything, but when I go down and see the Raptors, I’m not hearing Glenn Gould during the shoot-around. And the opening is great with tradition and bag pipes and all, but perhaps it should be jazzed up just a little. Maybe some spotlights for the players’ introductions or something. Even the entertainment during the commercial breaks. While Disco Stu was quite good most of the time, doing things like The Twist made it seem like Geritol time. I guess it’s a chicken-egg thing – do you keep it old because the old people are there or do you make it young in hopes of bringing younger people in?

• Congrats to Sweep!’s Jim Henderson who won his second consecutive Scotty Harper Award for the best curling story of 2007. This is the top prize for the curling media. Next year, we’re banning all photographers from the writing contest (lest they keep kicking us writers’ butts).

• Great to see Jack Matheson at the closing banquet. The CCA did a nice thing by paying tribute to Matty and Bob Picken, who has covered his last Brier. I have two ever-lasting memories of Pick – the first is that booming voice dominating any scrum into which he stepped. The second is from the ’97 Trials. After every draw, Pick would get on the PA and read off the results of every local spiel in Manitoba. Unfortunate part was the only people left in the building were us scribblers – everyone else had gone to the Patch.

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