Friday, March 7, 2008

Pre-Brier ramblings

A few rambling thoughts from my alleged mind:

• Here’s another example of a too-crowded-curling calendar. I’m flipping through the paper this morning and I see a headline about the Canadian gals going to a tiebreaker for the playoffs at the World Junior. Is that on?

• Good to see the fine folks in Winnipeg have started to buy tickets. Still, surprised they’re not yet at the break-even point, especially with this field. It brings up two good points: 1) I think it’s safe to officially move the centre of curling’s universe to Edmonton and 2) the CCA has to start making the draw after the teams have been decided so you avoid Manitoba vs. Ontario Monday at 2 p.m. and Ontario vs. Alberta Thursday at 9:30 a.m. What possible reason could there be for making the draw prior to knowing who is representing what province? Putting the big games in the evening can only bring more bums into the seats.

• The Tim Hortons Brier starts tomorrow and I won’t be there. In fact, I won’t be getting to Winnipeg until Thursday afternoon due to my other job taking me in the other direction, Florida and the PGA Tour. There’s a trade-off here: better weather but the athletes aren’t quite as accommodating.

• Three tired story lines I hope I don’t see this week: the Saskatchewan drought (is this really a drought? Take the great Richardsons out of the equation and it’s won a grand total of three Briers. Where are the stories on the great Northern Ontario drought?); theories on why rocks pick (hair, carpet fibres, dust from the ceiling, grippers falling apart, exploding rocks); the Territories long, difficult journey to get here.

1 comment:

Joey Smallwood said...

Hi Bob,

Excellent blog, thanks for the extra effort beyond your paper duties.

There's an Official Theory put out there stating that Winnipeggers are walk-up buyers. It could be partially true, but I know that as a 30-something hardcore curling fan, I have been totally underwhelmed by the marketing efforts for this event.

It's been organized by baby boomers for baby boomers. Today they're going to have a Fifties dance contest in the arena concourse. Burton Cummings is the marquee entertainment, and he is so overexposed here it generates very little buzz in town. If I want to see Burton I just have to go to a casino and watch him play VLTs for hours on end.

No Brier clothing goes on sale until right now. Christmas came and went without any merchandise available. The TV ads are outright embarrassing. Very little effort to reach younger fans, who happen to have a lot of disposable income on hand these days. While the Boomers complain about six dollar beers and the cost of sweatshirts, the younger set will be doing other things with their cash.

The same old people gather to plan this, the same ones who planned the '03 worlds and the '98 Brier. The event (and the sport itself) will muddle along, in spite of the people who run it.

I'm really not this cranky all the time. Thanks for a pace to vent.

Joey Smallwood