Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bronze medal contest "the dumbest game in curling"

It's hard to disagree with Brad Gushue's assessment of the game that he'll have to play Sunday morning against Saskatchewan. It's the bronze medal game which is loathed by most of the teams in the Brier, who, after losing out on a shot at the top prize, would rather just sleep in.

After a disappointing loss in the semi-final game against Team Canada, Gushue summarized his feelings of the bronze medal game to Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press:

Gushue will face Saskatchewan on Sunday for the bronze medal, which he called the "dumbest game in curling." 
The loser of the semifinal in the Page playoff once received the bronze medal at the Brier without having to play for it, but a bronze-medal game was introduced in 2011. 
"We'll come out and play hard — maybe hungover — but hard," Gushue said.
In most sports, the team that loses the semi-final contest ends up third. But in curling, you have to go and play the team that already lost the 3-4 game. It's kind of illogical. It's like saying that whichever team loses the final should have to play the winner of the bronze medal game for second place.

Strangely, when this game was added to the schedule, Curling Canada officials told me this was not about money. I found it hard to believe back then and still do now, at least that part of the reason for this isn't about cash. I'm just not really sure why this game exists. I can't find a reason that makes sense.

There is money on the line, supposedly, but I've heard from past participants that it's generally agreed that the cash is split between the two teams.

It could be for television, but I've had folks from that side tell me that after a long week of hours and hours of coverage, the last thing they want to do is produce another game. One point to add here is that this game does get a significant audience which may justify its existence.

So today's question: are you planning to watch the bronze medal game?

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