Final Brier thoughts
As I type this Brad Jacobs and Jeff Stoughton and their teams are warming up for the final.
I planned on watching the heck out of this Brier, but my own curling, my kids curling and other factors led to me only watching a few games on television. I had hoped to watch about 20 hours of curling this week, but truth be told I probably watched half of that.
Even when I had an evening free, I feel asleep in the ninth end and woke up when the game was over. This old horse can rarely make it past 11 p.m. anymore, especially with the late draws being held an hour or two later because they're out in Alberta.
Anyways, here is a few thoughts on what I saw and heard during the past week of Brier action.
If there is one memory that will Friday night. The crowd. The excitement. Friday night with the playoff chase and exciting games will be the highlight moment of Brier 2013.
With the crowds at the 2010 Olympics and this Brier crowd, it shows things are changing. This is no longer your grandparents Brier.
Almost makes it worth being there instead of watching on television....almost.
Kudos for the Canadian Curling Association in using new stones, as they’re the same type of stones that will be used at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It's good for players to get used to them before they make the trek to the Olympics.
However, while the stones were used at the Canadian junior curling championships, they threw everyone for a loop by making their debut at the Brier.
Curlers are a funny sort, change is okay, not just when it counts the most. The new curling stones threw everyone for a loop. It would've been nice if they had been used at a variety of events before the Brier so teams could compare notes.
Better planning could've made the rocks less of an issue during the first few days of the Brier.
Curling has a growing presence on social-media. If you're not following your favourite curlers or teams on Twitter or Facebook, do so now. You know in the future it will be come all corporate and it will not be as engaging or accessible as it is now.
Also kudos to Curling Zone and their curling forum. A great way for curling fans from across the country to talk about the game they love.
Started the week looking horrible and then went on a magical run.
They started out at 1-4 and it seemed the world was collapsing on them. You have to give the team credit, as they bounced back and finished 7-4 including victories over Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue and Ontario’s Glenn Howard.
It was only the second time in 12 Briers that Martin hasn’t qualified for the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see how Martin's crew bounces back and if they can put it together to try and qualify for another Olympic spot. They've already qualified for the 2013 Olympic Trials at Winnipeg in December.
Last kick at the can
Will this be the last Brier appearance for Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton or Kevin Martin? We hope not, but Howard and Stoughton are on the wrong side of 50 and Martin is 46 and is starting to show his age. How long can they keep it up?
I am not a big fan of relegation, but would British Columbia, PEI or Nova Scotia even qualify for the provincials in Ontario, Alberta or Manitoba? There is a huge chasm between the bottom three teams and the top 4-5 teams.
All three bottom-feeder teams looked over-matched all week.
Bronze medal game
I've been a lone wolf in showing some love and appreciation for the Bronze medal game. So I was a bit dismayed to come home Sunday afternoon and not be able to watch the Bronze medal match on TSN or TSN2. From what I hear the game was just available online. Either TSN is going to cover the Brier from beginning to end or they're not. It also shows to fans that the game means little if TSN2 is not showing it.
I like the Bronze medal game, but it's obvious that not only are the players not crazy about it, so are the broadcasters.
Also, since I am on a rant, would it kill TSN Sportscentre to show more than a minute of Brier highlights? It seems every hour has 33 minutes of NHL highlights, 7 minutes of NHL rumours, 6 minutes of soccer, 4 minutes of NBA highlights and then in minute 51, just after a live report from the Maple Leafs practice, we get a curling update. Is this as good as it is going to get?
I lost a $10 bet betting against Jeff Stoughton in 2011 at the Brier in London. Maybe I can get my money back this year—Manitoba 7, Northern Ontario 5.