Saturday, March 08, 2008

Here’s Team... Sweden?

TCN’s own Jill Officer is blogging live from the Tim Hortons Brier in Winnipeg. And now for post no. 3 ...

WINNIPEG – Manitoba received a big round of applause when they made their arena entrance in front of about 9,000 fans for first-round action… they were also the first team to be “honoured” and also host a young curler as part of the junior stars program.

TSN curling analyst Ray Turnbull took part in the ceremonial first rock toss this morning, during the opening ceremonies. Turnbull and his 1958 Brier runner-up team of Terry Braunstein, Ron Braunstein and Jack Van Hellemond donned their green Manitoba sweaters – Manitoba used to wear green?! – for the occasion, and even hauled out their old corn brooms to boot.

This year’s competitors are sporting some new curling uniforms. The curlers’ long and short-sleeve shirts all have two stripes down the arms. In men’s competition, curlers wearing white shirts have last rock in the first end. It was pointed out to me, however, that the white shirts for both Ontario and for Newfoundland and Labrador are the same – white with red stripes. Good thing they won't ever be wearing them at the same time…or at least not on the same sheet. Those boys could get quite mixed up if they decide to spend a night in the Patch.

I asked a few guys about the unis, and for the repeaters, last year’s gear was definitely preferred. Some of the guys don’t like the darker shirts, some are a little snug, and the Alberta boys – that’s Ben Hebert showing off his pipes in the photo – look a bit like Team Sweden with their blue shirts and yellow stripes. I thought this was the Brier, not the Worlds?

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