Friday, November 13, 2009

Margo's pre-Trials picks

[She's baaaaaack! Margo Weber, guest blogger during last February's STOH (controversially) and also the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary (archive here) has been watching the Road to the Roar in Prince George, courtesy of TSN. What's on her mind?]

by Margo Weber

CALGARY – So, I entered a curling pool.

And this morning I had a looksee at the draw for the men’s side of the Road to the Roar, and I realized three of my qualifying picks fall to each other in the C-side.

On the women’s side, it’s not looking much better.  I did not have Crystal Webster qualifying, although I must say I’m thrilled all these Alberta teams are doing so well. I, for the record, with many others... had Kelly Scott (cue downer music).

It seems I will not win this pool. But overall, I’ve had a pretty good history of predicting who is going to do well at these things – in other sports, mind you – with a few minor blips.

However, just being in a pool raises some questions. There are curling pools? Who knew? I think it’s the first one I’ve been involved in. Maybe I’ve seen a Brier pool once or twice. The person who organized the pool itself is a well-known competitor who has already made it to the Roar of the Rings in Edmonton. Whom did she pick? Did anyone actually curling in this event enter the pool? Is that okay... or is that really, really bad?

It was only $25.00 but... let’s say someone bet on themselves, or bet against themselves... let’s say someone bet against his wife? Or his/her sister? Teams have a long history of buying themselves in calcuttas at cashspiels, so I suppose it’s all been done before.

Sigh. I believe I’m just bitter because, at best, only five of my eight picks have an opportunity to qualify. Not that any of my picks are out... they just fall to each other in the draw.

Can I get on another tangent here? Speaking of the draw...

Since when is it okay that teams which lose their first two games all get bundled up to play each other in the C-side? These teams arguably are the bottom four of twelve... yet because of the draw, one of these teams will make it to a C-final just by beating each other out. Horrible.

The only saving grace is that the loser of the B-side qualifier drops into that spot. Perhaps this is to make is easier for that team. Except it’s not easier if they are coming off a loss, and the C-side team just rattled off two wins.

So... will  I enter a Roar of the Rings pool? Of course. I’m assuming my friend – the competitor – will not have time to organize that one. Nor would she want to know who would or wouldn’t bet on her!

Maybe I will organize the pool myself. But I will inevitably struggle between whom I want to win... whom I think should win... and who I actually picked in the pool.

Maybe if I bet on who I don’t want to win... I’ll be happy either way.

Oh, and for the curious? Here were my picks:

A – Wayne Middaugh
B – Bob Ursel (CCA photo by Michael Burns)
C – Jeff Stoughton
C – Brad Gushue

A – Kelly Scott
B – Cathy King
C – Marie-France Larouche
C – Krista McCarville

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