Monday, March 10, 2008

Broken Brier Trophy

by Jill Officer

WINNIPEG – To begin today’s third blogpost, there are a few hosting announcements to fill you in on. First up, the Canadian Curling Association announced today that the territory of Nunavut will host its first major curling championship – the 2009 Canadian Mixed, this November 9-16.

This is actually the first time any Canadian sport federation has hosted a national championship in Canada’s newest territory. Awesome.

Also, the big rumour around these parts is that the CCA will announce on Friday that Edmonton will host the 2009 Olympic Curling Trials.

It’s been speculated for quite a while now that Edmonton would host this huge event, but then Kamloops came along and put in one whale of an offer. Now after a few months of fierce lobbying the CCA is set to make the call in favour of Edmonton, and the Trials themselves would run at Rexall Place from December 6-13, 2009.

Media speculation can be found here and here.

And finally, word on the street is that Kamloops will host the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. This would be logical compensation for the city coming second in the Trials hosting battle.

It was the first battle of the undefeated teams this morning. Saskatchewan’s Pat Simmons was up against Alberta powerhouse Kevin Martin. I was down on the carpet, taking photos of the action. After giving up a steal in the second end, Saskatchewan third Jeff Sharp said to me, “We can’t give the Ol’ Bear too many chances.” Apparently they did, however as Alberta went on to win 7-4.

Seems there are a lot of curlers out there who would love to be Tiger Woods. The “Getting to know…” section of the Brier’s daily Tankard Times is a Q & A that all the players answer. For the question, “If you could be any athlete in the world, you’d be...?” many players list Tiger Woods. Believe it or not, it was the same answer for that same question at the Scotties.

So does everyone just want to win as much as Tiger? Or is it the guy’s unbelievable drive, determination and tough mental game that is the core attraction? I’m thinking it’s a little of both.

Another question in that section is “Something about a teammate that we don’t already know is...” You could imagine there are a few funny answers to this one.

Here’s one from New Brunswick Skip James Grattan: “Every morning (roommate) Jason blows his nose and a moose knocks at the door saying, ‘You called?’”

And from British Columbia third (and fourth thrower) Jim Cotter about his RCMP cfficer skip Bob Ursel: “Bob got a speeding ticket from a new/young member of the force about two months ago.”

What else is going on?

• Alberta second Marc Kennedy is leading the seconds in percentages so far this week. Kennedy has managed to post not one, but two 99 per cent games!

• Did you know that Newfoundland and Labrador’s coach and fifth are the husbands of Cathy Cunningham (Geoff) and Peg Goss (Glen) – two members of the Newfoundland women’s team at this year’s Scotties?

• When Quebec’s Jean-Michel Ménard stole a whopping five points off of Nova Scotia’s Brian Rafuse the other day – Quebec then stole another three in the second and took a four in the fourth en route to a 13-2 win – it didn’t beat or even tie the current Brier steal record.

At the 2000 Brier, PEI’s Andrew Robinson stole seven points in one end in a game against Nova Scotia’s Shawn Adams.

• Alberta third John Morris seems to be dealing well with his broken finger. Skip Kevin Martin has had no issues with Johnny Mo’s shotmaking or sweeping performances. As a matter of fact, he was relieved, telling Tankard Times Editor Larry Wood, “I was happy with the way he threw and happier with the way he swept because there’s no danger now of me having to sweep.”

• There’s a Winnipeg Free Press promo piece that features a picture of Freep writer Paul Wiecek kissing the Brier Tankard trophy (photo above). I promptly went over to Wiecek on the media bench to ask him for his autograph. He proceeded to tell me that he’s never been so scared in his life when that picture was taken.

As he picked up the hardware, the top part of the trophy actually fell off. Paul thought he had broken the hallowed trophy, and proceeded to freak out.

Turns out they hadn’t put the bolts on the thing properly and it was just a matter of bolting it back together to make it right. Whew.

• Finally, Canadian women’s champ Jennifer Jones – my skipper! – received a nice round of applause from last night’s crowd when TSN featured a shot of her on the arena jumbotron.

Now here I am publicizing it... and making her look good yet again! Hey, I like how this blog thing can work...

1 comment:

nocurling said...

great work, jillybean. love the pictures....

peter in olympia