Sunday, March 14, 2010

8 Days and Only Hours to Go

I will officially garner an "F" this week for my "Brier blogging" efforts. After following the Curling News' blog last year, I thought it would be interesting to post some of my own observations from the twenty-ten event; favourite moments, on and off the ice, wacky fans, Patch rats and all.

Despite my good intentions, it was not to be. Having missed Opening Weekend, then spending most of the roundrobin draws entertaining customers, I did not witness the moments I thought I would be urging to share. The fans also seemed relatively subdued in comparison to past years. Sure, there were the "Sociable" Ukrainian Canadians in Section 12, Jack from Ontario, and the expected Northern Ontario mooseheads, tin can moose call in hand, but I felt an obvious abscence of the deafening crowd we heard last year.

Disappointed? Perhaps a little. For a city with 26 bars within walking distance, known for it's ability to show its guests a truly good time, I was honestly expecting a wilder arena. As for the Patch, the same can not be said. Good bands and good times were still guaranteed to the lucky group that made it in the door before capacity. Presenting Sponsor, Monsanto Canada's Public Affairs Director Don Pincock stated it best this afternoon at the closing lunch, "There is not a sport in this country where the players give so much back to their fans."

So true. Afterall, what other amateur sporting event allows fans the opportunity to socialize with the players, shake their hands, share a drink and sneak a photo after the event? It is inspiring for curlers, young and old.

Of course, the friendly people of Nova Scotia have also been a true breath of fresh air for this Ontario girl. Nova Scotians don't need a t-shirt to tell others they're 'nice too'. It's evident in everything they do, from the waitress that took our order - "3 specials because you're special people" - to the chatty security guard that assured us she'd give us a heads up to beat the Patch line.

When the final stone is thrown, the Tankard hoisted and the banner lowered, I will join the players and all the crew that pulls this incredible event together, year after year, in that inevitable state of 'happy-sad' that follows every great experience. Happy to have taken in such a fantastic event. Sad it has to end.

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