Last weekend, Amber and I sat in front of the computer and watched the Canadian national championship of curling, otherwise known as the Tim Hortons Brier. Here's a Canadian take on the event; what about my take?
Actually, I wasn't overly impressed. These guys are supposed to be the best curlers in the world, right? Well, listening to the CBC commentary, you'd think so. (Canadians are fairly arrogant about their status in the world with regards to curling.) But there were several missed shots. Now...they didn't miss any shots that I probably would have been able to make (at least consistently), but still. Worse yet, they all blamed it on the ice conditions. The losing skip, Glenn Howard, had this to say: "You just weren't sure what was going to happen. I didn't enjoy it that much. ... You just weren't sure about the ice conditions." Geez - talk about a sore loser! I thought Canadians were supposed to be friendly and gracious - especially Canadian curlers. I don't care how bad the ice conditions were, Glenn - you got beat. Nobody wants to hear you whine about it. How about just tipping your proverbial cap and moving on? I've never heard anyone complain about the ice conditions in our curling club, and we play on some rather questionable ice (which, honestly, makes the matches more fun).
Maybe I just don't appreciate how big of a deal this is in Canada. By winning the event, the Kevin Martin-led team gets to represent Canada in next month's world curling championships. Martin has skipped for Canada before, in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. I've watched enough curling to this point, I'm starting to recognize all of these guys.
The format of the Tim Hortons Brier is this, in a nutshell: 12 teams, each representing one Canadian province. (Northern Ontario has their own team, and Yukon and Northwest Territories have a single team.) Each province has their own tournament to determine which team moves on to the Brier. It got me thinking - what if the United States had a similar tournament, where each state was represented with one team? Only the top 12 states would make the finals, because it's not really practical to have a full round-robin tournament involving more than 12 teams. Of course, you could have qualifiers to whittle the lineup down to 12 from however many states enter a team.
I think the 12 finalists would look something like this:
3) North Dakota
4) New York
That's based partly on reputation, and partly a list of curling clubs across the United States. Ohio has five curling clubs, but honestly, I don't know what kind of a reputation Ohio curling has. Are they any good? Would they be better than, say, New Hampshire? If we had this tournament, we could find out! And as North Carolina's only curling club, the Triangle Curling Club could send their own team! We'd be completely out-classed, especially against teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but at least we'd have a chance.