I grew watching the Scotties and the Brier, not really by choice, but because my Dad was a huge curling fan, so as a kid, I didn’t get to choose what channel we watched. So for 2 weeks of the year, we watched nothing but curling.
Back then, the cool or neat thing I always like to see is when they would put up the curler’s occupation and you would see something like a lawyer, business owner, trainer, etc. Fast forward to today, it’s still a highlight for me to see because it’s a great reminder that these athletes who are competing for a National title have day jobs, just like me, and when it’s all over they’ll go back to their normal daily lives. It is a beautiful part of our sport that kind of grounds you a bit, that Monday – Friday the athletes could be doing a 9-5 daily routine, on the weekend you are competing for National Title.
I finally got up the courage to try curling a number of years ago after watching it so much. The Manotick Curling Club (near Ottawa) had a Learn to Curl program and a great Saturday night pick up the league. I discovered pretty quickly that the teams who compete for the provincials, and the Scotties, Briers and Grand Slams make it look so easy to send the rocks up and down the sheet and make take-outs, hits, freezes look so easy. It is not, it’s hard, takes practice and for my first year I spent more time falling down, slipping, and barely getting rocks over the hog line or throwing them straight through.
It made me love the game even more. While this is a funny story or one of triumph; it’s one that started small, watching curling with my Dad, growing up watching the Brier and the Scotties. I lost my Dad to cancer a little more than a year ago, but in the last 5-6 years, it was almost like a tradition, that when the Brier and the Scotties started, we’d always call each other to talk about the teams, who we thought was going to win. Dad always cheered for Newfoundland (home) no matter their chances and never missed a game that was televised where Newfoundland was playing.
My two kids are young but like to sit with me (for a limited time mind you) to watch some curling, like this week at the Scotties. The like to cheer for the red team or yellow, depending on who’s winning. I’m looking forward to when they are of age to introduce them to Little Rocks and hopefully, they’ll fall in love with the game of curling.