When I talk sports with friends of mine, it’s always interesting to see what their first sports memory is. For some it’s their first hit playing tball. Others, its a football game they watched with their father. For myself though, mine would be unique in that the sport would be curling. It wouldn’t be a tv event, but watching my father and the team that he was a part of for over two decades playing at the local club’s most prestigious bonspiel, the hootenanny. From what I was told years later, based on the description of the it, it was when the old club still existed, which burnt to the ground decades ago, so pretty decent for a kiddo that could probably barely walk ten steps without falling on his face.

Glenn Howard; Ontario's immortal curler?

In our household, sports wasn’t a big thing outside of what I brought to the table. Dad was a casual Leaf fan, which being from Southern Ontario at the time was almost expected of every male, but he was also a decent NASCAR and curling as well. When I was younger, winter afternoons where the weather wasn’t too nice out would have the Brier, the Scott, and the Canadian Juniors on tv with the fireplace going. And when we’d be at the club, either for one of his games or later on, one of my own, you’d have the game there as well. It was one of those things that you just took as being part of the everyday routine as you were growing up, like knowing your laundry would be done, or the lights would come on when you flicked the switch. But like most things from that time of life, it falls out of favour when girls and cars come into the picture, and I wasn’t immune to that. Curling was seem as too slow, and hanging with the old man, too dull when there was a world to explore, and girls to meet.

However over the last few weeks, I’ve found the interest rekindled, thanks to the combination of TSN online broadcasts and extended unemployment. When you’re at home doing cover letters and combing the internet looking for work. having some background noise is always a nice thing. However, I found that I was actually paying attention to the game more as time passed. Heck I even found myself rooting for Micheal Gaudet’s crew today, which being they were facing Glenn Howard’s rink, was like trying to knock out Goliath with a peddle to the nose. Speaking of, is Howard, who is the only name I remember from back when I first followed the Brier, ever going to retire? Or has Ontario just given up having tournaments and insta-qualified him to represent them nowadays?

Now I doubt that I’m going to be able to be as indepth in strategy or jargon as I could be with baseball, nor be able to name off every player for every team like I could with the Blue Jays and Expos once upon a time. But watching it again, it does help to want to get back on the ice and do a few of my patented takeouts. And maybe, if fortune smiles on me nicely, be the PEI rep for next years Brier. Now there’s an event that I can guarantee Dad would be watching.

PS: The spell check for this blog software was not created by a Canadian that’s for sure. Almost every curling term used in this write-up it’s freaking out about.