|IS THE BRIER DARE WE SAY BORING|
|Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:40|
By Joe Pavia, Sun Media
Is the Brier boring?
There doesn’t seem to be the drama and spectacular shots that fans are used to at the ultimate curling tournament.
Is it time for a Brier re-think?
Eighty-five years is a long time to be doing virtually the same thing. Sure, the first-place team doesn’t automatically win as in the past and, yes, there is more drama now with the Page playoff system. But is the round-robin the best way to determine the national champion?
The relegation system may be coming to this event soon, so some weaker provinces will have to play their way back into the round-robin. But this doesn’t reinvent the tournament.
The CCA has stated that it want to shorten the event. Morning draws are a tough sells, especially in weather-sensitive locations such as western Canada where most of the Briers take place.
The event could be shortened by using a triple-knock-out bonspiel format.
This format would make every game an important matchup. There would be no more late-week games where the outcome is not important.
From a viewership point of view, more games would actually be important. There would be qualifying semi-finals on the A, B and C brackets.
Weaker provinces might also do better with this format. More games would be do or die — players might just raise their game.
The CCA would still be able to have all its ancillary activities such as player autograph sessions, up close and personal, and, of course, the Patch.
Players are used to competing in bonspiels. The Brier would become the most important bonspiel any players has ever played.
What do you think?
With the near completion of this season, a number of elite rinks are experiencing changes, either forced or otherwise. Jeff Stoughton, the 2011 Brier winner, has released his long-serving lead Steve Gould. It wasn’t Gould’s choice. Amy Nixon, Shannon Kleibrink’s longtime third, decided to form her own rink. Lori Olson has parted ways with Cheryl Bernard. Why all the changes? Next season marks the real beginning of the race to make the 2013 Canadian Curling Trials. Canadian Team Ranking System points count large with the approach of the 2012-13 season. Teams have to decide on schedules, exercise routines and bond their rinks together. Now is the time to do it. Look for more changes after the Brier.
In Tim Hortons Colts and Trophy the regional winners from this area are: 1A: Laura Payne and Nick Artichuk; B: Caroline Deans and Dennis Murray.
Osgoode, skipped by Stuart Leslie, won its way to OFSAA March 21 by defeating All Saints. With Leslie were Jessica Armstrong, Chris Fliesser and Adam Taylor. They are coached by Bob Reynolds and Evan Cooper ... The Ontario Winter Games begin Wednesday. Curling from this area are Lauren Horton from Almonte and Kimberly Gannon from Navy and Bruce Cameron in the wheelchair event ... There were two recent eight-enders in the area. The foursome of Reg Plaster, Malcolm Stubbs, Terry Hodgson and Henry Chan worked their magic at the Richmond Cashspiel, while the RCMP team of Phil Deveau, Andre Nantel, Dave Elliot and Gary Fleming scored one last week in their senior league ... The Alexander Keith’s City of Ottawa Bonspiel begins next Wednesday.