Friday, February 8, 2013

Championship Sunday

Today (02/10/13) is "Championship Sunday" for most provinces and territories as men's provincial/territorial finals take place to determine Brier representatives. Each championship Sunday brings back an "interesting" memory.

During one particular curling season I had worked with several men's teams across the land and since coaches of men's team were more scarce than skips who could sweep/brush (sorry, couldn't resist that) five of them asked me to coach them at the Brier should they qualify.

After the first request, when the others came, I informed each team that I had been asked by another team, or teams, and that to be fair, if more than one should qualify I'd honour the teams in chronological order. That seemed fair to them and no team knew from whom the other requests came.

You can imagine my mindset. I pretty much set Brier week aside on my calendar as I was reasonably certain I'd be coaching one of the five elite men's teams at the event I euphemistically referred to as "The Purple Heart Spiel". I really had only four chances to be accurate as two of the teams were from the same province/territory.

As championship Sunday arrived I settled in to watch the results unfold across the country according to the different time zones. The two teams from the same province/territory played one another in the semi-final so I was indeed down to four opportunities, not five. Confidence remained high as the first result came in. Oops, "my team" lost in a tight one. OK, one down, three to go.

I'll save you the details as I'm sure you know where this is headed. One by one, each team lost its provincial/territorial final!

I sent the five of them the same tongue-in-cheek email blind copied, "If you had a change of heart re. a coach, all you had to do was tell me. You didn't have to go about it this way!"

I hope it gave each team a chuckle, as much as one can after losing a game which meant a trip to the Brier. For me, laughter wasn't my exact sentiment but I feel I did set something of a coaching record, one you won't find in any record book. We'll keep it between us.

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