by Erin McLaughlin
OSHAWA, Ontario – That was quite a night.
There was more Wii curling, an energetic rock cover band 3HT (which stands for Three Hour Tour), an epic match of Flippy Cup at the Silver Bullet Bar...
There was also much discussion about who might claim today's championship title at the BDO Canadian Open – teams Glenn Howard and Mike McEwen – and there was even mention of the not-so-distant 2011 Brier in London, Ontario.
I am still trying to catch up on sleep, and am already reminiscing about my past three days at the GM Centre and my first experience with Grand Slam curling.
I came to this event with no expectations, glad to just be a part of the action and report my thoughts as accurately as possible to anyone who'd be willing to read them here, and I think I can safely say I am completely hooked, with no plans to look back. The players, staff, family members and Twitter alum I've met have been absolutely phenomenal to get to know, and the respect and kindness they've all shown me is unmatched.
A few highlights of last night:
• Getting ribbed by every player from Team Jim Cotter for mentioning them in the last post
• Having my phone confiscated by Jim and second Kevin Folk for about an hour to prevent me from revealing all of their secrets, like the fact that none of them even have a Twitter account or knew how to find these postings. Except that now they do... so what else can I share with you all? ;)
• Finding a new friend in Jeff Stoughton third Jon Mead, who reputably dislikes most people... but liked my shoes, as we discovered we wear the same size
• Listening to CurlingZone's Gerry Guerts talk about team qualifying statistics, which I'm still learning about, and is no less confusing in daylight but are definitely important. I think. I'll get there, Gerry...
• Discovering that arm wrestling may well be a sport that can be endorsed by curlers – there sure was a lot of it going on this weekend!
• Laughing so hard at the general antics of the night (that almost ended early, mind you) that my teeth actually hurt this morning.
I don't know how you measure fun but it's those small, unexpected moments that have made this entire weekend such a blast for me, and so difficult to say goodbye to this afternoon.
Speaking of this afternoon, who are your picks? Eight-time Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event champion Howard, or the equally undefeated World Cup Slam champion McEwen? Both played solid in the semis and today's finals – which will be broadcast live again on CBC at 1:00pm eastern – are sure to have fans on the edge of their seats! Can't wait!
Also tackling the ice today will be Teri Schiman, finalist in the Capital One Million Dollar Button, who threw an unbelievable cold draw just 14 inches away from the "pin" yesterday to secure her win. But the real money is in today's fourth end broadcast halftime... will she choose help from her chosen team of two Slam sweepers plus a skip for $100,000 or... will she take the shot alone for the million bucks?