Juniors in Calgary: The Men

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CCA photo by Michael Burns

CCA photo by Michael Burns

by Guy Scholz

CALGARY – Super Sunday it was!

I sure hope you curling/football fans were channel surfing yesterday during the Packers-Steelers clash. I almost missed a classic yesterday.

First the shameless plug – I was at the Canadian Juniors in Calgary to flaunt my co-authored, updated version of Between the Sheets: The Silver Lining with Cheryl Bernard. My new significant other/bride/NFL fanatic femme was torn... big time! She can’t remember the last time she missed a Super Bowl party – ever! She’s from Detroit and is quite new to our granite game. I’ll cut her a little slack… she used to watch the “Don and Don” CBC version of curling as a kid in Michigan. But she has never thrown a rock (other than in the hood).

Being the supportive femme she is, she came out to watch the Junior Men’s final between Ontario’s Mat Camm and the Saskatchewan squad skipped by Braeden Moskowy. She has become a typical Albertan – ie. a transplanted or adopted Saskatchewanite. She has gone to Roughrider games and loved “The Green” crazies and their antics, and she re-fell in love with their fans during the Canadian Juniors this weekend at the North Hill CC in Calgary.

And so to Super Sunday! What a great final between ON and SK. If you haven’t seen it, go right now to the TSN website and watch the replay of the game. It looked like the undefeated (13-0) Sask team was going to blow out their opponents, but the Ontarians hung in there and came back from 3-0 and 5-2 deficits by turning it around quicker than any Aaron Rogers deep pass. It started with a well-played two with hammer, then they followed it up by playing a brilliant end to steel (you spell it this way on Super Sundae, you see) another two to jump up ahead 6-5.

The Sask men tied it up and snuck ahead 7-6 until Ontario forced the extra end. On Moskowy’s last rock he had an extremely difficult and quiet come-around tap back with no wiggle room for error to win by about this much __! What an intense pressure shot by Braeden. This was one of those quiet weight come around shots that had to curl about three feet from the hog line in. I watched the crowd all stand at once – hold their collective breath still not knowing if the rock would break enough even in the final four or five feet. The place went berserk.

But hold it! There was a call for a measure and everyone had to wait. Then, of course, the crowd went berserk for a second time.

It was classic... one of the best curling finals you could wish for. The Super Bowl was a classic as well but, as Miss Michigan said of the curling afterwards, “I have seldom felt so tense watching a final game of any sport come down to a final play like this. It was agonizing in a good way. And I love Saskatchewan. It’s my new favorite province. Oh, do they have a lot of curlers in Saskatchewan?”

She just had to hang around for a long while afterwards and talk with Team Sask and give them all a hug.

I have been to almost 30 national curling events and this one was as well run as any, regardless of size. The crowds were outstanding and the fans were fantastic. It wasn’t just those green Roughrider curling fanatics that brought color and energy to the venue, as many of the other provincial fans had their favorite team’s colours painted on their faces, dyed into their hair, etc.

And I loved how the organizers featured mostly the 1980’s and 90’s generation singing the pre-game national anthem, handling the music and entertainment between ends, and emceeing one of the best banquets we’ve attended. In other words, the organizers catered to the age of the event and brought to life a lot of fun for curling fans of all ages. When you walked into the Glencoe or North Hill CC’s this past week, there was energy in the air... and you knew something of significance was going on.

I’ll always remember Super Bowl XLV!