First off, I'm exhausted, and it's only been three days. How do people do this for a longer event like a Brier? Yes I did the Roar of the Rings in 2009 and that was long, but it wasn't as tiring. I think I did more 'watching' and less 'working', if you consider I worked 5 draws at the Roar in 8 days, yet I've worked 5 draws at the Cup in 3 days. Believe me, Twittering takes a lot out of you! I think it's also the lack of proper meals (Booster Juice counts as my 5 fruit/veg a day, right?), and the fact that I've been standing/walking on concrete floors - my feet are killing me. Could be the lack of sleep too? I'll prepare better next time.
It's worth it though. Because it's awesome.
This morning, I had to enter the real world: I had to go to work for a couple hours. And it sucked. Not work, I love my job, but the real world. There were no people in beige volunteer jackets. The ceilings were lower. And it was daylight. Weird. I love living in Curlingland, and I reckon next week will be tough, getting used to that real world again and all. I was glad to return to the venue for the afternoon singles game. The CCA hasn't fired me yet, so I picked up a laptop to live tweet the game.
Which was a bit of a disaster. I knew the rules of singles, but good grief the scoring was complicated and confusing! I don't think it helped that they weren't displaying scores, so I had to rely on the arena announcer, and the TSN radio feed (which sometimes overlapped or contradicted the numbers, so eventually I just used Curlcast - yay for the people who update that!!). It took me a few 'ends' to figure it out, so my first few tweets were, um, less than stellar (sorry CCA!). Thank goodness I was sitting beside a friend, @1CathyC, so between the two of us we got it eventually. I heard we even made it onto TSN as an audience shot. Lesson learned: stick to the media bench so the viewing public don't see you in the crowd with a laptop. I hope that was ok as I was in my uniform so it was all official looking, and no one probably noticed (shh, don't tell the CCA!).
Let's get this party started!
Commercial Break! Let's all stand around, lean on our brooms and chat to each other. I love 'leaning on broom' shots!
I really liked singles - it was exciting. It went by really quickly and kept my attention. Actually, it was incredibly stressful as I tried to keep up with the live scoring, but nevermind that, what I watched was enthralling. And there were some awesome shots made! I'd watch singles again in a heartbeat. I've read a lot of negative chatter on Twitter about how stupid mixed doubles and singles are, but I completely disagree. It was fun to watch, and it looked like it was fun to play. What more do people want?
'Dinner' started out as usual: return laptop, chat to nice IT people, chat to nice volunteers in the volunteer lounge, then head over to the Patch for the Coaches Q&A. I had only been in the Patch for a few Qs, when the host announced the lineup for autographs was low and if no one else wanted any the teams were going for dinner.
Blurry Coaches and Captains
Wait. What? Autographs?!!
I totally thought the autograph lineup happened on Sunday (what else are they going to do in the 4+ hr gap in between games?)! I rushed upstairs, grabbed a free poster and got in line. Again, I'm a poor fangirl and never know what to say to these awesome athletes I totally admire, but it was fun. Small talk was made, nothing stupid came out of my mouth and oggling was kept to a minimum so it turned out ok. Everyone was super nice. There were lots of laughs too.
Yep, that's everyone!
Andrea poses for my camera. I wonder if this is fun for them?
You knew I'd throw in a photo of one of my favourite teams!
Stoeckli makes a joke about Strubin and everyone laughs.
Cheryl Bernard was lovely to chat to.
Can't believe I met these guys!
I talked a bit to the Norwegian team, as I wanted to say "Hi!" for another Twitter friend, @RedArgyle. The team totally knew who he was, and send "Hi!"s back. I noted @RedArgyle was disappointed the pants haven't made an appearance, and Christopher Svae stood up and said "The pants are right here!" because of course he was wearing a pair. He was also very kind to pose for a photo for @RedArgyle (and all of you!). Nice guys, the whole lot of 'em.
I also had a quick chat with John Morris, mentioning we missed him on Twitter (@johnnymocurler). He said he was locked out of his account but he would fix it soon when he got a new phone. That's something for y'all to look forward too.
K-Mart and co, always a crowd favourite.
After all this excitement, it was time for my regular refill/garbage shift. I was solo tonight, and missed having a partner to chat with, so I made a point to visit all the lounges a few times and stopped often to talk to the security volunteers who I have gotten to know a bit. I was pretty busy the whole night moving around beverage stock, and only caught the last bit of the last end of the evening draw.
And wow, was that the best bit of the game to catch! One game went down to a draw to the button, and in the end not only did North America win the game, but they ended up getting enough points to win the whole cup! The players immediately jumped over the boards of their bench and they all had a really sweet group hug on the ice.
I never get tired of this view.
North America wins the Continental Cup!
It's too bad team World wasn't a bit closer. I imagine turnout for tomorrow's games will be low, between the fact that they don't count anymore and the 4+ hr gap in between. (Who's idea was it to NOT plan something like a Q&A or whatever during those 4 hrs?) I'll be there though!
So a good day.
A popular topic of conversation this week has been the lack of younger volunteers. Even the lovely older retired folks agree more younger people are needed to take over as they gradually become unable to volunteer. I totally agree. There are very few volunteers my age or younger. Very few. What happens in 5, 10, 15 years? Why is it so hard to get young people out? Is it the cost? (Yes, we pay to volunteer. It covers the uniform and adds accountability so people actually show up for their shifts. This event cost $100.) Then maybe juniors should pay less than others? Should seniors pay less than? I'd 'Sponsor A Junior' if it meant more of them came out, and hey, I'd 'Sponsor A Senior' too. Do clubs/programs get a chance to have their young people involved? Is it the time commitment? I suppose not everyone is able to take vacation days to volunteer, and it's hard if you're in school. I don't have the answers, but there are certainly some questions that need to be discussed if curling event volunteering has a future.
On a more happier note, I was talking to a group of volunteers about possibly volunteering for some events in 2012. Though I was waffling about all of this previously, I've decided that if my supervisor approves the time off, I'd love love love to volunteer for the 2012 Scotties in Red Deer AND the 2012 Brier in Saskatoon. I doubt I could do both as they're quite close together and during a busy time at work, but I reckon I'll make it to the Brier at least - I've already got a couch to sleep on all reserved! I wonder if I could work out another tweeting gig?
Last day tomorrow - bittersweet it shall be!