‘Tis the season for Christmas lists, and here’s one that caught my attention.
George knows what he’s talking about – and he’s not afraid to take some heat either. I can see competitive women curlers getting their backs up at some of his comments, but I think he’s spot on. Take some chances, Ladies!
And get your wallets out, Curlers! As a recreational winter activity, curling is cheap compared to skiing or hockey, and compared to golf fees, it’s a steal. George isn’t the only one to argue this, either. Check out the CCA’s Business of Curling blog for a piece written by me and the CCA’s Director of Championship Service and Curling Club Development, Danny Lamoureux.
George also talks about the challenges of marketing the game. Even though the grassroots of curling is obviously where my heart lies (this blog is called Grassroots Curling, after all), I think he’s right that the image – the appeal - of the game needs to grow beyond the folksy, traditional view so many of us celebrate. This sport could be big, really big. Marketers need to get on board and promote its big guns: I mean, if you can’t sell athletes like John Morris, David Murdoch, Thomas Ulsrud, Jennifer Jones or Eve Muirhead to the world, you’re in the wrong job. Curling as a fun recreational activity is great. But curling as a dynamic, exciting spectator sport is the next big thing. Come on, people, buy those incredibly reasonably priced tickets to events held across Canada and convince the necessary sponsors that it’s time to bring curling to the next level.
My blog on the CCA site, Around the House, is also a list this week: a wish list for recreational curlers (chiefly me). My biggest wish? I want a curling sweater like my dad used to wear. I’ve included the picture here in case you missed it. That’s my dad, Jack Bangay, keeping score at a Ladies’ provincial competition at CFB Downsview Curling Club, sometime in the late 1950s. (I’m pretty sure there was a beer and a cigarette just outside the frame of this photo…)
But there are a few other things on my curling wish list - fairly lightweight, I know, but wishes, just the same:
1. I wish TV broadcasts didn’t cut away to commercials right after the winning last rock and handshakes. When you’re watching at home, you want to see all the back slapping and celebrating by the winners, and (voyeurs that we are) we want to share in the disappointment shown by the losers, no matter what form it takes. I know it’s all about sponsors and advertising, but can you give us at least a minute or two to watch the post-game action before whisking us away to watch another commercial for [insert product here]?
2. Okay, don’t laugh. I wish someone knew how to design curling pants for women. They need to reach our waists and stay there (are you listening, sports clothing designers?). That means, we need to be able to get down in the hack and not feel the cool air creeping across the lumbar region. And the view from behind the glass of women of a certain age coming apart in the middle isn’t that great either. I’m just saying.
Enough about me. What’s on your curling wish list this year?