The first step to watching the Tim Hortons Brier live is yelling. Lots of yelling.
The Halifax Metro Centre will be echoing with chants all week as fans from different provinces try to out-do each other.
Neil Boles of Three Hills, Alta., demonstrated the proper form yesterday with a high-pitched bird call-esque cry of “Kooooeeeeee! Koooooeeeee!”
Sitting nearby, the father of Team Alberta skip Kevin Koe turned around and flashed him a thumbs up.
“You have to be a loud cheerer, that’s the main thing,” Boles said.
Having a blood-alcohol level above zero never hurts, either.
“And drink a lot at the patch,” he added. “You’ve got to go to the Brier Patch.”
Wardrobe is also key. Boles and his three friends were enjoying their fifth straight Brier wearing comically oversized cowboy hats.
“We bought them to start with, then we had to do a little customizing on them,” said Mark Trentham. “They don’t make something this stupid, my friend. You have to make it yourself.”
Bob Osborne of St. John’s, N.L., was sporting his 15-year-old homemade “stonehead” styrofoam hat shaped like a curling rock.
“I love this,” he said of the games. “Bring more people in and cheer for this misses, cheer for the hits.”
While most of the chants involved provinces or the names of skips, some fans liked to mix it up with shouts of “Riiiicolaaa” or random nouns like “Rocks!”
When it comes to flags, some wave mini-versions, some stand and flap large ones above their heads, and then there’s Tony Korte of Saskatoon, Sask.
Korte is unmistakable as he intermittently sprints around the Metro Centre waving an eight-foot high flag and wailing the name of his home province.
Korte loves to get his fellow fans riled up, regardless of where they’re from.
“It’s just fun, winning or losing. Like last night, when we got beat by Newfoundland we cheered for Newfoundland,” he said.
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