"The house is rockin.' Everything''s lookin' all right."
So starts the Brier Song, a tune composed and sung by former national and world champ Pat Ryan specifically for the 2009 Brier in Calgary.
With references to the Saddledome, the Brier Patch and Cowboy Town, the lead song on Ryan's' second album, Little Bit of Trouble, sets a musical tone for the event.
And fans attending the event can hear it live, as Ryan plays in the Brier Patch tonight at 10 p.m.
The song obviously reflects some of Ryan's own on-ice experiences and his love for the curling lifestyle he was part of for so long. Ryan moved to Kelowna, B.C. a decade ago just before he won the 1999 world championship in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Harkening a call from his friends in Edmonton while working on a project in Red Deer, Ryan came out of retirement to play again in his first year of senior eligibility.
He followed up his 2007 Canadian senior title with a world senior title in 2008.
Anybody who's been around Ryan during his glory days is keenly aware of his musical abilities. Ryan used to thrill audiences off the ice with his Elvis tributes.
Even though he's gone more to a folksy/country sound, Ryan's haunting melodies on his first two albums demonstrate his talent beyond an ability to deliver a rock.
Ryan teams up with his daughter Lynsay to co-develop three tunes on the nine-song album.
In case you miss him at the Brier, head to his website at myspace.com/patryanmusic.
GUSHUE FAN LOUD AND PROUD
Brad Gushue and his team may not have a Brier title yet, but they've got a one-man cheering section.
To break the buzz of the crowd last night, a lone Newfoundland supporter in the corner of the Saddledome celebrated the Rock rink's shots against Ontario with a drawn-out blow on a boat horn.
Upon further inspection, the fan was dressed in a provincial flag and sporting a Newfoundland cap.
Not to be outdone, an elderly fan of Ontario's, then jumped into the spotlight.
He waved a provincial flag and cheered out a long-drawn 'Ontario' before sprinting back and forth just inside the endboards much to the delight of the packed house.
The start was a little strange between Manitoba and Nova Scotia in yesterday's first draw. The hog-line light in one of the Nova Scotia stone handles flashed red, indicating an illegal throw. But just before the curlers kicked off the rock, they noticed it was alternating between red and green. Turns out it was just a bad battery. But people had to wonder if the 2009 Brier might get off to a start as controversial as the one at the Dome in 2002, when Quebec was burned in a game against Manitoba when a stone that was moved by an improperly assembled measuring device ... Edmonton's Randy Ferbey was on hand for the opening day of the Brier, sitting in box seats with a few other home-province supporters, including family of Alberta lead and Calgarian Ben Hebert. Ferbey lost the provincial final to Alberta representative Kevin Martin ... Before each game, the two teams choose a curler to draw to the button. The closest one determines who gets the hammer for the opening end.