For Jed Brundidge, the sport of curling is as natural to him as riding a bicycle might be. It’s possible that he learned how to curl before he could ride a two-wheeler.
“My parents all curled,” said Brundidge, who grew up in Wisconsin. “My grandparents curled, so it’s been in the family for a long time. It’s kind of the way curling is. You kind of grow up with it.”
“There’s so many clubs (in the Twin Cities), so you have tons of options,” said Brundidge. “At an event like this, you get people from Georgia (and) Ohio. (We’re) starting to see a lot of people coming in.”
Adding to the intrigue was the presence of the All-Pro Curling Team, which included former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro Defensive End Jared Allen. He fielded a team with the intent to qualify for nationals and eventually the Olympics. Ultimately, Allen’s team did not qualify.
“Everybody wants to go out and try curling,” said Team Brundidge competitor Jordan Brown. “It’s growing. The PR has been great. It’s great having the football players here. It doesn’t hurt at all. It’s a growing sport, for sure.”
Team Brundidge practices at Four Seasons, which is part of Fogerty Arena and the adjoining Sticks & Stones Restaurant.
“It’s a well-run facility,” said Brown. “We know the people, we know the atmosphere, and it’s a great place to play.”
Brundidge said it’s a perfect setting for newcomers to the sport he loves.
“It’s a social sport, really,” he said. “A lot of those people never knew what curling was like, but you get them hooked on ‘Okay, this game is fun, too’ and then we go and socialize after, and people are really starting to enjoy it.”
The USA Curling National Championships are February 9-16 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.