Thus ends another Brier. Here are some thoughts:
- Glenn Howard wins, as expected. The final itself was a perfect Sunday night final –free of any drama or excitement that would cause you to have any difficulty sleeping. SportsCenter on TSN described the game as a narrow 7-6 victory that came down to last stone. Were they watching the same game? This one was never close. It never felt close. It was a complete domination.
- The bronze medal game is here to stay. This year featured a game with two teams who looked like wanted to be there. There was less pressure, great shot-making – and it resulted in by far the most entertaining game of the weekend. This was what the bronze medal game should be!
- Now that the Brier is over, Rob Fowler can get back to his day job: professional Matthew Perry impersonator.
- Best line from the Brier: Wayne Middaugh to Glenn Howard, after finding out that there were only a few inches of separation between two stones, and not the six inches that he was told by the front end: “Well, I guess everybody has a different idea of what 6 inches is.”
-It was fun to see the contrast between Team Howard and Team Koe – two teams on the opposite end of the intensity spectrum. The strength of Team Howard to me has always been their ability to stay loose and focussed, making jokes and not taking themselves too seriously. Team Koe on the other hand barely cracked a smile for 3 hours. I am not saying one style works better than the other - both styles can work – but you need to find teammates that share the same approach as you. I am definitely more of a Team Howard kinda guy – and when I have played with super-intense serious guys it usually results in disaster. It’s Lee Trevino vs. Jack Nicklaus, or Rory McIlroy vs. Tiger Woods if you prefer a more up-to-date comparison.
- I will claim responsibility for the Gazette devoting some ink to Brier coverage this weekend, as surprisingly many of you took the time to scribble a note to our esteemed local purveyor of news. Now we just need to get them to cover the local curling scene a bit better! (thanks for cc'ing me to those who took the time!)
I am completely out of the loop this year as far as which teams are changing and which are sticking together. All I know is my phone has not been ringing off the wall with offers (still waiting for the Jeff Stoughton call). This being Quebec, I can’t imagine all the teams will be sticking it out. Usually Quebec teams get changed more often than my 1-month old daughter (and often for the same reason: can’t stand the smell anymore).
Usually the guy who goes to the Brier is the one team that does not change – although even that was proven wrong last season. Of course everybody knows that the key to being a great team is to stick together – like Martin, Howard, Koe who have more or less kept the same teams over the past 5-6 years. But the temptation to try something new – to catch lightning in a bottle is too great for many.
I lost a curling friend of mine this week, rather unexpectedly. Kevin Yerbury, a man so smooth and easy-going that his nickname was K-Y, passed away Brier Sunday at the tender young age of 52. I have curled with/against Kevin for over 20 years, first at Lachine, then Glenmore. He was a fun, big-hearted guy with a smile that was almost as wide as is outurn usually was.
My best Kevin Story was getting snowed in at Lachine CC after a Calcutta or something in a crazy March blizzard with about dozen people. We ended up spending the night at the curling club until a plow came by at around 6am to “rescue” us.
Kevin’s passing certainly caused me to stop and reflect. It’s easy to put off our goals and dreams, thinking we can get back to them when we have more time. Glenn Howard is pushing 50, and still trying to get to the Olympics. Kevin was 52 and looking forward to curling in seniors. Moral of the story: don’t put anything big off. Do it now – there might not be a later.