Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Howard after his Slam victory

I had a chance to chat with Glenn Howard yesterday. He was back at work at the Beer Store after grabbing his first win of the season at the GP Home and Car World Cup of Curling.

To say the team was ecstatic after the win would be an understatement.

“It’s awesome,” stated Howard, who won the event of for the fifth time. “It’s just what we needed. We’ve been winning lots of games, some quarters and semis, but this just got us over that hump.

“And the fact it was in a Slam is great. I think these are the toughest events to win.”

It’s the first title for the team with Wayne Middaugh on board. As most know by now, he replaced Richard Hart this year after Hart retired. I asked Howard the difference between the two players and he said that Middaugh brings the high hard one while Hart maybe has a better touch. But he added that the difference was so minimal it was almost negligible.

He also said that the adjustment period in bringing Middaugh in wasn’t that long. That’s not only because Howard and Middaugh have played together in the past, but also because they have a regular once-a-week game with their wives in the local mixed league.

“I know how he throws, his tendencies and all from mixed,” Howard chuckled. (By the way, that’s a pretty stacked mixed team for club play!)

Middaugh seems pumped to be playing regularly once again. It's safe to say that while he never really stopped competing, his intensity probably waned over the past few years.

“I haven’t seen him this excited to play in 10 years," Howard stated. “He’s just 100 per cent into it. You can see he wants to win.”

Of course it was tough for Howard to play against his son, Scott, in the final. There were mixed emotions throughout.

“I wanted him to have a perfect game but for us to win,” Howard said.

By the way, Team Howard drove home from the Soo, but Scott took the plane. Guess he didn’t want to listen to six hours of gloating.

And finally, he hasn’t yet played the five-rock free guard zone, which will be used at the next Grand Slam.

There was some discussion on the ride home about the tactics that might come into play, but he’s really unsure of how it will play out. The general consensus in the car was, he said, that no lead is going to be safe and the best defense might have to be offense.

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