Monday, March 12, 2012

Some final Brier thoughts

Final Brier Thoughts:

When I asked Glenn Howard at the start of the year what the difference in having Wayne Middaugh in the lineup compared to Richard Hart, he said that it might be Middaugh’s ability to through the high, hard one. That was clear in the final (and all week really) as Middaugh used that weapon time and again to rid the house of Alberta stones. Taking nothing away from Hart, but I don’t think many people throw takeouts as hard and as accurately as Middaugh.

A few records were broken with yesterday’s win. First up was Middaugh, who became the first person to win the Brier at three different positions. He also became the fourth curler to win a Brier at skip and then a subsequent Brier at a lower position (joining Howard “Pappy” Wood Sr., Jimmy Congalton and Pat Ryan). And, to me the most impressive, Howard now has the mark for longest time between Brier victories – 25 years. Talk about longevity.

I’m not saying that the players don’t take the bronze medal game that seriously but the Tweet from Jamie Koe about his participation in the ridiculous game between Y/NWT and Manitobat says it all:

Lost bronze medal game on #45 min of sleep. Guess I needed an hour.” 
Unless the CCA wants to move to a true playoff system of two semi-finals and a final, the bronze medal game is nothing but a cash-grab (even if they tell me it’s not, which they have).

I remember when Wayne Middaugh was coming up as a top-flight junior and earned the name as Quick Draw Middagh for how fast he played. Last night it seemed there were times he was already in his delivery motion before the other team’s rocks had come to rest. Gotta love that don’t ya?

I just don’t understand how Kevin Koe’s squad managed to end up with bad rocks in a final. When you have all the stats about rock performance during the week, can take stones from any sheet and have the ability to match stones in practice how do you end up with duds as Pat Simmons did yesterday? In my humble opinion, that was a significant factor in the result yesterday. I’d love to know if there was a reason this happened. It just seems so strange that you’d think there’s more to the story.

So was the game last night a classic? No, not really. The performance of the Howard team was jaw-dropping and the misses by Koe’s foursome stunning and unexpected, but this was a pretty one-sided game despite the final score. I give Koe credit for getting to the final stone. It will be remembered for just how amazing the Howard team played, lead through skip. And it will be remembered for Howard and Middaugh getting their fourth Brier wins, tying them with the great Richardsons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glenn Howard has the cleanest release and probably best delivery of any player ever. However, he is the worst loser in sport. Koe's team acted honorably in defeat, not vocalizing excuses for misses at least on TSN. Watch a few of Howard's losses!!! Russ Howard foreshadowed Hart's departure over a year b4 it occurred. Ironic or.....