HAMILTON – The Brier.
After getting hit by a car a few days ago, Alberta third John Morris (photo) makes the trip to Hamilton and wins the car in the Ford Hot Shots competition.
You can’t make this stuff up.
This will go down with one of the other classic Brier car wins, in which Ed Werenich won the very first Hot Shots without – it’s been claimed – being able to see the other end of the ice very well. At all.
Back to the Brier. When looking at the field, three teams stand out from the fray – and that ignores the Olympic Gold Medallist. It wouldn’t be a stretch to put Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton or Kevin Martin on your list of possible Brier winners. Brad Gushue and Pat Simmons might have something to say about that before the week is over, and there might be someone else who comes up in the cracks and pulls off “a Menard”. Perhaps even the crafty 51-year-old veteran from Quebec, Pierre Charette. But safe money is on one of these three.
This morning, cruising into the Steel City from New York, we noticed a car on fire on the Niagara-bound QEW.
We tell you that because one of the three is on fire coming into Brier play. At the Ontario provincials, the Howard team decimated the field. Going back to last year’s Brier, with the notable exception of the final-game the lost to Menard, the Howard team seems on a mission to win.
Listen to these game scores from last year’s Brier: 12-6, 9-4, 10-5, 8-5, 9-5, 74, 7-4, 10-7, 7-5, 8-2. The final they lost was one of their only close games... and that after spotting the Quebeckers a 4-0 lead. At this year’s Ontario final, they didn’t play a meaningful 10th end.
As you may have guessed, this watcher is betting on Howard. But there’s just so much more curling to come ...
– Matt Hames