Mid-week Brier thoughts
Half-way through the Brier there is a few things that are now apparent on what is a beautiful sunny Wednesday morning here in Ontario.
Two out of three ain't bad.
Going into the Brier the general consensus of prognosticators was that there was a Big 3 of Stoughton, Howard and Martin and they would all take one step ahead of the field.
Well, two out of three aren't bad, as Stoughton (5-1) and Howard (6-0) are pretty well who we thought they would be.
Kevin Martin—not so much.
Where do you start? Martin has limped out to a 2-4 start, but it's how they've looked that has had people raising their eyebrows. I've never seen a Kevin Martin team struggle like this.
You can see by their body language that they're not in sync with each other and the game.
Other thoughts are that Newfoundland (6-0) and Quebec (5-1) are both contenders, with Northern Ontario (4-2) also in the hunt.
Being a skip takes a lot of different qualities.
First, you have to be a leader.
Second, you have to be able to make shots consistently. If you shoot in the 70s your team will lose all the time.
Third, you have to have the right personality. I can't put my finger on it but either a curler has it or doesn't have it. I call it skipiness.
I don't think I have skipiness and will be a front-end player for the rest of my curling career, which is okay.
On my men's team I am a lead. On my mixed team I am a second and I think I do both of those roles well.
I was thinking of this the other night, as injuries and other factors led me to being promoted to skip in our mixed league. I did okay, but we ended up losing 9-4, as a couple missed guards by me led our team to giving up a big end.
Watching the Hotshots competition the other day at the start of the Brier led me to think about a couple things, including: in a couple years Alberta's Marc Kennedy is going to be a heck of a skip.
He can make just about every shot and after all of these years playing with Martin, you would hope that all of that experience should count for something.
Here is my list of players who are playing different positions now, but we will see in future Briers or Scotties as skips:
Marc Kennedy, Alberta—Fantastic player who can make any shot.
Ryan Fry, Northern Ontario—One of the best third's out there. Can make a lot of shots.
Brett Gallant, Newfoundland (PEI)—Showed in juniors he is an elite skip, winning Canadian juniors in 2009. Just needs experience, as he is only 23.
Braeden Moskowy, Saskatchewan—Same as Gallant, except Moskowy won juniors in 2011.
Note: Didn't include John Morris and Wayne Midaugh, as they're former skips who have been to the Brier as skips.
Kaitlyn Lawes (Manitoba)--Best young curler west of Ontario. I foresee here going head-to-head against Rachel Homan for the next decade after Jennifer Jones steps aside.
One thing I enjoy about watching the Super Bowl is prop bets.
Prop bets are bets that are not on the game, but things that happen in the game, such as which team will win the coin-flip, if a team will have a 100-yard rusher, who will score the first touchdown, etc.
I wish we could have prop bets on the Brier. Here is a few prop bets I would like to see and bet on:
-Will PEI win a game?
-Will British Columbia win more than one game?
-Who will break a broom over their knee first?
-Which team will give up five points first?
This afternoon's feature game on TSN is between Northern Ontario and Quebec. Both teams have played well so far. This game is just about a must-win for Northern Ontario if they want to sniff the playoffs.
Even though TSN has not made it official, I assume the Manitoba-Newfoundland tilt will be the feature game tonight.