Canadian curling youth movement delayed
Curling’s youth movement, if it’s ever going to happen, will have to wait at least one more year.
The Fountain of Youth is still dry and the March 5-13 Brier in London, Ont., will be another rendition of the dawning of the Age of Experience.
The sport’s big three of the past decade — Kevin Martin (age 44), Jeff Stoughton (47) and Glenn Howard (48) — are, yawn, the big names at the Tim Hortons Brier again this year. (Coincidentally, from the did-you-know-or-care dept: All three have July birthdays.)
Kevin Koe, 36, of Edmonton, who took advantage of Martin’s absence from the Alberta playdowns in 2010 due to KM’s Olympic responsibilities, ran the table by winning his province, the Brier and then the world title. But he couldn’t beat Martin this year.
Mike McEwen of Manitoba, just 30, is skip of the most dominant rink on the World Curling Tour this year with two Grand Slam titles to his credit, but he couldn’t get past Stoughton in the Manitoba playdowns.
For the second year in a row, the old man beat the kid in the Manitoba final.
It’s not that this year’s Brier field is the curling equivalent of golf’s over-50 Champions Tour.
Brad Gushue, 30, is back representing Newfoundland, but the quality of competition on the Rock is about as tough as the Thursday night men’s league in Strasbourg, Sask.
Pat Simmons, 37, is wearing Saskatchewan’s colours for the fifth time; and 37-year-old Jim Cotter is a talented shooter from B.C., which usually sends a contender to the Brier.
While the biggest curling controversy this season surrounded the women’s national championships, where Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg had the awkward challenge of facing the long-time team-mate she dumped last year, Cathy Overton-Clapham, the Stoughton-McEwen rivalry had a tinge of pro-rasslin’-type trash talk, too.
“We still believe we’re the best chance Manitoba has to win a Brier and it’s tough when . . . you don’t come through in one weekend, but that’s the way it is,” McEwen told the Beausejour Review.
“He can say what he likes,” Stoughton said. “He’s not going to the Brier yet, so maybe next year they’ll have a good chance at it.”
The old boys — Stoughton, Martin and Howard — never natter at each other like that.
The smiles will be genuine and the handshakes sincere when it’s over — and you can almost bet the farm it will be two of those three in the championship game March 13.
• Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: Tiger Woods was fined for spitting on the 12th green in Dubai. However, the fine was suspended since it is so dry in Dubai that the spit evaporated before hitting the ground.
• Michael Rosenberg of SI.com: Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA “aren’t just bad, they’re toxic. When they watch Hoosiers, Hickory High loses.”
• “The good news for Yankees fans is that CC Sabathia lost weight,” wrote Newsday’s Ken Davidoff. “The bad news is that Joba Chamberlain appears to have found it.”
• Headline at SportsPickle.com: “Peter Favresberg retires again.”
• Former NBA player Adrian Smith about his beloved 345 Ford Galaxy convertible he won in 1966 as the all-star game’s MVP: “It’ll pass everything,” Smith told the L.A. Times, “except a gas station.”
• NBC’s Jay Leno, on Charlie Sheen giving an anti-drug talk to the UCLA baseball team last week: “This week, they’re bringing in Lindsay Lohan to talk about stealing bases.”
• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on Pittsburgh pitcher Ross Ohlendorf winning his arbitration case despite going 1-11 last season: “The Pirates are so bad they can’t even beat the league’s worst pitcher.”
• Winnipegger and Ex-Washington Huskies 7-footer Todd MacCulloch, to Rivals.com, on the medical issues that derailed his budding NBA career: “I had a podiatrist tell me I had a Hummer body on Toyota feet.”
• Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times wonders if you’ve heard of the new bobblehead dolls commemorating NFL owners and players at the bargaining table? Said Perry: “Their heads only shake no.”
• Norman Chad, in the Washington Post, with three quotes from a Westminster Dog Show journal kept by Siberian husky Chuchi’s Yuki: “Hey, Apple, would it kill you to come up with a Hydrant Locator app for my iPhone?” . . . “If you go No. 2 on the red carpet, you might as well get on the first bus to Palookaville.” . . . And finally: “If I win, I’m dumping a cooler of toilet bowl water on my handler.”
• Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel: “True story: Joe Montana’s son is transferring to Montana. Warren Moon better hope this doesn’t start a trend.”
• Bianchi again: “New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez reportedly went on a date with a girl who is still in high school. Geez, the Jets have gone from Broadway Joe to Mall Food Court Mark.”
• Barry Bonds’s perjury trial is set to start, but Janice Hough of leftcoastsportsbabe.com says her friend Ed Miller suggests a quick resolution: “Just tattoo an asterisk onto his forehead and let him go.”
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