Friday, December 02, 2005

Not quite your usual team

I would be remiss, especially with respect to our interlocutor at Now That's Amateur, if I did not point to this interesting article on about how a couple of teams have picked up alternates who might also want to be leaders. A couple of our famous skips have signed up as alternates on teams that are in the Olympic Trials:
Ontario's Wayne Middaugh will accompany Team [ed. Glenn] Howard at the trials. Middaugh, a close friend of Howard, is enjoying a stellar season skipping his own rink on the cash circuit and will be ready to step in if needed.
So I do wonder - when could he be needed? I guess we will see. Would Howard discard his third, say, and install Middaugh? We will see. Right now Middaugh has no role defined, even in speculation that I have seen.
Even if he doesn't play in Halifax, Middaugh's experience should be a valuable asset for Team Howard.
Someone please tell me how! Does the Howard team lack for competitive experience? I think not.

There is a sort of family element to this.
The elder Howard [ed. Russ, Glenn's older brother], a two-time world-champion skip, could also be a factor at the upcoming trials. Now a New Brunswick resident, Howard has agreed to serve as the alternate for Newfoundland and Labrador's Gushue. But unlike Middaugh, it appears Howard could play a larger role.
So let me understand? Glenn Howard needs experience and his older brother is supplying it for some other team? OK this makes some sense but surely a real journalist would be getting the deeper story here.

Wait - I missed something key regarding the Gushue rink - a quote from Olympian Mike Harris:
"I'm assuming that is going to be (Howard's) role, calling the game and throwing second," Harris says. "It's a huge, huge improvement for that team with Howard calling the game. They've gone from having no chance to having a chance to win it."
Woo Hoo! This has been my expectation! Why should the best shooter be the best strategist? Now not only the Ferbey rink will have this structure.

Before writing too much more on this I will wait until tomorrow to see what happens on the ice.

What I really want to see is Harris interviewing Gushue - he just got quoted saying his [ed. Gushue's] team could not win with him calling, and it needed some Ontarian (where Mike Harris is from) calling the shots, to have a chance to win.

I love our so-united country.


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