Monday, March 17, 2008

The bad ice at the Brier

The final of the brier was played on bad ice. Bad can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but it was soft, and picky. But more than that, it was inconsistent to the point that not too many people knew where to put the broom. And these guys know where to put the broom.

Richie joked about it a little late in the game telling Glenn that he had no real idea where to put the broom. On the other side, Martin didn't know either, missing run backs and half-rock doubles at a rate that is alarming for a guy who can hit like he can.

Still, when someone raises the issue of bad ice, the normal response is this: both teams had to play on it. And that's true, but irrelevant. Imagine for a second that the 16th, 17th, and 18th greens at Augusta had huge potholes in them. Now imagine that the potholes appear after you shoot. You could argue that all players have to play on it, but inconsistent ice gives inconsistent results to both teams.

I know that my analogy is impossible. But it's also impossible to adequately explain why the refrain that both teams have to play on it isn't really true. It's obviously literally true, but bad ice is bad ice, and it wrecks the game.

If you're team Howard this morning, you're probably wishing that you could have Glenn's draw for two in the third end back. Somehow John Morris knew it was 5 seconds heavier on that side, so that one is on Team Howard.

That single point gave life to the Albertans and sucked it from the Ontarians. And even though they seemed jokey and loose, even they had to begin to wonder WTF.

Glenn has been in 8 brier finals. And he's won 2 of them. Four of those finals were with Russ, Middaugh and corner -- arguably the greatest team in the history of curling. What other team can boast that all players on it skipped their way to the Brier?

The Ontario front end has now been to 4 briers, and 4 brier finals. They are 1-4. Richard Hart has the least amount of Brier experience, but is now 1-3 in Brier finals.

Seriously, with stats like that, when the "greatest drawer in history" misses a draw to the four in the 3rd end of the brier final, even the most positive guy must just look to the roof and wonder WTF. And the bad ice made it almost impossible to bounce back.

So it goes. Alberta and Ontario play in a final that most predicted. We hoped for a game for the ages, instead we got a huge disappointment. Too bad, really.

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