I am currently watching B qualifying games at the Sun Gro Centre in Beausejour when the though of how many teams can win the Brier? It is a very interesting question indeed and it makes you think that it could be less than a handful. The Olympics have changed our game forever where teams pay more attentions to of ice training than ever before.
Three teams are automatic that could win the brier: Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Kevin Koe. The last person other than those three to have his name engraved on the tankard was Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec. Interestingly enough Menard defeated Glenn Howard of the final that year. Howard's team has now played in the last 4 out of 5 Brier finals which is a phenomenal accomplishment for a team. In the year that he did not make the final he lost to Jeff Stoughton in the semi-final.
Now to consider the teams that are in the discussion that has the ability to win the Brier: Mike McEwen, Jeff Stoughton, Wayne Middaugh, Pat Simmons, and Brad Gushue. Mike McEwen is probably the one team that you could sandwich in between the first and second tiers. I left off Randy Ferbey’s old team because they have taken a break from curling.
Let us take a step outside the box and imagine that all the previous listed all qualified for the Brier from different provinces. We will take all of the teams at their current skill and commitment levels. The Brier then would be played out one hundred times and we would see how many different teams would win. I would guess that at least ninety out of those one hundred Briers would be won the likes of Martin, Howard, Koe & McEwen.
It may seem like a staggering number that I am guessing these four teams would win ninety percent of the Briers but that is just the case. These four teams off ice work are well documented in the media and the results prove that it is paying off. Until curlers are 100% dedicated to their sport and not have to worry about working their will be no parody in Curling. Over the next 3-5 years many of the curling elite will retire from competitive curling and that is when we will be seeing the changing of the guard. John Morris, Brad Gushue & Mike McEwen are becoming the next Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard & Jeff Stoughton of the world. The next generation of young curlers will put even more into training than the teams today. Depending on the number of people that take up intense training will determine how much parody there is in curling.