JoMo's got his mojo on

TERRYJONES

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- John Morris is the poster boy for the Calgary Brier.

Kinda makes him want to get there.

His sister Marie lives here.

Kinda makes him want her and her Camp Wainwright tank commander husband, Mark Lubiniecki, to see him win a purple heart in the self-proclaimed Buffalo Capital of Canada -- home of the largest buffalo statue in the country and the only free-standing clock tower in Canada (which is celebrating its centennial this year.)

The last time the Brier was in Calgary, it was the 'Rockin' The Rockies' affair of 2002, when Morris skipped an Ontario team that lost to Randy Ferbey in the final.

He never thought when he came to Calgary for that event that seven years later he'd be picked to be the poster boy, featured in all the advertising as a Calgary curler to promote the event that has selected the slogan 'Rockies II - The Reunion'.

There he is, wearing a hood and trying to look like Rocky Balboa -- except for the curling rings replacing his eyes and inspiring taglines like "eye candy" and "cute as a button."

"It was supposed to be subtle," he said.

CHANGED

A lot of things have changed with the once broom-breaking skip who you could picture ending up in a hockey fight in the middle of a curling game, or at least training by throwing uppercuts at quarters of beef hanging in a freezer.

A young man with a big ego back then, Morris would never have imagined himself sitting down after practice during the wait prior to tonight's 1-2 Page playoff system game, making the following statement:

"I'm happy as heck playing third. I can honestly see myself playing third the rest of my life. Honestly. I've discovered I get more out of the game playing third."

Morris doesn't know what the future holds, but the chance of the Calgary Brier poster boy skipping his own team out of Cowtown in 2011 to finally get a Calgary outfit in the Brier for the first time since Ed Lukowich in 1994 is not likely.

"I think 2011 is up in the air with everybody on the team," said Morris of the team that has already punched its ticket for the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials in Edmonton in December.

"With me, I know I want a family and career that I don't have right now and probably would have had by now if I wasn't a curler," said the part-time firefighter in the M.D. of Rockyview, which surrounds Calgary.

"I think I want to have a full-time firefighting career in either Alberta or back in Ottawa."

But skipping a team in Calgary?

"I don't think that's an option," he said.

Morris said the 'Rockin' The Rockies' Brier in Calgary had a huge influence on his life and his curling career.

It opened his eyes to much of what has followed since he made the decision to become an Albertan and join up as third for Kevin Martin and become a Brier champion and world champion last year.

ATMOSPHERE

"When I came out here for that Brier in 2002, I really liked the atmosphere out West. I've always liked wildlife and the outdoors and to have the mountains so close was just perfect for me.

"At the time, both my sisters lived in Alberta so it was nice to have family around. I could see how much opportunity there was in Alberta and that this was the province where curling had the most depth."

Many would figure that the last place for a curler to move was to a province where it was tough to win.

But Morris looked at it differently after losing to Ferbey in that Brier final.

"You are not going to get much better unless you are always playing against the best," he said.

"I knew what I needed was good hard-nosed competition. Curlers compete different here, especially in Edmonton.

"In Edmonton -- and it goes right through to the new rinks like the one skipped by Ted Appelman -- it's that will to win.

With Martin and Ferbey teams there's "expectations of greatness," he said of the two teams which have won every provincial championship this century in the province that has produced seven of the top 22 teams in the world.

"It makes you a better curler just being around that."


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