Howard approves of CBC's decision

GEORGE KARRYS, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:30 PM ET

TORONTO - Glenn Howard has always been an impact player in the curling world. In a recent 24-hour period the three-time world champion made three large and distinct impacts —and one of them in the hockey world.

On Sunday afternoon Howard’s Coldwater, Ont. foursome finally returned to a Capital One Grand Slam final. The championship game of the BDO Canadian Open at Oshawa’s General Motors Centre was a barn-burner in which the squad stormed back from a 4-1 deficit to force an extra end against youthful Winnipeg hotshot Mike McEwen.

The match ended in spectacular fashion. Howard threw a double-kill and celebrated as the crowd roared. However, McEwen had the last rock and made it count, making an equally difficult takeout for the 5-4 win.

The Ontarians had a brilliant week and are in good shape heading into The Dominion Ontario Tankard in Grimsby on Feb. 7, where they will attempt to win their sixth consecutive provincial title.

But it was Howard’s mouth, not his curling brush, that made the second impact.

The Open final ran late and interfered with CBC-TV plans to switch to the NHL all-star game. When informed that CBC stuck with curling and joined the hockey broadcast late, Howard was pleased.

“As it should,” he said. “It’s just an all-star game, it’s really not that big a deal.

“This is a big deal.”

Word of Howard’s quote quickly made it on to the hockey beat. In Raleigh, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price weighed in.

“Curling has a pretty big card,” Price said. “I think curling is probably a king and hockey is an ace.

“But I guess they had the trump card.”

Howard was already in Calgary late Sunday night, and missed the hullabaloo his comment created. Howard’s son Scott is playing third for Ontario junior men’s skip Mat Camm at the Canadian Juniors, and was 4-2 heading into Tuesday action in Calgary.

Proud papa was surprised there was a hullabaloo at all.

“If you’re gonna show an event on television, you show it in it’s entirety,” Howard said. “People are watching the whole thing, and if you cut it off to go to something new, there’s going to be more of a furor, no question about it.

“Curling is no different from hockey or golf or baseball in that respect. You don’t cut off a live sport. And I commend CBC for their decision.”

Howard’s presence behind the glass in Calgary is causing a minor ruckus, too.

“There’s been some media interest, and some people ask for autographs but it’s all good,” Howard said. “I think most people know I’m here to cheer for my son and watch him play.”

Amazingly, this is Howard’s first time at a national junior shootout.

“I’ve never watched it live before and I never made it as a player,” Howard said. “I came second a lot, lost a bunch of tiebreakers.

“It’s been an absolute riot. These kids are great players, and it’s a great event. It’s just really difficult to watch instead of play.”

Howard flies home Wednesday night and may return to Calgary if his son’s team qualifies for the final.

“If that happens, I’d have to come back on the red-eye, if there’s seats, and I might miss Tankard practice,” said Howard.

“We had a team meeting about all this, and we’ve always said you gotta do what you’ve gotta do. It’s been my son’s dream and I’m just thrilled, and I’ll try to share it with him as much as I can.”

George Karrys is: curlinguru.com


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