They Became Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Tonight’s Tim Hortons Brier Final was a masterpiece of skill and sportsmanship.

First, the sportsmanship. Is there a classier curler on the planet than Jeff Stoughton? Well, I don’t mean that literally of course, I’m sure there are many classy curlers but his display of what so often seems to be a diminishing brand was, well, refreshing. Jeff, you and your teammates bring much honour to the sport.

The skill of course was in full display by Team Northern Ontario, not Northern ONT as one TSN commentator seemed determined to use to describe the boys from Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Curlers Association. I spent a few sessions with Brad Jacobs original team some years ago and when they really started to get “serious” about pursuing their dream of one day winning the Brier, they asked me about a coach. I spent single digit nanoseconds before I said, “Brad, you have one of the best curling coaches on the planet whose coaching skills are only exceeded by his qualities as a human being right in your home town.” That coach was TOM COULTERMAN so when Tom walked that walk toward the podium with the team to be recognized as Brier Champions, I couldn’t have been prouder of a team that really has become greater than the sum of its parts and the man who has his fingerprints all over the process.

Oh, by the way, none of Team Northern Ontario qualified for either the first or second all star team. Curling you see, is a team game!

And let me be one of the first Victorians (even though I live 20 min. down the road in Sidney-by-the-Sea) to welcome you to the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships at the end of the month. You’ll look great in red and white!