If you’ve seen the epic March issue of The Curling News – description here – than you know the identity of the three special guest “experts” who picked their Winners, Almosts, Not Quites and No Chances for this year’s London Brier. We also announced in those pages that a fourth “expert” would weigh in on opening weekend, right here on the blog, with his or her opinions. Now for the reveal – and say hey to two-time world champion skip Wayne Middaugh.
Here are his words...
Wayne Middaugh’s Brier Picks 2011
by Wayne Middaugh
VICTORIA HARBOUR, ON – First, let me qualify my picks by saying any one of these teams could beat me for fun as the 2011 playdowns were not kind to Team Middaugh, as we didn’t even qualified for our provincial. As those who can, play, the rest of us... write.
Things seemed so much easier in the 90’s.
T 1st – ONTARIO: Sending the A-Team to this event and they just know how to win. The other 11 teams know that they know how to win, and that alone may be enough.
T 1st– MANITOBA: How can a team with one of the best all-around guys in curling not be a favorite? If Jon can keep his clothes on this week, they will still be playing on the final weekend.
T 1st – ALBERTA: No team, past or present, has ever worked harder to be the best… and they are. But any team can beat anybody in a one-game elimination; I expect Team Martin to be playing on the weekend but what happens after that is anyone's guess.
T 4th – BRITISH COLUMBIA: Jim is one of the nicest guys in the game and has played in Briers, Olympic Trials and Slams so he has the experience... but I don’t see this team doing any better than fourth.
T 4th – SASKATCHEWAN: Pat is one of the nicest guys in the game – look at all these nice guys – and has also played in Briers, Olympic Trials and Slams etc. so he also has the experience. However, fourth will be a good week as the rest of the team still needs some seasoning at their positions.
T 4th – NEWFOUNDLAND – The Colleen Jones of the Brier; you go every year, you're going to win sooner or later... with this field it looks like later.
T 7th – NOVA SCOTIA: Can they find the magic of 2005? Just haven’t played enough to survive the long week and make the same serious charge. Best thing about having Shawn there is that the Patch will do well.
T 7th – NORTHERN ONTARIO: Took two in nine, stole three in 10 to win their province? Really? Who does that? If they didn’t use up all their good breaks that afternoon they may do better than T7... if not, T7.
T 7th – NEW BRUSNWICK – They had to be there so the entire Howard family can take part in this year's Brier; even with all that mojo that Steve brings I don’t see anything better than T7.
T 10th – TERRITORIES, PEI and QUEBEC: Just not enough experience on the WCT against the best teams in the game to really know what it takes to win on a national stage. Have fun, and enjoy everything that is The Brier.
The most entertaining match of the week will be the newly-instituted bronze medal game that none of the top six teams even want to play in, but will – with the CCA’s gun pointed squarely at their heads. I’m not sure what in that game will be entertaining, only that it will.