Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Hovel of Fame
very few guys retire on top - at the height of their powers and championship accomplishments - McEwen never won a Brier, never repped Canada at the world, was a trial monkey.
After 7 years of batting his head into a wall (known as J. Stoughton) he finally got to 3 Briers and managed to finagle a bronze medal last year. Other than that a well-sponsored cash tour team.
Just unable to identify, contain & defeat the current top guys - is that enough to disband? Apparently so!
Thru the annals of curling history - guys who quit while still on top:
1. Ken Watson - 1949, won his last (of 3 Briers) and 4th Manitoba championship (one of those provincial crowns there was NO BRIER DUE TO WW2. Left competitive curling at age 45 - started writing books on curling, developing juniors (schoolboys) and being the biggest curling name of his time
2. Ernie Richardson - won 4 Briers in late 50s and early 60s - then rarely competed due to knee injuries - attended one more brier after his last win but basically a hobby curler after that.
3. Don Duguid - huge winner before his back to back Brier skipping wins; was 3rd or 4th in 1957 as a front ender for Howie Wood, Jr. and won a Brier in 1965 as 3rd stone for Terry Braunstein but his crowning achievement were back to back Brier and world wins in 70 and 71 (unbeaten at worlds). Quit cold turkey at 36/37 in 71. Hobby curled after that, got into product endorsements and curling broadcasting (CBC, NBC) for years after.
4. Ron "The Owl" Northcott - won Alberta 3 Briers in the mid to late 60s then barely played serious curling - kinda disappeared from view although his 2nd, Bernie Sparkes continued to excel in British Columbia.
5. Matt Baldwin - won Briers in 54, 57 & 58 before he was even 30 but was never able to field a super team after that. Even his Brier wins featured different players. Still poked around in the 60s - but was basically a curling hobo with some feeble teams.
For all intents he was done at 30.
6. Merv Mann - Swervin' Mervin was the greatest cash and car spiel curler of his era (1950 to 1970s) but he never won a Sask'n championship, thus never attended a Brier other than as a fan. 3 reasons he had trouble getting out of Sask. - Campbells, Richardsons, Pickerings
McEwen risked being Manitoba's version of Merv Mann (or even Gary Ross) but he finally broke thru a few years back and no longer has to carry that monkey on his back!
Some guys keep trying and trying and trying after their primes.
Guess Glenn Howard would be the prime example but he's such a class act and enjoys the game - he's done more for curling than curling has done for him. Hope he keeps challenging in Ontario for a few more years.
Kevin Martin was the pre-eminent skip of his era . . . only curled a few years after his peak, not really a curling hobo but still very competitive but couldn't push it over the top anymore and realized he was done.
Wonder what becomes of Gushue? Already the most identifiable athlete to ever emerge from his home province. He could finish last at the worlds (he won't) and still be elected premier of Newfoundland in a land-slide.
2 Worlds, 2 Brier, 1 Olympics
That's an amazing record
Sure he's got a sour taste in his mouth about being unable to get to the Korea Olympics - particularly after seeing Koe slip on the banana.
I'm sure he'll fulfill his obligations to sponsors and Brier committee by playing next season and try to capture his 3rd in a row - unprecedented in modern times. . . . . then make a decision on current Olympic cycle.
I'm one of the good guys now!
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