Bob Cole praises Gushue rink achievement at Brier
Former curler represented the province twice at men’s curling championship
Bob Cole has fond memories of the west coast of Newfoundland.
He’s been here plenty of times throughout the span of his remarkable career; the last time a few years back when he took the ferry across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and drove through.
“Great times,” said Cole, “A great drive.”
But his connection to the west coast runs deeper than that. Cole played baseball for Corner Brook, back when they won the provincials, and he was broadcaster for the Corner Brook Royals. A true sportsman, he’s also enjoyed time fishing along the Humber River.
While waiting at a busy airport to catch a flight home to St. John’s, Cole took the time to discuss Brad Gushue’s Team Newfoundland and Labrador Brier win. Since he was busy calling the hockey game between Montreal and Edmonton he’s not yet had a chance to watch Gushue’s triumph in the Brier final, but he has it recorded.
“I will sit down in the quiet of my home and watch it,” says the former curler, who represented Newfoundland at the 1971 and 1975 Briers.
So what does Cole think is the biggest difference between curling then and now?
“The major difference is they’re better than we were. Much better,” was his reply. “Gushue is one of the best, if not the best, in the world right now. He has a 90 per cent shot margin. Everyone has high shot margins at times, but he’s so consistent. It’s unheard of.”
Pointing out how great the coaching and teaching has become, Cole says now is the perfect time for youth to learn the sport.
Cole believes that even smaller communities and leagues such as the Gateway Curling Club in Port aux Basques will see more interest in the sport as a result of the Team NL Brier win.
“The whole province got tied up with this thing,” he said. “It was a complete sellout whenever he played. Everybody enjoyed it, the excitement, and interest is higher than it’s ever been.”
2017 Tim Hortons Brier champion Brad Gushue chatting with legendary hockey broadcaster Bob Cole in St. John’s.