Bob Cole praises Gushue rink achieve­ment at Brier

For­mer curler rep­re­sented the prov­ince twice at men’s curl­ing cham­pi­onship

The Beacon (Gander) - - Sports - BY ROSALYN ROY

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.”

KENN OLIVER/TC ME­DIA

2017 Tim Hor­tons Brier cham­pion Brad Gushue chat­ting with leg­endary hockey broad­caster Bob Cole in St. John’s.

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