This week’s male Athlete of the Week is Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ontario.
Birthdate: July 17, 1962
Birthplace: Midland, Ont.
Hometown: Penetanguishene, Ont.
Curling Club: Coldwater and District Curling Club
Current Team: Team Glenn Howard
Getting to know Glenn Howard
There are all sorts of numbers that you can point to for evidence of Glenn Howard’s skills as a curler.
He’s won 13 trips to the Tim Hortons Brier, including to this year’s event March 5 to 13 in London, Ont. He’s won three Canadian and three world championships. He’s completed the career Grand Slam, with victories in all four Slam events, and eight overall.
But the number 80 should stand out. As in, in his Brier career, Howard has never finished the event with a shooting percentage below 80, despite handling a vast array of tough shots at third (for his older brother Russ) and skip.
His career average is 84 heading to the London Brier, one of the highest ever among career back-enders, and at the 48, he’s still performing as well as he ever did.
Howard made his Brier debut in 1986 at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and it was a great breakthrough event for the Howard brothers as they posted a 9-2 record and lost the final to Alberta’s Ed Lukowich.
A year later, in Edmonton, the Howards hit the top step of the Brier podium, beating Bernie Sparkes of B.C. in the final, and then claiming their first world men’s championship a few weeks later at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
They repeated their national and world championship wins in 1993, but not long after that, Russ moved to New Brunswick, and Glenn started skipping his own team.
It took 12 years before Glenn would return to the Brier, but by then he’d put together a team that featured Richard Hart at third, Brent Laing at second and Craig Savill at lead, and that lineup has been one of the world’s best ever since.
Howard finally earned his third Brier and world titles in 2007 with this team, and also made it to the Brier final in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Off the ice, Howard and his team are being followed by a film crew for what’s being called a “Rockumentary.” It should be out for release later this year.
Quick Hits with Glenn Howard
Do you have any superstitions?
“Very few, but I do have a favourite pair of underwear! I bring them out when we need a big win! God forbid I need more than one big win in a weekend . . . ”
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, JFK.”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Golf; love the game, love the life!”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“The burned rock rule. If the rock is touched at any time, anywhere, it comes off — not left in place and the onus put on the non-offending team to be the “bad guys”!!!!
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
Anything whatsoever and nothing in particular. Boring, eh?”
— Website? “thebeerstore.ca”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Large tea, milk, bag in!”
— Vacation destination? “I don’t go anywhere — I curl to much!”
— Junk food? “Pizza.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“People asking for too many personal favours and my inability to say no.”
Three things you always travel with?
“Watch, phone and wallet.”
First thing on your Bucket List?
“Travel to all the destinations that I haven’t been able to go to due to my curling adventures. New York City is first!”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Napping is No. 1, and then watching movies. I know — boring again, but I’m getting older, you know.”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“That I hate coming second!!!!!!!!!!”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“That we are all out-of-shape drinkers.”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
Draw to the four-foot — either turn!”