Brotherly love on the ice!

Glen Kennedy, left, and Marc Kennedy will go head to head at the Tim Hortons Brier for the first time on Tuesday morning. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Kennedy brothers take different paths to Tim Hortons Brier 

Brothers have always been an integral part of the Tim Hortons Brier.

Anybody who follows the sport knows all about Saskatchewan’s Richardson clan, the Watchorns from the Peace Region in Alberta, the Harnden boys from the Soo, the Howards in Ontario and the Koes from Calgary and Yellowknife. There have been many others.

Add one more to the mix.

This week in Lethbridge, brothers Marc and Glen Kennedy, both from St. Albert, Alta., are playing in the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, although not for the same teams. Marc, a fixture at the Tim Hortons Brier and making his 11th appearance, is playing third for skip Brad Jacobs of Team Northern Ontario from Sault Ste. Marie. And — ta da! — making his first ever appearance in the big show, at the ripe old age of 42, is brother Glen, third for Team Northwest Territories, skipped by Jamie Koe, from Yellowknife.

As luck would have it, their teams are in the same pool and will clash Tuesday (8:35 a.m. MT) at the ENMAX Centre. 

How the brothers arrived at this point in curling is the age-old ‘fork in the road’ story: Marc took one path and Glen took the other, although fate had a lot to do with it. 

At one point in their junior careers in Edmonton, Glen was the better player and if anyone was destined for the Tim Hortons Brier and curling fame, it was Glen, the older of the two brothers.

But Glen blew out his knee in a soccer injury in 1999, right at the most important time of his budding junior curling career. The rest, as they say, is history.

The injury set Glen on a path of education and he ended up getting his engineering career. He’s now the successful owner of Prism Engineering Co.

Marc took the curling path and today has a trophy full of bric-a-brac, including an Olympic gold medal.

“I can’t even tell you how many months I was on crutches, hobbling around,” said Glen. “It re-prioritizes your life. At one point in my teens and early 20s curling was absolutely No. 1. Then, as life goes on it became No. 5, 6, 7 . . . no regrets at all.

“We all had our dreams growing up with the game,” he added. “I don’t have too many regrets at all with the choice I made. Great family, great career, really happy with the way things have gone.”

Glen dabbled in curling over the years, playing part time for about 20 years in Western Canada, at the same time keeping an eye on his brother’s career.

“I still love the game and have always been Marc’s No. 1 fan,” he said. “It’s so great to see how well he’s done through his career, but it’s also great to have this experience, as a part-time, kind of semi player.”

How he arrived at the Tim Hortons Brier playing for Koe is also fate. Koe and Glen went to PyeongChang, South Korea to watch their brothers represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics. They got to know each other very well.

“I kind of semi-retired last summer and Jamie reached out and said, ‘why don’t you come and play third for us up north (as a free agent).’

Marc was a big supporter.

“Our paths went different ways after juniors,” said Marc, “and it took him a long time to get here. To see him out there is fantastic. Really, really happy for him. The fact he’s done what he’s done and still be able to get to the Brier is a credit to him and his talent.”  

Marc says his brother’s injury was a defining moment for both of them.

“He had to have surgery so that changed his curling career,” said Marc. “I think it also changed our relationship because for me, it was at an age where I felt bad for him and typically, brothers fighting, we kind of stopped fighting after that. I felt terrible for him, he was going to school and he had a big brace on his knee for six months, it was tough for him. 

“We have a little more empathy and support for each other and it’s been that way ever since.”

The brothers have been looking forward to Tuesday morning’s game ever since their respective teams earned their Tim Hortons Brier Purple Hearts last month.

“I haven’t played him in a long time so I’m pretty sure we will enjoy that one,” said Marc. “We lost our dad a couple of years ago, he would have loved to have seen this, and since we lost him I think everyone had gotten even closer.”