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St. John’s skip featured in YouTube video in a game against Gord Bamford; meanwhile, he and his St. John’s team improve to 2-0 at Players Championship
Brad Gushue and his St. John's rinkmates are in Canada's largest city this week competing in the final Grand Slam event of the 2018-19 curling season, but on Wednesday, a Gushue appearance in a game in a small Alberta town might have been creating just about as much of a buzz as his possibilities for success in the Players Championship.
Gushue wasn't actually in Bashaw, Alta., on Wednesday afternoon. He and teammates Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker were busy in their second game of the Players in Toronto as they took on Peter de Cruz and his Swiss team. His game in Bashaw was featured in a video released on YouTube earlier in the day by Kubota Canada, the tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer, one of the Gushue team sponsors.
It sees Gushue as sort of a ringer who arrives in town to lead a group of young curlers against a local team skipped by recording artist and Bashaw resident Gord Bamford, a winner of more that two dozen Canadian Country Music Association awards.
A promo for the video calls it "The curling match you never wanted."
A subtitle might be "rock versus country music." Or more accurately, "curling rock versus country music."
We won't tell you the final score of the game which is at the centre of the four-minute video, although it's not Gushue who makes the winning shot. And we can tell you even though it's a scripted storyline, Gushue displays a steely look and the self-assuredness and heart-on-his sleeve gestures he regularly shows on the competitive circuit, and even engages in a bit of good-natured trash talking. That's when the Newfoundlander, with tongue in cheek, questions Bamford's decision-making skills in challenging the two-time Canadian men's and 2006 Olympic champ to a game that has seen Bamford stake a CCMA Award against the Tankard, the Brier championship trophy.
"I'm going to give him a lot of material to sing about on his next album," says Gushue. "It's going to be sad."
By the way, this is not first time Bamford and Gushue have hooked up in a sporting event. Last August, the curling skip participated in Bamford's annual charity golf game in Lacombe, Alta.
In his game that actually counted Wednesday, Gushue and his team curled a solid 97 per cent in defeating de Cruz 7-5.
Nichols was perfect at 100 per cent, with Gushue just behind at 99 percent.
That result, combined with a 4-1 win over Ontario’s John Epping in Tuesday’s opening draw, puts the St. John’s rink at 2-0 heading into a couple of games today, against Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton and Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
He isn't all right all the time
Those paying attention to the YouTube video released Wednesday and featuring two-time world champion skip Brad Gushue and Canadian country music star Gord Bamford might notice Gushue trying to fire up his young curling team with a written message: "Destroy Gord."
And Gushue writes the message with his left hand.
But the skip from St. John's throws curling rocks with his right hand and Gushue, who was a very good baseball player in his younger days, also throws with his right hand on the diamond.
But Gushue says that doesn't mean he's ambidextrous.
"That would mean you can do something equally well with both hands." Gushue once explained, "and that's not the case with me.
"I've just always been more comfortable writing with my left hand and throwing with right. It's been that way as long as I remember.
"You don't want to see me write with my right hand or a make a curling shot with my left.
"It's not that I haven't tried it, but it isn't very pretty."