Dec 12, 2016
Neil Houston is now an Event Manager for Curling Canada. He has been instrumental in bringing the Brier to large NHL arenas and showcasing curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Over forty years ago, he teamed with second Glen Jackson, lead Kelly Stearne and skip Paul Gowsell to form perhaps the greatest junior team in history. The Gowsell squad stormed through the Canadian and World Juniors, while combating mens teams on the cashpiel circuit...and winning. To the older crew cut players of that era, the strange pants, long hair and beards were a small annoyance compared to their use of push brooms rather than corn.
Neil shares stories of the Gowsell rink and helps separate legend from fact. He also talks about his time on the Lukowich rink and how "Fast" Eddy went from playing second to skipping them to a Brier, Worlds and Olympic medal. We'll hear about 1997 when the CCA gambled by putting a Brier in the Calgary Saddledome, and contemplate the death of the hair broom in competitive curling.
Video from the 1976 World Junior Championships can be found at The Curling History Blog. You can read about the Gowsell and Lukowich rinks in Jean Sonmor's "Burned by the Rock" and "The Brier" by Bob Weeks.
Next Week: Errol "Colonel" Klinck