WINNIPEG – If anyone deserved a second chance to qualify for the Brier, it’s Mike McEwen and his team from the Fort Rouge Curling Club.
McEwen was stricken with chickenpox for the better part of this year’s provincial men’s curling championship. And he’s still not completely healthy even though he came back to play in the provincial final more than three weeks ago.
“To be honest, I don’t really remember much about it, about the final in particular.” McEwen said.
“I did my best, but I felt weak and just not in control of my body as much as I would want to be. It was a very strange feeling. The memory and the recollection of the game is kinda vague, so I’m looking forward to getting another shot where at least I’m a lot healthier.”
McEwen said he’s feeling better now but he’s still dealing with the fallout of chickenpox after having some complications.
“I had some things with my liver and what not that’s going to take a long time to heal.” McEwen said. “But as far as like energy levels and things like that, I feel back to normal. Just internally the body has got to do some healing from what the virus did to me.”
“As far as I’m told the liver is quite regenerative, as long as you don’t put more toxins into your body. The virus did some damage. The liver is going to take some time to heal. I’ve got scarring and stuff like that, but you know, it could have been worse.”
One things is for certain there’ll be no late night carousing at the Brier patch.
“No patch pops for me.” McEwen said.
McEwen is set to face Manitoba’s Jason Gunnlaugson in the first ever Brier wild card game on Friday in Regina.
“It’s kinda like getting a second shot at a provincial final seeing as we’re playing another Manitoba team, so it’s kinda got that feel.” McEwen said. “He’s a smart guy, He’s obviously had a really good season and he’s got a good bunch of young guys in front of him. We’ll have to be sharp, have to be good. An average performance is not going to win.”
The two teams don’t have a whole lot of history and according to McEwen they’ve only played each other once this season.
“I like our chances of winning the Brier, if we can beat Jason first.” he said. “I haven’t looked beyond the one game.”
WATCH: Mike McEwen discusses his complications from chicken pox