Comparing eras is incredibly difficult in any sport when it comes to saying who deserves a ‘greatest’ tag.
Curling is no different.
There have been some really strong Scottish teams from my dad’s era and before who didn’t get a chance to go to an Olympics because it wasn’t included.
Grand Slams didn’t exist and the sport in general has changed beyond recognition in terms of professionalism and the facilities the current curlers get access to.
But what isn’t in doubt is that Team Mouat are already in the conversation as far as the best men’s team Scotland has ever produced is concerned.
On Saturday they won their fourth European gold.
That alone is seriously impressive.
And you can add a World gold and an Olympic silver.
Different people will have their own ideas on where you rank those achievements in order of importance (Dave Murdoch has two World golds and an Olympic silver) but what isn’t up for debate is that Bruce and the guys have the opportunity to now go on to make a pretty emphatic ‘greatest’ argument.
Last week was the latest example of Team Mouat reaffirming their status as a big game team.
They don’t lose many finals, that’s for sure.
There was talk going into the Euros that they’d been below par this season and you could see that in their Grand Slam record.
There was a quarter-final defeat in one and they didn’t even make it to the knock-outs in another.
But they produced when they really needed to on home ice.
Bruce Mouat draws to the 8-foot to become European Champions! 🥇
— World Curling (@worldcurling) November 25, 2023
They had a realistic shot at gold at the last Olympics and came very close to doing it.
One of the most impressive things about Team Mouat is the length of time they’ve been together as a four – since the summer of 2017.
My team changed and evolved over the years – most do these days.
But a key to their success has been their stability.
I’m sure they have their moments when they need their time apart (they had six weeks in a bubble together at one point during Covid!)
But finding a way to keep things going on and off the ice is an under-rated quality that has served Team Mouat so well.
This is a very strong era for Scotland.
I’d loved to have been a fly on the wall for the European selection meetings because Team Whyte are sixth in the world and pushing Team Mouat hard these days.
A bit like Andy Murray finding himself in the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic era, people might think they’re unlucky to come up against such a strong rival in their own country.
They just have to hold onto a mindset of pushing harder and harder to keep improving and be ready for their chance to come.
☕️ Double Double! Although @Team_Whyte was eliminated in the KIOTI National men's quarterfinals, these back-to-back double takeouts are still gold-star worthy. 🌟
— Grand Slam of Curling (@grandslamcurl) November 11, 2023
That was the case for me when Kelly Wood was the dominant curler, with two Olympic Games, Scottish titles and loads of other achievements on her CV.
And Team Whyte also need to look at Sweden’s Team Wrana getting the better of Anna Hasselborg’s great rink to be selected for the Euros.
Nothing lasts forever.
The Scottish Championships in February will be an opportunity for Team Whyte to make a big statement.