In case you missed it, the Brier internet world is all abuzz over Ryan Fry and the Harnden’s moving or whacking Team Ontario on a few occasions to keep them from making flat spots on the ice with their hands / knees. Before everyone started talking about it – I was freaking out watching the game on TV. I believe my exact words were: “What a bunch of ass-holes”.
- Everyone goes down on their knees sometime (including Team Jacobs!), especially on a big shot. As long as it’s not all the time – no big deal.
- It was not a friendly tap. Matt Camm was throwing a big shot in the 3rd end when someone from Jacob’s Team was clearly seen shoveling his trailing leg. Matt turned right away, then the camera left him to follow the shot. But Matt clearly looked flustered by it. He missed his next shot badly, and pretty much ensured Jacobs would score at least 3 (he rolled out on an open hit for 4). So the incident to me CLEARLY CHANGED THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME. Not saying Kean would have won, but there was a direct impact coming from the shove. They also did it again later, to Mark.
- There is a way that curlers and gentlemen act on the ice. If you believe the opposition is dragging on the ice – talk to them about it AFTER THE SHOT. Give them some warning. Then talk to the officials.
My former 2nd, Brad Fitzherbert (who played in a couple of Briers), used to get mad at guys who spent too much time on their knees. He would politely warn them a few times – and if they kept doing it, would say that next time he would lift them off the ice (Brad was a pretty strong lad). I saw him do it a few times (but I can’t remember to who). But here is the important thing; he was never a dick about it. I never heard anyone get mad at him. He was sportsmanlike about it.
But Fry / Harnden were not nice. They did it in a petty and aggressive way. And they did it to a team that they knew was probably a bit nervous at the time. It was a hostile and unsportsmanlike move, and FOR SURE was intended to intimidate, and to make matters worse it seemed to have worked!
Jacobs and Team are always eager to say how they are changing the face of curling.
However "Changing the face of Curling”, should not be about making curling less sportsmanlike.
Today they put out a bullshit non-apology/apology on their Facebook Page blaming Kean’s Team for flat spots, and completely missing the point.
Come on boys – you should know better.