Thursday, January 19, 2006

Flag flap: take a pill

Well, the hullaballoo over the Canadian Olympic flagbearer has now exploded, as it does with eye-rolling monotony every two years. We even have The Big Cat (leading the 2002 pack in photo) and Don Cherry taking swipes at each other. For the record, we pick The Cat to win. Easily.

As reported here yesterday, multiple Canadian Olympians are now declining to be considered for flagbearer honours. Ever think it might have nothing to do with Games prep and peak performance and everything to do with media hysteria? Perhaps the COC should just drop the whole thing and have our Italian ambassador do the honours. Or the RCMP constable assigned as head of Canadian team security. Or perhaps the owner of the San Carlo, we hear he has a cousin living in Canada. Twice removed.

Anyway, the Globe's Bob Weeks teamed up with amateur sport beatster James Christie for today's curling-oriented look at the controversy, and Russ Howard's increasing chances of grabbing the flag. There will be two alternates chosen as well, so he should be a slam dunk for one of those spots – surely? Meanwhile, Russ' daughter Ashley, who is headed off to Saturday's M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Thunder Bay, reports that her dad is an accomplished board-jumper. We did not make this up.

• Speaking of media hysteria, Winnipeg's MCA Bonspiel is underway this week and locals are bleating about the phenomenon known as the continually shrinking entry list. Actually, this year's whingeing isn't really whingeing at all; sounds like acceptance has hit that market. Incidentally, Toronto's almost-equally-impressive TCA Energizer city championship recently wrapped up, with the results available here.

David Nedohin will miss Team Ferbey's trip to Kamloops for the Strauss Canada Cup; his father is headed into hospital for cancer surgery that weekend. Former Trials skip / Kevin Martin teammate /alleged troublemaker Kevin Park will replace him, and throw skip rocks. The last time Ned was replaced – by Kerry Burtnyk in Switzerland back in October – the Ferbs won.

Be sure to check out tomorrow's Blog: you won't believe your eyes.

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