Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Ferb is back

RAMA, Ontario – There are many reasons why Randy Ferbey’s huge win at the 2009 Casino Rama Curling Skins Game is so... well, cool.

• Team Ferbey (most of them) were road-weary after playing 10 straight weekends up to Xmas;
• they were 0-9 versus arch-rival Kevin Martin before yesterday’s Game 1 victory;
• Joe Average curling fan hadn’t seen or heard much from them for a while;
• they’re another Edmonton team everyone would love to see at the Trials;
• they’re still, obviously, a damned fine curling team.

Good for them, good for the sport.

Things got picky and icky and sticky yet again, with one player suggesting in the seventh end that they “should just flip a coin.”

And after his last effort of the sixth went bananas, Glenn Howard looked indeed to be working his magic.

The seventh came down to a measure – an excruciating double-measure, actually – which the Ferbs and the TSN TV crew thought would go their way (it didn’t). That skin would have clinched it for the Albertans. Carry-over.

The final frame was huge, with the teams tied at 7K apiece and a whopping $43,000 on the line. Howard missed his first runback, firing it through both intended target rocks but miraculously stuck on his own in the back-four for shot stone.

But after Ferb fourth-thrower David Nedohin made a delicious angle tap to freeze, lady luck had left the casino and Howard’s End arrived. His final runback missed, and the Ferbey Four were back in the winner’s circle.

We’ll have another report plus a variety of sidebars in the upcoming February issue of The Curling News.

This will include a fascinating history of curling’s eternal male versus female debate, with both long-forgotten info and fresh thinking thrown in. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it ...

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