Have to hand it to Pat Simmons. After what was easily the most devastating finish to a curling game in his career, Simmons came and chatted with the press – I know a few curlers who wouldn’t have done that. In fact, there was a rather strange situation that developed in the scrum area of the MTS Centre. First off was Kevin Martin who was swarmed by the assembled masses, myself included. After a few of Kevin’s answers, I looked over my shoulder and there, standing by himself with no one around him, was Simmons, glumly staring at the ground, almost as if awaiting the executioners. It was a strange sight – Martin surrounded by 40 or 50 people, Simmons all alone.
On a selfish note, Simmons’ horrible pick left me scrambling. I had two stories written, one with Saskatchewan winning and the other with Martin coming out on top, but when the end came as it did, I had to move to Plan C and put together a new piece in about, oh, eight minutes. That was the time I had until deadline.
The game last night was an odd one and not just because of the ending. How often do you see Kevin Martin miss two big-weight hits – his missed one in the first end and another in the fifth, both times leading to steals of two for Sask.
And I thought there were some odd calls in the game too. Why was Martin guarding in the fifth? Why not peel the Sask rock out of the rings and force him to one?
After that end was over, there was some heavy talking behind the sheet between Martin and Marc Kennedy, over what I presume was that call.
And why did Simmons throw away that shot in the 10th? Why not at least peel off the corner guard? If you don’t have confidence in your team to make a peel at this point, what does that say?
The worst miss of the night had to be Simmons’ shot in nine. It’s his bread-and-butter – nose hit and he wins the game. From my vantage point behind the sheet it sure looked as if he flipped it wide. Nothing but ugly there.
So after writing the eight-minute story, I headed over to the Patch and caught Streetheart. Somehow I remember them being better. I don’t think I recognized any songs until they did the Stones’ Under My Thumb. The Patch was definitely rocking last night but I must be getting old. Standing around and yelling in people’s ears to try and have a conversation isn’t as much fun as it used to be. I left and shared a van home with Ontario coach extraordinaire Scott Taylor who was going to rally his troops for a 9:30 a.m. practice this morning.
For those interested, I have an extra column in the paper this morning about the scheduling of games. You’ll find it here. While I have sympathy for Warren Hansen on this issue and respect for his answers, somehow I think this is something that could – and should – be worked out.