I’ve always liked Richard Hart as a straight-up guy. He’s about as honest as they come. The fact that he’s one of the best rock-tossers in the world is a bonus, but you won’t find many nicer folks on this planet than Richie. He’s always been one of my favourites to talk curling (or golf for that matter) with.
To those who don’t know him, this article by superscribe Al Cameron (my pick for the 2008 Scotty Harpers, by the way) might surprise, but not me. Hart talks about how Martin has received more attention this year, despite the Howard rink having a better season. He doesn’t disparage the Alberta team as much as ask why they don’t at the very least share top spot on the attention podium.
I’m really not sure that’s the case in Ontario, obviously, where the home-province squad is front and centre. But there is that sense that Martin is The Guy or The Team this year. That might have something to do with the fact that he’s the defending champion of the Brier and world championship. The average guy out there still doesn’t pay attention to the World Curling Tour results, unfortunately. That becomes obvious at this time of year when folks like me do media interviews. Many of the folks asking the questions haven’t got a clue what’s going on and they default to the world championship from a year earlier. “Who won? Oh, that guy must be the best then.”
In one interview on Friday, a questioner had no idea that all four players took turns throwing the rocks – that person thought two people did nothing but sweep. And this was someone from Alberta, the heart of curling country.
Anyway, I don’t blame Rich for feeling ripped off. His team has had a banner year and probably deserves to share the top billing. Which is all he was really saying in the first place.