Saturday, March 9, 2013

Crowd "utterly devoid of class" shows up at Brier

The crowd turned into a big part of the Friday night draw at the Tim Horton’s Brier with wild cheering for and against teams, an unusual scene for curing, to be sure. 

Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press said the crowd was just downright rude in its treatment of Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton as he attempted to make his last shot:

As a crowd utterly devoid of class jeered Stoughton in an unprecedented violation of all known curling-crowd etiquette, Stoughton cooly drew the four-foot with the final rock of the extra end and then pumped his fist at the crowd. 
Stoughton was asked afterward if the crowd's behavior was acceptable curling conduct. 
"Well...," Stoughton paused. "It was pretty tough. It was interesting. It was hard to calm down and relax for my last shot... What can you say, it worked out well for us."

Over at the Edmonton Journal, John MacKinnon pointed out that Stoughton wasn’t a fan of the fans behaviour

Stoughton calmly made his final draw, silencing the taunting chants of his name, a gesture he decidedly did not enjoy the way Howard did. 
“Not at all,” said Stoughton, whose Manitoba team now will play Howard in the 1-2 Page Playoff game Saturday afternoon. “When they’re heckling and yelling at you to miss, it’s a lot different than when they’re cheering for you, that’s for sure. 
“I’m really glad we made that last shot. It felt really good. I was able to calm down, because it was pretty damn exciting out there, that’s for sure.”

Stoughton wasn’t the only one getting razzed during a wild night. 

The madness involved a Rexall Place crowd of 11,855, tops at the Brier so far, loudly and proudly cheering for Martin, even as they kept an eye on the B.C.-Manitoba and Northern Ontario-Nova Scotia matches. 
The fans began chanting “How-ard, How-ard, How-ard” in the 10th end of the Alberta match. The 50-year-old veteran skip just waved at them like a conductor directing the band, using his broom as a baton, which silenced them. 
“They were the loudest I’ve ever witnessed in a curling arena,” Howard said. “That crowd was — Wow! — it was something else. 
“Exciting. My heart is still pounding.”

The fans did give Martin a standing ovation as he and his teammates left the building, but the Old Bear didn’t leave without poking a little fun at the local hockey team. 

“That was loud!” he said. “That was Oiler playoff loud, if you guys remember the last time.”

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