Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ferbey-Martin and rivalries

Kevin Koe’s struggles against teams named Ferbey or Martin continued last night with a loss to Ferbey. The Ferbster now meets Martin tonight in a battle for the first qualifier.
When I interviewed Koe about a month ago, he said his record against the two teams wasn’t all that hot and it showed again last night. Of course not many teams have a good record against those two teams, so Koe’s in good company.
So the folks in AB get another round in the Martin vs. Ferbey battle. This year, of course, Martin has been the better team as Ferbey’s mediocre (for them anyway) play continues. Al Cameron had an interesting thought at his blog (and great reports from Spruce Grove), that perhaps the Ferbey rink is at or past its best-before date. Every team seems to have a shelf life, that’s for sure. You can only go at the pace required for success for so long. Real-life suddenly starts to stare you in the eye and relationships can become frayed when you consider that most top competitive curlers see more of each other than they do of their spouses or girl/boyfriends (or both – hey what happens on the WCT, stays on the WCT!), at least in the winter months.
To be honest, the Ferbey Four have lasted longer than most teams at the top of the heap and a win at the provincial final would make most people forget about the previous months of the 07-08 season. They are good enough that if the fire ignites, then they can roll through anyone.
So tonight it’s Ferbey-Martin. Cameron states that this is arguably the best rivalry in the history of the sport and he might be right. This one is nasty on the ice and not much better off of it, especially between the two skips. There’s certainly no love loss here.
Other great rivalries? The only one in my mind that comes close to Ferbey-Martin is Howard-Werenich. For a long time, those two guys didn’t like each other either, and it was pretty much team deep, but those hard feelings have softened slightly. The big cresting lawsuit of the 1990s, brought Werenich and Howard together somewhat. Glenn Howard even played for Eddie for a year.
A few others:
* Werenich and any Swedish curler
* Werenich and the CCA
* Gushue and Stoughton -- this is a good on-ice rivalry, not much personal bad blood. Also the teams haven’t played each other enough to make if a fully blown head-knocker.
* Doran Johnson and Kevin Park – and they were on the same team!
* Canadian curling and Dave Parkes
* Kelly Scott and Jennifer Jones – although they won’t admit it.

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