Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm taking my rock and going home!

Back to blogging here after a few days off due to an injury. While coaching my son’s hockey game the other night, I took a puck to the face, good for a few broken chiclets and a beauty of a shiner. I should have taught him to curl.

Anyway, in all my years of covering curling, can’t say I’ve seen anything as wild as the performance of the Scottish women. They have to go with three when their team mutinies?

The only thing I’ve seen close was in 1990 at the Brier in Sault Ste. Marie when Harold Breckenridge pulled himself late in the week because of what he described as “mental anguish.”

However in that situation, the fifth agreed to play.

So from what I understand, the Scottish coach elects to pull the skip in favour of the fifth. The skip grudgingly accepts. Then the second says if the skip isn’t playing, she isn’t playing. So the coach asks the skip back and she says no. So the skip and the second sit in the stands while the remaining three play – and win.

Is this really the world championships or the high school league? What kind of player quits on their team because the coach makes a change? This is a huge embarrassment for the Scots. I can imagine there are a few steamed Scots back home.

I love this statement released by the RCCC.
"The Royal Club regrets this situation but supports and stands by the decisions taken by its coaches."

So formal, so proper, it almost makes you laugh, but I suppose they don’t have many other ways of dealing with it.

I looked on a few of the Scottish newspaper sites but they didn’t have much in the way of details. I was expecting some juicy stuff, but they just picked up the wire feed for the most part.

I can’t honestly remember any athlete in any situation ever refusing to play. All I can say is I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of these two in international play.


Skiman said...


I'm a little surprised by your take on this. I frankly think it is disgraceful that a coach/association intervened and tried to bench the skip for the last 2 games (both winnable). The players earned their way on the ice, and should have been allowed to play on. The other player showed a lot of courage in my eyes by supporting her teammate, and when the coach re-considered the error of his/her way and asked the skip to play on, perhaps she could have re-considered her decision. Her pride and disappointment obviously clouded her judgement a bit, but if we are assigning a percentage of the overall "thumbs down" this episode is, I would say coach/association gets 80%, and the players get 20%.

I can't believe that if this was the CCA intervening with a Canadian representative, you're opinion might be different. How do you think Eddie, or any other Canadian team, would feel about being sat down by the CCA for the final 2 games of the worlds.

Regardless, I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the great work.

Drew Macklin

BW said...


Thanks for the comments. Admitting that I'm viewing this from afar, I think the situation is different than anything in Canada because here, the curlers aren't really beholden to the association in any way. I don't think any coach would make a request such as the one the Scottish coach did. I believe it to be a different system over there and that the hierarchy is much different (readers -- please correct me if this isn't right).
Here, it's the decision of the players to do alter the lineup.
And I hope that even if a situation like that did occur, the Canadian player would have enough sense to at least play the game and then make a protest about it. Leaving them with three is a joke.