Monday, April 23, 2012

Curlers in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

My good pal Bill Streeter is the type of guy curling needs. He was a tireless volunteer and wonderful promoter of the sport, and for the last four years, he’s been trying to get Ed Werenich into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Bill has submitted his name and the required credentials to the committee but been snubbed. Or at least the Wrench has.
The latest came last week when the 2012 class was announced. I can assure you Werenich's failure to make it is not for lack of commitment on Bill’s part as the package submitted was thorough and comprehensive. I’m biased but Werenich’s record and his dominance of the game during his heyday is exceptional. I feel it’s deserving of a spot in the hall. However, the committee continues to choose not to give the Wrench the nod.
 So it got me thinking of just how many curlers are in the hall to begin with. As Bill pointed out in an email to me, the last male curler to be inducted was 21 years ago. That was Don Duguid. The last curler of any kind to go in was Sandra Schmirler’s team, that happening in 2000. That's 12 years ago.
Since Duguid’s induction, they’ve put in skaters and football players and soccer players and rowers and squash players and hockey players.
They’ve even put in a horse!
But no curlers.
Now part of this is likely due to the fact that no one goes to the trouble to nominate curlers, but with Werenich, that’s not the case. If you put what he accomplished up against the records of the athletes who have gone in over the last four years, it’s hard to understand why he failed to get the necessary votes.
 Here’s a look at who did the voting: 2012 Selection Committee
1. Ian Bird.
2. Marnie McBean.
3. Scott Moore.
4. Steve Armitage.
5. Sylvie Bigras.
6. Stephen Brunt.
7. Craig Button.
8. Bruce Dowbiggin.
9. Bruce Kidd.
10. Francois Mosher.
11. Dave Randorf.
12. Francois Messier.
Of these, the only one I know who would have any love of curling would be Scott Moore, who once produced TSN’s coverage.
The hall has a heavy lean towards Olympic athletes. Of the six athletes who made the grade for the class of 2012, five made their mark as Olympians. You could actually say all six did because hockey’s Scott Niedermeyer is a two-time gold medalist.
It’s tough for a curler from the pre-Olympic years.
The only curlers in the hall of fame are Matt Baldwin, Ron Northcott, Ernie, Arnold and Sam Richardson, the Schmirler team, Duguid and Howard “Pappy” Wood.
I would have to say that curling is sorely lacking. Obvious names to be considered would be Russ and Glenn Howard, Kevin Martin and Colleen Jones.

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