Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My take on TapGate

So what do you make of the broom tap to the ankles of the Ontario team by their counterparts from the North?

Well by some accounts, it was an intimidation factor and not called for. Ontario's coach, Bryan Cochrane, was reportedly complaining to officials about the brush bump and Mark Kean told reporters later that he was not happy with the way things occurred but said there's no animosity lingering.

"I don't think it's right, but if everyone can learn from the experience and the officials are on top of that kind of stuff -- and they're on top of the knees on the ice too -- then there's no issue between either team."

Others saw it as a gentle reminder by one team to another to keep the ice in as good shape as possible.

Team Jacobs issued a statement on its Facebook page, explaining the reasoning behind the actions.

Addressing the incident in tonight's game - something was said to another player who did the same thing (not sure if they heard) then the tap came when it was done again (there was one foot tap, not two - broom never touched the foot in the video posted by CCA & again it was communicated vocally "please get your knees off the ice" ) after the only & original foot tap earlier in the game - it has happened before, it has happened to a few of us and it was not done with any ill intention - it might have been harder than intended since the person was reaching when it happened & an apology was extended for that - the intent was a reminder to not "puddle" the ice surface - not saying what was done was right or wrong as that is for individual interpretation, but it was not done with any aggressive or intimidating intent

No matter what side of the situation you find yourself, it certainly was different and not something I've seen in my time of covering curling.

My take on it is that first, it's ridiculous to call this an intimidation move. Isn't being the Olympic champions enough of an intimidation factor for a first-year Brier team?

Second, it appears that there had be a number of requests on the Ontario team to stop resting warm body parts on the ice. If that's so, then this was really a last resort -- and I bet it worked (at least I hope it worked).

To me, the bottom line here is the integrity of the ice. Every player on both teams should be doing all he can to ensure the ice is in as good condition as possible. These days, with the technology in brooms and the fitness levels of the guys wielding them, pebble breaks down late in the games. That's just inevitable.

So if you're kneeling on the ice after a shot then you are hurting the ice. Further, you are not being respectful of that ice. You're being lazy, inconsiderate, selfish and downright rude. It's like tromping across a green and leaving spike marks in golf.

I'm not specifically talking about the Ontario team here, I'm talking about any player in any curling game anywhere.

So if the Ontario players hadn't heard the requests from others to get off their knees, then I think a gentle reminder with a broom tap that didn't appear to a) affect the delivery or b) do anything other than serve as a reminder, then I'm OK with it. Whether it's a broom tap or a face-on delivery of the message, I think it has to be sent and I wish more people did it, to be honest. Let's face it -- these Ontario guys are far from the only ones in this Brier to rest on the ice. It's a practice that is unnecessary and should be stopped

This is all about the ice.

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