Barry Fry was known as "The Snake" for his unique version of the tuck-slide. As a young skip he teamed with Orest Meleschuk, reaching the provincial semifinals while in their early twenties. He later helped Rod Hunter bring Don Duguid out of retirement in 1969. Over the years Barry watched friends and ex-teamates win Purple Hearts, wondering if it would ever be his turn. He won the Canadian Mixed in 1973 and finally conquered Manitoba in 1979 with Bill Carey, Gordon Sparkes and Bryan Wood. They would capture the Brier in Ottawa, the last sponsored by Macdonald Tobacco. Disappointment followed at the Silver Broom and years later his legendary senior rink of Don Duguid, Terry Braunstein and Ray Turnbull fell short in the Canadian Championship. Barry shares many stories, including "Orest meets Ernie Richardson", "Ray offers advice" and tales from his year as a hired player for Dr. Joe Zbacnik in Fargo, North Dakota.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Welcome to Morning Classes. Since 1948, members and friends of the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay have held classes each morning during the Brier. During my detention, Fred Coulson and Alfie Childs share the history of this tradition and tell a few stories as well. The next time you attend the Brier, try to wake up early at least one day and attend a class.
David Padgett started on his path to Ice Maker over 50 years ago. He began in Lindsay, Ontario at the age of twelve with his father, moving to the Avonlea in Toronto and eventually in 1980 to the Bayview Golf & Curling Club. It was there he invented the original "Little Rock", a plastic composite stone that would simulate a real one at half the weight. David shares the evolution of ice making, thoughts on Shorty Jenkins, and explains the original controversy over conditioning rocks.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Curling is a sport (yes, it is) that involves big muscles for sweeping, small muscles for precision and one big gray blob that’s sort of a muscle and fits between your ears. In a game where finesse is required, adrenaline and nerves can impart the smallest change to the delivery or release of a stone and result in a miss. The re-introduction of curling to the Olympics (officially) in 1998 and the growth of sponsorship and televised events has led players and teams to raise their level of play the past two decades. Shot making has improved considerably, but also mental preparation and the ability for teams to be more consistent and reach their potential despite the enormity of the moment. But it’s still sports.
The clearest example of mental control driving small muscles is golf. How can Scott Hoch miss a 2 foot putt that he makes on a practice green (or at another event) 100 times out of 100? Because he’s on the 10th hole at Augusta National, in a sudden-death playoff, attempting to win a green jacket. Twenty years later, Kenny Perry birdies the 16th hole, then hooks his next two drives leading to consecutive bogeys and loses the Masters. Canadian curling fans may remember one of its greatest players, Kevin Martin, had a similar collapse on the very same day as Kenny. In control and tied with final rock in the last end against Scotland, Team Martin gets into a hot mess. Kevin inexplicably decides to throw away his first skip shot of the end, misses his last, and hands David Murdoch the World Championship.
"And you may ask yourself, well...How did I get here?" - David Byrne