The most successful team in all of curling history has decided to break up.
The Ferbey Four, after one last event next weekend in Dawson Creek, B.C., will be no more.
Only one player on the only team in history to win four Briers and three world championships together as a foursome will continue curling — the old guy.
Not only has the Sun learned that is this the end of the road for the team but the beginning of a new chapter for Randy Ferbey.
The 50-year-old Brier King is about to rock the rock world with an announcement that he has decided to join 2006 Olympic gold medal winner Brad Gushue of Newfoundland while Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque will take at least one year away from the game.
Nobody saw that coming, including his teammates.
“I’m flying to Newfoundland in the morning for a Thursday press conference,” Ferbey told the Sun.
“I’m not moving to Newfoundland. I won’t play for Newfoundland in the Brier. I don’t believe in that. I’ll probably throw a team together for the playdowns in Alberta. Might even try to talk Dave back for that. I’ve kind of thought of that,” he said.
Nedohin said he might even go for that.
“If Randy called I’d listen. But I’m taking a year off. I have no plans beyond one year. If I really enjoy the year off, maybe it’ll become retirement. I’ve missed a lot of things with my family the last few years. You have to be gone 20 weekends a year. I need time away to get the batteries recharged and do other things. I’ve been doing this since I was 18. Now I’m 36. I’ve curled with Randy longer than I’ve known my wife.
“I think that’s the remarkable thing about our team. We’ve been together for 13 years and we were everything a team should be. We’re all great friends and we’ve stayed extremely competitive. We didn’t play as well as Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard or Kevin Koe this year, but we stayed in the top five in the world.
“When the chemistry is right, it’s magical what you can do. We’ll continue to do all the things together we always do. We’ll have our big team barbecue every summer and all the guys will stay my best friends for the rest of my life. But it is going to be sad next weekend because such a large part of our lives is coming to an end.”
Pfeifer said with him it was simple really.
“Burnout,” he said. “I just came to the realization that I have to get away. It’s been going hard for 12 years for me. There are other parts of life. If I come back, I need to get a little more motivated. Maybe after taking a year off I’ll discover I don’t miss it. It would be pretty neat to say Randy Ferbey’s team is the only team I played for my whole career.
“I love the three guys I played with. The funny thing is that I always used to say that Randy would be the last of us to retire. I said it jokingly.”
Rocque said it’s time for him to be a full-time school teacher.
“I just couldn’t justify all those unpaid weekends any longer. I think I’m still young enough to curl in the top one or two percent in the game at my position.
“I’ve laughed at a lot of pro athletes who say they are retiring then make a comeback. So I’m not saying that for sure. But I’m taking a year off with the boys and if the right position comes up, I’ll make retirement a permanent thing.
“We’re going to go down in history as one of the top teams to play the game and the best part is to leave with no regrets with three guys who are more like brothers than teammates. I told them we’ll all get together and curl as the Ferbey Four again when Scott is old enough to play in the seniors because he’s the youngest one. (That’s if) Randy is done by then.”
Ferbey said he’d have loved to keep going with the team but telegraphed his belief there was no way all four would remain together prior to provincials in Olds.
“I just sensed it was going to change. It was time.
“It’s disappointing, it really is. We’ve been the best team in every sense of the word. I’m more proud of the fact that we played all these years together and didn’t make one change. We stuck together through thick and thin.
“A lot of skips have had success. But we had it together all the way as a team. It’s going to be great to go out together as a team. I’m very proud of what we accomplished. I think we changed the game. We were the first team to all take time away from work to be full-time curlers. We were the first to approach sponsors in a totally professional way and take that to a level it’s never been before. We invented the numbering system for shot weight which is now used world wide. It’s sad that it’s come to an end.”