Hear all about it

DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

Hurry hard!!! How about "Shut the ... up!"

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. But it drives me nuts.

I hate yelling. Unless it's outside. It's like being stuck in a Superman-style phone booth with a bagpipe player. I like bagpipes. When they are outside. Over yonder dale.

"Hurrrrrr-eeeeeeey. Haaaa-aard!" It's like listening to that "Now you see it, now you don't" guy who does those commercial spots on Team1260. Like somebody blowing a whistle six inches from your ear. Painful.

Water-torture painful.

It would be too easy to blame it all on Russ Howard. The Foghorn Leghorn of Canadian curling made "Hurry hard" his signature bark. But yelling was in the game long before Howard. We just didn't hear it as much.

"Maybe it's just because they didn't have microphones on," laughed Scott Pfeifer.

Scott's only 28, so the current broadcast technology in the sport is what he knows. And as the second for curling's most prominent/dominant team of recent years, being mic-ed is, uh, second nature for the Team Ferby/Alberta stalwart.

"(Yelling) was around way before Russ Howard. But he is definitely one of the most vocal curlers around."

"I think part of it now is that the television coverage has gotten so good that you hear everything," said Ferbey ace-in-the-hole Dave Nedohin.

"A lot of times, honestly, when we're in a curling club, there is so much echo and noise in the building we can yell as loud as we can and the sweepers sometimes still don't hear us. So certainly in some situations, you have to be loud."

But you can't forget you are on the air.

"I know we've let a few slips out," Dave said. "Fortunately most of them haven't made in on to TV. We know the microphone's not always on, but you do have to be careful.

"You know that everyone is listening. My daughter's listening."

"You get pretty good at going like this," Pfiefer said while clutching the part of his shirt where a mic would be clipped.

"It comes with the territory."

The again, there are some of us who still miss the thundering-herd sounds of those old corn brooms.

CHANGE IS GOOD: It was the curling version of the trap.

Peel, peel, peel.

2-1 games.

That's an exciting result in soccer. Or in any best-of-three.

But curling became last-rock standing. And last person awake watching.

"It was a skill and people perfected it," said Nedohin.

To their credit, those in charge of the sport quickly changed things up with new rules to make their product a better sell on television. Attention, NHL.

(And to his credit, Russ Howard also had a lot to do with those changes.)

ON THE SPORT'S GROWTH: "I don't know that anyone could've imagined that 300,000 people would come to an arena (to watch the Brier.)

"Warren Hansen has done something wonderful in bringing it into bigger arenas. He really put the Brier on the line by doing that. He thought the support would be there and it was. And now ..."

- Nedohin

"Now that it's a gold-medal sport you see a lot of junior curlers coming up and thinking they could make it to the Olympic Games as a curler. So you see a lot of teams sticking together and improving because of that."

- Pfeifer

"We taught junior clinics at the Saville Centre the last month and a half, and they had over 2,000 Grade 6 students out there learning to curl. The programs they have to encourage kids are great."

- Nedohin

"It's a skill. I think that's what people realize the first time they try it - how difficult it is. But, at that age, 12 years old, whatever, kids are lots of times wanting to put on the skates and go bash each other around. I know we did, too, but it grew on us."

- Pfeifer

ON WHY IT TRANSLATES SO WELL TO TELEVISION: Love it or don't get it, curling works on the tube. (A notwithstanding clause for CBC.)

"It's the perfect armchair sport."

- Nedohin

THE LAST ROCK: Make them and it makes you a legend. Al Hackner. Sandra Schmirler. Ed Werenich.

"If they can make it ... it's a highlight reel for years to come," said Nedohin, known to have made a couple or three himself. "Certainly Jennifer Jones did it last weekend. You play 10 ends and to have it come down to that one last rock, 10 or 15 seconds (to think about it) to determine the outcome of the Canadian championship, is pretty amazing."

MEDIA MANIA: It may still catch up to them, dealing with us, dealing with fans, dealing with the enormous pressure of doing it in your hometown. Especially for accommodating guys like Team Ferbey.

Experience helps, said Nedohin.

"I think we've got a handle on it. But if this was out first Brier ..."


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