Shroud of Turin

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

HALIFAX -- It's 'In-Turin or Out-Turin' and Randy Ferbey and rink have put themselves in position of being Turin'ed out.

The difference between the 'Roar of the Rings' Olympic Trials and any other curling competition is that the story is with the losers, not the winners. And after gassing a game against Brad Gushue here last night, the four-time Brier and three-time world champions are looking like losers.

Especially Scott Pfeifer.

The player many view as the world's greatest second, gave his youngest son the middle name 'Torino' for the Olympic Winter Games site a.k.a Turin, which is the prize for the winner of this competition. He has kids' plastic letter magnets on his fridge in his house spelling out an inspirational Olympic message.

'I'M PLAYING LIKE SPIT'

"I'm playing like spit,'' said Pfeifer.

"I suck. I missed a shot on the 10th end. Marcel and I overswept one. I've got to pick it up.''

Pfeifer is shooting 78%, the second-lowest number in the tournament at his position, up from last place after the first two draws.

"He's concerned about it. We're concerned about it,'' said the 46-year-old Ferbey, who is tops at his position at 90%.

"If he doesn't pick it up, we're out of here in a hurry,'' said Ferbey of Pfeifer, the famed setup man who is viewed as the straw who stirs the drink. Not that he doesn't have company. Nedohin sits seventh in last rock throwing percentage at 83%.

The team, which went 13-0 to win a Brier here two years ago, has already lost two. And if it hadn't been for the usual donation of a game by Calgary's John Morris earlier in the day, the Edmonton rink would be 0-3 with Jay Peachey and totally in the toilet.

"It's ridiculous,'' said Ferbey. "We're not making enough shots. We've had chance after chance to take advantage and we're not doing it. We have to snap out of it.

"We're not setting anybody up. We're missing simple shots.''

How often do you see Nedohin have a whole house to hit to score two on an end and throw an airball and end up with one? In the end, Pfeifer fanned a rock through the house and Nedohin missed another draw on the last end to lose 9-6 as the Russ Howard-skipped Brad Gushue rink, remained the only undefeated team in the get-to-Turin tournament.

Ferbey didn't blame Nedohin for not making the draw for two on the sixth.

"The sweepers were pounding it,'' he said.

Maybe they were waiting expecting Gushue and gang to gag on the game like Morris in the morning.

Four years ago at these pressure-packed Olympic Trials, Morris was up three coming home against Howard and gassed the game by giving up four. He stomped off the ice, ripped the microphone off, ripped off his shirt and threw it in a garbage can and then blew through the mixed zone, refusing to talk to the media.

SNAPPED OFF THE BRUSH

This time Morris snapped off the brush end of the broom with his foot where it remained as he shook hands with Ferbey.

Morris can't win for losing against the Ferbey Four. The Calgary curler is now 1-15 going against the Edmonton rink.

"I don't know what it is. I don't play my best against those guys. What is it now? The last 13 straight?'' said Morris.

The one win was when Morris recruited Edmonton curler Shane Park to substitute as a third in an event in Lloydminster.

"I have to get 'The Bug Man' back to play third,'' he said of Park.

But Morris is the bugged man. Ferbey has managed to get inside his head beyond belief. He just waits for Morris to implode.

"I missed a shot I usually make nine out of 10 times,'' said Morris. "It's frustrating.''

Ferbey was shaking his head in the morning.

"Until Morris missed that draw, I was thinking, 'O.K., he's finally beat us.' '' he said.

"I hope we don't have to play them again this week,'' said Nedohin of the playoffs. "Sooner or later he's going to beat us.''

If they don't get it turned around by the time the noon cannon goes off up the hill at The Citadel, that won't be a worry.


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