There's more to curling than money

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Nobody ever had to tell Randy Ferbey the playdowns are the part of the season most curling fans focus on.

But that point was driven home this off-season.

So far, Ferbey's four-time world championship rink has been off to a somewhat slow start on the World Curling Tour loop.

With $20,000 in earnings, Ferbey's foursome ranks No. 7 overall on the WCT money leaders list and No. 3 among Edmonton-based rinks ... behind Kevin Martin and Mark Johnson.

"I'm not concerned about it in the least,'' said Ferbey at the Halloween kickoff newser to announce that mini-packs for next year's World Curling Championship go on sale this weekend.

"Last year, we won nearly a quarter million dollars ($247,000),'' said Ferbey. "Yet people were coming up to us and saying 'you guys had a bad year.' I'm not sure people care that much about curling until the playdowns start.''

LOST 2006 SEMIFINAL

Ferbey's run as Alberta champ ended when the team dropped last year's semifinal to Johnson.

Ironically, Ferbey has proven to be a money player when it comes to Grand Slam events.

The rink built up its record earning season by winning three of the four Grand Slam events, including the Players Championship a week after last year's worlds.

A win over Martin in last year's Players Championship gave Ferbey a bye into this year's provincials at Drayton Valley.

"It's not like we backed into (the bye),'' said Ferbey, who will defend his Masters of Curling Title in Waterloo starting Nov. 29.

Ferbey will take advantage of his time off during the early stages of the playdown with another visit to Scotland. "We're going to be in London on New Year's Eve,'' said Ferbey. "Then, we're heading off to Scotland for a spiel. We're going to see if we can tear up St. Andrews again.''

SAND TRAP

Uh, huh. Just like they did the last time and showed the video at the 1999 Edmonton Brier of Ferbey hacking his way out of a sand trap and smacking the ball off a building.

A GIGANTIC OCCASION: On Saturday night, the St. Albert Curling Club is rededicating the Friendly Giant Lounge in honour of the late, great Hec Gervais.

Former teammates and family will be there.

"What's so neat about Saturday night is my dad (Casey Anderson) helped build that lounge,'' said Jackie-Rae Greening, Madame Presidente of 2007 Worlds, whose family lived on the adjoining St. Albert-area farm to Gervais.

"I still miss the big guy,'' Greening said. "The one good thing is that his son Stan has the same sick sense of humour that Hec had. Losing Hec Jr. this past summer makes it extra-special to do what the club is doing on Saturday.''


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