Gambling men bounced out

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

The end came unexpectedly for Randy Ferbey. It was two and out for the legendary foursome yesterday.

For the second straight trials, Ferbey finished with a losing record, this time at 3-4.

At least Ferbey went down swinging. In typical fashion, Ferbey put his whole week on the line on one shot in an 8-6 loss to Glenn Howard.

He made an aggressive call that, had Dave Nedohin been able to execute, would have given the Ferbey team a deuce and control heading into the last two ends.

Make it and the Ferbey squad would be in the driver's seat. Miss and it's game over.

"It was a team decision," said Ferbey. "We looked at if Dave gets one, what are our chances of stealing one or getting two here. I figured we're due to make one of these. You know, he was one inch out and unfortunately he missed on the wide side to give him a steal of two.

"It's just a hunch. It's not right or wrong. I'd say 50% of the time you'd make it two, 75% of the time you'd get one or make the double and roll out at least.

"In that situation, the way Dave was throwing, I liked my chances."

Then, came the nail in the coffin, a 9-4 loss to Kevin Koe.

For a long time, Ferbey has maintained that his team is playing as well as it ever has. Yet, the team that dominated curling earlier this decade seems to have fallen back somewhat as other squads have found ways to play at championship levels.

There were times when Ferbey would make those types of calls he did against Howard and the gamble would work out for them.

Now, even on the tour, they're not as dominant as they once were.

"Right now, there's just something that we don't have," said Ferbey. "That shtick, that aura, whatever it is.

"In 2005, the last time we won it (world championship) we were playing on a roll. I don't think we've lost our drive or anything, but I think it's more important that they've got better.

"It's not like we've got worse.

"They've got better."

The team still plans to finish out this season.

It was a trying week on the team and Ferbey would like to know soon what direction the team will be headed.

"We'll sit down in a couple of weeks and see how far we want to go with this team," said Ferbey. "Whether we want to play again next year, whether some people don't want to play. I want to play. The rest of the guys, we'll find out in the next couple of weeks."

Nedohin couldn't put more of a timeline on it past this season.

"It's very disappointing," said Nedohin. "It's been four years of our lives. There's other things, of course, that we'll continue to do this year. We'll try to represent Alberta at the Brier. There's lots of tournaments and the Skins game.

"It's kind of hard to put in perspective right now what it means, what we've done and where we're going in the future.

"The separation that exists between the top teams and the rest might not be as big as it used to be.

"There's a little more parity because the teams have got better."

Lead Marcel Rocque had two words when asked whether he'd be back after this season.

"I dunno," said Rocque, who will likely resume a full-time teaching career once this season is done.

And that about says it all.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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