Ferbey, Gushue play name game

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:18 AM ET

MEDICINE HAT — It began with the team walking in behind the usual bagpipes and under the sign: Ferbey.

The name on the scoreboard was the same: Ferbey.

The uniforms, while they were black with robin egg blue sleeves, with 51-year-old Randy Ferbey looking a little more barrel-like in his size-too-tight new duds, still had prime sponsor logos of the World Financial Group front and back.

Marcel Rocque threw the first rock as Ferbey held the broom at the other end of the ice. And the first end concluded with Ferbey watching the game on the next sheet while his third began his delivery and threw a draw to score two on the first end.

But it was Brad Gushue throwing that rock and Mark Nichols sweeping, along with Ferbey’s old lead Rocque.

If the idea was that Ferbey was joining Gushue, the look was more that Gushue had joined up with Ferbey at the first draw of the first Season of Champions event and first TSN-televised event of the new Olympic quadrennial began. But Rocque is here as a one-event temp replacing regular lead Ryan Fry.

Challenges

Still, it seemed strange. And looked weird.

“It is weird,” said Gushue.

“It’s had its challenges. But it’s fun, too.”

Glenn Howard said he keeps looking at Ferbey and Gushue on the same team and keeps doing double takes.

“I was very surprised when they hooked up. I’d have never predicted it. They are so different in their personalities.

“Randy is old school, like me. He enjoys having a couple of beers and enjoys the social side of this game.

“Brad isn’t as social. He’s new school.

“Brad is a technician. Randy is an artist. It is weird to see them together. But it seems to be working.”

They came here, where they opened with a 7-5 win over Rob Fowler of Brandon, sitting third in points from the early season events.

“So good, so far. Randy is a pretty laid-back dude compared to the other guys I’ve played with,” said Nichols.

“We get along great, to be honest,” said Gushue.

“There’s been little or no conflicts and the ones you have, they’re done in five minutes, once the next shot is played. We’re more similar than a lot of people think, especially out on the ice.

“I respect everything he’s done in the game and I want to listen and try to learn. I think he respects what I’ve done as well and is willing to take my opinion. It’s worked very well.”

Ferbey, who is never far from his sense of humour, says there have been moments.

“He’s been skipping since he was 14 in juniors. It’s tough for him. I understand that. We’ve challenged each other at times. He gives his reasons. I give my reasons. Then I win,” he laughed.

Ferbey said it’s no big deal to either he or Gushue who has their name on the rink. But it is now in the rules that the team be named for the player calling the game.

Ferbey having his name on the team was not the way it worked when then 50-year-old Russ Howard joined up to skip Gushue’s Newfoundland crew through the trials and on to Olympic gold in Turin, Italy in 2006.

Connected name

And it’s a requirement of the sponsor, said Ferbey.

“They’ve been with me since 2000 and they represent about 75% of our sponsorship,” he said. “They wanted it in my name for the name connection they’ve had for the last 10 years.”

Is there a future past the end of this year here?

“We’re committed for this year but it’s too early to tell about beyond,” said Gushue.

But Ferbey says he can’t see it’s in Gushue’s interest to want this to carry forward through four years to try and get his team to the Olympics again. And he can’t see himself making it that far.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me. But I’m at the end of my career. This year has been tough on me in terms of travelling by myself. I spent a whole day in Quebec City by myself waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. I’m used to being tied at the hips to three other guys. I’d say it’s 50-50 if it goes beyond this year.”

“There are days when I think my body is telling me, ‘You’re done, Randy.’ ”

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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