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Friday, February 4, 2011

Jennifer Jones v Cathy Overton-Clapham: Chill, People!

Okay, I know many curling fans are wondering what's going to happen when Team Canada meets Team Manitoba on February 23 in the evening draw at the Scotties.  We all know the story - which I blogged about, here, and which curling writers, including The Globe's Bob Weeks, have covered with enthusiasm. After all, it's fun to watch real-life drama unfold before your eyes, isn't it?

But I think it's time to step away from the drama and let the curlers curl.

The curling world in Canada is its own small (but growing) community. Everyone knows everything about everybody. When teams break up (remember the Gushue-Korab thing? Remember Kevin Martin after the Salt Lake Olympics? What about Jeff Stoughton and the revolving door at third? And then there's Colleen Jones' winning team splintering into Colleen Jones - and her winning team going elsewhere) it's news on Twitter and the blogosphere, in the forums and around the rinks.  It happens. It happened to Jennifer and Cathy. It was ugly, especially for Cathy - and no one blames her for the hurt feelings. She lost a lot in the deal, and there's never a good time to tell somewhere "You're out. We don't want you. Good-bye."

But these elite curlers are, for all intents and purposes, pros. Stuff happens. My prediction is that Team Canada and Team Manitoba will be so focused on their game - and beating each other - that like true pros, they will filter the crappy past out.  They will shake hands before and after, they will curl their brains out, and someone will lose.

And they will move on to the next game...

That is, unless the media and fans go nuts and try to turn this into a degrading celebrity cat fight.

Chill, people.  They're both great teams who deserve to be there. Let the curlers do what they do best.  Curl.


  1. No doubt these ladies are pros and will filter out all the noise.

    As a sports fan, though, we love this type of stuff. We like when players get snuffed by teams and then use that as motivation. We like it when it's personal. Any time the stakes can be raised is a good thing. Other than big money or championships, personal feuds make for great sports watching.

    While I'm sure both teams want to down play it, the narrative is too good.

  2. You're so right, punch-drunk. It IS a great narrative! I'll be there with everyone else watching the game - confrontation? - and looking for signs of tension.

    But I can already hear both JJ and Cathy O in my head, saying: "No, no problem. That's in the past. We just want to curl." And the media going, "Yes, do feel? Yes, but...what about...?" Manufactured drama: I guess that's the story I hope we can avoid.

  3. Should be a great game. Both Cathy and Jennifer are driven to succeed. Looking forward to the battle!

  4. I think most Canadians know that Jen will probably win this game - however I am sure that the country is in high hopes that the Jones team will not represent us in the worlds. She had nothing to lose by getting rid of Cathy O - Jen was already considered to be a unlikeable snotty person. We couldn't believe when travelling thru manitoba that most of her own province was cheering for the opposite team.