Curling is the best winter sport. It’s the highlight of the Winter Olympics every four years, partially because the tournament, with men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles, lasts for almost the entire fortnight and is seemingly always on TV, no matter the time of day. It also produces some tremendous moments of drama, despite being otherwise leisurely viewing, as it so often comes down to the last stone and, at times, requires some heroics to decide the outcome of a match.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a curling event live, you know that one of the hallmarks of the event is everyone is drinking extremely large beers. It’s part of the fun of being in the curling crowd is getting a rich lather working while yelling at people sweeping ice and sliding stones around.
The participants, however, are not supposed to partake, at least in as gratuitous a fashion as the fans, because when they don’t they end up getting rowdy and breaking brooms and cussing all the time.
That’s what happened on Sunday, as the team of Jamie Koe, Ryan Fry, Chris Schille, and DJ Kidby was kicked out of the Red Deer Curling Classic because, as organizers put it, they were “extremely drunk,” via CBC.
“They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing and just unacceptable behaviour that nobody wants to watch or hear or listen to and it was just ‘enough was enough,'” facility manager Wade Thurber told CBC Sports.
“There was some damage in the locker room and other teams complaining about their stuff being kicked around in the locker room. So at the end of the day, it was like ‘OK, that’s enough of this gong show.’ The committee for the bonspiel collectively decided that we needed to remove them from the spiel for this year and what happens down the road, I’m not sure yet.”
Fry was a gold medalist for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics, so it’s not like this was some unknown team that decided to get hammered and go out there. The team has also been barred from all future Red Deer Classic events.
Fry issued an apology as did team captain Jamie Koe, taking responsibility for their actions as crossing a line and being unacceptable.
Any sport where you can be that drunk and still function at a fairly high level — even if you’re ultimately kicked out for being too rowdy — is a good sport. The list is basically curling, darts, bowling, and, to an extent, golf, which are all among the best sports.