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Curlers' uniforms speak loudly

CALGARY -- It was maybe the toughest question Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton will have to answer all week. And for once, he pulled his punches.

Stoughton was asked yesterday what he thinks about the new Manitoba uniform on display this week. The new shirts stand out for two reasons -- they are an extremely bright yellow (a similar yellow is featured to a lesser extent on several other provinces) and the white lettering on the back is impossible to decipher from more than 30 feet.

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The uniforms are made by Winnipeg clothier Mondetta, who took over the Brier and Scotties contracts a few years ago and are widely credited -- and lauded -- for bringing curling apparel into the 21st century.

But this year's Manitoba editions seem to fall in the 'miss' column and are the kind of thing Stoughton would normally call exactly as he sees it.

But the problem is former Stoughton third Jon Mead is one of the men behind Mondetta's curling apparel and Stoughton remains close friends with him.

So the skip would offer only this Friday. "I think there might be five teams out here wearing this same yellow colour," said Stoughton. "I guess the rainbow colours just didn't happen this year."

Speaking of uniforms, B.C.'s Sean Geall showed up here to find his name misspelled on his uniform as "Geal." The same thing happened to B.C. skip Marla Mallett at the Scotties.

Geall joked that he could only hope he also replicates Mallett's success in defying the odds to make it all the way to the final.


Manitoba rules criticized 

A couple of weeks ago, Edmonton skip Randy Ferbey, who lost the Alberta final this year to Kevin Martin, criticized the lax residency requirements in Manitoba that allowed Alberta natives Kevin Park and Don Walchuk to curl in the Manitoba provincials this year.

Park ended up winning Manitoba as third for Jeff Stoughton and Ferbey suggested the Canadian Curling Association should crack down on that kind of thing. And so Calgary Herald curling writer Allen Cameron tracked down Stoughton the other day to ask him what he thought of Ferbey's comments.

"Randy who?" Stoughton cracked. "Bad timing. If he felt that strongly about it, he should have voiced his opinion in September or October. And it's really nothing to do with the CCA. It's a Manitoba Curling Association decision, so I wish him well in becoming president of the CCA because that won't change anything the MCA does. He's actually going to have to become president of the MCA to get anything done that way."


Team shows some skill

 MANITOBA finished second only to Alberta in the team skills competition yesterday, which could help them to break a tiebreaker at the end of the round robin.

The Manitobans didn't fare as well, however, in the individual skills competition Friday. There are no Manitoba players among the eight players who advanced to this morning's playoff round.

Speaking of Manitoba, they have 2005 Manitoba champion Randy Dutiaume here as their fifth again, while lead Steve Gould's brother, Norm Gould, is the team coach.


Prime-time for Bison?

 TSN doesn't always know which game they will feature until sometimes just before broadcast time.

But it says here that it is safe to book time in front of the TV Tuesday and Wednesday nights if you're a Manitoba fan.

Manitoba plays Ontario Tuesday night and Alberta Wednesday night and it's hard to imagine TSN won't feature those two games.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 7, 2009 D5

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