EXCLUSIVE! EXCLUSIVE! EXCLUSIVE!
Kudos to Jill Officer of The Curling News for chasing down a bonafide scoop at the worlds in Regina!
Here they are – are the first-ever photos of the green jackets Team Canada will wear on the ice later today when they challenge France (1:30pm local on TSN) and Scotland (7:30pm local on TSN). UPDATED: apparently the boys will march out for each game wearing the green, but will not compete in them. Too bad!
Judging by the photos – you can see a third image on the official TCN Facebook page – our intrepid reporter barged into Team Jeff Stoughton's rooms at the athlete hotel to get the pics. Attagirl!
Today is, of course, Saskatchewan Day at the Regina worlds at the Brandt Centre. In late March, word first broke that event organizers – and we suspect Canadian Curling Association event manager Neil Houston of having something to do with this, by the way – had managed "to convince the Manitoba team to put on green Team Canada (jackets)," said Derek Boe, chair of the event.
"I don't know if they're (Winnipeg Blue) Bomber fans or not, but they'll be wearing green for at least one day," said Boe.
Indeed, the squad are in fact big fans of the Winnipeg-based Canadian Football League team, and that could have thrown a wrench into today's plans. However, the Winnipeg foursome has been assured that Green Day is in honour of Saskatchewan — and not the arch-rival Roughriders.
Stoughton confirmed his Bomber pride to Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun. “Oh yeah,” Stoughton said firmly. “We’re blue and gold through and through, so when we checked we said, ‘This isn’t going to turn into a Rider Pride thing.’ We’re all for Green Day, and that’s our bottom line.”
Penton then told a story about Riders GM Brendan Taman, a big curling fan who spent 10 years in Winnipeg. Never afraid of a little self-deprecation, Taman hoped the green wouldn’t rub off too much on Stoughton. “Let’s hope he doesn’t lose in a championship like we have in the last two years,” Taman said.
The GM then joked he could have a spot for one member of Team Canada member in his training camp. “Maybe Steve Gould,” he said, “as a linebacker.”
There's more. It turns out that Canada third Jon Mead was born in Regina, and moved to Winnipeg at age four.
"I'm one of those CFL fans who likes the Bombers and hopes everyone else gets lost on the way to the football field," Mead told the Regina Leader-Post. "I love Saskatchewan, but wearing green is not going to make me cheer for the Roughriders next season.
"We want to do everything we can to share in this with everybody. I think it's all done in the right spirit. For one week to be Saskatchewanians, I have no problem with that."
We wonder... is this is the first time a colour other than white, red and black has been worn by a Canadian team at the world championship? We do recall some of the Maple Leaf crests appeared in green (!) on the backs of player sweaters, back in the old days. But as for outright uniform colour changes, we don't think so... folks?
Jill Officer photos copyright The Curling News®