We've received word that Mr. Ryan Harnden (also known as Hippiebroker), has been forced to leave the game due to an injury. I've got him, live, for an interview:
Q: It's a disappointment to us to hear that you are leaving - care to elaborate on the reasons why you can no longer curl?
"Firstly I want to say it is a real pleasure speaking to you Scott Russell. Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, after a tough loss, My Northern Ontario team went out for a few pops and someone got a little too drunk and fell on his broom and broke his leg. So I'm stuck on the sidelines for the rest of the Brier."
Q: Certainly that must be a terrible disappointment to you?
"I'm heart broken. You train for this all year and then to have a freak accident knock you out. I'm lost for words and feel like I'm letting my team down."
Q: Do you feel that your team has a chance without you? How do you feel that you guys have performed, thus far?
"I honestly don't know. It is going to be hard to find a replacement for me as we not only have to find a replacement, but someone sober enough to drive him to Saskatoon so he can compete! That's not going to be an easy task.
As far as performance goes, I always believe we have the potential to win every match. We haven't been at our best yet. If the boys do find their game, I think we can take out anyone...even Ontario's Howard rink."
Q: What do you think of your substitute - will he be able to play as strong a game as you?
"Well, I haven't been told who the substitute is, but if he has a pulse, I can't see how he could hurt our team any more than I do!"
Q: Northern Ontario is running in the middle of the pack, but it can catch up - care to share your thoughts on team chemistry and how you guys will take the lead?
"If the boys can get over the heartache of losing my brilliant wit, enthusiasm and my way with using random swear words when it isn't appropriate to do so, I think they can win it all. If Duke (aka Brad Jacobs) can cut down on the whiskey, I think he can lead this team to greatness."
Q: We've been hearing all week of this matchup between the two Ontario teams; how do you feel that your team shapes up to Howard and his veteran squad?
"We've had this match circled on our calendars since we qualified for the Brier. Glenn Howard's rink is the best in the world and I think people won't notice you until you can prove you can beat the best. Our game plan is to take those fire-fighters out for drinks the night before we meet and drink them under the table, and then hope it is a morning draw. If Howard's rink is at their best no one can beat them. But our strength is getting our opponents off their game.
If the best team always won, no one would be watching this, and then Tim Hortons wouldn't have spent $187.47 to be the title sponsor in this event!!
I do want to wish everyone in the Brier, nothing but the best of luck this week! And I hope you all have fun and drink well!
Remember, sober curling is called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts!
We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight, with growing confidence and strength in the air. ~ Winston Churchill