A week ago the name Ryan Giddens started appearing on the From The Hack Twitter feed and, to be honest, most people would have argued that they had never heard of Ryan Giddens before. As it turns out, Giddens was one of the feel good stories to come out of last year’s Tim Hortons Brier. He was the Monday night men’s league curler who was asked by Adam Casey to serve as the fifth for Team PEI at the Brier in Ottawa. As you will hear below, Casey asked Giddens to join their team not because of his curling ability but because the other members of the team enjoyed being around the popular club curler. At the Brier, Giddens threw four rocks that had no impact on the standings and they were the only four rocks that Giddens has ever thrown at the elite level including the Brier, provincial play-downs or World Curling Tour events, hardly a sign that he is an elite curler.
When Giddens signed on to be the fifth player for Team PEI at the Brier he was informed that it would disqualify him from competing in the Travelers Championship. Truth be told, most club curlers would have likely made the same choice and would have accepted the chance to go to a Brier or Scotties. Giddens decided to use an appeal process put in place by Curling Canada for the Travelers Championship in the hope that he would be allowed to participate. He argued that throwing four rocks at a Brier does not make him an elite curler. Curling Canada denied the appeal despite a letter from Adam Casey and additional support from the curling community via social media.
In fact, From The Hack spoke to Adam Casey about how Giddens came to be a member of Team PEI:
The eligibility rules for the Travelers Championship are fair and are geared at ensuring that elite players do not participate in an event that was created for club curlers around the country. However, sometimes organizations are too quick to turn to the “letter of their own laws” when an exceptional situation comes up and this is what happened to Curling Canada in this situation. Players such as Ryan Giddens are the lifeblood of our sport; a men’s league curler who like so many of us from across the country simply wants to play in an event that was created for players of his caliber. So he threw four meaningless rocks at a Brier…big deal! That in itself should not exclude him from playing in the Travelers Championship for a period of four years.