Loyal fans of the show may be wondering why I haven’t posted an interview in some time.
Maybe it was burnout. I’ve done about 250 interviews since starting the podcast in 2005. That’s a long time for any venture, and I started to lack the motivation needed to book, record, and post interviews. So I stopped.
I also had a general lack of enthusiasm for the sport at the highest levels last winter. To be honest, I was surprised by how much the changes in brushing diminished how much I wanted to cover the game.
Finally, I was busy. I’ve started performing stand up and I’m trying to give that an honest shot. I also did a lot of Brush Like a Badass clinics at various clubs last year — and I’m hoping to do even more this year. I enjoy teaching and I think people who took the clinics felt like they got real value.
So what’s next? Well, I still want to do the podcast. I’m planning to relaunch it in September when the new curling season begins. I’m taking the summer to think about how I might reimagine it. Maybe some new formats or new contributors other than me. We’ll see.
If you’ve been a listener over the years, thanks for your support. It’s always been a great motivator. The Curling Show will be baack and I hope you’ll return to it.
He’s got a gold medal, a Brier title, and opinions. So Brad Jacobs makes a great guest and this is an interview I think you’ll really enjoy.
Of course, there’s brushing talk during this interview. And if you want more tips and insight, go ahead and buy Brush Like a Badass? And if your club wants to host a Brush Like a Badass clinic, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see if we can work something out. I’d be happy to share some of the honest feedback from people who have participated in the clinics this year.
My debut novel, Escaping Teddy, is also available. Which is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. While it has some small references to my favorite sport, it’s most definitely not a curling book. It’s a bit dark but if you like stories about flawed friendships and flawed people, you might enjoy it. If you’re interested, it’s available as a Kindle book and a paperback will be available shortly.
Finally, during this interview, I mentioned John Cullen and his Magical Question Fun Time series that you can find on the Curling Canada site. In case you don’t know, John is a curler and a comedian. Have a look at his site — he’s also going to be hitting the road and will be performing in Edmonton March 18-19 and in Calgary March 21-26.
Ontario’s Jake Higgs is a savvy player on the ice and great with commentary behind the glass. (I put Jake in my Top Five when ranking funniest curlers behind the glass. I have to figure John Cullen would be in my Top Five as well but I’ve never talked to him from the comfort of a curling lounge.) Few people love the game as much as Higgly or study it quite so closely. He’s also one of those guys who gets the absolute most out of his talent, which I realize sounds crappy but is really intended as a compliment. Hear Jake’s takes on everything from Ontario curling to brushing techniques.
Speaking of brushing, isn’t it time you made an effort to improve what can be 75% of your contribution on the ice? You’ll get tips and insight when you buy and read Brush Like a Badass? And if your club wants to host a Brush Like a Badass clinic, send an email to email@example.com and let’s see if we can work something. I have lots of great reviews from people who have taken the clinic this season.
Finally, if you’re an American curling fan, make plans to go to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in the beautiful city of Ottawa. Get your US-EH tickets today and you can be a part of the American contingent at this storied championship — just visit this page at Rock Solid Productions.
Since 2011, Scotsman Derek Brown has led the High Performance Program at USA Curling. I spoke to him about the efforts to improve American results on the international stage and the current state of the program. That’s hardly the conversation in a nutshell — the interview is nearly an hour long — but it’s an attempt.
Isn’t it time you made an effort to improve what can be 75% of your contribution on the ice? You’ll get tips and insight when you buy and read Brush Like a Badass?
And if you’re an American curling fan, make a New Year’s resolution you can keep and build plans to go to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in the beautiful city of Ottawa. Get your US-EH tickets today and you can be a part of the American contingent at this storied championship — just visit this page at Rock Solid Productions.
Team Charley Thomas has qualified in every spiel they’ve played this year — and they’ve remained at the center of the brush controversy while doing it. I talked to the 2-time World Junior Champion about that and a whole lot more in this interview.
With all this talk about brushing, isn’t it time you picked up Brush Like a Badass? And if you’re an American curling fan, didn’t watching the Home Hardware Canada Cup of Curling on ESPN make you want to attend the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier? Get your US-EH tickets today and you can be a part of the American contingent at this storied championship — just visit this page at Rock Solid Productions.
So the Great Brush Debate continues to be the focus of curling conversation. Tension on the ice, WCF rulings, The New York Times, Stephen Colbert — there’s a lot going on. So I had Glenn Howard on the phone for a conversation and, shockingly enough, we talked a lot about the brush story. I also talked to Buck Goodbrand, the director of the documentary that chronicled the 2010-2011 season of Team Howard, because that film is now available on US cable outlets and in iTunes. If you go here, you can find out all the ways to see it.
With all this talk about brushing, isn’t it time you picked up Brush Like a Badass? And if you’re an American curling fan, doesn’t it all make you you want to go to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier and see what’s happening there? Get your US-EH tickets today and you can be a part of the American contingent at this storied championship. Just visit this page at Rock Solid Productions.
Maybe you’ve heard about this little discussion about brushes and brush technology? The one that I discussed with Ben Hebert and Marc Kennedy? The issue that the CBC put on The National, proving that curling matters to Canadians even if Wendy Mesley sort of explained the game in the intro like a newbie? Yes, that little issue is sort of hot right now and one of the people at the center of it is Archie Manavian of Hardline Curling. I spoke with Archie about it and this is that conversation.
After their winning the first Pinty’s Grand Slam of the season — the Tour Challenge — I caught up with two of the most badass brushers ever. And there was a lot of talk about…brushes. Specifically, what’s going on with equipment right now. There’s lots of other good stuff, too, including a conversation between Ben and Marc about the Blue Jays that gave me some time to check Met’s statistics.
Many listeners of this podcast will know my history with USA Curling. I spent nearly five years on the Board as a Director and a representative of the Athletes’ Advisory Council, and believe the organization can serve our sport well. But there was also much about USA Curling that frustrated me. When there was a call for the first CEO of USA Curling, I served on the Search Committee but eventually resigned from both the committee and the Board to pursue the position myself. At the time, from among the pool of candidates, I felt I could do the job most effectively. When others didn’t agree with me, I remained hopeful that someone new, with fresh perspectives, would be hired. When that didn’t happen, I was extremely disappointed.
So that’s full disclosure. I am not currently a fan of USA Curling or its leadership. I’d rather be forthright and honest than polite. There continues to be scant accountability for results and an absence of transparency, particularly in the High Performance Program, and the lack of sponsorship money — not to mention our one-sided agreement with Nike — rankles me. I realize not all will agree with me, but I know many others share my opinions.
I am, to be clear, a supporter of a High Performance Program at USA Curling, and funding for a small, elite pool of athletes. But I think the structure has to be different than the one we have and I believe the lack of consistency from year-to-year reflects badly on the leadership. (And please don’t get me started on the “Combine.”)
With all that said, I admire and respect Rich Lepping, the current Chair of USA Curling. As I mention in this episode, I was very disappointed when former Chair Dave Carlson resigned, because I believe he was a force for positive change, but the appointment of Rich does make me hopeful. It was not an easy interview because I wanted to make sure I was fair to Rich.
I hope you’ll listen to this episode and form your own conclusions on the current state of USA Curling. I’m always open to discussing any of thoughts on our great sport, whether it’s in my home country or elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to reach out to me. My email is on this site and you can find me on Twitter.
Finally, I apologize for the long hiatus. I had a busy summer and getting new podcasts done had to be a lesser priority. With the season underway, you can look forward to a regular schedule.
Dean Gemmell is the 2012 U.S. Men's Champion and, ah, the 1988 Quebec Men's Champion. So he's sort of an ageless wonder like Glenn Howard — just without Glenn's talent.
He's also the host of The Curling Show. That's the podcast you're checking out right now, the one that brings you interviews with the sport's top athletes and the people who shape the game. The show launched in 2005 and there are nearly 250 interviews available. Listen to the most current ones or go back into the archives to hear conversations with your favorite curlers.
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