Ron Green grew up in the Toronto curling scene of the 1960s. After a close loss in the Ontario school boys, the opposing skip asked if he would join up the following year. Ron would go on to curl with Paul Savage for over a decade, with three trips to the Brier and a lifetime of memories. Ron talks about his early heartbreak, just missing out on a Purple Heart in 1969. Then he explains how the team with Paul, Bob Thomson and Ed Werenich was formed and touches on the battles they had, sometimes with their competition, and sometimes with each other.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Ian Tetley isn't afraid to give his input. Sometimes a front-end player has to speak out before the wrong shot is called. According to Ian, his teammates were often too quiet to speak up...so he had to. His enthusiasm for curling began while watching father Bill win the Brier in 1975. When he and teammate Pat Perroud got a call to join Al Hackner, he went to his first Brier, and won. Ian went on to win three World Championships with different skips and left a legacy of double peels (often, it's been said, because he usually missed the first one). We'll discuss the early days in Thunder Bay, the famous Hackner Double in 1985, the first Canadian Olympic Trials, and tales from Toronto during his time playing for Ed Werenich and later Wayne Middaugh.
Friday, September 7, 2018
In Part 2 of my conversation with Don Bartlett, we cover the boycott years, dig deeper into the Ferbey rivalry and reflect on his Olympic experiences. Don will also talk runback strategy, handling emotions in big moments and eventually weigh in on the greatest teams and players of past generations.
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Don Bartlett's greatest skill might be assessing talent. He recognized early on that Pat Ryan and later, Kevin Martin, were going to be the best skips in Alberta. Don had a short run with Pat and eventually joined Kevin in 1990, starting a run that would last 16 seasons and include 7 Briers, two Worlds and two Olympic Games. In Part 1, we cover Don's early development and the success and disappointments of the 1990's. We dig into corn broom controversies, Randy Ferbey's brief stint on Team Martin and Don shares his viewing perspective on the famous Hackner Double as fifth man for Alberta at the 1985 Brier.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Barry Fry was known as "The Snake" for his unique version of the tuck-slide. As a young skip he teamed with Orest Meleschuk, reaching the provincial semifinals while in their early twenties. He later helped Rod Hunter bring Don Duguid out of retirement in 1969. Over the years Barry watched friends and ex-teamates win Purple Hearts, wondering if it would ever be his turn. He won the Canadian Mixed in 1973 and finally conquered Manitoba in 1979 with Bill Carey, Gordon Sparkes and Bryan Wood. They would capture the Brier in Ottawa, the last sponsored by Macdonald Tobacco. Disappointment followed at the Silver Broom and years later his legendary senior rink of Don Duguid, Terry Braunstein and Ray Turnbull fell short in the Canadian Championship. Barry shares many stories, including "Orest meets Ernie Richardson", "Ray offers advice" and tales from his year as a hired player for Dr. Joe Zbacnik in Fargo, North Dakota.
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Welcome to Morning Classes. Since 1948, members and friends of the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay have held classes each morning during the Brier. During my detention, Fred Coulson and Alfie Childs share the history of this tradition and tell a few stories as well. The next time you attend the Brier, try to wake up early at least one day and attend a class.
David Padgett started on his path to Ice Maker over 50 years ago. He began in Lindsay, Ontario at the age of twelve with his father, moving to the Avonlea in Toronto and eventually in 1980 to the Bayview Golf & Curling Club. It was there he invented the original "Little Rock", a plastic composite stone that would simulate a real one at half the weight. David shares the evolution of ice making, thoughts on Shorty Jenkins, and explains the original controversy over conditioning rocks.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Curling is a sport (yes, it is) that involves big muscles for sweeping, small muscles for precision and one big gray blob that’s sort of a muscle and fits between your ears. In a game where finesse is required, adrenaline and nerves can impart the smallest change to the delivery or release of a stone and result in a miss. The re-introduction of curling to the Olympics (officially) in 1998 and the growth of sponsorship and televised events has led players and teams to raise their level of play the past two decades. Shot making has improved considerably, but also mental preparation and the ability for teams to be more consistent and reach their potential despite the enormity of the moment. But it’s still sports.
The clearest example of mental control driving small muscles is golf. How can Scott Hoch miss a 2 foot putt that he makes on a practice green (or at another event) 100 times out of 100? Because he’s on the 10th hole at Augusta National, in a sudden-death playoff, attempting to win a green jacket. Twenty years later, Kenny Perry birdies the 16th hole, then hooks his next two drives leading to consecutive bogeys and loses the Masters. Canadian curling fans may remember one of its greatest players, Kevin Martin, had a similar collapse on the very same day as Kenny. In control and tied with final rock in the last end against Scotland, Team Martin gets into a hot mess. Kevin inexplicably decides to throw away his first skip shot of the end, misses his last, and hands David Murdoch the World Championship.
"And you may ask yourself, well...How did I get here?" - David Byrne