Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rock Talk November 9, 2011

Sean Grassie joins Resby Couuts & Jordan Bauldic in studio to discuss the upcoming Canadian Mixed Championships, Kerry Burtnyk's induction into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and latest results.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The off-season

Boy, it has been sometime since I posted an update. I do apologize to everyone who did follow the blog. Last thing I remember was my good friend Reid Carruthers winning the world men's curling championship alongside Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead and Steve Gould. Their hard work ended Manitoba's Brier/World Championship drought of 12 years.

I wanted to thank everyone that supporter me this past year. I started to see the fruits of my labour after I graduated from broadcasting school in April. I landed myself a job in Swan River, MB working at the local radio station. At the same time I was interviewing for the job in Swan River I also had a job interview in Dauphin which they offered to me just before I started in Swan River. I am now living on my own for the first time and I really have to credit my success to my family who have supported me in all my decisions.

I hope to be able to get back to competitive curling next season but I know that if I want to have any shot at getting to the brier someday I will need to make drastic changes in my life. John Morris and Dean Gemmell released a curling fitness book a while back that I am thinking about purchasing to help me start out there. We all know the story of John Morris curling at the Brier I believe just days after being hit by a car so I think his conditioning allowed him to do that. Anyways, I had a lot of success in juniors and I question how great my curling ability really is. I was surrounded by a great team and even better friends(thanks Adam, Andrew & Geoff) who are the ones that really deserve all the credit. Those were an amazing 5 years we had together in juniors.

So enough wallowing in the past and on to the future. Optimists are always telling me do not dwell on the past because if you do life will pass you by. I am quickly coming to learn this. This upcoming season will be the 6th year where I have not curled in a provincial championship even though I have been close a couple of times. What must I do to become a better curler? Well I defiantly need to start working out on some kind of level and eat much healthier. When I have a chance to go throw rocks I should take the opportunity to do so. A little work every day goes a long way. Over the next couple of weeks I will try to think of some things to help my accomplish these very vague goals.

Time to head to bed. I wanted to also thank Resby Coutts for having me alongside this on Rock Talk as his "in-turn" as he would say. He also deserves a congratulations for becoming the next President of CurlManitoba. Until next time everyone.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Social Media

What does it hold for curling? I don't really know but it will be fun to see where social media takes the game of curling in the next 5 years. Facebook is a great way to start a group to share photos, create events and a whole slew of other goodies. I am slowly but surely adding more people to follow on twitter everyday and there are some great tweets out there. @fakekevinmartin made the airwaves as he or she was mentioned during one of the brier playoff broadcasts. There is no truer form if flattery than a copy cat. Youtube often gets overlooked as a social media but is just as big as facebook and twitter.

What will be interesting to see is if teams & players will indulge themselves and fans with social media. Mike McEwen and his rink already have a twitter account(@mcewencurling). Go there for team updates that I am sure will be a bit more quite during the off season.

A big round of applause to the Manitoba boys of Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers & Steve Gould for bring home Manitoba's 27th Brier championship. The final against Glenn Howard was one of the most complete games I have ever seen. To Glenn Howard's credit his team played great and on most days he would have won the final. Howard just ran into a team that would not be defeated on that Sunday. The difference in that game was the steal of 2 for Stoughton in the 6th end which ended up being the difference as Stoughton would run Howard out of rocks in the 10th. This was a great moment for Manitoba and curling. Manitoba is still the capital of the world when it comes to curling, slurpees and mosquitos. Curling needs Manitoba as much as Manitoba needs curling. Through out the years the two have grown a symbiotic relationship where they thrive off each other. Some great tuckers and personalities have come from the Bison province such as Stoughton, Mead, Peters, Don and Doug Duguid. Good Luck to Team Canada in Regina in a couple weekends.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Scotties

It was a great week of curling in Charlottetown with many great stories. We have a new champion, a phenomenal young team from Ontario & and we had former teammates face off in one of the highest rated Scotties game in history. After all the dust had settled Amber Holland and her of Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider & Heather Kalenchuk will represent Canada at the upcoming Ford World Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark as well return to be Team Canada at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Rachel Homan stepped into the spotlight and made it all the way to the semifinal before bowing out to Amber Holland. One of the weird introductions in this year's Scotties was the bronze medal game. The loser of the semi-final would play the loser of the 3 vs 4 page playoff game. Homan was the deserving winner of the bronze medal after beating Heather Smith-Dacey of Nova Scotia in the 3 vs 4 playoff game. Smith-Dacey would end up beating Homan in their rematch in the bronze medal game.

I think TSN persuaded the CCA to add the bronze medal game for one more game to make more money. For TSN the bronze medal game makes sense but it makes no sense for the curlers. If you have lost the semi-final do you really want to come back to play for bronze medal?? I didn't think so. I hope the CCA squashes this game in the future because it is a blatant cash grab.

Perhaps the biggest storyline headed into the Scotties would be the first game between Cathy Overton-Clapham and Jennifer Jones since Overton-Clapham was released from Jones' team. Overton-Clapham's Manitoba team faltered early and carried a 2-6 record into the match up on Wednesday night with Jones. It was one of the best games I had seen in a long time and was glad to see Overton-Clapham curled an amazing 92% in the win over Jones and made a spectacular double to win.

Stayed tuned for some posts during the Brier.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Final We All Wanted

Charlsewood's Jeff Stoughton is joined by Assiniboine Memorial's Mike McEwen in the championship final of the 2011 Safeway Championship final in Beausejour today. McEwen defeated Terry McNamee of Brandon in the semi-final 6-3 earlier this morning.

This is the final everybody wanted to see. This is a rematch of a year ago when Stoughton beat McEwen 9-8 in an extra end. McEwen was appointed the number 1 seed by his peers after a very successful cash season which included 2 grand slam wins. Stoughton is the defending champion with Steve Gould back at lead, new member Reid Carruthers at second and returning to the team at third Jon Mead.

You can catch this game right now on Shaw TV or logging into


Visiti the front page of The Last Rock Rock blog to chat and get some insight into the semi-final and final today with myself. If you want to stream the game live on your computer visit

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Page Playoff and Live Chat

There are six teams left battling it out for the chance to represent Manitoba at this year’s Tim Hortons Brier. We know that either defending champion Jeff Stoughton of Charlsewood or Brandon’s Terry McNamee will be playing in tomorrow’s championship final. Both Stoughton and McNamee won two games in the playoff round to advance to the 1 versus 1 game of the page playoff tonight at 6:30 on Shaw. The loser will drop the semi-final to play against one of four teams. Either Fort Garry’s Vic Peters, Brandon’s Rob Fowler, Assiniboine Memorial’s Mike McEwen or La Salle’s Randy Neufeld. As we speak McEwen is playing Neufeld and Fowler is facing off against Peters.

I often have misconceptions of how games are played out that I don’t see. McNamee defeated McEwen earlier today by a score of 9-4. When I arrived at the Sun Gro Centre in Beausejour Resby Coutts informed me that those two teams were tied 4-4 playing the ninth end. McNamee went on to score a 5 ender and defeat McEwen 9-4. I was not too surprised to hear that the game had been a close affair. Not many teams can blow out McEwen in a few ends.

I will be hosting a chat room on my blog for tomorrow morning’s semi-final and final. Please come online and login while I give some play-by-play and analysis. Both games will be streamed live on the Safeway Championship website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Corey Chambers and Stu Shiels Interview

Corey expresses his thoughts on his first Safeway Championship and Stu talks about his injury what kept him from curling in the Safeway Championship.

How many teams can really win the Brier?

I am currently watching B qualifying games at the Sun Gro Centre in Beausejour when the though of how many teams can win the Brier? It is a very interesting question indeed and it makes you think that it could be less than a handful. The Olympics have changed our game forever where teams pay more attentions to of ice training than ever before.

Three teams are automatic that could win the brier: Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Kevin Koe. The last person other than those three to have his name engraved on the tankard was Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec. Interestingly enough Menard defeated Glenn Howard of the final that year. Howard's team has now played in the last 4 out of 5 Brier finals which is a phenomenal accomplishment for a team. In the year that he did not make the final he lost to Jeff Stoughton in the semi-final.

Now to consider the teams that are in the discussion that has the ability to win the Brier: Mike McEwen, Jeff Stoughton, Wayne Middaugh, Pat Simmons, and Brad Gushue. Mike McEwen is probably the one team that you could sandwich in between the first and second tiers. I left off Randy Ferbey’s old team because they have taken a break from curling.

Let us take a step outside the box and imagine that all the previous listed all qualified for the Brier from different provinces. We will take all of the teams at their current skill and commitment levels. The Brier then would be played out one hundred times and we would see how many different teams would win. I would guess that at least ninety out of those one hundred Briers would be won the likes of Martin, Howard, Koe & McEwen.

It may seem like a staggering number that I am guessing these four teams would win ninety percent of the Briers but that is just the case. These four teams off ice work are well documented in the media and the results prove that it is paying off. Until curlers are 100% dedicated to their sport and not have to worry about working their will be no parody in Curling. Over the next 3-5 years many of the curling elite will retire from competitive curling and that is when we will be seeing the changing of the guard. John Morris, Brad Gushue & Mike McEwen are becoming the next Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard & Jeff Stoughton of the world. The next generation of young curlers will put even more into training than the teams today. Depending on the number of people that take up intense training will determine how much parody there is in curling.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As I browse on CurlingZone today I noticed the thread about the splitting of the Gushue/Ferbey experiment. Ferby made comments about the way Gushue runs his team and Ryan Fry defended Gushue with some not so flattering words about Ferbey. You can read both blog articles on Al Cameron's blog.

Al Cameron had permission to publish Ryan Fry's email response on his blog. Many people have said that Ryan Fry is being very immature and I tend to agree with the majority. Fry could have said what he said in a much more politically correct way. But it makes me think that the relationship between Gushue and Ferbey was doomed from the start from how harsh Fry's comments were. Also there is more beneath the surface of Fry's comments than most of us can see. He gave Al Cameron permission to post his email for a reason.

Randy Ferbey was trying to clearly state that Brad Gushue is a control freak in the nicest way possible. Mark Nichols has curled for Brad Gushue for a very long time and Ryan Fry has curled with Brad for a few years. Jamie Korab has been kicked off the team and brought back on more times than I can shake a stick at. When I watch Brad Gushue I get a sense that he not completely comfortable on the ice. Ever since his Gold Medal in 2006 something Gushue has seemed different. It might be time for Gushue to call up Russ Howard and get some advice. It will take time but Brad Gushue will figure it out and become a better curler than he has ever been.

Scott Madams Interview

Scott Madams after his 11-5 victory over Don Homles from the Willow Park out of Fin Flon.

Chase for the Playoffs

Only one of the top eight seeds has fallen at the 2011 Safeway Championship. David Bohn of the Assiniboine Memorial went bang bang this time around. He lost two close games to David Hamblin of Morris 8-7 and his first game in an extra end to Hamiota's Brent Strachan 9-7. Sometimes we fall on the wrong side of the inch and for Bohn and his team it was there turn.

Strachan is part of thr eight teams still alive on the "A" side of the championship so far. Strachan will play Brandon's number 3 seed Rob Fowler, number 1 seed Mike McEwen will play Deer Lodge's Sean Grassie, defending champion Jeff Stoughton of Charlsewood takens on Willie Lyburn and the final match up in the "A" qualifying games has Peter Nichols playing Vic Peters.

When and if you get the chance to come to Beausejour please take note of these three players who I believe don't get enough attention.

Steve Irwin - He often goes overlooked as the third for Terry McNamee. Steve is a very quite guy and he is making his return to the Safeway Championship after missing last year. His first son was born last year on the Thursday of the Safeway Championship. He is a great shooter and shows plenty of consistenty on the ice.

Alex Forrest - The second for Willie Lyburn of Deer Lodge. Alex was the runner-up last year the M & M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championship. In the last end of the final Alex missed a takeout to give his team a great chance to win and threw it just a bit wide. He teamed up this year with Willie Lyburn, James Kirkness and Greg Melnichuk. They are showing him the ropes of the men's game and are all consistent winners on the cash circuit. Alex also has a sibling that he can look up to. His brother Tyler Forrest was the lead for Jason Gunnlaugson this and last year.

Corey Chambers – Third for Sean Grassie. I curled with Corey for the past few years and he showed to me he has the potential to be one of the great curlers in Manitoba for years to come. You could compare his slide somewhat to John Morris but his slide is much slower. Corey can generate lots of power from his hack foot but backs it up by having a great finesse game.

Look for these curlers next time you have a chance and I promise you won’t be disappointed. All three of them are very quite but you can see the passion and intensity in their eyes while they play the game.

First Controversy

One day into the 2011 Safeway Championship and already we have some what of a controversy. Andy Stewart was surprised to learn that he had run out of time when he thought they were in a timeout. In the 10th end of his game versus Dave Boehmer he was debating what shot to play when his game time ended. It turns out Stewart’s team had already been credited with taking two time outs when they thought they had only taken one. The officials had to end the game right before Stewart through his last stone. Head official Don Campbell said he would review all information and make a decision ASAP.

The interesting thing about this situation was the game was on tape delay on Shaw. Surely some type of instant replay could have been used. It may be a little time consuming but surely someone could have reviewed the tape to see if Stewart’s team had actually taken two timeouts already. Not every game at this Safeway Championship would have the luxury of having this type of instant replay but we want to get all calls right. Every curler at this event will admit they would never want to win by the other team running out of time. Andy Stewart is a very even keel type of guy so he would never get out of line.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rachel Homan Interview

This interview will air on Rock Talk on February 9th at 7pm CST only on Sports Radio 1290. You can listen to the full interview here as a special treat for visiting my blog. Please stay tuned to the blog as I will be making reguler updates at the 2011 Manitoba Safeway Championship from February 9th-13th.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rock Talk January 5, 2011

This is the January 5th edition of Rock Talk. Adam Norget joins us Resby and I in studio to speak about the MCT Championship, Alberta Curling and much more. The show is an hour long so please take some time to listen in.