Curls out of: Plainfield Curling Club
Curling was a huge focus for me during my teens and into my very early twenties. I went many years without being able to commit myself to the sport. Career and location got in the way.
After moving back to the East Coast in 2006, I had time to get involved in the sport again and commit the necessary time to practice and travel. I’ve also served as the president of my club in New Jersey (the Plainfield Curling Club in South Plainfield, NJ) for the past two years and I hope to eventually help introduce more curling facilities to my home state.
I have also written a book with 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, John Morris of Canada, called Fit to Curl: A Sport-Specific Guide to Training for the World’s Greatest Game. As a result of my friendship with John and our work on the book, I have committed to a fitness program that has made a huge difference — I don’t think I would be playing front end without it.
Finally, I host a podcast called The Curling Show (http://www.thecurlingshow.com/). I interview, “…the sport’s top athletes and the people who shape the game.” I usually record and post 2-3 interviews each month and feel very fortunate to have been able to enjoy regular conversations with the best players in our game.
Being away from the game for a number of years has only reinforced for me that our sport is truly special. The people, the beautiful physics of it, the sportsmanship — it’s remarkable. I remain convinced that nearly all of the world’s intractable problems could be solved if more people curled regularly. I’m now looking forward to watching my seven-year-old daughter develop her game.
Junior Highlights: (Information on your Junior Career)
It’s too far back to remember. But I did play regularly in southern Ontario against future world champions Wayne Middaugh (the very first guest on my podcast), Peter Corner and Richard Hart, as well as Olympian Mike Harris. Tough group. My junior skip, Todd Brandwood, went on to play third for Peter Corner in the 2000 Brier.
Who/What introduced you to Curling?
Parents. They are both committed curlers and very active in club development.
Who was your favourite athlete growing up?
Bobby Orr. Then, once I started curling, John Kawaja.
What other sports do you play?
Golf, ice hockey, wakeboarding.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I try to avoid them since they’re a hassle. I might stick with the same socks from time to time.
What is your career highlight to date?
Playing in a Brier when I was 20. And the first part of the week at last year’s US Nationals.
What is one shot you would like to try one more time?
I’m a lead. We throw the same shots so often that I can’t imagine getting too excited about throwing one of them again.
Do you have any hidden talents? Something unique about yourself?
I tend to spend more time trying to hide my lack of talent.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Legendary ice technician Shorty Jenkins once told me about the moment when he realized that his future was going to be making ice and tending to golf greens. He said he decided that, “If this was what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life, I may as well try to be the very best at it.” It’s a good way to approach whatever you’re doing.
What is your favourite sport other then curling?
What is one thing you’d like to do before you die?
Be the curling professional at a new facility in northern New Jersey.
What sporting event would you most like to attend?
World Curling Championship. On the ice instead of the media bench.
What do you wish you were better at?
Too much to list.
Person dead or alive you would most like to have dinner with?
Dick Cavett or Jon Stewart
Favourite Bands/Music? Television Shows?
Neil Young, Ray LaMontagne, The Office when I have to check the DVR.
What is your favourite Movie(s)?
Who was most influential in your curling development?
Parents and Dennis O’Conner, a high school physical education teacher who was my junior coach.
What is your most embarrassing moment on the curling ice?
In our first game at the US Nationals last year, my team practiced with the wrong color. Then when I went to throw the right color to start the game, there was much discussion and arguing about it. I guess it must have thrown Todd Birr’s team because we wound up winning the game.
Where would you like to spend a week’s vacation?
At a villa in Tuscany .
What is your earliest curling memory?
Inhaling the remarkable amounts of smoke in the lounge at the club. It was the ‘70s.
What kind of Training Regimen do you follow?
Tour Level in Fit to Curl.
None I’ll list.
Curling Strengths? Weaknesses?
What kind of goals have you set for yourself?
Do others in your family curl?
My daughter, Mackenzie, already has a better delivery than me. Not that it’s too difficult to achieve that but she’s solid.
What do you enjoy most about curling?
Competing, the company of my teammates and getting to know opponents.
What is your Education background?
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History, McGill University. Which led, of course, directly to an advertising career.
Other Olympic sport you’d like to try?
I think they need to try ours. The Olympics without curling and ice hockey would bore me to tears.
Most memorable curling experience?
Winning the 2012 USA Men's Nationals in Pennsylvania in front of curlers from my club and the East Coast.
American Pastoral, Philip Roth.