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Dean Gemmell
Swing Artist

Registered: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 253

First, I just want to say something about my team's break with Heater. It all happened with complete openness and honesty. I don't know what went on between Tyler and his team but my group was always very frank about the possibility that our run would end either in Fargo, Fussen or Sochi. Obviously, we were hoping for Sochi. But there was nothing concealed. We're very proud of what we accomplished as a team but we always knew that it wasn't going to be forever. There was a lot more to our discussions that I won't put in here for the sake of brevity but you can ask any of us about it and you'll get the same answers. In fact, I'm very proud of the way we handled things —_I wish the candor that we had among ourselves was more prevalent throughout US curling. We remain great friends with Heath, despite the fact that I'll be playing my butt off to beat him on the ice because I know he'll be doing the same thing against me.

Realizing that Tyler would be available was great news for us. We've battled him enough to know that he's a terrific player and we're thrilled that he's going to lead us. The beauty of our sport is that competitors can get to know each other. Does the trade quality of it seem strange? Maybe, but it's not unusual in sports. It happens with top players in other sports all the time. Every curling team has a shelf life. After Fargo, I think both teams knew that ours had expired or was close to expiring. Remember that both rinks have been together through this entire cycle so this is not a case of teams shuffling after a brief run. We all made the full journey —_ups, downs and everything in between.

Next, on the USCA entry extension. If there was a mistake, it was putting the deadline so close to the finish of the Trials. As the Vice-Chair of the AAC and a member of the Championships Committee, I am slightly embarrassed that I didn't suggest a later date last Spring. Every team except for Shuster and Brown left Fargo emotionally spent and with very little desire to even think about curling. Fenson's team had two fewer days to get over the results. The site wasn't functioning perfectly and providing two extra days for players to actually get entries completed and decide how or if they wanted to proceed hardly seems like a huge injustice.

Finally, there really is no secret password to the HP program. A few years ago, I never even imagined that I would be a part of it but I earned my way in when we won in 2012. The idea that it's some sort of curling benefits package for a selected few is not grounded in reality. You play your way into it. You may have to spend some of your own money to get out on Tour on your way there but it also costs little to throw a thousand practice rocks.The other reality is that no athlete in the HP program is banking a bunch of money because of the funding. Trust me, if our actual curling costs were covered, we'd be thrilled — that's not happening. Yes, it is nice to get some dollars but nobody picked me or my team out of a lineup and handed us a check. We played tough events in 2011 and 2012. We got better and had a great run when we won in 2012. We used the funding to try and get a little bit better again. We paid for two coaches on our own dime. What's more, not a single one of us, or any other athlete in the HP program, went through these last few years feeling flush from curling. We all simply competed and trained to try to win in Fargo and beyond.

As the Vice-Chair of the AAC and a guy who loves this sport with all I've got, I'm happy to discuss any of this further. You can email me at dgemmell@thecurlingshow.com. I'm happy to trade emails or have a phone conversation.

For now, I'm going to get behind Shoostie and Erika. This is an exciting time for curling in the USA and we have two great representatives who deserve our unwavering support.

Dean

__________________
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Old Post 11-23-13 02:47PM
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AlanMacNeill
Swing Artist

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 330

Nobody's begrudging you the money, Dean. You earned it, and personally, I wish it were more.

Nobody's begrudging you the coaching, the videotaping, the everything. Again, you earned it. Presumably, it will make you better.

What you, and the rest of the HPP competitors, are being begrudged, is the "right" to bump our National Champion for Worlds, even after you lose Nationals to them, after being Free Entered directly into and seeded in, said Nationals.

The Road is being made as smooth for HPP athletes as it can be, you're being given increased access to competition, of a higher caliber, than the average "Step Above Clubs" player. The expected payoff is that, at Nationals, you should be kicking the asses of the "4 guys and a dream" players.

If you do, hooray, you're our national Champions, go kick some ass and bring home medals for the Red, White, and Blue....but if you *CAN'T*, then, frankly, you don't deserve to go to World's.

Plain and simple, that's the problem.

Best of luck to you in Philly.

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Old Post 11-23-13 03:31PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 308

Amen AlanMacNeill

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Old Post 11-23-13 06:36PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

Not sure if the registration list on the USCA website is the final or not. Dated 11/23 so I guess it is. No Team E. Brown registered which is interesting. If that is the case, kind of puts a lock on Team Pottinger going to Worlds if they finish top three. Pottinger at 38.8 OOM points with Team C. George next at 13.8 (by my calculations)

23 men's teams and 13 women's teams, so 19 and 9 playing in the challenge round for 6 spots each.

Still some events left to earn points, cutoff is Curl Mesabi (12/16).

JH
still looking forward to quacking in Philly

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Old Post 11-24-13 08:51AM
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TNH
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: May 2011
Location:
Posts: 78

The participant lists can be found at https://usca.sportssignup.com

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Old Post 11-24-13 09:28AM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 308

quote:
Originally posted by jhcurl
... No Team E. Brown registered which is interesting. If that is the case, kind of puts a lock on Team Pottinger going to Worlds if they finish top three. Pottinger at 38.8 OOM points with Team C. George next at 13.8 (by my calculations)...




Nothing more exciting than watching a Nationals to see if a team can finish in 3rd place or better.

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Old Post 11-24-13 12:22PM
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Draw2theLid
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Mar 2009
Location:
Posts: 12

I have to agree with dbsdbs. A side note that all points leading up to Nationals will count to qualify teams for World team selection so Shuster could build a huge lead if he does well in the OQE and the Olympics and then chooses to go to Nationals. All points up through the Eveleth Cash spiel weekend qualify 2 teams for byes to the nationals while another 2 HP teams will get free berths to be decided by a committee.

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Old Post 11-24-13 03:14PM
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nom de broom
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2012
Location:
Posts: 49

First of all, thank you to Dean for that unnecessary yet respectful explanation. You have always been one of the class acts of curling, which shouldn't be surprising considering your home ice.

To Mr. MacNeill’s earlier sarcastic comment of “great job growing the sport, USCA!” -- if you think that the USCA’s policies, rules and regs pertaining to championships (whether totally screwed up or not, I admit I am of two minds about that one) will have a deleterious effect on the growth of curling, you are flat-out wrong. Those who have the competitive desire and ability to perform at that level are a drop in the bucket of the USA curling population, and thus they have nothing to do with “growing” the sport. The only thing about competitive curling that grows the sport is NBC’s coverage of it, which makes Joe Schmo in his living room think he can be in Sochi or Philadelphia too. And what keeps Joe Schmo curling after a year or two (or six) when he realizes that he’s not Heater or Gemmell or Fenson? Or even Brian Damon or Sean Murray, for that matter?

CULTURE.

There’s a reason Mr. Gemmell’s home ice has the number of national champions it does, given only two sheets, and also the membership size it does, given only two sheets. CULTURE. Mr. Gemmell and Mr. Howell and Ms. Langanke and Mr. Petrov are rightly supported and cheered on by their club members. But both they who play at nationals, and us who will never see the words NEW JERSEY on the back of our jackets, understand that their successes do not define our club. Our culture does. Our culture that not only gets scores of people at an Olympic open house, but still has them as members when the next Olympiad comes around. Our culture that in addition to “If you can’t make an open draw to the 4-foot on command you’re not a skip” says “Anyone can make a final with a stacked team; the true curler makes it with 2nd and 3rd years at front end.” Our culture that says if you’re our guest, you will eat well and drink well and never be given the side-eye at midnight because the closing bartender wants to go home.

The culture of the club that the people walk into is what grows the sport. We have many second year curlers that began at clubs close to their homes in neighboring states, who now schlep an hour or more one way to play at Plainfeld. Nobody wants to add to their commute time for a paying job, for chrissakes, why would anyone willingly add commute time for a leisure activity where you pay them?

CULTURE.

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Old Post 11-24-13 03:23PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

And I will add one thing to the post by Nom De Broom, ice conditions. I know the ice crew at PCC work very hard to maintain the best ice they can in a 50 year old building. Curling after all is about curling. Bad ice and/or bad rocks make bad curlers and not a lot of fun. After 7 years, I am finally happy with my ice/rocks.

The times have changed a bit from the days of locking the front door of PCC for 3 hours total in 4 days of an event. But the support of some clubs that have competitive curlers has not changed.

A slight modification to Draw2theLid. Best of five OOM points events will count toward the World team. No cutoff for those points was posted that I could find. Best of 8 events for the two OOM teams going to the Nats. What is unclear is do the Nats points get added to the 5 events or is it still best of 5. I read the rules many,many times and still don't know.

Tune in Monday at 2:00 EST to listen to Dean.
"- and his latest venture, and one I am STOKED to speak about, explores bringing a massive Hockey and Curling facility (9 rinks) to the Bronx, where the CEO of the initiative is none other than 'Mark Messier'
Tune in tomorrow, here -> "http://www.dynamicsportsmedia.com/sben-channel.html

JH
watching curling on the web instead of football

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Old Post 11-24-13 03:50PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 308

quote:
Originally posted by jhcurl
... What is unclear is do the Nats points get added to the 5 events or is it still best of 5. I read the rules many,many times and still don't know.

JH



The rules probably mean what the USCA wants them to mean when time comes to apply them.

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Old Post 11-24-13 05:32PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

The four HP teams have been named for direct entry into nationals - Shuster, Fenson, Pottinger and Potter. E. Brown is not playing in the nationals. So, now we take the top two OOM teams for the other direct spots. Four events left for the men, 3 for the women. Not sure if the events for the women will have enough teams to qualify to award points. Guess it will be wait in see. Here are the current OOM standings.

Men
Shuster 31
McCormick 24.25
Clark 20.65
Fenson 15
George 11.675
Brown 9.375
Stolt 3.875

Women
Pottinger 38.86
Brown 29.63
George 14.384
Spatola 5.875
Christensen 5.25
Potter 5.675
A Anderson 2.625

So, McCormick 2.0 and Clark look like a lock. C. George and whoever does well at the remaining events if there are points available.

JH

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Old Post 11-26-13 01:56PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 308

So what would it take for Pottinger to NOT be our rep at the Worlds?

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Old Post 11-27-13 12:26AM
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SPMFromPCC
Swing Artist

Registered: Jun 2007
Location:
Posts: 340

If they don't medal (top three), they won't go. Regardless of points, the world team has to at least medal at nationals. In that event I'd imagine they would likely go regardless what color medal they earn, though the facts behind that won't be known until the rest of the field is determined.

It's entirely possible the semifinal and final will be exhibitions. We will see.

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Old Post 11-27-13 12:38AM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 308

quote:
Originally posted by SPMFromPCC
If they don't medal (top three), they won't go. Regardless of points, the world team has to at least medal at nationals. In that event I'd imagine they would likely go regardless what color medal they earn, though the facts behind that won't be known until the rest of the field is determined.

It's entirely possible the semifinal and final will be exhibitions. We will see.



So the semifinal game MIGHT decide whether or not Pottinger will go to worlds. Where do I get in line for tickets?

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Old Post 11-27-13 01:33AM
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Shotrock1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 20

This is a silly question ... but do the points stay with the skip, even if their down rink changes? (I assume so but not sure.)

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Old Post 11-27-13 08:11AM
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AlanMacNeill
Swing Artist

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 330

The points go with the majority of the team, so if 3 of the 4 stay together, the points stay with them.

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Old Post 11-27-13 12:26PM
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AlanMacNeill
Swing Artist

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 330

quote:
Originally posted by dbsdbs
So what would it take for Pottinger to NOT be our rep at the Worlds?


At this point...a failed drug test would be about it.

Yeah, okay, I suppose she could hock a hairball at Nationals and fail to make the playoffs...but that would be an upset of monumental proportions.

Not at all ironically, I got the e-mail today asking me to volunteer to Officiate at Nationals...not sure I'm willing to devote my unpaid time (and pay $25 as well, not to mention expenses) to help out at a Bonspiel in Philly That has Nothing To Do With Determining Our National Representative.

Think I'll focus on Club Playdowns this year...well, that and the Continental Cup...at least there they are giving a coat and 2 shirts I'd actually be willing to wear in exchange for volunteering.

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Old Post 11-27-13 12:30PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

Tour action returns today. Looks like no points available for the women in Duluth, only 10 teams playing. Team Shuster trying to extend the points lead in Duluth.

I did confirm that the OQE and Olympics will earn points. Also, world team selection is based on best 5 events plus the points earned at Nationals.

JH
thinking about a turkey omelet for breakfast

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Old Post 11-29-13 08:55AM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

No tour action this weekend. The Madison cash could only attract 7 teams. Kind of sad.

JH

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Old Post 12-06-13 05:59PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1162

Final tour action this weekend with the Curl Mesabi Classic. Last chance to earn points for direct entry into the Nationals.

Do not think there will be enough impact to the OOM for the current teams to get passed. That means McCormick 2.0, Clark, C. George and Spatola get the passes.

JH

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