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02-26-18 11:15AM
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Swing Artist


Registered: Dec 2014
Posts: 206

So now that we all got some sleep after Friday night/Saturday morning, we can start the post-mortem. (Not sure if this should be here or in another feed, but oh well).

Surely the HPP will broadcast the Men's result of how successful the process has been. I don't feel the way they spin it will be entirely accurate, there will be some self preservation in there.

Shuster was a self-formed team that essentially forced their way into the HPP by playing well and beating that hand-selected teams. So, essentially the HPP failed in that their hand-picked teams did not win (Shuster won, and Roth had a poor to middle-of-the-road performance, technically 8th I believe).

I think what this does show in the HPP (yes, there actually is something they did well) which was successful, is giving funds to teams that show good performance helps them to boost their performance. This has been seen in the teams that have been given money to travel and compete. They are higher ranked now on the tour (one can debate if that really means anything, but for lack of other metrics, it will do).

The HPP is also killing competitive US curling and not developing a depth at all. This is especially apparent in the women's side.

Essentially this cycle has told me; self-formed teams that show promise, do well at national events, and are given money can improve to get into that upper echelon of teams.

In Canada, teams that win the Scotties and the Brier get some funding, and if next year another team wins, they get funding. Canada Curling doesn't just sponsor Rachel Homan each year; she needs to demonstrate she can perform. I don't see why the US couldn't do something similar.

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02-26-18 11:34AM
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Super Rockchucker


Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2587

Here I am again; breaking my promise to myself and posting instead of just reading. This will not be an "I told you so" post. It might read like that, but the end will be different.

As those who know me may suspect, I'm beyond thrilled.

John Shuster, himself, has mentioned that he drew inspiration from Dan Jansen's life. That's good, but the Jansen analogy falls well short of Shuster's story.

When Jansen fell in both of his events for his first Olympics, we felt bad for him. When Shuster suffered narrow defeats at the start of his first Olympics as a skip, we demoted him and then benched him.

When Jansen didn't medal in his second Olympics, we remembered how he had lost his sister and felt his pain. When Shuster finished at the bottom of the standings in his second Olympics as the skip, most of us scorned him and made him the punchline of bad jokes.

If Dan Jansen is respected for the depth of his character (and he certainly is and certainly should be), then John Shuster should be revered.

I did not return to this forum to say "I told you so" nor to berate the haters and castigate the doubters. None of the haters and doubters had the advantage of knowing John. All of us who do know John never could hate and didn't doubt (OK...2 wins and 4 losses in the first half of the round robin...I did have a little doubt).

We who have met John had an advantage. We know of his love for the game. We know his work ethic. We knew of his patriotism. We saw his talent. We experienced his driven nature and singular focus. Now that depth of character will become more and more apparent to all of you as his story gets told on TV talk shows and splashed across all the print media.

The haters and the doubters (Cleveland Browns of curling???) can easily be forgiven. They saw with their own eyes what had happened. They were just not as blessed as I and didn't know the man.

Ben Tucker
St. Thomas, ND

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