The Next Chapter

Last week, I mentioned that I would come back with a discussion of my next chapter and what is happening (or what might happen) with it. After an eventful several days of action from the Grand Slam of Curling’s Players’ Championship (no, I wasn’t in Toronto for it), it is time that I lift the lid on what I’m thinking and doing. What follows is a list of steps forward I have made in this “season of change” on my new path of curling education, fandom, and mental work (not necessarily “accomplishments”, but one could classify them as such), along with a list of things I want to do in the 2016/2017 season (including the upcoming off-season that will start on May 2).

Accomplishments

  • First non-Scotties/Brier multi-platform follow of a tournament (Wall Grain Mixed Doubles Classic)
  • First streaming of Grand Slam of Curling event on Sportsnet (Elite X)
  • First purchase of curling streaming content (Players Championship/Champions Cup bundle)
  • First follow of US tournament (US Mixed Championship, where the Wisconsin rink finished third)
  • Registration with CurlingZone and participation in their online forums
  • Contribution to the Far From Home Kickstarter campaign
  • Finding and following curling fans/players/off-ice professionals on Twitter and Facebook
  • Development of a potential post-2017 model for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts
  • Rudimentary development of a future women’s tournament

2016/2017 Task List

  • Get the Grand Slam of Curling season pass
  • Make connections with and/or join a local curling club (most likely the Wauwatosa Curling Club)
  • Make visits to the Four Seasons Curling Club (home of US Curling’s Olympic-level program) and the St. Paul Curling Club (largest one in the US, and I believe I know people there from past soccer endeavors) on a trip to the Twin Cities in late September/early October
  • Attend an elite-level curling event/bonspiel (subject to available time off and funds)
  • Increase my curling education both in the on-ice realm (strategy, game play, team make-up) and the off-ice one (structure of clubs/events, workings of national/provincial governing organizations, opportunities to get involved)
  • Grow my current online community and hopefully connect with those who can assist me in my pursuits

There is no timetable on when any of these will come to pass, but the above is a path for me to follow over the next year or so. I know this seems like a HUGE departure from my long-time work in women’s soccer, but it’s not THAT much of a jump if you think about it. I go down this road knowing that I don’t know everything about the sport or how it should be played/constructed. I also know that there probably isn’t the kind of insular institutional structure afraid of outsiders (or outsider-type thinking) like I experienced with the local soccer community here in Milwaukee. Fellow sojourners, hit me up on Twitter or CurlingZone (same username as the blog) if you want to connect.

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3 thoughts on “The Next Chapter

    • It looks ambitious, but when broken down it’s not that long of a list. The trip to Minnesota is an every year/every other year thing that coincides with my wife attending the Big Island Rendezvous in Albert Lea, MN (100 miles south of the Twin Cities) and my mom and sister (and her family) live in a western suburb of Minneapolis. The Tosa Curling Club is about 10 minutes from my house and I am in the neighborhood on a regular basis for other things, so it’s a fairly easy place to drop in post-work during the week to learn and commiserate, I’d reckon. The GSOC season pass is a must-do since the coverage I’ve seen from the Elite X and the Players’ Championship makes it now almost impossible for me to NOT watch the matches (by the way, were you sitting front row, near center ice next to the tunnel on the A-side of the MAC for this weekend’s games because I thought I saw you a lot on the TV coverage?). Going to an event is now more or less necessary if I am going to indulge my curiosity and advance on the plan. The most in-depth of that list is the “education” part, but I am hoping the off-season will allow me to watch old matches, Google information, and pick some brains (especially anyone who attends the Business of Curling Symposium here in June…would love to go, but don’t think I’m far enough into this yet to gain much/offer much and I have a schedule conflict with Milwaukee Scottish Fest that weekend).

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