Saturday, February 21, 2009

Talking Curling Heads

We’ve always loved the term “talking head”, which is aimed – affectionately or not – at those who are paid big bucks to smile, look good, and tell us about the stuff we’re watching on TV.

And so, we introduce curling fans to Bryan Mudryk (photo), the new face of TSN morning draw curling action. The Alberta native comes to curling from the sports highlight show Sportscentre, but he has a real curling pedigree.

“I actually played in the Alberta provincial juniors against Marc Kennedy and Carter Rycroft,” says the 30-year-old. “I was 19 years old out of Lloydminster, during my first TV job, and we didn’t win a single game!

“And I won the first-ever club championship at the Saville Centre in Edmonton, the first year the club opened.”

Mudryk now lives in Toronto, and still finds time to curl once a week at Mississauga’s Dixie Curling Club. He’ll be working the Scotties Tournament of Hearts morning games alongside Old Yeller – Russ Howard.

“It’s such a treat,” says the new kid. “He’s so knowledgable about the game. He would laugh or kick me, but who did I watch growing up? Ed Werenich. Pat Ryan. And Russ Howard.”

“He’s awesome,” says Russ.

“We did a six-end run through last night, using a tape of last year’s Scotties – Quebec against Team Canada. It’s obvious he’s a player. He knows the sport.”

Of course, TSN has not yet announced how they’ll handle the issue of Howard competing at the Calgary Brier, when he’s supposed to be broadcasting the morning draws with Mudryk.

“We’re not really sure what’s going on in Calgary,” Mudryk confirmed. “But we know he’s playing!”

So don’t forget to curl up on Sunday morning with Bryan Mudryk, as he tries to tame the Wounded Bull Moose on The Sports Network.

This new tandem’s first game? Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton versus Ontario’s Krista McCarville.

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