Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rocky Mountain High?

Hello all.

Well,, we’re almost there! Tomorrow we leave for Denver to begin the last leg of our journey to Vancouver!

The last two weeks have been filled with much planning and organizing for our ten day trip. Hotel rooms, rental cars, new equipment and uniforms and the addition of a coach were at the top of the list. On that note I should mention that our new coach is Brian Simonson of Chisholm, MN. Brian has been around curling for many years and is a close friend to the Shuster family and is familiar with all of the guys on our team. Brian even spent a few years playing with and against my brothers Michael and Tim so I have had a chance to get to know him as well. Brian is also part of a team that recently won the U.S. Senior Nationals. For Brian this will be third time and will be representing the U.S. at senior worlds. We’re very excited to have him join us in Colorado and bring his knowledge and objective viewpoint to the team.

My wife Carrie has been busy setting up her plans with family who are tentatively planning trips out to watch. She will also be working with the USCA as a media liaison during the week so she will be able to keep busy! (She can’t bear to watch sometimes J) A note to those of you who would like more frequent updates while were in Denver: Carrie has her own e-mail list that she sends to with day to day updates from a fan’s perspective. If you are just dying to get all of the “dirt of the day” from Denver, just send a note to to have her add you to her list.

Mixed in with the planning have been many phone and e-mail conversations with my teammates. We all have spent some time on individual practice to keep in tune. But again, we’re well beyond “tweaking” time. Now it’s just time to go play!

Overall, the team seems to be in that workman like mode that we’ve been in for the last month or so. We really just want to get started.

For your convenience I have attached the detailed draw schedule so you can figure out when we play and who.

There has been a little buzz in the media about the trials in general and I would expect that to continue and probably pick up as next week starts to unfold. Here are a couple of nice pieces from this week.

(nice video piece from Duluth)

As far as live coverage goes, you will have the usual line scoring and standings updates at:

In addition there will be information on that site about an “Audiocast” over the web. There will likely be one for every set of games. It usually requires Winamp, but I’m not sure this year. They should have detailed instructions available on the site.
And of course, the big announcement was that NBC will be airing 12 hours of LIVE coverage from Denver on their 24 hour sports station NBC Universal! You will also be able to pick these games up on

And for the 100th time, we all thank you and our sponsors for every bit of support you have given us. You really have no idea what it means! Keep it coming!

Thanks again. Wish us luck.

John Benton

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