99 Friendship Episode 68: The Roar of the Dubz

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · January 12th, 2018 · No comments

Our excellently-structured all-cansoc episode 67, earlier this week, may have set expectations a little high. Because here in episode 68, which was actually recorded before episode 67 and is therefore temporally a bit of a mess, normal service is resumed.

On this show we go over a week in curling. Mostly this consists of remembering the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials, or as I prefer to call them the Tim Horton’s Double-Double, where MoLaw LawnMo KaMo the team of John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes, who were unable to meaningfully communicate, defeated Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting, who were unable to meaningfully sweep. As a result Morris and Lawes will go to the Olympics and try to win an Olympic gold medal. Meanwhile Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman (pictured), who in addition to being Canada curling’s cutest couple are an all-round useful mixed doubles team, were entirely dominant until they somehow forgot how to curl, like, a day early. This is going to lead to a great deal of stress in the Ben Massey household come Olympic time. Meanwhile we’re checking out provincial regular curling and generally reeling off memories from the games we watched which, since this tournament was mostly mid-day on weekdays and CBC’s website showed whatever insignificant draw was only the only sheet they had cameras pointing at, is an inconsistent selection.

And, I’ll be honest, it gets a little unstructured.

So, in 29 minutes of podcast, we discuss:

  • As alluded to, Ben was hoping Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman, or as we not-at-all-awkwardly call them “Meat and Peterato,” would win, because they appear to be good. Carolyn did not hope that they won, because they appeared to be bad. Mixed doubles are stupid. (This is a motif.)

  • That said, Ben’s heart was with Swushue. Of course it was, Val Sweeting is Canada’s princess. And Brad Gushue was surely going to take this seriously, since he said curling with Sweeting is “like a first date.”

    Probably fifteen minutes of this episode are me ranting about how Gushue actually took this.

  • In the middle, we briefly discuss some provincial and territorial results. Because Lawes and Morris won, Jennifer Jones will have to rustle up a new third at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts when she almost inevitably qualifies. So we scan the results as of when we recorded this to find entertaining options, and then we give up and start talking about how much fun the Northwest Territories Scotties must be for everyone who isn’t Kerry Galusha.

  • Then Ben rants about Brad Gushue some more.

The soccer show was better, no way around it.

99 Friendship Episode 67: John Herdman (and Kenneth Heiner-Møller) Special

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · January 10th, 2018 · No comments

Earlier this week we recorded a fabulous all-mixed-doubles-curling episode of 99 Friendship. Truly we were on rousing form. But alas, before we could get the thing edited, Canada Soccer went and did the John Herdman thing.

Almost all the commentary so far, including my own, has focused on what this means for the Canadian men’s national team. As a podcast which, in between obscure curling rants, does find the time to analyze the Canadian WNT, it felt appropriate for us to give the distaff element its fair share. So Carolyn and I sat down and did notes and had a chat and got one of our 30-minute shows edited in record time, just for you!

On episode 67 of 99 Friendship:

  • We go over the coaching history of new WNT boss Kenneth Heiner-Møller. He’s had an interesting career: spy dramas, sports psychology, coaching development, and replacing women’s national team managers who went over to coach the men. (Yes, he has experience at that too.) He’s been to a World Cup and two European Championships and, most of the time, something positive came out of them despite coaching a decidedly middle power.

  • What does Herdman’s departure, in of itself, mean for the national team? Will relationships be broken? Will players leave? What unbelievably heretical thing does Carolyn actually dare to say on a podcast that she knew was going on the Internet?

  • And what was the deal with some of the players apparently only having just heard Herdman was leaving when the news became public? We decide that it seems, spoiler alert, fairly amateurish.

It’s a good, informative, thoughtful half-hour on a neglected element of some massive Canadian soccer news. Is it worth a quick listen on the train? Oh, probably. Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter!

99 Friendship Episode 66: An Oral History of the Roar of the Rings

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · December 22nd, 2017 · No comments

On this week’s stupendous, 100%-curling-there-is-no-point-in-even-listening-if-you-aren’t-interested-in-it episode of 99 Friendship, Carolyn and I spend the full half hour recapping the Roar of the Rings, the curling tournament in Ottawa where Canada’s curling gods decided that Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe would represent our nation at the upcoming winter Olympics in South Korea.

Okay, not quite the full half-hour. We briefly chat about Michelle Englot representing Canada at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Continental Cup. But that happened as a result of the Roar of the Rings and, come to think of it, this week’s episode wound up being 33 minutes long…

Other than that, topics of curling conversation include:

  • Our pleasant surprises and our unpleasant surprises. Good Rachel Homan and Good Jennifer Jones were very pleasant. Good Julie Tippin and Good Brandon Bottcher, less so, especially since Tippin took my predicting her to be humiliated personally and nearly managed to pants every Alberta team in the lady bracket.

  • RIP Caleb Flaxey.

  • As mentioned, Rachel Homan was the women’s winner. It was Good Rachel Homan. But she really really thought about being Bad Rachel Homan and did not exactly tear a swathe through the opposition, until the final when she definitely did. This gives us some fodder.

  • My proud Alberta sisters, Chelsea Carey and Cathy Overton-Clapham, were unstoppable. Until the final. When they were very stopped. There is also more conversation in that.

  • In man curling, Kevin Koe actually killed me. I am dead now. It took a while to get this podcast uploaded for that reason.

I daren’t try too hard to summarize this week’s episode in my usual bullet point format. It is top #bantz. It is our Christmas present to you. 99 Friendship episode yy!

99 Friendship Episode 65

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · December 17th, 2017 · No comments

I’d say I was sorry for missing you guys last week. But, well, if you’d heard what Carolyn and I actually recorded, you wouldn’t believe me.

Anyway, just to kill the suspense for you, this is not the episode where we ramble at length about the Olympic curling trials. That’ll be episode 66, which will be released in the next few days. This week’s show has some soccer in it! An episode which discussed the trials properly would have made that impossible.

Don’t worry, there’s not too much.

On episode 65 of 99 Friendship:

  • The College Cup ended, like, two weeks ago. We are professionals.

    Anyway, after all this long there can’t possibly be all that much to say about it. But we try our best. Carolyn goes all the way back to the Duke – Stanford semi-final to discuss an interesting piece of strategy tactics tactrategy that both teams employed to amusing results.

  • Having shut down the College Desk for another year, we roll over to the College Desk for award season. The grotesquely-named NCAA All-American teams, and the probably even-more-grotesquely-named Scholar All-Americans, were announced by various authorities, so we talk about that. Cynics will suggest that I mention the Scholar All-Americans, who have some thoroughly token Canadian content, as an excuse to make fun of the incredibly soft majors that apparently qualify athletes as “scholars” these days. This is a ridiculous thing to say.

    Maybe most importantly, the Canadian Soccer Association named its U-17 and U-20 lady players of the year. The winners were truly shocking. We discuss them at the ten minute mark and I advise that you be seated and have a stiff drink to hand.

  • As indicated in the little picture we put on the podcast, Kadeisha Buchanan is Canadian soccer player of the year. Both Carolyn and I are broadly fine with this.

  • This came out too late for recording, but as you might have predicted Jessie Fleming was named UCLA women’s soccer most valuable player. The UCLA Twitter shows us various award recipients coming out in various states of dress-wearing for the occasion, except Jessie, who is apparently off to maintain a database server. I think she might be over winning awards.

  • At the fifteen minute mark we start talking about curling. (But not the Olympic trials, because that’s next week.) Apparently Glenn Howard is Canada now? You see, every year-ish a bunch of Brazilians from Quebec try to qualify for the World Men’s Curling Championships, and they’re in the same zone as the United States so they play the Americans for the qualifying spot and the Americans kill them. But this year the Americans are hosting the tournament in Las Vegas, so Canada is the team that has to beat Brazil to qualify, and we sent something like our twelfth-best men’s team, Glenn Howard, to London, Ontario to do it. I want to make it clear that not a single word in that sentence is made up.

  • Also, Michelle Englot is now Canada, at least at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. If you remember Michelle Englot from doing a Rocky Balboa-versus-Apollo-Creed with Rachel Homan at last year’s Scotties, you should know that she has really really really not been playing that well at all.

  • Last, but not at all least, Jeff Stoughton named the teams that will compete for Canada in the Canadian mixed doubles trials, or as I prefer to call it in spite of the fact that it’s not sponsor, the Tim Horton’s Double-Double. Because not all the top mixed dubz players are available on account of winning real trials (omg spoiler), some of these teams get pretty funny. But not enough of them.

Stay tuned for the upcoming all-Olympic-Trials-retrospective episode that’s entirely me screaming at that Kevin Koe draw attempt.

99 Friendship Episode 64A Special Bonus Curling #Content!

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 30th, 2017 · No comments

As promised, here is the special 20-minute curling bonus episode of 99 Friendship, in which Carolyn and Ben preview, as best they can given that Brad Gushue and one of Jennifer Jones/Good Rachel Homan look very likely to win, the upcoming Roar of the Rings.

Since we are discussing Olympic curling we trigger each other a little. Viewer discretion is advised.

99 Friendship Episode 64: All CanWoSo, All the Time

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 29th, 2017 · No comments

On this week’s… first episode of 99 Friendship?

Carolyn and I had a problem. We had too much #content. As we sat down to record on Tuesday evening, the Canadian women’s national team had just beaten Norway for the first time ever in stirring come-from-behind fashion. There were many things to talk about with regards to this game, and it had just happened so it was very fresh in our mind. There was also the Elite Eight, in the NCAA world, which had been distilled down to the Semi-Final Four (to hell with your misleading branding, Americans) and probably deserved a mention. Also Erin McLeod’s wife wants to play soccer for Canada now, and has apparently also tried curling, meaning she and Erin are the first people I’ve ever thought might make good guests on a 99 Friendship.

We fill half an hour with Canadian soccer, very easily. But the Roar of the Rings also start on Saturday! We couldn’t just ignore the Roar, could we? Unthinkable.

So what we did was we recorded our cansoc, I edited it together, and I uploaded it, and here you are. Later this week, though, I will post a separate MP3 of our curling talk, which will be a bit shorter but full of Roar. That way those of you who love us generally can listen to them both, and those of you who are only interested in the soccer analysis can have lots and lots of soccer analysis, and those of you who are only interested in the curling analysis don’t exist.

So, as I was saying, on this week’s first episode of 99 Friendship:

  • We review CanWNT’s stirring 3-2 victory over the perfidious Nords, and by “stirring” we of course mean “sloppy” and by “perfidious” we of course mean “mistake-prone.” It was a match with five goals of which four were shambolic.

  • I have some statistics and some trivia. Carolyn knows the answers to all the trivia, because of course she does. Co-hosting a women’s soccer podcast with Carolyn is like co-hosting an arrogance podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson, you’re just overwhelmed.

  • Also the College Desk reviews the NCAA Elite Eight. Deanne Rose lost, Rebecca Quinn and Jessie Fleming are still alive, it’s chilling how many core players we didn’t have because they were busy in school actually. Also three Canadians are up for the MAC Hermann, two of whom you will easily guess, and that’s not counting the American who plays for us sometimes.

  • The Foreign Desk somehow finds some content during an international break!

  • It’s not really the Foreign Desk, but I guess Ella Masar wants to play for us now? Is it the Foreign Desk? We should get a FIFA ruling on this.

99 Friendship Episode 63

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 24th, 2017 · No comments

On yet another virtually-all-women’s-soccer edition of 99 Friendship, we catch up on all the stuff we missed.

This is more than you might think. One of Carolyn’s favourite things, the NCAA College Cup, is in full swing (actually, it’s swinging so full that I only just got this podcast uploaded before the next set of games). What does Carolyn think of the college cup? Permit me to answer that question in JPEG form.

Carolyn Duthie, via Twitter

As you can see, there are many possibilities for Canadians entering the Elite Eight. If Jessie Fleming and Deanne Rose weren’t in it it would only be the So-So Eight.

But not even that is all! Because we haven’t done a Foreign Desk for something like three weeks, and while no Canadians have covered themselves in glory there have been Events in Sweden and Germany that are worth me zipping through at nine hundred words per minute. In particular, I get to stop knowing Swedish now, as Rosengard’s season has come to an end and they have decided that Canadians are so two-thousand-and-late.

And there’s still more, because the Canadian Soccer Association announced a roster for its trip to the Costa del Sol to play Norway, and Amelia Pietrangelo, The Future of Canadian Women’s Soccer™, is included among other interesting names. It feels like ages since we’ve seen Canada’s best eighteen players in all one place so we speculate about who they are too.

Lively show, this. Well worth waiting until Friday afternoon for.

99 Friendship Episode 62: No Way San Jose

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 15th, 2017 · No comments

Live from San Francisco, and then edited down to a completely non-live version a couple of days thereafter, it’s 99 Friendship episode 62! This week’s show, as usual for episodes where Carolyn and I are in a room together, is even patchier than the grass in San Jose. It is, however, very, very podcast.

As you have probably inferred Carolyn and I recorded this together from our dingy hotel room in San Francisco, California, where we had retired to watch the Canadian women’s national team take on the United States in the second half of their doubleheader. Yes, the game was in San Jose, not San Francisco, but who wanted to spend three nights in San Jose? We spent half of one and that was bad enough. We had also both been in Vancouver for that game, now one of the three best #CanWNT – US rivalry moments without a doubt, and we have things to say.

On this week’s unusual episode:

  • I would like to point out that Carolyn and I had spent almost an entire week zipping around two cities, eating exotic meals, never drinking the same thing two days in a row, watching a heck of a lot of soccer, and generally having a glorious time. As a result “prepare adequately for our podcast” was very low down on the priority list. This will show up. We had a reasonable number of interesting things to say, whether you watched the games or missed them, but there’s no organization to how we say them. We are professionals.

    Also, as always for these, we share my microphone and the sound quality is worse than usual.

  • We begin by talking about the Road to the Roar curling tournament briefly hitting some broad strokes about the two games.

  • On Sunday, as Carolyn put it, “we weren’t as far behind, a bunch of high-schoolers playing the US national team, as you think we should look.”

  • The Lindsay Agnew Ex-spear-i-mint gives Carolyn and I conniptions. This is unfair of us, as we later learned that this happened to Aggers. Few defenders would handle Megan Rapinoe well if their sock was sloshing around in a pool of blood. But it’s on the record now, sorry Lindsay.

  • Players, including teenagers, are discussed.

  • Okay there’s some curling in the middle. It doesn’t last long, we remember soccer things to talk about eventually. It’s like an intermission! Go take a slash!

  • The stadium entertainment in San Jose was terrible. Alex Morgan was offside.

  • We discover the secret to a successful 99 Friendship is not having too much friendship.

Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter if this is the sort of nonsense you feel like adding a point to.

99 Friendship Episode 61 COMPLETELY DEVOID OF CURLING CANWNT SPECIAL

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 6th, 2017 · No comments

On this week’s very special 61st episode of 99 Friendship:

  • NO CURLING

  • The reason we have no curling is not because we, like, like you or anything, dear listener. It’s because Canada has a friendly on Thursday against the United States in Vancouver, and a return engagement Sunday in San Jose. Late last week the Canadian Soccer Association put out its roster and it is replete with talking points, if not drinking companions.

  • What I call the “full Danny Worthington experience” is upon us once again as, nominally, Canada has basically no midfielders. It’s okay in this case because we also have basically no fullbacks and only two centrebacks. To play the United States. It makes sense, since Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, and Shannon Woeller are busy drinking wine and looking at dirty postcards in Europe. But it’s alarming. When you’re playing. The United States. Twice.

  • Many of the players on this team are very young. Between us we have some knowledge of some of the youngsters, and we share it.

  • One of the players, Meagan Kelly, is American. Not the famous American Megan Kelly, the television personality. The less famous American Meagan Kelly, the Kansas City midfielder/fullback/forward??? nobody watches Kansas City games.

  • We predict results, because that’s the format. Carolyn goes insane.

  • Canada Soccer is also honouring Chelsea Stewart, Brittany Baxter, and Kelly Parker, 2012 Olympic bronze medalists, during the game. Our memories of these three players are not, um, inspiring, but we put them on the episode anyway. This leads to a lengthy digression about Baxter’s finest hour, the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships.

  • Because we are following a bunch of teenage girls to California odds are episode 62 will come late. So, though not relevant to the show, let me take the chance to share Carolyn’s NCAA cansoc bracket now:

Big episode this week!

99 Friendship Episode 60

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 1st, 2017 · No comments

This week on a not-at-all-Halloween-special-because-we-don’t-mention-Halloween-once episode of 99 Friendship:

  • Carolyn is very excited about the curling. She is very excited, because Jennifer Jones had a seven-ender against world number one Anna Hasselborg. If you don’t speak curling, that’s a lot.

  • Canada’s women’s national soccer team has begun its training camp prior to playing the United States twice in a couple weeks. As of recording time, on Sunday evening, we did not know the roster. And as of blog posting time, on Wednesday morning, we still don’t know the roster! The US roster, of course, is out, so thank you Canada Soccer for not making our podcast obsolete prior to release.

  • The College Desk and the Foreign Desk return with, alas, some slow news. Sophie Schmidt scored a goal and Jessie Fleming deserved to. Actual Summer Olympic Bronze Medalist Deanne Rose, to the surprise of very few, has turned out to be an excellent freshman soccer player in the SEC. Victoria Pickett and Sarah Stratigakis are scooping honours as we head into tournament time, when Carolyn gets one of her trademark huge brackets all drawn up.

  • And then holy macaroni it is Curling O’Clock. Thomas Ulsrud wears pants, Kevin Koe destroys some loser, Brad Gushue and Jennifer Jones destroy all losers, and from that inspiring week of curling we take away “we are scared for Canada at the Olympics.”

  • My mouth always wants to say “Lethbridge” even when my brain knows it wants “Lloydminster.” This is how I work and there’s nothing I can do.

Next week will be a big exciting WNT-versus-USA preview! Unless we still don’t have a roster by next weekend! Which we might not, leaving us to make logical deductions from NCAA rosters and people’s Instagrams!