This week, John sits down with Chelsea Carey, current Alberta Scotties champion and one of the favorites heading into this year’s event. Carey has an impressive curling résumé across two provinces, first representing Manitoba at the 2014 Scotties, where she won bronze, and now Alberta this season. She also had a very solid 2013 Roar of the Rings, losing a tiebreaker to Sherry Middaugh to finish fourth in an unbelievably strong field.
Welcome to Magical Question Fun Time, the new Curling Canada feature where comedian John Cullen sits down with your favourite curlers for interviews like you have never seen. Each interview will feature eight questions: five standard questions that will be asked to each curler, two questions specific to that curler, and one question that the curler interviewed before them asks.
1. What’s the nicest shot you’ve ever been a part of?
Chelsea Carey: This question is a tough one to answer, because I think there are two different ways to answer it: you can either talk about the nicest from a pure shot-making perspective, or the nicest in terms of the consequences of the shot and what it meant to you. Both shots I had to win provincial championships were simple shots, but very meaningful because it represented winning the province. Probably the best combination of the two was actually a game that I lost.
John Cullen: Oh really? You don’t hear that too often. Usually it’s a big shot to win.
CC: In the 2012 Manitoba Scotties final, we lost to Jennifer Jones, and it was probably the best shot I’ve ever made, and it was a true team shot as well. Jennifer had the hammer in 10, and on my last one, I had to play a very soft takeout around a rock that was two-thirds buried behind a rock in the top 12-foot. I think I threw like back eight-foot weight, Kristy got them on the rock at the perfect time, and we made it. I think we actually made it even better than we thought we would. But of course, Jennifer stepped up and made a short tap-back on the one in the 12-foot for the win.
JC: Oh, that sucks! I always feel like in those moments, when you make such a big shot like that, you almost feel like you’ve won. Like, your shot was so good that there’s no way you could lose now.
CC: Totally. We definitely felt like that at the time, I think. But it’s Jennifer Jones. Of course she made it.
2. Who could you take in a fight?
CC: Definitely Hodgy (Colin Hodgson), but we play mixed doubles together and I need him to sweep. I also probably shouldn’t emasculate him like that. (laughs)
JC: Hodgy again, this poor guy.
CC: Honestly, I think I could fight anyone on that team, if that makes you feel better. (laughs) Yeah, okay, they might be big and stuff, but they’re all way too nice. Plus, they know that if anything ever happened to me, they would have to deal with my dad, so I think they know the price they would pay if that happened. (laughs)
JC: I have to be honest, the visual of you beating up Team Carruthers is a good one. Are there any female curlers you would want to take on?
CC: I considered Joanne [Courtney]. After reading your MQFT with her, I felt like we would have a good tilt because she’s obviously way stronger than me, but I have really good spatial awareness. I think it would be a pretty fair fight. (laughs)
3. If a deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on it?
CC: I’m a big breakfast person, so I’d go with breakfast sandwich, and that was sort of my first thought. During provincials actually, we discovered this little diner in Calgary that has this fried egg breakfast sandwich with guacamole. It’s on a baguette with cheese, and mine would definitely have to come with hash browns. And a nap. (laughs)
JC: Yeah, that’s a lot going on there.
CC: I’m a big starch person, but if I couldn’t nap or I had to play a game, I would probably dial it down a little bit and maybe leave out the hash browns.
JC: And what would you call it?
CC: My first thought was the Chelsaroo, because my dad used to call me that when I was a kid, but when I say it out loud, it sounds like the worst possible name for a sandwich. (laughs) We’ll call it the Angioplasty because once you’re finished eating it, you’ll probably need one. (laughs)
4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
CC: One summer I got a job working for the Government of Manitoba, and the title of the job did not match up with what I was doing at all. I was in my second year of a Commerce degree in Marketing, and the title of the job was Marketing Coordinator, so I was just thrilled to get this job. Turns out, the government had given out subsidies to farmers that year, and they had given them the wrong amount, so they had to ask farmers to give them a substantial cut of the money back. My job was to call the farmers and tell them that.
JC: (laughs) Oh. My. God. That is possibly the worst thing I have ever heard.
CC: It was a huge amount, like at least half of what they had been given originally. We’re not talking small numbers here. I lasted a week. (laughs)
JC: I can’t even imagine. And it’s not like farmers from the Canadian Prairies are the easiest to deal with either, I’d guess.
CC: Oh man, you have no idea. I had the whole gamut, from people screaming profanity at me to crying to putting their sick grandmothers on the phone and telling me I was taking money away from them. People would ask me how I could go to sleep at night, and it wasn’t my fault at all and I felt like the worst person in the entire world.
JC: “How can you sleep at night?” “Um, I actually can’t, this job is horrible.” (laughs)
CC: (laughs) Exactly. I was 20 and losing my mind for these poor people. It was awful.
5. It’s the elusive fifth question, which is changing again but I think this one is here to stay. What’s a stupid thing you incorrectly believed was true for a long time?
CC: The first one that comes to mind isn’t actually me, but I think it’s pretty entertaining so I’ll share it anyway. My mom is the queen of grammar. She loves to correct people on their spelling and pronunciation. So this story actually comes from before I was born, but my dad loves to hold it over her still. They had been together for a while, and she was reading this article with the word “shrugged” in it, and she pronounced it “shrudged”. (laughs) My dad was like “what?”
JC: (laughs) Oh man, there is nothing better than a stickler getting told. And I know, because I’m usually the stickler that screws up and people LOVE to correct me. (laughs)
CC: (laughs) Exactly. Apparently they argued for like 20 minutes and she still didn’t believe him. I guess she finally heard enough people say it that she came to realize my dad was right.
6. Now we are on to the Chelsea Carey-specific questions and I have to say, every person I asked about you mentioned your yell. Here are some words I heard to describe it: “guttural”, “frightening”, “deep”, “scary”, and “like that of a 600 lb. man”. (laughs) Care to comment on that?
CC: (laughs) Who said I sound like a 600-lb. man? That’s unbelievable. I love that. I have to be honest, I actually take pride in the fact that my yell isn’t really shrill or shrieky, which a lot of female curlers are. I remember your skip actually (Dean Joanisse) telling me once at the Vernon Cash that I needed to keep it down over there after one particularly loud line call, and then two games later actually saying to me, “You know what? I was wrong. It’s not bad at all.”
JC: Yeah, I actually agree with Dean, I take your yell pretty well. Though it is scary.
CC: (laughs) I remember Ashley Howard told me once that whenever I yell, she sweeps. And she’s not even on my team. (laughs)
JC: And then you combine with Amy Nixon, who is possibly the most insane shrieker of all-time to combine for something truly horrifying when it’s a really close line call.
CC: Yeah, we get a lot of looks from the other sheets when we really get going, but it’s good.
7. There’s been a lot made over the last little while of teams using different words than the standard when it comes to calling hit weights. Tyler Tardi got a lot of attention for his “minty fresh” calls in the Canadian Junior semis, my team has taken flak for using “chill” on TV in the past, and I hear your team has an interesting weight call of your own?
CC: (laughs) I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I’m not sure I can even talk about it publicly because it’s pretty inappropriate.
JC: (laughs) Yeah, when I heard about what you call this weight, I wasn’t actually sure it was what I thought it was, but I guess…it is?
CC: (laughs) Let’s just say that when you play with Amy Nixon, if you accidentally point to a certain…let’s say, area on your body when you’re trying to give a weight signal, she will never let you forget it. (laughs)
JC: So this was all Amy, then?
CC: Oh, absolutely. And then she said it on national TV, which was amazing. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time that type of slang word has been used on Sportsnet. (laughs)
8. And this last question comes in from Brad Jacobs, and I have to say, he is kind of putting you on the spot here. It’s a loaded question. He asks what you do to be a role model in the sport, and what sort of volunteering you do to give back?
CC: It is a loaded question, but I love it. That’s the RBC Ambassador coming out in him. It’s a great question, and my approach to it is that I’ve yet to say no to anything that anyone has asked me to do. I’m not in a position where I’m a huge name to design to camp or something, but I’ll do anything I’m asked. Our home club, the Glencoe Club, has involved me in a number of things, which is awesome. And we spread it on Twitter and challenge people to get involved. Kidsport Human Curling is taking place this week, and I’ve tweeted it out to Calgary people to get involved. My general attitude is that I won’t say no to any of those kinds of requests, and I’m obviously very happy to volunteer my time to younger curlers especially.
JC: So you’re the opposite of drugs, Just Never Say No.
CC: (laughs) Exactly. Growing the game is super important, and growing the game that way, by giving back and being involved, is awesome. I’ve also been a bit involved in Big Brothers and Sisters in Calgary. I’ve had a few neat experiences being invited to charity golf tournaments and such, and it’s been really awesome. Cheryl Bernard has been a great resource for this kind of stuff and invites me a lot, and I just never say no.
JC: Awesome, thank you Chelsea! I’m sure the community of Calgary appreciates it, and the human curling thing especially looks awesome! Now, you get the unique advantage of actually knowing who I’m interviewing next before you ask them a question, as I’ve got Canadian Junior Champion and Manitoba Men’s runner-up Matt Dunstone on the program next. Do you have a question for him?
CC: This is awesome, I had a general one lined up but I’ve known Matt for a long time and I definitely would love to ask him a Dunstone-specific question. Okay, who has the best and worst Manitoba tuck deliveries of all-time, and who did you model yours after? And if he says Jeff Stoughton, he’s dead to me. (laughs)
JC: (laughs) Why is that?
CC: Well, everyone says Stoughton has the best, and I know for sure he did not model his after Jeff. (laughs)
JC: Thanks Chelsea, best of luck at the Scotties this week, and for the rest of the season!