We’re back! This week, John sits down with Lisa Weagle, lead for Team Homan, world champion, three-time Canadian Women’s champion, and one of the few curlers to have a shot named after her. Team Homan is coming off of two of the most impressive seasons in women’s curling history, and are one of the favourites to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Welcome to Magical Question Fun Time, the 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 coolest opportunity you’ve had as a result of curling?
Lisa Weagle: Probably the travel. Some of our travel opportunities have been really cool. I’ve been to Latvia, China, Switzerland, places I never thought I would go before. And Canada too—it’s pretty awesome to play across your entire country. We’ve played in every province, travelled to a few continents, I’ve been lucky.
John Cullen: Do you find it’s a bit different for curling, though? You end up visiting these cities but not getting to see a lot of them often.
LW: It’s definitely different when you curl, as you get stuck into your routines and you’re at the rink, the hotel, and the same restaurants all the time. Beijing this year was good, though. We went early to get acclimatized to the time change but also just to get to actually see some sights. We went to the Great Wall, which was amazing.
JC: You mentioned restaurants, it must be tough to travel to countries where the cuisine is so different and you have to compete.
LW: With China we definitely got into a pattern of eating things we would have at home—eggs, oatmeal, toast. We brought some stuff from home too. And I probably shouldn’t mention this, but we ate a LOT of Pizza Hut. [laughs] Not something we would normally eat in competition, but it was right across the street from the hotel and something familiar.
2. If there was an action figure made of you, what non-curling accessory would it come with?
LW: I think mine would come with a Corgi, because I have one and I am absolutely obsessed. [laughs]
JC: I have to admit, I talked to several people about you before this interview and every one of them mentioned how much you love your dog.
LW: He’s the best. His name is Trooper and we got him a year and a half ago. It’s my first dog, it’s something I’ve always wanted, and Joanne and Emma both have dogs and made it work, so I convinced my husband to get one even though we both travel a lot.
JC: That must be tough being on the road so much though. You must miss him.
LW: My dog or my husband? [laughs]
JC: [laughs] Well, that’s the age-old question. I’m sure Robin understands that he’s lower on the totem pole than the dog.
LW: [laughs] I’m not going to confirm or deny that.
3. If you were forced to rob a bank, which two curlers—you can’t choose more than one teammate—would you choose to be on your squad, and what role would you play?
LW: I can’t choose two teammates? Oh man. I definitely read that question wrong when you sent it to me. I assumed I was going to take Emma and Rachel. We did one of those escape rooms as a team, and ironically enough, the theme was bank robbery. We got out, and Rachel and Emma did everything. [laughs] Rachel was a good strategist, and Emma’s excellent to turn to whenever you need anything done. Hm.
JC: I’m sorry you can only choose one, but the rules are the rules. It’s out of my hands.
LW: [laughs] Okay, I’ll take Emma. She’s just a doer, she can do anything you need and someone you can rely on no matter the situation. Plus, we’ve watched a lot of Criminal Minds on the road together, I think we can get it done. So she can be the doer, I’ll be the strategist.
JC: And the last member of your team?
LW: I’ll go with EJ Harnden. We need someone strong to carry all the money. [laughs]
4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
LW: When I was in high school, I tried to find a summer job and I applied at a bunch of places. The first one to get back to me was a discount grocery store in my neighbourhood, and it did NOT go well. [laughs] I was a cashier and I didn’t enjoy it at all.
JC: I used to work in a grocery store as a teen as well, but I didn’t do cash. I feel like that would be hell.
LW: It was so hard at the start. You have to memorize the codes for all the fruits and vegetables and I was terrible at that. The worst part, though, was the grocery store decided they were going to charge for plastic bags, and they were pretty much the first store on earth that did that. It was the early 2000s and NO ONE had done that, so it was brutal. Every customer acted like I invented the policy. [laughs]
JC: It is truly remarkable when you work with the public how they will dump their problems on you, sometimes because you charged them five cents for a plastic bag. And you’re a teenager, do they really think you enacted this radical change?
LW: It was super unreasonable. Thankfully, another one of the jobs I applied for called me like two weeks later and I just quit right away. I’ve been able to block most of those memories now. [laughs]
5. What’s a stupid thing you incorrectly believed was true for a long time?
LW: I used to think that my dad and Dennis Eckersley were the same person.
JC: Wait, famous relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley?
LW: [laughs] Yes. My dad and Eckersley had the same handlebar mustache in the late 80s/early 90s, and there was always baseball on in my house as a kid. I knew that my dad played baseball—albeit recreationally—but I was young enough to just assume that was the major leagues. So one day, Dennis Eckersley was pitching on TV, and I just said, “Oh there’s Dad!” He happened to not be home at the time, so my mom played along, and it went on for quite some time.
JC: [laughs] That is unbelievable. I love it. So was it one of those things where you just got lucky and every time he was on TV, your dad just wasn’t around? I feel like that would’ve broken the spell. When did you finally figure it out?
LW: Yeah, it took me a long time to figure it out. Too long. I can’t even remember how long it was, but my parents just let it happen and kept it up for longer than they should have. [laughs]
6. Now for the Lisa Weagle-specific questions. I’ve heard that you are the DJ for Team Homan in the car when you’re traveling, and I’ve also heard that you have some taste that people might not assume about you. What kinda music are you rocking, Lisa?
LW: Oh jeez. Well, I just think sometimes you need music to really get you pumped up, so maybe that’s where the question came from. I like to play pretty aggressive rap music sometimes. [laughs] I’m guessing Joanne (Courtney, Team Homan’s second) gave you that info, because I remember the first time I put one on, she was shocked.
JC: I mean, I don’t think it’s THAT shocking, but I can understand that people might not figure you for the aggressive rap type. What are we talking?
LW: Ah jeez, this is embarrassing. I can’t even say some of the song titles in the interview, they’re that inappropriate. [laughs] I’m looking at the playlist now, we’ve got some Lil’ Wayne, some Drake. I saw Drake live actually, he was awesome. The other girls all like country, so I’ve added some of that to the playlist, but sometimes after a big win you need to get pumped up. Or after a big loss too. [laughs]
JC: I can confirm it was Joanne who gave me that information. I think she was definitely scared.
LW: Well, when some people work out, they like to listen to really happy and upbeat music. That’s Jo. When other people work out, they need something that really gets you going. That’s me. [laughs]
7. You know I adore having leads on my show, because I’m a lead myself and it means we get to play my favourite game: Lead2Lead! So let’s ask you some questions about the leads in the game, rapid-fire style.
Which lead would make the best skip?
LW: I’ll go with Dawn McEwen. I’ve played against her in mixed doubles a few times and she’s made a pile of shots against me. She has the whole bag of tricks and I think she could step into skip easily.
JC: Who would make the worst skip?
LW: Can I answer with men? I don’t really want to throw a woman under the bus. Plus, my male answer is better. [laughs]
JC: Of course!
LW: Okay, Ben Hebert. We’re in Calgary right now for the Autumn Gold and Emma and I just played 2-on-2 against him and Paul Webster, and we crushed them. We didn’t even have to throw our last one. AND he was throwing last. He can’t throw an in-turn or make a runback, so he’d be the worst. [laughs]
JC: Which lead has the best style?
LW: Sophia Mabergs from Team Hasselborg. She’s little, she’s tough, she has great hair, and she has sweet tattoos.
JC: You’re the second person to say her! She’s getting a lot of attention.
LW: What can I say? I appreciate her style.
8. Now normally this is where I would have you answer a question from a previous guest, but it’s been so long since I interviewed Geoff Walker and he’s in Switzerland right now. So I’m a bit stumped.
LW: Wait, you’re not going to ask me about the best shot I’ve ever been a part of?
JC: Well, no. I’ve changed the questions this year. You’re the lucky first one who gets to answer some of them.
LW: Oh. Well I wanted to talk about that. [laughs]
JC: [laughs] Okay, deal. That’ll be your question. Lisa, what’s the best shot you’ve ever been a part of?
LW: [laughs] I didn’t want to change your plans, but okay. It’s got to be Rachel’s double in the 10th end of the Scotties Final this year. It’s the Scotties in our home province, game on the line, to step up and make a shot like that…I think it’ll go down as an iconic curling shot. People are going to talk about that one for a long time.
JC: I had a feeling you were gonna say that shot. I remember watching it and thinking, seeing Rachel in the hack, that she was going to make it. And I felt that watching it on TV. Did it feel like that in person?
LW: I think you could see it in her eyes, for sure. It was funny, this year they changed the Hot Shots and one of the shots this year was the in-off, and she just kept making it (Editor’s Note: Rachel won the Hot Shots as well). So because of that kinda just-fun competition, she knew where to put the broom and how to throw it. I felt pretty confident she was making it.
JC: It was a pretty crazy shot. Do you remember anything else about it?
LW: I think the biggest bummer was that we couldn’t celebrate. We knew we still had another end to play and we had to re-focus and get ready for that. So it was this huge shot but it wasn’t something where we could dwell too much on it.
JC: Awesome. Well, thank you, Lisa. I believe next on the line here I have John Morris, a man you know quite well. Do you have a question for him?
LW: Oooh, I have many questions for John. [laughs] Okay, John is well-known to have a passion for karaoke. Ask him about his most epic karaoke experience.
JC: I have heard stories, so I am definitely looking forward to that. Thanks Lisa and best of luck at the upcoming Olympic Trials!
You can follow John on Twitter @cullenthecurler and you can follow Lisa Weagle on Twitter @lweagle19.