MQFT with Braeden Moskowy!

Braeden Moskowy, in action at a World Cup event last season. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Céline Stucki)

MQFT with Braeden Moskowy!

This week, John sits down with Braeden Moskowy, the 2011 Canadian Junior champion, three-time Tim Hortons Brier participant, and one of the most recent Grand Slam winners with his new squad, Team Dunstone, which will be competing in the 2019 Home Hardware Canada Cup, presented by Pioneer, beginning Nov. 27 in Leduc, Alta. Braeden is one of the most affable players on Tour, and this interview will show you just how fantastic and funny he is!

Welcome to Magical Question Fun Time, the Curling Canada feature in which 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 best shot you’ve ever been a part of?

Braeden Moskowy: I have two. Well, I guess I should say I was a part of three earlier this month, courtesy of Mr. Dunstone [laughs], but before that, the one that really sticks out was my shot to win the Canadian Juniors in 2011. It was a hack weight shot around a guard, and the rocks were edge on edge, and you had to dead nose, you rolled an inch either way and you’re not scoring. So I made the shot, but then had to wait for the measurement, which I think makes the shot extra special too. To know that we literally made a shot within an inch to win the Canadian Championship is pretty memorable.

John Cullen: No question, I remember the shot and it was fantastic. And the celly, too. I assume the other one is from Matt?

BM: Yes, I’m sure you saw it (, Matt made that…I don’t even know how you describe it? Runback, angle-raise triple I guess?

JC: Now there was some debate as to whether you called the shot you made, or simply the runback double.

BM: We were calling the runback double, however, when you’re running a stone that far back, I mean, Dunny probably missed the shot we called by a quarter-inch. We knew if he missed it, we’d have one for sure, and maybe it would spin far enough into the back one to get two. Turns out it went onto the back one pretty easy. A great shot, and against my old team too, which is always fun.

Braeden Moskowy, right, and his skip Mr. (Matt) Dunstone. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

2. What is a non-curling possession you just can’t seem to get rid of?

BM: Non-curling? That’s tough. I have a curling one.

JC: OK, shoot.

BM: I’ve been wearing the same sliding shoe since 2009, on and off. I’ve got six or seven new pairs since then, and I just can never break one in and like it. It’s an old and raggedy BalancePlus shoe, and I’ve been wearing it since juniors. It’s the shoe I wore when I won juniors, so maybe I just feel like it’s got that bit of magic in it still. [laughs]

As far as regular items go, I’m not too sentimental when it comes to stuff so I tend to get rid of it, but I have this straw hat that I wear at the lake when I’m drivng the boat, it’s all beat up and torn to shreds, but it keeps the sun off the face, and I’ve been holding on to that. I refuse to spend the $9 and get a new one.

JC: There’s just something about cottages that makes you never want to buy new stuff. I can remember my old cottage and just wearing ancient hats and stuff my grandparents had when they were younger.

BM: Yeah, whether it’s clothes or even pots and pans, you just never wanna buy something new. You’ll spend $150,000 on a boat, but you won’t spend $1.50 on a new mug for a coffee. [laughs] But that’s cottage life.

3. Who is the most underrated curler and why?

BM: Well, it depends on your definition of underrated. Because the guy I want to say is obviously a very accomplished curler, but around the rink, you don’t hear enough about him, and that’s Benoît Schwarz of Team De Cruz.

JC: Amazing player.

BM: No question. You just hear a lot about Koe and Gushue and obviously they’re phenomenal players, but I wish the general public understood better just how good Benoît is. I honestly think he’s as good as anyone in the world. Now, he did beat me at the World Juniors, so maybe I’m biased, but he doesn’t get talked about enough.

JC: It’s rare that you could call an Olympic medallist underrated, but I agree with you. I’ve played him a few times and he’s just really consistent. I think one of the things is that his game is more of a touch game. He can throw the high heat, but his best shots tend to be the softer weight shots or the money draws, and those don’t get as much publicity as what some of the bigger throwers do.

BM: You’re on the money, JC. His nickname on tour is Mr. T, because he lives on the T-Line.


I think being European too, they don’t get as much TV coverage or press. And he’s pretty laid-back too, so he doesn’t ask for the attention. But he should get it.

JC: Damn good looking guy too. I remember seeing his pic in the Men of Curling Calendar and thinking “damn.”

BM: Oh! No question about that. Absolute man-rocket. Some guys just have it all, Johnny.

4. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

BM: This question is a slam dunk for me. In university, I worked at a steel mine in Regina in the summertime. It was shift work, so you’d be working 12-hour shifts and they were just gruelling. I basically did one job the whole time, which was to grind the weld caps off of giant oil pipes, for 12 hours a day. The caps alone were 40 pounds; it was just awful.

JC: I worked in a warehouse for two summers and this sounds much worse than that.

BM: Oh buddy, it was. And you’d be working in the summer and the shop would be so hot you’d go outside to cool off. Outside into 30-degree weather. It was ridiculous. You’d just hope to catch a breeze or something. It was good money, but it was tough work and I don’t miss it for a second. It helps put into perspective when I’m getting waxed by Jacobs on national TV that it could be much, much worse and I’m very lucky.

5. What’s a stupid thing you incorrectly believed was true for a long time?

BM: Well, growing up in Saskatchewan, you know a few farmers, and my Auntie Tootie and Uncle Bing…

JC: I’m sorry. Auntie Tootie and Uncle Bing?

BM: [laughs] Yes. They owned a dairy farm, and I was convinced that chocolate milk came from brown cows and white milk came from the white ones.

JC: A classic dilemma.

BM: I believed it for way too long though. Like, I was probably 16 or 17. [laughs] Then I was driving out that way, saw their cows, and thought, “wait a minute. I’m an idiot. That’s not how it works.” Not my proudest moment.

A young Braeden Moskowy, sans facial hair, with his 2011 Canadian Junior Men’s Championship trophy. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

6. All right now we move on to the Braeden-specific questions, and I’ve got a few doozies. First up, can you explain to me what “Schmackle” is, and why you’re so bad at it?

BM: [laughs] Oh jeez, you gotta be kidding me this one. Well, it’s a game that Mr. Dunstone likes to play to end practice, I think he learned it from Steve Laycock, but I don’t know. He always wins it, so it feels like he invented it. He’s got some sort of inside scoop, anyway. It’s essentially an end-of-practice game where all four guys go into the corners with two rocks, like four corners curling. You throw the rocks into the middle all at once, and then where the rocks end up, whichever rock is shot, you throw the other colour, and try to score as many points as you can. It’s a pure game of luck, long story short, and Dunny has all of the luck.

JC: Sounds like maybe he cheats, he was the one who told me to bring it up.

BM: I don’t think he cheats, but he just gets such an easy set up every time, it’s ridiculous. Every time it’s my turn, I get totally screwed on the angles, the shots, I get nothing going for me. He’ll end up with some easy hit for four, and then acts like he’s a genius. It’s the perfect game for him, he doesn’t even have to think about it. There’s no strategy, no game planning. Just open hits to make me look bad.

JC: Maybe you need a new end of practice game?

BM: I need something, Johnny. The boys love it because I keep getting screwed, but I’m petitioning to end practice another way because I hate it. [laughs]

7. So two years ago when you were in the Continental Cup, I tweeted this: ( I have to know: was I correct?

BM: Let’s be completely honest here, that’s exactly what was going on out in Vegas. [laughs] Honestly, it was a combination of me feeling rough from the night before and being pissed that I had to sweep a rock pillar-to-post in the first end. On an open hit, no less! Derek was doing me no favours there. In these situations, eight a.m. game after a night out in Vegas, you count on your teammates to bail you out, and that didn’t happen there.

JC: Very selfish. As a lead, I’ll tell you, I’d never make you sweep there. Were you feeling just as bad as you look?

BM: I was seeing stars, Johnny. [laughs] There’s just nothing more to it, just not feeling great at all. But you know, I can’t completely blame Derek for my anger, I think you get angry at yourself too, just coming up after that sweep and thinking, “Braeden, did you really need that last cocktail before bed? Maybe you could’ve mixed in a water.” But I survived.

8. Now since we had a reschedule, I don’t have a player question for you, so I’ll give you a bonus question from me: if you could relive any moment from your life thus far, what would it be and why?

BM: Honestly, I know we were just talking about it, but I would say the whole Continental Cup. It was my first time along with Hodgy and Derek, and Reid’s second. It’s fun to be a part of the first time with a bunch of guys, and obviously with it being in Vegas, we headed in a day early and just soaked it in. It was funny too, because we had a played a Slam the week before and played so bad. Just awful. So it was cool to go in there, play lights out, have a great team, and an awesome time.

JC: And Reid made that sweet shot to win.

BM: Absolutely, that was special. It’s just fun to actually be on a team with all the guys, you’re obviously friends with them but you’re always competing and cheering against them because you never want to end up playing them. So when you’ve got guys like Koe on your team, it’s really fun. And just watching the games too, cheering on your team. It was a blast, and I’d love the opportunity to do it again.

JC: If you did it again, you’d be taking three first-timers with you on Team Dunstone. What would your advice to them be?

BM: If you go to a Britney Spears concert with Kevin Koe and Jennifer Jones the night before an 8 a.m., mix in a water. [laughs]

JC: Fantastic advice. Could I have a question for my next guest, Rachel Brown please?

BM: OK. Other than me, who is your dream mixed team? You can choose international players too, if you want. And I want an on-ice reason and an off-ice reason why she’s picking each player.

JC: Ooh, I love it. Can’t wait to hear the off-ice reasons. Thanks for joining us, Braeden, and best of luck for the rest of this already successful season!

You can follow John Cullen on Twitter at @cullenthecurler, and you can follow Braeden Moskowy at @bmosk24.

Curling Canada