Russ Howard to join TSN?

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According to Dave MacLean of the Moncton Times & Transcript, Mr. Hurry Hard himself, Russ Howard,might soon be joining Vic, Ray and Linda in the broadcast booth.

The Moncton-based curling icon (Canadaeast photo above by Cindy Wilson) said he’s intrigued by a career in broadcasting and admitted he’s recently received overtures from at least one member of curling most popular broadcasting trio.

The two-time world champion and reigning Olympic gold medallist made the comments during a wide-ranging interview as he criss-crossed the province recently promoting his book Hurry Hard: The Russ Howard Story, which is reviewed here by CP’s Bill Graveland.

“I’m eyeing broadcasting,” Howard said. “There’s a rumour that TSN will be hiring a second crew, because they’re about to take over (from CBC-TV) and they plan on covering way more curling. Ray Turnbull gave me a ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ a few days ago and said I should be involved in that.

“I’ve enjoyed my previous experiences in television, so I think that would be fun.”

TSN president Phil King told MacLean the network is not actively pursuing talent but should an opening become available or staff expansion occur, Howard would certainly be considered.

Howard, of course, auditioned to replace Don Duguid at CBC around seven years ago. The job eventually went to 1998 Olympic skip Mike Harris.

Another emerging field that has proven lucrative for curlers with impressive resumes is coaching. Since the sport was introduced as a full-medal event at the Olympics, many nations have embraced curling and are taking up the roaring game.

Former rival Ed Lukowich – the 1986 world champion who beat Russ in the Brier final – is now the head of curling development for USA Curling and other Canadians are coaching in countries such as Austria, Russia, Japan, Australia and China.

“The other thing that interests me a lot is teaching,” said Howard, a former golf pro before embarking on his current career in real estate.

“I loved teaching golf and curling, but I’m probably a better curling instructor. I’d love to take on the Chinese team or something like that – a team from one of the nations where curling is just getting started. Something like that intrigues me.”

Elsewhere:

• Lots doing in Saskabush: say farewell, sadly, to the Hub; there’s the annual mayhem that is the SCA; does this news mean that Moose Jaw’s long-discussed new facility will actually get off the ground (we have our doubts); and a Regina team, led by a pastor, has won the 2007 Canadian Aboriginal Curling Championship ...

• The eight-end debate is still raging...

• Here’s... Office Curling ... ?? ...

• U.S. women’s champ Deb McCormick has a season-ending Q&A here ...

• The Curling Show has a pile of great interviews up, including the displaced Jamie Korab, his former skip, Brad Gushue, and politico Paul Boutilier ...

• And finally, Kansas City’s fourth-annual bonspiel goes this weekend, as promoted by the one and only curling diehard in St. Louis ...