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Conversations with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling from the 1940's to the modern era.  Subscribe to the Curling Legends Podcast email list to receive updates during the curling season and be reminded when new shows are released.

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Feb 7, 2018

John Aassand doesn't live in the past. In 1972 four young players from Grafton, North Dakota competed in their first mens playdowns.  From State to US Nationals and then to Germany, their magical run would eventually land them in the finals of the World Championship against Canada's Orest Meleschuk.  Johnny at second, his brother Frank at third,  lead Ray Morgan and skip Robert Labonte took a 9-7 lead into the 10th end.  After what was thought to be the final rock of the game, with players preparing to shake hands, it appeared USA had won.  In a dark twist, however, Labonte jumped in celebration, slipped on his landing and kicked a Canada stone.  Meleschuk was awarded two points and the game went to extra ends, with Canada taking the Silver Broom trophy.  John will share the story of what happened during that moment, and the repercussions for both teams in the years that followed.  You'll hear stories from the Hibbing bonspiel, Barry Fry and learn why the team John skipped to two USA finals in the mid-80's was like the Oakland Raiders of the 1970's.
 
You can watch clips from the 1972 World Championships and Bob's famous fall . After Canada failed to win the Worlds for the next 8 years, it became known as The Curse of Labonte.  Here's an article on John from 2008 and if you find yourself in Grafton, be sure to check out The Extra End Bar.