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Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

Self Promotion Is So Much Easier When Others Do It For You….

August 24, 2012 1 comment

In this little adventure of a writing career I’ve forayed into over the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot of fun talking to all sorts of interesting people and writing interviews and features for various outlets. It didn’t really occur to me that anyone would ever be interested in turning the microphone around towards my face to record what I was saying, but that’s exactly what the Jeju Weekly did recently, when I sat down with Darryl Coote for my first formal interview. It appears in the August edition of their printed paper, and is available online. And below, for your reading pleasure.

Also, I was recently a guest of Thomas Holzerman on The Wrestling Podcast, from the makers of The Wrestling Blog. I talked about WWE-related stuff for a long time, and even got a little hockey talk in at the end. If that sounds like your cup of tea, click right here to listen, or you can click here to listen/download the show on iTunes

Enjoy the SDC smorgasbord!

-SDC

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Writing and hockey, passion and practice

Dave Cunning, a teacher and freelancer, is likely Jeju’s only former pro hockey player

Friday, August 17, 2012, 09:46:07  Darryl Coote  darrylcoote@jejuweekly.com

I met Dave Cunning a couple weeks back. He came to The Weekly’s office looking to write about sports.

Usually I meet people about town and ask them if they want to write for us. But with Dave, he was one of the few who actually came to me.

Soon after, I learned that Dave and I have some things in common. We’re both Canadian, we both write for newspapers, and we both played hockey — though, impressively, Dave played professionally.

▲ Dave Cunning. Photo by Darryl Coote

In early August I sat down with Dave over a couple of beers to talk shop.

“Well, if you want to get technical,” Dave said, “I started writing in college. I mean it was something that everybody does. You’re writing a hundred papers a year and it just gets to the point where either you get good at it or you don’t.”

And then he found blogging. The freedom it offered him to express whatever was on his mind was a nice break from the rigidity of essays.

In 2006, Dave, who only recently became engaged, took blogging with him to France where he went to play professional hockey for Lyon H.C.

“That was one of the things I wrote [about]; I was writing about my experience. I was away from everyone I knew … and I was just alone with a computer and I wanted to tell people what was going on and I just wrote.”

To play hockey at the professional level, he said, was one of his greatest accomplishments.

“I always wanted to play pro hockey. It’s not something that everybody gets to say [they did].”

After that season he went home to Kelowna, British Columbia, where the transition from sport to a regular job wasn’t easy.

“It’s tough when you’ve spent your life pursuing a dream and … [it’s] the only thing that matters and then you’re doing something that couldn’t matter less. You’re working for a paycheck, you’re working to get by. And it’s awful.”

Since he hung up his skates, writing has been a way for Dave to stay in touch with the game he loves. He is still just as invested he said, it’s just from a different perspective.

And though it may not seem like it at first, for Dave there are two main similarities between writing and hockey — passion and practice.

“When you latch on to a story that you love, your best comes out. It’s not that different from the game of hockey. When you’re tuned into the game, you’ve trained, you’ve practiced, you’ve done a million pushups, you’ve done a million wind sprints, you‘ve done everything because you want to be the best at the game.”

The same is true with writing.

“If you half-ass a story it’s going to show up pretty quick,” he said.

The first story Dave wrote (and was paid for) for the Kelowna Daily Courier shows where these two disciplines intersect.

He visited a Kelowna Rockets practice and saw the players in line, just stick handling. “It was just like a hockey school,” he said. Just the basic back and forth from foot to foot.

And for Dave that was the hook for his story. These players, who were one step below the NHL, were doing drills for children just learning the game and he wanted to show that the game doesn’t change much from minor to professional hockey.

“And it’s not that different from writing,” he said. “The best writers probably write every day, probably two or three times a day, or more. We put this crazy interpretation or perception on professionals of any genre that they’re doing these mystical things that normal people can’t do and at the end of the day they just have been doing them consistently, and long enough, to be in really good practice to do them well.”

Along with The Weekly, Dave writes as a contributor for the Kelowna Daily Courier, BetOnHockey.com, and The Score’s Backhand Shelf. For these publications he’s interviewed some pretty big names in the hockey world like Pat Quinn and Mark Recchi. But to Dave, “I like to think every interview is my biggest one. You never know what you’re going to hear, you never know what you get to write, and you never know who is going to read what you get to write.”

Impressively, from Jeju’s shores he is writing once a month for the Kelowna Daily Courier.

For Dave and his wife, Karma, this has been their second foray to Korea to teach English. They were originally in Geoje Island, near the mainland. They left for a year and came to Jeju this past March, and so far it seems to be agreeing with him.

“I want to keep writing. I want to keep training. I want to keep doing the things I love. I want to keep doing the things I’m passionate about. If there’s an opportunity to keep doing that on Jeju then yeah we very well might stay longer. Like I said this place is beautiful. Jeju has so many things to offer for my wife and myself; everybody really.”

Schwartzel Taps His Inner Seinfeld For Masters Win, Tiger Loses Again, Norm MacDonald, and Hockey Quips.

April 10, 2011 2 comments

Shameless self-promotion: I had my latest newspaper article published; did you pick up a copy of The View on Friday? Click here to read it online if you don’t get the paper. Also, follow @LakeCountryBB and @BlackbeltsLCF on Twitter.

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Sorry if this throws you off, but I’ve got a few golf comments to make. I watched the final round of The Masters today, something I didn’t think I was capable of doing. A big part of making it tolerable was listening to Norm MacDonald’s “Norm Cast” running commentary of the event, and even getting one of my tweets read on the air live by Norm.  You should follow Norm on Twitter @normmacdonald and @normsportsshow , and check out the website.

The tweet I got read was, “If Tiger Woods wins the Masters today, expect Michael Vick level forgiveness of transgressions from the masses.” Valiantly try as he might, Tiger did not win. Charl (es?) Schwartzel did wins The Masters, and subsequently lifted the “Seinfeld Curse”(dubbed by Norm and company, as Charl has a striking resemblance to Jerry Seinfeld, facially). So I guess this means Tiger is still a dirty man-whore. How slutty do you think Tiger was over the weekend to play as well as he did? Also, do you think Tiger Woods was rattled that Lee Westwood’s wore his same red shirt, black hat/pants/shoes setup for Masters Sunday? That’s Tiger’s Sunday getup, Lee, everybody knows this.

I felt painfully bad for Rory Mcilroy, watching his Masters-sized meltdown. Guy was leading until he hit a shot onto some guy’s front lawn (who has a house on Augusta, btw?), and basically collapsed from there. Had a chance to be the youngest guy since Tiger to win the Masters, and then he BA-lew it.

I was closet-cheering for South Korea’s KJ Choi to win, and he was in the hunt. I bet KJ Choi played a lot of screen golf in Korea as a youngster. Only people who have lived in Korea will understand that comment. Basically, screen golf is virtual golf; and most Koreans play it instead of real golf because there are very few real golf courses in Korea as there’s very little previously undeveloped land to build them on, and the ones that exist are extremely expensive and exclusive. I am a little surprised Jinro Soju isn’t KJ Choi’s major sponsor (another Korean inside joke, sorry). SK Telecom must’ve won a screen golf bet for his rights.

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So the last place Edmonton Oilers beat the Canucks back to back before the end of the NHL regular season? Can anyone else feel Vancouver’s first round slipping out of their hands?

Vancouver’s Raffi Torres’ hit on Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle seemed like a classic tall guy’s elbow naturally falling at short guy’s head level. Clean hit if Raffi got lower. I honestly thought it was a good, hard, borderline clean hit. The Chara-Pacioretty thing has every call on eggshells, and discipline is expected everytime someone goes down. I think Torres said it best himself, saying he was just finishing his hit, and if he hadn’t he probably wouldn’t be seeing much more ice. I like Eberle, but if players can’t hit, the NHL turn into touch hockey before we know it.

I’m happy that my LA Kings won’t be facing Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs, especially now that they are without Anze Kopitar. I’m also happy that Vancouver will be meeting Chicago in the first round. I’m a casual fan, and I don’t invest my entire existence into my hockey team, nor their playoff hopes. If LA doesn’t win, no big deal. However, for Canucks fans, if Vancouver bows out early yet again, look out innocent civilians residing in the lower mainland of BC….

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Rookie Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and seasoned veteran Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils both have 30 goals this year. The difference between them? $97.3 million in salary. That seems fair. Oh, Jacques Lemaire just retired again, and Brodeur sucks now? New Jersey is in trouble going forward. Jeff Skinner on the other hand, not so much. Calder?

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Martin St. Louis sure is content using those obscenely yellow Easton sticks, isn’t he?

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I have a hunch that more NHL players are going after Gordie Howe hat tricks on purpose and as a real stat these days. Not that I mind.

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I enjoyed Toronto’s late playoff push. I love how mad so many people would have been if they got in. I think the Leafs have a lot to look forward to next season, as long as Brian Burke doesn’t Niemi/Halak his #1 goalie and trade James Reimer in the off-season, in favour of backing Giguere or Gustavsson (who is anything but a monster. Unless he’s one from Monsters, Inc).

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And finally, Cory Clouston gets tossed out of Ottawa. After getting the worst out of every good player Ottawa had under his regime, feuding with Dany Heatley to the point of a no-trade clause waiving trade, and finishing nearly last in the league over and over, how did it take this long for this to happen?

Look Soccer, We Have to Talk….

June 23, 2010 14 comments

Look soccer, I tried.  I tried really hard to like you, and to even fall for you.  On your grandest stage of all, the World Cup, I’ve kept up to date on highlights, tried to get a feel for who’s good and who’s not, forced myself to watch “The Footy Show”, and in the end, I hate to break it to you but….I’m just not that into you. 

I’ll stand by my earlier claims that I respect the abilities of the top players in the game, and thoroughly enjoy playing the game; but as far as sitting at home at watching on TV, I’m going to have to pass. 

I feel like this point has been beaten to death over the years, but you guys gotta score more goals.  Scoring = excitement in all sports, 100% of the time.  I can’t pretend to be riveted to the action of another “nil-nil” scoreless draw.  As I’ve previously iterated, Your game features THE BIGGEST NET IN SPORTS, so someone fill that net already, especially in a tournament that allows you to pick up extra points in the standings for your team’s “Goals For”, in addition to wins, losses, and draws.  Oh yeah, by the way, points for a tie?  Isn’t this the playoffs?  There are no ties allowed in the playoffs of any sport, I thought this was unilaterally understood.  Someone win the freaking game already, you only get to compete every 4 years in this tournament, so go make your mark, don’t just be happy to be there.

And can someone please tell us, definitively, how much time is actually left in the game? 90 minutes is clearly not 90 minutes.  I think the whole injury time thing is a good idea; recouping all the time the divers have wasted, plus the legitimate stoppages.  But why does the referee have to keep this seemingly arbitrary number of game extension time so secret?  Why can’t it be displayed on the clock with the rest of the time; or even better, why can’t you just stop the clock all together for said stoppages??

It’s possible that because Canada sucks at soccer didn’t qualify for the tournament nor will they ever, I am less enthused about the whole event.  On a side note though, I heard you’ve been screwing the American team, so you’ve got that going for you; keep it up, you’ll win Canadians over yet.  After spending a year in South Korea, I’ve found myself rooting for them a bit; also for the home South Africans because of friends we have there, and for the old standby’s of Brazil, Italy, and England.  Wasn’t France supposed to be good too?  But after a while, you realize there’s like a bazillion teams (well, 32) competing, and that just seems like such an obtuse number of squads competing at once.  Can’t you just narrow down the field a bit more before calling the tournament?  I mean, you’ve had 4 years to whittle down the numbers, it’s not like you were short on time or anything…   

I feel like comparing your game to China; in that we’ve been hearing for years now that China is going to take over the world in all aspects, and we’d all better learn to speak Chinese or we’ll all be screwed and have no future.  I’ve been hearing how soccer is the most popular sport in the world (probably true, in the global sense) and how it’s eventually going to be all the rave in North America.  Well, bad news for both hopefuls – I’m getting tired of waiting, and the language I’ve been speaking and the sports I’ve been playing all my life seem just fine they way they are (If China wins the World Cup, I’ll sign up for Mandarin classes).

I’ll give you one thing though, I DO like those vuvuzelas.  Seriously, I think they’re great.  I’m not sure if they’re an African thing or not, but if they are, no one should be saying a thing about banning them.  If that’s a cultural thing, let it be.  They sing during games in Europe, let them blow horns in Africa; why is this worth so many people getting angry about, and people having to invent software to edit them out of broadcasts?  I think it adds a unique flavour to the tournament.

I resolve to continue to be a casual soccer fan.  I’ll probably watch the final, and the odd highlight package, but don’t expect much more from me.  Unless they give all the players sticks.  And they let the players bodycheck.  And they pour water on the field and freeze it.  When those things happen, let me know, and we’ll talk.  Until then…..

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