I like to brag in general, but usually it is about me. This time, however, I am bragging about my celebrity friend Brad Curle. I first met Curle when I was working as a freelance writer for the Calgary Hitmen and interviewing the players. Curle was not only calling games on the radio, but he was also working with the media and doing office duties as well! This is the only part of our friendship that really bugs me—when compared to him, I am a lazy bum.
Q&A With Brad Curle
Brad Curle is the voice of the Calgary Hitmen and also a member of the news team at 660 News radio station. When he’s not travelling with the Hitmen, interviewing the players or reading the news, he also runs the blog The Hitmen Informant. I worked with Curle for many years at the Saddledome, writing articles for the Hitmen’s game day magazine. I finally turned the tables on Curle and interviewed him! The hunter had become the hunted.
Q: How long have you been working for the Calgary Hitmen? What is the absolute best part about calling hockey games on the radio? I am guessing that the best part is that they let you into the Saddledome for free.
Curle: You stole my answer! Yes getting to watch hockey and get paid for it is great. I do have so say, however, that the absolute best part about working for the Hitmen is that I get to hang around aspiring athletes. These guys make me feel young! What is a bit depressing is that when I started in with the Hitmen in 2005, the players used to look up to me as a big brother, and now they are thinking of me more of a “father figure”. I am hoping that I don’t wind up being the grandfather someday—that would be a little depressing. But it is an absolutely awesome job!
Q: You must have pretty good eyesight to work the Hitmen games from your lofty perch high up in the rafters. Do you know how good your eyesight is? (20/20, 20/15, x-ray, etc).
Curle: The eyesight is pretty good. I’m not seeing through any skirts, but I can definitely keep a vehicle on the road.
Q: You are my only friend I can think of who has his own catchphrase. When the Hitmen win, you are famous for shouting “sweeeet victory”. How did the “sweeeet victory” catchphrase originate?
Curle: Well, the catchphrase is pretty popular with younger Hitmen fans. Kids usually enjoy yelling anyway, so if they yell “sweeeet victory!” they won’t get in trouble. Basically my thinking with the phrase was that a ton of hard work and determination goes into a win—not just from the players, but also from the trainers, the coaches and the staff. So it not just a win. It is a true victory.
Q: You have a distinctive radio voice when you call a hockey game or read the news on the air. I will often phone you up and ask you what is new because I am just too lazy to turn on 660 News. Just tell me about the earthquake please. Has anyone ever recognized you because of your voice? (I am picturing you at the Home Depot with a piece of construction wood yelling “sweeeet hickory” for example).
Curle: Well, that hasn’t happened here in Calgary, but I did get recognized when I called games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Lethbridge is a smaller town so I would get “the look” once in a while. Here in Calgary, there are tons of people so I don’t get recognized—I like that! I am not the show, just a messenger on how the Hitmen are doing.
Q: Spoken like someone who had to wait in line at the Motor Vehicles Registry even though you are a celebrity. Fair enough. Here is where I pull out the secret weapon: your past.
Curle: Good Lord.
Q: You grew up in Saskatchewan and worked at a radio station there. What was the worst trouble that you ever got into working a tiny station in the middle of nowhere? Any pranks? Anyone ever arrested?
Curle: Close but not quite. We really did prank each other though. We would always try to make the other guy make a mistake. It was great fun. If I was reading the news, it was pretty common for the other guys to light my piece of paper on fire or put toothpaste in my ears. I remember one time receptionist flashed me when I was live on the air!
Curle: We had one guy so terrified on his last day that we were going to prank him that he literally barricaded himself in the on-air booth, with the furniture wedged up against the door so that no one would bother him while he was reading the news.
Q: What a spoilsport! Okay, let’s talk about your job reading the days events at 660 News here in Calgary. Who decides who gets the lead story? Any disagreements? I’m guessing the editor wants to run a story about a tsunami and you are pushing for an update on the Kardashians.
Curle: Well, that is not really the way it works. The editor has the final call on what stories go to air, but we all get some input. It is definitely a team effort—there is a News Director, editors, reporters, and audio editors and of course I’m just one of the guys reading the news on the air. It’s a great job and I love being part of that team.