Thursday, January 8, 2009

Talking with Martin and Jones

This morning I had the chance to sit down with Jennifer Jones and Kevin Martin for an hour over coffee and chat about a variety of topics, starting with their appearance at this weekend’s Casino Rama Skins Game.
I’ve interviewed Kevin a thousand times going back to the early ‘90s and we have a good rapport; I haven’t spent that much time talking to Jennifer Jones but contrary to this report I found her, as in our past few talks, to be engaging, honest and open.
They were both in Toronto doing a whirlwind tour prior to heading up to the Casino for the big bucks shootout. I think they had a dozen interviews on tap including an appearance with Randy Ferbey and Glenn Howard on Off The Record, which is worth the watch -- check it out here. The best moment, for me, came when Michael Landsberg (who is one of the best interviewers in sports television -- just watch) asked the group if anyone else could do the Jeff Stoughton 360-spin delivery, to which Ferbey answered: "Not on purpose."
Without giving away everything I’m going to use in my Globe column for Saturday, here are a few great quotes from the interview:

Jones on the differences between men’s and women’s curling:
“The two biggest differences are the men can throw it harder, obviously, I mean they’re bigger, they’re stronger, and that’s a huge advantage in curling. They can make a ton of rocks go away in one shot whereas it might take us a couple. And the sweeping. You look at Ben and Marc, they’re unbelievable sweepers and I think Jill and Dawn are as good as it gets in women’s curling but Dawn’s probably less than 100 pounds.”

Martin on what he sees when he watches women’s curling:
“They’re naturally not as aggressive. It’s wired in, I think. They tend to be less aggressive, just every shot. It’s wired into their minds to be a little more cautious. It’s probably like they are in my house. My wife’s always the cautious one, who worries about everything whereas I just go “This is a good idea. Here we go.”

Jones on the women’s slams:
“We need to make our slams special and right now they’re just 32-team bonspiels that you regularly play in.”

On the right time to hold the Olympic Trials
Martin: “You could have it six months early, in April or March, that makes a lot of sense. Now you have the summertime to market your team and just to prepare.”
Jones: “I think it’s huge burden to put on people to get ready in two months. I’ve always thought March, April. There’s time in April.”

Oh and before we go. . . welcome back to the land of the living, Murray McCormick.

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