Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cathy O vs. The Jones Gang

Here's my latest Globe column (it will be appearing every Thursday through the Season of Champions) on the looming game between Cathy Overton-Clapham and Jennifer Jones.

I had a chance to speak with Cathy yesterday and she really tried to say that she's over the chop from last April. I suspect that she's not entirely over it and beating Jones might be sweet.

While writing the story, I was thinking that in curling, when someone gets cut, it's so personal. IN other sports, when a player is let go, it's often hard but it's accepted that it's going to happen. I was trying to reason in my head why. I think part of it is because we think of the four players on the curling team as equals. There's no GM to do the firing/trading. And in curling, generally we think about friendships before performance, at least to a certain extent.

Of course this dismissal was truly a shocker because the Jones team had won the Canadian title a few weeks earlier and Cathy O was the all-star. Timing was bad. But I don't really fault Jones for anything. She's a pretty focused and intense person who gets that at the very top level, you're going to have to make some hard decisions to reach the top rung. She did that and we'll see if it's the right choice.

I'm looking forward to that game in Charlottetown, for sure.

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