Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tonight: Off The Record with skins skips

Some big-name curling champs – Kevin Martin, Randy Ferbey, Glenn Howard and Jennifer Jones – are headed to the 2009 Casino Rama Skins Game this weekend.

All four skips are now in Toronto and en route to TSN studios at the Rogers Centre for a taping of Off The Record, the sometimes-incendiary sports talk show with host Michael Landsberg.

The all-curling show airs tonight at 6:00pm eastern time.

It might be repeated overnight or tomorrow morning/afternoon, and it is sure to be available online tomorrow, as well – Canada only, we think?

Practice ice goes tomorrow in the casino entertainment centre and play begins Saturday with Martin versus Ferbey (1:00pm ET) and then Howard versus Jones (8:00pm ET). The final goes Sunday, at 1:00pm ET.

Many of you will remember our extensive 2007 event blog coverage, which told you about the ice, the ice temperature, the rock-star intros, the special-guest piper, the picks, the team from Newfoundland which perhaps woulda-coulda-shoulda been in the final, and much, much more.

(Search back to December 2007 in our blog archives for that much, much more)

Last year Off The Record – OTR – also hosted an all-curling Skins preview episode, and things got very interesting. Wayne Middaugh was on fire, first reminding Martin of his corn-broom incident at the 1991 Worlds and then stating, unequivocally, that “the Olympics have ruined curling.”

Wayner is always sure to be a hoot on that show.

Jill Officer, who plays second for Jones and who writes for The Curling News, was unimpressed enough to write a column in last year’s January issue asking Wayne just what the hell he meant by that.

Of course, if you subscribed to The Curling News, you will have read that story already. Hint, hint.

So what will tonight’s OTR reveal?

It should be fun with Martin and Ferbey in the same room. Maybe TSN will seat them side by side. Giggle.

Jones will get asked about competing against men, and Glenn will joke that while he’s a really nice guy he’s just going to have to kick Jen’s butt, because the skins format is too volatile to do anything but try and squash your opponent. No Mr. Nice Guy here.

Jones, as some have suggested, is like a lawyer in her interviews. Guarded, formulaic and cliched. Well, she is a lawyer, in fact. Host Landsberg, meanwhile, has been know to get under the skin of some guests, and he may feel he has to roll up his sleeves and do just that today. Anyone want to take that bet, Jones versus Landsberg? Who wins?

Finally, a word about tickets. Southern Ontarians are complaining that Ticketmaster won’t give them any options to buy, with the site listing the event tickets as “unavailable”. There are whispers that the event is “Sold Out”.

We have the scoop. And we’ll reveal it – along with the exclusive way to go and get what few tickets remain - later this afternoon. Stay tuned ...

PS: Landsberg will be going back to his roots, at Vancouver in 2010. He is part of the massive consortium lineup of TV anchors, hosts and reporters who will be very busy at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. This story also reveals the names of the curling TV talent: Vic Rauter, Bryan Mudryk, Linda Moore, Ray Turnbull, Russ Howard, Cathy Gauthier, Dan Murphy, Michel Y. Lacroix and Guy Hemmings ...

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