by Colin Hodgson
Twitter feeds explode with public begging. Facebook groups pop up overnight. Is this the United States presidential election? No, it is bigger than that. This is the vote battle for the recently revamped The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game.
Canadian curling fans can log in to their computers each day and pick the players they want to see curling in the annual TV Skins Game. This is exciting, all-offense curling that boggles the brain of the average curler until it all comes together with a Hail-Mary heater on the last shot of the game for ridiculous amounts of cash. That’s what I call a curling match.
This year’s Skins Game will be a lot spicier than past events. In previous years, four teams were selected to compete, whereas this year fan voting will select four skips, four thirds, four seconds and four leads, and all will then be randomly thrown together to create four teams. Hence, our best-case viewing entertainment scenario: Randy Ferbey is selected as Kevin Martin’s third – and all pandemonium breaks loose.
Voting just started on Monday, and it seems a fire has already started on social media – ignited by curling stars John Morris and David Nedohin. Attacks between their Twitter feeds, @johnnymocurler and @dnedohin, have been raising eyebrows and thus intrigued, I resolved to find out what is going on between these guys.
Colin Hodgson (CH): So John, the comments on Twitter between you and David probably have a lot of people wondering just where all this animosity between the two of you came from?
John Morris (JM): Well, it seemed to really peak in the mid to late 2000’s when every big game we (Team Martin) played seemed to be against Ferbey. David has always been a strong competitor and so have I, so that nature sometimes translates to fire on ice. We are both really intense guys and sometimes that intensity can get the best of us in the moment.
CH: What is your honest opinion of David Nedohin?
JM: He can be a bit of a square. It’s funny, because when we used to battle for provincial titles my boys at the fire hall would tell me to make sure that nerd Nedohin doesn’t beat you, or else there won’t be any dinner for you when you get back to work.
CH: Let me just quote a tweet you sent to David as an example:
Hey @dnedohin, maybe this skins you’ll make more shots now that you don’t have Ron Jeremy calling line for ya #furball #zing
How did you ever come up with that comparison of Randy Ferbey to Ron Jeremy?
JM: It’s pretty easy if you’ve ever watched 1980s porn as well as Randy Ferbey curling in his heyday, when he drank slightly too much beer and rocked an aggressive moustache.
CH: Given the chance that you might end up playing with David in the Skins Game, how many ends do you think you would make it through before chaos broke out on the ice?
JM: It’ll be all good unless he starts making some bonehead strategy decisions. If that’s the case then it may get interesting out there.
CH: Is there anything you’d like to add about the rivalry?
JM: It’s always been a heated rivalry between us. It cooled off a little when Randy retired but this new skins format has definitely refuelled things.
Well. After interviewing John, I thought it would be appropriate to get both sides of the story. So, naturally, I called Nedohin.
CH: I’ve noticed there is a lot of tension between you and John Morris. Having already interviewed him it seems you guys have a lot of issues to work out. What do you have against John?
David Nedohin (DN): John has a hot personality and it’s always been a bit of a detriment to his team. Like, honestly, who snaps a broom over his knee in the middle of a game?
CH: What do you have to say about John’s tweet where he compared Randy Ferbey to Ron Jeremy?
DN: I find it interesting that a player in his position would say something about a player that is arguably the greatest ever. He still has a lot to learn.
CH: Over the years the rivalry seemed to be Ferbey versus Martin and Morris versus Nedohin. What do you think would happen if you were teamed with Morris, and your opponents were Randy and Kevin? How long do you think it would take before all hell broke out on the ice?
DN: That is a really good question but I don’t think it would really matter, because Randy and Kevin would happen first.
CH: Is there anything you would like to say about Morris or Team Martin heading into the voting this month?
DN: I think that Team Martin is one of the best teams in the world right now, and also one of the greatest ever. Even so, I guarantee that if I were to play in the Skins Game against John, I feel confident I would win, and would even be willing to put a small wager on it.
Strong words from both players. But who has the advantage?
Although virtually deadlocked in win/loss records over the past 12 years, prior to 2007 the head-to-head score was 15-4 in favor of Nedohin. Post-2007, Morris has a commanding 20-6 record over Nedohin (thanks to CurlingZone for the stats). Either way, if these players are “elected” to compete at Casino Rama, and if certain lineups and matchups are then created, this new Skins Game cannot possibly disappoint.
Remember curling fans, go to TSN.ca/CurlingSkins everyday to vote for the players you want to see squaring off at The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game. The athlete draw takes place live on January 17, 2013 on TSN, and the Skins Game follows on Jan. 19-20. You have the power, now go use it!
[Insight Sports Ferbey photo copyright ® by Dallas Bittle; Ron Jeremy photo copyright ® by Ron de Jeremy (rondejeremy.com); Morris photo copyright ® by Canadian Curling Association; Capital One Nedohin photo copyright ® by Anil Mungal – click on images to view larger]