Hot Shots and Jennifer Jones
Actual play in the first draw of the Scott Tournament of Hearts is preceded by an individual skills competition, the Hot Shots, with material (cash, and a two-year lease on an SUV) prizes at stake.
As we watched this yesterday, I wondered whether this might not be a distraction for players in the next draw; one thing we agreed is that it would surely assist in reading the ice later in real play.
So go listen to the interview with Jennifer Jones after her first match against Janet Harvey in the second draw: it can be found at our podcast site (see the right sidebar - should be posted later this morning) Jones played very poorly for the first several ends (finally prevailing by taking two in the 10th), and attributes the poor play largely to convictions about the behaviour of the ice that she had derived from her experience in the Hot Shots. These convictions were at odds with the reality of the ice she was playing on (several hours after the Hot Shots competition).
Listen also to the interview with Janet Harvey (same place) to get a sense of how strong the sense of competition with the Jones' rink is; the lady doth protest too much in some ways. One fact was clearly visible; seven of the first eight matches in this tournament started with pretty open play, and only in the Canada-Manitoba matche did guards go up immediately and the aggressive play begin in the first end.
Addendum: you can hear those interviews, along with all the interviews we will be making available, by going to this site.