First off, kudos to Ryan Switzer who went down to the Cypress Hills College to conduct a "Life Lessons" class with the Broncos veteran players. Today's topic: interview school.
Ryan does a great job with this as he gives them some tips on how to conduct a better interview and hold a conversation with a reporter. The players seem to get a kick out of it including former Bronco Andrew Wasmuth who made sure to thank Ryan for his time and efforts last year. Just one hitch this year, Ryan was supposed to co-host the event with Carol Andrews of southwesttvnews.com. But, like all Bronco events, Carol and southwesttvnews were a no-show. Flat out stood up the event for one reason or another. Here's Switzer, a Program Director for two FM stations, on-location at Fine Furniture Oasis today, got up this morning at 4am to do his morning show on Magic 97FM, always joins me for Bronco commentary game-nights and has two kids at home . . . . and Carol is the one jamming?? Atta support the local sports scene southwesttvnews . . . CLICK.
Alright, enough of that. Let's focus on Friday night's game, the Swift Current Broncos hosting the Everett Silvertips at the Civic Center which leads me to the topic of Kevin Constantine.
I'm going to take you through the first conversation I ever had with him and it's one that may, or may not surprise you.
It was the Silvertips first season in the WHL, they were laden with former Broncos including Mitch Love, Jeff Harvey, Torrie Wheat, and John Dahl. A lot was made about this game coming in. The Broncos had some real characters that season that weren't afraid to verbally stir it up - namely Aaron Rome and Jeremy Williams.
The Silvertips walked into our barn that night almost like robots. Stone faced, their actions almost matching their teammate in front as they marched single-file to their dressing room. Mitch Love looked at me as if he didn't know me, so did Jeff Harvey who was usually one of the more sociable, outspoken guys the Broncos have had in years.
I knew something was up. The 'Tips had either just got a stern reminder from Constantine that they had a game to play and there was to be no friendly chit-chat or it was something more, I wasn't sure. I needed to interview Constantine and a couple of the guys to fill up my pre-game show, so I approached the former NHL head coach in San Jose, Pittsburgh and New Jersey. Here's how the conversation went:
Jon: "Hi Kevin, I'm looking to grab a few of your guys here for a couple minutes, when is a good time?"
Kevin: "No one is talking to no one tonight! These guys aren't going to talk to any Swift Current media until after the game. They have a game to play and focus on, forget it."
Jon: "Well I've planned my whole pre-game show around this Kevin"
Kevin: "Too bad, you can talk to me, that's it."
Jon: "Sorry, but you have to make your players available to talk up to 90 minutes before a game - it's league rules, a WHL media guideline and if you don't make it happen, I'm going to the league."
Kevin: "I don't give a f@!k! You do whatever you want!"
Well I left to get the Broncos interviews done, when I returned 15 minutes later his mood was much better. He gave me full access to anyone and even gave me a four minute chit-chat for the pre-game show. He was very pleasant and has been excellent ever since, he's actually a very personable guy.
Not sure what his initial intentions were. Did he think he was going to walk into a mass of Swift Current media at the doors "lights! camera! action!". Did he think his players would be mauled by reporters in Speedy Creek?? Yes Brian Dueck from the Booster, myself and Carol Andrews with her camera in the media scrum! Haha, at least Constantine won't have to worry about her being there.
Go Broncos Go,