Q+A John Kerry

February 09, 2004

The Democratic presidential candidate and senator from
Massachussets played hockey, lacrosse and soccer at Yale and, at
60, is still a jock.

SI: What was your greatest sports highlight in college?

Kerry: It had to be in soccer. I scored a hat trick against
Harvard, and we beat them for the first time in years. That was
just a great day.

SI: Weren't you playing in a soccer game when you found out John
F. Kennedy had been shot?

Kerry: Yes. I still remember that hush go over the crowd when the
announcement was made. But I don't remember the score.

SI: When did you start playing hockey?

Kerry: On frozen ponds in New Hampshire as a kid. There weren't
many artificial rinks then. I chipped a few teeth, got a few
stitches in my face along the way. But it's a great game.

SI: You play in charity games with ex-NHL players. What's that
like?

Kerry: Like you're a kid in heaven. I mean, you come off your
shift and your tongue is hanging out and you look over and
there's Ray Bourque sitting next to you. Then you look to your
other side and there's Phil Esposito. Then you feel a hand on
your back and someone says "nice shift," and it's Gordie Howe.
Come on. It doesn't get better than that.

SI: How did people react when you acknowledged Ray Bourque's
retirement on the Senate floor?

Kerry: I don't know. I just know he's a great athlete, and I
believe great athletes should be honored.

SI: What did you think of the President's mention of steroids in
his State of the Union address?

Kerry: It's a legitimate issue, but I did think it was strange to
hear in that speech.

SI: If you were president, would you abolish the DH?

Kerry: [Laughs.] Could I actually do that? Oh, I don't know....
I'm not a fan of the DH, but I think we're going to have to live
with it.

SI: If you could challenge President Bush to any sport,
one-on-one, what would it be?

Kerry: He's a better runner; I'm a better hockey player. Maybe
we'd have to compete on neither ice nor asphalt--how about
windsurfing?

SI: A few years ago you were profiled in American Windsurfer and
said windsurfing can be like meditation. Explain.

Kerry: It's the mixture of the wind and the sea and flying.
There's a lot of freedom, and when everything is dialed in right,
you're just right there, focused on getting it right.

SI: Haven't you windsurfed from Cape Cod to Nantucket?

Kerry: Yes, four times. It takes about six hours. When you get
tired you just drop your sail and sit for a minute. Or if you get
dunked, you drop your sail too.

SI: As a Red Sox fan, what do you think when you hear "Bill
Buckner"?

Kerry: Little white ball. Squiggling through the legs. World
Series--gone! The toughest loss of all. But Bill Buckner is a
good player. He's had a tough time. I've forgiven him.

SI: Have you forgiven Grady Little for leaving Pedro in against
the Yankees in the playoffs?

Kerry: No! That was just unbelievable. We were screaming at the
TV, "Take him out!" I could see leaving him in for one batter,
but after he gave up a hit [sighs].... Well, it still is just
unbelievable.

--K.K.

For more from John Kerry, go to si.com/siexclusive.

COLOR PHOTO: RICK FRIEDMAN/CORBIS (KERRY IN HELMET) Facing off with W? COLOR PHOTO: JIM COLE/AP (KERRY BOWLING)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)