April 17, 2008

A Boys Night Out: Knitting, Spandex, Miley Cyrus

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Before welcoming Navy and Syracuse to Ithaca, junior heavyweight rower Jason Malumed took some time to sit down with Sun Staff Writer Shannan Scarselletta and teach her how to get her game face on through death metal music.

1. So I think I should start of with the most important question, the one that’s been on all our readers’ minds. What, exactly is the appeal of Miley Sirus?
I don’t know. She’s awesome. It’s kind of a joke on the team, but any time music is playing, you know, people need to put on more Miley Sirus. Last time they interviewed me in the Sun, I got quoted saying I’ve switched from techno to death metal. I’ve switched to Miley Sirus. If I don’t hear that song once a day, it’s not a good day for me.
Would you say she’s a cute girl?
Yeah I’d say she’s a cute girl
She’s like 14. That’s disgusting.
Her Dad is cool though. I like the Billy Ray Cyrus and the whole mullet thing going on. I respect that.
You don’t find her teeth somewhat distracting? To me, they look like a pack of Orbits gum, you know … the whitening kind.
I can kind of picture that. But I just like listening to the song.
Oh, come on. What’s your favorite flavor Hannah Montana? Is it the ginger redhead, the kind of emo/goth brunette, or the popstar Barbie blonde.
I like whatever the recent one is. You know, the kind of reddish … I like that one.
Good answer. One point for the gingers.

2. So after hearing you’re from the Main Line in Pennsylvania, I’m kind of surprised that you chose not to wear your Uggs and Pearls tonight. Is that look only for going to class or the country club or…?
Only for class. Strictly a look for class.
Do you find it difficult to row with a tennis bracelet on?
Sometimes it gets in the way, but you learn how to make due. Form over function all the time, no excuses.
What was it like growing up there? Was it everything Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous said it would be?
I think it’s blown out of proportion a little bit. But I love it there. It’s a great place to grow up in and all the schools are great.
I heard about your school. Your teammate, [sophomore] Ryan Coyne, used to row against you, right? He was kind of talking smack about you.
Our school is the best prep school in the Philadelphia Main Line area, so Ryan, who went to Malbourne — which is an inferior school — is always a little bit jealous
Actually, he said that, and this is a direct quote, he “built [his] career on beating Jason Malumed.”
No, that’s not quite true. If I remember correctly, I actually won a National championship beating Malbourne by like 15 seconds. So [my high school], Haverford, is superior in all facets: rowing, school, education and building genuine leaders for tomorrow … pretty much better than Malbourne in all facets of life.
Oh my god, I’m basking in your glory right now … all your Haverford glory.

3. Alright, that’s enough pillow talk. I want to talk about your mom.
I knew this was coming.
I have an indirect quote here, from one of your adoring teammates. “She’s a MILF, but she can kick my ass.” Can you elaborate?
Yeah, my mom used to be a body builder. Hopefully this makes me sound really jacked. And now she’s a personal trainer at my high school for my crew team.
So wait … did she train you? Did she make you do pushups?
I owe my high school fitness level all to her. She knows what she’s doing.
So, when you surpassed her bench press, was that a special day for you? Did she make you a cake?
No, she made me a protein shake.
Wow, that must have been kind of demoralizing.
It was unbelievable growing up around her. I used to go to all her bodybuilding competitions, and we have a whole room dedicated to her trophies. I mean, she was all natural, not one of those crazy chicks. She’s a big idol of mine.
Plus, you probably saved a lot of money on alarm systems.
Pretty much. My mom and dad would trade off every night patrolling around our house with nothing but their bare hands to protect us.
Magic hands, from what I hear.
Yeah, my mom’s always at our games, in case you want to be stretched out or massaged.
Ooo, sign me up. One of your teammates said they want to make her the team massuse. How do you feel about that?
Hey, if it helps us win.
Sacrifice the mom for the win?
You do what it takes.
I like the mentality. But, I have to know this. Is your dad a big guy?
Yeah, he’s a big guy, and an athlete.
So you were more bred than born.
I owe it all to good genes.
Who would win in a fight, your mom or your dad?
Oh, god. I don’t know. My mom’s tough but my dad’s a pretty aggressive guy. My mom works out more, but for my dad, it’d be all mental. He’s a pretty intimidating dude.

4. What made you choose to play rowing? Wait, is that how you say that?
You can also say “crew boats.” For me, it was getting to wear spandex every day.
Do you wear them to parties?
Hell yes.
Do you find it helps with the ladies?
I think so. Some times you got to stuff a little something down there, just to accentuate.
What do you think is the ideal stocking stuffer … or spandex stuffer, if you will.
A good tube sock is always reliable.
A brand new one probably works best. You need the right soft, malleable texture. You don’t want to seem lumpy. Okay, is this getting weird?

5. I don’t mean to be condescending, but I’m going to be condescending. I don’t get it, you’re not hitting anybody, you’re not pushing anybody. You’re kind of just sitting in a boat, rowing backwards in spankies. I feel like the women’s cheerleading squad gets more violent contact in than you guys. How do you get out your innate athlete aggression?
Well, I’ll tell you: power cleans with [strength coach] Tom Dillaplane has a lot to do with it. Plus, you should see me on race day, I get pretty scary. I get all pumped up on death metal and techno music, and I take it out on the other boat. That’s what I like about rowing, you can cause someone else so much pain.
That’s sweet. Are there ever any rowing fights?
No fist fights, but I’ve seen guys use their oars to hit other boats.
Kind of like crossing swords.
Exactly. It can get pretty gnarly out there.
But you’re still in spandex! Don’t you feel a little exposed? How do you keep them from riding up, anyways? Hundreds of sorority sisters are dying to know.
You just got to keep it nice and tight, a little compressed. You got to let it ride up a bit too. Show off some of that big thigh.
I feel like you guys are missing a marketing opportunity here. You need fans to come, and we need to see hot guys in spandex. I won’t lie, I might’ve looked at you guys in the weight room a few times. You’re alright. Maybe cut a few holes in there, show some skin next time.
We have a hidden marketing campaign in the winter. We walk around Teagle Hall in spandex, trying to attract people.
Kind of like wrestling. You guys should make a poster.

6. So when the lightweight men’s team and the women’s team are in the weight room together, who gets dibs on the smaller weights? Is there a race to the finish there, or what?
No, no. Our lightweight men’s team is incredible. They’re so strong. A couple of them lift more than we do. They really are good guys, too. But I’m not trying to discredit the women; they’re great, too. Our freshmen women’s boat is pretty incredible this year. Apparently they got a new attractive guy as their coach, so a lot of girls went out for the team.
Good recruiting maneuver. If he had approached me at the swim test, I might’ve given up basketball and hit the oars.
You know, the crew team does have the biggest sticks on campus.
[Pause] I’m uncomfortable. And yet I’m somehow questioning my decision to pick basketball over crew, oh so many moons ago. Do you guys run a lot to condition?
No, we’re not land mammals. Have you seen some of the guys on our team? Coordination-impaired.
Speaking of conditioning, I hear you do a mean impression of Tom Dilliplane, you’re strength and conditioning coach.
It’s not that great.
Oh stop, 20 minutes ago you were singing your regards to the Main Line, and now you want to go all Modest Megan on me?
Alright, you got me. I dressed up as Tom Dilliplane for our class skits at the Schwartz cup. But I had to go out and buy fake muscles at the store. I could never be Tom Dilliplane.
Neither could I. The man is brawny and stout. He’s built like a minikeg.
He found out about it, though. The next day we came in to lift, and he was ready for me. He has a special workout plan for the team… a sheet of paper that just said “Jason Malumed Warmup: start running until I tell you to stop.” Then we went to the weightroom and there was “Jason Malumed Weightlift: 4×15 back squat at max; Powerclean, RDL, high pull combo.”
Stop, I need to stretch.
The last thing was “Sprints on the track until hurl.” Tom Dilliplane got me. He didn’t follow through on it, but a lot of the guys thought it was pretty hilarious.

7. So, do you do any party tricks?
Actually, I do. I do magic tricks.
Wow, Mystery [from MTV’s the Pick Up Artist] would be so proud. He says that girls fall for magic tricks, like if you show a girl her card she’ll show you her bra.
Yeah, it’s not quite like that. I got caught drinking in high school and my dad grounded me for a pretty long time. I got pretty great at magic, along with some other activities.
Knitting, biking, croquet. I’m actually a member of the Cornell Croquet Club … actually, we prefer to be referred to by our official name, the Cayuga Oar and Mallet Club.
Honestly, I don’t know where to start. How many hats you have.
For the croquet club, we all dress up in the waspiest stuff we can find. Multiple pastel polos, embroidered pants, high argyle socks.
Just some outfits you brought from home?
Oh, of course. I am from the Main Line, you know.
And… you knit? That is awesome. What do you knit.
Rectangles. I used to knit myself some pretty awesome headbands in high school. You know, the ones that cover your ears in the winter. And I once knitted myself a scarf.
Wow, who knew? Croquet and crochet.
No. I don’t crochet. I knit. I never got pearling down, either.
[Blank stare]
Pearling’s when the bump comes out instead of in. It’s a different technique and I never quite mastered it.
Well, it’s a good thing we’re putting this in The Sun. I’m sure there will be many sympathizing TXAs out there dying to teach you to pearl, crochet, slip stitch, or whatever you fancy. So, by biking you mean motorcycling, right?
No. I mean, I built my own bicycle.
Yes. And five days after I finished it, I crashed it. Actually, it was more like I got hit by a car.
Yeah, I rolled over the hood and everything. My front wheel was pretty busted.
Oh, my god. I’ve always wanted to know this. How does the subsequent conversation go down? Especially if you’re perfectly alright. You can’t just like, walk that one off. You have to talk about it. That’s got to be pretty awkward for just about everyone involved.
No, I was nice about it. I just kind of told him it was alright. I actually felt pretty bad for the guy. He was really embarrassed.
You should’ve acted at least emotionally scarred, like you couldn’t ever bring yourself to ride a bike again.
No, I love biking. It’s a lot like rowing, especially when you race competitively. It really brings everything in you out. It’s a lot of mental games and endurance. And I get to wear spandex.

8. If you and your mom could fight any parent/child celebrity duo, who would it be and why.
Well, we started this conversation talking about Miley and Billy Ray, so I’m going to have to do that. We’d take them on.
Who’d win?
Oh, come on. It’s a rower and a body builder v. Hannah Montana and a washed up country singer with a mullet. No competition.
I know, but it’s Hannah Montana. I feel like millions of 12 year old girls would back her up, like, they would tag team with Miley Cyrus and her dad.
Well, that’s only because they’re in the public eye. I’m hoping this interview will change that. I’ll get our name out there, and I’ll tag team with the Cornell Community.

9. Tag teaming the Cornell Community? You’re well on your way to catching crabs.
Oh, been there. During a regatta, I suffered a catching of the crabs. It was so bad, it cost us the race.
Wow. Those are some serious crabs. Isn’t there any way to prevent them?
Well, I feel like if you row, you have to be okay with catching crabs every once in a while. It comes with the territory. But the best way to prevent it is good form and a good stroke.
Ew, thanks.
We’re not talking about the same thing, are we.
Not in my head.
When you’re in a race, the water is moving really fast, and you have to put the oar in the water at the right angle or it gets pulled out of your hand. Sometimes, you get hit so hard you can be knocked out of the boat.
Crabs are so funny.
I still don’t know which ones you’re talking about.

10. Okay, here comes the doozy. Hottest women’s team at Cornell?
The men’s heavyweight rowing team. Oh, wait. You mean women’s team. Does Kuma’s count as a women’s team?
I don’t believe they’ve been made varsity yet, although I don’t doubt their athleticism. So no.
I’m going to have to say basketball … Oh, wait no! I meant volleyball! Volleyball! They got the tall girls, plus they got the tight little spandex bootie shorts. Spandex connection.