Media Guide Offers More than Stats
Tuesday, 01.22.2008 / 3:31 PM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues
|She may not be the world's greatest golfer, but David Backes would still invite Jessica Simpson onto his golf foursome.|
Last I checked though, Simpson wasn't known for her golfing ability.
“That really doesn’t matter at all,” Backes said. “She can have some unwitty one-liners and she can just sit in the cart for all I care.”
While she’s there, she might try to sell some Proactiv.
“That’s fine, I’d use some of that,” Backes said. “As long as she’s around, that’s good.”
It’s funny, but it doesn’t take much to discover gems like these. You don’t need John Davidson’s cell number or to know-somebody-who’s-uncle-knows-somebody-who-knows Backes. Just flip through the pages of the Blues media guide and you’ll find a gold mine of tidbits just like these.
D.J. King’s golf foursome would include Lance Armstrong, Wayne Gretzky and Scarlett Johansson. “Maybe I’ll just subtract those other two and put Jessica Alba in there,” King said after giving it a second thought.
While most of his teammates were burning their last picks on a babe, Barret Jackman made perhaps the most surprising choices for his foursome…Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque and Dan Hinote.
"Why's Bobby Orr in there?" Hinote joked.
|If it came down to this guy or Jessica Simpson for the final spot on my golf team, I'd have to give the edge to Jessica. But that's just me.
“Hey, he’s a good-looking guy,” Jackman quipped. “The girls are just going to flock to him anyway, so you might as well have him with you.”
Had Jackman paged through the media guide like I did, he would have learned that Hinote was chosen as one of Denver’s “Hottest Singles” by 5280 Magazine in 2001.
So we know Jackman’s reasoning…why did Brad Boyes leave a hottie out of his foursome?
“Good question,” Boyes said. “Maybe my girlfriend was looking over my shoulder when I was filling that out.”
Player’s tastes in entertainment vary quite a bit, but by flipping through the media guide pages, you might notice that several of the guys share the same tastes in music and television.
Country music is popular among Blues players like Backes, King and Erik Johnson, but not so popular with several others, including Boyes.
“I’m not a big country guy, never was,” he said. “I love Metallica. It was my first concert I went to and when I was growing up, my friends were into it.”
“I think they’re wrong,” Backes said of teammates who don’t entirely get the country thing. “Whoever it is they say, they’re wrong.”
|According to the Blues media guide, HBO's Entourage is perhaps the most popular TV show among Blues players.
Some listed the Killers, Nickelback and Dave Matthews as favorite bands, while others I won’t name (OK, fine, I’ll name a few: Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya and Eric Brewer) declined to give us any insight into what’s on their iPod.
Without question, the majority of players who listed their favorite TV shows included HBO’s “Entourage.”
“It’s like a superficial lifestyle that everyone would like to lead,” Boyes said. “Just hang out with your buddies, not worry about anything. It’s a show that every teenager or young adult can relate to.”
“I like ‘Entourage,’ too, but I’m big in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ right now,” Johnson said. “And SportsCenter, but I’d pick the TSN version now. ESPN’s is brutal.”
When it comes to movies, it’s a toss up.
Tkachuk votes for Slap Shot. Matt Walker chose Tombstone. Kariya would watch the Godfather over and over again. But start talking movies around the Blues locker room and Hinote’s bound to trumpet the Star Wars trilogy.
“I blame it on my parents. I had the whole Star Wars bed sheet set (and) the wallpaper,” Hinote said. “When you start out like that, your course is set, I just followed the track. I’m a big nerd.”
Glad you said it, Dan. Now I won’t have to.
All kidding aside for a minute (don’t worry, we’ll get back to that later), Blues players spend a lot of time away from the rink helping charities and supporting various causes.
Starting from the goal and working your way out, Manny Legace serves as a spokesman for the Judson Center, a facility that assists with the special needs of abused or neglected children. Jay McKee works with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Kariya supports local children’s hospitals financially in addition to donating season tickets to low-income youth hockey players.
|Hinote's Heroes is just one of many charitable organizations that Blues players get involved with. (Photo by Mark Buckner).|
“My sister worked with cancer children and I would go and visit the kids and see how they lived on an everyday basis,” Hinote said, recalling his charity work in Denver with the Colorado Avalanche. “Once I started meeting these kids and families, it seemed like an easy path to follow and it’s been so rewarding. I can’t tell you how much I’ve gotten out of it."
Jamal Mayers, Bryce Salvador and Jackman spend a portion of their summers holding youth hockey camps, and they’re not just putting their names on a program while others actually carry out the work. All three of them are on the ice, trying to help youth hockey kids improve.
“We like working with kids. We were all there at one time, and I think the three of us share the same thoughts and beliefs about how cool it would have been to go to a camp with an NHL player,” Salvador said last summer. “It’s just one of those things that you’ll remember the smile on the kids’ faces. It keeps you feeling young even though we’re getting old.”
All of this happens in addition to the Blues charity events throughout the season, such as Dream Night, the Komen Race for the Cure and more.
One thing is for sure when it comes to these players: they’re not just committed on the ice, but off the ice, too.
Most of the guys started skating at a young age, but not as early as Jackman and King, who both put on skates at two. Who was the better skater back then?
"It was most likely me," Jackman said. "But he most likely had bigger feet, so he had a bigger base to stand on."
"You watch the game and tell me," Backes said.
But Backes has no business making fun of his teammates' skating ability as kids.
“My first experience on skates was nothing pleasant,” he said. “My mom just threw me out there with a pair of skates on like any kid. I did the ol’ slip backwards, crack my head, so I never wanted to go out there again.”
For the Blues, it's a good thing he did.
But music, TV shows, skating, babes on the golf course… that’s about where the similarities end.
Keep on reading through the media guide and you’ll find that when it comes to everyday leisure time hobbies, many of your Blues are polar opposites.
Ryan Johnson likes to ride a horse he owns while Legace like to ride an iron horse (as in a Harley Davidson motorcycle). Hinote has dreams of working for the FBI when his NHL career is over, while Jay McClement would be content spending the rest of his days relaxing on a pontoon boat. Lee Stempniak enjoys sword fish and steak for dinner, but McKee is happy with stuffed peppers.
Just goes to show that there is much more to these hockey players than, well... hockey.