Sunday, October 15, 2006


Darcy Tucker Loves The Shrub

Player interviews, as a rule, tend to be about as boring as ye olde average NFL Super Bowl game. Generic questions result in generic answers from a generic player who doesn't want to offend generic people.

That's why I quite like these 1-on-1 interviews that David Amber (formerly TSN's token black guy) has been doing for the past year.

His latest was with Toronto's Darcy Tucker, a player that polarizes a fanbase like few others. I used to call him DDT, which could mean Dirty Darcy Tucker or Deadly Darcy Tucker, depending on your point of view. He was actually one of my favourite players at one time, when he was basically "Mr. Everyman" for the woeful Lightning. Now, after Leafs nation has infected him with Pat Quinnitis, I'm always hopeful he'll get his face smashed in by an errant Todd Bertuzzi punch from behind.

Some of the interest Q&A with my own stupid intercepts.

David Amber: Your dad coached you from age 5 to 14. What was that like for you, being the coach's son?

Darcy Tucker: It was great. He is really knowledgeable about the game, and for me to have a parent figure at the rink helped a lot. After that, I looked at all of my coaches as someone who could help me improve as a player, but also improve as a person. So, having my dad there as my coach early on really made a difference.
Could you imagine having a brat like Darcy Tucker as a son, and then having to coach him on your hockey club? I'm guessing the most vigorous hockey dad might have loved Tucker's competitve attitude, but I'd probably have locked him up in the dungeon 1,000 times to play with Mr. Rat.

Amber: I've read your father was a real disciplinarian. Describe that infamous story when, at age 10, you faked an injury on the ice, and the long ride home afterward.

Tucker: He wasn't happy. He told me he never wanted to me to do that again on the ice. I figured because I scored a few goals in that game, I was pretty good, so I brushed him off. He didn't appreciate that too much, so he told me to get out of the car and walk home in the middle of winter in icy cold Alberta. (laughs)

Amber: And what was that like?

Tucker: I thought he was kidding. Then, when he drove off, I realized he wasn't joking, so I started to walk down the road, and then I started to run. (Laughs.) Once I got home, he told me he never wanted it to happen again. And it didn't.
How was that like? Duh, I'm thinking it was snowy, cold, and rather unpleasant. No, I'm sure it was frickin paradise.

Somehow, I don't think Tucker REALLY learned his lesson that day. I'm guessing he has more than a few belt scars on his hairy ass.

Amber: One big part of your game has been dropping the gloves when you feel you have to. Any idea how many fights you've had as an NHL player?

Tucker: No. I don't pay attention to that stuff. I just want to help my team win.

Amber: OK, but you should know you've had 75 fights, including the preseason and playoffs.

Tucker: (Laughs.) Really? Wow, that's surprising. That's a lot of fights. I'm one of those guys that won't back down from anybody. I may get my share of lickings, but the No. 1 thing is I'm not going to back down from anybody.
Darcy's probably thinking, "I've had only 75 fights?"

Amber: You're married to Shayne Corson's sister. If you and Shayne got into a fight, who is she going to cheer for?

Tucker: (Laughs.) Well, first of all, we wouldn't fight; we have way too much respect for each other as family members to do something like that. I hope she would root for me; she does when we're playing cards.
She's also sleeping with you, which would probably indicate that she's one high level of insane. If she wasn't cheering for you, Darcy, she best be looking for a new Mr. Moneybags to latch on to.

Amber: You've said that if you could meet one person, it would be President Bush. Why him?

Tucker: I would like to pick his brain. I think his political views are on the same line as my own. I think the wave of the future is someone who doesn't back down to terrorism. When I saw those planes go into the buildings in New York that day, that was the turning point, not only in the United States, but throughout North America. So I really back what he is trying to do.
Well, nobody said Tucker was a genius. After more than a few sticks and pucks to the head, he's probably had his IQ lowered so much that GW Bush is like his Winston Churchill. Who would you cheer for in a Tucker/Bush deathmatch?

Read the rest of the interview here.

Considering DDT could also stand for Divin' Darcy Tucker I really doubt that lesson from his dad stuck with him all that long.
Eric - you read my mind!
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