A while back, I was on Puck Daddy Radio because I played - and won - a contest. On Twitter, I profusely thanked Greg Wyshynski (editor of Puck Daddy) for the opportunity to play. Moments later I received a reply from a guy named @robpizzo complaining that he was not thanked equally for my experience. You see, Rob Pizzo is the co-host of (the now defunct) PDR on The Score. From that moment on, a contentious friendship was born.
Pizzo is a broadcaster for The Score up in Canada. He's got a new gig talking hockey with Justin Bourne (also formerly of Puck Daddy) on the NHL blog Backhand Shelf. They also have a podcast available on Tuesdays and Thursdays on iTunes that I plan on forcing myself on to as soon as the Ducks do something fantastic (I'm looking at you, Corey Perry).
Now that we've got the introductions out of the way, time for the good stuff. What I haven't mentioned yet is that Pizzo is a die-hard Red Wings fan. This is yet another point of contention. I decided to take one for the team and interview Pizzo about all things Ducks, Red Wings, and of course, Saved by the Bell. Don't worry about me guys. I knew I was going to talk to a Red Wings fan, so I drank a half a bottle of Jack to make sure I came down to his level. Enjoy!
Jen: So let's get right to it. You're Canadian and a Red Wings fan. Who hurt you as a child?
Rob: Jen, didn't anyone ever tell you that jealousy gets you nowhere in life?! Here's how it happened, I had two hockey heroes growing up: Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman. The problem with Wayne was that EVERYONE was a fan; therefore, many of them were Oilers and King fans. I didn't want to be another kid wearing the silver and black in school so I went with Detroit. It's fared pretty well for me wouldn't you say?
JN: You do realize that you're talking to a Ducks fan, right? Your decision between the Kings and Red Wings is like a reverse Sophie's Choice. You should have just given up on hockey all together and joined a curling team.
RP: Sophie's Choice? Sorry, I don't watch chick flicks. (turns on Bridget Jones's Diary)
JN: A couple weeks ago, our writer Chris surmised that the Red Wings are the Ducks biggest rivals. I'm pretty sure that the Red Wings don't feel the same. We see Detroit on the schedule and we want blood. You see Anaheim on the schedule and think...
RP: That it's so cute that those folks in Anaheim want to be our rival. Let's be honest, the Red Wings haven't had a true rival since Claude Lemieux drove Kris Draper's face into the boards. So until George Parros runs Pavel Datsyuk from behind in the playoffs, resulting in a ridiculously low suspension, I can't consider them a rival.
JN: Ok. We're not a rival. I figured that. So you're saying that playing the Ducks draws up zero emotion in the hearts of Red Wings fans? How'd you like it when our loveable d-bag Corey Perry went toe-to-toe with Lady Datsyuk in the first game of the 2010-11 season?
RP: Ok, that was pretty cool. But I think that fight cost him the Byng!
JN: The Ducks and Red Wings have met in the playoffs five times (1997, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2009). Which one of those years do you remember the most?
RP: First off, they didn't meet in 2003. That series NEVER happened. Do you understand, NEVER! Steve Rucchin? Who the hell is he? There was never a player named Steve Ruccin. Curtis Joseph? He was a great Blue/Oiler/Leaf/Coyote/Flame but Detroit would never sign him for way too much money. They were too smart to do something like that. C'mon Jen, get your facts straight, you are inventing a series that NEVER happened. Did you even do any research for this interview?
JN: That could be the best answer ever. And research?! I don't need research!
JN: Bob Murray makes a deal with the devil and is able to acquire Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. In turn he has to give up two Ducks. Who are you taking and why?
RP: Let me state for the record that there is only one player on the planet I would trade Pavel Datsyuk for and he isn't even playing right now (no I'm not talking about Steve Rucchin, who the hell is that guy?). However, just because we are speaking in a "lets suspend belief for a minute and say that you could sleep with Minka Kelly, Jessica Alba AND Tiffani-Amber Thiessen" type of way, how can you not say Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
JN: First, I do not want to sleep with those three ladies. Second, I'm guessing that one guy is JS Giguere or did he not play in that mythical 2003 series? It's not like the Red Wings need goaltending. I mean they did just beat the worst team in hockey...oh wait...awkward...
RP: There you go making things up again
JN: We both have old guys in their forties on our teams. Why does Niklas Lidstrom seem to garner more "oh my God he'd forty" attention over Teemu Selanne? Let's be realistic, Shea Weber deserved the Norris last season. And Is Nicky done after this season?
RP: I have all the respect in the world for Teemu. I have said this many times, he has been a significant player in this league for more than half of my life. He will go down as one of the best players of all time. That being said, when the only person who did your job better than you was Bobby Orr, you deserve praise.
JN: I would like to see Bobby Orr try to be an accountant (my job). Is Nicky hanging up after this year or is he going to pull a Teemu? Now that I think about it, they need to fight to establish who is the best old guy. Teemu wins, hands down.
RP: Bobby Orr is a certified agent, I'm sure he can crunch some numbers. And I'll take Lidstrom, 2nd round TKO
JN: You're a betting man. I'm an overly competitive girl. Care to make a wager on the Ducks and Wings? Whomever wins the season series (if tied, it goes to more goals scored) the loser has to...
RP: Put a picture on their blog wearing the other team's paraphernalia. Now, ordinarily when I make bets like this, I throw in the words "...in their underwear", but I have never made that kind of bet with a female, so that part is up to you. I have had to walk out of Joe Louis Arena in Maple Leaf underwear (plenty of pictures are hovering around the internet). I've had to run down many streets, alleys and hallways in my underwear after a loss. Actually, typing this right now, I realize that I spend a lot of time in my gitch.
JN: I would have to start the Lindsay Lohan diet (cocaine and Red Bull) now to do anything that involves me in the in my underwear for public consumption. Deal on the picture. Winner picks the gear, loser posts pictures on their respective blog and Twitter account for a week. Deal? As for "gitch" - that must be a Canadian term or something you should get checked out by a doctor.
JN: You know, Helene Elliott isn't the only girl that covers the Ducks in So Cal. When do I get to represent the Ducks on the Backhand Shelf podcast? Not gonna lie, I'm pretty freaking charming.
RP: I promise that you will get the call when we decide to talk Ducks hockey. The new show is not going to be as guest heavy since it's twice a week, but I'll work you in there.
JN: I will take your word for it...I've already booked my flight to Toronto. Think Brian Burke has a spare room?
JN: Diverging from hockey for a second. You claim to be the biggest Saved by the Bell fan. Funny, I happen to also be the biggest Saved by the Bell fan. You realize there can only be one. Meet me out by the willow trees...
RP: First off, "there are no willow trees". Secondly, if Zack and Slater taught us anything when they fought over the girl with ‘a smile you only see in tic tac commercials'; fighting gets you nowhere at Bayside. There is only one way to settle this, two words: Academic Bowl. After that, if there is any doubt of my dedication to the show, consider this: I married a girl named Kelly!
JN: TIME OUT
Pfft. Marrying a girl named Kelly. Although we have never been formally introduced, or "legally" introduced at all, I'm sure Zach Parise and I will live happily ever after.
Silly Pizzo. You know what they say, big muscles, small brains.
RP: HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY What is going on here??
JN: Finally, former Cal-ee-for-nee-ah Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger made it a law that we end all interviews with the Pivot Questionaire from "Inside the Actors Studio". In order to fulfill my obligations as a California resident, please answer the questions below.
1. What is your favorite word? Donkey. It's just a funny word.
2. What is your least favorite word? Necklace. It should not be pronounced the way it is.
3. What turns you on? A good idea turning into great execution
4. What turns you off? Lateness. I REALLY hate when people are late.
5. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of a puck hitting the post and going in (when I shoot it of course)
6. What sound or noise do you hate? This is so cliché, but even typing the words "dentist drill" drives me crazy
7. What is your favorite curse word? Asshole. For some reason, calling someone an asshole has turned into another word for jerk or idiot, but it's so much more than that. Think about it, you hate someone so much that you are comparing them to an area where your body expels waste. It's a great word.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? High school teacher
9. What profession would you not like to do? NHL referee
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? C'mon in, your grandmother is cooking tonight