Monday, December 27, 2010
Interview with a Dead Athlete Vol. 2: Maurice "the Rocket" Richard
In May of 2001, at the age of 79, Richard passed away in his hometown of Montreal. Last week The Unreliable Source sat down with the ice hockey legend for an intimate one-on-one interview.
TUS: My favorite character on Friends is...
MR: Don't you mean "was?" Pop culture has two eras, before Friends and after Friends, what a shame to see the dynasty die. I thought they had a couple of good seasons left. Why not explore Phoebe's music career with more depth or really unearth the root causes behind Ross's love of dinosaurs?
TUS: Don't tip-toe around the question Maurice.
MR: You're right. If I have to pick one I'd pick Joey. With his crippling stupidity, his blatant objectification of women, and his unyielding passion for sandwiches, Matt Le Blanc delivered a character we could all understand. An everyman in the order of Arthur Miller's Willy Loman.
TUS: Could you compare any of your hockey contemporaries to members of the Friends cast?
MR: It's a stretch, but I could see Gordie Howe as something of a precursor to Monica. Gordie was an upright man whose penchant for cleanliness could border on obsession. He loved to cook, maintained a fierce loyalty to his close friends, and had a long on-again-off-again relationship with Tom Selleck for much of the 1990s. I wonder if Friends creator, and known super genius, David Crane used Gordie as an archetype for Monica?
TUS: Speaking of Gordie Howe, many consider the rivalry between you two as a formative plot line in the NHL's early years, one that propelled the league to new heights. How would you characterize the relationship?
MR: It was one of absolute bitterness and hostility. I have absolutely no respect for him as a man or a hockey player. He was rotten in every regard, and I still refuse to concede the fact that he can skate without holding onto the wall. I'm sure he'll say the same about me.
TUS: Some say that you are the most revered athlete in Canadian history, even more so than Wayne Gretzky. Would you agree?
MR: Sure, but those honors mean little to me. I mean seriously, greatest athlete in Canadian history? That's like being the best basketball player in a midget colony. It's Canada. One of our most popular sports involves brooms...BROOMS!
TUS: I'm pretty sure midgets don't live in colonies.
MR: In Canada they do, yet another strike against us. Mounted police, LaBatt Blue, midget colonies, it's like hell on earth.
TUS: You're given name is Joseph Henri Maurice Richard, why so many first names?
MR: My parent's were plagued with indecision. One time we spent four hours at a grocery store debating the various merits of chunky and smooth peanut butter before finally deciding that no one in the family liked peanut butter and leaving the store empty-handed. Vacillation runs in my family. In fact, my great-great grandfather earned the last name "Richard" because his general indecisiveness so bothered the other residents of his French village that they endeavored to label him and all his descendants "Dick"s.
TUS: In other words your full-name is Maurice "the Rocket" Dick?
MR: I suppose.
TUS: You're a Rocket Dick?
MR: I guess.
TUS: You have a rocket dick?
MR: Yes. What are you getting at?
TUS: You don't find this funny?
MR: Wait...oh my goodness...rocket dick! AHAHAHHA...that is hilarious. (Puts hand to ear to mimic radio communication) Rocket dick to mission control, should I turn on my thrusters?
TUS: Rocket dick, this is Houston, you are cleared for lift up...
MR: Roger that, I'll report back as soon as we've penetrated the "O"-Zone. All systems are go, awaiting countdown to boner launch.
(Wild laughter and hand slapping)