(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
If you watched the NHL on ESPN in the '90s, you know the name John Buccigross. A puckhead, a teller of tales, soother of mulleted ex-head coaches, and the creator of the "Chicken Parm" nickname for former NHLer Ray Ferraro, Buccigross is best known to hockey fans as host of NHL 2Night.
We asked the SportsCenter anchor nine questions to reveal his inner-most hockey-related guilty pleasures.
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
The player I love to hate is the flopper. Especially the 21st Century flopper that flops a "concussion," letting his body go limp to indicate the ceasing of brain function as he crumples, braces himself as he falls to the ice and then peeks up toward Don Van Massenstache to see if he has successfully drawn a penalty. Then by staying down for an extra 10 seconds, he might be able to get a 5-minute intent to injure major. In this era of multiple, high definition cameras, how do these knobs expect to get away with it? And with the concussions being a serious issue, how do they get away with it? #headgames
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
I don't have a favorite team. I love all 30 teams like Antonio Cromartie loves all 30 of his children and Brett Hull loves all of his 30 morning doughnuts. #mmmmmdoughnutsisthereanythingtheycantdo
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
P.J. Stock vs. Stephen Peat. Not only for the non stop action but it might have been Darren Pang's "Holy Jumpin!" coming out party. #fivefingerdeathpunch #everybodypangchungtonight
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
The old Phoenix Coyote logo. For it's implausibility and because it reminds me of the Dave Coulier Era, even though the unis debuted two years after Full House was condemned. A simpler time. #sometimestheclothesdonotmaketheman
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché
1) Salad. In reference to hair, primarily hockey hair. Lettuce and moss are acceptable but not as strong. A particular lush and long salad may get a promotion to a Dirty Salad.
1A) Sauce. "Sick, saucy, frothy, Datsyukian sauce." If Mike Emrick were to utter that phrase, I would die in peace. #specialsaucelettucecheese
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
I don't look at injuries. I take no joy at other people's embarrassment, misfortune, or injuries. It's why I don't like prank shows, Jerry Springer, or Wipeout. Although I do find great joy at dead possums on the side of the road. I HATE those things. When alive, they make me angry. When dead, I am at peace. #bigredballs
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
I despise cheesy hockey references in popular culture because they are unnecessarily elementary and demeaning. Like I calmly explain to co-workers, "It's a legitimate sport with a rich history and a passionate following. A lot of people go to the games. And they pay to go. A lot. It's not a circus act. It's real. And a lot people find it thrilling and moving." It's why I don't like to be called "the hockey guy." I'm not a freak. In that sense. If anyone denies the importance and presence of hockey, point them to Chicago in the summer of 2010 and Boston in the summer of 2011. #cupcheck
My favorite action figure is a battered action figure of Evgeni Nabokov my son Jackson would play with when he was a bit younger. For some reason Nabby had no arms. Yet, it had a better save percentage than the real, fully membered human Evgeni Nabokov. Jack also had a headless Joe Thornton. #nocomment.
9. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
For organizing the NHL offices and bringing hockey into the 20th Century in terms of organizing and delegating for the purpose of growing revenue. And for making me feel like Yao Ming when I stand next to him. #youbetteryoubetteryoubettman
John Buccigross is an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter. You can find him on Twitter at @Buccigross.
- John Buccigross