The race is over for Bates Battaglia and his brother Anthony.
It was, as one might assume, amazing.
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The Battaglia Bros. will appear on Season 22 of “The Amazing Race”, the Emmy-winning competitive reality series that airs on CBS and CTV. The season was filmed last fall; the participation of the hockey-playing siblings was just announced this week.
For the uninitiated: 11 two-person teams trek around the world, unaware of their next destination. At each location, they must complete mental and physical challenges to stay in the race. The winning team gets at least $1 million … and one hell of a photo album from their adventure.
Bates, 37 and left in the image above, played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs during his NHL career. Anthony, 33, is currently playing for the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League, having bounced around the minor leagues since 2002. Both are Chicago natives.
They had no idea what they were in for signing up for “The Amazing Race”, including who their opponents would be prior to the season.
“You really don’t know who you’re up against,” Bates said. “I just knew it was going to be me and my brother.”
(Too bad. The brothers could have game-planned something for the Roller Derby Moms in Season 22.)
We spoke with Bates Battaglia this week about deciding to enter the ‘Race’; the challenges they faced; whether “Dumb Hockey Playing Brothers” was a suitable hook for producers; and how other NHL players will feel about his participation on a reality show.
But first, as any “Amazing Race” fan knows, it’s all about the transportation.
Q. The most important thing we could ask an “Amazing Race” contestant: Did you have any idea how to handle hailing the right cab? Because we’ve seen dozens of teams eliminated because they picked the wrong cab.
BATES BATTAGLIA: That was one of my biggest fears: How much trouble people have with cabbies. Going into it, you assume that every one of them is going to be terrible.
I figure I’d look at them and go by my gut feeling. There was really no way to tell.
Why do this? Who came up with the idea, you or your brother?
More me [than him]. We’d always watch the show, and like everybody else we thought, ‘Oh, I can do this, I can do that’. I talked to him about it, and he was like ‘hell yeah, let’s do it.’
As a fan of the show, you know every team has a hook. Did you know Hockey Playing Brothers would sell?
I thought that couldn’t hurt. He’s played for quite a long time. I have as well. The combination of hockey and being brothers, plus I think we bring some personality to the table as well. I hadn’t seen any hockey players on there. So why not?