UNCUT OUTTAKES: A condensed version of Dan Patrick's interview with New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur appears in the March 4 edition of ESPN The Magazine.
DP: Do your kids give you any pep talks before you go off for a game?
MB: Just, "Try to win." That's really their main thing, you know? After the game, it's, "Were you one of the stars?" That's the question I get when I wake them up for school.
DP: Is there one team they know that you especially don't like and they shouldn't like?
MB: I think the Rangers, just because they're in the area that we are and they have a lot of fans in the area ... the kids know that it's always a big rivalry.
DP: Do you want your kids to grow up to be a goalie or would you rather they played another position?
MB: It doesn't really matter ... My oldest, he plays goalie once in a while, and he's got all my equipment and everything ... but he plays forward once in a while also.
DP: What position do you identify with in another sport?
MB: Quarterback or pitcher.
DP: Oh, you do?
DP: Now, I thought -- I figured catcher.
MB: You know why I say this? Because like I could lose or win a game by myself almost, you know, and that's what a quarterback and a pitcher could do. Because you're the last line of defense. If you don't make the play, I mean, it's a goal against.
DP: That's interesting.
MB: You're by yourself a lot. And you know, you don't talk to too many people. You're in your net by yourself, you know?
DP: So when you record a shutout, it's like a pitcher throwing a shutout?
MB: Yeah, that's it.
DP: Have you ever felt silly putting on the equipment -- like it's not fair that it takes you so long to get dressed to play hockey?
MB: Not really. I'm happy. If you've seen the shots I'm getting, I wish I could put some more on. [laughs]
DP: You're a huge fan of Austin Powers, right? What kind of goalie do you think Fat Bastard would make?
MB: He'd be a stand-up because if he goes down, he's not getting back up.
DP: So, do you see him as a Patrick Roy-type?
MB: He's more a Brodeur type than you'd think.
DP: So he wouldn't have the butterfly.
MB: No. I don't think he would have the splits, either.
DP: I'm surprised that they didn't just come out with a Fat Bastard movie, instead of Austin Powers. I thought he was the star of the first one.
MB: Well, you never know.
DP: I know he's in the next one. Do you have a favorite line from the Austin Powers movie?
MB: There aren't really any nice lines, you know...
DP: Locker-room lines, I think.
DP: I hear you have both movies just about memorized?
MB: Well, a lot of them -- all of his movies are great, you know? He's a funny guy.
DP: So is there a line that you recite often?
MB: You know what? Patrick Elias can say almost any line -- in the same voice, same everything. It's so funny when he comes out with it.
DP: Oh, he's that good?
MB: Oh, yeah, he's good ... Patrick, he's funny.
DP: Man, I'm going to have to get him on the radio.
MB: You should.
DP: He's that funny, huh?
MB: He's great. He'd love it, too.
DP: Have you eaten out of the Stanley Cup?
MB: My kids and I watched that Bruce Willis movie "The Kid" and had popcorn in the Cup.
DP: Are you crazy? Do you know what kind of fluids that cup has held?
MB: The next morning, my kids climbed up on the counter and ate cereal out of the Cup.
DP: And then you rushed them to the hospital with diphtheria.
MB: Nah, they're hardy kids. And what else? Oh, my wife wanted Jell-O shots. The Stanley Cup was a perfect mold.
DP: Which is how she got pregnant.
DP: Can you have a bad game and get a shutout?
MB: No, not really ... sometimes you don't feel good, but you still get a shutout. If you have a shutout, it means you did something right, but it doesn't always mean you had an impact on it.
DP: But couldn't you be lucky to get a shutout sometimes, and sometimes you could be great and give up three goals?
MB: Well, yeah. You know what? When you start being lucky, usually you start playing good, because you dodged a few bullets and you get yourself more prepared -- or you realize you were lucky and you do a little better ... but you can't say, "well, today I'm going to have a shutout," you know, because there's so many things that can happen.
DP: Do any of these scorers have any sympathy for you guys? Have you ever seen a scorer actually feel sorry for a goalie?
MB: No, never.
DP: Not at all?
MB: Not at all. I've never seen that. Because they're happy to score.
DP: But they don't dislike you, Brett Hull and Pavel Bure and those guys.
MB: They appreciate that everybody's got their own talent, I think. They appreciate what we goalies do, to a certain extent. I think a lot of guys have a lot of respect for different goalies, and that's why sometimes some guys have a hard time scoring because he gets in your head, you know? The goalie gets in your head ... they know they'll have to do something special to beat him.
DP: Which goalies can you still learn something from?
MB: Any goalie I play against. It could be a kid. It could be an Ed Belfour or anybody ... you learn from who you play against.
DP: What do you learn? When was the last time you watched tape of a goalie and actually said, "Wow! That's something I could incorporate in my game"?
MB: Every time...
DP: Who don't you want to see coming at you on a breakaway? Maybe somebody that would surprise me?
MB: Aleksey Morozov.
DP: Oh, well, he's a good player.
MB: The kid's got probably over 25 percent of his career goals on me. It's unbelievable.
DP: What is it about him?
MB: I don't know. If you figure it out, please tell me. When he shoots the puck, I never catch it really clean. When he's going to make a pass, I think he's shooting. When he's shooting, I think he's making a pass. The guy's in my kitchen. He's in my head. I can't get rid of him.
DP: What kind of eyesight do you have? What's your vision?
|Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has spent his entire NHL career in New Jersey.|
MB: I'm 20/20.
DP: So you don't have contacts?
MB: No, nothing.
DP: I've always been curious about the success of athletes and their vision.
MB: One time when I was playing junior hockey, I was in a little slump, and my coach made me go through tests.
DP: Oh, to check your eyes?
MB: Yeah. I couldn't believe it.
DP: Best uniform in the NHL.
MB: Montreal Canadians, the red. I mean, I've grown up watching that, you know, seeing that all the time. I think that that red is -- and the blue and the white -- it's just tremendous. That's hockey, you know. No fancy colors, just really nice colors.
DP: Do your kids have anybody's poster hanging in their room? Do they have, like, another hockey player besides you?
MB: No, they don't. They just have the New Jersey Devils calendar. That's the only thing they have hanging anywhere in the house about hockey.
DP: Why is that?
MB: That's just the way that they are. They're like me when I was younger: they're just hockey fans.
DP: Do you approve of the Olympics interrupting the season?
MB: Yeah, I think it's good for hockey ... I think it was probably four years too early last time. With Nagano being so far away, it took a lot out of the players and the league.
DP: If you could put on headphones during a hockey game, what would you be listening to?
MB: Some hip-hop or rap music, probably. I don't know. Something like that.
DP: Do you have to kind of tell yourself not to get into a fight? Is there a part of you that wants to go out there and just pound somebody?
MB: Sometimes ... if I feel the referees are not doing their job or if some of my players are getting abused somehow. ... But I'm not looking for it at all.
DP: If there is a goalie fight, whose butt are you kicking?
MB: Oh, tons of them. I'm a big man.
DP: OK, so what goalie do you think you'd have a problem with?
MB: Sean Burke. He's a big man.
DP: Sean Burke is just tall and lanky. He's like a giraffe, isn't he?
MB: Don't let the lank fool you. He's all muscle, that guy.
DP: I heard that about him.
DP: Can you say who's the best goalie in the game?
MB: There's a lot of them. I don't think there's one.
DP: Are you the best goalie?
MB: I've got to be up there. I mean, I'm not saying that I'm not, but I'm saying that there's a lot of other goalies who are as good as me or maybe even better. But everybody's in a different situation, so it's really hard to pick out the best one.
DP: But it would make for a better headline if you said, "I'm the best goalie in the league."
MB: I know, but the pressure goes with it, too.
DP: You shot the puck 83 mph at the team skills competition. Any regrets that you're between the pipes and not out there playing on a wing?
MB: Every day I regret it [laughs]. It's more fun to score goals, put it that way.
DP: Is there a guy playing now who makes you think of the kind of player you'd be if you weren't a goalie?
MB: I would probably be a little bit like Scott Niedermayer.
DP: Do guys in the NHL dislike Eric Lindros?
MB: I don't know. I'm sure some do.
DP: What about you? What's your opinion of him?
MB: I like the guy. I've known him for a while, and I think he's a great guy. I think he plays really, really hard -- and I think he paid the price because of how hard he plays the game, you know? Definitely, he's an impact player.
DP: What would you rather watch: a hockey playoff game that you're not involved in or one of the golf majors?
MB: You know what? I don't remember the last time I've seen two other hockey teams play, you know, live. And I think I'd like to go see one game, but after that I would go right out to the golf.
DP: Your favorite golf course?
MB: I played a Robert Trent Jones golf course in Virginia, where the President's Cup is played at. It's unbelievable. My buddy belongs there, and that's the best golf course I've played on.
DP: Could you beat Mario Lemieux in golf?
MB: Oh, no. I'm not that good. I'm, like, a 10-handicap.
DP: Oh, you could give Gretzky a run.
MB: I've never played with Wayne, but...
DP: Wayne's pretty good, but he's no Lemieux.
MB: No, Lemieux is a good golfer. I've never played with him.
DP: Why are these hockey players so good at golf?
MB: A lot of time off in the summer.
DP: Oh, is that what it is?
MB: Oh, yeah ... it's a relaxing sport, you know. You get away for four, five hours.
DP: There's no correlation between a hockey stick and a golf club?
MB: Maybe in your swing -- the golf swing and slap shot, they're a little similar.
DP: Last time a game made you cry.
MB: When we lost to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 last year. I cried right there on the ice. But the tears weren't really for me. I thought my kids would be devastated about it. I was really worried about disappointing them.
DP: How did they react?
MB: They didn't even notice. When I found them they were playing Game Boy. "Hey, Dad. How you doing?"
DP: That kind of puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
MB: Oh, big-time. My career is important, but it's good to get away from it all sometimes.
DP: I was told by two different people that Marty Brodeur never has a bad day.
MB: Oh, I do have bad days, but I make the best out of my bad days, also.
DP: Well, you must do a good job. I mean, that's a great trait to have. But I heard it from two different people who said that you don't have bad days ... or you do a pretty good job at hiding them.
MB: Well, I try to do what's best for my hockey club ... because they count on me to be somewhat of a leader and everything ... I think it makes you feel stronger when you're able to control your emotions.
DP: Do you have a vanity license plate?
MB: No, not really.
DP: You don't have a license plate that says like...
MB: Marty 30 [his uniform number]? No [laughs].