Even if you don't watch much (or any) hockey, I think you’ll still enjoy this.
The NHL draft was last week, held in Nashville. The Chicago Blackhawks surprisingly won the lottery and got the first pick. This was a huge deal (and caused some controversies that the draft was “rigged”, as such conspiracy theories often do for pro sports drafts) because this year there was a “once in a generation” player, spoken of in the same terms as Wayne Gretzky, named Conner Bedard, sure to be the first pick.
The morning before the draft, the Chicago Blackhawks General Manager – Kyle Davidson – who was there for the event, took a walk down the street in Nashville with another team official, just to get away and relax. A reporter for the hockey website, Penalty Box Radio, had come to Nashville and was interviewing people on the street about the draft. They stopped Kyle Davidson – who is a young guy, only 34 – who wasn't dressed like a General Manager, but was instead just wearing a t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap, and the interviewer had no idea who he was. So, Davidson decided to play along. And he’s hilarious. In fact, most of the attention from the video is not on the reporter not knowing who he was talking to, but how wonderfully Davidson self-effacingly handles it all.
He later explained that at first when asked to be interviewed, he said, no, and walked on. But then realized that they didn’t know who he was, so it might be fun, and he went back.
The only thing it helps to know is for one question when he's asked if he can name any hockey players. He pretends to stumble through, at first, and names two Really Famous former greats. And then, slowly, the rest of the players he names are all on the Chicago Blackhawks. Know, too, that he leaves out some players on the current team, which he later said he did on purpose.
My favorite moment, though, is how he handles the very last "honest question."
Not shockingly, this went viral. First, because it got picked up in Chicago – where they’re now selling “Kyle from Chicago” sweatshirts. And then the NHL sent out the video. And eventually the website itself did a big mea culpa and had fun with it, recognizing that they were getting a ton of promotion.
This is a short interview later with Kyle Davidson talking about how it came about and his thinking when it was going on.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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