The Invincible M.A.E.


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harleymae

JR jumps off a cliff

They have a new guy covering the NHL for The Sporting News and I like his coverage so far. It's a bunch of Q&A with players and coaches and puff pieces, which is an improvement over the "analysis" they used to do. There was a nice article about JR that I was trying to find online, but I guess it isn't there (although I did find a follow up interview with him) and one with Colby Armstrong about what it was like to room with Crosby.

I shall type them up instead!

Roenick isn't ready to hang up his skates
By Craig Custance

First, it was a dive off a 15-foot Arizona cliff into a lake. That wasn't enough, so the next jump came with a flip.

Bored with that challenge during his August vacation, Jeremy Roenick moved on to a bigger cliff. This time, he climbed 65 feet.

Doug Wilson, if you're reading, feel free to skip this part: "He scales the thing like he's a Navy Seal. He's perched on top, like 60 to 65 feet up, and yells, 'It looks farther down from up here,'" friend Bill Deacon recalls.

Of course, he still jumps. Because when you're Jeremy Roenick, there's no shimmying back down a cliff.

"He attacks life just like that," Deacon says. "And nobody has fun like J.R."

Roenick is back for another NHL season. Right now, chasing the Stanley Cup still provides the same thrill as cliff diving.

After a couple of down seasons, Roenick became a free agent last summer. It appeared he would be forced to retire, but Roenick got one invitation to keep playing--from Wilson, the Sharks' general manager. Roenick repaid that faith with surprising success--14 goals, including an incredible 10 game-winners. And who could forget his 2-goal effort against Calgary in Game 7 of a quarterfinal playoff victory?

This summer was different. Roenick could have walked away on his own terms. Vindicated.

But at 38, he's back.

"I'm going back to win a Cup," he says. "That's the only reason I'm going back to play."

And he's putting everything else on hold to do it.

When asked who would be the perfect candidate to replace him at ESPN, new Lightning coach Barry Melrose didn't hesitate: Roenick. Melrose sees Roenick as the future of hockey on television, the man NBC can build its Olympic hockey coverage around in 2010.

Problem is, Roenick keeps on playing.

But he's not ruling out television. Or radio. Or the movies. There's always golf, too. A scratch golfer, he plans to win the celebrity tournament in Lake Tahoe next year.

And the T-shirt company Roenick started with Deacon is taking off. Movie quotes on T-shirts. It's blowing up, and yeah, you and your friends should have thought of that idea.

It's Roenick. He's that good.

"even when things aren't going your way, he's so much fun to be around, so positive," says young teammate Torrey Mitchell. "I just remembered him being really fast and being unbelievable when I played (as) him on Nintendo. He lived up to the hype."

When Roenick finally retires, he'll go down as one of the best American-born hockey players to lace up the skates.

And that moment is probably coming soon.

He started a recent interview by promising this year is it. By the end of the talk, he took it back. The last thing he wants is a going-away tour.

Eventually the lure of everything else will win out over training camps, morning skates and the daily grind that is a hockey season. Especially if San Jose wins the Cup this season.

"I'm tired--physically tired, mentally tired. I think I have enough to get through this year," he says.

But making it official? He's not ready to make that leap.

Just reading about a 65-foot cliff makes me nervous. LOL at Torrey talking about playing as Roenick in a video game.

And here is the follow-up: 1-on-1 with with Sharks center Jeremy Roenick

Roommate confidential

Thrashers forward Colby Armstrong spent 2½ seasons in Pittsburgh before being traded to Atlanta in February, and during that time he got to know Penguins phenom Sidney Crosby pretty well. Armstrong shares tales from the road, including what it's like to bunk with the brightest star in the game.

Who's the best roommate you've had?
I'd say Crosby. He's pretty focused on hockey. When you're on the road, we got ready for the games the whole time. We like to relax, watch TV and hang out. It's pretty easygoing. He doesn't want to run around town.

What was it like rooming with someone so famous?
Depending on the city we were in, we'd make dinner reservations in the same spot. They knew we were coming every time. We'd let them know Sid was coming to make sure (distractions) are taken care of.

What makes a good roommate?
You have to be on the same page. The one thing with me and Sid, nothing really bothered him. He was a heavy, heavy sleeper. Plus, I snore a little bit. It doesn't bother him.

If Crosby is the best roommate, who's the worst?
My brother (Sharks forward Riley Armstrong). He's just annoying. He doesn't pick up after himself. He's a little too comfortable around me. I haven't beat him up in a few years, so maybe one is on the way.

Plus, if Colby has Riley as a roommate, he'd have to deal with random Worcester teammates breaking into his apartment to steal food.

You can tell LOL teams are playing when the keys to the game are "don't go down 21-0" and "don't let the QB get sacked 8 times", muahaha. (Lions and 49ers, respectively.)

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...*G* If I never hear Armstrong say the name "Crosby" ever again, I think I'll die of shock. Happy shock, but shock nonetheless. I think he's as obsessed with Sid as much as I'm obsessed with Andy Ference.

I think it's more that the media isn't really interested in him with respect to anything but his association with Crosby.

That doesn't surprise me that Colby would say that about Riley; of course I am saying that as a fellow older sibling. lol

I sort of ignored all the part about hockey and clicked on the cut because I thought Colby Armstrong was some former Athletic who roomed with Bobby Crosby in the minors >.>

Edited at 2008-09-21 10:21 pm (UTC)

You know what's funny is that I had almost typed Sidney Crosby, but consciously decided to omit the Sidney because it seemed like stating the obvious, haha.

hee JR. I admire his passion.

I still can't believe he jumped off that cliff! *gulps*

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