An E-mail Interview with Rear Admiral of Barstool Sports
He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, who his favorite player/team is, how you got into covering hockey online and of course, what it is like to be a part of Barstool.
I hope you enjoy this as much I enjoyed conducting it!
PH: Growing up, how did you get into hockey?
RA: My parents got me into hockey via the 1970s Boston Bruins, especially my mother (I actually attended Games 1, 2, and 5 of the 1972 of the Stanley Cup Final in utero, two weeks before I was born and essentially developed as the last Bruins Cup season before 2011 did).
They were season ticket holders back in the day and big fans so the Bruins have just always been a constant in my life. There's no time in my life that didn't have them in it.
My mother always had Ch. 38 on every time the Bs were on and she played a huge role in my fandom.
PH: Who is your favorite team/player?
RA: Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron.
PH: Considering the Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave is filled with tons and tons of hockey memorabilia, what is your favorite piece of hockey memorabilia that you own?
RA: Two 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins Bud Light cans that I emptied in the Bs post-game locker room celebration in Vancouver in 2011. Those were fun taking through customs. One lady tried to guilt me into giving her one for her kid. Beat it.
PH: How did you get into covering hockey online?
RA: Writing for Barstool Sports. Newspaper prospects, if there ever were any, dried up a decade prior to joining Barstool so the Internet was simultaneously the best and only place to get your content out there for all to see.
Been at Barstool since December of 2007 and also wrote for WEEI for a cup of coffee though you'd never know it.
PH: Tell us about how you got a gig with Barstool Sports.
RA: Back in the OG Barstool days, Dave (Portnoy) would post what I called a 'calling all cars' blog. It'd say, 'hey, we're looking for a new Bs/Cs/Sox guy, so send in a sample blog' (they already had Jerry Thornton for the Pats).
Well, he ran one for the Bruins around December of 2007 and I emailed a sample blog. I never got a reply, but a day or so later the words I emailed to Dave were splashed on this upstart, burgeoning website with a notation that it was 'rearadmiral', my comment section name, who wrote the Bruins blog.
I sent another a week later and before I knew it, 10 years flew by. But in that time, I've been credentialed by the Boston Bruins for eight seasons now and was lucky to cover two Stanley Cup Finals. It's been quite a ride.
PH: How did you come up with the Spittin' Chiclets podcast? What is your goal with this awesome podcast?
RA: I had wanted to start a podcast for awhile, whether it was for hockey or TV/Movies, but knew doing one solo wouldn't draw much of a crowd.
In December of 2015, Ryan Whitney Tweeted "I really want to start a podcast. About hockey, trending topics, life in general. Need a partner". I half-joking, half-serious replied, "A partner, eh?". He DM'd me a few minutes later asking if I was serious. I told him I was. We decided it was on and less than two months later, our first show hit the Internet.
After a few months as an independent show promoting itself mostly on Twitter, Dave reached out to say that Barstool wanted to add us to their growing podcast line-up so we signed a deal with them in October of 2016.
As for the name, Ryan and I recorded the first 2 or 3 shows with a generic name to use until we came up with something better. And the old hockey phrase about losing one's teeth popped into my head one day. I realized spittin' also means rapping or talking and, combined with the Boston stereotype for getting in scraps, the name just really clicked.
Our goal is to just keep producing the best podcast we can and after that, everything else falls into place, whatever it may be. We want to keep bringing on the best hockey guests in the podcast game and continue to be the #1 hockey podcast on iTunes.
PH: What are your thoughts on this year's NHL season?
RA: It's been entertaining as hell so far because, quite simply, there's never been this much talent in the league before. Just about every team has a superstar worth paying to see and plenty have several.
Vegas is truly an amazing story regardless of how the season ends or how much they changed the expansion draft rules. The Devils have been a great story. I'm happy for Taylor Hall.
As a Bruins fan, their rookies have been a major part of their success and Charlie McAvoy is a joy to watch. Also, I love how the playoff race basically starts in November now. Fans are realizing that games in the fall are just as important as games in the spring.
PH: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us puckheads?
RA: Bobby Orr was the best ever and Alan Eagleson should still be in jail.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.