March 14, 2009

I'm not really going to talk about Mathieu's role in the 3-1 lose to the New Jersey Devils (ok, ok, he had 2 shots on goal in 17:38 of ice-time, with no points and no penalties).

This game was all about... Patrice Brisbois.* He played in his 1,000 career NHL game, and had an assist (with D'Agostini on Plekanec's 1st period goal), a +1 rating, and second star of the game honors.

I'll say it, right here right now: I like Patrice Brisebois.

I've joked that he has three fans: his mom, his wife, and me. (I'm sure there are more than that. I mean, he has two daughters, and I'm sure they like him.) Not many people have been as hated in Montreal. Personally, I think a lot of it is overblown. Is he Bobby Orr? No. Is he even an average defenseman? Probably not. But you have to give the guy credit. He has overcome injury, illness, prolonged emotional abuse, and general on-ice inadequacy to play 1,000 NHL games! That is quite a milestone.

And he still has nothing but kind things to say about the people who have ridiculed and tormented him since he was about 21 years old. That is pretty remarkable, too.

Many journalists and bloggers have written about Patrice recently, and I'll let their words tell the story:
And here is some audio before the game and after the game.

Why do I like Patrice? Pure sentimentality.

All of the guys from 1993 Habs hold a special place in my heart. (Except for Patrick Roy, who has undeniable talent but seems like a miserable, insufferable asshat.) Besides, his name is Patrice Jean-Guy Brisebois! How cool is that? His accent? Totally sexy. Plus he's heavily involved in racing and cars and the Ferrari Challenge which earn him even more total awesomeness points in my book. And there is that whole weird resemblance to Hugh Grant.

Some other sentimental moments related to Patrice, of which he has absolutely no knowledge or control:

1. If it wasn't for the Patrice Brisebois fan website in the late 90's, the Unofficial Mathieu Schneider Homepage may never have existed. Magali Leroux's (now-defunct) webpage inspired me to make a page about Mathieu. Ms. Leroux has since gone on to bigger and better things (last I heard she was a genius engineer doing genius engineer stuff), but her site still holds the honor of begetting this site.

2. Patrice Brisebois was the subject of my persuasive speech for my public speaking class freshman year. It was about how true fans don't boo their players (even in 1997 he was hearing it daily from Montrealers). I had props and everything. I got a B (I still said "umm" too many times), and despite the enormous pain and suffering my shyness was causing me in that class, and in my second semester in general, that B actually made me think twice about my plans to drop out of college. Seriously.

3. I got in a fight with my best friend of 6 years in 2000. We didn't speak at all. I missed her desperately, but I didn't know what to do. A year later, I went to the Canadiens game in SJ, and went to the ice for the warm-ups. There was Patrice (a mutual favorite of ours). I pointed my camera at him, he saw me, struck a pose and then winked. I was so shocked, I couldn't even get the picture taken. As I walked back up to my seat to rejoin my mom, I actually choked back tears and thought "why couldn't Christina be here to see that?" When I got to my seat, Christina was sitting there talking to my mom. She had tickets to the game, too, and in an arena of 17,000+ seats, she was two rows away. We've been friends again ever since.

See... it's the power of Patrice Brisbois!

*Thought I was going to say Martin Brodeur, huh?

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