(The Driver: Better than you; funnier than anyone. Also pictured: Miss Eleanor Southworth Ewing, the superbeagle.)
Since my very first days in sports media, people have been trying to find out about my personal life -- specifically if I had a boyfriend or husband. If I did, what was he like?
Well, after so many years, I figured it was time to pull back the curtain a bit.
The Driver (real name: Gary) is a very private person. People have been trying to interview him since the beginning and he's always said no. If I remember correctly, Barre Campbell was the first to try. In the tradition of Simmons, I gave him a moniker. "Sports Guy" was already taken (not that I wanted it). "The Driver" was never intended to be a long-term thing, but it stuck, and so I kept it.
So why "The Driver"? You've asked and asked, so I'll tell you. No, he doesn't have a head shaped like a Big Bertha, although he's quite a decent golfer. Here's the real reason: I didn't get my driver's license until I was in my mid-20's. Three guesses as to was chauffeuring me around?
The Driver, who is also from Thunder Bay, grew up as a Winnipeg Jets fan. He lived in Winnipeg for a short period for school and was at the game where Teemu Selanne broke the rookie scoring record:
He still has a soft spot for the Jets, but discussions of bringing a team back to Canada make him crazy. As for the Senators, he's largely checked out on them, and began following the Kings not too long after the lockout (favourite player: Wayne Simmonds). Worthy of note: He was hating on Wade Redden long before it was considered fresh.
These days, The Driver is a lot like myself -- becoming the most vocal when it involves the media. Sun Media drives him absolutely bonkers, and he claims that he can't watch Steve Simmons on TSN's The Reporters, because he can't get over his "fumbling fingers." Impressions are his specialty in this department. He does a killer Jim Fox, Steve Lloyd, Jim Jerome and surprisingly, Patricia Boal (which eventually morphs into a Chi Pig). Like a lot of people, he's become disillusioned with newspapers, and has a difficult time taking most local coverage seriously. One of the few exceptions is James Gordon of the Citizen, and for national coverage, I've recently turned him on to Bruce Arthur of the National Post. (He's more of a Globe guy, but their sports section leaves a lot to be desired. He also doesn't worship at the Church of Mirtle.)
What turns him on in sports? San Diego Chargers wins (in spite of Norv Turner's incompetence). Also in that same vein -- seeing LaDainian Tomlinson hit the bricks. He loves ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series, watching games at Staples and Xcel Energy Center, live baseball (except for the Jays), unconventional goaltenders and mobile, speedy Swedish forwards.
Sound a lot like me? Well, we are very similar, hence the reason why I think many suspected that he was the one writing the columns. You'll never know, now...will you? (That was a joke, Mensas.)
Don't take this post as a sign that The Driver will somehow begin appearing more often. He still prefers to stay in the background, although I will continue to tweet his best takes whenever possible. And as long as you're good to me, he won't have a problem with you...unless you try and corner one or both of us to talk about the Summit Series. Then he'll probably kill you.
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