One on one

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

HOW THE DEVIL ARE YOU?

Glad to be gainfully employed.

IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT AND YOU AREN'T WORKING A GAME. WHATCHA GONNA DO?

It's tough for me because I work so many Saturday nights. At the risk of sounding like the last guy you interviewed, I'm a dinner and movie guy with the wife. For 21 years, she didn't see much of me on weekends.

PICK FIVE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF.

I'm having trouble with that one. I'm just a regular guy. I used to kid with my wife when she would demand other things, 'I'm just one man.'

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AT HIGH SCHOOL?

I was a motormouth. I was a lack-of-talent, raw-raw athlete. I played football, basketball, hockey and I wasn't great at any of them. I was just happy to be out there. When I was riding the bench, I would do play-by-play.

WHAT'S YOUR MOST TREASURED MATERIAL POSSESSION?

Until February, it was probably my powder blue Hockey Night in Canada jacket. It was a source of pride and a career accomplishment. I've been there and done that now, got the T-shirt. I'm past it now. I also collect jerseys. I've got a Gretzky Kings jersey and a Mario Penguins jersey. With the help of my buddy Glenn Healy, I've got a Rangers jersey from 1994 that the entire team has signed. I've got a rowing team shirt from 1996 with everyone's signature and a canoe-kayak team one from this past year with Adam van Koeverden's signature.

WHAT'S YOUR MOST UNPLEASANT CHARACTERISTIC?

Some would say I'm cheap but I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I'm not a neat freak. I'm a tunnel vision guy. When I'm getting ready to do a game or the Olympics, the outside world shuts down a bit. My family knows when I'm getting my game face on. I wish I could be a little more easy-going about my work responsibilities. I am when the thing starts but the process of getting there is tough.

WHAT'S THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU'VE EVER BOUGHT?

Probably some bad penny stocks. My old partners can attest I sit on my wallet a little bit. In my schemes to get rich quick, I've taken a few bad detours.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST CAR YOU OWNED?

A 1976 Chevy Malibu. I wasn't early into the car thing. We were married before I had a car. I got married then decided we probably needed a car. We got married young, didn't have much.

WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

I don't know if this is advice but the truest words ever spoken to me from a director in Edmonton when my daughter was only two. He said, 'Treasure every moment with your kids because you'll be surprised how fast they grow up.' Now that I'm the father of a 21-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son this summer, truer words were never spoken. Those years are a blur. It's amazing how quickly they grow up.

IF YOU COULD LIVE ANY ATHLETE'S LIFE, WHO WOULD THAT BE?

I'd be happy taking my shot at anyone's. But it's something noble and thrilling about being an Olympic athlete. I've envied the Olympic athletes I've covered, including Derek Porter, who was able to be successful in athletics and away from sport as well.

WHAT REPAIRS COULD YOU PERFORM ON YOUR CAR?

Changing a tire and topping up the oil is as far as I can go.

WHAT'S YOUR CULINARY SPECIALTY?

I'm really limited to standard barbecue fare. I love travelling to Italy and I love Italian food. Before it's over, I will have some Italian specialties.

WHAT'S YOUR CELLPHONE RINGTONE?

I don't have a cellphone and I take great pride in that.

WHAT TV SERIES DO YOU WANT ON DVD?

My son got me on to 24 this year and I would love to see the first few seasons. I don't watch a lot of TV and I usually fight the urge. Fox did such a heavy promo at the Super Bowl, I couldn't help it after that.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE UNHEALTHY FOOD?

I stopped eating it because they called it heart attack on a plate. There's nothing better than fettucini alfredo if it's done right.

WHAT'S THE BEST CONCERT YOU'VE SEEN?

It's a tie. Rolling Stones at Maple Leaf Gardens on June 18, 1974. The same year, and this will surprise you, Bob Dylan at the Gardens. I was a huge Dylan fan. Those two were right up there. I was a big Dire Straits fan and I saw them at Varsity Arena in Toronto.

IF YOU WEREN'T A SPORTS BROADCASTER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?

I would have loved to replace John Bonham as drummer for Led Zeppelin. They wouldn't have me. I would probably be a teacher.

WHAT WAS THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE?

Either 1984 or '88, the years our kids were born. Eighty-four was the birth of my first child and I started on Hockey Night in Canada for the first time. Eighty-eight was my first Olympics and the year my son was born.

WHAT'S YOUR WORST HABIT?

My worst habit is I don't have too many bad habits. It makes me boring.

WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST THING TO HAPPEN DURING A COMPETITION?

I've had a colour guy lean over in the headset to me -- he thought nobody else could hear it -- that he had to take a leak during the game. Let's put it this way, I had a lot of trouble calling the next few minutes of the game.

UGLIEST THING IN YOUR WARDROBE?

I bought one of those colourful summer shirts that I thought was a blueish tinge. They fooled me in the store with strange lighting. When I got outside, I found out it was lavender. That was a bad call. I wear it when I'm a long way from home.

COULD YOU BE CONVINCED TO KARAOKE AND, IF SO, WHAT'S YOUR SONG?

I did the karaoke thing in Japan for a TV thing. It was a serious mistake. I did Sultans of Swing. I thought anybody could imitate Mark Knopfler. I can't imitate him or anybody else.


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