Saturday, October 24, 2009


the moment he walked into the room, in his funky white button-up shirt, carrying an extra large cup of tim horton's coffee, he had us all in the palm of his hands.... there was enormous applause and the arena-chant of "theo ! theo !" .... the guy has certainly come a long way and there's no doubt in my mind he's just taking his first steps.

my buddy mike and i headed down to the southland chapters this afternoon, largely on the behest of awildermode, to check out the "playing with fire" book signing. i'd told AWM that i'd go for him, but if it was a total gongshow i wasn't gonna stay.... well, we went hella early and were still probably about 50-or-so people back in line, but we settled in with our coffees and new single-serving friends, and had a fairly pleasant afternoon. if we'd shown up at 2pm, when the festivites were scheduled to begin, we would've been at the back of a queue 500-600 people long.

there was an hour-long interview/Q&A conducted by global sportscaster, grant pollock, during which theo regurgitated many of the same anecdotes and answers he'd provided in in previous media events. there were a lot of "y'know"s and "absolutely"s, but for the most part his responses sounded truthful and heartfelt... i kept thinking he has a future in motivational speaking, and by the looks of things, that's the direction he's heading.... not only did he discuss the steps he's taking towards pressing charges against graham james (hiring lawyer hersh wolch), but he noted that he's begun to investigate the creation of a (substance abuse ?) treatment centre in calgary. theo's wife was present and noticeably emotional at parts, and his brother (below right in the black jacket) videoed the entirety...

notable soundbytes:
  • pollock pointed out how drugged and boozed fleury was during his playing days, and asked how on earth he managed to have an elite career. theo simply replied, "well, i'm probably gonna donate my body to science."
  • regarding reading about the full extent of fleury's substance abuse, pollock announced " ticked me off." without missing a beat, theo humourously offered pollock a hand with his anger, "i know a good psychologist." ;)
  • i really appreciated that, while theo obviously credits god for looking out for him, he doesn't make it all preachy-like.... at one point he made mention of being under "the care of god, as i understand him." kudos.
  • "i know graham james was in my life, but i would've made it without him."
  • he talked a bit about the messed up people he's crossed paths with, including the guys around burning barrels in NYC, the crack dealers and the transvestites, and how they've all got a story. pollock says lightheartedly, "you've always been a people person...."
  • in the past couple of weeks he's had a chance to watch a lot of highlights from his career and said he was "embarassed" about alot of the things he did on-ice when playing for the rangers, and how "crazy" he was.... i can only presume he was referring to this (0:35).
  • re: his attempted comeback this pre-season with the flames, theo said that he needed to prove to himself one last time that he could "shove it up everybody's you-know-what." he also said that, after being cut by the flames, he could've played elsewhere. pollock asked, "AHL or NHL ?" and the look fleury gave him hilariously said "come on... what do YOU think ????" ;)
how did i remember so many quotes? well, i always carry a pen.... ;)

my favorite thing that theoren fleury said today was the description of walking out of the dressing room and the sound of the fans getting louder as you walk down the tunnel towards the ice.... and that "a fresh sheet of ice is like a blank sheet of paper, where i could tell my story..."

so as #14 signed my book, and one for his biggest fan (whom i've never actually met), i told him that i look forward to his jersey hitting the rafters of the 'dome, and asked him who he thought would win the battle of the blades.... ;) he laughed and said he hadn't had time to watch --who did i think would win ? i looked at him and grinned, "claude lemieux."

"i love that guy," he mumbled with a smile as i shook his hand and walked away....

ps: awildermode ? you owe me huge.


awildermode said...

Yeah, I owe you HUGE. Thanks again.

Mamma_Mia said...

Wow your story is great!! And you did it so quickly considering we didn't get our books signed until almost 4:00!! I had a great time hanging out with you and Mike... (who by the way, looks just like Michael Keaton!) :-D

Time to watch the game. Talk to you later.

Mike H. said...

Mamma_Mia, I'm hoping you mean Batman rather than Mr. Mom. And I didn't even show off my utility belt.

Good times at the bookstore, couldn't believe the number of people. Finished the book yesterday, great reading for anyone who likes hockey stories and road trip shenanigans.

Jason said...

I'm intrigued to read this book...

walkinvisible said...

i can bring you mine to borrow but i need it back.... do you want your own ? shit, i shoulda gotten you one g%# d*#@ signed....


Mamma_Mia said...

Mike, I totally meant Batman! As if any other role he did mattered. ;-)

Fleury's facebook says he hit 1000, it crazy how many people showed up.

I found this story on about the signing.

Long story short, My Daughter & I were the very last in line at the Chapters Fleury book signing.

When we finally got to the table where Fleury was sitting,
I said to Fleury, "You must be glad to see us!" (because we were the end of the line) Fleury stood up and said "There's gotta be a prize for this!"

Anyway, after signing our book, He told one of his people ..."I want a picture with these two and I want it sent to them". (They got my E-mail address after).......

He wrapped his arms around me and my Daughter, and they took a couple pics. As the photo thing was done, Theo still had his arm around my Daughter, I saw and heard him say to my little girl "follow your dreams, you can do anything"

I'm so glad I could give my Daughter this opportunity of meeting the man I have been telling her about for so many years.

Goad said...

I went to go pick up a copy of the book today and was told that not only were they sold out, but Theo was outselling Dan Brown.

walkinvisible said...

"better than dan brown" is quite a feat, admittedly, though it IS vancouver (so i'm guessing they didn't ship as many as they did to, say, flamesville).... it's a must-read, brother... be patient....

thanks for swingin' by --i meant to say that earlier but i'm a scatterbrain.... great story & congratulations to you for finding what's probably the only thing on CP that's actually based in reality.