sports

Catching up with former NHLer, Justin Papineau

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Where were you when you got drafted?

I was in Buffalo, NY when I was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings

Did you think of yourself as a top prospect when you first entered the NHL?Papineau 4

I definitely thought of myself as a top prospect and paid my dues and eventually got a shot, but due to injuries was unfortunately hurt most of my career.

Did you prefer to play on power play or penalty kill?

I definitely loved playing on the power play as it was one of my strong points.

Biggest difference/similarity between German and Canadian hockey leagues you played in?

-The biggest difference is the speed and skill of the game as its mostly semi professional players.

-One of the similarities is the commitment and hard work.

Toughest teammate you’ve had?

Eric Cairns

Cairns

How much time did you put into face offs during practice?

I probably put 5-10 minutes depending on the practice, but definitely before every game.

Papineau 5Preferred jersey number to wear?

17

What was your go-to restaurant (that you can remember) while you were in Bridgeport, CT playing for the Sound Tigers?

It was a sports bar called Johnny Rockets I think.

Post hockey career, what have you spent most of your time doing?

After breaking my back and being forced to retire, I am a stay at home dad!

Anything in your professional career that you would have done differently?Papineau 1

As for my career, I wouldn’t change anything. I am where I am today because of it and despite all the injuries, the experiences I was able to live and the opportunities it gave me are priceless. Can truly say I have no regrets.

Prediction for 2017 Stanley Cup Championship?

Pittsburgh will win the cup

Two NHL organizations you played for (Devils, Islanders), both have a top 15 pick in the 1st round of the draft in 2017. What would be your advice for young talent first entering the league?

I would advise young players in today’s game to embrace the moment and take each game one at a time. It’s essential to watch, listen, and learn from experienced players. You can never have enough knowledge if the game and through your peers, you will learn and prosper as a player.

papineau 2

A Tribute to Father’s Day

Epcot with Dad

Growing up and to this day, there are three special men in my life who I look up to. My father and my two grandfathers. One of my grandfathers is my guardian angel, watching over me step by step each and every day and I miss him more than anything.

Today is a day usually spent at a ball game, golf course, fishing, etc. spent with your Dad. Every one of those solid minutes spent are memories that will last forever. To all fathers, uncles, single mothers, grandfathers, step-fathers, mentors, coaches, bosses, brothers or any other title that holds the meaning of today – thank you for your hard work and dedication to raise generation upon generation.

One of my coaches passed away this year. Mr. Buckley was a true inspiration and a great father to three kids Brendon, Stephen, and Tatum. Brendon was my best friend growing up and I was proud to call him my teammate for a championship season back in elementary school, with his father as our head coach. Brendon and Stephen are currently playing college baseball and Tatum was just named CT Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, coming out of Masuk High School. Safe to say there is a man upstairs pretty proud of these three!

My fondest memory of Father’s Day was in a Babe Ruth game a few years back in my prime of course, when I could actually swing and run without running out of breath and pulling a muscle. I had a couple of base hits and stolen bases. My Dad always left work early or took a day off to watch my soccer, basketball, and baseball games. Couldn’t be more thankful.

What does Father’s Day mean to you

“Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers, celebrating fatherhood, and a day expressing the bond between you and your kid. It also recognizes the influence of fathers in society.”

Daniel “Lunatic” Oliver  Lunatic

“The greatest gift a father can give a child or children is an example of true love, given from the inner most depth of ones heart. Not afraid to say, I love you.”

Joseph Molloy  Joseph Molloy

“Coming from a family of seven kids, Father’s Day was always a big deal growing up. I think Dad pretended to really love every gift each of us gave him…no matter how dumb it was. I remember how good it felt to see his reaction as he opened his presents and I think about it every time I open my gifts from my three kids.”

Rick Nafe 

“Father’s Day! It’s a special day to me because I have my father and one of my grandfathers still here with me! All the men in my life, whether the guys I named, uncles, older male cousins, coaches, and mentors have played a significant role in my life! Some have been there for me more than others, but I learned from each person! As a father myself, of three daughters, it’s especially important for me to be there for them! I must show them how a real man is supposed to treat them by how I treat my wife and the respect I show for all women! There are way too many single parents out there, we must re-establish the male in our households! Happy Father’s Day to all the real men, whether you fathered a child or your standing in the gap for a kid that needs that father figure! God Bless! Also, many blessings to all the single mothers who are forced to be Mom and Dad!

Andra Davis Andra Davis

“It’s a day to look back at everything my father has done. Some things are taken for granted. And without him nothing is possible. This year is my first. I get to look at my beautiful boy and hope that I can provide for him what my father did for me.”

Jason Pridie Image

My Dad always says he doesn’t want anything special, just a nice card will do the trick. Well, here’s my card pops! Happy Father’s Day!

Never let go of a dream, featuring ESPN’s Robert Flores

ImageIt’s not everyday someone can spend endless amounts of time talking to professionals in their field. For me, it has become almost routine. My passion belongs to sports journalism and broadcasting. Searching ESPN.com and seeing Pat Yasinskas posting an article about the NFC South, Scott Miller writing a baseball column on CBS Sports, or turning on SportsCenter and seeing Robert Flores debate with Stephen A. Smith about how Lamar Odom gave up with the Dallas Mavericks. These three professionals are fan friendly and cooperative with people like me who are trying to break into the industry and take any possible advice given.

This article belongs to Flores and the rise to ESPN. Would you have ever thought that a current SportsCenter anchor was fired from another job before joining ESPN? All that needs to be said is that he uttered the “f-bomb” and was eventually let go due to a zero tolerance policy as a sports reporter for KEYE in Austin, Texas. Look at where he is now. For someone looking to break into this industry, this is a good life lesson. Flores could have easily called it quits after that incident. Instead he kept pursuing his passion and now you watch him throughout the week as he reports sports stories from Bristol, CT. Phil Hatlem my sport business advisor at Saint Leo University once told me, “Don’t reject yourself from someone or somewhere, let them reject you.” I immediately thought of this quote once I read about Flores’ firing. He didn’t reject himself from ESPN and they clearly saw someone with potential who just happened to make a mistake. It happens, life goes on.

Twitter: @RoFloESPN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobertFloresESPN

Question: Graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in radio/television, what were some of the courses and activities you participated in to prepare you for where you are now?

Flores: I took some journalism, broadcast journalism classes. However, the most helpful thing for me was being able to work part time at the CBS affiliate in Houston. It gave me “real world” knowledge while still in school. So valuable

Question: Do you enjoy taking part in fan chats? (Sports Nation, etc.)

Flores: I do, I like the immediacy of instant feedback. Good or bad. Sometimes I feel as if we are in a vacuum.

Question: As a sports director before ESPN in Texas, what were some of your everyday tasks that you oversaw for the television stations (KEYE-TV, KWTX-TV)?

Flores: Depending on the size of the market, Sports directors have to organize what events get covered. In my case, that also occasionally included shooting my own material. You wear a lot of hats when you work at the local level.

Question: Anchor for ESPN2 Fantasy Football Now, how many fantasy football teams do you usually manage per year?

Flores: I’m usually in two to three leagues.

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Question: What was the transition like, going from a couple of television stations in Texas to the big stage of ESPN?

Flores: The biggest transition coming from a local station was the speed at which everything happens. (I sound like an NFL rookie) Also, there are more eyeballs watching you. It makes you want to focus harder and pay closer attention to detail.

Question: Most embarrassing moment in your sports anchor career thus far?

Flores: My most embarrassing moment, aside from getting fired (google it) was saying shot clock on SportsCenter. Except I said something that rhymed with clock.

Question: What sport do you enjoy to cover the most?

Flores: The NFL is the sport I enjoy covering the most.

Question: Chemistry wise, which sports anchor do you flow with the best on set?

Flores: Because my schedule is a little “sporadic,” it’s hard to develop chemistry with anyone specifically. However, I pride myself on being able to adapt quickly with different anchors.

Question: Outside of ESPN, what is a “normal” day for Robert Flores?

Flores: I play a lot of video games, watch a lot of bad TV and like spending time with my family. Oh I also enjoy playing golf.

Question: Was there any specific broadcaster that you looked up to growing up or even now?

Flores: I was a huge Howard Cosell fan. He’s one of the reasons I got into this business. As for someone now? I enjoy the way Dan Patrick interviews his subjects.

Question: From your perspective, how effective is twitter to get your sports ideas and thoughts out to the fans?

Flores: Twitter is great place to exchange ideas with fans and vice versa. However, one thing that it can sometime lack is context. Sometimes it’s hard to get your point across in 140 characters.