Sportsnet’s ‘Canadian Tom Brady’ Kyle Bokauskas On His Viral Moment With Charles Barkley

Early within the second break, Sportsnet reporter Kyle Bokauskas leaned towards his visitor to ensure he may very well be heard above the noise of the group. It was the third sport of the Stanley Cup Closing, in Tampa, and his visitor was recognized not solely among the many viewers, but in addition to viewers all through North America.

Charles Barclay opened as a courtesy.

“I’ve to say two issues,” stated the retiree NBA The star stated to his Canadian interlocutor. “No. 1: Your hair is dripping properly.”

Moments later: “Hey, you are a handsome man too—you are like Canadian Tom Brady to me.”

At 28, Bukauskas has but to win a Tremendous Bowl, however he has been a fixture on the web for the higher a part of a decade. He joined Sportsnet in October 2013, when he was simply 20 years outdated, and will likely be one of many reporters on the ice when the Stanley Cup is lifted this month.

Rising up in Campbell River, British Columbia, however now primarily based in Ottawa, Bukauskas took day without work his schedule to reply questions from the athleteHe is speaking about Sir Charles, and he is lip-smacking Brad Marchand And that poetry is now well-known.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Who’s Canadian Tom Brady?

(Chortle) Oh that is good. Let me give it some thought. It is positively not me. you realize what? I might put Ryan Reynolds in that class. I do know it is not athletic, per se, however when it comes to seems to be and attraction… it might have been my alternative. I would not have been anyplace close to the highest 100 or 1000.

So why did Charles Barclay wipe you out?

you realize what? I believe he was having a good time within the sport. His pal John Cooper and Lightning They’d an excellent night time in two shifts. I do not know. I believe you actually ought to ask him why he determined to go down this path. I’ve by no means met the person earlier than. I did not get an opportunity to speak to him. For a man who’s 6 ft 9 ft 6 ft 10 ft tall, he made me really feel extremely snug. Standing subsequent to you is a sports activities, tv, and popular culture icon, and it is enormous. It is extremely simple to get scared. However as soon as we began, I did not really feel prefer it in any respect. He was extremely variety, heat and welcoming. You’re feeling like you might be having a dialog with somebody who’s fascinated about chatting with you.

Did Charles Barkley give any indication he was going earlier than you went on air?

No. Nothing. I saved asking him if he texted John Cooper with any phrases of encouragement earlier than the sport. It did not appear like it did, so I would not go that route with my grilling line. However there was nothing about hair, nothing about any sort of celeb lookalike. So my shock was simply as a lot, if not higher, than anybody else’s.

How do you cope with surprising moments in entrance of the digicam when you realize that lots of people watch them at house?

Proper now, you are like, “How do I get out of this easily?” And the way do you weave your means out with out tripping over your self an excessive amount of alongside the best way? I believe it comes with time. And once more, it was the truth that he made me really feel snug on this state of affairs. When you’re speaking to somebody and also you’re on the sting a bit and one thing like this bothers you, my response would in all probability be completely different. Nevertheless it was a enjoyable dialog that we’re simply making an attempt to get pleasure from.

What may most viewers not absolutely perceive concerning the lifetime of a rink reporter?

Maybe all of the work that goes into issues has nothing to do with interviews. As a result of that is the place most viewers see me: I am interviewing a participant or coach, or an vital individual within the crowd. Certain, that is a giant a part of the job. However I might agonize—whether or not it was the night time earlier than, or this morning—about our 45 seconds or a minute off the highest of the present. Ron McLean opens it up after which involves me on the rink. That little for me, that is one in every of my greatest moments. This sort of set the stage to your night time. If all goes properly, it is no completely different for a participant: you might have a very good first shift beneath your belt, and also you at the moment are within the sport.

Why did the break match survive with breathless gamers in any case these years?

You already know, I assumed he was on his means out. As a result of fairly frankly, we stopped doing it for some time. A part of it’s that on Saturdays, with “32 Concepts” it takes one in every of two breaks, and there is not sufficient time to squeeze into an 80-second participant interview. And we give up doing it on the primary break for a very long time too, as a result of we acquired that feeling too. She wasn’t getting a lot of it, which is comprehensible. You aren’t criticizing the participant on this state of affairs in any means. I am certain that is the very last thing he needs to do, discuss to me or anybody else on the finish of the interval. So let’s simply let that go, and no matter time we have now to try this, let’s use that firstly of the interval to do some storytelling. Solely just lately did we get again to that. … why did he survive? I am undecided. Possibly it was so rooted within the institution of hockey broadcasts that it simply will not go away fully. There are positively occasions whenever you do one and go, “Man, we might have gone with out it.” However now and again, you get a bit of nugget the place you suppose, “Okay, that is why we hold coming again.”

What would you ask the participant who scored the final word aim in a 4-1 win for Wealthy Midget A Tyees, serving to him change into the primary Campbell River, BC workforce, to win the Vancouver Island dwarf title, in 2010?

(Chortle) You’ve finished your responsibility right here. You’ll have requested how lengthy they’d that second. I do know, for my age group, we did not win a lot whereas rising, definitely at a rep degree. Within the yr you are speaking about, we confronted Nanaimo within the remaining. The identical groups have performed up and down the island your complete life. I began taking part in hockey on the age of 5. I did not beat a workforce from Nanaimo till earlier that yr. I used to be, what, 16 then? So there are 11 years of your life the place you might be continually being crushed up by Nanaimo, again and again. Beating them within the third sport and deciding on the ice was an excellent feeling.

What was occurring at Campbell River that took so lengthy to win?

I believe it was simply our age group. We’ve not had the perfect crop of expertise. Certain, because the years glided by, we tried like heck. However you play with different groups in our league, on Vancouver Island, and the opposite gamers have been higher. It was not one of the Campbell River. It was simply my age group. There have been lots of nice groups rising within the minor hockey league. We should have simply been into Christmas yr.

Why did you Bruins Striker Brad Marchand skates away from you whenever you requested him about sharpening his skates earlier than a playoff in 2019?

Effectively, possibly as a result of I used to be a bit intelligent, and I picked the fallacious time to ask this query. Certain sufficient, there was a story that I used to be making an attempt to have a “caught” second with him. And truthfully with God, I wasn’t. I used to be making an attempt to play within the story who created it the day earlier than. He spoke to the media between matches 1 and a couple of after stepping on Cam AtkinsonHe caught to Sport 1 and stated, “Yeah, the man was making an attempt to moist my ski blade, he put his stick there on objective and I stepped on it.” I used to be laughing. I assumed that was good. So I attempted to delve into his personal story, which he created. It was simply unhealthy timing on my half.

Such a false impression: is it a job hazard whenever you solely have 45 to 60 seconds of broadcasting?

sure. This simply comes with the territory, I believe. … This occurred in 2019, within the playoffs. I am again for the ultimate convention. Within the subsequent spherical, they performed Carolina. At some point off, I used to be outdoors at their coaching facility and I went to their PR and stated, “Hey, can I discuss to him for a couple of minutes?” I believe he might have forgotten that already. However I nonetheless needed to examine in, and if there was any downside, I simply needed to unravel it. They got here again and stated he was busy – they’d conferences and what you might have – and I stated, “No downside.” At that time, I made a decision I would not spend the remainder of qualifying operating round making an attempt to speak to him. If this wasn’t a giant deal to him, don’t fret, it would not be for me. We’ll simply transfer on.

The place is your focus proper after the ultimate whistle and the coronation of a Stanley Cup winner?

Effectively, it is “Who’s you interviewing for ESPN?” After which I will know who I will meet. They get their first molasses right here in america. As soon as you realize the primary visitor, you’ll be able to then deal with your first query. I had it for the primary time final yr when Tampa gained, the place I used to be on the ice and doing interviews after the trophy was handed out. All this occurs shortly. Scott Oak was nice at many issues – and nonetheless does his job – however I actually felt like he made his cash yearly when that second got here. The cup was distributed and it was like, ‘Right here comes this participant, right here comes that one’. He was at all times very sharp, and he has the non-public contact of each participant. It was clear that the work was put into the backstory of every participant. For me, it was the norm at that second.

Again to Charles: He additionally complimented your hair – how might you not blush?

(Chortle) I thanked him for that, then let him proceed. I will have to provide a shout out to my pal Dino Nusita, who’s been shaving my hair for eight years now, in Ottawa. I did not get any actual compliments on my hair earlier than I went to see it. And this isn’t to criticize anybody who has ever reduce my hair earlier than him, however that they appeared completely different. As quickly as they begin coming – there Rick Astley Comparisons, Johnny Bravo – I would at all times inform him, “You created a monster.”

What’s the length of the hair operation on the day of the match?

I have been capable of get via about 10 minutes now. I get it dry, after which I’ve a few completely different merchandise that I take advantage of earlier than a match to ensure I’ve it in place. Put it on and neglect it, that is sort of the thought course of behind it, proper?

The place are you the day after lifting the Stanley Cup: Trip?

No, I am again house in Ottawa. My fiancée hasn’t seen a lot of me previously two months. I’ve fairly a little bit of debt to repay, when it comes to spending time together with her and making an attempt to get again a few of that point. No trip. Simply a while at house for some time.

(Photograph: Tom Szczerbowski / USA Right this moment)