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>The Gauntlet: Invalid Edition

1 February 2007


Well, I’m getting this Gauntlet in just under the wire. It’s been a rough few days, as I’ve been down and out with some sort of mysterious illness. DU’s notorious Puck Swami was in the hospital when I tracked him down for this interview, although I think that might be because he dresses in scrubs and pretends to be a doctor.

RWD: All right, folks. We’re here with DU assistant coach Steve Miller. Steve, how’s the team looking this year?
Puck Swami: The Swami wishes he was Steve Miller. At least then, perhaps the players would listen to me more than they do. In the Swami’s view, the team is coming around. They should be ready to play this weekend!

RWD: Some sources reported you were Coach Miller. How confusing. But, you should be breathing a sigh of relief, as known DU assassin Jason Garrison will not be in the lineup this weekend.
Puck Swami: Yeah, that was huge relief. Garrison has four career goals and all against my Pios. The killer one was that slapper in the WCHA playoffs that basically ended our season last year. Now, we’ve got to worry about Raymond, Nisky, Meyers, Sharp, Gergen and the rest of the boys. UMD always plays DU tough! [Could we please, please, please play EVERYONE tough?? Just ONE season???]

RWD: We hope the tradition continues. Where did you get the nickname “Puck Swami?”
Puck Swami: Good question. I had to think of a way to hide my true identity [What is it with Colorado bloggers and secrecy???], and I guess I stole the ‘Swami’ from Chris Berman from ESPN. I wish I could be more original, but that’s the truth.

RWD: And you obviously got the “Puck” from the sprite in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Puck Swami: I’ve never been a fan of that character. If I had to be a Shakespeare character, it’s more likely to be Richard III or Sir Toby Belch from Twelfth Night.

RWD: DG did tell me you were a man of distinguished taste.

Puck Swami: I’d like to think I’m more well rounded than most hockey-only people assume. [Oh you would, would you?]
RWD: Speaking of DG, how would you characterize your relationship with that hack?

Puck Swami: I’ve known him since before you were born! [You guys are old.] He’s a man with a personality as big as his toga. [Is that a burn?] Denver has no better fan!
RWD: He did insinuate that you were not a member of the human race, but were instead a weasel. How do you respond to such allegations?

Puck Swami: I not only deny the allegations, I deny the “Alli-gator.” [No comprendo.]
RWD: A prominent man of letters such as yourself must be used to such slander, though.

Puck Swami: Yes, I get my share of slander. Comes with the territory.
RWD: It’s just jealousy.

Puck Swami: Thanks, I think.
RWD: So, on to the snazziest coach in the WCHA. What do you think of old Gwoz?

Puck Swami: Gwoz is an amazing coach but I often question his wardrobe choices.
RWD: Really? What would you dress him in?

Puck Swami: The suits and jackets are fine, but I’d advise him to steer clear of pink ties and too much mixing of patterns and stripes – perhaps that’s his strategy to confuse opponents! [I heard his wife dresses him.]
RWD: I heard you haven’t always been so approving of Curious George… A Mankato incident comes to mind…
Puck Swami: If you’re thinking of the 8-7 ‘Meltdown’ game, Gwoz wasn’t there – he was at Keith Magnuson’s funeral. [Well, you can blame DG for that, as he was the one who suggested I bring it up.] I have questioned Gwoz’s decisions before and that’s part of what writing on message boards should be about. I actually think that coaches often coach better and players often play better when they have someone to “prove wrong”. I’m happy to sometimes play that role. Good fans should be more than just cheerleaders.
RWD: So you’re saying Gwoz “proved you wrong?” Did he come up to you and go “IN YOUR FACE, SWAMI!!!?”
Puck Swami: Gwoz would never do that – he’s too far above something like that. But I know that players, parents, and coaches do read the boards and if I play a little role in helping to inspire them, I’ve done my job.

RWD: Inspiring parents is always key. Who would you say are your favorite players, on the current squad and all time?
Puck Swami: My favorite player on DU right now is probably Steve Cook. The kid gives it all on every shift with limited talent. [Steve, Swami just called you limited talent. I think he wants you to prove him wrong… next weekend.] I love players like that. And my all-time favorite Pioneer is definitely Kevin Dineen, who went on to a 20+ year NHL career by giving his all on every shift. That’s what I value most – hard work.

RWD: But what about attractiveness? Is that a value? Who do you think is the hottest Pio right now?
Puck Swami: Mrs. Swami would say that Tyler Ruegsegger. I can’t say I notice that stuff… [He was pretty quick on the draw with that question, so I don’t think he actually asked Mrs. Swami.]
RWD: The DU Hottness Quotient when down significantly with the loss of 1st Team All-WCHA Hottie Matt Carle. Do you think the team misses his presence in other areas as well?
Puck Swami: And he wasn’t a bad hockey player, either.

RWD: Well, that was what I was getting at with the question…
Puck Swami: It’s my job as a Swami to know that. [Let’s see if the Crazy Canuck posts a lecture on the meaning of “Swami.”]
RWD: Do you think the guys have adjusted? I mean, you lost some other guys, too, right? Probably uggos, since I can’t remember their names.
Puck Swami: Judging by number of “puck bunnnies” following the Denver team, I doubt they missed a beat!

RWD: I meant ON THE ICE. Sheesh! This is a SERIOUS INTERVIEW. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Puck Swami: Sorry. Mrs. Swami just slapped me. [Good for Mrs. Swami!]
RWD: Wow, she’s fiesty. She must be Canadian or something.
Puck Swami: You bet she is. Fiesty and Canadian. That’s why I married her!

RWD: I’m sure she’s a big hockey fan, too.
Puck Swami: She is now. When I married her, she was the one Canadian who wasn’t into hockey. She likes football.
RWD: Oh, the CFL. A real powerhouse league. Or does football mean soccer in Canada? [Sometimes these things don’t translate.]
Puck Swami: She’s a Saskatchewan Rough Rider fan. And football there is three downs, and a huge field – lots of passing.
RWD: Hm. I hear Mrs. Swami comes from a distinguished family of doctors, and women who married doctors.

Puck Swami: Close. She’s a lawyer and her brothers and father are doctors or lawyers married to other doctors and lawyers. God knows why she married me… [Slumming, probably.]
RWD: So what happened to that little cartoon guy?

Puck Swami: The Denver Boone has been retired since 1999. He lives in the Archives of Denver’s Penrose Library. I hope he’s enjoying his retirement.
RWD: Was he hostile and abusive?

Puck Swami: Depends who you ask. Western Pioneers have some baggage these days.
RWD: Does CC really suck?

Puck Swami: Of course they do. Now, forever and always!
RWD: Even though their nickname is Constant Chokers, hasn’t Denver been doing some choking of their own recently?

Puck Swami: Choking is relative. All teams choke sometimes. Ask Isaac.
RWD: Hey, get in line, or Mrs. Swami will have to slap you!

Puck Swami: When Isaac let in the fourth goal in the third period in 2004 in Boston, Mrs. Swami slapped my hand over the cell phone from Denver to me in the Fleet Center. It was the greatest night of my life, other than the nights I met, propos[ition]ed to and married her.
RWD: Why were you on a cell phone during a game? CORPORATE SELL-OUT!!!!

Puck Swami: I was very surprised Denver won that game, and Mrs. Swami didn’t want to come to Boston to see DU lose. She did, however, come to Columbus in 2005, where she witnessed history standing next to me.
RWD: I see. Do you think Denver can go all the way this year? And by go all the way, I mean make it to the Final Five.

Puck Swami: Denver has a shot like a lot of others, especially with the regional in the back yard this year. Will they win it all? Maybe. I don’t think the offense is there yet, but all you need in the NCAAs is a hot goalie [Most attractive goalie = Rob Nolan. Tech will win it all!] and four game winning streak. We’ll see.
RWD: How does a team ranked #2 in the league miss the NCAA tournament? Were you that terrible in non-conference games?

Puck Swami: Yes. Princeton, Ferris [State, home of the Faux-dogs] and Garrison killed us.

RWD: We are leaving for Denver in like 7 hours. [Now more like 5 1/2. Ugh.] What’s a “must-do” while in the city?

Puck Swami: Pre-Game Dinner with the DU fans at Spanky’s. Seriously, bring your coat. It’s cold here.

RWD: By cold what do you mean? [Bracing myself]
Puck Swami: It’s a Duluth-like 15 degrees right now. [I think Duluth would be thrilled to have 15-degree weather.]
RWD: Current weather in Minneapolis: 8 degrees. Feels like: -8. [That’s Fahrenheit, for you Canucks.]
Puck Swami: You’ll fit right in then!
RWD: Ugh. I was hoping it would be warmer!
Puck Swami: Maybe by the weekend, we’ll see. Maybe see you Saturday?

RWD: I’ll be around. Autograph signing is between 7:01 and 7:04. How about a weekend prediction for the people in the cheap seats?
Puck Swami: Split. [Pansy.]
Well, posting here at RWD is going to be light for the next few days, possibly even non-existent. See you all in February!
3 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 February 2007 9:11 pm

    >Haha! I was thinking exactly what you were thinking when Swami said, “all you need in the NCAAs is a hot goalie” … :DGreat interview, RWD. :)Have a good time in Denver! I’m jealous!

  2. 2 February 2007 1:02 am

    >RWD, your Gauntlet is the best! Nice humor interjection on your behalf. I’m a fan.

  3. 2 February 2007 10:42 pm

    >Thanks again for interviewing me. As for the ‘No Comprendo’, the ‘Deny allegations/deny alle-gator” quote I dredged up was once attributed to The Rev. Jesse Jackson. It was funny when he said it. Had to be there I guess. Hope you have fun in Denver.


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