The 63rd in our 118-part series.
Colby Armstrong and Max Talbot
Once upon a time, the Devils had a player who had a sense of humor and wasn’t afraid to appear spunky and goofy in the occasional interview. When interviewed for a taste test of the Wheaties that featured an Olympic Marty Brodeur on the box, Brad Bombadir answered Stan’s queries by dribbling milk and chewed up cereal down his chin while giggling uncontrollably. Not surprisingly, he was shipped out to Minnesota where he is now a spunky, goofy sideline reporter. Devils players since have learned the lesson. So we must look elsewhere to fill our spunk and goof needs. About mid-way through last season we found the mythical Fountain of Spunky Goofiness in Pittsburgh, where Colby Armstrong and Max Talbot run rampant over Penguins pre-, during- and post- game interviews, as well as on the incomparable Inside Penguins Hockey, a half-hour, weekly showcase for their insanity.
We don’t have much to say about their on-ice play. Armstrong’s got some dirty play issues, and Talbot, while excellent on the PK, isn’t much to write home about at even strength. This Reason We Love Hockey is all about Colby “CheeseTed” Armstrong giving a tour of his disastrous minor-league apartment (“The dream is dead… Oh! Here it is!”), or showing off his waiter skills on his radio show (“Hello, my name is Colby, I’ll be your waiter this evening. Can I start you off with a glass of water? And… that’s all I’ve got.”), or discussing his buddy Sid (“He’s got a moat around his house. And a dragon. Tim Horton’s gave them to him.”). And this Reason We Love Hockey is about Max Talbot finding every opportunity, from local charity balls to holiday visits to hospitals to cheer up ill children, to announce that he’s single and looking, or constantly taking digs at his own skills (“The poker tourney organizers wanted the best NHLer to participate but 300+ guys said no, so they got me.”), or being rebuked by countless teammates on camera with cries of “No kisses, Max!”
We’ve mentioned in a prior Reason that we love being able to make up our own stories and our own jokes inspired by the players and events in each NHL season, but sometimes it’s nice to have the work done for us. And for that there are no better guys to watch than CheeseTed and Max.