Bob McKenzie: Hockey Dad
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A level-headed hockey analyst, Bob McKenzie can still lose his cool when it comes to his kids. chats with the Hockey Insider about his book, 'Hockey Dad.'


Rebecca Brayton: Parents go nuts when it comes to their kids. Hi! I’m Rebecca Brayton and welcome to And today, we’re speaking with Bob McKenzie to learn more about how this level- headed hockey analyst turned into a crazy hockey dad. Why did you write this book? Is it sort of a self-help book? Bob McKenzie: Yeah, a little bit of what was that. I had two boys who’d had completely different experiences in terms of positive and negative. You know, I thought there was an entertainment value there. I thought there are some funny stories. Well, we consider off my buddies while we were being hockey dads. And we talked with some of the crazy nonsense that went on. And we’d laugh about it. You can’t make this stuff up. Rebecca Brayton: No. You’re known for your level-headedness, which obviously in the book kind of falls by the wayside, let’s say. What you think it is about sports, in general, that, kind of, make parents go nuts? Bob McKenzie: The mistakes I made or the things I did that I shouldn’t have done. You know I can’t break a mode in different categories. And some of them were the best of intentions like sometimes if I was kind of grinding my kids a little bit; it was because I wanted them to instill the good values like where can’t fake commitment, discipline, respect, all those things. So, sometimes you push that a little far. And it becomes a bit of a stage parent whether, that was an honorable intention. Then there are other times when you just, you know, you were protective maybe. You love you kids and you thought they were getting the wrong ideal and somebody was trying to harm them and that you wanted to kind of send the message, you can’t harm my kid and get away with it. So, and those are the dangerous ones because I can escalated pretty rapidly. Rebecca Brayton: What’s the craziest thing you ever did as a hockey parent? Bob McKenzie: Reader’s Digest version is that the coach of the opposing team had instructed every player on his team to try and fight my son. And that is actually Needy Chelskill was at the game watching it. And he kind of set me off because I wasn’t happy about it but I was kind of just sitting there and taking my lumps and watching it. And it was getting near even the second period they said to me, is it always like this for your son? Is this always happening? I said, “No, it’s not even this bad.” He goes, “Well, it’s sickly since I’ve been watching it.” He says, “It’s just sicking, what they’re doing.” That coach is obviously telling these guys to do this. And I thought about it and I think, “Yeah, you’re right.” Sort of verbally challenge the coach between periods that if you wanted to fight McKenzie so bad, come on up into the stands. And he said, “Well, you come down here so I went down.” And it was only as I was walking down there I said, “What the hell am I doing?” I mean, I’ll be at the front page of the Toronto setting rink rage Hockey Insider, lose my job, my career seriously and at the same time, you don’t want to show weakness. So, you got to go down there. But I used my wit to get me out of it. My only fear in writing the book was that because you put all these snapshots out, that it creates the illusion that everything about this minor hockey experience was nuts when in fact it’s kind of the opposite just about everything about it was great. But I don’t know. That would make a very good book. Rebecca Brayton: Thank you very much! Bob McKenzie: Oh, my pleasure.