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Matt Bradley: 1-Day Captain and Shootout Specialist

Twelfth man Bradley, showing the kids how it's done last season. (Newton -- The Post)

D.C. Sports Bog correspondent Bonita Appleblog here. For the second installment in our series of random, not exclusively sports-related interviews with various sports-related figures, I caught up with Capitals forward Matt Bradley.

Here's what people close to Bradley have to say about him:

"Hilarious." -- Caps media guy Nate Ewell
"The team jokester for sure." -- Post staff writer Tarik El-Bashir
"Bradley is a good dude." -- Sombrero Guy, who is probably not "close" to Bradley but is certainly an Internet celebrity.

Anyway, here's the interview:

You wore the captain's "C" for a day in Carolina last week. How was that?

Yeah, it was something I really enjoyed.

I heard you were talking some good trash afterward, too.

Yeah, I mean, I like to joke around about it, but being a captain is a big responsibility and Chris Clark does a great job.

You also like to jokingly call yourself a "shootout specialist" after last season's win against the Oilers.

I'm not joking about it, I'm just really, really good at shootouts [laughing]. No, I mean, I got lucky in that game against Edmonton so I like to say that I should be shooting in every shootout, but the guys who shoot in every shootout are shooting for a reason, because they're scorers. But if it ever gets back down to, you know, 10 or 11, I'll be happy to go again. But I'll leave the shootouts to them.

So when Mike Green said, "we're never gonna hear the end of it," that's not the case? You're done talking about it?

Oh, no, he'll probably never hear the end of it.

You had a great post on Puck Daddy about the five ways you'd change the NHL. What was the reaction like?

You know, it's interesting, my buddy sent me a link and I read some of the people who were writing in about it, and most of them understood that I was just joking, and then there was the odd person who didn't know I was joking about it and didn't think it was very funny, so to those people I apologize. It was only meant as a fun thing and I don't really think those should be changes in the game.

Would you ever write your own blog?

Nah, I'm not a big computer guy. I check the Internet on occasion.

Are there any sites you visit when you are at the computer?

I'm the type of guy who likes to browse car Web sites, that kinda thing, or if it's something specific. The other day I was looking into buying a car.

Are you buying another hybrid?

Actually, my wife and I are gonna wait to get an electric car, I think. We have one hybrid and one non-hybrid, so instead of getting another hybrid, we're gonna wait a couple years and get a fully electric car.

Last season, you were second on the team for fighting majors after Don Brashear. Who would win if you two fought each other?

Hands down, Brash would win, ten times out of ten. Brash is the best in the game at that, and been the best in the game at that for 16 years now, so he knows all the tricks. And he's super strong and super tough. No, there's no comparison. Hands down, Brash would kill me every time.

Tiger Woods is your favorite athlete. How come?

I'm a big golfer. And being a big golfer, I understand how hard golf is, you know, how mental of a sport it is. Golf's the type of sport, unlike hockey, where every little thing matters. In hockey, you make a bunch of little mistakes, you can go on with the game and it'll go unnoticed because everything happens so quickly. With golf, every shot, you make a bad shot and it's very noticeable.

What other sports do you like?

I used to play baseball, soccer, that kind of thing growing up but now I'm a two-sport guy. Hockey in the winter and golf in the summer.

What teams did you root for growing up right outside Ottawa?

I was a Boston Bruins fan. Cam Neely was always my favorite player, so I rooted for Boston. Then when the Senators came back to Ottawa, I rooted for them. But now I'm a Washington Capitals fan.

Why do you call everybody "rookie?"

One of the worst things you can call a guy who's been in the league more than a year is a rookie. Everyone has to go through that first year, and when you're done, the last thing you want someone to call you is a rookie.

What in particular is so bad about being a rookie?

It's not that it's so bad or anything, but once you've been through your year and now you're a veteran, you've earned the right to be a veteran. So being called a rookie is kind of demeaning, you know?

Right. But there's nothing specifically bad that happens to NHL rookies, no hazing or anything like that?

Oh, no. No. The only thing we do is have a rookie meal every year where the rookies buy us dinner, but that's it.



... [skeptical]

... [unwavering]

Some say you're the class clown on the team. Is it true?

Yeah, I enjoy making fun of guys. I have a saying: If I don't make fun of you, it means I don't like you.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 3, 2008; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Introducing the Applebeen Award



Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | October 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Brads for Prez!

Posted by: Jill | October 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Doggone it, the Bradley is one cool fella. As a hockey mom, I can really appreciate his love of the game and gosh, I hope he doesnt go hurtin' himself when he gets in those fights.

Posted by: Gov. Sarah Palin | October 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

So...was Ovechkin supposed to show up at some point around here?

Posted by: | October 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

hah. Definitely not "close" to Bradley but he was cordial to my friends and even bought them a round of car bombs when they ran into him at the draft in Ottawa back in June. Sadly I had just left the bar to head to downtown Ottawa and missed out on the free drink.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 3, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I've met Bradley before and have talked to him for a while. He's really nice, but I didn't get much of the "prankster" vibe from him.

I guess he has to come out of his shell a little? Maybe I was just too worried he was going to jersey me and whoop my be-hind.

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | October 3, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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