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Brendan and Brian Burke. And Me.



Let’s hit the links.

Yesterday, ESPN’s John Buccigross posted the Brendan Burke story - as was to be expected, the article has been passed around on Twitter like  it’s running a five-on-three powerplay.  As a result, I’m back in the mix (“the mix”, being the 286 comments received on my gay slurs article for USA Today).

I did an email interview on the story for Yahoo! hockey blogger “Puck Daddy” (Greg Wyshynski).  You can check that out here.

Also, I responded via email to a Buccigross question – he’ll be running that response later today, and of course, that’ll be up on here when he puts it up.

For my Canadian readers, I’ll be going on CBC’s primetime show “Connect with Mark Kelley” if one of the Burke’s are unable to make it – that’s at five o’clock today.  All I can say is, I’m cut out for radio today, not TV.  I look like I got lost in the woods, found and drank some grain alcohol, fought Manny Pacquiao, then slept in a ditch.  In reality, I just haven’t shaved in a week and couldn’t sleep because of late-night rec hockey.  …and I may have had a Stella or two.

***AMENDED*** – Apparently, it IS for TV.  Five o’clock Arizona time on the CBC.  I just scraped a razor over my dumb face, and will be heading to the studio in a bit, if the CBC can track down a willing partner in this.

And again, I received further confirmation in my inbox today that, yes, I am indeed a “flaming homo”.  So… I’ve got that going for me.


Since I’m receiving a bit of an influx in the ‘ol number-of-hits category today, I thought I’d direct some first-time Bourne’s Bloggers to a few things I wrote that managed to not suck.

*An inordinately serious column on leaving the game of hockey, for The Hockey News

*The “How I Met Your Mother” of Bourne’s Blog.  The story written for Islanders Point Blank on how I ended up engaged to Clark Gillies daughter, Brianna.

*And the story of how I ended up being a writer, for The Hockey News – I’m having trouble getting their site to work right now, so you can find it as the bottom article on this page.


So that’s all you get today, friends.  Looking forward to more feedback, and when the ESPN bit gets posted, you’ll be the first to know.



23 Responses to “Brendan and Brian Burke. And Me.”
  1. Officer Koharski says:

    Buccigross’s article was really compelling, it’s great the issue is getting more visibility. The more dialog there is, the less people will tiptoe around it and be afraid to voice their opinions. I hope an active NHLer comes out some day soon, it’s the right time and if it’s the right guy it would do wonders for those in Brendan’s position. In the article, the part that really got me was when he mentioned how as he becomes better friends with people, he feels as if he is being dishonest with them for not disclosing his orientation. Put that way, I understood the viewpoint even more. Anyone can relate to that feeling.

    Congratulations on your writing career taking a huge upswing lately, man. I don’t know if you’re cashing mad checks yet but you’re getting awesome exposure. Keep up the good work.

    In response to your Pascal Leclaire tweet I see on the side bar here: the guy is crazy looking. He IS the human version of the Grinch. I could park my car comfortably in the fourteen feet between his nose and his mouth.

  2. jtbourne says:

    I’m really close to doing commentor power rankings (sidebar – I continue to spell that word – commentor – with an “o” at the end, but can’t seem to find any reinforcement that I’m right in that. But it just feels right, doesn’t it?), and you’d crack the top five, Koharski. Leclaire is confusing to look at. Like, I just get confused. So many thoughts and things going on… it scrambles my brain like a satellite signal jammer thing.

    By the way, how did you like the way Bucci wrote the article, that “perspective” stuff?

  3. angus says:

    I did – sometimes that writing style (the “perspective” stuff as you say) seems forced, other times it ties the focus of the article all together. I hesitate to call this a “scoop,” but it definitely is a very intriguing and engaging topic.

    It is always a positive when Bucci leaves out song lyrics as well…

  4. Mike says:

    I enjoy your site Justin. If I could please offer one suggestion. Set up a page for your Bio, who you are etc. Its hard to determine who the author of the website is. You really need an “about” or “Author” etc tab at the top of the page. You have links for twitter, donate, RSS etc, but no who the heck is this guy link. Just a web page suggestion.

  5. Officer Koharski says:

    As a matter of fact, that first person kind of style was a little off putting at first, but as it got into the real heart of the article, it made more sense. It forces the reader into the perspective of the troubled, and thus made it a lot easier to share his viewpoint. It’s hard to pull off but in this particular case it worked perfectly.

    Anyway to increase my stock in the power rankings, here is some hilarious

  6. jtbourne says:

    Amazingly, that was in the works as I got your comment. Its up now, and will be made fancier shortly.

  7. ms.conduct says:

    Leclaire is what I would imagine Bat Boy looks like grown up. Poor fella though… might want to keep that glove hand active even on the bench, eh?

    Nice stuff lately, Justin. Enjoying the discourse and the great writing on a touchy subject. Was iffy on Bucci’s approach to the story but I respect that he took a risk with the style. It befits the subject matter.

  8. minnesotagirl71 says:

    I didn’t connect to the Buccigross style of the article. It felt too much like a straight run down on events….you did this, your dad did that, then you did this next thing…..

    The story was touching and had potential to be really moving, but the telling of the story felt emotionless. I would have REALLY liked to see how you would have written Brenden’s story. I think it would have been amazing through your eyes and words.

    Keep up the great work and don’t let the haters stop you from raising the issues!

  9. Mike says:

    Great minds think alike. I forgot to mentioned good work on your story. Bucci’s writing drives me nuts. That first person style drives me insane.

  10. Char says:

    Actually, Mike, the style is second person. First person is just telling your own story, from your own POV.

    Generally I’m not a fan at all of second person, but I didn’t mind so much in this case. IMHO Bourne’s story is so compelling, and he’s such an articulate person, that I think that’s a story that practically writes itself.

  11. Sherry says:

    Just read the you and Bri story. All I can say is “Awwwwww-w.” :)

  12. Mike says:

    You write a comment on a favorite website. You realize you make both a grammar error and incorrectly identify a literary style. You blame it on slacking off at work. Maybe you cant handle work and distractions at the same time. Maybe you shouldn’t look at hockey while on the clock. Maybe no one will notice. You hope no one calls you out on it. Hopefully no one calls you teh suk.

    Your right char, my apologizes. Yes Burke’s story is compelling. I think this subject will continue to grow.

  13. jtbourne says:

    I love that I have access to editing my comments, while readers have to re-comment and look slightly foolish. Love it.

  14. Char says:

    I seem to be swimming lately in Freudian slips. ;-)

  15. Neil says:

    Nice work Bourne, I hope I catch you on CBC tonight! Nice interview on Puck Daddy too. I am surprised that this topic has the legs it does!? Obviously it’s extremely important and should absolutely be central in public debate (if that’s the best we can muster) but I thought everyone had gotten really comfortable ignoring it. Who knew?

  16. Sherry says:

    Godspeed on that TV interview thing Justin (this is all kind of exciting isn’t it – and for such a good cause)! You *will* be posting a link to the interview so those of us who are a) in the US and b) busy in the kitchen anyway can see it sometime, right?

    Break a leg dude (I can say that now that you don’t make a living playing hockey :) !

  17. Neil says:

    Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Sweet interview Bourne! Questionable decision on the soul patch but you nailed it!

  18. T Jones says:

    Justin just got honorable mention durring the tsn interview with the burkes.

  19. Matt says:

    Justin I saw the interview and it was great. You were right that John Amaechi nailed it!! Although he was pushing it to single out North American sports culture as particularly prejudiced when international football (soccer) is one of the most virulently homophobic sports cultures there is wherever it’s played. Otherwise he was fantastic, but so were you. Good looking and very confident on camera despite what you say. Soul patch? Two thumbs up! The story had a lot of resonance in Canada, and how could it not with coming out, family and love as the glue that hold it all together. It was a game that I stayed away from early on for the same reasons as Brendan. Watching the supportive and loving reaction of Brian Burke I think maybe things do evolve…I sure hope so.

  20. Sherry says:

    Hey Matt -

    Thanks for sharing – wishing you all the best, in hockey and otherwise.

  21. SDC says:

    I had been meaning to make a soul-patch comment myself…. I think it’s gotta be gone for next time kid. :) You’re a serious writer now, you have to break the jynx of writers looking like shlumps because they never have to appear on camera!

  22. Travelchic59 says:

    Congrats on all the publicity and for helping to bring such a worthwhile subject into the public eye. Keep up the great work.

  23. Frank says:


    I just saw this on……very sad. At least with your article and the espn story on him, the world got to know what a wonderful guy he is and his family as well……

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