The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

Gary Roberts Wednesdays - Gary Roberts

Posted by Blake Murphy on March 5, 2008

Gary Roberts Wednesdays is a weekly feature submitted by Stu Wilkinson that takes a look at the unheralded, underappreciated, or blue collar legends of sport.

Gary Roberts Wednesday is based on a simple concept – I briefly discuss someone or something that is both badass and incredibly selective about brands of bottled water. It follows that today, on this debut edition of GRW, the subject of Gary Roberts Wednesday is Penguins forward Gary “Like Chuck Norris But More Ornery” Roberts.

Gary Roberts started his career in Calgary in 1986 and was one of my favorite players on the Flames (I can still remember seeing the paper the day after he scored his 50th goal one season) until he faded into Bolivian and eventually retired thanks to a ridiculously serious neck injury in the mid-1990s. Roberts made his comeback into the league with the Carolina Hurricanes after missing the entire 1996-97 season, but he made his real return to relevance by signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000-01.

Over four seasons Roberts led a gritty and determined Leafs squad to playoff mediocrity, the likes of which may never be seen again at the Air Canada Centre. After his tenure with the Leafs, Roberts chilled out with Florida for a couple years before he was traded to Pittsburgh. Although he currently is on the shelf with a mild case of broken leg-itis (and a bad ankle to boot), Roberts will hopefully be back in time to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Pens, which is bad news for whoever wins that eighth seed in the Eastern Conference (I’m looking at you, Buffalo).

Gary Roberts has developed a Chuck Norris-esque following in Pittsburgh because of his insane approach to the Pens-Sens playoff series last year. Roberts both hit everything that moved and scored huge goals – his play helped the Pens win a game in the series to avoid being swept out of the playoffs by Ottawa. After Gary’s impressive performance in the 2006-07 season, The Pensblog, maybe the greatest site on the Internet, sold yellow WWGRD (What Would Gary Roberts Do) wristbands. Callers to Pittsburgh area sports talk shows mention Roberts as a potential replacement for Troy Polamalu or any other Steeler. Pittsburgh has adopted Scary Gary like it adopted other hard-hitting, borderline insane athletes (Steelers players) before him. Look for Roberts to go out with a bang this spring in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC, TSN, Versus, and NBC.

Also, look for him to turn 42 on May 23rd. That’s the May 23rd that’s coming up later this year, folks.

Inside the Numbers
1 Stanley Cup
1 Bill Masterton Trophy
3 NHL All-Star Appearances
400+ Goals
2400+ PIM
Two separate playoff campaigns with over 50 PIM

P.S. - I’d also like to note that 66% of the pictures I put in this piece came from The Pens Blog, which, as I stated above, is prettay, prettay, prettay good.

Gary Roberts Wednesdays is a weekly feature submitted by Stu Wilkinson that takes a look at the unheralded, underappreciated, or blue collar legends of sport.

4 Responses to “Gary Roberts Wednesdays - Gary Roberts”

  1. Weasel Says:

    Nice use of Curb

  2. Blake Murphy Says:

    Loved this piece, Stu. Granted, you took my Hump Day Heroes idea and made it better, so I’m a little jealous, but I look forward to hearing more about the Royce Clayton’s of the world.

  3. stu Says:

    Blake, you being jealous of me makes me feel like the tubby girl in the Quizno’s commercial.

    Do I watch too much TV? Yes.

  4. Kat Says:

    i hope the hockey gods smite (smote?) you for referring to gary roberts as “mediocre”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>