The second episode of Brooks Laich’s podcast, How Men Think, delivers more intimations about Laich’s career, plus some fun insight into personal hygiene and intimate relationships. This week we learned about Laich’s dental disasters and that he briefly entertained the possibility of playing in Carolina or Florida after he was released by the Los Angeles Kings. There were also other topics, which, well, um, here we go.
Laich sneaks the revelation about Carolina and Florida into a conversation about manguilt, which is what they call it when you’re a man and you’re feeling guilty:
The Kings released me, and I had a decision to make. Do I want to go somewhere else again and be away from home and continue to play hockey, or do I want to stay at home? And it was my decision. My wife was like, “I support you in whatever you want to do. If you want to go to Carolina, if you want to go to Florida, wherever you want to go play, I support you. I love you, and I want you to have the career that you want.”
And god bless her for that. And I made the decision, I do not want to be away from my wife. As much as I wanted to play hockey, which was at an all-time high, just got better every day, my desire to be with my wife was on a daily basis was greater than my desire to play hockey, and that doesn’t discount my desire to play hockey. . . And it was my decision. I wanted to be with her. I’m at peace with that decision.
A bit later, Laich offers romantic advice to musician Gavin DeGraw, who is neither in nor looking for a long-term relationship:
I never thought I’d marry an American girl. I thought for the rest of my life I’d go back to Canada, I’d live back in Saskatchewan, maybe coach hockey back there, something like that. Now I’m living in Los Angeles, doing a podcast with you guys, married to an American girl who is a dancer, an artist, where I was a sports guy. It’s amazing. I once had a good friend tell me, “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.” And it was so true. It rang so true. I thought I had my life laid out. This is the way it was going to go. And then one day, someone walked into my life — Julianne walked into my life, and changed everything.
Be open. My only advice to you would be be open to things that you aren’t seeing. I thought my life was going one way, and, man, did it go the other way, and I’m so grateful for that.
The quote, “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans”, is most commonly attributed to Woody Allen.
The discussion takes a lighter turn as the gang talks about text messaging, and Brooks Laich outlines a provocative story from his hockey days:
Brooks Laich: Do you ever cross-text [accidentally sending a text to the wrong person]
[Multiple people groan, laugh]
Gavin Degraw: That is the fear, isn’t it? The cross-text?
Laich: I had a teammate once that accidentally cross-texted —
DeGraw: — You mean, intimately?
Laich: Aw yeah.
Laich: — And then blamed it on me, the guy who was his scapegoat, but never told me. And so then I got confronted about it, and I was like, “Uh, yeah,” and then I just took the bullet. I figured something was up. And then a couple minutes later I saw my buddy and was like, “What is this?” And he was like, “Oh, I forgot to tell ya.”
For the record, Laich has had 169 NHL teammates since 2007. Here are all of them: Aaron Ness, Aaron Volpatti, Adrian Kempe, Alec Martinez, Alex Iafallo, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Alexander Urbom, Alexandre Giroux, Andre Burakovsky, Andrew Campbell, Andrew Crescenzi, Andrew Gordon, Andy Andreoff, Anze Kopitar, Ben Smith, Boyd Gordon, Brad Boyes, Braden Holtby, Brendan Morrison, Brent Johnson, Brian Fahey, Brian Pothier, Brian Sutherby, Brian Willsie, Brooks Orpik, Bryan Helmer, Byron Froese, Cameron Schilling, Casey Wellman, Chandler Stephenson, Chris Bourque, Chris Brown, Chris Clark, Chris Conner, Christian Folin, Cody Eakin, Colin Greening, Connor Brown, Connor Carrick, Cristobal Huet, Curtis Glencross, Darcy Kuemper, David Steckel, Dennis Wideman, Derek Forbort, DJ King, Dmitry Orlov, Donald Brashear, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner, Eric Belanger, Eric Fehr, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Frank Corrado, Frederik Gauthier, Garret Sparks, Graham Mink, Jack Hillen, Jake Gardiner, Jake Muzzin, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Arnott, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern, Jeff Schultz, Joe Corvo, Joe Motzko, Joel Rechlicz, Joel Ward, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Jose Theodore, Josh Leivo, Julien Brouillette, Justin Auger, Justin Peters, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Kasperi Kapanen, Keith Aucoin, Kurtis MacDermid, Kyle Wilson, Leo Komarov, Liam O’Brien, Marco Sturm, Marcus Johansson, Martin Erat, Martin Marincin, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Bradley, Matt Cooke, Matt Hendricks, Matt Hunwick, Matt Niskanen, Matt Pettinger, Michael Amadio, Michael Grabner, Michael Latta, Michael Nylander, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Cammalleri, Mike Green, Mike Knuble, Mike Ribeiro, Mike Richards, Mikhail Grabovski, Milan Jurcina, Milan Michalek, Morgan Rielly, Nate Schmidt, Nazem Kadri, Nic Dowd, Nick Shore, Nicklas Backstrom, Nikita Soshnikov, Olie Kolzig, Oscar Fantenberg, Oskar Osala, PA Parenteau, Patrick Wey, Paul Carey, Peter Holland, Philipp Grubauer, Quintin Laing, Rich Clune, Rinat Valiev, Roman Hamrlik, Ryan Stanton, Ryan Stoa, Sam Carrick, Sami Lepisto, Scott Hannan, Scott Walker, Sean Collins, Semyon Varlamov, Sergei Fedorov, Shaone Morrisonn, Staffan Kronwall, Stanislav Galiev, Steve Eminger, Steve Oleksy, T.J. Oshie, Tanner Pearson, Taylor Chorney, Tim Gleason, TJ Brennan, Tobias Lindberg, Tom Poti, Tom Wilson, Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kundratek, Tomas Vokoun, Trevor Lewis, Troy Brouwer, Tyler Bozak, Tyler Sloan, Tyler Toffoli, Tyson Strachan, Viktor Kozlov, William Nylander, Wojtek Wolski, Zach Hyman, and Zach Sill.
How Men Think gets controversial in the next segment, as a producer asks the men about women’s body hair.
Producer Amy: There’s a girl I follow on Instagram. So she doesn’t shave at all. Not legs, not armpit, nothing. What I think is interesting: anytime she shows that on her Instagram, women criticize it . . . it’s this big sort of thing. I’m wondering, as you five men, what do you really think about that?
Rik Krumins: I think everyone should do what they want. . . The fact that she’s posting it; she’s inviting the comments. For me, I trim what I want to trim because it makes me more comfortable. But unfortunately once you go posting it, you’re inviting the comments. . . If it makes you feel good, and in your own world you’re happy with it then do it. But if you’re doing it and then putting it out there and then getting mad at people for commenting, then that’s on you.
Amy: Are you more attracted to a woman that does [shave her body hair], or do you care?
Gavin DeGraw: The thing that is so attractive to me as a man is to look at woman who looks so opposite of anything masculine. I find that sexy. I already have body hair. I feel like I have that part covered . . . For me, I’m not looking for somebody who has any aesthetic at all reminiscent of my looks. I’m just looking for the absolute opposite.
Brooks Laich: Yeah, I agree. I have no interest in that. That’s my opinion. Body hair is not attractive, not physically attractive to me and what I want to see on my partner. My wife looks very feminine, and to me that’s very very attractive.
The hosts each say that they have never been with a partner who does not shave their body hair. While the podcast did not make any mention of the implicit social pressure upon people to perform particular gender roles, it should be commended for perfectly illustrating the unthinking abuse that people suffer just because they do not act those parts perfectly.
Then, I guess, Laich talks about losing his teeth.
“I lost my front four teeth four times,” he says. “They broke in half — like across. First time I lost them I was 23. Just got high-sticked, came to the bench, pulled off my mouthguard. Front forward [teeth] just broke in half. Then after that — hockey players have really good dentists — And then they filled them in. They put fake bottoms on them.”
Laich said he subsequently lost teeth twice in short succession: once from a puck, another from a teammate’s stick at practice.
“Did you keep playing after that happened?” a co-host asks Laich.
“Yeah,” Laich replies. “It’s fine. You don’t really feel them.”
“Did you actually find the other halves on the ice?” the co-host asks.
“No, they’re just in your mouthguard. You pull your mouthguard out, and they’re just stuck in there.”
The episode closes with Laich discussing his new project Open Gym, how he’s trying to improve his upper-body strength, and how he feels if he doesn’t work out for a week.
“It’s the grossest feeling to feel soft.”
Headline photo: How Men Think Podcast
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