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Denis Leary

Page 2 staff

Growing up in Worcester, Mass., comedian Denis Leary became a diehard fan of Boston teams, particularly the Bruins.

Denis Leary
Denis Leary is on "The Job" as Mike McNeil, a jaded New York City detective.
As Leary, who provided guest commentary for ABC's broadcast of the 2001 NHL All-Star Game, got ready to start shooting the second season of his TV show, "The Job," he subjected himself to Page 2's 10 Burning Questions.

1. Page 2: What were your thoughts when Ray Bourque lifted the Cup for the first time?
Leary: I was just ecstatic, elated. Good game, good series and the good guys won. All the hockey guys I know were rooting for him.

It's like when Elway was going for his first Super Bowl victory in 1998 and then again his second, final Super Bowl. If you're a sports fan, you look at those guys and you want that to happen.

Speaking as a Bruins fan, it's a two-edged sword because you're rooting for a guy who left your team because the team sucks. It's a very, very strange thing. There's our former captain hoisting the Cup at Boston at City Hall that he won in Colorado. Modern day sports, I guess.

1a. What should Bourque do now, retire a champion, defend the Cup with the Avs or return for Boston and retire a Bruin?
Leary: Retire. Most guys, across the board in all team sports, hang on too long.

Raymond Bourque
Raymond Bourque can do what so few have done: go out on top.
2. Assuming Ted Williams, Bobby Orr and Larry Bird are the gods of Boston sports, where does Bourque fall in the city's hero hierarchy?
Leary: I think Ray will always, unfortunately, take a back seat to Bobby Orr. Which is not such a bad back seat to be in, you know what I mean?

3. Is there anything hockey can do to increase its popularity?
Leary: That's a question that, ever since I was a kid, has been associated with the game. I still run into guys who say things to me -- people involved in the NHL -- "We gotta do this, gotta do that." ... My feeling is, the game is great the way it is.

I've never taken people -- even my Irish cousins and people from England who have no concept of ice hockey -- to a live hockey game and not had them walk away going, "Oh my God. Incredible." They get sucked in immediately.

Bobby Orr
Bruins players swarm Bobby Orr after his overtime goal clinched the Stanley Cup for the Bruins on May 10, 1970.
The sport is what it is. Changing it for television, and changing it to make it more popular is insanity. I watch it on television as we all do when you can't get to a game. Television just can't capture a game that is that fast. It never will be able to do it. Basketball is somewhat the same, but it doesn't have the same amount of speed. As opposed to football which is always better on television, so it's the nature of the beast.

4. What's the best hockey movie of all-time?
Leary: "Slap Shot."

4a. OK, that was easy. What's the worst?
Leary: "Youngblood," with Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. Horrible, although "Mystery, Alaska" would be a close second.

Russell Crowe
When you watch "Mystery, Alaska," notice that Russell Crowe isn't skating much.
To me and every person I know that's a sports fan, it doesn't matter that it's a hockey movie or if it's a baseball movie, or if it's a football movie or if it's a golf movie, the guy who's playing the star athlete and the other guys around him should be able to actually look like they can play the sport. Kevin Costner did that movie, "Tin Cup," and he looked like he should have a golf club in his hand.

In "Mystery, Alaska," they have those shots of Russell Crowe from the waist up, and it looks like he's not skating. You know? And if he is skating, he's doing it badly.

5. A number of reviews of your new show, "The Job," have said it's too short. Why is it only a half-hour long?
Leary: We're going by the old show business maxim, which is always leave them wanting more. You don't want to overstay your welcome. So, if they think it should be an hour that means they're liking it and they're gonna come back for more.

6. What's the worst job you've ever had?
Leary: I worked in a chemical plant down on the docks in Boston years ago. That was a great job, because you got to be alone in a room with a giant vat of chemicals that every 15 minutes you had to pour the stuff in and mix it up to feed into this big machine, but then you had 10 minutes of down time where you could sit and read the paper and smoke. Basically it sucked. But it paid the rent at the time.

6a. What's the worst money you've ever spent?
Leary: I was in Winnipeg years ago, going to see the Winnipeg Jets when they were absolutely horrible. And I don't know why I was in Winnipeg, I was there working or something -- and that was enough of a travesty -- but then to go to the hockey game. I think it was an 8-0 loss by the Jets.

And the only thing about it was in the rink it was warmer than it was outside.

7. Who's a better sportscaster, you, Dennis Miller or Jason Priestley?
Leary: I haven't seen Jason's work, and I only did two games for the NHL, so I'm gonna have to go with Dennis Miller, because just to have the guts to take that pressure on for 16 weeks at a time is amazing. I don't think I could do it.

8. Halle Berry or Angelina Jolie?
Halle Berry
Halle Berry, see answer to No. 8 and 8a.
Leary: Halle Berry.

8a. Why?
Leary: Because she's one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. And I happen to know her, so I'd get in trouble if I didn't say that, but I'd say it anyway.

9. What would you have as your last meal on Earth?
Leary: Quarter pounder with cheese.

9a. Glad to hear fame hasn't turned you off your smoking and eating meat routine.
Leary: I'm one of those people that, I guess, I have the sort of blood type that leans toward meat. I love meat. It's my favorite thing. I literally have to eat meat once a day.

I separated my shoulder playing hockey a year ago, and I got sick. I don't usually take painkillers, but I had to take them. They really screwed up my stomach. And the best thing was about two days later I went to see my doctor again, and he said you know what you need to do? You need to eat steak twice a day for the next week and a half to get the iron back in your blood.

10. What superpower would you want most, the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or to be able to turn invisible?
Leary: Oh, boy, I'd love to be able to turn invisible. Because you could see anybody doing anything. But I'd have to go with flying, because you know the thrill of being invisible and maybe seeing some naked woman is one thing, but the ability to fly would get you sex.

Denis Leary, who still plays hockey, is currently involved with the Leary Firefighters Foundation ( and a greeting card project (

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