If you know me, you know I love me some Brett Hull. No, really. I really do. Brett’s genuinely entertaining and funny, in my opinion, and he helped win Dallas a Stanley Cup. He’s a terrific hockey player and by all accounts, a really good guy. One not so fine day, I was having a terrible time. Cat, being the good friend that she is, spied Brett: His Own Story at Half-Price Books here in Dallas and picked it up for me.
It made my day; the excitement of reading about a book about Brett Hull by Brett Hull was intense! …And then I realized the inherent “unintentional comedy” factor of this book was massive, indeed. The book itself was written before Brett won his first Cup with Dallas. In fact, there’s two alternate covers to this book – one of Brett hoisting the Cup with the Stars and one of Brett raising the Cup with the Red Wings. Very smart, Triumph Books. You know your divided readership!
The very first sign of trouble is at the bottom of the cover. A solitary line reads, “By Brett Hull and Kevin Allen”. Oh, Lord. We all know what that means. Kevin Allen wrote this freakin’ book with some help from Brett Hull. This book reads like Brett Hull dictated it to Kevin Allen. In fact, I can picture it in my mind’s eye; Brett’s on the ninth hole of the golf course, screws the putt and throws his golf club off into Neverland in fury. “Oh fine, Jesus Christ, I’ll just talk some for the book,” he says. While his golfing buddies line up their shots, Hull sulks in the golf cart while dictating away about how undeniably awesome he is…and how golf sucks. No, rocks. No…sucks.
What the tagline should probably read as is “Dictated by Brett Hull and Typed/Proofread by Kevin Allen”. Oh, poor Kevin. I hope you got paid well for this.
In essence, this book is like one long hockey game and we’re gonna give you the highlights, chapter by chapter.
Chapter 1: Guess what? Brett’s dad is a professional hockey player, so Brett hung around a lot with the Winnipeg Jets when he was a kid. Also, he and his brothers were obnoxious twits who aggravated anyone remotely involved with the Winnipeg Jets. (Former Winnipeg Jets players: If you were ever subjected to the Hull children, I’d like to apologize to you right now.) Brett being Brett, we’re given anecdotes and stories about his dad playing for Winnipeg.
Chapter 2: Brett’s weight gets addressed multiple times. Man, Brett, I’ve got two words for you: Food Issues. You have them. Ease up. At this rate, half the book will be about what Brett eats. Damn, man, you’ve always looked perfectly fine; a bit heavy for hockey, but you scored a lot of goals just fine. I’m beginning to suspect there’s a lot of deep-seated pain here regarding your weight, and I’m here to tell you it’s alright, Brett. If you need a hug, feel free to mosey on over to Caitlin’s residence. It’s gonna be okay. Also, Brett decides to inform us that he’s an awesome singer. We get a lot of little funny stories here about Brett being, well, a teenage obnoxious twit which seems to be a running theme here. Apparently Brett’s golf game is going well at this point; either that, or he’s gotten a beer in his hand.
By the end of Chapter 2 I’m feeling as though Brett and I should be having some sort of conversation à la Clueless – “I feel like such a heifer!” He jokes, but inside he’s crying. I know it.
Chapter 3: We get into the hockey….finally. Brett won’t shut up about how fat he was, again. He sounds like a fourteen-year-old girl who’s been mainlining Cosmopolitan and Vogue straight into the brain. We make a breakthrough though: Hull admits he’s a terrible dresser. You can always tell when Brett has dressed himself. On camera, he looks like a walking fashion disaster. I’m not as fashionably knowledgeable as some, but for God’s sakes, do not wear a print tie and stripes together. How that man walks out of the house in the morning dressed in that manner, I don’t know. (Psst, Brett – you’ve got two players on the Stars that dress themselves particularly well; Philippe Boucher & Mike Ribeiro (mostly) can totally help you out. Get help while you can.)
We discover Brett’s mom totally wouldn’t let him give up on hockey when she knew he still wanted to play. Jeez, I’m sure she was like, “Brett, I know you think you’re fat, but you want to play hockey; don’t let your limited self-esteem drag you down! Now go score some goals!” Good Lord.
So Brett went and broke some junior hockey records and then decided to go to college in Minnesota.
Chapter 4: Yes, ladies and gents, it is possible for Brett to make outrunning a bear on the side of the road in Minnesota extremely boring. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, I refuse to explain further. Brett, at this point, has left the golf course, tipped the caddy and is relaxing comfortably in the clubhouse sipping a beer and watching sports, while lazily dictating into his tape recorder. Let me tell you, it shows.
Brett talks about his experiences playing for Minnesota-Duluth. It is what the rest of the book is; funny little stories tied together with either the common theme of “Brett is awesome” or “random hockey”. It’s starting to wear me down a little. We get back into the weight issue because a coach made awesome Brett run a lot, so he lost some weight. Seriously, dude, ENOUGH.
Photo Filler Section – Woo! Someone has answered my prayers! Thanks for giving me a break from Brett’s mad dictation skills.
Oh man, Hull was an ugly baby. That thing looks like a cross between E.T. and one of the aliens from The Abyss. (If it’s any consolation, Brett, you were a really skinny baby.) Then we have Brett with his family; you can’t figure out which kid is Brett. I’m going to assume he’s not the one with the pigtails.
Parts II and III coming up soon…assuming I can finish this damn book.