The L.A. Kings may be leading the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 in their best-of-seven first-round series in the 2012 NHL playoffs, but you can score one for the Canucks in the interview prank department after Kevin Bieksa put one over on Mike Dunsmore of FOX Sports Radio Los Angeles.
Dunsmore decided to interview Canucks forward Ryan Kesler after Game 4 on Wednesday night in L.A., or at least someone he thought was Ryan Kesler. Let this be a lesson to any aspiring journalists out there, though. The first rule of journalism (broadcast or print) should always be to know the person that you’re interviewing.
That’s right. This should come even before your lesson on how not to burp into the microphone!
As you’ve probably figured out by now, Dunsmore was not actually talking to Kesler. He was, in fact, talking to the aforementioned Bieksa.
Now, most athletes would probably correct a reporter that made such a huge mistake or, even worse, bail on the interview all together. Not Bieksa, though. He’s much more clever than that.
Being the prankster that he is, Bieksa continued the interview and did his best Kesler impersonation, fooling Dunsmore for the entire interview. The majority of the conversation consisted of Bieksa pretending to be American, like Kesler, and playing up the notion that the fans in America are more passionate about hockey than the fans in Canada.
“I’m an American and I like playing in the States. The fans in Canada are great, but this is where the real fans are, in my opinion, so I love the States and this will always be home for me.”
Aside from Bieksa, who might be better served to be referred to as fake Kesler (maybe even “Bieksler”) in this instance, facetiously admitting that the hockey fans are better in Los Angeles than they are in Vancouver, he also took the opportunity to sneak in a subtle jab at Ohio State University (where Kesler played his college hockey) when he was asked about the school.
“The Bowling Green Falcons, I felt, always kind of took it to us, but we were a good club. You know, we were one of the top three schools in Ohio.”
For the record, Bieksa played for the Bowling Green Falcons when he was in college.
Now, you would think that Dunsmore might have been suspicious about a player that openly puts down his team’s own fans as well as his former team in college. He kept going with the interview, though, which brings us to him asking Mr. “Bieksler” what his nickname is.
“Guzzler,” replied Bieksa without the slightest hesitation. Hilarious!
A small part of me feels sorry for Dunsmore because he probably thought he had a great scoop from such a candid athlete who plays for the Canucks, but openly admits that American fans are better than the fans of his own team.
To his credit, though, Dunsmore seemed to have a sense of humour about his interview faux pas when he was informed that the player he interviewed was not actually Kesler after posting the audio on Youtube and tweeting it to his followers.
Kevin Bieksa is a beauty! He does an awesome Ryan Kesler impression. #NHLPlayoffs— Mike Dunsmore (@CanadianMike101) April 21, 2012
You can't fool #Canucks fans. They know what Ryan Kesler sounds like. My next interview will be Shareef Abdur-Rahim acting as Bryant Reeves.— Mike Dunsmore (@CanadianMike101) April 21, 2012
Dunsmore has since removed the video from his Youtube account, even though the damage has already been done and other Youtube videos of the interview have surfaced. You can also access the audio by clicking here.
If there’s two things to take away from this interview, it’s that Dunsmore will probably be sure to study the bio photos of the players he plans on interviewing much more carefully in the future, while Bieksa appears to have a great future as an Improv actor when his hockey career is over.
However, when he was asked about the interview by Jason Botchford of The Province, Bieksa didn’t speak very kindly about Dunsmore when explaining why he decided to pull a prank on him and not reveal his true identity, even after the interview was over.
“That guy’s an idiot. It’s his own fault if he can’t tell the difference between an all star centre and a plug defenceman,” explained Kevin Bieksa. “He shouldn’t even be allowed in the room.” Bieksa didn’t stop there, as he continued to rip on Dunsmore. “He doesn’t know who Ryan Kesler is. Ryan Kesler won a silver medal for [Team U.S.A.]. I did a full 10 maybe 15-minute interview with him; I was telling him how I grew up in Livonia.”
Finally, if any of the managers for FOX Sports Radio are reading this and would like a reporter that actually knows what the players look like to cover Game 5 in Vancouver, I’m available.