Real Fan or Bandwagon Fan: Celebrity Edition

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

Real Fan or Bandwagon Fan: Celebrity Edition

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Welcome to a brand-new edition of "real fan or bandwagon fan," where we take an intricate look at celebrities and figure out whether they really support their favorite team or if they're just in it for the publicity.

    No celebrity is safe. With the Internet serving as our dark passenger, it's time to expose the truth.

    Like The Merv Griffin Show or Match Game '73, it's time to queue up the vintage game show music and let the festivities begin.

    So come on everybody, say it with me: Are they a real fan or a bandwagon fan?

Jack Nicholson

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Team: Los Angeles Lakers

    Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson has been all over television sitting courtside during Lakers game. By doing that, he's seen some of the greatest eras in Lakers history.

    From the Showtime Lakers back in the '80s to the Phil Jackson-Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal squad that ran things in the early 2000s, Nicholson has been front and center enjoying all of the action.

    Jack's fandom was brought into question this past season when he showed his face at a Los Angeles Clippers game.

    No need to fret—the man just loves pro hoops.

    ESPN's Ramona Shelburne explained what the iconic actor told her when she asked about the subject.

    "Yeah, I went up and asked Nicholson if he was a Clipper fan now. He said, 'no, but I'm rooting for them tonight,'" Shelburne tweeted.

    To this day it's Lakers over everything for Jack.

    Status: The ultimate fan

Justin Bieber

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Team: NBA teams that win games

    Going from Nicholson to Justin Bieber when it comes to sports fandom is like switching from an immaculate bone-in Kansas City sirloin to stuffing your face with Hamburger Helper.

    While Jack may be the king of all celebrity sports fans, Bieber is the court jester. 

    Bieber has been seen courtside at Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers games—back in 2012.

    The level of loyalty he has in sports runs thinner than his mustache.

    Status: Bandwagon extraordinaire

Will Ferrell

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    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    Team: USC Trojans

    Ever since he exploded onto the scene during his Saturday Night Live days, Will Ferrell has inculcated himself into American pop culture.

    Outside of his comedic work, Ferrell is a big sports fan.

    He's been at Chicago Cubs games and even taunted New York Rangers fans near their home base of Madison Square Garden while professing his love for the Los Angeles Kings.

    But as a USC alumnus, his main team just so happens to be the Trojans.

    Ferrell has been involved with the program for years.

    He befriended Pete Carroll—the former head coach of the men's football program—and has appeared at numerous games and USC rallies over the years.

    Fight on, Will.

    Status: Real fan

Will Smith

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Team: Any team that plays in Philadelphia

    The Fresh Prince has been a devoted fan of Philadelphia sports since he was blazing trails on NBC, rocking fresh Jordans and vivid color schemes.

    Even though he's grown older, wiser and stacked enough cash to outweigh Free Willy on a scale, Smith can still be seen at a Philadelphia 76ers game from time to time.

    Through all of the ups and downs, Will has remained true to the City of Brotherly Love and its flock of sports teams.

    Status: A true Philadelphia fanatic

Ashton Kutcher

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    DON WRIGHT/Associated Press

    Team: Chicago Bears

    The fact that Michael Kelso Ashton Kutcher is engaged to Jackie Burkhart Mila Kunis is proof that faux couples on TV make the best ones in real life.

    As an avid supporter of the Chicago Bears, Kutcher has started to turn Kunis into a fan as well. 

    Kutcher may have ruined Two and a Half Men, but deciding to marry Mila Kunis and making her a Bears fan is reason enough to give this man a pass.

    Status: Kelso is a real fan

LeBron James

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Team: Dallas Cowboys

    LeBron James may be the best basketball player on the planet, but he's also a Dallas Cowboys fan.

    If King James didn't know by now, it's not 1995 anymore.

    The Cowboys haven't been a Super Bowl contender for nearly 20 years. In fact, the last time Dallas won a Super Bowl, James was just 11 years old.

    LeBron claims to be a Cowboys fan, even if the rest of the fanbase doesn't appreciate that notion very much.

    Last season during the team's home opener against the New York Giants, fans booed loudly when they saw James on the big screen.

    So, is he a legitimate Cowboys fan?

    All indications point to yes. James loves them so much that he was upset they didn't draft Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel during the 2014 draft, per ESPN's Tom Haberstroh.

    Status: Questionable real fan

Eminem

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    Team: Any team that plays in Detroit

    Marshall Mathers definitely enjoys his sports.

    Being a native of the Motor City, Eminem has been spotted over the years lounging at Detroit Pistons games.

    Before we can crown Mathers a true supporter of all things Detroit, there's one issue that continues to haunt his allegiance to that city.

    Eminem roots for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.

    Rooting for two teams in football is the first sign of being a suspect fan. Being a Cowboys fan is an even bigger red flag.

    Sorry, Marshall, but rooting for two teams in the same conference isn't acceptable—especially when one is the Cowboys.

    Status: Bandwagon fan

Vince Vaughn

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Team: Chicago Blackhawks

    There's no reason to beat around the bush. Actor Vince Vaughn loves his Chicago Blackhawks.

    He loves going to games to watch a little puck, plus he even talked about his favorite team on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

    Vaughn's acting career isn't as a hot as it was during the whole Wedding Crashers era.

    But that's all right. The Blackhawks are usually contenders to win the Cup every year, which means Vaughn can spend more time focusing on hockey rather than reading terrible scripts.

    Status: Real fan

Gisele Bundchen

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Team: New England Patriots

    Gisele Bundchen is a supermodel who just so happens to be married to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

    Sidebar: Brady continues to find ways to make men all over the world jealous—except when he's riding around on scooters in weird outfits.

    Being married to Brady means Gisele has to be a Patriots fan. It's how the code works.

    Similar to how Eva Longoria was during her marriage to San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, Gisele is always out there supporting her husband.

    Is she a true Patriots fan? Probably not. But as long as they stay hitched, she will have a vested interest in the squad.

    Status: Real fan by marriage

Brad Pitt

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Team: New Orleans Saints

    Brad Pitt and the rest of the Pitt clan are New Orleans Saints fans.

    Politicking on Access Hollywood back in 2012, Pitt told host Billy Bush "My [New Orleans] Saints lost yesterday, so I’m a little upset."

    His wife, Angelina Jolie—she's kind of famous too—also was upset by the Saints loss. "It was a great game, though. They fought so well," she told Bush.

    It would be nice to call these two bandwagon fans, but Pitt has done enough to fry that narrative.

    He's shown up at games, commented on the team in public and even lent his voice to narrate the NFL Network's America's Game special on the Saints.

    Status: A true Saints fan

Rihanna

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Team: Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat

    Rihanna's bandwagon status is at a real potent level right now.

    She's been bouncing between Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat games like it's no big deal.

    Being a celebrity has its benefits. You get to enjoy incredible seats pretty much anytime you want.

    However, having good seats doesn't mean you have to root for each one of said teams. Showing up to a game is an awesome experience by itself.

    Decking yourself out in gear is like Elaine from Seinfeld brandishing a Baltimore Orioles cap at Yankee Stadium—there's no reason to do it.

    If you're looking for the ultimate bandwagon catalyst not named Justin Bieber, Rihanna is your girl.

    Status: Queen of the bandwagon fans

Spike Lee

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    Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

    Team: New York Knicks

    If Jack Nicholson runs the West Coast when it comes to celebrities and sports teams, director Spike Lee is lord of the east.

    Lee has always done the right thing and stuck by his New York Knicks through Kane-like hellfire and brimstone.

    He's battled with all of the greats siting courtside. Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, LeBron, the list goes on and on.

    No matter what team plays the Knicks, Spike is going to be there front and center getting in dudes' grills and mixing it up.

    Status: As loyal as they come

DJ Khaled

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Team: Miami Heat

    It's hard to tolerate DJ Khaled for extended periods of time. He's brash, stuck in his ways and runs his mouth like a motorboat.

    Khaled also loves the Miami Heat.

    Blending together his love for Heat with that brazen personality leads to all sorts of awful.

    How awful is it?

    It was so bad that he made Skip Bayless look as cool as John F. Kennedy while he was ranting and raving on ESPN's First Take about how the San Antonio Spurs purposely turned off the air conditioning during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

    Khaled may be a loyal Heat fan. But watching him try to explain those loyalties using titles of songs he produced is a fate worse than picking up dog poop barefoot in your backyard.

    Status: "He the worst!"

Marisa Miller

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    Associated Press

    Team: San Francisco 49ers

    Of all the ladies who have graced this list, supermodel Marisa Miller may be the biggest sports fan of them all.

    A rabid San Francisco 49ers supporter, Miller doesn't play around when it comes to her team.

    She's even used Twitter to attack the Seattle Seahawks and let the world know how faithful she is to her Niners.

    Status: Real fan

David Beckham

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    Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

    Team: All things Los Angeles

    When David Beckham made the leap across the pond to come play soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy, the team was getting itself a genuine star.

    Beckham had a short-lived reality show, helped the Galaxy do big things, and like everyone else in Tinseltown, he attended sporting events.

    Like most people in Los Angeles, Beckham rode the bandwagon without hesitation.

    He popped up everywhere there was a winner—hockey, basketball, it didn't really matter.

    Beckham's soccer career may be over. But his career in showmanship has just begun.

    Status: Bandwagon fan

Rick Ross

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Team: Miami Heat

    Rick Ross has been representing Miami since his debut studio album Port of Miami rattled airwaves and Best Buy shelves in 2006.

    Being a South Beach native, Ross is a Miami Heat fan.

    He was thrilled when the team assembled the Big Three. After James decided to head down to Miami to win championships, Ross broadcast to the world that he was the Heat's celebrity version of Nicholson.

    You're going to need to Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu to track down whether or not Ross was a Heat fan prior to the Big Three.

    Because they haven't returned my phone calls, Ross gets a pass here.

    Just kidding, he doesn't get anything.

    Status: Bandwagon fan

Mark Wahlberg

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Team: All things New England and the Chicago Bulls

    Mark Wahlberg is not only a Hollywood superstar—he's also a guy who used to hang out with The Funky Bunch.

    When it comes to sports, Wahlberg roots for all things New England.

    He's gone out and held private screenings of his own movies for players on the New England Patriots to help motivate them.

    On top of that, after losing his mind when the New York Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, he was "banned" from watching the big game in his house.

    Reading all of that, you'd think Wahlberg was a lock to be labeled a real fan.

    The problem is, he's been seen all over the place watching sports games and has even admitted to being a Chicago Bulls fan, per Adam Fluck of NBA.com.

    So what's his status?

    Status: Real fan. Everyone rooted for Jordan and the Bulls when they were on top of the world.

Ray Romano

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Team: New York Jets

    Playing a sports writer on his hit TV series, Everybody Loves Raymond, was a perfect fit for Ray Romano.

    Being a New York native, Romano is staunch supporter of the New York Jets.

    Jets fans don't have it easy.

    Memories of squandered AFC title games over the years with the Italian icon Vinny Testaverde and founder of the "Butt Fumble" Mark Sanchez playing the role of quarterback can be painful.

    But Jets fans have always figured out a way to stay the course.

    Romano gets a hearty dose of sports-loyalty-membership points for sticking with Gang Green throughout the years.

    Any guy who can stick with a team after foot fetishes, Al Groh, Rich Kotite and Brooks Bollinger deserves a slow clap whenever they walk into a room.

    Status: Real fan

Bradley Cooper

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    JoJo Whilden/Associated Press

    Team: Philadelphia Eagles

    Bradley Cooper has really been on his Nas, Stillmatic game as of late.

    He's dropping box office ether like it's nothing.

    Cooper's choices of flicks are so on-point that even when he starred in a movie that involved his favorite sports team—the Philadelphia Eagles—he still got nominated for an Oscar.

    That has to be an amazing feeling.

    It would be like winning an award for being the grade school teacher who taught their kids about why Steve Spurrier was a terrible NFL coach.

    We can't ever question Cooper's passion again—even if he decides to do 13 more Hangover movies.

    Status: Real fan

John Cusack

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    Jeff Golden/Getty Images

    Teams: Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox

    All you have to do is look above at the teams actor John Cusack cheers for and you'll know right away this dude rides more wagons than travelers on the Oregon Trail.

    Cusack swears that he loves both teams.

    When Ryan Smith of RedEyeChicago.com asked him if he still gets ragged on for being a fan of both the Cubs and Sox, Cusack said, "Totally. But I can't help it, I legitimately like both."

    That's not how it works, John. You either like the Cubs or you like the White Sox.

    Here's an idea: Maybe Cusack should stand outside holding a radio over his head. That way he can listen to the Cubs broadcast while he watches the White Sox in person.

    Status: Chicago baseball bandwagon fan—apparently they exist

Donnie Wahlberg

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Team: All things New England

    Two Wahlbergs on one list? Someone crack open a cold bottle of champagne and let's get this party started.

    Donnie Wahlberg, the less popular but just as awesome brother of Mark, is another diehard New England sports fan.

    The former New Kids on the Block member has always been all about the Boston Celtics.

    Back when Boston took home an NBA title in 2008, Donnie told OK! Magazine that he actually travels with the team.

    Considering all of his friends are probably West Coast sports junkies, Donnie gets props for sticking with the Celtics.

    Status: Boston's finest

Tom Cruise

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Team: Los Angeles Kings

    Living in Los Angeles predisposes you to become a bandwagon fan.

    The glitz of the Los Angeles Lakers, the power of the Kings, it all just comes together so effortlessly.

    Tom Cruise has fallen under the spell of Hollywood fandom by showing up at Lakers and Kings games during the most opportune times.

    He doesn't have a real "favorite" team. He just comes to games to take weird pictures with the team's mascot.

    Status: Hollywood bandwagon fan

Billy Crystal

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Team: New York Yankees

    Billy Crystal's passion for the New York Yankees is first-rate.

    He's directed a movie about the team—61*—and even signed a one-day contract to play in an exhibition game during spring training in 2008.

    You can say anything you want about Crystal as a comedian. As a baseball fan, he's as loyal as they come—something Cusack should take note of.

    Status: Real fan

Kim Kardashian

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    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Teams: Any team playing on national TV

    Kim Kardashian has always found a way to show up at sporting events.

    While dating a bunch of professional athletes, Kim managed to do what she does best: appear on TV.

    Now that she's settled down with Kanye West, her sports moments are few and far between.

    Thankfully for all of us, in 2012, she did find a way to make it out to a bunch of games.

    At this point, she can smile and cheer for any team she wants. We all know that now that Kanye is in her life, sports isn't her forte anymore.

    Status: Reality bandwagon fan

Ice Cube

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    Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

    Team: Oakland Raiders

    You don't need me to tell you that Ice Cube loves the Oakland Raiders.

    All you have to do is look at the picture featured above and you'll understand that this man has been representing the Silver and Black for years.

    To prove his fandom, he even went out and recorded an anthem for the Raiders before the 2012 season.

    It doesn't get any better than that.

    Status: Real fan

Denzel Washington

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Team: Los Angeles Lakers

    It's really hard to call Denzel Washington a bandwagon fan, simply because he was in Training Day and Man on Fire.

    If Washington is anything like those characters, he's a real fan in my book.

    Because those are just movies, let's assume he's not.

    The actor is a Los Angeles Lakers fan who rocks New York Yankees hats whenever he's sitting courtside.

    That's either the biggest statement of swagger we've ever seen, or Denzel has his priorities mixed up.

    Doesn't he know that New York vs. Los Angeles has always been a thing?

    Status: Bandwagon fan—unless he shows up at my door acting like Alonzo Harris

Matthew McConaughey

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Team: Texas Longhorns

    Matthew McConaughey is a straight-up football junkie.

    When it comes to the NFL he supports the Washington Redskins. Despite being a Redskins fan, McConaughey's ultimate team is the Texas Longhorns.

    The 44-year-old loves himself some Texas football.

    He loves it so much that he decided to appear on camera and get everyone ready for the start of the 2011 season.

    Status: Loyal fan

Jamie Foxx

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Team: Dallas Cowboys

    "Steamin" Willie Beamen Jamie Foxx is another Dallas Cowboys supporter.

    It's easy to write Foxx off as just another "celebrity" fan, but he has one thing going for him that a lot of others don't.

    Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders called him a "real fan" during an interview on the NFL Network.

    You can't argue with Prime Time. No one argues with Prime Time.

    Status: Real fan, only because Deion said so

Kid Rock

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Team: Any team that plays in Detroit

    The city of Detroit doesn't need Eminem. If you want a true Motor City sports fan, Kid Rock is your guy.

    He's always present at sporting events, and just as Ice Cube did for the Oakland Raiders, Kid Rock recorded an anthem for the Detroit Lions.

    Now that the Detroit Tigers are back to playing baseball, I bet Kid Rock will be rooting for them All Summer Long.

    Status: A true Detroit sports fan

Jonah Hill

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Team: Los Angeles Lakers

    From the movies he's done, you wouldn't think Jonah Hill was a big sports fan.

    That couldn't be any further from the truth. Hill loves the Los Angeles Lakers and frequently attends home games to support his team.

    Blame it on the Showtime Lakers. As Hill told CBS Sports anchor James Brown, those guys made him a big fan of the Purple and Gold.

    Status: Real fan who could be the heir apparent to Nicholson at Lakers games

Michael Rapaport

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Team: New York Knicks

    Michael Rapaport has quietly been one of the best directors around.

    He's like the Michael Finley of movies—that guy who on the low is a really consistent, effective player.

    One of his biggest achievements to date was the amazing New York Knicks documentary When the Garden Was Eden.

    Rapaport has been a vocal Knicks fan. He doesn't shy away from telling the world exactly how he feels.

    There are no gimmicks here. Rapaport is a classic New Yorker who loves his Knicks.

    Status: Real New York Knicks fan

David Boreanaz

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    Thomas Nycz/Getty Images

    Team: Philadelphia Flyers

    David Boreanaz has always been a Philadelphia Flyers fan.

    Being a Flyers fan means you're a Flyers fan. That's why it irked some folks when Boreanaz showed up during the Stanley Cup and rooted for the Los Angeles Kings.

    "The Flyers are my team, but I support the Kings and have gone to many of their games," he once said, per Randy Miller of NJ.com. 

    That's great that you can root for the Kings when your team is out of the playoffs.

    But wouldn't it have been a lot easier for Boreanaz if he just said that he loves hockey and that's why he goes to Kings games?

    Status: Real fan who made a mistake

Anyone Who Lives in Hollywood

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    Team: Los Angeles Lakers

    Nicholson and Hill are actually fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. The rest of Hollywood is always going to be riding the old bandwagon. It's almost like a rite of passage.

    If you have a successful stint on TV or in film, you have to show up at a Lakers game and get your picture taken pretending to root for the team.

    Without a professional football squad, the Lakers will always be the team that Hollywood flocks to—although as of late, it's been the Clippers.

    Status: Bandwagon capital of the world

Jerry Seinfeld

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Team: New York Mets

    Jerry Seinfeld isn't your classic celebrity New York Yankees fan.

    The uber-rich comedian has actually thrown his undying support behind the New York Mets.

    Seinfeld has gone in the broadcast booth during games and even showed up to throw out the first pitch.

    With all of that Seinfeld loot still rolling in, maybe he can step up to the plate and buy the team one day. How would it be to have Jerry running the show?

    Status: Loyal Mets fan

Denis Leary

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Team: Any team that play in the New England area

    Denis Leary may have played Cleveland Browns fictional head coach Vince Penn in the movie Draft Day, but in real life he's a diehard New England sports fan.

    The Rescue Me star is one of the most educated celebrity sports fans you'll ever come across.

    In a conversation with Ted Berg of USA Today, Leary explained what was going on with former Boston Bruins winger Jaromir Jagr in the 2013 playoffs:

    I know he works out like crazy, so I don’t know what happened. But during that Penguins series, he started to win pucks along the boards. One of the best goals of that series, he outfought (Penguins star Evgeni) Malkin – who’s probably 10 years younger than him – for the puck. And he was really strong last night. It’s crazy.

    Yeah, Dennis knows what he's talking about. It's refreshing, considering most celebrity sports fan don't have a clue.

    Status: Real fan