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Catching up with... Sheldon Brookbank

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Brookbank made a career-high 44 appearances in 2007-08, his first season in New Jersey. – When it comes to pro sports in his native Saskatchewan, Sheldon Brookbank says the focus comes down to one team: the Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Brookbank, who was undrafted, played in three games for Nashville in 2006-07.
Brookbank, who was claimed off waivers from Columbus last October, does what he can to support the Riders, the CFL's 2007 Grey Cup champions. recently caught up with the Devils' blueliner, who discussed his passion for the Riders while recapping an eventful summer.

After the season I took a little vacation to Hawaii with my girlfriend, Lene. We went to Waikiki and soaked up a little sun, then went back to Saskatchewan for about a month and a half to visit with friends and family.

We made it up to our cottage in Jackfish Lake, Sask., a couple of times, then I came down to New Jersey for a large part of the summer, and got engaged on Aug. 30. I took Lene into Central Park for one of those horse and carriage rides, and that's where I popped the question.

We're still trying to figure out what the wedding date will be, but right now we're looking at next summer, possibly July. The wedding will be in Saskatoon, and we still have some details to work out. Lene is from a town called Humboldt, which is about 20 minutes away from where I grew up in Lanigan.

Regina, Sask., is home to the Roughriders, and I'm not only a big fan, but I'm also a shareholder. Me and my two brothers are Class 1A shareholders, which gets you a nice plaque, first dibs on playoff tickets, and stuff like that. You spend about $300 for the share, but it makes you feel like you're more than just a fan because of the perks.

I probably have about 15 items all the way down to salt and pepper shakers that are all Riders. That's all we do out there... it's our only team. I'd say the Riders have a chance to make it to the Grey Cup again, but I'm not going to guarantee anything because they're a little banged up. They can definitely make it to the title game, though.

I didn't get to see the Riders play this year, but I did catch a Mets game one night against Houston. Other than that I've been trying to settle into my new townhouse in West Orange. Lene is with me, and she'll be going to a natural foods culinary arts school in Manhattan this fall.

She's not looking to become a professional chef in a typical restaurant; her course work involves learning to cook for people with special needs. She has already taken classes in nutrition, and she wants to combine the two to help out people who have certain restrictions on what they can eat.

We couldn't have asked for a better day for Monday's golf tournament. Didn't exactly play my best golf, but everything else went really well. I don't remember what my group's score was, I just remember that we shot a three-under and we all had a great time.

This year's training camp should be interesting. I know it's going to be a tough camp, and we weren't too pleased with the way last year ended up. Everyone's going to be raring to go and I'm looking forward to putting together a good season.

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