Wild.com Managing Editor Mike Doyle sat down for an exclusive interview with Oscar, the Wild’s traveling media backdrop. Oscar goes with the team on every road trip and is seen behind Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo and players during media scrums on WildTV.
You’ve been with the team for a year now, how do you like working with the Wild?
Oh, it’s great. I love hanging out behind the guys.
What’s the best part of your job?
I’d have to say the best part is going out on the road. Getting to see the different tunnels in other teams’ arenas and meeting the different personalities who cover the League in the various cities. I’m racking up some pretty good frequent-flyer miles.
Oscar is an interesting name, how’d you get it?
It was our equipment guys. They thought that my trunk looked like Oscar’s garbage can on Sesame Street, so they made a little decal for the trunk. Probably the fact that I’m green like Oscar might’ve also had something to do with it.
(Laugh) So it’s not because those guys think you’re a grouch? They’ve described you as “furrowed” at times.
You try living in a trunk and see how often you come out wrinkled!
Hockey is known for superstitions, do you have any rituals out on the road?
I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but I do have a routine. During the morning skate, either Aaron (Sickman) or Carly (Peters) (members of the team’s media relations staff) pull me out of my trunk and set me up. Then I like to sit by myself for a while and straighten out before Yeosie talks to the media.
Then it’s your time to shine…
Well, it’s a team game and I’m just trying to play my role.
You’re being pretty modest…
I know I’m not the star of the show.
So the attention hasn’t gone to your head?
I don’t have a head, Mike.
Moving on, you must have a pretty good working relationship with Yeo.
Yeah, he’s great. He doesn’t stand too close to me so the camera lights don’t blind me and that gives a pretty good buffer zone from our media members.
So, you don’t like the media?
I mean, they’re okay and they do their job, but they complain about having to wait around for interviews all the time. I know it can be tough over an 82-game season, but try standing there all day.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I like to hang with all my trunk friends on the road and tell old war stories.
You must have some pretty good stories. What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road?
There’s a rule that all us backdrops follow: What happens on the road stays on the road.
C’mon. Let’s hear just one.
Well, we did have a snake in our video room in Florida.
That must’ve had you a little wrinkled.
Yeah, I was especially worried because I’m Forest Green. I thought the snake might’ve been attracted to my color. That would’ve been a good time to be back in my trunk.
Can snakes even see colors?
I don’t know. I guess I didn’t think of that. I'm just a backdrop, man.