How do you know that Connor McDavid is taking over the world? He had to sit down for an interview with GQ Magazine that got posted on their website this morning with an all-time clickbaity headline and the reaction to it is peak Internet.
To start, the title of the interview, “Connor McDavid is Done Being Chirped At” is getting some obvious attention this morning as you’d expect, but as you dive into the actual interview, you’ll see that there was one question about what it was like to be on a losing team in Edmonton. From there, they used Connor’s response to write a laughable clickbaity headline that they knew would get clicks from hockey fans that don’t really fall into their demo. Needless to say, it worked.
And since I clicked on the article anyway, I figured I might as well go through the thing to get to the bottom of this chirping business and also to see why GQ would be sitting down with our beloved captain in the first place.
Q: What does the 97 number mean?
A: It’s the year I was born.
Really went all out on the research to prep for this one, huh? Good start, but I won’t hold it against you. It’s still early and you can make it back from this. What’s next?
Q: You still seem like a quiet guy. Is there a time when you ever started to feel cocky?
I’m definitely still on the quieter side. Definitely not cocky. But I have a quiet confidence. I definitely believe in myself. And I don’t need to show that on the outside. I just don’t feel like I need to tell people how I feel about myself. I know my skills and I know what I’m comfortable in, and I keep it to myself.
Let me translate: So you’re good at sports — do you rub it in with anyone that will listen? Do you ever tweet about how good at hockey you are just because you can and you know how bad everyone else is relative to you? Do you ever watch highlights of yourself as a means of getting yourself in the mood? I assume this was a new interaction because watching even one Connor McDavid interview before this one started would have probably eliminated these questions. Anyway…
Q: When you got the “exceptional player” designation, how does that work? Did you have to say, “I’m better than everybody, so I need this opportunity”?
I mean, there’s a little bit of that. I was playing with the kids a year older than me still, and it was their draft year… It was the age group that I always kind of played with. It didn’t really make sense that I wouldn’t be able to move on with the kids that I grew up with, so I just applied for it—and luckily enough, I was able to get it. And it’s something that I’m pretty proud of, still to this day.
I’m starting to think that Steve Marsh doesn’t speak to many Canadians, nor did he know much about Connor McDavid. So you’re good at hockey, right? Surely that means you must be some kinda dick about it? Frankly, I find the questions about Connor being cocky to be pretty hilarious based on what the last three seasons have taught us about him, but Marshy doesn’t know that. I mean, he could have looked it up but whatever. Who has time for that?
Q: When I was in high school in Minnesota, the hockey kids were the coolest kids. They had the mullet, but incorporated this spiky skateboarder’s side part into it—this is back in the ’90s. Did you have a style in Toronto?
My style was not good. It’s definitely something that’s grown over time. As a kid I wore my team’s tracksuit all the time. Splash pants or track pants. I wore a hat every day. And then when I got to the NHL, guys would make fun of me that I had the worse style in the league. I showed up for my first road trip and all the guys have these Gucci bags and these Louis Vuitton bags—you know, these sweet bags. And I showed up with my Erie Otters team bag, and [Oilers vet] Eddie Purcell was like, “Dude, what are you doing with that?”
First of all, I’m gonna go ahead and say that a spikey side-parted mullet does sound pretty awesome so I’ll give Marshy some credit for that look. Dude must have SLAYED back in the day. Second, DAMN YOU, EDDIE PURCELL! How dare you take shots at Connor’s style, Eddie, he’s just a kid. But seriously, what this tells me is that ol’ Marshy mailed it in on following up on the details before this interview went out or, even worse, that he wasn’t really listening to Connor when he spoke which should be punishable by death. It’s either that or the copy editor didn’t think to fire up the Google machine to confirm names. Eddie Purcell? For shame! Okay, so maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe it was just a typo. Gord knows I make plenty of spelling mistakes on a regular basis so I’m going to go ahead and apologize now for getting upset. This guy doesn’t know Teddy Purcell — no one does — he knows fashion and style. I’ll let it slide.
Q: You’re a blonde dude?
Yeah, it’s like a blondey red. As much as I hate to admit it.
Alright, now I hope this was a phone interview and that Marshy still uses a Motorola Startac that doesn’t have access to Google. It’s either that they’re not in the same room when this conversation went down or that Marshy thinks Connor is still in some kind of pop-punk phase where he’s constantly dying his hair new and interesting colours. I’m thinking he should have followed up by confirming that Connor does, in fact, have legs and eyes. Just a thought for next time.
Q: You won your second Art Ross trophy [given to the player with the most points] in a row last year even though you started off slow because you were so sick…as in, physically ill. Then you kept it secret until late November. So what was that—some weird Canadian flu?
[Laughs.] I don’t know what it was. I got really sick kind of early, in late October. It just kind of stuck with me. I lost a bunch of weight. I didn’t miss any games, which was probably, in hindsight, what dragged it on the most. So I just tried to continue on with daily life, and that’s not what you’re supposed to do when you’re sick. So a lot of it is on me.
No way it could be a Canadian flu, all Canadian cases of flu travel south for the winter. ZINGO! But seriously, I’m glad this got brought up because the weirdest thing about that whole flu or plague or whatever Connor had last season was that none of the travelling media that are with the team on a daily basis chose to report it, but that’s a story for another day. NEEEEXT.
Q: How miserable was the town of Edmonton during a losing season last that?
It was awful. It was terrible. It was miserable around town. I remember everyone just chirping at you all the time. I was at dinner one time with my parents, and I was walking out and guys were chirping me. They’re passionate people and passionate fans. When you’re winning, you’re a hero in this city, and when you’re losing they want to run you right out of it. They’re just passionate, and you have to be able to understand that.
Ah, so here it is. The question that specifically asks about Edmonton that got some folks on Twitter all fired up this morning, but I don’t see anywhere where Connor said he’s done being chirped at. That said, I definitely don’t like where he talks about fans wanting to run people out of town because that’s not a great look for Oilers fans, especially if that’s the perception the captain has. Passionate fans or not, respecting the players is something we all need to work on because being entitled babies isn’t going to help. So my ask is that the next time you see an Oiler out in public that you either A) leave them alone (recommended), or B) tell them you appreciate them.
That said, a hearty blogger salute goes to the editor that came up with the “Connor McDavid is done being chirped at” headline because they obviously knew this would draw more clicks than talking about his beautiful, flowing hair.
Q: At the end of the year, you scored goals at a clip that people expected you to start out with: 27 in the last 30 games. But none of your regular linemates—and you went through a lot of different linemates last year—even cracked the top 100 in scoring. Why not take the LeBron James approach and hold the management’s feet to the fire a little bit?
You see that a lot less in hockey, guys moving around, and guys joining teams. It’s just because the salary cap is so tight in hockey. You can’t just go out and buy players and make a super team, because it’s so hard to do that. The salary cap doesn’t allow it. We have a much smaller salary cap than the NBA, and they only have 12 on a roster.
This guy has his finger on the pulse of the NHL, doesn’t he? As we all know, superteams happen in the NHL on a yearly basis so it’s only a matter of time before the league’s best get into some kind of Traveling Wilburys scenario. Everybody knows it! And how about a shot at Connor’s teammates and friends? Marshy pulls no punches!
Q: Your teammates are basically the same going into this year, right?
Yeah. We didn’t make too many changes and that’s something I feel good about. I believe in this group. I believed in them last year. Now everyone is back healthy. And it’s a mindset thing. I think last year we maybe thought that things were just going to come to us. And we were expected to win, so we were going to win. And that’s not the case in this league.
Amen, Connor. Amen. I can’t wait to see what you do with a chip on your shoulder.
I’m sure if you asked Connor, he would say that it was fun to talk to GQ about clothes and hair because that’s the kind of guy he is, but it had to be a little bit frustrating to be asked about topics that were clearly not in the interviewer’s wheelhouse or that have been answered many times before. It was obvious that the interview is not really a hockey guy and that made some of the Oilers-related questions a little bit painful to read through, but I will say that it was kinda interesting to see that Connor is making a conscious effort to become a stylish mother trucker. When you’re the league’s most marketable commodity it makes sense that you would have to put some thought into how you dress, and if that’s your thing, then this interview is a fun little look at that side of his life. And if you’re the kind of person that got mad about the headline before reading the interview then I would also recommend this to you because a quick scan of the back and forth will instantly make you feel better about things. The moral? Sometimes you just have to troll for clicks, ya know?