The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys

The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys – James Duthie

James Duthie is one of my favorite hockey broadcast hosts (might be my favorite, actually). He is quick witted, funny and knowledgeable. His appearances on the old Jay and Dan Podcast were always a highlight, especially when he’d discuss his contentious relationship with former Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke.

In 2020, he released a collection of hockey stories called “Beauties“, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So, why not go back and read his other work? I checked out “The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys” from the library and after starting, I immediately wished I hadn’t.

The book itself is a collection of his columns for TSN.ca running from 2003-2010. While James is a naturally funny guy, these articles read like he’s being forced to be funny at gunpoint. Many of the stories not only feel overwritten but many aren’t even that interesting to begin with. Stories about getting a PVR or bringing snacks to his kids’ sports games had the potential to be funny if written a certain way, but the humor here is cringe-worthy at best.

The only thing I can equate this material to would be those old email chain-surveys I used to do in the early 00’s. I was so desperate for people to think I was funny that I didn’t stop to consider if anyone even cared about my answers. I read one back a few years ago and it was like nails on a chalkboard. Awful.

I do eventually want to read his 2015 memoir, so I’m just going to consider this one an outlier. Skip it!

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