This week’s interview is with Dakota Rapids C Harvey Bellmore.
SHL Digest: We’re here talking with Harvey Bellmore of the Dakota Rapids. Harvey, thanks for talking with us.
Harvey Bellmore: Sure, no problem.
SHLD: Let’s start with your reputation. You’re well known around the league as a goofball. Some of your teammates say that you “elevate silliness to an art form.” What do you think of quotes like that?
HB: To be honest, I’m honored. I work very hard at being a joker, and it’s nice to see my work is getting recognized.
SHLD: We’ve heard stories about all kinds of practical jokes that you’ve pulled on your teammates. If you had to pick one that you’re most proud of, what would it be?
HB: That’s hard. It’s like trying to pick your favorite child. But I think it would probably be the one I pulled on Flyin’ Ryan [Airston]. It was right after you interviewed him about his bunny ranch.
SHLD: Sure! That was one of our most popular interviews.
HB: Well, the day after that interview ran, I filled his locker with carrots and put a big stuffed bunny on his stool. An ordinary prankster might have stopped at that, but I took it to the next level.
SHLD: What did you do?
HB: I was in cahoots with the clubhouse man, and I had him replace the nameplate on the back of his uniform so it said “BUNNY BOY.” Naturally, none of the guys said anything about it, and he actually took the ice with the Bunny Boy jersey on.
SHLD: That’s hilarious!
HB: Yeah, all the guys on the bench, and even Coach Engellund, were biting their lips so they wouldn’t crack up. Finally, late in the first period, a bunch of fans behind our bench shouted “Nice jersey!” and started chanting “Bunny Boy, Bunny Boy.” That’s what finally tipped him off.
SHLD: Was Ryan mad about it?
HB: He was pretty burned up about it at the time, but he got over it. He wound up getting the Bunny Boy jersey framed and it’s hanging up in his house.
SHLD: Sometimes your pranks wind up backfiring, though. We heard a story about a joy buzzer. Can you tell us about that?
HB: Oh, yeah, that one. Earlier this week against Washington, I was wearing my joy buzzer on the bench, and I was buzzing guys while they were tying their skates or drinking Gatorade, things like that. Well, with a couple minutes left, Ryan scored the go-ahead goal, and he skated by the bench to celebrate. I gave him a big slap on the back, forgetting I still had the buzzer on. Ryan thought he was being shocked and collapsed in a heap. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt, or I would have been in real trouble. As it was, Coach made me clean up the locker room after the game.
SHLD: Incidents like that aside, do you think that your jokes and pranks are good for your team?
HB: Absolutely! I think it’s great for morale; it keeps us loose and helps bring us together. I think even Coach appreciates it. He calls me a “goofy punk,” but he’s usually sort of smiling when he says it.
SHLD: Your team is in a tough division this season, with Michigan off to a great start and Anchorage always dangerous. Do you think you’ve got a shot to compete?
HB: I sure hope so. I mean, we’ve got a lot of great scorers, from Ryan on down. We haven’t been lighting the lamp as much as we’d like, but once we figure that out, we’ll be as dangerous as anyone. I’m going to work on raising my prank game to the next level to try to inspire the team.
SHLD: Well, thanks for your time, and good luck with the rest of the season!
HB: No problem! I’m always glad to talk about my artform.
(Editor’s Note: At the conclusion of the interview, Bellmore held out his hand to shake. Upon shaking, we discovered he was wearing his joy buzzer. That smarts.)