Join Rob Simpson on a dozen once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the world of international media
Though he’s now known to hockey fans across North America for his NHL commentary and as co-host of the Stellick and Simmer SiriusXM radio show, Rob Simpson didn’t start his radio and TV career rinkside: his media background has taken him around the world and into uniquely unexpected situations. In No Heavy Lifting, Simpson recounts some of his wildest adventures from stints as a TV weatherman in Hawaii, a hockey reporter at the Torino Olympics, a skydiver in Idaho, and a marathoner in New York, to immigrating north of the border.
Take ten grand a year out of your bank account, for ten years, and gamble it away? Check. Take a humanitarian trip to the Serengeti with a beloved NHL player whose brain damage may have led to his death? Check. Alienate and scandalize the most powerful man in Hawaiian politics? Check. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro wearing someone else’s boots and clothes? Checkmate.
Featuring stories about NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, “Dr. J” Julius Erving, and Larry Bird, and NHL superstars Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton, Steve Montador, Scott Gomez, Domenic Moore, and Nicklas Lidström, this episodic memoir is told with Simpson’s arch sense of humor.
This memoir from Simpson, cohost of Stellick & Simmer on NHL Network radio, lurches from story to story with nothing really holding it together other than the author's ability to spin a good yarn. It's as if Simpson invited readers to join him for a beer and then began telling his best stories, including how he broke into a baseball stadium to steal a sign, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro wearing someone else's clothes, and survived the New York marathon. The book begins with a moving tribute to the late NHL tough guy Steve Montador, with whom Simpson bonded on a 2007 trip to Tanzania with the international children's charity Right to Play, an experience "as unique, consciousness altering, and inspirational as any in our lives." The next story goes back to 1994, when Simpson jumped from a plane in a publicity stunt for the television show he worked on in Hawaii. The stories bounce among baseball, basketball, hockey, and his experiences as a reporter in Hawaii, including accounts of a tense hostage situation and the roller-coaster ride of covering a political scandal. There are brief glimpses into Simpson's personal life, but he says, "I'm not famous, so I do not warrant a biography." Readers who don't mind the scattershot approach will get an entertaining trip through Simpson's world.