November 22, 2010
Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Away Locker Room
Seeing Brad Richards broken down was so fucking hard for me to see. I didn’t realize that these rumors were getting to him until now. His eyes were red and puffy but the press couldn’t tell cause he wore a hat when he was chatting with the reporters about the Stars 4-1 loss and he still was chatting with them. I had enough with these reporters and headed over as I went in front of my boyfriend, the reporters glaring at me. “Okay, that’s enough, everyone. You got your questions asked, now go on and ask someone else about this loss.”
“Ms. Nieuwendyk, how do you feel about the loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs?” One of the reporters asked, putting the microphone in front of my face.
“How do I feel about the loss? Hmm let me think about it,” I answered, thinking about it. “You heard it from Richards and now you want to hear it from me. Well, here’s my quick answer: it’s hard loss, they’ll work on what happened during the game and come back to win a game. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
“Well, you are one of the coaches on this team, so you think it was a team loss or an individual loss?” He looked directly at Brad when he said ‘individual’ and that literally pissed me off.
“Excuse me, did you just say a individual loss?”
“Yes, I did.” The reporter was waiting for a response cause of the way he was looking at me. I wanted to smack the shit out of this reporter.
“It’s a team loss, not an individual loss. A team wins or looses a game, not an individual. I don’t understand why you would ask me that question and I knew you directed at Richards. I don’t get that part right now.”
The reporter shrugged at me. “One more quick question if you don’t mind.”
“Go right ahead since you are on a roll.”
“How do you feel about those rumors spreading around that you might loose Brad Richards? Do you think this team might even need him?” The reporter looked at me before looking at Brad who looked away as tears were falling down his face.
Brenden heard the last question as he got up and went in front of me and Richards, glaring at the reporter. “I don’t mind answering the question. Why don’t you just leave these two alone? I can answer any question you got left.”
“Mr. Morrow, we don’t want you to answer the question. We want Ms. Nieuwendyk, who happens to be dating Mr. Richards to answer the question since she is the daughter of the general manager who will probably trade him.”
“Brenden, let me answer this. I can deal with him,” I replied as I went besides my best friend, who is also like a brother to me. “Get Brad out of here and into the training room.”
Brenden nodded as he walked over and helped Brad, who didn’t want to move away. He helped Brad get away from the reporters and noticed how thin and shaky Brad was as they walked away and went into the training room.
I looked back at the reporters, crossing my arms and waiting for this one stupid prick of a reporter to repeat this question of his. I can’t believe he would even say that in front of the team.
“Well, Ms. Nieuwendyk are going to answer my question?”
“Um what question is that cause I didn’t catch it?”
“How do you feel about the Richards rumors that came surfacing up when the team first came up here? Do you even think this team might need him in the long run?” The reporter asked with even more sarcastic tone in his voice. What is up with this idiot and his stupid ass questions.
“The rumors are not coming from our side as my father did tell you in the morning before the game. I don’t even believe them myself. This team works together and they need everyone in the long run including Richards. You know what I am done answering these questions. I am sorry and you didn’t have a right to get into my personal business either. I am done with you guys.” I walked away from the reporters and headed into the locker room, wanting to comfort the one guy I love. I walked over as I saw Brad resting and sat besides him as he went into my arms, crying. “Shh, it’s okay baby.”
I wrapped my arms around his slight frame, he has lost so much weight that I can feel his ribs through his baggy sweatshirt. The sparkle that was always there just seems to be missing. His eyes are set deeply into his face, dark circles around them. There is so much pain buried deep behind them. His body is still visibly shaking as he stands with his back towards me. I couldn’t believe it as I saw the trainer and Brenden, sad.
“Take him home, Ronnie. Please. He needs to rest or he’s going to get worse,” Brenden said. “Joe understands that he can’t play tonight. Please take him home before something bad happens.”
I nodded as I got up taking Brad with me and left the arena heading back on a plane towards Dallas. I couldn’t believe how much pain Brad was in and the stress that was taking on his body. I don’t even know what I can do. I can’t stand by here and let him shred into tiny piece from the stress and pain. I didn’t know what to do….I just didn’t know.