You’ll never guess who I ran into today in Detroit…
DETROIT – So I get into Detroit today at about 3 o’clock, and decide to take a drive to American Jewelry and Loan, the setting of the reality show “Hardcore Pawn” on TruTv. I’m a sucker for that show and others involving sales haggling, like “Pawn Stars” and “Storage Wars”, etc.
I was hoping the people I recognized from the show would be there, and I got that, and a whole lot more. Would you believe I also ran into former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty? It’s true – he works there now.
Honestly, swear on my kid’s head, I had no idea McCarty worked there now. None. But there he was, called out of the back room of the large store after I mentioned to Les Gold, the owner, that I was in town for the Avs-Wings game tomorrow and wrote about hockey. Les said, “Oh, we have Darren McCarty with us now, let me go get him.” If the cameras – which were filming in the store at the time – got my reaction, it should be a doozy. To say I was surprised would be an understatement.
After a couple of minutes, out walked the man himself. You can see what he looks like in the photo above, taken with yours truly.
OK first off: don’t feel sorry for McCarty, or think that he’s fallen on really hard times. I mean, I don’t know too much about his personal finances at the moment and maybe they are tough at the moment. But he’s still doing radio work in the area, and don’t forget that “Hardcore Pawn” is filming shows for their next season. Don’t think for a second that McCarty won’t be featured in some or all of the shows and won’t get some good exposure from it.
But he really is working there. He’s been there a couple of months now.
“This is for real,” McCarty said. “I’m learning the pawnbroker business.”
McCarty wished people in Denver well, said he misses the old Avs-Wings rivalry and said he’s doing well overall. He’s in a steady relationship and maintains good relations with his four kids.
I’ve written this before, and Avs fans haven’t always liked to see it, but McCarty is truly a good guy who played the game with honor and respect. Of course, he’ll always be seen in Denver as a villain over his incident with Claude Lemieux and other stuff, but if he had played for the Avs fans would have loved him – and you know it.
I try not to be obnoxious about plugging a book I wrote about the Avs-Wings rivalry, called “Blood Feud: Detroit Red Wings v. Colorado Avalanche, The Inside Story of Pro Sports’ Nastiest and Best Rivalry of its Era.” But there is a lot on McCarty in there, a chapter devoted to his life in fact, and I’ll always be grateful for his input to the book.
After a few more minutes of chatting, McCarty had to get back to work.
“He’s got to get back in the penalty box,” his new boss cracked.
Here’s me with Les: