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Hockey Talk with Country Music Star Jo Dee Messina

Thursday, 04.17.2008 / 3:27 AM / Features
Nashville Predators
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Hockey Talk with Country Music Star Jo Dee Messina
Country music star Jo Dee Messina sang the National Anthem at Game 4 of the Predators/Red Wings series on Wednesday night in Nashville. Prior to the game, NashvillePredators.com sat down with the musician to talk about her love of hockey.

NashvillePredators.com: Growing up in Boston, when did you first start following hockey?
Jo Dee Messina: Hockey, before I even knew what it was. Growing up in Massachusetts, you definitely have to know all of your sports: hockey, basketball, football, and baseball. And you have to be a fan or else they send you out of the state.

NP.com: Who were your favorite players growing up?
JDM: When I was growing up, Ray Bourque. Cam Neely. I was an infant during Bobby Orr’s days, but he was always a big deal. My dad and my brother used to talk about him. But I grew up in the generation of Ray Bourque and Cam Neely.

NP.com: Did you get a chance to go to a lot of games while you were growing up?
JDM: Yeah, I actually went to some playoff games. And that was like the big deal, too, because we’d go into the city which was about 30 miles from where I grew up. And it was a big deal to go to the Boston Garden and see the games.

NP.com: Did you skate at all?
JDM: OH YEAH. I grew up with all boys. I had to learn how to play everything. I could out skate them, too.

NP.com: What attracted you to the game?
JDM: You know, it’s hard to tell. I was a jock growing up and it was just one of the local sports. When it was summer we’d play street hockey. When it was winter we’d hop on the ponds and start whacking the puck around.

NP.com: Did you ever pretend to be a certain player while you were out there skating around as a child?
JDM: I could never handle the puck as good as the guys could. I could out skate them. But, I was always the smallest, so I got last choice of who I could be. It seemed like I was the referee or the mascot a lot.

NP.com: When did you start following the Predators?
JDM: When they first came to town and then for the last few years we actually had to get satellite on the bus because my guitar player is like out of control fan. One year we took him here for a Preds game for his birthday. We got a suite for him here. It was the biggest deal to him! You can’t help but follow them now when he’s around.

NP.com: Does that mean you have the Center Ice Package on the bus?
JDM: YES. We had a gig last Saturday when the Predators were playing in Detroit. He was kind of bummed out because they didn’t win that one, but the team made it up with the win on Monday.

NP.com: Any favorite Predators players?
JDM: All of them … of course.

NP.com: Come on, we won’t tell the others…
JDM: (laughing) No picking favorites. I’m not going to do it!

NP.com: You’ve been an active supporter of the Predators locally in Nashville. With the work you’ve done, does it give you an extra thrill to see them playing so well?
JDM: I know it was a scary season because we lost some big name guys from last year’s team. So it’s neat to see that they’re in the playoffs again this year.


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