Sunday night was the premiere of the 22nd season of The Amazing Race, the round-the-world reality competition on CBS that turns pairs of contestants into far-flung Carmen Sandiegos as they vie for a seven-figure prize. And amid the usual crop of globe-searching souls this time around — the two hot blonde country singers; the nearly identical bespectacled doctors; the mulleted rednecks; the tear-jerking father-son pair — was the duo of Bates and Anthony Battaglia, hockey-playing American brothers.
Bates Battaglia was selected by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1994 draft — that's like being a living snapback hat, really — and scored 198 points in a career that included stints in Colorado, Washington, Toronto, and Carolina (where he had his career-best season in 2001-02). His brother Anthony was a college hockey player who has remained in various minor leagues ever since, losing his two front teeth somewhere along the way. With their giant arms, they're intimidating — though compared with the group of Battaglia Brothers from whom they are descended, they're practically teddy bears.
The brothers, longtime Amazing Race enthusiasts, submitted themselves for that most universal of reasons: watching the show, they figured they could do all of that. In the premiere they traveled to Bora Bora, skydived and built sand castles, flirted with the country singers, and (spoiler alert!) finished second overall, despite missing the earlier of two fights out of LAX. Already a good showing, and one that prompted the thought: Which of the other countless hockey relatives out there would make for good reality TV? Let's take a look at these real-life hockey families, and the fake (FOR NOW!) reality shows where they could thrive.
Welcome to the latest installment of The Triangle’s mailbag, The Bake Shop, in which we try to serve up piping-hot answers to your most burning questions. As always, you can submit a question or observation to us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Onward!
Q: I have a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. We live outside of Boston. As a native of upstate NY, I like the Yankees, more because I hate the whole Boston-underdog b.s. than because I like the Yankees. Am I a sexist because I don't care who my daughter cheers for but I bought my son NY Yankees and NY Giants clothing?
— Russ C.
Bakes: I love how this question took a sharp turn and veered right off the road. It reads like an LSAT problem as written by Eminem: "If Billy is taller than Margaret and Jack, and Margaret is taller than Richard and Anna, but not Sam, and Sam is the same height as Billy, which came in handy when Billy murdered Sam in cold blood for the love of Anna and then drove around wearing his clothes for a week while chain-smoking, will the dry-cleaning bill cost more or less than the cigarettes?"
Here's the thing. I'm biased, of course, as someone who spent much of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII on the phone with her equally-freaking-out dad. But because the Bake Shop is a judgment-free zone, I won't give you a hard time for depriving your dear, sweet daughter, who I'll bet loves and looks up to her daddy more than anything in the whole wide world, of the unique and lifelong connection that develops between two people who love the same teams. It's no sweat; she might not even grow up to like sports, and she'd probably want to antagonize her little brother by hating his teams even if she did.