Derek’s Sports Now Interview – Part 2 (The Blake Boys Series)


Derek’s Sport Now Interview Continued

Sports Now: “Derek, thank you for taking time to talk with us.”

Derek Popovich: “Always good to be here.”


SN1: “Are you feeling pumped about the season? The Pirates are looking good for another shot at the Stanley Cup.”

DP: “I think we’re ready and we all understand what we need to do. What more can you ask for in a team that’s focused on achieving the same goal?”


SN2: “How does it feel to have been with the Pirates this long?  You’ve had a stellar career with the team.”

DP: “It feels great. I’ve been with the team for a while but that doesn’t mean I’ve become complacent.  It feels comfortable but it can also be challenging. You never know what to expect with each new season and I welcome mixing things up.”


SN3: “What’s something that helps to keep you focused during a championship run?”

DP: “Keeping life simple. Eat. Drink. Sleep. Focus. Keep your woman happy and your head in the game when you’re on the ice.”      

(Thanks Kristina!)


SN4: “When I say the word “championship”, what is the first thought that comes into your mind?”

DP: “Group effort. A championship is a culmination of many factors fitting perfectly to produce a certain result. It could be excellence in your field or vindication that you have the stamina and mindset to achieve a specific goal. Looking everyone in your organization in the eye and knowing you gave it all you had.”

(Thanks Ronnie!)


SN5: “You have an interesting cast of characters on your team. Do you ever get into scrapes with your teammates in your off time?”

DP: “We do have a reputation for being a rowdy bunch. I guess it’s the nature of the game we play, all those qualities come pouring out in interesting ways but we try to be as civilized as possible when we’re not donning our uniforms. We save all the real rough and tumble stuff for work.”


SN6: “Is it true there’s a swear jar in the Pirates’ locker room?”

DP: “Yeah. It doesn’t do much good.”


SN7: “Who swears the most? How much money do you think is in the jar? What does the team intend to do with the money?”

DP: “I’d say Dudikoff. My girlfriend’s grandmother said she’d like to wash his mouth out with soap. Last time we checked there was about three grand in there. We’re going to donate it to the Popovich Reform School for Hockey Players with Bad Attitudes or a local charity.”


SN8: “Are you thinking of retirement?”

DP: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. It’s inevitable, as an athlete, that one day your body will say it’s time to hang it up.”

(Thanks Renee!)


SN9: “What would you do if you retired?”

DP: “That’s a good question. Besides spend time with my girlfriend Charisma, golf with my friend Seth and mentor his son Connor, who’s a hockey natural by the way, I don’t know.”


SN10:  “Have you considered opening more restaurants? The Slap Shot has become a staple in the Philadelphia dining scene.”

DP: “I’ve thought about it over the years. The Slap is special to me. With fame, you trade your right to privacy in public settings. I opened it because I wanted a place to go to and unwind without a bunch of cameras in my face. I don’t know how I’d duplicate what I love about it on a mass appeal level.”

(Thanks Renee!)


SN11: “Do you see Seth Blake often since he relocated to Texas?”

DP: “Nothing’s changed except geography with us. Seth and I talk every day. Our significant others are related so we’ve become even more enmeshed in each other’s lives.  Charisma and Morgan say the bromance has no end in sight.”


SN12: “What did you think of your friend buying into the Tomcats franchise?”

DP: “I think it was a smart and bold move and typical Seth Blake. He loves football so much, it’s in his blood. He lives in football country, for heaven’s sake. He has a passion and dedication to excellence unlike any athlete I’ve ever seen. He had to funnel that energy some place once he retired. So it was not a surprise at all that he wanted to continue working within the sport.”


SN13:  “You’ve been pretty tight-lipped about your beef with Lamont Brayer a few years back. Rumors were that you two were at odds over your now girlfriend Charisma Reed. What was that all about?”

DP: “I don’t have a beef with Lamont. Having an issue with someone requires a lot of thought about that person and I don’t think about him at all. It’s unfortunate the situation at the time became inflamed on a social media platform. I’m a private person and a low tech kind of guy and I prefer to resolve my issues with people face to face. I waded into the fray because I felt it necessary. But it was resolved and we’ve all moved on from it.”


SN14:  “Speaking of Charisma, being in a committed relationship can be difficult with all the traveling involved in the hockey season. What helps you and Charisma stay on the same page?”

DP: “Honesty, trust and communication. She doesn’t back down from expressing herself and what she needs from me. I find it refreshing and I in turn do the same with her. We have an unfiltered dialogue that helps keep our relationship strong. ”

(Thanks Kristina!)


SN15:  “Do you see marriage and kids in your future?”

DP: “Definitely. When you find the right person, you start to think about those things with a fresh perspective and she’s opened me up to wanting those things with her.”

(Thanks Anna!)


SN16:  “Do you have any future marriage plans to share?”

DP: “I’ve learned my lesson about over sharing in interviews. You’ll have to wait and see.”          

(Thanks Renee!)


SN17:  “Now that you have love in your life and world, what’s changed? I mean, how is Derek Popovich this new man before us, and is his life different compared to the old you?”

DP: “I think a few years ago I was at a point in my life where a non-stop party mentality was becoming toxic to me. It was fun but it didn’t serve a purpose other than living in the moment. I am more conscience of the feelings of the people around me and how my behavior affects those I love. Now I see the wisdom in planting roots and watching something wonderful grow.”

(Thanks Kelley!)


SN18:  “Are you content? Are you ready for that next step whatever it may be?”

DP: “I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

(Thanks Kelley!)


SN19:  “You have an interesting family.  Do you get to see them often? Are your brothers coming to visit? Does your current state of domestic bliss inspire you to want to help them meet someone special too?”

DP: “I don’t see my family nearly as much as I’d like but I’m hoping to change that soon. My brothers and sister tell me they’re all too busy to have personal lives but I hope they take the time to smell the roses every now and again. It’s done wonders for me.”

(Thanks Renee B.!)


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Thank you for sending your questions!

Playing for Keeps, Derek and Charisma’s adventure will be coming February 24th!

Next Sports Now Interview

Tomcats owner Logan Holbrook on life, love and all things football.

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