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Episode 24: HAIL To The Trainers (Feat. Brian Brewster – Michigan Wolverines Hockey Head Athletic Trainer)

What an episode this is! If you haven’t listened to us before, that’s okay, sort of. We kinda forgive you. But you need to hear this one.

We play the nepotism card this week but that doesn’t mean our guest is any less valuable. Brian Brewster is the head athletic trainer for the Michigan Wolverines Men’s Hockey team. He also happens to be Connor’s Uncle.

That’s right, in the middle of a college football season in the middle of the pandemic we take a sharp left turn to touch on some collegiate hockey! The Big Ten just started their season last weekend and Michigan is off to a strong start.

So strong in fact that as they take on Wisconsin on the road this week they are ranked 6th in the nation.

And would you look at that, the 6th ranked team in the nation is tweeting about OUR PODCAST. That’s heights we never knew we could reach but yet here we are, as humble as ever.

So what did we talk about with Brian this week? We suggest you listen but we’ll give you the run down just in case.

Get to Know Brian

Brian has been in the athletic training world for awhile now and has made a very successful career out of it.

Prior to joining the Wolverines in 2018, he worked for the Michigan Tech Huskies, putting on a number of hats with the school and going above and beyond his duties as just the team trainer.

He has also been a part of numerous team USA hockey teams. From working with team USA sled hockey teams to the 2016 USA National Junior team, helping guys like; Auston Matthews, Charlie McAvoy, Ryan Donato, Brandon Carlo, Matthew Tkachuk and Zach Werenski before they were stars.

Future Boston Bruins

For you Bruin fans on Couch Guy Sports, and I know there are plenty of you. You might want to tie yourselves to the Michigan Wolverines this season. There are two Wolverines who have been drafted by the Bruins already and have perfect names for when they eventually reach Boston.

First is the Captain. Love to see the B’s drafting high class leadership, in Jack Becker. Or when he gets to Boston, Jackie BECKAH.

And the other is top line center for the Maize and Blue, Johnny Beecher. Which again, put the accent to it and it becomes…

He sounds like a Bruin already. No need for a stop in Providence, send this kid and his perfect name straight to TD Garden.

They already look great in yellow (Maize), they will make perfect Bruins.

Playing During a Pandemic

Dr. Brewster, yes he has a PhD, can give us all a better perspective on what it’s like trying playing through a pandemic. As the athletic trainer he sometimes has to help educate the players on what they should do when they leave the rink.

The man has enough to worry about seeing as hockey is a grueling, physical, unforgiving sport in itself and injuries. Throw in a highly contagious virus still going around and it makes his work take on a 24/7 role.

He explains how the situation is always changing and always evolving.

And how he felt when he finally realized that they were able to make it to the beginning of the season with everyone healthy and what a triumph it was to just be able to play a game.

Making Travel Plans

The Big Ten is a historic conference. Outside of the schools, their teams, fans and traditions, what also makes the Big Ten great is the cities and communities those schools reside in.

I’ve been lucky enough to see both Lincoln, Nebraska and Madison, Wisconsin during a football gamely weekend. There’s nothing like it.

But hockey, while fun and exciting, doesn’t quite get that same fanfare where the entire town is packing bars, restaurants and sidewalks. Which allows for Brian to experience these cities a little more personally.

So he gives us his best Big Ten cities to visit outside of a football weekend.

All The Feels

Brian has seen his fair share of bad injuries in his career. While he reminds everyone that his job is more about preventing injuries, he still is first in line to deal with the ones that happen.

He gives us a humorous story about a football player who experienced a gruesome injury, and had a funny reaction to what happened.

He also gives us a sad story about a hockey ref who’s injury unfortunately cost him his life despite being the type of official that everyone should try to be.

No Hot Seats in 2020

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone including sports teams. Brian indulges us with a wise take about how coaches should not be fired this year for on the field performance. Due to the fact that the real battle isn’t on the field, it’s against this pandemic.

He also claims that Michigan won the 1997 National Championship outright rather than sharing it with Nebraska. Which shocked Connor to his core that a die hard Husker fan like Brian is would say such a thing. But I guess there is a difference between loyalty to your team and loyalty to your paycheck.

Locks and Picks for This Week

Of course we finish the show with our locks and picks for this week’s slate of games. It’s Bedlam Week of course we had to!

Connor picks an upset for a top ten team. Gilli shows his unwavering support for his Oklahoma State Cowboys in what is his first Bedlam Week as they take on their hated in state rival the Oklahoma Sooners.

Brian gives his picks for each game as well however without including the point spreads. For starters he doesn’t understand the + and -, or the half points. And two working for a NCAA team he literally cannot gamble so it’s a double edged no-no sword. No shame in that.

Hit The Follow Button Plz

We are on both instagram and twitter, and you can listen to us on both Apple podcasts and Spotify.

You can give Brian a follow at his twitter handle 

And of course hop on the Michigan bandwagon while there’s still room

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Mike Gilligan (@BigGilli)

Connor Ryan (@connoryan68)

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