SportsNet- Brent Burns has two passions: animals and the military.
“So I don’t know if I’ll be working at the zoo or get into the National Guard,” the winger-turned-defenceman said of life after hockey.
“I’ve always been a big animal guy. Reptiles came later. When I started playing in the NHL, I hated reptiles—they creeped me out. But getting a cat or a dog, you need to be with them all the time, and we go on the road all the time so I couldn’t do it.
"But reptiles, you can throw 100 crickets in there and they're fine for a long road trip. So that’s how my passion for them grew slowly. Snakes took a while. I’d have oven mitts on when I handled them for six, seven months. Lizards I was easier with. I started with lizards and then went to snakes.
"I’d have a tiger if my wife would let me, but she kiboshed that.”
Sigggggh, woman. Sure, owning a tiger is probably a bad idea. Regardless of how much fun it is at the beginning, there is probably only one way that ends, and that's in someone ending up seriously injured or dead. So yeah, as is almost always the case, Brent Burns wife is probably right to shut down his dream of having a pet tiger. However, what the hell is the point of being a pro athlete if you can't even have the upper hand in your relationship? Getting paid million upon millions of dollars to play a kid's game grants you many things, and one of those should be the right to make your own terrible decisions. After all, you can always get another wife, but how many times are you going to have the opportunity to purchase a ferocious apex predator?
She knew who she was marrying. She knew her husband was a lunatic that traveled around with snakes and lizards. If anything she should be encouraging this behavior not nipping it in the bud. Telling your significant other to stop being themselves is the easiest way to breed contempt in a relationship. Yeah, most men just want man caves and alone time, but Brent Burns isn't most men. You don't housebreak someone that eclectic, at least not for an extended period of time. Tell your husband he can't have a tiger and next thing you know he's fucking some 'National Geographic' cover model while playing amongst a group of volatile land mammals. To do extraordinary signs you have to ignore the people that tell you 'no'. Sure, there is a strong possibility that his wife is right. However, there was a strong possibility that Brent Burns' career would flame out before he made it to the pros and he would be cleaning up elephant poop at a zookeeper. Sometimes you just got to go with your gut.
P.S. A group of tigers is actually called an 'ambush' as if there weren't already enough warning signs.