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June 29, 2009

Mike Brown Answers Your Questions

Catching Up
Periodically during the summer, you will have the chance to ask questions of your favorite Admirals players. Just email your question and it may be answered on! Make sure to check back periodically to see who will be on the clock next.

The "Catching Up" series continues this week with Admirals alumnus Mike Brown. A rugged forward who patrolled the ice at Scope for two seasons, Brown racked up 430 penalty minutes as an Admiral from 2004-06. His 284 penalty minutes in 2004-05 remain a single-season record for the Norfolk Admirals (AHL). In 121 career games, Brown scored nine goals and 21 assists with a +9 rating as an Admiral. He was the Admirals’ team winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year Award for the 2005-06 season for his outstanding contributions to the Hampton Roads community and charitableMike Brown/Photo by Yvonne Paxson

1. What was your favorite thing about Norfolk? Favorite thing to do? (Connie Parker, Virginia Beach, Va.)
Norfolk was beautiful. It was my favorite place to play hands down. Great people, always something to do and living on Virginia Beach certainly didn’t hurt.

2. What have you been up to since leaving the Admirals? (Several fans asked this question)
I keep it pretty simple. I am a manager at one of my friends’ GM Dealerships. I hang out with family and friends a lot. I also work with Vancouver Canucks Alumni and train MMA with my buddies.

3. So many people enjoyed your hockey and miss you a lot. What made you want to retire? (Charlene Mara, Virginia Beach, Va.)
Basically, I needed a break physically and mentally. I was away from home since I was 15 and I just wanted to slow down. I had a lot of ups and downs in those 12 years, so it was time to step away. I love the game, I still play in a lot of charity games with Canucks Alumni. But it’s nice to be home and know where I’m going be when I wake up.

Mike Brown/Photo by Yvonne Paxson4. I have heard that since your retirement, you have been selling cars. If people are not persuaded easily to buy a car from you, do you find yourself using "force" to complete the transaction? (John Ertmann, Chesapeake, Va.)
Haha! I get that all the time. I wish I could, but I try to deal with people the way I like to be dealt with. Obviously, there’s some ignoramuses out there but I’ve learned to bite my tongue a bit.

5. Mike, hope things are going well for you. Hopefully you enjoyed your Father’s Day and may you have many more. What does Mike Brown’s future look like in the next 3-5 years. Always a pleasure and take care. (Nick Peelen, Suffolk, Va.)
Thanks, appreciate it! To be honest, I have no idea. I try to live day to day. Hopefully, I can continue to move up in this company and continue to enjoy my life with my family and friends

6. First, a comment. One of my favorite memories of Mike while in Norfolk was watching 5”?” (yes that is a ? mark) Boggsy [former Admirals equipment manager Scott Boggs] slowly pushing 6’ 3” (plus skate height) Mike back toward the dressing room after a bench-clearing incident. It may have been the one Yawney was a part of. Mike Brown/Photo by Yvonne Paxson Could have been a good mic’d up video. No pun intended.

Now a question: Do you really have gun tattoos on your hips? Why? Do you have any other interesting stories about tats?
(Petey Reynolds, Virginia Beach, Va.)
Hahaha! My tattoos seem to be a topic occasionally. I do have six-shooters on my lower back. I love the Old West. They are between my family’s coat of arms. Basically, my right arm is all family. I have a Cancer Crab for my son, a Taurus Bull for me, a tribal god for my dad, a tribal goddess for my mom and Japanese symbols for li’l brother/li’l sister and family in a water theme. Also, I have a cross on my back that kind of symbolizes that God is watching (hopefully, haha). I love tattoos and I’m not done getting them. I have several more drawn up and waiting.

7. In 2004-05 with the Admirals, you, Shawn Thornton, Travis Moen and Jim Vandermeer combined for nearly 900 penalty minutes. Did you ever have that many “bash brothers” playing alongside you in your pro career? Do you keep in touch with those guys? (Steve O., Portsmouth, Va.)
Haha! Yeah, it was great to have a few guys riding with you. Most of my career, I was the only enforcer on the team, which led to some very long nights. I keep in touch with Vandermeer and usually hook up when were in each other’s towns. Usually when the guys are in town, I’ll go for a bite or a beer with them. Baines, Moen, Wisniewski, Byfuglien, Seabrook, Keith, Fraser, etc. The guys I played with the last couple years were some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.

8. What was your favorite memory of playing in Norfolk?
Basically, just being with the guys, hanging out, doing whatever. We had good teams, great guys and a lot of fun.
Mike Brown/Photo by Allison Veinote
9. On the ice, you were one of the toughest players in Admirals history. But off the ice, you were different. In your last season with the Admirals, you were named the team’s Man of the Year for your work in the community. I’ve often heard that hockey’s tough guys are some of the nicest guys off the ice. Why do you think that is the case? (Jack R., Suffolk, Va.)
It’s tough to stay. I mean there are a lot of good people in hockey, but I guess "fighters" are a bit more noticeable because you wouldn’t expect a guy that punches/gets punched in the face for a living to have a soft side. I always just tried to leave that stuff on the ice and do what I could to help people smile when they needed one. I always enjoyed being around kids and veterans because it makes you enjoy the small things. You look at people who are suffering, but they are always upbeat and enjoying the little things.

Click here to read Juraj Simek's "Catching Up"

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