On March 7, something odd occurred during a postgame interview with Raffi Torres(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks: Teammate Ryan Kesler(notes) appeared in back of him; shirtless, eating a slice of pizza, lingering in the Canucks TV camera shot like a hooligan waving to his buddies back home during a local news live report.
In the coming days, Kesler would be to the background of Canucks player interviews as Kim Kardashian is to movie premieres: ubiquitous and beguiling.
Christopher Higgins, Daniel Sedin(notes), Christian Erhoff … all became but mere props in Kesler's media comedy, as he at one point appeared behind goalie Cory Schneider(notes) wearing starting goalie Roberto Luongo's(notes) mask.
What motivated this string of random cameo appearances in various states of undress and occasionally holding an athletic beverage? Kesler has finally addressed his sudden affinity for Interview Bombing, aka Kes-lurking (as Pass It To Bulis memorably calls it).
First, via the Canucks, a video compendium of former U.S. Olympian's greatest Keslurks:
The great Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun confronted Kesler about his interview bombing:
"It's kind of a joke with my buddies back home — they want to play 'Where's Kes?' — so that's the way it started," said Kesler, whose playful pranks have gone viral since he first started making appearances during teammates' interviews on Canucks TV on March 6. "It's just something fun to keep it loose. … Sometimes things get a little too tense and you have to realize that we're all playing a game we love so let's have fun doing it." …
"Everyone has a personality — I have a personality that's way different than the outside people see," said Kesler, whose 34 goals put him fifth in the league in that department. "My friends know me and my family know me as a loose guy that loves to have fun and loves to have a good time, but around the rink I'm known as more serious."
Pass It To Bulis offers this theory about why Kesler's enthusiasm as manifested itself this way:
My theory is that the enforcement of maturity on-ice has led to an outburst of immaturity off-ice. He needs an outlet and, now that he can't verbally assault the opposition, he visually assaults his teammates.
Kesler has dubbed his antics as "interview bombing" and claims he invented the practice. I prefer the term Keslurking. Whatever the title, we hope he continues doing it.
Will it continue? Kesler told the Sun he doesn't plan out any of his appearances. "You have to have some secrets. Maybe I'll disappear for a while. Who knows?" he said.
The regular season is nearing the finish line, but there's ample time for Kesler to complete his Keslurking of the entire Canucks roster.
We demand half-naked munching behind Manny Malhotra(notes)! We want Kesler acting like a hungry goldfish as Kevin Bieksa(notes) discusses defensive positioning in the third period! Life simply isn't worth living if Ryan Kesler doesn't show up behind Roberto Luongo wearing a Harold Snepts mustache. Maybe even … Monday night?