A lot of things have happened with all of us since we last met Thiago Simões from Brazil and the Brazilian ESPN where he is the most well-initiated hockey commentator.
Sportrants.com has changed for example and has a totally new look since summer this year of 2016, and is steadily evolving as sports site, which is always refreshing and interesting.
However, when I interviewed Thiago in January this year, I was so impressed by his knowledge and his die-hard keenness on hockey, and a bit surprised as well, because I have never met someone from Brazil with such a great amount of interest or know-how of the game.
Brazil is most of all known as a football country number one, but – and I was totally wrong myself — that is not completely true.
Nonetheless, it opened up my eyes and perspectives to become wider and deepened my understanding that the hockey is growing even in a country as Brazil.
I have met through social media other Brazilians who love the game as much as we do, sometimes if not more. And, I am always having a great exchange of thoughts and ideas about the games with for example my friend Leo Gomes.
Thiago, on the other hand, showed me a stunning number of hockey cards, signed hockey cards as well, that I haven’t seen anything like, and said that he hoped that he could gain some more.
It has to be said, since the change in Sportsrants, a lot of the images of the hockey cards are unfortunately gone but you can read at least the interview here: http://sportsrants.com/uk/2016/01/17/a-brazilian-hockey-home-with-thiago-simoes/
But, I am as curious as ever if he got some more since last time.
Thiago, how’s it going with your collection? Have you got any more cards?
– Growing every day, thank God. I am searching a McDavid card with a fair price. I found for 3500 USD, unreal for now!
That’s fantastic! I wish also that you will be able one day to get McDavid’s card.
But, there is also another and a much bigger thing that Thiago mentioned not long time ago, and that was about the new Brazilian NHL:
What is that, Thiago? This sounds very interesting, even thrilling for us hockey fans to know! Are you involved somehow in the league and which way?
-Yes, Arto. I’m the communication director of Br Hockey, a Brazilian company that intends to make hockey professional in Brazil.
What goals do you have for the league, where are you aiming in the nearest future?
-We have the first LBH in 2017, with the best Brazilian inline hockey teams. Soon we will have more details about this. The BR hockey company has the aid of great teams. But we need more.
How big is the current hockey interest in Brazil? Has it grown?
-We have more than 100 teams of inline hockey, but we don’t have an official ice rink. But BR Hockey will construct the first one in 2018, and I believe hockey will grow more.
Do you think we will see a Brazilian player in the North American NHL? Or even in Europe some day?
-We have a Brazilian player in NHL, Robin Regher. He was born in Recife, son of Canadian missionaries, but he doesn’t speak a Portuguese word. The hockey in Brazil is totally amateur. I think BR Hockey will change this.
Are there any talents already we should know about and keep track of?
-We have some enthusiasts, this is so good for us. In the media, hockey doesn’t have a spot and it is a great problem. In Brazil, sports journalists are soccer journalists. Journalists like me receive prejudice.
The last question, how does your future look in the Brazilian ESPN? Are you going to continue there “as usual” or will you work somehow more with the league as the promoter?
– We broadcast this season and two more. Brazil faces an NFL / NBA boom. I think we have to do the same job of the last years with NHL. We broadcast the World Cup of Hockey with a good audience and we have one more year of the contract with the CHL. (Editor’s note: Champions Hockey League)
As you can understand, there is a lot of work to do, but, things are moving forward with the game of hockey even in a football crazy country as Brazil.
I am sure that the interest in hockey will grow even more with such an enthusiastic and initiated person and top-level journalist as Thiago behind the big movement.
Well, I leave now the very eminent Thiago for this time with these words that might be true for the upcoming and growing Brazilian hockey league.
Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.
If you wish to read more about the Brazilian league and know more about it, you may check through this web page http://www.brhockey.com.br/ (in Portuguese), their twitter account: @BrHockeyBr or make contact with Thiago Simões through twitter: @ThiSimoes