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Mr. Regular

Thursday, 10.5.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Florida Panthers
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Mr. Regular

Todd Bertuzzi's Just Like the Rest of Us from this month's issue of Unrestricted

The golf cart wheezes and shakes as the big man hits the accelerator and skids down the edge of the driving range. The white-collar businessmen who took the afternoon off to hit golf balls with their fishbowl-sized drivers stop mid-swing to watch as Todd Bertuzzi wills his overmatched golf cart back toward one of the undisturbed corners of Parkland Golf Club.

He comes here often. Bertuzzi has barely spent a month in South Florida, but he says he's already been to this secluded practice green at least 15 to 20 times. On this day, he won't be so isolated. Today there are men with cameras and microphones and tape recorders, waiting for him, waiting to ask him questions.

They sit him down in his golf cart, spread out with one tree trunk leg hanging out the side — the most comfortable position for a man his size. He's that big. Then they start asking ...about hockey ... about a little Ontario town called Sudbury ... about a big British Columbian city called Vancouver ... about Steve Moore.

Then they ask him to hit some golf balls while they film and photograph him. He obliges, dumping a dozen or so golf balls in the short rough adjacent to the practice green, and proceeding to loft ball after ball after ball within inches of the flagstick 50 yards away.

"Isn't this the best," he says. "I can just come out here by myself and chip for hours. The guys ride me because I can't hit the ball that far, but the short game is my favorite part of golf. Really."

The men with the microphones and cameras chuckle in response, one of those fake chuckles that's more of a chore than a reaction. Then they ask him more questions and Bertuzzi relents and offers a bare and honest insight into his soul.

"I'm just a normal guy," he says. "I like to drink beer, play golf and have fun."

They don't believe him. They are too engrossed with the myth of Todd Bertuzzi to believe him.

Visit the Unrestricted website to read the complete article.

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