I had a chance to sit down recently with one of the most famous and talented Brick Breaker players in the world. The level of passion and dedication to the game can be measured only by some of professional sports greatest athletes. At the height of his playing career the comparisons to some of the greats are too many to name. Ranked #7 in the world and in the middle of what some have called the most amazing achievement of the last two centuries, tragedy struck. The fall of this great champion came as a blow to everyone following the sport. This is the first official interview since the tragic end to what was a very promising career. Here is a transcript of the interview:
Q – Can you tell me a little about why you became interested I the sport?
A – It all started when I got my first Blackberry 7520 about six years ago. When I first starting playing, it felt…well I guess the only word to describe it would exhilarating. I don’t want to brag but I think I was just a natural. I almost go into a trance like state and become the paddle I guess. At first it was just for the enjoyment of the sport but it soon became a passion and I knew I had a chance to do something special.
Q - Would you be willing to talk a little about some of the tips and tricks you used? Perhaps give some good advice to those just getting started?
A – It’s difficult to describe I guess. The real trick is getting past all 34 levels the second time through, from there on things get much easier. I generally use the acronym “I’M BAD” to remember the keys to the game.
I – Intensity
M- Memorize the levels
B – Be the paddle
A – Avoid the “Flip”
D – Don’t be distracted.
If you can remember those things you’ll do just fine.
Q – Did you ever change your routine or equipment?
A – As I mentioned, I started off with the Blackberry 7520 and eventually moved on to the 8350i. It took some time to get used to the differences but it didn’t take me long to appreciate the advances in the technology.
Q – Were there ever any injuries?
A – I had to fight through a few pretty tough thumb blisters and continually got “Brick Breaker Eye” but it was nothing a little Visene couldn’t take care of.
Q – I know this is an emotional subject for you, but can you walk us through what happened that fateful day in late 2009?
A – I can try my best but it’s been an emotional time for me. It was a sunny but cold Friday morning, I remember because I was carrying my Blackberry in the pocket of my heavy winter coat. The night before had been a really great night and I was feeling pretty excited about the potential the weekend held for training. Just like a typical Thursday night my wife had been watching her prime time dramas and the kids were already asleep which allowed me to really focus on my game without distractions. I was really in the zone. My score was just over 1.5 million, I had 97 lives and was well on my way to breaking all the records. I’m sorry, give me just a second…
Interviewer – It’s okay, take your time.
Okay, sorry about that. So I was running into work and was jogging up the stairs, It was important to stay in shape, on top of my game. I felt my phone vibrate and went to answer it and I don’t really know how it happened, I guess it just slipped out of my hands. When I saw the battery fly out I knew it was over, all was lost, my score, all my time and training, just gone in a flash. The next few weeks were pretty hard but with the help of my friends, family, and colleagues I was able to pull through. It was devastating.
Q – Will you ever get back to the game?
A – No. You just don’t come back from something like that. I’m proud of my accomplishments but it’s time I move on