http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2013/05/07/toronto_maple_leafs_former_player_bates_battaglia_dishes_on_amazing_race_win_gives_playoff_advice.htmlToronto Maple Leafs former player Bates Battaglia dishes on Amazing Race win, gives playoff advice
Battaglia, who won $1 million on the show Sunday, has some playoff advice for his former team.
Former Toronto Maple Leaf player Bates Battaglia had to wear his brother’s underwear after his knapsack got stolen on a train. But that didn’t stop the hockey-playing brothers from winning $1 million on the 22nd season of The Amazing Race.
“Serves them right; someone’s got a bag full of my dirty underwear,” says Bates, in an interview with the Star.
“On the other hand, I think we had to burn my underwear after Bates finished with them,” says younger brother Anthony, who plays professional hockey with the Huntsville Havoc.
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After nine countries and 48,000 kilometres, the Battaglia brothers from Raleigh, N.C., were victorious after swimming laps in a muddy bog in Ireland and solving clues from “secret agents” in the final leg in Washington.
Amazing Race has a loyal following in Canada, and it certainly didn’t hurt that many Canadians were rooting for the easy-going, hockey-playing brothers. It also didn’t hurt that they beat out the Machiavellian newlyweds Max and Katie Bichler at the finish line.
“Max and Katie seemed to be the villains on the show, but we actually got along with them great,” said Bates.
The brothers watched the finale from the bar they own in Raleigh with a group of fans and friends.
“It was crazy. They dumped champagne on our heads, and at the risk of being redundant, it was … amazing,” said Anthony, who has been compared to Prince William in the looks department — at least that’s what he claims.
Bates also had some playoff advice for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL team he played for from 2006 to 2008.
“They should win. I’m going to go out on a limb here. But I’m going to tell them to win,” said Bates with the typical humour that saw he and his brother slog through the ups and downs of the Emmy-award winning reality show.
(NOTE: Bates made that prediction before the Leafs took to the ice at the ACC Monday for Game 3 against Boston. The Leafs did not win. They in fact lost 5-2 in their first home playoff game in nine years.)
Humour served the brothers well in the season finale, where Bates never looked more frustrated as when Anthony failed to figure out which dishes to serve guests in Belfast at the boat yard where the RMS Titanic was built.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” said Anthony. “But in my defence, he didn’t know what a chartreuse-coloured desert looked like either and he still doesn’t know.”
Bates took a run at a Stanley Cup when he played for the Carolina Hurricanes. The team lost and even though he won The Amazing Race “nothing is the same as being in a Stanley Cup final,” he said.
As for playing in Toronto, Bates said it was “incredible. There’s no better place to play hockey. Ever.”
The Canadian version of the race, which premiers July 15, will stay rooted within our borders, and winners will get $250,000, not a million. But that’s still the biggest grand prize of any reality show in Canada.
The Bates brothers had some advice for the Canadian contestants: “Get a real map. Don’t make Bates make the maps” said Anthony.
“Slow down. Sometimes you’re in such a hurry you miss stuff that’s right in front of you,” said Bates.
Bates said he plans to spend his share of the million dollars wisely.
“Hey, I wasn’t making Mats Sundin kind of money,” said Bates, referring to the former Leafs captain. “But it’s going to a good cause. I’m going to use it to buy Anthony some teeth.”