Collector Interview: Brent Cover

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Brent Cover, known on the forums as bobbyp6565, expressed interest in helping us keep our interview articles going while hockey is in the off season.  You can find his collection on the forum as he adds more ‘Goons’ to his collection.

GameWorn: What do you do for a living?
Brent Cover: I’m the Director of US Database Operations for a Global Marketing Company

GW: What is your favorite beer?
BC: Not a beer drinker – rum & coke or rum & ginger beer guy

GW: What is your favorite team?
BC: Detroit Red Wings

GW: Who is your favorite player?
BC: Bob Probert

GW: When and how did you get started collecting?
BC: I started collecting in 1992. Had been a fan of the enforcers for a few years, but hadn’t ever collected anything. Decided to purchase an authentic Red Wings road jersey and had it customized as a Probert. Wore it and met the bus when the Wings played the Caps in November 1992 and met him before the game. That clinched it for me. Bought my first game used stick shortly thereafter and then moved onto game worn jerseys, my first a 91-92 Louie DeBrusk Oilers home jersey. Was finally able to land a Probert gamer in 2012, along with his stick from the same year as the jersey, as well as a pair of his elbow pads I’ve matched to dozens and dozens of fights.

GW: What makes up the bulk of your collection?
BC: Fighters, enforcers and goons. Currently over 200 different fighters in the collection and always looking to add more. Not many new players to collect anymore as the era of the fighter unfortunately seems to be over, so concentrating more on 80’s and 90’s jerseys at this point.

GW: If money was no issue, what is the one jersey you would want?
BC: 1988 Bob Probert All-Star Game jersey – never seen it anywhere, but know it must exist someplace?

GW: What is your favorite jersey in your collection?
BC: Have two – a 98-99 Bob Probert Blackhawks from his last 200+ PIM’s season and a 99-00 Derek Boogaard Prince George Cougars with extensions sewn onto the jersey body as well as the sleeves so a size 54 jersey would fit him – its truly a Frankenstein jersey.

GW: What is your favorite thing about the hobby?
BC: The help, guidance and assistance that many in this hobby have offered over the years. There are many jerseys that I now have that were never officially offered for sale – a collector saw my collection and offered up something they’d owned for years as it better fit my collection than their current one –

GW: Do you go to or have you gone to any Expos/Shows?
BC: I have not – have wanted to go to the DC-area show or the Meigray Expo the last few years, but unfortunately things just haven’t worked out for me to get to one yet.

GW: What would you like to see for the future of the hobby?
BC: Preservation of the vintage jerseys – many of the originals in this hobby are starting to get out so there are many jerseys starting to see the light of day that haven’t in years or in some cases decades. I’d like to see them passed down to the next group of collectors – I’d hate to see them cut up into 1×1 squares and glued to cardboard. We need to keep these historical items intact!

GW: What do you like best about collecting fighter jerseys?
BC: Best thing about these jerseys, other than the fact that they’re worn by guys that in most cases, are the nicest guys off the ice, are the customizations and fight damage –

Customizations – shortened sleeves, tightened sleeves, expanded sleeves (either by slicing the ends or by having material inserts sewn in), shortened jersey bodies, fight straps added to the front of the jersey (traditional strap or skate lace), triple fight straps, fight straps cut out and replaced with skate laces, custom fight strap set-ups (Rob Ray & Eric Boulton), and neck reinforcements (either with additional sewn attachment points or with additional material sewn in).

Fight damage – torn neck seams, popped stitching to both neck and sleeves, tears in back down to nameplate or in front down to the crest, repaired holes from finger tips, grime stains from hands grabbing around the neck are and of course, the washed out blood stains.

Do you collect only your favorite team or player or fighters in general? I collect fighters in general – my goal a few years ago was to collect at least one enforcer from every team in the league, which I completed in 2013. Its really cool to see how different teams repair their jerseys, how they reinforce the necks of their jerseys, etc.

GW: Do you only collect jerseys?
BC: No, I also collect sticks, helmets & gloves of enforcers, along with a few other items (couple pairs of pants, couple pairs of skates, Probie’s elbow pads, etc.). My wife always rolls her eyes whenever she walks into our basement – to her its junk. To me, its history from a (unfortunately) bygone era.

Was lucky enough to land a pair of Boogaard’s mitts and one of his sticks (both Wild) just a couple weeks before he died – those are cornerstones of those collections. I also landed a pair of Darcy Hordichuk’s Chicago Wolves mitts about 10 years ago and when I put them in their display case (I use basketball display cases for all my mitts – mitts fit well and it keeps the smell contained inside the case – with nearly 60 pairs of mitts in the basement, it could get ripe quickly without them), they wouldn’t sit correctly. Upon investigation, his mouth piece was still tucked deep in the cuff. I’d never come across that before nor since………..

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