Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - Nikolai Borschevsky's post-game interview with Ron MacLean

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - An ongoing series to honor the greatest, completely meaningless moments in Toronto Maple Leaf history.

So we all remember Nikolai Borschevsky's goal to beat the Wings in 1993. If you're like many Leaf fans, you probably spent the next fifteen minutes jumping up and down in your friend's basement, high-fiving strangers in a bar, or tipping over cars on Yonge Street. And if so, you missed out on one of the great moments in sports broadcasting history.

Today's great obscure moment in Leafs history is ...

Nikolai Borschevsky's post-game interview with Ron MacLean after game seven of the Detroit series

Borschevsky tummy pokeIn theory, this should have been a great interview. The injured rookie scores the game seven overtime winner to complete the stunning upset and knock off the original six rival, and now you've got him for an exclusive interview on live television. What could possibly go wrong?

Um... did anyone check to see if he knows how to speak english? Oops, too late!

(Actually, that's not completely accurate. Borschevsky knew one english word: "unbelievable". Or, more specifically, "un-bee-leeb-abba". More on that in a minute.)

MacLean seems to sense he's in trouble right away as he asks for an apparently non-existent translator before deciding to solider ahead. After MacLean spends several moments trying to explain the concept of "feelings" (helpfully clutching at his heart at one point), Borschevsky finally understands the question and begins a rambling answer that's completely incomprehensible, causing MacLean to start making subtle "get me out of here" faces at the camera. Borschevsky, frantically gesturing with one hand, finally punctuates his mumbling soliloquy with the classic "unbeeleebabba" line

MacLean takes that opportunity to cut the interview short, but not before inexplicably ending things by gently poking Borschevsky in the tummy.

This was quite possibly the greatest few minutes of comedy the CBC has ever aired.

I'm saying it now: Nikolai Borschevsky needs to be given his own talk show where he brings out guests, just stares at them as they talk, then finally shakes his head and says "unbeeleebabba" before throwing to commercial. I would watch this show every night. Make this happen, CBC!

The full interview is here, beginning at 3:25 (although you're going to watch the whole clip).


  1. That video is magical, I still cheer when I watch it. Makes me feel 10 years old again.

  2. What a team! Right after that I called my brother's house and he answered "Maple Leaf Gardens", he knew it was me calling (no caller id then, you know).

  3. the video's gone... anyone have a copy by any chance? i need to see it.

  4. In case anyone else is looking for a working link to the video:


  5. I think we need to rename this segment "Making nick lidstrom look like a scrub"

  6. The link is down again; please post as I am dying to see this video.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Lzey0O5xs

    this doesnt have the whole interview, but it has the unbeeleebaba part

  8. For anyone wanting the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3KMDDgNgXY