The following has been transcribed directly from an audio recording sent to us from one of our field reporters in Vancouver. It consists of a lengthy interview between our reporter and San Jose forward Patrick Marleau.
Battle of California: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me tonight, Patrick.
Patrick Marleau: It's...uh...it's fine. Not a problem, I mean.
BOC: So Patrick, were you disappointed with your team's performance in game one?
PM: "Disappointed"? No. That's...that's impossible.
PM: *heavy sigh* There’s no use in denying it: this has been a bad couple of days. It's so hard to explain...how do I make someone like you understand that there isn't any way I can ever be disappointed by anything, anymore, since I no longer find anything worth looking forward to?
BOC: ...what do you mean?
PM: Look - I know my play can be... *erratic* sometimes. There's something going on inside me. I want to talk about it, but I know that there's no point. Everything seems dull, now: another face-off, the playoff grind, being hit along the boards, icing, the discoveries people make about each other. The only thing that doesn't bore me, obviously, is how much money Joe Thornton makes...and yet in its obviousness it becomes boring again.
BOC: *nervous laughter*
*30 seconds of silence*
BOC: Moving on to my next question, uh...how would you describe yourself as a player? What do you see as your role, going forward in this series?
PM: Well...there is an idea of a Patrick Marleau; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze beneath my giant eyebrows, and you can pass me the puck and see me shoot it, and maybe you can even sense our play-styles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.
*45 seconds of silence*
PM: Is this going to take much longer? I have to return some hockey tape.
BOC: Um, just a few more questions, please...do you have anything further to say in response to Jeremy Roenick's criticism during round two?
PM: Jeremy...he called me "gutless," and I have to say that's not a bad description of what I ...feel...inside. There isn't a clear, identifiable emotion within me, except for greed, and possibly total disgust. I have all the characteristics of a hockey player-- flesh, blood, stick, eyebrows, skates-- but my depersonalization is so intense, has gone so deep, that the normal ability to play hockey has been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure....
*10 seconds of silence*
BOC: Are you okay, Patrick?
PM: In round two, I was simply imitating hockey, the rough resemblance of a player, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning. Something horrible was happening and yet I couldn't figure out why -- I couldn't put my finger on it. The only thing that calms me is the screaming of skates being sharpened.
*the audio is warped and indecipherable here. When it becomes clear once again, Patrick Marleau is in the middle of a sentence*
PM: -if another Canucks player dives in this series, I'm going to set him on fire. So, you know, you should warn them.
BOC: I, uh...I probably won't be doing that. Speaking of the Canucks, what do you think of Roberto Luongo?
PM: I'm at a loss. He was part of that whole..."Islanders thing"...you know?
BOC: What do you mean, Islanders thing?
PM: Well, I think for one he is probably a closet homosexual. Who does a lot of cocaine. That Islanders thing.
*At this point the audio cuts out for 15 seconds, then Patrick Marleau can be heard moaning and rambling incoherently for several minutes straight, after which the interview resumes*
BOC: I'm almost afraid to ask, but...care to make a prediction for tonight's game?
PM: There are no more barriers to cross. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling.
BOC: Alright, well...thanks for your time, anyway.
PM: This confession has meant nothing.
As of press-time, we have not been able to contact our field reporter for any further information on this story. We all pray for his safety.
Patrick Marleau had a goal in the second period of game one, on a nifty deflection. It was his fourth tally of the post-season.
Prediction: Sharks win 4-3, with goals from Devin Setoguchi, Joe Pavelski, Ian White, and Joe Thornton. On the flight back to San Jose Patrick Marleau listens to "Sussudio" on a loop on his iPod and never talks to anyone.