It’s a ‘G’ Thing: Driving with the longtime MSG crew that keeps the ice ready for the Rangers

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“I drive the Zamboni,” Paul Curtis said.

“27 years on the ice crew doing the ice," Jack Durkin said.

These guys live for the thrill...

“The atmosphere of a game day sometimes you get quite nervous,” Curtis smirked.

“Is there a skill to this?" I asked Durkin. "None whatsoever," he smiled.

An amusing attitude Jack Durkin has brought to his job at Madison Square Garden for nearly 30 years.

“How did this start for you? Someone died," he joked. "[Actually] someone retired and the opportunity just presented itself.”

He's now the ice crew foreman.

“[The first couple of weeks on the Zamboni, I was] a little nervous to say the least, big crowds you’re not used to that at all,” Durkin remembered.

Web extra: Meet Stephen Perry, the third member of the MSG ice crew

“What’s the fastest that thing can go?" I asked Curtis. "About 10-11 miles per hour,” he said.

Paul Curtis joined the team in 2000.

"Funniest story on the Zamboni, I bashed into the wall a few times," he laughed.

For both, nothing quite beats driving in front of thousands of fans!

"Just the vibrations, the building actually moving when everyone is jumping up and down and screaming,” Durkin described. “It’s fun, it really is, we take little children around, their eyes light up and they wave to their parents.”

While it's fun, they also understand their opportunity and don't take it for granted.

“How many days have you missed in your decade and a half? " I asked Curtis. "One day, last season, I had a food poisoning, it was last season but you work hurt because it's hockey, you play hurt and you work hurt!”

And I was ready to get to work, or so I thought.

“You’re gonna be in the passenger's seat, we’re gonna take you for a ride," Durkin said. "Do I control this at all?" I asked. "Not at all," he replied. "Can you give me 10 seconds of being in control?” I begged. “Can you give me five seconds on the ice?" He said, "Nope.”

“I took him from 10 seconds to five, the answer was no," I complained to Curtis. "Well he’s not around now," he said. "So yeah absolutely [you can drive]."

Sorry Jack! I'll take the penalty but we're going for a ride!

Boss man finally came around when saw how good I was, even gave me an assist.

“We’re parking it!" I smiled. “I’ve got to thank you guys, I’m available on Saturdays and Sundays if you need my help, I’ll leave you my number for an emergency.”

Let's just say they haven't called yet!


Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi

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