Braden Holtby and Mario Cart Tattoos

Braden Holtby


From the Player Tribune.

Mario Kart is all about the sound effects. That’s the beauty, at least for me. I mean, I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan with 900 cows, so I’m not exactly a video game connoisseur or anything. But in my humble opinion, it’s only Mario Kart if it’s the N64 version. That’s the key, because then you’ve got the controllers with the short wires, so everybody has to be hunched over right next to the TV.

And you’ve got the old-school sound effects.

With the sound effects, it’s like a spectator sport.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I guess you just have to imagine a hotel room full of grown men all huddled around a TV. It’s a couple of hours before the biggest hockey game of our lives, and everybody’s screaming out, “WHEL-COME TOO MAAAAAAR-EEO KART!!!!!!”


This was all Nate Schmidt’s idea, for the record. A couple seasons ago, he went to an old-school game store in Toronto and bought a used Nintendo 64. On the road, you have a lot of downtime, especially during the playoffs. So it was kind of a genius idea. But you know how these things go. First it’s like a little joke — it’s him and a few guys up in his room after the morning skate, messing around.

But then you start hearing guys chirping a bit in the locker room.

“You shoulda seen how I hit Beags with the Koopa Shell on Rainbow Road. Home stretch. Nailed him.”

I have never owned a video game system in my life, so I barely knew what they were talking about. But then, you know … you’re coming back from dinner or something, and you hear the guys yelling from behind the door of some hotel room….

“WEEEEE-HEEEEEE! Boom! You’re done! You’re done!

So I got a little curious. Next thing you know, by the playoffs, we had about half the team up in a hotel suite watching every race.

You can imagine how the whole thing escalated. We’re hockey players. So any excuse to be competitive, right? You had guys who were dedicated to being the greatest Mario Kart racers in the world, and you had guys who were dedicated to being the best Mario Kart color commentators in the world.


To read the complete article visit

Leave a comment