2 Alberta hockey coaches find fame with ‘On the Bench’ videos: ‘it’s been amazing’
Olly Postanin and Jacob Ardown are hockey’s newest characters.
The “On the Bench” boys have hit new found fame thanks to their video series of misleading hockey how-to’s.
“We tried to key on the stereotypes of being Canadian and just throw them on the characters and just build off of it,” Ardown said.
The two men under all that heavy Canadian garb, are Steven Campbell (AKA Olly) and Ryan Russell (AKA Jacob), two buddies from Airdrie, Alta., who tested the hilarious personas out on while coaching minor hockey.
“It’s just really who we are as people,” Russell said. “As we were coaching we wanted to put fun back in the game, make the kids happier, compete a little bit harder. It seemed to work in practice so we started to film it.”
And then one April night – it all sparked. Literally.
“One of my buddies I work with actually gave us the idea and we weren’t going to do it, then we were bored one night so we bought the skates, we took them on the concrete and just by accident it happened to travel the internet,” Russell said. “The power of social media.”
“We woke up the next morning it had, I think over 500,000 views and at that point we though, ‘wow we could have something here.”
And they certainly did. Since their first video was posted in March – their hockey “advice” has been watched by millions of people around the world.
“I still really don’t think it’s sunk in,” Campbell said.
“It’s been amazing, I mean the ride is unbelievable, it’s second to none I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Russell added.
Olly and Jacob have even broken into the National Hockey League circle, where the players have become fans.
“I think the craziest part is when they come up to us and ask us for pictures, rather then us asking them,” Campbell said. “To have them approach us is crazy.”
Johnny Gaudreau from the Calgary Flames, New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle, Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres and Drew Doughty from the LA Kings, Jeff Carter and Kyle Clifford are just some of the names who have now made a cameo appearances.
The NHL even brought the duo out to New York before the season for media day.
“Pretty much everyone we’ve talked with and worked with so far has really enjoyed the videos,” Russell said. “They said they’ve been watching them since we kind of blew up with the skating on concrete and the reaction is unreal, they love it, they get right into it’s just like hanging out with the buddies.”
And much like a group of buddies, they speak their
“It comes right from the dressing room, I mean everybody abbreviates everything, adds an ‘i-e’ or ‘y’ to it, and we kind of just took it over the top and put it on every single word that you would not put it on,” Russell said.
But it makes you wonder if they’re running low on fundies to share.
“Never, the fundies you can never run out of, ” Campbell said.
“The fundies are relentless,” laughed Russell. “We’ll keep coming up with something. You can’t do the exact same play twice in a hockey game so we won’t do the exact same video twice”
Great news for the constantly growing legion of On the Bench followers. The laughs will keep on coming.
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