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Adam Poch: Reality Show Contestant… and Devils Fan?

Devils Army Generals with Adam Poch at the Digital Zone

Devils Army Generals with Adam Poch at the Digital Zone

Adam Poch may seem intimidating to those who don’t know much about him, but don’t let the metalhead persona and piercings fool you. The self-proclaimed “Heavy Metal Teddy Bear” was selected last summer to be a contestant on the 13th season of the hit reality show Big Brother. And the New Jersey native almost won!

Adam’s claim to fame on the show was his penchant for heavy metal music while embracing his softer side as an unashamed fan of the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210. But heavy metal devil horns aren’t the only horns this Hoboken resident is sporting.

Adam is a lifelong Devils fan. Despite his busy schedule, Adam has come to a few games at the Rock this season, and a few of the Generals had the opportunity to meet him recently during the January 17 game vs Winnipeg and the February 2 game vs Montreal. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him a few questions about his experience as a Devils fan and his experience on the show.

For those unfamiliar, Big Brother is a reality competition game show that forces a group of contestants to live together in a house under constant surveillance, 24 hours a day, cut off from the outside world. There are weekly contests, prizes, and evictions, and the last person standing wins the grand prize of $500,000. Adam placed third out of fourteen contestants.  Here’s what he had to say:

What’s your “Devils” story? How did you come to be a fan? How long have you been a fan?

My Temple’s youth group went to a Devils game back in 1984. They were playing the Islanders and lost 5-4 in OT. But it was so much fun watching a hockey game live–I was hooked. Been a fan ever since.

Did you go to a lot of games growing up?

I grew up in East Brunswick, and when my friends and I started getting our drivers’ licenses, we would head up the Turnpike to go to games. Even though I was underage, tailgating was so much fun! I remember going to a Devils/North Stars game in February–it was FREEZING. My buddy and I sat in the car and took turns flipping the frozen burgers on the grill. We did not get into the game until the second period because it was so cold.

How often do you get to come to games now?

I go to about 10 games a year. I love the new arena. I was at the first game there. It was such an improvement over Brendon Byrne or whatever that place is called now! I loved seeing the murals all over the place. This is truly the Devils home!

Where’s your favorite place to watch when you can’t attend?

I love watching the games at home. The Devils have had some great play-by-play guys over the years. My favorite was Gary Thorne. But, c’mon, we all watch to see what Chico is gonna say, do, or eat! I am sure my neighbors do not like when I watch games at home, because I usually end up screaming at the TV. In fact, growing up, my father would not let me watch West Coast road games, because I would wake him up with my tantrums.

Who is your all-time favorite Devils player?

My all-time favorite player is Captain Kirk! No matter how bad the team was doing, you always knew he was going to give 100%. My favorite team of all time was the 1987-88 team that squeaked into the playoffs on the last day of the season. I get the chills when I think about the call, “Cirella shoots, Pang save! MacLean HE SCORES! HE SCORES! THE DEVILS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME!” Yeah, that is from memory! The playoff run that year was great even though they did not win the cup. My other favorite player from that era was Dougie Brown. For all the younger fans, think John Madden! I remember going crazy (but trying not to yell) when Brown scored the OT game winner in Game 2 of the Conference Championship against the Bruins.

Who is your current favorite Devils player?

Right now, besides Marty, I like watching Zach Parise. He’s a homegrown player. I am glad he has come back after being injured last season. I cannot wait to see him raise the Cup!

Do you have a favorite piece of Devils memorabilia?

My Marty Brodeur jersey that I have had since 1999, has autographs from a lot of the players. I used to hang outside of the arena after games to meet the players. Sadly I do not have Marty’s autograph on it. But I remember chasing down Scott Gomez in his SUV to get him to sign it. Now if he sees me running after his car, he better not stop!

What’s your favorite Devils memory?

Wow–there were so many, but without a doubt, the 2000 Stanley Cup. I was at Game 1, and that was a rout. I never heard the arena that loud in all my years going. Even Kenny D got into the scoring. The bus back to the city that night was rocking. Then of course the final two games both went to OT, with Arnott scoring the series winner. The 1995 Cup was pretty awesome too. The fact that I was at Game 1 of the 2000 Cup makes it more personal to me.

You have a pretty strong social media presence with over 10,000 followers on Twitter and almost 3,000 fans on Facebook. What’s the question or comment that you get most often?

People always post bacon pictures or something about bacon on my wall. Bacon is to food as the Devils are to sports for me. I have great childhood memories of bacon and the Devils! Nothing that combines the two, but two of my favorite things in life!

What’s your favorite heavy metal band?

The band that made me into the metalhead I am today is Iron Maiden. In 1986, my friend played Powerslave for me, and my life was changed forever. From 1987 until now, I have seen them on every tour, sometimes two or three times per tour. “Fear of the Dark” is my favorite song by them!

You came so close to making it all the way to the end of Big Brother and you probably would have won if you did. What was your favorite part of your experience on Big Brother? Biggest challenge?

Yeah, third place. I was so close, I could taste the money. But I blew it at the end and did not earn my spot in the final two. If I made it to the final two chairs, I may have won. I knew going into the house I would have to earn the win, and I did not–so I am ok with it! Other than the obvious, meeting Tori Spelling, the best part for me was just getting on there. I have been a fan of the show for years, and have tried to get on a few times. To know there are only about 150 people to accomplish getting on there and I am one of them is the biggest thrill. My favorite challenge on the show was Big Brother Odyssey where we had to roll a ball back and forth on a slanted platform 300 times without dropping it. Even though I did not win, I lost by two to Jeff–it showed me I could compete in a tough physical challenge. Kinda like the 1987-88 Devils.

You tend to idolize the bad guys in Big Brother like “Evel” Dick (Donato), are you the same with your favorite hockey players?

Hahaha – yeah. Evel Dick was my all time favorite, and he had an enforcer type approach to playing the game. I would say he was like Scott Stevens. You could not go past him with your head down or he would level you. Last season I rooted for this season’s winner Rachel. She was more like a Claude Lemieux. Aggressive at times, but had the skills to back it up.

What Devils players would do well in the Big Brother house?

Well, he is not a current Devil, but Brian Gionta would probably do pretty well. It’s not always the biggest strong people that win. Sometimes the smaller scrappy people get further because they do better in endurance challenges. Funny story about him: I saw his second game down in Tampa. He was standing next to Mike Commodore during warm-ups, and I thought he was a player’s kid or something. How can anyone that small be an NHL player? But he turned out to be pretty good!

How did you get on the show? 

I went to open auditions in NYC. The first year, I bombed. I was nervous and talked about everything except what makes me so unique. So the next time I went in, I had my script planned. I said, “My name is Adam; I am 38 years old; my three passions in life are Heavy Metal, Bacon, and Beverly Hills, 90210.” I saw a couple jaws drop. I made it all the way to finals and got a call as I was walking into the Cinderella / Scorpions concert saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. Try again next year.” Since I got so close, I knew I could do it. So over the next ten months I got myself in better physical condition by losing 100 pounds. The weight loss made me so much more confident, and when I went back the following year, they remembered me and were amazed by what I had done. I was not going to be denied this time. If they liked me last year, they were gonna love me this year. I tell everyone who wants to try out: Be yourself and be confident. The casting people see so many people, they can see through fake people who are trying to be what they think they want to see.

Do you get recognized a lot?

Yes, although as time goes by, it is less and less. It’s pretty amazing, though, how many different people watch the show. I have been stopped on the street by men and women of all ages who recognize me. At my first Devils game of the year, I was walking out between periods and this little girl was staring at me holding her dad’s hand. I leaned down and said, “You know who I am, don’t you?” She just looked at me and started to giggle and said, “Yeah!” Her father told me she recognized me earlier in the game and he said, “No that’s not him.” She kept saying yes it was, and then he heard me talking to my friend, and he recognized my voice. He told me his wife was supposed to come to the game with them, but she was home sick. She was the one who got them into the show, so I took a picture with his daughter, and he texted it to her. During the third period he came over and showed me her reply. It was something along the lines of , “OMG I am so jealous! Why didn’t I go?”

What else are you up to now?

I am back to my job. I was lucky my boss was a huge fan and did what she could to hold my job for me. She knew what was going on every step of the way, so it came as no shock when I told her I need up to 3 months off to pursue my dream. I am back going to concerts, hanging with my friends, living with my girlfriend Fara, and going to Devils games. Just living my life like I did before. I have no desire to be a movie star or anything like that. I just wanted to be on my favorite reality show. I did that, so now it’s back to reality!

Any last words for the fans?

Two things…
1) Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. If you have a dream, you can make it happen!
2) “Hey Devils, CATCH FIRE, turn that ice to steam. Hey Devils, CATCH FIRE, we got twice the team. Red hot getting hotter–make em make em sweat, CATCH FIRE!”

Thanks to Adam for taking the time to answer these questions. You can follow him on Twitter, @HeavyMetalTeddy, and Facebook ( Look for him at our Viewing Party this Tuesday in Hoboken!


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