Meet Hailey Simpson, the Woman Who Beat Jake DeBrusk in Rock-Paper-Scissors for a Hockey Stick
Photo Credit: Hailey Simpson
There are many stories as to how one finds their favorite player. For Simpson, it all started with a pet fish.
“It was 2017 and I went and I bought a fish. I said, ‘Whoever scores the first goal tonight was who I was gonna name the fish after,” Simpson said. I really wanted to see Ryan Spooner or David Pastrnak because having a fish named ‘Spoon’ or ‘Pasta’ would be really funny. But it ended up being Jake DeBrusk and I was like, ‘Wow a rookie.’
Though disappointed at first, she immediately took to DeBrusk. A game No.7 performance sealed the deal for Simpson.
“It was Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he had those two goals when I just said, ‘Yep that’s my guy,'” Simpson said. “So I’ve just been following him pretty closely ever since.”
Living in Orlando, Fla., Simpson drove four hours to see her favorite Bruin when they were in town for a matchup with the Panthers.
Having at least 20 pucks from past warmups thrown over the glass to her from DeBrusk, Simpson decided to raise the bar.
“Anytime I see him, whether I have a sign or not, he gives me a puck, so I couldn’t go rock-paper-scissors for a puck because he gives me one anyways. So I decided to go for the stick this time,” Simpson said. “Kind of just on a whim, not really thinking it would work but hopeful.”
Like previous occasions, DeBrusk skated over to Simpson, ready to fling her a puck. Much to the surprise to the Chester, New Hampshire native, the winger took off his glove and accepted her challenge.
“I kind of just blacked out in the moment, thank goodness there’s a video,” Simpson said. “Once I got one win, I was thinking to myself that I could do this.
Our favorite sign girl was at it again tonight for the #Bruins game in Florida. She even got the RPS W vs DeBrusk and came away with his stick! ????
Posted by Weekend at Bergy's on Thursday, March 5, 2020
Simpson ultimately defeated DeBrusk in two straight rock-paper-scissor throws, earning her hockey stick, thus putting her on cloud nine for the rest of the night.
The video has gone viral, achieving over 100,000 views in just a few days.
“It’s really cool, I have gotten so much positive feedback,” Simpson said.
Contrary to most, Simpson’s favorite time in the game is the warmup. Simpson makes a sign every game, which has caused criticism to be thrown her way. For Simpson however, it is all about not losing the kid in her.
“People are like, ‘You are 23 years old and you bring a sign to every game?’ I just say, ‘Yeah, I don’t care, I’m having fun,” Simpson said. “Jake [DeBrusk] seems to enjoy it. The guys always seem to have a good laugh. So you just have fun with it.”
Her reasons for DeBrusk being her favorite player grew into more than just being the name of her fish, but also how he plays the game and carries himself.
“I like [Jake DeBrusk] because of his passion,” Simpson said. “Every time he scores a goal, he acts like his parents just told him that he could get a puppy. Whether it’s a game-winning goal or the team is down a whole lot more than you like to see. He’s always skating hard out there. He’s loving what he’s doing and just having fun out there. I feel like that’s something we could all learn from.”
The Magic Kingdom employee feels that embracing the child in you is something that everyone needs to hold on to.
“I think between hockey, and going to hockey games, and also working for Disney, you just have to hold to that excitement that keeps you going,” Simpson said. “Because if you don’t hold onto that, there’s nothing that pushes you forward. Moving to Florida and being away from my family, I’ve been really homesick. But just being able to go to Bruins games and being in my element keeps me grounded with something I can look forward to.”
Simpson was not afraid of throwing a playful jab at Debrusk.
“I’m glad his [hockey] shots are better than his rock-paper-scissors skills,” Simpson said with a laugh.