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Is the Kessel hot dog story real?

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Upon further examination, Simmons' claims just don't pass mustard.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

This is the ultimate Classic PPP story. Relive every moment in today’s Retro May Hiatus post.

Steve Simmons wrote the following about Phil Kessel:

The hot dog vendor who parks daily at Front and John Sts. just lost his most reliable customer. Almost every afternoon at 2:30 p.m., often wearing a toque, Phil Kessel would wander from his neighbourhood condominium to consume his daily snack. - Toronto Sun

Note: This is one of those pieces that's likely in danger of disappearing, so we saved a .pdf of the whole article. It's probably not legal for us to distribute their entire article so we'll share it publicly only if we have to.

Let's be frank: the problem with calling someone out using facts is that facts can be verified. On Thursday night a birdie whispered in my ear that he didn't think Phil Kessel lived near Front and John. He thought Phil Kessel lived near Bay and College.

I'm generally hesitant to share someone's address. The Toronto Sun felt no such shame (and perhaps luckily Steve Simmons has no idea where Kessel actually lives...), but I'm not sure how else we do this. Ultimately as we searched we found something that's such obvious public data that I don't think this is much of a secret. Furthermore, it's a condo in a skyscraper, so even knowing the address doesn't get you access; and he's moving to Pittsburgh, so it'll be for sale soon; and we're not linking to anything terribly specific. If someone wanted to dig into this they'd find the info, but we're not sharing it.

We verified Kessel's address the hard way, then found an easier way (which we're declining to share right now because it's hard to do without saying exactly where he lives), and then found something hilarious. Let's start.

The Evidence

1. The Hard Way

On HBO's 24/7 They show Phil Kessel's condo. It has lovely floor to ceiling windows which means we could watch the scene, see what buildings were around, and get a rough idea of where Phil Kessel lives.

This made us decide that he lived near College and Bay, as per the rumor.

2. The Easiest Way

Phil Kessel is literally in the phone book in Toronto:

Phone Book

The phone book seems like a reasonable way to verify a story, Toronto Sun.

A Map

What's the big deal here?

The big deal is that Steve Simmons put a hit piece out on Phil Kessel, but it's unlikely that the first anecdote in his story is true. Phil Kessel doesn't live or work near Front and John, and it's unlikely that if he wanted a hot dog every day he'd walk half way across a major city to a specific vendor at the busiest time of day to get one there.

Soon to Be Frequently Asked Questions by Dullards:

"I'm a columnist, not a journalist".

That's fine, if Steve Simmons wants to admit he's not a journalist publicly we'll take it.

"He goes on a jog there from his house and gets the hot dog."

Again, he jogs through the busiest part of a major city every day to get a hot dog at a specific vendor? That doesn't sound that lazy to be honest. It's at least a 5km run round trip from his house, or he could pull off the highway early on the way home from Etobicoke where the Leafs practice 20km away, and I guess he could walk from the ACC but if it's game night he could probably get a hot dog from any of the 300 locations selling hot dogs inside the building he's in, but apparently as a lazy guy he treks miles across the city to get one instead. Makes sense to me.

The Last Part of This Post

Many media markets, Boston especially, like to skewer players on the way out of town. It looks like Steve Simmons wanted to get in on this but he Three Stooged it good and hard from literally the first sentence in his sad attempt at insulting a professional athlete.

Phil Kessel beat Tyler Seguin at the All Star Game in a speed skating competition. Phil Kessel scores tons of goals. Phil Kessel was one of the fittest Leafs when they did pre season testing last year. Calling him out of shape from a padded chair at a desk job seems a little funny to me.

Steve Simmons said he insulted the jersey and insulted the fans.

The only person insulting anyone here is Steve Simmons insulting your intelligence. Don't fall for this garbage.

Is this hot dog story real? Probably not.