Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

He keeps the Big Night safe

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Matt Mousseau will be among a select group of people at the MTS Centre Saturday afternoon who won't be cheering when the Jets score a goal.

He's not a member of the Ottawa Senators fan club but he'll be focused on a team whose members are happiest when they're completely out of the spotlight.

As the event security co-ordinator, he has a job to do and that doesn't include waving pompoms or painting his face in Jets colours.

Mousseau, 25, is one of the many dozens of people tasked with ensuring the off-ice elements of each and every Jets game come off without a hitch -- or at worst, with an absolute minimum of hitches.

On the eve of the Jets' home opener, he took a few minutes for a quick conversation with the Free Press.

Free Press: Are you expecting security issues on Saturday?

Mousseau: No, I think everything will be great. Winnipeg is a great hockey city. The crowd will be absolutely crazy and I think the Winnipeg Jets organization will deliver.

Free Press: What should fans know that they can't bring into games?

Mousseau: Outside alcohol and any kind of noisemakers. That includes air horns and drums. You can't bring in any kind of projectile, either, which includes beach balls.

Free Press: No rocks in a can?

Mousseau: No rocks in a can.

Free Press: Do you ever get caught up in the excitement of a game and become a fan, even for a few seconds?

Mousseau: No, definitely not. I have a job to do and I take it very seriously. I once worked a Metallica concert and Lamb of God was the opener. I had listened to them since I was young. I knew every song they were playing, word for word, but I didn't watch them once. I was there to watch the crowd.

I was at the Jets game last year when they scored on the Flying W (a five-on-one) against the Florida Panthers. You don't see that happen very often but I remember not reacting to it and continuing to do my job.

Free Press: What's the craziest thing you've had to confiscate at a game or concert?

Mousseau: I'm always impressed with how people try to smuggle in alcohol. One guy once had a mickey attached to a hanger wrapped around his leg. We usually find it tucked away in people's waistbands. They think they can get by, but we find it.

Free Press: After working here full-time for six-years, you've probably lost track of how many games, concerts and shows you've seen. Who's the most famous person you've met?

Mousseau: I'd like to change that around a little and tell you the nicest person I've met. That was Cesar Millan. He's a very nice guy, he stands out the most. Who would have guessed it would be the Dog Whisperer?

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2013 A9

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