Young & the Restless star and Jesuit and Tulane graduate Christian LeBlanc talks about the show’s best athlete, how he keeps in shape and why the Saints will bounce back.

Y&R is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Monday. What’s the secret of its success?

It’s home to 4,000,000 people who watch every day.

So who was the best athlete in his youth — Christian LeBlanc or Michael Baldwin?

Although Michael is possessed of a seething sensuality, lethal charm and the smooth moves of a jungle cat — and did develop quite an impressive stamina through his regimen of digging tunnels into Christine’s apartment, Christian would probably be considered the better athlete. If you have ever seen him eat crawfish, well, suffice to say you would lose an arm.

What is your current fitness regimen?

When I return home to New Orleans in keeping with Cajun mores, I usually consider anything slower than me as food. That usually keeps everyone on their toes and is surprisingly aerobic.

Who’s the best athlete in the Y&R cast?

If you’ve ever seen the high heels Tracey Bregman (who plays Lauren, my TV wife) wears, she makes gymnast Gabby Douglas look like an arthritic granny. Honestly, Tracey’s only 3-foot-5.

Which female cast member would make the best cheerleader?

Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor). When she yells in the studio, dogs wet themselves in San Francisco. It might not be too “cheery,” but I defy the other team to even enter the stadium. She would definitely get the job done.

Who is your all-time favorite athlete?

My mother. She raised eight kids while my dad was in the military. She could have beaten Mike Tyson in the first round.

You’re a big-time Saints fan. Are they going to bounce back from last season?

Being a Saints fan and giving up hope are two opposite things — like matter and antimatter. They cannot exist in the same universe.

Over the years, several athletes have done cameos on Y&R. Who would you like to be the next one?

Drew Brees — because he is a god.

If you could play a sports figure from any movie, who would it be?

I would be happy to play any parent who instills in his children an appreciation of the sheer joy of physicality, of any skill performed with passion and achieved through hard work, of grace in adversity, and the importance of personal responsibility. Unless a sport, at a minimum realizes these things, a game of tag would suffice and the rest is noise.

Would a sports-themed soap have a chance of succeeding?

“Friday Night Lights” did it quite well?

Finally, are Michael and Lauren going to stay together, even if he finds out she cheated with Carmine?

Tune in tomorrow.

Ted Lewis

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