Tuesday, May 26, 2009

As a Public Service...

I know the great majority of you Gentle Readers don't have the first clue about hockey nor do you care (which probably explains why my SiteMeter stats tank during the playoffs, but that's neither here nor there. Well, it could be there. Or maybe even here.).

So... it occurred to me that you lack a general understanding of the grace, beauty, athleticism, and violence that is my favorite sport. Well, forget the violence part. I didn't
really mean that. Heh.

Enter Greg Wyshynski, aka Puck Daddy, who found this little gem that might help you understand what I'm on about at this time of year (all the time, actually, but it's only this time of year when I get to watch all the hockey I want):

It's humor, Gentle Reader. Canadian humor. Which means you probably need a beer or three to appreciate it if you're not a hockey fan.

Speaking of beer... the sun is over and slightly beyond the yardarm, so I think we'll get Happy Hour underway. The weather was just miserable enough this weekend (read as: lotsa rain) so as to preclude (some of) the daily festivities. Sooo... if you'll excuse me... I have some catching up to do.


  1. Aw Buck, I'm sorry. I didn't know how to tell you that my eyes roll back in my head when I hear the word "hockey." I did watch Puck Daddy, and even went to his website, but at this time of the year---when the Rangers (that would be the Texas Rangers) or the Astros are playing, I just can't think about hockey. But I'll push through, and read what you write anyway, because I don't want you to be discouraged and lose heart. Now which team is it that you'd like us to cheer for?

  2. Jeez, I finally know what "icing" is!!! Hee- thank you!

    BTW, I used EST for my happy hour start today. I'm parked, just south of S.F. and it was not too bad to get here AND I'm ooking at the Pacific out my windshield and dinette.


  3. s/b looking not ooking...that's what happens when you start happy hour early...

  4. I watched every minute, half of the time being impressed by the writer/director/editor, and the other half wondering, "what would clue me in that this guy is Canadian?"

    Down here in Durham-Raleigh, hockey fever seems to be subsiding into hockey coma. The local boys are down 3-0 against the Pens, and I don't see a 4-game comeback. Some would say that the Hurricanes shot their you-know-what against the #1 in the East Bruins. Mebbe so.

  5. Our esteemed mayor -- he of the "chocolate city" comment fame, post-Katrina, used to own an interest in the New Orleans Brass hockey team. We no longer have a hockey team. Go figure.

  6. Hi Buck.

    I like hockey .. in very small doses .. and I would rather watch it live than on TV.

    But I'm really here to say goodbye for a little while. Leaving in the morning for a 10 day road trip to Texas to visit my daughter and her family .. and then on to Missouri to see my son and daughter in law.

    We'll be back on June 6 .. so I will be back to your blog shortly after that.


  7. virgil xenophon27 May, 2009 03:29

    Growing up in the 50s in Illinois we could only get hockey out of the CBS affilliate in Champaign carrying the game of the week,so saw the Rangers as much as the BlackHawks and I became a Rangers fan when they had Andy Bathgate, "Gump" Worsley as goalie, and "Leapin' Lou" Fontanato
    as the team "enforcer."
    (BlackHawks STILL have best looking uniforms, tho. St. Louis Blues have probably most appropriate name--plus their uniforms look pretty good too!)

    Today I am a Red Wings fan, mainly because of their style of play and the fact that the bar-tender at the neighborhood bar I frequent in New Orleans is from Mich. and a rapid Wings fan who has convinced me of the error of my ways (that and the fact he slips me an occasional free drink and carries me on the tab)

    Probably the two best things to happen to hockey has been the change in the icing rules several years back and the advent of big screen TVs.(until the strike and the new tv deal that made hockey almost invisible the last few years.)

    Prior to the rules change it seemed that icing was called every 3rd minute and the game was a herky-jerky affair of stop-start as compared to today's more flowing game. Big-screen TVs mean that one can easily follow the puck everywhere--as compared to my youth in the 50s watching on a B & W TV with snow sometimes so bad that you couldn't see the puck! LOL!! (I know, doesn't mean a thing to today's generations)

    The demise of the New Orleans Brass is a long story--it's late and for another time. But I will say that games were well attended--so attendance was NOT a problem. Plus had a rivalry going with the then Lafayette, La. team and a couple of
    teams in Fla and N. Carolina, so the interest was there. (Uniforms were pretty neat too.)

    One other bit of trivia. Possibly the neatest minor league team name/uniform going is that of the Philadelphia Phantoms--besides having alliteration going for them they have the Phantom's (of cartoon fame) mask on the front of their Jerseys. Neat. (Of course the fact I was an F-4 Phantom driver and the sports teams at the base I was stationed at in England--RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge--
    had "Phantoms" as their nick-names helps also.)

  8. nonsense, buck - hockey rates right up there with cleaning the litter box at my house - golf, now that's where it's at!

  9. Truly flippin' hilarious, Buck!

    I'm so glad there are Canadians. It's like having a time-capsule version of America in our attic.

  10. Deborah sez: "...but at this time of the year---when the Rangers (that would be the Texas Rangers) or the Astros are playing, I just can't think about hockey."

    You're a good woman, Deb... thanks for the "I'll read anyway" sentiment! You have an EXCELLENT point as far as the NHL still being "in progress" during baseball season. Hockey season is too damned long... it starts in October and ends in mid-June these days. The regular season consists of 82 games, and then you add 20+ games for the eventual Stanley Cup winners and it's just ridiculous, especially considering the sport is so demanding... in both the physical and mental sense, but ESPECIALLY the physical. I'm about as big a fan as there is, but even I think change is long overdue in this space.

    Ann; I'm glad you've arrived safe and sound. Our Happy Hours may have overlapped a tad yesterday! :D

    Phil sez: "...'what would clue me in that this guy is Canadian?'"

    Well, the thing that tipped me was the bit about hockey being "relatively unknown here in Canada." :D

    Sorry about the 'Canes. I watched until the bitter end last night and I think you're almost right in that they ran out of gas after beating the B's. That and the fact that Pittsburgh was just too good for 'em. Pittsburgh is a better team than they were last year... the Finals will be INTERESTING, methinks.

    Moogie: Your comment was the first time I realized N'Awlins HAD a hockey team... and then along comes Virgil with the "more complicated than it looks" angle. Minor league hockey can be very, very good. I'd go to ABQ Scorpions games if I lived closer... and I've been to one Amarillo Gorillas game. I guess I'm not THAT dedicated, though... as a two-hour drive, one way, seems a bit much for a game, yanno?

    Sharon: Hockey is the one sport that is better live than on TV, no matter where you sit (IMHO). There are things you miss, no matter how good the TV coverage is... always.

    Have fun on your trip!

    Virgil: You have me beat all to Hell and back where hockey longevity is concerned! I saw my first game while stationed in Tokyo in the mid-70s, believe it or don't. The international "B" championships were being played in Tokyo that year and I knew a school teacher who grew up in Wisconsin who was a RABID fan. She couldn't believe I'd never seen a game and drug me to the first one... I drug HER to the others, LOL! Life was pretty bleak hockey-wise until I moved to Detroit in 1985... just as Stevie Y became captain and the Wings began their turn-around. The rest, as they say, is history.

    I can't IMAGINE watching hockey on a 50s-era TV, especially with snow, LOL! I agree wholeheartedly with your other points... especially that hockey is a MUCH better game now than it was five years ago... faster, more fluid, more scoring, etc. We paid a high price for the improvement, though. I absolutely, positively could NOT believe the season was cancelled during the lockout.

    Finally: you have excellent taste in supporting the Wings, LOL!! And when were you at Bentwaters? I was in London... RAF Uxbridge... from '80 - '83. Bentwaters had A-10s during my time in Ol' Blighty, so I'm thinking you were there no later than the mid-70s?

    nanc: LOL about the kitty litter box! But... BOTH are essential, are they not? Fresh litter and hockey?

    Jim: You're right about Canada. I used to go over to Windsor quite frequently when I lived in Dee-troit, and there's a LOT to like about Canada and Canadians.

  11. Should have had the video earlier then I would have understood what the **** I was watching. The 'Canes tanked this last series so my hockey watching is probably over..not the imbibing though!! Being in NC I normally use EDT for happy hour unless on vacation, then it's every man/woman for themselves! Oh yeah, I leave for a week at the beach on Sat so I'll raise one for you when I get there! Good luck in the playoffs.

  12. virgil xenophon27 May, 2009 12:39


    Was stationed at Bentwaters/Woodbridge
    Dec 68-Dec 71 on the Woody side. We were equipped with the D model, the other two Sqs over at Bentwaters flew the C Model, which is what we had at DaNang, my
    first F4 Assignment just prior to my UK one. Eventually they were all equipped with the D model prior to converting to A-10s.

    Fond memories of England...But the England of my era is long gone. Was back a couple of times with my wife and son (who had never been) on vacation in mid 80s, and a couple of quick business trips in late 90s. Almost totally "Americanized" even by mid-80s compared to my time when you couldn't find a coke machine ANYWHERE except on an American base. Almost unrecognizable now with the Muslim presence everywhere in major cities from what I read. Just saw the beginning of that...

  13. Great instructional video.
    Too bad it's only part one of the one part series.

    ... and I didn't need any beer to appreciate the canadian humor... probably my MN genes.

  14. SuzieQ; My condolences about your 'Canes. Next year! As noted elsewhere, I watched the entire series between the 'Canes and the Pens and think they (Canes) were over-matched. Injuries also came into play, obviously.

    Virgil: We were on opposite sides of the world in '68 - '71... I was in Wakkanai, Japan at that time. I'd sure like to have a couple of beers with you and talk about England, not to mention your tour in Da Nang. I don't know how it happened, but I was in for the entire duration of the Viet Nam war and never made it there... or to Thailand. That was an incredibly strange twist of events.

    Your experience and mine is much the same when it comes to Ol' Blighty. My tour in Uxbridge was the absolute BEST assignment I had in my career and the AF drug me kicking and screaming to Heathrow at the end... as I tried to extend, unsuccessfully.

    I also went back a couple of times, the last being a three-month long biz trip to London around '94 or so, and found the place had changed dramatically as well, and NOT in a good way. (sigh)

    Susan: I didn't need any beer, either... what with my previously mentioned familiarity with things Canadian. But I DID kinda sorta wished I had a Labatts in the fridge for the Happy Hour that followed. :D

  15. labatt's - one of my faves...well, unless you count sapporo...no, wait a minute - asahi is really my favorite! no, no, just a minute...foster's lager - now there's a beer!

  16. Susan: Labatts Blue Light was TSMP's beer of choice in the way-back. Might still be, for all I know.

    nanc: Ah... a lager fan, I see!

  17. Finally, I get it. Hockey I mean.

  18. That's pretty much how I remember hockey but, then again, I haven't watched it since 'the expansion'.
    I adored Gump. And "5-0" was the Labatt's of choice for game night back then.

  19. Lin sez: "And "5-0" was the Labatt's of choice for game night back then."

    You HAD to be living somewhere other than Anytown, USA to get that flavor Labatts. Or have better liquor stores than most! :D

    That said... getting better-than-most Canadian beer was one of the bennies of living in Dee-troit. I don't think I've ever seen anything other Blue/Blue Light in these parts, and absolutely NO Molson.

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