So here we are again, a week's worth of e-mails going into the hopper for your consumption and comment.
Read the Pages of the Past article on the game plus other articles on the page, including an account of a Leafs/Hawks game. When did this style of writing fade out? Post war? Fifties? If you've seen Good Night and Good Luck, you see how formal (and what seems stilted now) TV news broadcasts were.
Good question. I haven't seen that movie yet, but my guess would be that very television played a role in changing sportswriting (all of a sudden you could see what these guys were writing about, and painting word pictures wasn't quite so paramount, and even seemed silly and overdone). That, and Ernest Hemingway:
"My prose style. You bastards have stolen my prose style. Every shithead sportswriter in America has stolen my style and then gone and fucked it up so bad that I can't even use it anymore without becoming sick to my stomach."
"Put down the pistol, Papa. I've been writing that way all my life and you know it." (Philip Roth, The Great American Novel)
The a-bomb probably had a role too (I'm serious. Just check out Don DeLillo's Pafko at the Wall novella, which became the prologue to Underworld.)
But there's more from John. To add to the stories sent in by Karim and Les Couchie in the comments from that post, he begins with a memory of taking his son to an oldtimers game refereed by Storey and it leads to this gem:
Speaking of old timers, one of my favorite possessions is a bio of The Rocket by former Tely writer Andy O'Brien. It was published in '59 or 60 and I got it for Christmas that year -- I was 10 or 11.
At the time my best friend Roddy McLeod's dad was President of the Burlington Minor Hockey Association and was organizing the year-end banquet. I came home from school one day and my mom said, "Phone Roddy. He says it's important".
So I phoned Roddy and he says, "Guess who's in my living room? Rocket Richard. Wanna come down and meet him?"
For some reason I grabbed my book, tore down the street, walked in the front door (no one knocked back then) and there he was. God was in front of me.
I mean, I was dumbstruck. He was wearing a suit and tie and his hair was slicked back of course. He looked at me (geez, I still remember this), and said, "What position do you play?" When I said, "Goalie", he stared at me with those eyes and said, "Oh you guys give me all sorts of trouble". And then he signed, in meticulous handwriting, "To John, Best Wishes, Maurice "Rocket" Richard."
The book has survived numerous moves, two marriages, and is still one of my prized possessions--and this coming from a guy who has signed first editions of Atwood, Davies, John Irving, Alice Munro, et al.
Sorry to ramble. That Red Storey piece was a Proustian moment.
Proustian moments are all right by me, John. The world needs more of 'em.
Moving right along from that beginning, Chris Flynn weighed in on the Awards We'll Never See. He wasn't alone, but he happened to have the most articulate response (as opposed to the "You idiot!" variety, that is):
JFJ is the league's worst GM? I do not think so. Milbury gets the lifetime achievement award, and maybe Kevin Lowe, thinking that Roloson is a number one guy.
Why has Quinn coached game #1,300? Because, if you may have forgot, he is a great regular season coach, and I think I might have seen you cheering along the last 6 years in a row we have been in the playoffs. I am not defending him much, because he hasn't won us a Cup, but let's not forget the good times, and take them with the bad.
I think we both know, or at least I do, that you do not judge a defensive defenceman like Richardson and Berg on points. Judge Berg on his giveaways, but don't say he doesn't score enough, that isn't his job. And, lastly, I assume that the link about the strange timing of Eddie's back (that did not work for me) is ... just the Toronto media making stuff up to cause conflict. Whatever the Leafs do, it is never good enough for the Toronto media. It would be nice if there was some support in the papers for this team.
Agreed on the D-men, but as for "support in the papers" and "cheering along the last six year" I believe former e-mailbagger Roger Wilcox put it best last week: Golf Leafs Golf!
Here's another view from one Bocro, who lives somewhere well outside the 416-905 axis -- at least, that's my wild guess:
It is getting downright embarrassing. What would the Leafs do without the plethora of on ice officials coming from Southern Ontario? It is so obvious now that whenever they get behind in a game or are floundering as they tend to do, they are suddenly awarded with a 5 on 3 situation. It happened against Boston yesterday & recent games against Tampa Bay & Montreal were no exception.
Finally, the folks up at York University media relations send this one in to finish off this week's edition (for the full release, click here):
All those early mornings at the rink or the gymnasium won’t necessarily benefit your child in the long run, says a new study by a York University researcher.
The study found that athletes who train in one area as kids don’t necessarily get a jump-start on a long life of physical activity – in fact, it’s just the opposite.