Will the Boxee Box or a like product save television sports for me?
When Canadian broadcasters had to try to explain hockey to American audiences in the mid-70s, Brain McFarlane, former CBC sportscaster, conceptualized Peter Puck to introduce the basics of the game.
Iconic - yes.
Cool for kids - yes.
Insulting to Canadians who already knew the game - probably.
As insulting as the glowing FOX puck in the 90s - not even close.
Go retro and dig Peter Puck - a great part of my childhood.
A great time capsule look at the Canadian view of hockey in 1953. Not much has changed. NHL training camps are opening. My hometown of Hamilton is getting screwed over for a team once again.
That aside, this short film gives insight on ice makers, junior hockey, equipment costs, and minor hockey teams featuring the legendary Jean Beliveau's transition from the Quebec Aces to the Montreal Canadiens. Some great early slo-mo sports coverage that's over 55 years old. Incredible video quality as well!
"Professional hockey's a more than 7 million dollar a year business!"
This Leslie McFarlane film is presented courtesy of nfb.ca - the National Film Board of Canada.
A frank discourse on the idiocy of Gary Bettman, the short-sightedness of the NHL, and why hockey needs to come home to Hamilton, Ontario... okay, you may not care about hockey, or Hamilton, or even know or care about who Gary Bettman is, but if you want to hear me trash talk the Wizard of Idiot for a few minutes, take a listen.
Also, if you're one of those "tech news" people, Jim Balsillie's involved, and, for those of you who don't know who he is, he is the CEO of a little outfit called Research in Motion who sell a gadget called Blackberry... not that we'll be talking about app stores or anything, but if the tech geek thing floats your boat, there you go.
Check out makeitseven.ca for updates on the saga.
Concerning the death of originality in the summer blockbuster movie season, snippets of a life lived in and around hockey and...by special request...a special reading of a letter from Linus Torvalds explaining the penguin as the Linux logo as read by... Morgan Freeman!
Never let it be said that the iPod touch cannot be used for a long form blog post. I said in a recent podcast that I never thought I'd be podcasting about hockey, but I'm Canadian, and after some 70 or so podcasts and a couple hundred blog entries, I think I'm entitled come playoff season. As I sit in a Montana's in Mississauga (restaurant chain for the uninitiated) I am watching the NHL playoffs on multiple TVs and recalling a few memorable times that hockey has influenced my life.
The only time I ever felt like a sports hero was at age seven when I scored an overtime goal on a breakaway and, for the first time in my life, intentionally lifted the puck off the ice for the winner. And while I enjoyed many other moments playing hockey, that moment ranked right up there.
A couple of decades later I had bit more of a surreal hockey moment when I spent the one semester if my post-secondary life in a university residence during Teachers' College. Sitting in our floor's TV lounge/common area, a group of us foul- mouthed Canadians in a US Teacher Ed. program (all guys in the room at the time mind you - and at a university that still bore the vestiges of a Franciscan monestary... save your Catholic jokes for later) learned that Mario Lemieux had been stricken with cancer in the prime of his career. In the five months I spent in that dorm, I never heard the place so quiet... eerily so. You wouldn't think that a collection of some of the most misogynist mouths I'd ever heard could be stunned into silence at the news of a hockey player's illness. No one spoke for several minutes, or at least until the next gratuitous sex-filled beer commercial anyway.
The last hockey memory comes in the form of a trip to Las Vegas. The moment itself was hardly earth-shattering, but did suffice in conveying a vast gulf between two culture. On the one occasion I've been to Vegas in October, I happened to be sitting in the MGM Sportsbook in front of a sea of television screens (a place I often refer to as Valhalla). That night was a major playoff game between the Red Sox and the Yankees and the room was full of fans in official MLB attire hootin' and hollerin' as their teams played what I'm sure was an amazing. My friend and I, however, sat at the far end of the room watching two small screen that were playing NHL games. It was the opening night of the regular season. The games were insignificant. I think Minnesota and the Ducks may have been involved. And we were in our glory.
There was a popular beer campaign a few years back that rifled off a dozen reasons to claim "I AM Canadian". And while I would never claim that Canadians have a sole claim on the game that I was raised with, I never watched one of those commercials without thinking, how many people could explain the following: Peter Puck, putting the biscuit in the basket, straddling the blue line, going roof, Savardian Spinnerama, neutral zone trap, or why 92 goals or 215 points in a season are feats of biblical proportions.
I never thought I'd be podcasting about hockey, but next to the other six seasons: Winter, Spring, Construction, Summer, Fall, and TV Premiere, NHL Playoff Season is right up there in prompting a two month anticipation of great televised sports.
In as much as I believe that any product of a culture can help to define at least one piece of the culture that spawned it, hockey helps to define the entire Canadian culture for the past century.
Let me know what you think of my latest construction project. Of course I hired some people to help me out.