I first got hooked on the Bloggodome by hanging around the comment threads at Billmon's original Whiskey Bar.
Needless, to say there's nothing much I like better than a good conversation moderated by a knowledgable, if sometimes irrascible barkeep, that takes no quarter from trolls and/or dolts.
But heckfire, even down here on F-Troop Blog St, a good thread can get cracking once in a blue moon or seven.
Like last week, for example, wherein I segued from a 1959 Pontiac Strat-O-Chief to Johnny Bucyk to Robert Gordon Orr and his plus 124 in 1970/71......
The following is what erupted, for the record, and/or your viewing/reading enjoyment:
That photo put me immediately in mind of a game I was watching between Boston and I think it was New York. Orr had just scored and the announcer said the score in the 3rd period is New York nothing, Orr Four.
I have no doubt that Bobby Orr is the most extraordinary player of my lifetime.
I was lucky enough to go to a bunch of Canadiens' games from 1969 to 1976, when my father had access to company tickets. (One pair, the better ones, seven rows up just inside the Canadien's blue line; the others rinkside in the visiting team corner.)
And I always cheered for the visitors, resulting in some abuse from those sitting nearby.
Anyway, watching Orr was an amazing, astonishing experience, like a really good fireworks show or a play that blows you away.
And what was striking was that he was out there, it was as if the Bruins had a man advantage. He created so much space on the ice it changed the game every shift.
Looking back, I feel a bit bad. How could I cheer for the California Golden Seals just because they weren't the Canadiens?
Contrarian is fine, but there have to be limits when the team is wearing white skates.
I do remember one season the Canadiens never lost when I was there - a run of wins and two ties.
Another "newbie" Canadian experience for us:
That's actually the ONE 'think' I hear from Donald S. Cherry that I don't think is utter crap.
Paul W.: Cheering ABC (Anyone But Canadiens) in the high temple of hockey, Le Forum de Montreal? And you lived to tell the tale?
W.E.B.: See you there - the kids are hungry and they got game the millionaire Canucks don't got no more, and the tickets are actually affordable!
RossK: Orr was hands down the greatest rushing defenceman of all time but a sentimental favourite of mine (he hailed from my neck of the woods, as did Georges Vezina and a few other hockey greats) was JC Tremblay of the Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques. Orr was great, but I think maybe JC was the first of the rushing defencemen who kinda just forgot their place when they got the puck and skated fast enough to make up for any faux pas. He was my youthful inspiration... well OK after the Rocket, of course:
I remember Orr well enough too. A young man could do worse than to be inspired by hockey players in those days. Hockey has always been a radio thing for me. Used to listen to the professional WHL games from down the coast on my crystal set. Admired Orr for willingly going toe to toe with Rosaire Paiement when hockey better reflected real life than it does now.
The best ever? Maybe. I choose Howe in that contest every time.
I had to look this up: Gordie Howe is God. I remember his play well enough from the time he was in his thirties. He played both left and right handed as a means to cope with arthritis as his career clicked along. Man was a bucket of guts and magic.
Bucket of guts and magic......
Oh, and just you're in the know, JJ's is a pretty darned fine local place to go these days if you want to get into one.....A good conversation-based comment thread I mean.