When I was a kid I watched Hockey Night In Canada every Saturday night. I dropped it in my teens and twenties but in my thirties I was back. Not so much these days. I have drifted in and out of being a hockey fan and have the weird status of being a fan of both traditional rivals, the Leafs and the Red Wings. I toddled near the Leafs when I was a little kid before I headed to the Maritimes with the family and stuck with the rule that you owe allegiance to the nearest team - based on some absolutely arbitrary definition of nearness that you, frankly, have utter and total control over.
But I liked the Wings because the first time I saw colour TV in 1969 or 1970 when I am in grade one, the Wings goalie had my Dad's name. I thought that was cool and decided to like the Detroit Red Wings, too, just because of that. I told people and they'd laugh. "No, that's not the Wing's goalie," they'd say. "that's Roy Edwards." Well I knew Roy Edwards and had about 37 of his cards... but the guy in the Red jersey on the colour TV I saw had Dad's name. Years pass. I tell the story in elementary school and classmates laugh. Years pass and roommates, girlfriends and prospective employers in interviews laugh. I was rocked by Vladi but basked in the Cup but still no one believed me. Then... the encyclopedia of stats called Total Hockey comes out in 1998 and there he is on pages 1676-77. Eighteen games in the NHL including 14 for the Wings in 1970-71 with 3 wins and an average of over 5 goals against. The man.
Tonight, I am having Michigan beer and may even listen to my "Detroit Rock City" 45 by KISS. Puck drops in a minute.