Brings me back to my childhood
When I show friends the film Slapshot, they have a hard time believing that it's very realistic. But let me tell you, the clip here is definitely representative of some of the hijinks I saw of the minor league clubs in the 1970's. When I first saw the film, I remember asking my parents (the one occasion I remember my parents taking me to a movie together) if I SHOULD be seeing it, because it was rated R, and my dad actually said, "It's nothing you haven't seen before, and you're with us, so it's all right."
When I was growing up in the old home town of Lewiston, Maine, my father used to take me to Maine Nordiques games at the Lewiston Arena. The Lewiston Arena is now known as the Collosee, and is currently home to the Maineiacs, a pretty damn good little hockey club, thank you very much.
I don't remember much about wins and losses, yearly records, individual players, etc., as I was pretty young at the time. I think my dad got stuck with me on game nights as my mother was a nurse and worked nights, and the siblings had their own things going and didn't want to babysit. But because I have an absolute shit memory, the fact that I remember being there at all means I must have gone to a fair number of games.
A couple of random memories of these games:
As the fights would break out, and no game was complete without at least one fight per period of play, dad would be in torment. I could tell he was faced with a dilemma - Do you jump up and down and scream, supporting your team and egging on the fighters, or do you try to set an example for your big eyed 8-year-old daughter by pretending to be disgusted at the violence and sit with your arms crossed? Dad would attempt option two, but I was never fooled. His crossed arms would positively twitch to the rhythm of the fight, and he would chew on his lower lip until my jumping up and shouting would give him the go-ahead to join in. "Oh well," I'm sure he figured, "it's too late to make a lady out of this one. Might as well go nuts."
And the games were lucrative for me as well, as he used to disappear between periods and go to the canteen for beers (beer wasn't allowed in the seats) and he'd give me money to go to the concession stands for hot chocolate and popcorn - by the end of a game that went into overtime, I had a ton of cash in my pocket because he'd give me a five each time and never ask for any change.
But anyway, if you haven't seen Slapshot, or if you've seen it but think it was pure fiction, I can tell you - there never was a more true-to-life sports film ever made. And if you watch the DVD with the special feature of running commentary by the Hanson Brothers (also highly recommended) they talk about playing in Lewiston, which means that there's a good chance I saw these guys play as a kid and had no idea who they were. Maybe not, but it sure is fun to speculate.
I will be on vacation for the next week and a half, so I may or may not post, so I'll just say it now...
Happy Holidays everyone!