August 11, 2011
(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
Today's Special Guest: Jeff Marek, Sportsnet host and author of The Sheet on Sportsnet.ca.
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
Barclay Donaldson. He shouldn't have said what he said about Reg.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
The Buffalo Sabres. Yes, I still call them the swords.
I grew up on Sabres hockey and the voice of the late Ted Darling. Made countless trips to the Aud throughout my childhood and into university (I went to U. of Guelph where it was a quick drive to the border) and fell in love with the scrappy underdogs who no matter how close they got were always one or two players away from winning the Cup. To this day whenever I see the Sabres, I hear Ted Darling's voice and hum the Sabre Dance.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
Ryan Vandenbussche vs. Tom Sullivan. Cornwall Royals vs. Windsor Spitfires 1991.
All-out war, punch count around 80 and neither man going down. Both guys exhausted by the end as the old Windsor Arena goes berserk. Vandenbussche said he couldn't lift his arms to get a drink of water after, the trainer had to do it for him. He wasn't the toughest guy out there but he scared dudes and no matter if he won or lost you always knew you were in a fight with Vandenbussche. He always got a piece of you.
As for Tom Sullivan, he only played a couple of years in the OHL and then vanished, poof. He's the Keyser Soze of hockey fighters. Anyone know what he's doing now?
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
The California Golden Seals without a doubt. If I ever get one with "Meloche 27" on the back I may never take it off, either.
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
A few years ago the New York Islanders issued a press release about injured netminder Rick DiPietro(notes), which to me was the ultimate in "well, we have to say SOMETHING but we really don't want to say ANYTHING."
The phrase they used to describe the situation was "general body soreness," which sounds like the morning after drinks with the Puck Daddy crew. I can't tell you how many times I've aped that phrase "general body soreness" to describe any and all variations of aches and pains.
Oh, and for the record the PR maestro who coined the phrase?
Chris Botta, come on down!!!!!
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
Anyone else remember Svengoolie from "Screaming Yellow Theatre"?
Of course you do. But did you ever see the cameo by Jerry 'King Kong' Korab then of the Vancouver Canucks on the show?
My gift to you, readers of Puck Daddy ...
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure
1971-'72 O-Pee-Chee. That's clearly Rogie Vachon's head but come on, who's body is that? The good folks over at My Hockey Card Obsession sleuthed it as … Ross Lonsberry.
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
Like many others have already noted, I admire the way the commissioner embraces his WWE heel persona when he steps out on to the ice to award the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup trophies. All that seems to be missing is Vince McMahon's "No Chance in Hell" intro music.
Even though it's predictable, it still remains an interesting moment when Bettman walks out and the boos reign down like daggers. He deliberately puts himself in the line of fire (line of ire?) because he understands this is an obligation that comes along with the title. As the ultimate representative of the league it's his duty to award the Cup no matter how awful it must feel to hear crowds react to him like that.
And even if you don't like Gary Bettman, you have to respect that.