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hockey and hope

I’m sick and I’ve got nothing today, so I thought I’d use this space for good instead of evil for now.

I love hockey, and I love people doing good for others, and I always like to spread the word about worthy causes, especially this time of year, when people are more inclined to give. So I present you with this today:

When you hear the phrase “Hockey is Life”, it is quite literal for Adam Sherlip – “The Hockey Volunteer”. Hockey is a constant in Adam’s life, proving on more than one occasion that he prefers hockey over social gatherings. To Adam, hockey embodies many of the virtues that we all strive to embody in our daily practice: teamwork, selflessness, loyalty, honesty and accountability.

Adam and U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero went to China on behalf of Project Hope, an initiative of the New York Islanders, providing children from Heilongjiang Province with the opportunity to learn and play hockey. Combining this unique experience with his passion for making a difference in the world, Adam has developed this program to impart the inherent values and cultures of hockey to connect with people around the world.

The first location The Hockey Volunteer is going to is Kashmir, India. Adam will volunteer with SECMOL (Students’ Education and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) in Ladakh, a solar-power, bio-sustainable village in the Himalayas. With your support and energy, we can make this dream a reality! Please donate using the ChipIn button.

You can visit Adam’s site here.

Project Hope.

I had the pleasure of attending an Islanders game when some of the young hockey players from China were introduced. I’m happy to be able to promote this cause here.

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hockey and hope

I’m sick and I’ve got nothing today, so I thought I’d use this space for good instead of evil for now.

I love hockey, and I love people doing good for others, and I always like to spread the word about worthy causes, especially this time of year, when people are more inclined to give. So I present you with this today:

When you hear the phrase “Hockey is Life”, it is quite literal for Adam Sherlip – “The Hockey Volunteer”. Hockey is a constant in Adam’s life, proving on more than one occasion that he prefers hockey over social gatherings. To Adam, hockey embodies many of the virtues that we all strive to embody in our daily practice: teamwork, selflessness, loyalty, honesty and accountability.

Adam and U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero went to China on behalf of Project Hope, an initiative of the New York Islanders, providing children from Heilongjiang Province with the opportunity to learn and play hockey. Combining this unique experience with his passion for making a difference in the world, Adam has developed this program to impart the inherent values and cultures of hockey to connect with people around the world.

The first location The Hockey Volunteer is going to is Kashmir, India. Adam will volunteer with SECMOL (Students’ Education and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) in Ladakh, a solar-power, bio-sustainable village in the Himalayas. With your support and energy, we can make this dream a reality! Please donate using the ChipIn button.

You can visit Adam’s site here.

Project Hope.

I had the pleasure of attending an Islanders game when some of the young hockey players from China were introduced. I’m happy to be able to promote this cause here.

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a hockey story

I got a bunch of new hockey fan followers on twitter yesterday (hi, hockey fans!), so I thought I’d try to entertain them with a story.

Back in the early 80’s, I took two kinds of road trips. One was the random, spur of the moment kind that ended up with me being 200 miles from home, not quite sure of my first name, peeing in a stranger’s backyard and wondering if we finally lost the State Troopers.

The other kind of trip was the hockey trip.

This was the glory days of the New York Islanders, the dynasty years where they won four cups in a row. Hell, it was the glory days for the NHL as far as I’m concerned. No helmets. Only 16 teams in the playoffs. Bench clearing brawls. Old time hockey! Eddie Shore! Damn, I miss the Patrick Division.

cup.jpgWe had season tickets for the Isles, but that wasn’t enough. We wanted to see them on the road, too. We went to Philly, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Boston, Hartford. Sometimes we hopped in the car and went; me, my two sisters and my mom. We were all hockey junkies. Those were fun road trips, even if they ended up with us getting into fights, especially in Philly. Man, my mom could curse someone out.

Sometimes we went by bus. I belonged to the Islanders Booster Club, simply because of these trips. I didn’t go to the meetings because they were kind of the hockey equivalent of the AV club at school. But they had cool road trips, so we joined the club and traveled along.

One of these trips was to Boston, just me and my youngest sister. This had to be the 81-82 season. Or the 80-81. Either way, the Islanders were the current Stanley Cup champions. Boston was not.

The trip there was pretty uneventful. A crowded bus filled half with sweaty nerds and half with hockey groupies straight out of Slap Shot. At some point the president of the booster club gave us a speech about behaving properly because we were representing the Islanders. I closed my eyes and slept on and off until we rolled into Boston.

We pulled up right in front of Boston Garden. We got off the bus – behaving impeccably – and made our way to our seats. We were all wearing Islanders jerseys (#9, Clark Gillies) or jackets or hats, and we got looks. This was Boston. They don’t like us very much to begin with. And there we were marching into their arena flaunting our team’s Stanley Cup. The bad blood between New York and Boston goes beyond hockey; it’s a baseball thing, too. So we could just feel the hatred as we settled into our seats.

We tried to behave because we knew how it felt to have groups of opposing fans come into the Coliseum and start talking crap to us about our team. We vowed to be on our best behavior and just enjoy the game. But it was hard. I heard the taunts, I knew they were baiting us. Soon, some of the fans started cursing at us in that obnoxious Boston accent. Not for nothing, Bostonians, but cursing in that accent is almost funny. It’s hard to sound all pretentious and refined when you are calling someone a motherfucking asshole. Especially when you are directing that insult at someone’s grandmother.

I turned around and yelled something at them. I had a lot more guts in those days, and a lot less fear. I don’t remember what I said, I just know that I said it with a New York accent and it might have been threatening and, well, threatening in a NY accent works much better than threatening in a Cape Cod accent. So I said what I had to, something about not talking to a grandmother that way or the hard end of my boot would connect with a place on their body that would cause them to scream in pain. Something like that. I turned around again and concentrated on the game.

The third period started and the Boston fans behind us went at it again. I said nothing, but I felt the stares on the back of my head, felt the mental daggers directed at me, felt the……….ice? Soda? What the hell? I turned around and saw it coming: a downpour of soda and beer cups headed right for us. I ducked quick but I still got pelted.bhockey.jpg Someone’s grandma gets knocked in the head with two plastic cups. My little sister was drenched in beer. I was about to grab her and get her the hell out of there when she stood up – I think she was all of 13 years old at the time – and said to the guy sitting behind us “You realize you just wasted four bucks by throwing that beer at me? You people aren’t that smart, are you?” And then the ice rained down. And we started throwing back. It was like a winter storm watch in our section for about ten minutes until the security guards finally got there. They grabbed onto anyone with an Islander jersey and hauled us out of our seats.

One of the booster club leaders tried to take control. He was shouting something about “they started it first” to the guards, but really. What did he think was going to happen? They were Boston. We were New York. Strangers in a foreign land. He starts screaming to everyone that we need leave, we need to get on the bus, which was waiting outside. The hell with the rest of the game. We all grabbed our stuff and ran. No one wanted to miss this bus ride home and get stuck in Boston Garden wearing a New York Islanders jersey.

As we were lined up to get on to the bus a group of Boston fans who had followed us out gathered around and threw garbage at us while screaming obscenities.

Of course, I had to get one last word in. I had to. I’m an ass that way. As soon as I was on the bus steps, I pushed my sister ahead and she climbed on.. I turned around, looked at the small crowd of angry Boston fans as a security guard was trying to push me into the bus. I held up both middle fingers and said: “Bucky Fucking Dent!”

If you know what that means, you know I didn’t say a very good thing. The security guard shoved me into the bus and said “There’s something wrong with you, girl.”

The bus doors shut and one of the booster club people was doing a head count, making sure we were all accounted for. As the bus pulled away, the angry mob (ok, maybe it was ten people, tops) were right behind us. They were throwing rocks at the bus. I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. They were throwing rocks at us? It’s hockey. Rocks? I laughed. What a trip.

[There’s a couple of new reviews up at Not Pitchfork: Dick Dale, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Diamond and King Diamond]

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it was twenty years ago today


That Wayne Gretzky was traded to the LA Kings.

Twenty years. Man, I feel old.

This was a trade that shook sports fans to the core. It mean that everyone was expendable, everyone was for sale, nobody was untouchable.

The Great Gretzky was traded. That has to be THE most jaw dropping moment I’ve ever experienced as a sports fan. No trade in sports has come close to creating such a “holy shit!” reaction among sports fans, or had such impact.

Gretzky was the man. The King. He owned hockey. No matter what team you rooted for, no matter where your loyalty lied, you knew in your heart that no one on your team was as good as Gretzky. You envied the Oilers, envied their storied dynasty (even though my team had recently created their own dynasty) and wished like hell he played for your team. But he was an Oiler. He was the Oilers. He was Superman, with a 99 instead of an “S” on his jersey. He was untouchable. Or so we thought.

Hearing Gretzky was traded was like finding out Santa Claus wasn’t real. My world view was shattered. If Wayne Gretzky could be traded, anything could happen.

That night, I met a bunch of hockey friends at a local bar. It was all anyone could talk about. In the middle of baseball season in New York, when Rickey Henderson was stealing a million bases and the Mets were on their way to 100 wins, everyone was talking hockey. There was talk – drunk talk – of going to Edmonton and joining the pitchfork and effigy crowds in solidarity. And there was a lot of calling Gretzky’s wife Janet Jones the Yoko Ono of hockey.

I never got used to seeing Gretzky in an LA jersey. It looked like he was wearing a Halloween costume. It looked wrong. But that trade did teach me to never say never when it came to favorite sons being traded. Gretzky was traded. Anything could happen.

Sportsnet has some original reports from that day.

Puckhog recalls the disturbing moment when he found out.

More at trader crack’s

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97)

Day 97 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Hanson Brothers, The Hockey Song

No, not those Hansons. This band – an alternate persona to the amazing NoMeansNo – is a fun punk band that sings songs about hockey. They’re Canadian, eh.

Tonight, my New York Islanders play Todd’s Anaheim Ducks. We’re going to the game. Me in my Islanders jersey and Todd in his Ducks jersey. This should be fun.

We decided to make a bet on the game. Whoever’s team loses has to do the 5am dog walk for the next week. Unfortunately, my team is in a bad slump. It does not look good for me or my beauty sleep (really, I get up at 5 anyhow. It’s just the point of having to walk the dog every cold morning for 7 days straight).

Oh, the good old hockey game
It’s the best game you can name
And the best game you can name
Is the good old hockey game

Amen to that. You can keep your football. There’s nothing like hockey. Sure, I prefer the 80’s style, no helmets, bench clearing brawl version of the NHL, but I still love the game more than any other sport.

Old time hockey!

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i love this game

i love this game

25 degrees and snowing in Buffalo and 73,000 people show up for an outdoor NHL game. Watching this is pretty awesome. I wish they played more games like this.

They did a little Slap Shot special in between periods, which would have been better if I didn’t have to listen to Bob Costas.

OLD TIME HOCKEY!

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hockey pics

another fine dubi save

So out of 714 photos I took last night, I put 50 up on flickr, just because I ran out of patience. I was ultimately happy with about 600 of those photos. But who wants to see 600 pictures of one game?

The set is here, if you are interested in seeing them in full size on flickr.

Or you can look at them in this browser here.

I love hockey.

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there's a broken nose cause it's come to blows

Day 59 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Supersuckers, Fisticuffs

Taken at Islanders/Devils game, Nassau Coliseum

Isles won 4-1, making them 4-0 against the Devils this season.

A couple of really good fights. OLD TIME HOCKEY!

I officially love the new lens with the new camera. I got some awesome shots at this game even though I was up in section 331. I took about 700 photos total. Seriously. That’s not an exaggeration. I think it was 714. I’ll post my favorites tomorrow – too much to go through tonight. I bet I end up putting up about 50 of those 700. This is why I love digital. I can click all night and not feel like I’m wasting anything.

Overall, a decent game with a good crowd and a nice outcome. We went with a whole bunch of people and it was the most fun I’ve had at a hockey game since 1983.

I love this game.

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Al Arbour will be coaching the Islanders for tonight’s game against the Penguins. It’s a publicity stunt aimed at getting Arbour his 1500th game coached. Publicity stunt or not, of course I will be watching. I’d go to the game, but I don’t want to have to sell a kidney to be able to afford tickets and parking.

Last week we ordered a new sports package from Optimum that gives us the NHL Classics channel. I have been in my glory watching this channel. I’ve watched the Islanders win the cup against the Oilers, I’ve watched old favorites like Marcel Dionne and Rick Vaive in their glory days. Nostalgia takes over and I’m once again on Hempstead Turnpike in front of the Coliseum with thousands of other drunken, ecstatic Islander fans celebrating our first Stanley Cup. Or I’m in my mother’s house at another one of her famous Playoff Parties, all our friends there, the house erupting in shouts of joy every time the Islanders scored.

I want to relive all of this, to watch once again the games I experienced in person; Bossy scoring 50 games, the 15 game win streak of 82, the game where carried around a banner that said May The Fourth Be With You (which was later stolen), the Cup winning game against the North Stars, which will always and forever be the best sporting event I have ever attended.

Of all the sports teams I have loved, there has been no relationship like mine with the Islanders. They are, even more than the Yankees (who have been in my life longer), so much a part of the fabric of my life. The passion I have for them, and for hockey, is part nostalgia, part loyalty, and all about the love of a game.

I watched a classic game with my son (the Ranger fan) yesterday; another Islander cup victory. As we saw the team celebrating on the ice I rattled off the names of the players, recognizing them all by face and not jersey. My son was astounded and, dare I say, impressed. He thinks of me as this casual sports fan who can’t possibly know as much as he does, and when I looked at the tv and said “there’s Dave Langevin and Billy Carroll and Clark Gillies….” I could tell he was surprised. We almost had a bonding moment there until he saw a small nostalgic tear form in my eye.

“You’re not gonna cry, are you?” in that disgusted way that only a 14 year old can affect.
I shot back, “Aren’t you the kid that cried when the Rangers got knocked out of the playoffs?”

And there went the possibility of bonding over hockey. It just can’t happen when you are diametrically opposed, team-wise.

So yes, I will watch tonight’s publicity stunt with a smile, remembering all the joy Al Arbour’s coaching skills brought to my life in the 80’s. Shame I have to live in the glory of the past.

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places to go, people to see

Me, I’m seeing nothing but the couch today.

Bizarre Records: Just like the title says. I know the guy who runs this from Fark. It’s a cool site, he’s a cool guy and sometimes I’ll get weird blogging ideas from the album covers I see there.

The Barker’s Blog: Part of a project from Kevin Parrot and Rick Eller. It’s got weirdness and creepiness and all kinds of oddities. Like a sideshow freak show for the internet.

Retrocrush: I’m not the only one getting a jump start on Halloween. Rob has vintage Halloween cards, plus the 30 greatest ghosts.

100 Word Stories: Monday through Friday, new themes are posted and the authors at the site (of which I am one) try to come up with a 100 word story for the theme. Readers are invited to try their hand and post their story in the comments; reader stories are sometimes promoted to the front page.

Cultpunk: A good punk rock blog in its own, but go there for the clip of the punk rock episode of Quincy before you read the rest of the blog.

Hüsker Düdatabase: Simply because I’ve been obsessed with listening to Hüsker Dü the past few days.

Hockey, hockey, hockey: YES, it is hockey season! HockeyBuzz , A View From The Cheap Seats and my favorite hockey blog, Off Wing Opinion.

If you got a site you want to link, feel free to leave a comment doing so.

I have a date with some cold medicine and the remote.

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