Hey!!! It’s great to be back at the Apollo Theatre (Spanish for Achicken Theatre). *Rim shot* Take my right to same sex marriage, please *rim shot* While it still exists *gun shot at my head that barely misses* But seriously folks, I just got back from hockey’s hall of fame and boy is my shitty writing tired!
Hi. It’s summer. Varada has been sidelined with a back injury FROM CARRYING THIS BLOG ON IT so I’ll be babysitting you for the next number of minutes until you get fed up and close this window, Come away with me wont you?…On a guided tour of my trip…wait for it…TO THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME! Pics are in chronological order just to make your psychedelic rock ride EXTRA true to life.
We begin our journey in this magnificent building that the hall is located in. Look at that archway. Wow. Simply stunning. Now, okay let’s just get started here…where is the hockey hall of fame? Oh, in the basement? Okay, I…still don’t see it…Oh, just beyond the Starbucks and public turlets of this food court type setting (not joking)? This feels mystical already!
Entering the HHOF: A one act play.
Cast of characters
Act I: Front Entrance
Customer: “Hi, one adult human for the Hockey Hall of Fame, please.”
HHOF Employee: “That will be $17.50.”
Customer: “Cool, so more expensive than the Louvre?”
HHOF Employee: “You get this hand stamp and can enter and exit the hall as many times as you want before close.”
Customer: “Excellent. I may get a hankering to see the fake Stanley Cup again after dinner.”
HHOF Employee: “Would you like a commemorative program for an extra $5?”
Customer: “Man, fuck you.”
So, here I go, blah di blah, Wayne Gretzky’s gloves and shit from scoring his eight hundred second gooooal…yadda yadda OH SNAAAAAP Wild Wing! Daaaaamn this museum must be on the classiest dial up! Never seen a W.W. (that’s what we call them in the blogdustry) in person before. Thing was glamorous as all get out.
Whew, gotta come down a little. HHOF came out of the gate strong. Okay. All good. Next up I came across a full sized diorama/amalgam (or dioralgam) of the Montreal Canadiens dressing rooms of yestercentury. It was pretty cool. My favourite part was how I was in this area made (rather impressively) to look just like Montreal’s famed dressing room while overhead a TV was blabbing on top volume about the leafs’ dynasties of the early 1700’s. Either way, congratulations to both teams for slugging it out through two rounds of playoffs in a six team league to glory several times.
Olde canoe oar or something with word “OTTAWA” carved into it. Moving on…
Whoa, salade du chef! If you had told me, “When you get down to the HHOF, be sure to check out the display of first ballot slam dunk Bobby Butler” I would have said, “Thanks, a giant picture of Bobby Bottleservice definitely sounds like a thing that I will see there.”
I was floored by two things here:
1. This thing
2. The quantity of bath salts the NHL’s design team must have to ingest to prevent them from making an All Star jersey this nice. Getting big timed by the AHL, home of some of the most over the top garbage logos in the sporting world? Yowch!
WTYKY Presents: 24/7 Inside the NHL: Jersey Design Edition
Jimmy: “Hey Frank, I was thinking, for the all star game, instead of centering little tiny numbers on the front over the player’s Anahata Chakra and the rainbow striped undersleeves again, maybe…and I’m just blue skying this here, but I was thinking maybe, you know, two colors, solid black with white letters in a timeless diagonal pattern that says ‘EASTERN’ and vice versa for the West?”
Frank: “People don’t want classic and timeless. Save that for baseball. This is like jazz what I’m doing here. Jazz meets Tron. THAT is what people want. Learn from a professional, kid. Now, I need complete silence and fetch my bath salts, I’m trying to work on ruining everyone’s eyes here!”
Speaking of the AHL. Holy lord, is this the HOCKEY hall of fame not the NHL hall of fame or what? There’s a whoooole lot more commemoration of your Murfreesboro Magical Mister Mistoffelees(es) than I was expecting. Oy.
On the subject of ugly iterations of jerseys…here’s our beloved Sens’ section represented by the dreaded Senagoth. No disrespect if you rock this thing on the regular…actually, some disrespect, despite it being the jersey our boys were sporting during the cup final run, break out the old wallet and get an updated heritage dealie. We all wanted a nicer uniform and now we have one. It took a fan petition to show the organization how much we hate their uni designs. Now a fan has us looking sharp again for the first time since the early 90s (which is SAYING SOMETHING). Live in the now! Face it, Chara aint coming back (well, not until he is one or two years from retirement and an 88 year old Bryan Murray gives him $12MM dollars per year for 3 years -NTC obviously-)…where was I?….I don’t know…Sens.
Speaking of lookin’ good in the early nineties (seriously how often can one say that?) …A week ago, if you had told me I’d see a picture of Bobby Bustler in the HHOF…I’d say, “well, I suppose he was AHL all star game MVP a couple years ago and he recently won the Calder Cup, so that’s a thing…” BUT, BUUUT if you told me there would be ANYHING to do with Alexandre Daigle up in that piece? I would have slapped you so hard that you would instantly get a phone call from your moms and she’d say, “Baby, you okay? I just got a strange pain inside my face.” In case your eyes are bleeding and you cant see what that thing says:
Alexandre Daigle wore this new Minnesota Wild 3rd jersey during the first half of the 2003-2004 NHL season, his first with the club. Daigle surprised all with his play and finished the season as the Wild’s leading scorer, tying his career-best 51 points. For his efforts, he was nominated as the club’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy.
Could there possibly be a more apropos placard commemorating the efforts of Alexandre Daigle? Seriously, I love a team that’s greatest modern achievement is getting pounded in the cup finals and even I think that this is a stretch to celebrate. This reminds me of that Chris Rock bit talking about people who want to be rewarded for doing things that are expected of them:
I take CARE of my kids!
YOURE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS!
I ain’t never been to jail!
WHAT DO YOU WANT, A COOKIE?
Could you imagine a world where Daigle had WON the Masterton for coming in 75th in league scoring? Howwwwwly shit take a look at the reasons people win that award for, its amazing! People overcoming some serious shit. What was the Wild’s angle here? “Lazy asshole overcomes laziness for 8 months to score 4 more points than eventual winner Bryan Berard IN TWENTY MORE GAMES THAN HIM!” Did I yet mention that Bryan Berard is a defenseman oh and that he has ONE EYE? Marian Gaborik was on that Wild team…couldn’t have he been their nominee? You can guarantee he was hurt for at least most of that season. This placard was worth the price of admission. I could go on all day about this thing but one last thing before we move on:
Look, I’m no Lee Harvey Wordsworth when it comes to making terse yet dignified placards commemorating sporting achievements but “he was nominated as the club’s nominee” made the final edit? Sheesh!
For starters, I must say there is a lot more Sens stuff in the Hall than I expected. I’m not saying this because I was expecting some Toronto bias but rather because uhhhh the team hasn’t done a ton in its young history. I have often breathed a sigh of relief that Ottawa’s clumsy as all shit PR department doesn’t make much mention of how the team won several Stanley cups before Penicillin was invented (not joking). I did think it was cool though that the HHOF commemorated their achievements. I mean, the Canadiens go to TOWN on that shit so why not? Cups for all.
Okay, this was just the fucking greatest. The card here said something along the lines of “These shower sandals were worn by Alexander Ovechkin over the course of the All Star Weekend held in Raleigh, North Carolina.” One cannot help but leave those words to echo through the corridors of centuries.
Is there anything North Korea wont pretend to be amazing at?
Nothing gets this patriot more misty eyed than seeing Canada’s national colours on display. Yes, the ooooold red, white and blue. Here I entered, the international wing. Or as I would have titled it “Aaaaaaaaaand The Rest…” Ladies and gentlemen!
That was some good ‘and the rest’. Lots of hockey interest in a lot of those countries.
Classic photo of the great hall’s skull cap. The great hall is indeed quite beautiful. Just outside it is a giant photo of this year’s champion Los Angeles Kings celebrating their Stanley’s Cup.net victory! Good for them. Also, the photo serves as a great last minute reminder to any fan that knows anything about anything that for the remainder of the summer, the Stanley Cup is in someone on the team’s backyard in northern Ontario / boat in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan / charity golf tournament in Minnesota / Slovenian dance party etc, and the cup on display is a fake. As such, I did not take a picture of it as I was too busy telling the children in line for photos with it that that cup is as fake as that bullshit Santa at the mall and that there (SPOILER ALERT)…IS NO EASTER BUNNY.
HEYYYYYYYY speaking of not believing stuff…
Thank you for all you have given and continue to give us, Robert Cole. Truly no one has done more for saying “Ohhhh BABY” only when the leafs score on a national broadcast for the sport as you. You broke new ground for hockey in many respects. Before you, play by play announcers called goalies by their full or surname. By breaking the Name Barrier, you opened the door for all goalies regardless of their name and made a bold move by referring to them exclusively as, The Goalie. They did not overcome adversity and climb their way up through the ranks to be constantly reminded of their family heritage!
Further, you challenged fans to be more than passive listeners and compelled them to think about the game by not just spoon feeding the answers as you called portions of it. Which players are Sedin and which is Sundin? Is Filip Kuba ACTUALLY Pavel Kubina? Are all of the Ottawa Senators defensemen Sergei Gonchar and more importantly WHY? There isn’t a more logical step for being a still active, biased and passable at best play by play announcer for a really, really long time than induction to the hallowed hall of fame. Not insulting to the late Pat Burns AT. FUCKING. ALL.
In closing, I had a great time at the Hockey Hall of Fame. I know I seem like the biggest pee pee pants making fun of everything I could but honestly, youre on WTYKY, why did you come here? Did you want me to be like “OOOOoooOOOoOOO Bobby Orr’s old skates we’re soooOOOoooOOoo old and skates!” In all, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the true meaning of how much you can charge people to look at things. Also, check out this flyer I found under a bridge that advertised that the Toronto Maple Leafs are holding open try outs! Take a look!
Wow, you made it to the end! Your princess or prince (OR NO JUDGEMENTS) IS in this castle….enjoy!