Bp Social Distancing Youtube Dumpster Dive Part 1: Hockey Night!

March 16th, 2020

Hi Kids! Well here we are. In lockdown mode. We're in serious need of distraction, and lucky for you this is right in my wheelhouse. I've spent many a cold Ohio winter evening rooting through old German live music TV shows from the 70s and 80s, Joy Division songs synced to Teletubbies episodes, and, more than anything else, deep dives in the old sports telecasts. The latter is especially fun because you can find entire three hour games uploaded with commercials and network promos included. 

This is where me being older than most of you comes in handy. I have a real knack for this shit, and I love old commercials because they're so unbelievably bad. Exhibit A: Colin Gawel and I talked about this one on the air a few weeks back. It's a Hamm's Beer ad from the 70s where a guy in a beard inexplicably drives around in a Jeep with a Grizzly Bear. 

I'm not sure where this concept came from at the agency, but since it was the 70s my default is to blame cocaine. We'll have a lot of fun with this stuff over the course of this series.

Tonight I'm missing my Columbus Blue Jackets. I'm sure many of you are too. I thought we'd dig up some ephemera from the world of Old Time Hockey! To get you in the mood, here's the Joe McGrath scene in one of the great sports movies of all time "Slap Shot!"

The late Strother Martin played Joe, and was such a great character actor that I entirely spaced that he also played the Captain in another Paul Newman flick, the essential Cool Hand Luke. Truly one one of the most iconic speeches in cinema. 

Well you may as well get used to it. This series will be me digressing from the subject at hand. Back to it! I grew up 20 miles from Canada so I watched a lot of Canadian television. My favorite was Hockey Night In Canada. Every Saturday night I'd watch the nationally televised CBC game. As memory serves it usually involved the Montreal Canadians because they were a freaking machine back then. To get you in the mood, here's the Hockey Night In Canada Theme. The original is still the best network sports theme bar none.

There was a time in hockey when goalies didn't wear masks. Look at this. He's so bad ass the other guys are wearing jock straps on their heads and he is sporting a God damned baseball cap.

Eventually there were masks, but for years they were the creepy Jason variety.



The last of the old time hockey vestages to go were the no helmet guys. Craig MacTavish was the final of his breed. (When bars open again you can win a bet with that one!) The NHL instituted a helmet rule in 1979, but grandfathered in any no helmet guy for the balance of their career. Craig was a 20 year old rookie with the Bruins that year, and played long enough to win a Stanley Cup with the 1993-94 Rangers and retire with St. Louis in 1997... with no lid. 

Here's a fun one. MacTavish starting a line brawl in 1992 with Mario Lemieux.

Weird to see Jagr in there. I saw him skating for the Flames against the Jackets two years ago!

Anyway let's find some random Hockey Night In Canada telecast. Oh my God this is great! 1981 playoffs. Oilers/Habs. 20 year old Wayne Gretzky. The impeccable Bob Cole on the call. That's all we need. The Great One is everywhere! Just go to 8:29 of this clip and see that quick poke check pass that sets up the Paul Coffee goal. Listen to that crowd! It gives me chills. 

The Oilers weren't quite ready for their mid 80s run, but they would sweep that best of five over the aging Canadians 3-0. Note there were way more helmets on the Oiler players.

Speaking of Gretzky I was in Prince George, BC when the Stanley Cup Champion Oilers traded the Great One to the L.A. Kings. Time stopped... and we were hundreds of miles from Edmonton. The entire country was in mourning. 

His wife was and is actress Janet Jones. Here she is in the cinema classic Grease 2. 


We're almost done here for tonight, but we can't go without remember about a year ago. 



That whole thing was fun eh! We'll do it again. You gotta believe. We'll do this again too. Maybe some Crew soccer loose associating.. Who knows. Be safe. I love ya!