One documentary and one book that don't get the attention they deserve
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12-12-2012, 01:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
I LOVE Net Worth! I think I sometimes weird people out because I reference it so much.
Originally Posted by
I'll bet neither Donald Fehr or Bob Goodenow watched that movie. This is what a REAL fight for survival against the owners looks like. The movie might be a little too hard on Howe as well. Yes he could have stood up with Lindsay a bit more, but this was a different time. Gordie was brainwashed by the owners. It wasn't as if he was the only player in the NHL who was against a union. In the end no one wanted one, just Lindsay.
I don't think it's so much that they didn't want a union as much as they didn't understand what a union was. This was the 1950s after all, around the time of MacCarthyism. Jack Adams and Bruce Norris didn't help by basically outright lying.
I think the biggest problem with the treatment of Gordie Howe was that it makes it look like he ended the association himself. The book just states that all the players on the Red Wings rejected it.
Bob McGowan's book on hockey arguments says that, in the past NHL players were like soldiers fighting for the crest on their uniforms while today they see themselves as business partners and that they're in they're in this together regardless of what team they're on. Whether that's actually true or not, Net Worth seems to have that same viewpoint and shows the time when the shift started.
First there's the basic premise of enemies from rival teams uniting against a common enemy-the management. Then there's the scene where the Toronto Maple Leafs vote to unionize. Conn Smythe tells them that the team is like a family and not to let "this rabblerouser" jeapordize it. Ted Lindsay responds by saying "We're a family. The players." They vote to unionize.
I think the film is biased and it most notably shows by omission. For example, Jack Adams refers to the Montreal Canadians as "Frogs" twice and that's surely a way to make him seem unsympathetic. Meanwhile, Ted Lindsay never says anything like that and apprently did a lot in real life (I'm not sure about off the ice though and he never played the Canadiens in the film). It also shows the unhappy fates of Busher Jackson and Doug Harvey with the implication that it was all the owners fault. I'm sure they didn't help but those two guys had a lot of other problems that contributed.
The bad guys were all kind of cartoonish but that also made them quite funny. I especially like the guy who played Bruce Norris. Even in scenes where he's not the focus, you can see him acting. I love the way he looks so bored at the meetings when they're talking about management stuff. The film doesn't explicitly state it but you get the impression that he's a spoiled lazy rich kid whose father left him a hockey team that he doesn't really care about except to collect money from. He hates having to go to those boring meeting and would rather just get drunk so he's perfectly fine with letting his corrupt brother run things. However, when it looks like things will actually affect him, he steps things up and actually does a decent job.
Wow, I wrote a lot! When i get talking about that movie, I have a hard time stopping.
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