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Old
11-20-2003, 08:47 AM
  #1
dawgbone
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Thoughts please

Hey guys, I have been asked to write a few columns on a sports website about the Edmonton Oilers. This isn't to get you to go over to it, as I won't be posting the address here. I just want your opinions before I submit my latest article. It isn't edited yet, as that isn't the opinions I am looking for. I just want to know if you have similar or different feelings about this upcoming weekend. I don't want to seem completely out of left field on this, so I would like to see if others share this view about hockey. It is also directed towards Canadians as it is the Canadian Heritage Classic.

November 20, 2003
Prelude to a Classic

Outdoor hockey is something every Canadian kid has experienced, whether it is on a frozen pond with skates, in a tennis court with rollerblades, or on the street in your shoes. It isn’t just children either. I am a 24 year old who plays street hockey with a bunch of friends every Saturday, and I love it as much as I did when I was 8.

Hockey has always been a part of my heritage, and hockey outdoors has allowed me to win multiple Stanley Cups as I pretended to be great Oiler goaltenders such as Bill Ranford, Andy Moog, and the greatest of them all Grant Fuhr. While organized hockey was always fun, you had to be serious, because you wanted to win. You had to practice hard, you had to work on your fundamentals, and you were always yourself. Back on the tennis court, you could be Gretzky or Messier or Kurri. When I didn’t don the pads, I was always Paul Coffey, or Kevin Lowe manning the defence while my team mates tried for the winning goal. In game one I was Bill Ranford, and even adopted his stand up style of goaltending, and in game two I was Grant Fuhr, who anticipated every shot and had a lightning quick glove hand.

You can see where I am going with this. As much as we all loved to win in organized sports (not just hockey), the real joy, and the real fun was giving your friend across the street a quick phone call to rally the troops for a big game of street hockey. No need to wait for your real game on Saturday, as soon as we got home from school at 3:30, out went the net and sticks. That to me was the real joy. Games were always so far away in real hockey, where as we could call some friends up, and play a 7 game series (first one to 10 goals wins) on a day off from school.

These are reasons why this weekend in Edmonton will be a very special occasion. It combines that joy of just calling the guys up for a fun game and pretending to be whichever player you idolized, as well as that competitiveness and excitement you got from your real games.
With the Megastars game, it is like you are there playing. You call up some friends, bring out the nets. You want to win, but you don’t hook anyone, or slash a stick. Someone falls hard, and you all stop to make sure he is okay. Everyone gets to be their own hero. You have Guy Lafleur going in all alone on Bill Ranford, or the Great one and Kurri coming down on Larry Robinson. It is outdoor hockey the way we have all played it, but instead of us pretending we are Gretzky, we actually get to watch him.

Let’s not forget about the real game that counts. This is their Saturday morning game. There is no going out and pretending to be Messier, or the flower. There is only going out and being who they are. Ryan Smyth is Ryan Smyth, Jose Theodore is Jose Theodore. They know their jobs, and they know what they have to do.

This game is huge, and it is for all the right reasons. There are haters out there, but for the most part, this is being viewed across Canada as something special… which it is. The city of Edmonton, and both the Oilers and Habs organizations deserve a great evening for hockey, as they are putting on a show for the fans, a show that reminds us all about how hockey has been in our lives, and how important it is to Canada. Hockey is an identity that Canadians should wear with pride, as being a great Canadian and being a great hockey player both require the same thing…

Heart.

The only sad part about this weekend is that I won’t be there to enjoy it, but you can bet anything I will soak up every second of it in as many forms as I can.

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Old
11-20-2003, 09:35 AM
  #2
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Well said, obviously from the heart with some heady and thoughtful sentiment. This kind of commentary works for me!

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11-20-2003, 09:42 AM
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s7ark
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Loved it. Esp the last part. Good job.

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Old
11-20-2003, 09:43 AM
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Guy Flaming
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Good Job Dawg.

PM me with the website so I can check it out. Would I have heard of it?

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Old
11-20-2003, 09:44 AM
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hillbillypriest
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Great stuff.

Lots of terrific writers on this board. The internet is the great equalizer. This Board and others have sure taken the mystique away from some of the prominent sportswriters out there. There's clearly lots of talent out there.

Thanks again.

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11-20-2003, 09:46 AM
  #6
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A well done upbeat article. In that context, if it were me, I would remove "There are haters out there, but for the most part, " simply because it isn't upbeat and doesn't need to be said. There are always detractors but you don't need to give them credit.

 
Old
11-20-2003, 10:21 AM
  #7
hillbillypriest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZIM
A well done upbeat article. In that context, if it were me, I would remove "There are haters out there, but for the most part, " simply because it isn't upbeat and doesn't need to be said. There are always detractors but you don't need to give them credit.
Disagree. I liked the line. I'm really PO'd at this frigging McClown guy!!! It's OK to stoop to his level.

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Old
11-20-2003, 10:21 AM
  #8
Mowzie
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Here's how I would start it.

The wool socks have been pulled up. The longjohns are on. Dave Semenko's #27 is thrown on with pride on top of a s hooded sweater. Your touque is snug on your head. Your nose is already running from the anticipation of what's about to come. You grab your stick from the shed out back and toss your ragged hockey net atop your shoulders. While walking eagery to the local pond, you use your free hand to shoot balls of snow ahead.....this my friends is what real Canadian Hockey is all about.

it really gets the sense of imagery working.

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Old
11-20-2003, 10:41 AM
  #9
s7ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowzie
Here's how I would start it.

The wool socks have been pulled up. The longjohns are on. Dave Semenko's #27 is thrown on with pride on top of a s hooded sweater. Your touque is snug on your head. Your nose is already running from the anticipation of what's about to come. You grab your stick from the shed out back and toss your ragged hockey net atop your shoulders. While walking eagery to the local pond, you use your free hand to shoot balls of snow ahead.....this my friends is what real Canadian Hockey is all about.

it really gets the sense of imagery working.

Very nice, it does set the imagery perfectly. MAN I CAN'T WAIT FOR SAT!!!!!!!! Gonna be loving it freezing my a$$ off

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Old
11-20-2003, 11:45 AM
  #10
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wow dawgbone, you and i basically grew up the exact same way. it was like you were taking words out of my mouth. i remember dragging my brother's net out of the garage when my friends would come over EVERY DAY to play hockey. It was just assumed that's what we would do. Tennis court? I had no idea anyone else other than me and my friends thought that was a perfect place to play, because you'd never lose a ball. You are dead on saying only when you play for fun do you stop playing to see if someone;s ok. I can't tell you how many times i said "you ok? alright, play in." I only played one year of organized hockey, (in atom where hitting is not allowed), and once i accidently ran into someone on the other team and he went down. I said "are you ok", or something like that, and put out my hand to help him up. Everyone looked at me like I was from outer space. While it is a higher level of talent that play indoors, its out on the pond or rink where the game will always be home to me. If i didn't know any better, i'd think we were long lost brothers dawgbone. Anyways, great writing, it is exactly what i went though as a kid, and if the critics have anything to say about it, it won't be because its unrealistic. Word for word, this was my childhood

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Old
11-21-2003, 05:47 AM
  #11
dawgbone
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Thanks for the feedback guys, and mowzie, thanks for a little something to introduce it, I made a little change.

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Old
11-21-2003, 05:58 AM
  #12
hmminvisiblecola1279
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reminds me as well growing up and getting up at 5 in the morning to play hockey with my brothers and friends. remember how cold it was too, but once you got the legs moving there was no better feeling in the world. i was living in devon alberta(looking in your direction guyf) and the peace and quiet of a saturday morning, no school and just a puck and a stick made my world perfect.
thanks dawgbone brought up a lot of good memories. still try to get out, 29 now by next year i will be playing with the thirtysomething crowd.

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