I agree with Fish, in all respects to Boom Boom, The Rocket was the symbol of the Quebecer people, and when I say the symbol, I mean THE symbol. The Alpha Man. The Model. The Everyday Guy Working Hard With His Hands And Sticking It To The Oppressive Boss.
For comparison's sake, no premier of Quebec (And most probably, nobody else) outside of Jean Lesage and Rene Levesque probably deserved a state funeral as much as Rocket did. And Jean Lesage wouldn't have been the heroic premier who brought real national-democracy to Quebec had The Rocket not being there to get the people to believe they could get away from theocracy and Duplessis. And then, Rene Levesque wouldn't have been the hero of nationalism he is had Jean Lesage not paved the way, so really, they both owe to The Rocket too.
Back in the day, Rocket could have toppled the repressive Duplessis regime on his own had he taken a stance against it. The people would have lynched Duplessis on the spot. But in his own words: "I'm only a hockey player". He did topple it, by showing the people they could achieve stuff.
Rocket was THAT big, he was THAT meaningful.
Had Rocket wanted it, he could have been Messianic, started a cult and he'd have 8 million believers.
They're rolling a special on Boom Boom nonstop on RIS and if you speak French you've got to catch it. You'll get what the character was in 30 minutes, and hear many sentiments from past teammates. And hear about the time Boom Boom & Friends locked Jacques Beauchamps outside the train in -30 degrees and how it wasn't that bad...
"...because we weren't worried, with the belly he had, he won't freeze. It's full of anti-freeze" - Boomer.
As a long time fan of the NHL game, I was lucky enought to see Boom Boom play in the early 60's at the Old Olympia in Detroit.
I had the opportunity to watch him walk from the dressing room to the ice surface numerous times and always considered him a great player and even a better human being.
You will be missed sir!!!
As a long time NYR's fan I am truly sorry to hear about
the Boomer's passing. He played a key role in helping turn our team around in 1966. He played with a lot of passion and zeal. My best memory i sthe night he fired a beer can at the Ref after making several truly bad calls and missed sveral more. The Boomer had to sit out like 5 games or more, but the man always gave you what he had.
Down here in Atlanta he was Mr. Hockey. He was a great ambassador for the game in a region that had not experienced NHL hockey before. Thanks for the memories Boomer. #5
I am not quite old enough to have witnessed the Boomer in action, but I do have some memories of the great man, and most of them have to do with his character.
Boomer was beloved in the sporting community North America wide - not just the hockey community.
My main memories of the Boomer are not significant in any real sense, but they give people a glimpse of the man. Anyone remember those old Bud Lite commercials where Boom Boom was answering sports trivia questions? It's one of my all-time favourite commercials. Boomer is asked which band wrote the first rock opera - Boomer has a really quizzical look on his face and says "Who?" They all pat him on the back for guessing that it was "The Who". He's then asked what Custer said when he was surrounded by Indians (or something along those lines). Once again, Boomer is stumped, and he says "I give up", which of course is supposed to be the correct answer again. All his sports buddes pat him on the back, and Boomer acts like he knew the answers all along. It was a classic.
Anyway, thart was example of how the Boomer could poke fun at himself and his accent - his self depecrating humour, especially as a coach, was often quite refreshing in a sport where far too many think much to highly of themselves.
The other thing which sticks out for me was when he took the shackles off of Pierre Larouche after taking over for Scotty Bowman. It was the one thing that drove me crazy about Bowman - he never gave Larouche a shot. Well; Boomer didn't mess around, he identified Larouche as a scoring talent, and immediately put him on a line with Shutt and Lafleur. All Pierre did was score 50 goals that seaqson, as did Lafleur.
Boomer resigned halfway thru his first seaosn in Montrealbecause of "health reasons". Boomer cared too much about Les Canadiens, that's what happened - his heart was too big to be coach of his beloved team.
I hope the Bell Centre faithful give Boom Boom one of the longest ovations in hockey history, one that rouses the Rocket, Morenz, Harvey and all of the other Hab legends luxuriating up above.
I met Boom Boom a few years ago in Victoria, BC. He was there at Bolan Books in Hillside Mall signing copies of his book. He was very entertaining. I lined up to get a copy of his book signed for my dad (who is a Habs fan) for Christmas. Just infront of me was a woman that had 4 copies of the book and wanted different things signed in each book. You should've seen the look on his face. He looked up at the woman and said "Lady....don't make me write a book". Many of us got a good laugh over that one. R.I.P. Boom Boom
That ceremony will be something I'll remember for a long time. To see his family in tears and to see Morenz banner coming half way to kind of salute Boom Boom was truly special.
I can't see another situation like that happen, all these similarities with March 11 (Morenz, dad in law had his funeral that day, closure of the Montreal Forum, and his death) and the fact that he died the same day that he was honored, it has to be more than lucky similirities, gods of hockey were with him. He was not able to be there in person, you can be sure he was there in spirit.
One of the greatest funniest moment of hockey was when he was interviewed in the hospital, looking at the interviewer, trying to talk adequately by saying that his doctor said he had a ''surbite'' instead of ''bursite''. Just the way he said it and the rest of the interview is just what the Boomer transpires, ''joie de vivre'', you can't have a better expression than that.
We don't know if the old phantoms of the Forum transfered in the Bell Center but we can be sure we have an official one in our building.
Rest in peace Boom-Boom, you will be missed but never forgotten.
And for the last time......
Last edited by Whitesnake: 03-11-2006 at 10:42 PM.