Thursday, June 4, 2009

I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out…

...So goes the old saying. I don’t know it really is a saying, but I k now I lie to say it. And then I goggled it, and apparently other people like to say it as well. So there you have it.

I mentioned last week that I recently moved, and I think the ONE noticeable thing I have always carried with me is my love of the Detroit Red Wings.

I have a vague memory of going to Olympia Stadium (where the Red Wings played a long time ago) and as a child I was THRILLED to pieces when the guys smacked up against the boards. The whooshing of the skates, the chill of the stadium, the blood on the ice. All good times. I don't really know if I really was there, or if I dreamed it, but I’ve told the stories so many times when people ask me “How long have you liked hockey” that I believe it. Such is the legend of hockey in Hockeytown, AKA the home of the Detroit Red Wings.

In Michigan, the proximity to Canada I guess explains one reason why hockey is a big deal to a huge age group and both men and women in the area. People are rabid about the games. Naps are taken in order to watch the West Coast games. Yelling very loud at the TV is very common as well. During playoffs, plans are changed and trips are canceled. It's a big deal.

I worked with a great lady at a Detroit radio station who was going through a divorce and her ex-husband gave her a choice between 4 seats behind the Red Wing bench or the house. She said, “You can always get another house!” I sat in those wonderful seats a few times, and let me tell you…there is nothing like it, nothing like it at all.

That is if you’re a hockey person. If you’re not, well I don’t know what to tell you. There are more "non-hockey" people I think than hockey fans, so maybe that’s why we all stick together. And the Red Wings have become a little bit like Red Sox nation or the Dallas Cowboys back in the day. But Red Wings fan are much much nicer than those two teams.

At that same station in Detroit, The morning show “douche” (who is my “he who shall not be named”, because A) I think he’s litigious as hell, and B) he’s a publicity whore and I’m not about to give him any.

At any rate, the dude TOTALLY dissed Gordie Howe, a legendary player who is truly bigger than GOD in some circles of Michigan. I remember trying to explain to the marketing director that the morning show was going down a very very bad path with the Gordie Howe bashing, and she didn’t believe me. She was from Cleveland, so knew absolutely NOTHING about hockey. Which always used to crack me up, you’d think in a way they would be a hockey town. Kinda like I can’t believe Seattle is not a hockey town, so close to Canada…crappy weather conducive to hockey watching, etc. etc.

At any rate, within’ about 20 minutes of the Gordie Howe snub from the morning show, people began to FLOCK to the station raising hockey sticks and screaming very very bad words about the morning show and generally causing a huge ruckus. The phone lines were off the hook and the program director dragged the morning douche onto my show (I did midday’s at the time) to make an apology right then and there.

The point of the story is –Don’t mess with the Red Wings, or the fans. Unless you know what you're doing, it's just won’t be worth it.

I'll have more Red Wings musings coming up soon.