Monday, February 24, 2014

I'll be THAT guy...

... yes, the one who loves hockey but doesn't give a rat's ass about Olympic hockey. My son's were so pumped when the USA beat Russia a week or so ago [edit: and so pissed about losing on Thursday!]. And yes, I'd rather see us win than lose, but puleeeeze don't compare that win over the Russians to the Miracle on Ice. It's all just NHL guys playing in different unis. And that leads to my other gripe. The NHL season was just getting interesting. We had the outdoor games which I loved. And my Rangers were finally getting it into gear and then :::poof:::, it's Croatia versus Carjackistan.

I know it used to be our amateurs against the Soviet Bloc's pros but that's what made it so cool when we won. Let's put out an amateur team again. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Well, maybe if the rumors that the NHL will not send it's players to the Olympics in four years pan out I'll be happy.

/curmudgeon.mode

Here are two NHL cards I like. Something old and something new(er).

1971-72 Topps Walt Tkaczuk

Tkaczuk was really just getting his career cranked up when I moved from Jersey to Houston for the second and final time. He played his entire career with the Rangers and centered the "Bulldog Line" with Bill Fairbairn and Dave Balon. He wasn't a high scoring center but played a good defensive game and played pretty physically. 



Next up, my favorite current Ranger skater, Ryan Callahan. It's an Upper Deck rookie card of some sort from 2007-08. I like it because it's Callahan and it has the Rangers' shield logo but it is kind of 'busy', isn't it? Anyway Captain Cally has been the subject of much trade talk in the weeks leading up to the break but he was performing as well as he has in quite awhile and I sure hope he stays put.




13 comments:

  1. Well said. And that Tkaczuk card is in great shape. I noticed that you didn't close your curmudgeon mode. Is this what we have to listen to this week? I don't mind, I just need to know.

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  2. LOL, no I'm good for about one rant every few weeks. This should do me for awhile.

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  3. As a hockey fan who enjoys the Olympics and is a "lapsed NHL fan", I'll provide a counterpoint to your curmudgeonly rant.

    Olympic hockey is good because:
    1) International-sized rink means more finesse, skating, passing, etc.
    2) Rules against fighting means...well... there's no fighting. Yes, that's a good thing. No, I'm not your typical North American hockey fan.
    3) You see players do things for their country that they wouldn't do for their NHL team (i.e. Daniel Alfredsson giving someone a hard check).

    My key to Olympic happiness is not to get caught up in the "nationality" of it all. While I am an American and would've liked the US to have done well (and not phone it in in for game that came across as "Boo hoo, Bronze is just another word for losing"), I was not actively rooting for the US. When it comes to international hockey, Sweden's my team. I don't have a single drop of Swedish blood in me, I simply enjoy and appreciate the Swedish style of hockey.

    Oh, and as someone who grew up in a Rangers household, Walt Tkaczuk is THE MAN!!! ...along with Eddie Giacomin, Rod Gilbert and "Young Greschner".

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    1. Your points are all good ones, and I'll admit that my rant is indefensible with logic. Everyone else loves the Olympic tournament. Hell, the Maple Leaf Bar in Houston(!) was packed wall to wall at 6 a.m. the day of the semis. But it just comes down to this... hockey gets cranked up for me when football ends, I was just getting into the season and they take off for several weeks. That, plus the Olympics would have forced me to root against my favorite player, Henrik Lundqvist. I've been a Ranger fan since 1960, they are the only team I shared with my Dad. Rooting against any one of them is impossible.

      And Walt T. was one solid player. Those were fun days to be a fan.

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    2. ...and just to clarify a couple of things that I forgot to write this morning because I was rushing to get my thoughts out without being overly late for work:

      1) Just in case it wasn't clear, "curmudgeonly rant" was meant tongue-in-cheek; I wouldn't have used those words if you hadn't used them already
      2) I completely understand your frustration... If the World Baseball Classic were held in the middle of the season, I'd be all kinds of pissed off about it... but I just felt like offering a counterpoint. "Jane, you ignorant slut!" :-)

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    3. I thought about that baseball tournament later. You'd have LOTS of company in being pissed if they ran it in July and shut down MLB.

      Old school SNL reference...nice. SNL USED to be funny, but that's a curmudgeonly rant for another day. ;-)

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  4. Too bad there aren't many hockey card blogs.

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    1. I'm with you on that, I read a few, and they are great, but I wish there were more.

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    2. He said 'many' not 'any'. LOL

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    3. True, we are an underrepresented lot. :)

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  5. That 71-72 hockey set is one of my favorites.

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  6. So Tkaczuk was clearly an army brat. Could probably determine what unit from the base he was born near.

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