Hockey’s back, and I experienced a lovely moment of related sensory overload this evening. After dropping off a friend in Bridgeport, I drove to the end of the block while fiddling with the radio tuner. At the stop sign I looked up to see Cellular One Field just ahead, bathed in light as the White Sox battled the Red Sox in a Very Important Playoff Game inside. Just then, I successfully tuned in the local hockey game as the puck was about to be dropped–the first NHL hockey I had seen or heard in 16 months was really, truly happening! For a few seconds there, before I turned toward the expressway, the glowing not-Comiskey, surrounded by a meaningful-looking halo of light, stood for my thrill at hearing the sounds of hockey again after a long silence. It was kind of like experiencing a synesthesia of the sports rather than the senses. I don’t believe they’ve yet concocted a technical term for that.
I’ve more or less composed myself by now, but let me indulge in just a wee hockey story to mark the end of Canada’s long national nightmare, and mine.
Sam [Pollock] was very impressed with how scientific football coaching had become, and so for a while he tried to adapt their methods to our game. He would wander the highest reaches of the Forum, searching out patterns of play, and if he detected something he would quickly radio Busher Curry, who would be pacing the gangway, a plug in his ear. No sooner would the Busher get Sam’s message than he would rush up to Bowman with the words of wisdom. Once, when we were leading the Bruins here, 3-2, with a couple of minutes to go, Sam, watching above, got on the radio to the Busher, who immediately rushed to the bench with the message for Scotty, which Scotty passed on to us. The message was “Sam says don’t let them score on you.”
That’s Doug Risebrough, quoted in Mordecai Richler’s Dispatches from the Sporting Life.