Monday, January 28, 2008

... And Get Off My Lawn!

They're turning this post into a movie starring Cooper as the curmudgeonly lighthouse keeper. Did anyone get that needlessly obscure reference? I swear sometimes I write things just to amuse myself. In any case, what follows is Cooper's new Sports As Life feature.

Do you enjoy 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney? Of course you do, I don’t even have to ask, do I? Well I was talking to the almighty editor and chief of this rag and we have come up with an idea of sorts. The way I see it I am an old crotchety man who enjoys waxing and waning about the past and poo pooing anything that is new and exciting. So seeing that the college football season is over and I need to have a new piece, I figure I could have myself an Andy Rooney-like piece that appears weekly, or bi-weekly, or every second fort night. We will have to see what happens once I become our reporter entrenched in Winnipeg. I will be getting a laptop shortly so I should be able to file reports, although if I want to do this in true Andy Rooney style I would prefer to use telegraph or Western Union. To keep in the True Andy Rooney form of writing every piece will begin with either “You ever notice how”, or “When I was a kid”, or even “Youth today……”. Sometimes I will strive to include all of these phrases, and hopefully a few more. I will have to watch 60 Minutes tonight and see what other catch phrases seniors use.

You ever notice how goaltenders of the NHL today have masks that are celebrated as being fine pieces of art? Just recently I read an article on, I believe, showcasing the best goal masks of the NHL, with small musings about the story behind the painting. Such as Minnesota’s Josh Harding’s “Pink Ribbon” mask either paying tribute to breast cancer victims or celebrating his rampant homosexuality. As well as Dallas Stars Mike Smith's mask with Garth Brooks emblazoned on the sides, most likely to celebrate his hot man love for said person. When I was a kid there were no articles on the Internet celebrating the best goal masks of the NHL. When I was a kid goal masks were crap and we knew it. So to counter punch ESPN’s article on the best goal masks of history I bring you the Worst Goal Masks of Hockey History. John Garrett is fingered on this list no less than twice.

There have been a lot of terrible goal masks since the mask first gained popularity, when the legendary Jacques Plantes of Montreal put on his plain white mask following a game against the Rangers and began roaming the streets of Montreal, massacring cheerleaders, teens on dates and sleepovers, all while he forced his son to videotape it all. There are masks of crappy craftsmanship, poor paint schemes and masks that are just plain creepy. Here are just a few that I have researched.

First we start off reviewing masks of poor quality. These are the masks that were formed from bits of string, leather, discarded chicken bones, and chicken wire and crudely attached to a Jofa.

1. Christopher Abrahamsson: As mentioned,chicken wire and a Jofa… very nicely done.

2. Dunc Wilson: A nice amalgamation of discarded KFC bones, glue and Thompson’s deck stain.

3. Kelly Hrudey: Note the Jofa. I wonder how many plastic surgeries the man had to endure to become an on-air CBC celeb after enduring over a decade of punishment in this mask.

4. Greg Millen: Here we have the mask of a CBC on-air celeb who obviously chose not to receive reconstructive facial surgery like his cohort Kelly Hrudey.

5. Glen Hanlon: I can’t tell if this is a mask crudely constructed with a Mecano set or if that is indeed the face of the ugliest man in NHL history. Judge for yourselves.

Our next group features some masks that employed some just awful, unoriginal paint schemes.

1. Ken Brown: I personally call this one “whiskers”. This one could also fall into the “just plain creepy" category as well.

2. John Garrett: This is the first piece in the Garret collection. Hey John, you got some schmutz on your face. I believe it is a chicken wing.

3. John Garrett: The 2nd piece in the Garret Collection is this hideous painting from his Canuck era. Note the dude in the glasses behind Garret in a zombie like state. Probably mesmerized at Garrets drop-kick save.

4. Tom Draper: Thanks for coming out Tom

5. Pokey Reddick: When I get to Winnipeg I have to search out the man responsible for painting these Jets masks. The man has talent.

6. Jamie Mclennan: Luke and I both agree any mask that has a “Nickelback” theme is bad in principle.

And now we get to the just plain creepy category. I have so far only found 4 that truly belong in this category. I would be scared as hell to walk into a dark room with a stranger wearing one of these two masks, frankly I would fear that I would be in the presence of a sexual predator.

1. Bill Berglund: This mask, hands down is in my opinion the creepiest mask ever! I imagine that most players who found the chance at an open break on this guy most likely dumped the puck into the corner and turned and headed for the bench at the fear of being raped by this guy. I am not saying he is a rapist. I am just saying that when I envision a rapist, this is what he would wear. I call this one “The Violator”. Notice the sinister, raping smile.

2. Corrado Micalef: This one isn’t nearly as creepy as the latter but creepy none the less. I am sure the blueprint for this mask was from a certain M. McKen’s cranium. Micalef was forced into early retirement after his head hatched.

3. Jacques Caron: I believe this mask was part of his scary clown outfit he used to terrorize the neighborhood children

4. Michel Dion: Good Lord! and

There is one mask I wanted to put on here but sadly I could not find any pictures that verify it’s existence. This would be the classic Mylec Street Hockey Mask that I personally owned and customized in the early 90’s. Here is a stock photo. As somebody who has worn a lot of street hockey masks from the classic “Jason” mask to the Patrick Roy Canadians mask to the crap of today I have to say the old Mylec was the best mask hands down. Probably why it ran at around $80.00. I saved for months to get it and when I did I was the coolest fat kid at Bonnycastle Elementary, which is to say not very popular at all. Anyway when I got this mask I decided I wanted it painted. It was too much to get it professionally done so I did it myself. I decided to make a replica of the Washington Capitals Don Beaupre’s mask. So I went to the local hobby store and bought 6 jars of model paint, highly noxious model paint to say the least. Well after dozens of hours and after suffering extensive brain cell death, I had it done. The crappiest paint job ever seen. Several years later, after I moved to Regina I decided to scrap the paint. So I thought dousing the mask in paint thinner would do a good job. Well it worked, however you really couldn’t wear the mask for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time without hallucinating and becoming markedly short of breath due to the fumes. Sadly, I have not seen another Mylec mask since. If you have one, I will buy it off of you for sure.


Anonymous said...

Holy cow,
Great article. I'm about to get ridiculed at work i think because i've been laughing like a schoolgirl ever since i opened the Bill Berglund link. Wow, is that creepy, as is the Kitty mask. And that Mike Mcken helmet is great. Thanks for doing the research. I look forward to more rants.

And Mr. Editor, the intro reference was definately not lost on me.


Luke said...

Thank goodness. One person getting it makes it all worthwhile - and makes me feel like less of a fool

Cooper said...

I totally get the vauge Tragically Hip reference. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Did Michel Dion have am elephant trunk under that mask?
Oh and is the Mr. Kitty mask a tribute to Peter Criss? Or did Peter Criss steal Ken Browns mask idea?


Cooper said...

I have done a bit of research and Ken Brown played in 72-73, Kiss became a band in 73. So as I see it the Ken Brown mask is not a tribute to Peter Criss and I highly doubt Peter Criss stole the idea from Ken Brown.

B said...

A simple reference to the classic Hip tune - Nautical Disaster. The lighthouse keeper was played by Peter O'toole in the movie. Twas a live double CD but the original track appears on the Day For Night CD.
For the record, Luke stole that live CD from me several years ago and has not confessed his guilt nor shown any remorse for his actions.


Anonymous said...

They just put Live Between Us on iTunes - someone stole the CD years ago and its not in music stores - I check back every month to see if iTunes has put it on - its finally on! 9.99 - my library is complete once again.