November 21, 2012
Look, I’m as bummed by the NHL lockout as you are. You hockey fans, anyway.
I’m sure we’re all getting tired of watching online highlights of Traktor Chelyabinsk scoring on Bars Astana in the Kontinental Hockey League, and while the Wolves offer a competitive product, you want to see the best, right?
But the best isn’t playing on our continent. So, Stevie Sunshine has an idea: If we can’t see the best hockey players, let’s see the best hockey movie.
Here’s my plan to help depressed hockey fans: I’m organizing a big-screen showing of “Slap Shot’’ at the Music Box Theater on Dec. 6.
Yes, old-time hockey. Toe Blake. Eddie Shore.
If you’re reading this far, you’re a hockey fan --- go, you --- and that means you’ve seen “Slap Shot’’ 10,000 times, give or take. That includes all the times you came across it while channel surfing and watched right through Reggie Dunlop telling Francine he was going to Minnesota, which he called the “big apple,’’ which I still can’t understand.
But no matter. The point is, no matter how many times you’ve seen “Slap Shot,’’ you can’t see it enough, and you probably haven’t seen it in a theater on a big screen since the Hanson Brothers first brought their (bleepin’) toys with them.
I mean, it has been so long that a son of a Hanson Brother is in an NHL organ-I-zation. Christian Hanson isn’t playing NHL hockey because Gary Bettman won’t let anybody play NHL hockey, and that’s why we’re doing this.
The Tribune has secured a restored 35mm print of “Slap Shot’’ and we plan to run it 35 years after Reggie placed a hundred-dollar bounty on the head of Tim McCracken, the head coach and chief punk on that Syracuse team.
I contend this is the best sports movie of all-time. Tribune film critic Michael Phillips disagrees. So, he and I will discuss that before we show the film, and I’m puttin’ on the foil.
We’ll include a Q&A session, and we’re working on some surprises. No promises. These things can be tricky. But we’re trying. Tickets are just $15. You can buy them and get the other particulars at chicagotribune.com/slapshot. Join us for the big-screen viewing of the character that Paul Newman said was closest to who he really was.
Think about what else you’d miss: Hanrahan’s wife, Jim Carr’s toupee, Joe McGrath’s inspirational speech, and Ogie Ogilthorpe, with all the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation from Canada, and that country’s refusal to accept him.
I’m trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
Oh, and lemme ask you something: Who own da Chief?
C’mon, everybody: Owns. Owns.
That’s the call and response of every hockey player at every level forever.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone, but “Slap Shot’’ is one of the most profane movies ever. So, kids, think twice before you bring your parents to hear Reggie offer tender child-raising advice to Anita McCambridge.
Now, bleed all over 'em. Let 'em know you’re there.