Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Hockey Interlude

As I was drowning in failure the other night, a friend brought up my blog to the aforementioned cute girl, saying "Greg's really intelligent and literate, but then you read his blog and realize he thinks about nothing but hockey."

First thought is thanks, Fidel, you're never going to be my p.r. agent. But second thought is yes, point taken. This was originally intended to convey the vast array of life's offerings, or something like that, but it's become kind of hockeycentric lately -- moreso, oddly, since the season ended. That's probably because it's easiest for me to write something about hockey; I don't take it terribly seriously, I don't have to actually get things right (research is for suckers!), just try to make it entertaining. So, that in mind, I silently vowed to give my hockey-hating friends a break, and write only about non-hockey subjects for a bit. (though in the meantime: Kirk Maltby humps goats)

I'm breaking that rule already, because it runs up against another of the blog rules -- that of subjecting everyone to a bit on what I've been reading.

#20: "Tropic of Hockey" by Dave Bidini

It's been a long while since I've read a hockey book, but was reminded of this one when Alanah mentioned it in the comments a while back. It appealed to me when it first came out, but it got swept aside in favor of other things, and was long since forgotten.

It's Bidini's story of traveling to some odd places, watching and playing a brand of hockey far removed from the NHL. The journey takes Bidini and his wife to remote areas of China, the United Arab Emirates, and Transylvania -- some places where you wouldn't expect to find any native hockey, some with a much longer history than you'd expect.

It's really entertaining. I read another of Bidini's books, "On a Cold Road," some years back and wasn't really impressed, but this is good -- both as hockey lit and travel lit (though I'd hesitate to give it to a non-hockey fan). His on-ice descriptions of playing the game are possibly the best I've read (admittedly, a short list -- as I've complained often, quality hockey literature pretty much begins and ends with "The Game"). And on the travel side of things -- Bidini and wife come across as the kind of people with whom you'd really like to share a journey.

* * *

Since I've already crossed the Rubicon, shall I share a bit more about hockey? I shall? Well then! I've been ignoring the "Atlanta Spirit" ownership squabbles because rich guys in a slap fight is limited entertainment, but hey, it could actually affect the Thrashers. Great. Since the team's mostly set -- and indicators seem to be that this won't stand in the way of a multi-year deal for Lehtonen, though I've seen some things contradictign that -- it won't harm them too much, presuming it's over quickly. But so much for any lingering dreams of Anson Carter heading south.


Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so not true! You think about more than just hockey. You think about hockey and beer...


gsdgsd13 said...

And women, too. When you think about it, I've been slandered.

Jim Dwyer said...


I'm a big Dave Bidini fan, too. Tropic of Hockey is an entertaining book partly because of his vivid descriptions, partly because he's more blunt than the butt end of Bauer hockey stick, and partly because...his extensive research (sucker).

But even without the research, you're pretty good yourself.

Jim "the Canadian Spy" Dwyer