Monday, June 27, 2011
Tonight's the closest I've come to dropping out: I planned an extravagant post, got caught up in other activities and lost track of time, and now I'm about 10 steps from collapsing and I've got nothing. Nothing... but an old CHZ Litvínov banner.
Litvínov is one of the smaller towns to become prominent in Czech hockey -- it's more on the level of Chomutov than Prague or Brno -- but since Miroslav Klůc's stint with the team 50 years ago, it's at least made a dent. Prominent players coming out of Litvínov include Ivan Hlinka1, Jiří Bubla, Petr Klíma, Josef Beránek, Robert Lang, Vladimír Růžička, Martin Ručinský, and Jiří Šlégr all passed through. Put aside your thoughts about those players' NHL careers -- that's a pretty good lineup.
Litvínov's closely associated with black and gold -- when a book was written about the team's history, the title was "Černá Žlutá," or "black and yellow" -- but careful observation reveals that this is red and black. No idea why -- I haven't seen any color pictures of Litvínov uniforms pre-1980s, so if they once emulated the Atlanta Falcons, I still haven't seen proof.
1 - and if ever someone's reputation deserved a posthumous rethinking, it's Ivan Hlinka -- a hockey legend whose name was dragged through the mud by a disastrous and perhaps unwinnable coaching situation