Sunday was a great time. I can't say enough great things about all the parties involved, they made things run as sooth as possible and it was just great. Here is a rough time line of things.
Dim and I arrive at the rink about 11:30. We exchange hellos with a few folks at theArc of Greater Boston
table. I say who I am, why I am here and who I am looking for. A gentleman rushes off to find my contact "J".
J meets us both in the lobby moments later. We exchange hellos and try to work on getting on the same page. I am here as the PA Announcer. We had most of the information lined up before hand and we just went over some of the technical things. A little more of what they'd like to have me do.
The game I am doing the PA for pits a local business Yale Appliance
vs.the Bruins Black and Gold Legends
. Adding to the Black and Gold are guitarist Robbie Merrill (guitarist) from Godsmack
as well as cast members from the film Slap Shot
Scheduled to be there are Yvan Barrett
who played goalie Denis Lemiuex, Paul D'Amato
who played Tim "Dr Hook" McCracken and Allan Nicholls
who played Johnny Upton. Also, the famous "Hanson Brothers"
were going to be there as well.
Dim and I, geeks to begin with are also geeks about hockey. This was a thrill, just the thought of seeing and perhaps meeting the guys keep us giddy all morning.
Dave, from Yale took us down to the locker room to meet the guys. Dim and I had purchased Slap Shot movie posters and were hopefully optimistic that the guys might sign the poster. We enter the locker room and the Hansons are on the far end. If you can believe it...Steve Carlson (one of the Hanson Brothers) was actuallyputtin'on the foil
. I kid you not, he had the tape and the roll right next to him.
Each of the Hansons extended their hands and were very gracious with signing. Now part that makes this story even cooler is that the guys from Slap Shot (barring the Hansons) had not seen each other since the film. Yvan who was not skating signed and then Alan signed. The only one missing was "Dr Hook". Dim and I headed out of the locker room to let the guys get ready. No sooner did we get out of the locker room then do we see Dr Hook coming down the stairs. He posed for pictures and signed both our posters. His comment to me before signing was "Where should I sign the poster" to which I said "Anywhere" and he tries his name once and says "It doesn't show up so good right there..so I'll do it over here". He posed for pictures with Dim and I and he talked like we had known him for years. (More on this later).
Game time approaches and we get the PA Announcing rolling.
The skaters come out and do a short warm up before we do the intros. Yale Appliance guys are first and the audience of friends and family are ravenous. Its an electric event.
I then intro the Black and Gold Legends. If you didn't grow up a Bruins fan many of the names might not sound familiar, but these guys all deserve a lot of credit for their time and efforts. Tim Sweeny, Andy Brickley, Bobby Beers, Don Marcotte, John McKenzie
as well as Ken and Kenny Hodge were just a few of the guys involved. After the Bruins were introduced I rolled over to introducing the Slap Shot guys and the ovation was great. Everyone was ready for the show.
During the anthem this moment
did not occur.
The game started. The Hansons got the call to start and no sooner does the puck drop do they drop the gloves...with the Referee! It was a lot of fun to watch..and the ref sent them all to the box. The penalty box was right next to us and Steve was quick to say "What was the call??? What is the Call??" I handed the mic over to him and let him have some fun. As you can tell by the picture we were *that* close to them.
The game continued and the Hansons would get out there and skate, with the long hair flowing behind them. Johnny Upton sort of sat back on Defense and let the Hansons have a fun time. They'd emulate a few of their film moments but grabbing sticks, all three of them would pile on a guy in the corner and when one of them scored they all skated to the front of the net, sat in a row and pretended to bait and fish the goalie.
The first "period" ended after 25 minutes of "run time". At the end all the guys posed for a picture. We did then did a "Shoot to Score" prize (small target on the net and if you get the puck in the hole from center ice you won a lease on a car for 2 years). The third person to go couldn't even hold the stick the right way..and you know what..when she "shot" is came *that* close with it going in. In all my times seeing this done I have never seen one *that* close. It was unreal, funny and sort of unsettling too.
Both teams posed for pictures after the end of the first.
They cleaned the ice and the players came back out for the second period. The Hansons and Slap Shot guys did not skate the second period opting for a meet and greet where they were true professionals, singing and posing for the next 1hr +.
The game ended, handshakes were done and Dim and I worked our way back to hand off the microphone etc.
Dim actually had a good idea about going upstairs to meet they guys and getting pictures done. Smart move as they still had their "Chiefs" shirts on. We were about 20th in line (mind you a good hour of these guys in to signing) and they never stopped. They chatted with everyone, posed, signed just about everything thrown at them. It was great.
Dim and I saw "Dr Hook" off to the side and we chatting with him once more. He was, as noted, so down to earth and flat out cool. Dim commented to him at one point how Slap Shot, barring the outfits, was really timeless. Tim commented that it was how the film was made. They had no stunt men, all the actors actually skated, there were no car chases or explosions. He went on to say he had no problem with being most well know for this role. He continued on by talking about his next movies (2nd movie he did after Slap Shot was The Deer Hunter
). He said he was grateful for all he had, done things people could only dream of. Very very very cool guy.
We waited our turn and quickly had our pictures done with the guys and off we went to the "After party".
We arrived at the British Beer Company and settled in to a table in "our area". Before we knew it food was rolling out. Drinks were being poured and everyone sort of realized it was "done". J and all her hard work had paid off. A few of the Bruins came and hung out, the Slap Shot guys were all there sans Johnny Upton. Dim and I chatted some more with Dave Hanson and he told us that after a few more "events" they are headed to Vancouver to make another film. Yes they will be playing a role that made them famous..only this time as the coaches of young kids!
I have a Bruins book that over the course of time I'd like to get filled with a few more signatures. At the event I was able to get Ken Hodge Don Marcotte
and Andy Brickley
to sign the book. Andy Brickley (aka "Brick") does color commentary for the Bruins on NESN
but has been getting some national
gigs as well. A very cool guy and he gave me a nice compliment about my PA work. I had to quickly say "Do you think there is a future in this for me?" He smiled and just said "You never know". It is all good, he was real nice.
Dim and I sat around for a while and met a few more people from the Arc of Greater Boston. We had a few drinks, ate a LOT of food and then decided it was time to end the day.
We said our good-byes, expressed a world of thanks to all involved and headed out.
A day, which I won't forget for a long, long time.
This post would not have been possible if not forThe Arc of Greater BostonYale Appliance
the great folks from the Boston BruinsThe Hanson Brothers
The guys from Slap Shot
and to my man w/the camera Dim
Thank you all...