April 03, 2011

Sundays With Bobby Orr

When people think of formulas, they normally think of the boring/horrible mathematical nightmares pushed on them in their school years.  But there are other kinds that don't involve numbers, letters and all those other little incomprehensible hieroglyphics that go with them.

These are emotional formulas, and they sometimes come to you out of thin air.  For instance, take one cold, damp Sunday afternoon in March + one 50-something year old guy, divided by a wandering mind and you get ...

A bored high school freshman sprawled on his bed on a Sunday in March, 1967 watching his black and white Motorola semi-portable television with bent rabbit ears perched on top of it.

These were the worst days.  Too shitty to go outside ... too lazy to do the homework that I should have gotten out of the way when I got home on Friday afternoon and dreading the start of the school week.  And with only three channels available on the tube, there wasn't much to watch.  So, I usually settled for ABC's Wide World of Sports.  You know, "The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat".  Only in March, there wasn't very much to watch on that either, unless you liked obscure Winter sports like Curling or Ice Dancing.

However, the regional telecast wizards at ABC decided for the month of March, that everyone in Springfield, Missouri would really enjoy watching ... Boston Bruins Hockey! Actually the real reason they  broadcast these games was because of a young hockey whiz out of Canada who had just completed his rookie year and was considered a "phenom" in the hockey world.

Bobby Orr.

So, for four or five Sundays in March, I watched Bobby Orr skate around rinks playing hockey, and it was sort of exciting watching the guy.  Unfortunately, I never bothered to learn the rules of hockey.  I still don't know what "behind the blue line" or "Icing" means.  I could care less now, just as I did then.  I just liked watching Bobby skate.

But then, it was April, and ABC stopped showing the Bruins, and instead, began broadcasts of "The American Sportsman", which in most episodes, featured host Curt Gowdy and famous alcoholic Phil Harris sitting in a flat bottom boat pretending to hunt ducks.  How these two managed to keep from killing each other with random shotgun blasts was beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, several weeks ago, this memory came back ... and suddenly, I wanted to reconnect to the Bruins/bored high school freshman experience in the only way a man my age can.

I fired up the computer, went to the Amazon.com site, and bought a Boston Bruins cap.  Several days later it arrived.  And I regretfully knew I had purchased the wrong one.  Observe ...

Looks nice, doesn't it?  But it didn't fit right.  For one thing, it was too tight, and secondly, it rode too high on my head, making me look like an American Legion member wearing one of those goofy "USS Saratoga" naval baseball caps.  You know what I'm talking about.  Those guys always look stupid, especially if they're also wearing polo shirts and white Sansibelt slacks.

So, back to Amazon.com I went, and this time, I picked the right one.  Just got it in the mail this week ...

This one is A-OK!  It fits right and being a "slouch hat", rides low on my head.

The only thing is; by the time this hat arrived, I had lost the old vibe.  Bobby Orr, the Bruins, 1967 March Sunday afternoons ... the whole thing has moved on.  So, here I am with two caps, and this being rabid Chicago Blackhawks territory, I probably shouldn't wear either one of them out in public until hockey season is over.

Maybe if I explained that Bobby Orr played 26 games as a Blackhawk before he retired, people would understand.

But it just ain't worth it.

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