Saturday, February 7, 2009

Old Times at the Chicago Stadium

I went to my first Chicago Blackhawks game in 1981. The old Chicago Stadium was a great place back in the day.
The Hawks were coached by former Hawk Keith Magnuson and finished in 3rd place in the Norris Division. On this day, they lost to the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs who finished in last in the Adams Division.

Taking pictures at a game now is easy and worthwhile. With digital cameras and zoom effects, you can actually see the players in the photos. Back in 1981, photo-taking was pretty pointless, yet it is exactly what I tried to do.
My exercise in futility didn't end there however. I was so meticulous (anal-retentive) that I tried to write down the players in the pictures I took, so that later I could match up the players with the photos.
When the film was developed, some pictures didn't turn out at all and some were almost all black. What was left was a bunch of pictures like the one below.
I wasn't going to be denied. Obviously, I knew that 28 years later, I would be writing this blog and I would need to know who the tiny, blurry players were.
So I strained my eyeballs. I used a magnifying glass. I looked in different lights. I compared my guesses with regular Hawks' lineups. I identified every player I could possibly almost make out.
Clearly you can see Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito minding the net. (Okay, that one was easy.) The Maple Leaf tangling with the Hawk in the center is #99 Wilf Paiement. At the lower right is #8 Terry Ruskowski.
I'll even go a bit farther and guess the player tangling with Paiement.
I am guessing it is one of Ruskowski's usual linemates. Since Grant Mulvey had a super 80's perm going, I'll guesstimate that player to be #28 Rich Preston.
Of course, I would much rather have pictures which benefit from the new technology, but there is something cool about these old pictures. I guess it is nostalgia. Maybe I just keep looking back to simpler times.


Johngy said...

Anon-Sorry, I lost your comment. Thanks for stopping by.

I have never been in a skybox for hockey. Based on my bb and fb experiences in skyboxes, I am sure I'd love it. Okay, you lose a bit of the crowd feel, but you gain so much more.

Anonymous said...

I have always loved the Blackhawks. As a child I used to stay up to watch them. Never went to an actual game until about five years ago and that was in the skybox. I also loved the experience.