Saturday, June 30, 2007


Hockey in the '70s

by Greg

For a variety of reasons, I recently came into possession of a bunch of hockey programs from the '70s and '80s. In addition to research material, one of them -- a Colorado Rockies-Spartak Moscow program from 1978 -- provides a glimpse back at a forgotten era.

In addition to the typical "Goal Magazine" articles ("Is Dennis Kearns the NHL's Next Big Star?" or "Guy Lombardo: Hockey Fan!"), it's got some great (kitschy-great, not great-great) ads. Many of them are for local Denver bars which went out of business well before I reached drinking age, such as this one:

Translation: "After another soul-destroying loss, I drink the pain away at the Good Life." Maybe it's my imagination, but isn't there some law (going back decades) saying that active professional athletes can't endorse booze? I suppose Paul Gardner is technically endorsing "The Good Life Eating Emporium" (and when was the last time you went to an Eating Emporium?), and just mentioning that he happens to like to have some drinks (and rest his ankles) there. In any case, this canny campaign didn't help the Good Life -- it's long gone, and judging by Google Maps' satellite view, it's now a vacant lot.

Chillingly, it was once considered not only acceptable, but even fashionable to go out wearing a red sweater, gray shirt, brown jacket, dark pants, and blue-yellow sneakers. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times now, and you'll rarely see this sartorial combination outside of Detroit. Note the (sensibly-dressed) woman in the background -- she appears to be horrified that the Flower's going out in public like that. This ad -- along with Ron Duguay's Sassoon jeans campaign -- is largely responsible for hockey's inability to make more headway in the U.S.

There's plenty more of this stuff, but I'll put the scanning off 'til some other day. I'm just trying to kill time before free agency begins, and we move closer to resolving a burning question: where will Tomas Kloucek end up?

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Guy!! Looking slick and ready for a night at the disco bar. It's no secret that he was popular with the ladies in Montreal. with fashion like that, how could they resist?
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