Thursday, January 24, 2008


"Clear the Track, Here Comes Shack"

by Jes

With the All-Star Game approaching, I figure I'd have a few ASG-themed posts around here since there is little else to talk about that severely interests me. Sure, the Leafs hired Cliff Fletcher, but what is another puppet going to help that franchise do?

Remember who the first All-Star Game MVP was? You know, back when the game supposedly mattered?

Answer: "The Entertainer", Eddie Shack

Wayne, our Southern Correspondent, passed on a link about ol' Mr. Shack, a player I wish I had been around to see back in the day.

"Hey, Norma," Shack called out to his wife in another room, "what did we get for [winning the MVP]?"

"It was something stupid, I bet," he mumbled. After a brief conference with his wife of 45 years, the best of their recollections was this: a shaving kit.

"Eddie the Entertainer," they called him. Or "Eddie the Nose." That big honker made him more money than hockey ever did, as a useful prop for the commercials he shot for a Canadian soda company, the Pop Shoppe.

"You know I got a nose for value," he'd say, and the carbonated beverage consumers of Canada never tired of the joke.

"He worked for my dad once —- players used to have to get jobs in the offseason," Thrashers general manager and coach Don Waddell said. "My dad was with the Canadian pipeline; he used to dig trenches in northern Canada. The first day Eddie showed up for work, they were digging trenches and he had on shorts and sandals. That was his personality."

A shaving kit? Given Shack's smooth pornstache, that's akin to giving a book on parenting to Britney Spears.

As for The Pop Shoppe. I remember chugging those things down when I was a kid living in Cranbrook. Does anyone else remember quaffing that sweet stuff from those see-through bottles? I don't recall ever going to the actual store, but the drinks where everywhere in small town BC.

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can watch one of those old classics ...

So, tip up your Pop Shoppe bottles to Eddie Shack, one of the all-time great hockey personalities.

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You couldn't buy them at retail outlets. You took your case of bottles back to some unrelated business like a dry-cleaner or hardware store, which doubled as the Pop Shoppe distributor, and hand-picked your flavors until you had a fresh case. At least that's the way I remembered it. Musn't have been able to break into the Coke/Pepsi distribution cartel.
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