Sunday, December 04, 2005

OK OK I am strange

Today's post will not be about Steve Mariucci, Matt Millen, the hopeless Lions, a washed up Jeff Garcia, or a frustrated fan base. No, today, I will talk about deja vu, or in this case the synergy of discussing a random event from 1988 and then opening today's paper to find an article referencing the same story.

I get mocked (in a respectful way, I think) by my buddies for my detailed sports knowledge (see previous posts such as the Sports quiz, Pick 3, and Sports math). It has become somewhat of a running joke that when I have the occasion to watch a game with the boys, I will make statements about a guy's college background or penalties or records that are being approached before the statistician has a chance to inform Al Michaels to speak up. And I know that is nothing particularly special, and that many people out there share this gift.

What I have, though, is Jaydar. The ability to hone in on a topic of obscure useless information and make conversation that becomes relevant, if not critical. Yesterday, while hanging out with the guys, I was asked if Jimmy Howard was born after Steve Yzerman became captain of the Red Wings. I responded that I did not know how old Howard is, but that Stevie Y became captain after Jacques Demers was hired in the summer of 1986. I mentioned that Demers had 2 very good years of inspired coaching, but that his downfall was not disciplining a group of players who went out drinking on the eve of Game 5 of the conference finals in Edmonton. I added that they went to an adult establishment known as Goose Loonies. I remember the story being that some of them played that night, hung over and perhaps still a little intoxicated. It was the beginning of the end for Demers and that configuration of the team. Ok, nice story.

Today, I open the Detroit News and Free Press sports page, and find a story on Jacques Demers, and his new book. He writes about his career in coaching and attributes his downfall as the Wings head coach to that night in Edmonton when a group of players went out drinking to the Goose Loonies on the night before the biggest game of the year, Game 5 of the conference final against Edmonton. Of course, the article provides more details, and they are very similar to my description to the group. Weird


Blogger Just Shu said...

I opened up todays paper, saw teh article and called Steve to show him. I wans't sure if for some reason this topic was being discussed in the media and thats why you brought up, or it was just a random coincidence. I gues sit was a weird coincednce....very weird

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Zwicker said...

I'm almost positive tha Yzerman became captain just before the 1987-1988 season. I remember someone sending me the article about it when I was in Israel for the year. See? You're not the only who ties significant sports and life events together.

8:44 AM  
Blogger O's fan said...

This whole thing is nuts. The fact that you stressed Goose Loonies and the article had that in the title was just strange.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Zwicker said...

Goose Loonies is part of Red Wings lore. That our host blogger and the article both mentioned them prominently doesn't strike ms as so strange.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Zwicker is right. Anyone who watched the wings then would remember Goose Loonies.

I did not know that it was a strip bar, though, until Zicker told me last night.

10:02 AM  
Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

I tried to get on this last night, but the blogger server was down.

The fact that I remembered the details of that night isn't as fascinating as the fact that we had this discussion, and the very next day the paper is talking about it.

I agree that most avid Wings fans would remember that fateful night. The name Goose Loonies lives on (Air, what do you mean you didn't know it was a strip club? What other kind of place would hockey players bother to visit!)

9:45 PM  
Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

One more thing: Zwicker, I am fairly certain that Demers named Yzerman captain on the eve of the 1986-87 season. You may be right that he named him captain after his first year as coach (in time for the 87-88 season)...I will have to call Bill Richardson and do some fact checking.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

It never occured to me. Maybe I was too naive a yeshiva boy...

10:58 AM  
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12:45 AM  
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8:04 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sorry folks, but I'm from Edmonton and I worked at the Goose back in the day (I was off that particular night, however).

Goose Loonies was NOT a strip bar. It was a large, 2 floor nightclub that played dance music. It had 5 bars, 3 dance floors, and we had a few nights with over 1100 in the place at the same time. Think the nightclub in Prince's Purple Rain movie.

4:38 PM  

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