YouTube: Memorializing Hockey in Unusual Ways

Everyone has a camera these day, and social media has taken over with these devices, YouTube is one of the fastest growing media sites and hockey is on its radar. The cellular revolution has pretty much made certain that every mobile phone now has a camera attached. Gone are the days of the bulky video cameras, and now are the ways of the slim, fits in your pocket, ready at any moment video taking device. While these cameras are awesome for catching your baby’s first step at a moment’s notice, they are also adept at catching others at their first or second misstep. With the advent of YouTube, everyone with a smart phone is now a potential film maker. I perused through the recent archives of YouTube to see exactly how YouTube views hockey. It is fairly easy to access the archives of history both good and bad on YouTube.
When it comes to the sport of hockey, is YouTube helping to preserve our best and most powerful images in hockey, or our worst? What exactly does YouTube have to show about hockey?

The Good

Every once in a while, we get a commercial that makes us stop and stare. Seeing something so ncredible as Bobby Orr flying through the air, is one of those times. Some commercials encourage us to buy this or that, The History Will Be Made commercial, made us want to fly too, and it certainly made us want to stick with watching the playoffs in 2001. The commercial series also has one of the best musical scores made, making every commercial historical in its own right. YouTube did good in preserving this awesome piece of hockey advertising.
History Will Be Made Commercials

After the tumultuous fall, we all need a reason to get excited about hockey. This YouTube clip illustrates the desire to turn up the love and turn back on our sets, after all Hockey is Back! Something even YouTube can’t deny.
Hockey is Back

The Great

There’s something that the coolest goals, the best saves, and the most awesome fights can’t hold a candle to. You know it’s ‘Hockey Night In Canada!’ when you hear, ‘The Good Old Hockey Game.’ By Stompin Tom Connors. We lost this icon of hockey history last week on March 6, 2013 at the age of 77. He had a lot of songs, but can’t imagine Saturday nights without him. YouTube definitely placed him in perpetuity, a pioneer and a poster boy for our love of hockey.
The Good Old Hockey Game

The Sad

One of the most difficult things in a sport or organization is lose someone, albeit in the most horrific of all instances a whole branch or team. Team Locomotiv Yaroslavl of Russia failed to gain altitude, catching fire therefore losing all 45 people on board except for the avionics flight engineer on September 7, 2011. The wonderful thing about YouTube is that things we ordinarily wouldn’t have an opportunity to see due to events in other cities and other times, we can now see. This tribute is one I can’t imagine seeing in person without a handkerchief or tissues, it’s that we’ll done, and that worth preserving.
Ruslan Salei Sand Art Memorial

One of the most touching things about video memorials, and especially this one dedicated to the whole of the Yaroslavl Locomotiv team, is that they preserve people at their prime. YouTube captures them at their best, their youngest, their strongest. Those guys who p,sued their hearts out, will never grow old, never lose their youth, never retire. They will be alive and well, young and vibrant for all of eternity. This is how we are supposed to be remembered.
KHL Memorial

The Bad

Can something as ground breaking as YouTube, ever make a misstep? Well, since its videographers are human, yes it can. And never more than when you give a kid a camera. While YouTube can preserve great moments, it can also preserve great embarrassments. Take the team from Nyack. Some kid got the great idea to do a hockey room rendition of the Harlem Shake, and post it on YouTube. Now their playoffs are history. While my back round is in education, (I may get pummeled for my opinion) I think pulling the kids out of the play offs is a bit harsh. Serving detention for a month, assisting the custodians, etc. is more appropriate than taking away something they earned due to a video that thousands have replicated. This is definitely one team that will learn more than improved power skating over the summer. They will have learned to leave the power of leaving their phone at home.
The Harlem Shake

Life in other countries always intrigues us. Do they eat they way we do? Do they raise their kids like us? Do their kids p,ay hockey like us? Well, in the Russian town, they play hockey, for sure. And it’s a bloodsport, but it’s a ten year old bloodsport. I was surprised to see that so many kids drew penalties and were so aggressive. The video is kind of funny, but yet really sad in that these are the future players of some pro teams. Hockey parents and coaches must be win at all costs, But it isn’t always the best way to win at that age. Do all hockey enforcers come from the same place? If not, they might all in the not so near future!
10 year old Teams In The SIn Bin

The Joy of Victory

If you’re an Amercian, and you aren’t a fan of hockey, there’s no doubt that you were a huge fan on this particular day. Back in the Cold War beginning Reganomics era, anything to do with Russia was frowned upon. Except for beating them. Take a group of college kids, let them practice, throw Ina crusty coach, and pray for a miracle. When you find out one of the powerhouses of hockey-Russia to say the least was going to play you for the Olympic gold, you do a lot more than sweat. I bet those guys were having panic attacks. How else could we explain that to the Russians they just lost a game they thought they could easily win; while our confidence didn’t allow for that fact, we couldn’t believe we won, and still can’t theirty years later. A miracle on ice it was and always will be.

1980 Do You Believe in Miracles

Last year was a great draft year. I admit being partial to the Avalanche, and boy did we get the good end of the deal when the Oilers went with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Being second doesn’t always mean being picked last. Colorado has a history of playing their drafts, and boy did second pick Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers get some play time. He even inadvertently created a new word and physical position for winning a goal-Landeskogging. He takes every bit out of the joy he deserves in making some of the greatest most needed goals. He is one fun guy to watch. I can only hope we see a lot more Landeskogging in the future.


The Agony of Defeat

You might remember years ago if you’re an American, Saturday afternoon on the television were reserved for sports. They even had a great commercial that showed the examples of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The thrill of victory in this article, I had to cover with the 1980’s Do You Believe In Miracles. The agony of defeat clearly goes Ryan Miller in the gold winning game of USA Hockey versus Canada.
I wonder how many nights he’s gone over that last goal in his head. We’ve forgiven him, but has he forgotten? Can you forget something like that? Maybe 2014 in Souchi will let someone else be the poor guy failing head or heels down a snow bank instead of Miller.

Miller in Olympics

The Funny

Now what would article on hockey through Youtube’s eyes, be without bloopers. Sadly for the athletes, some of the funniest moments in history for the fans, are the moments the athletes would rather we forget. Here’s a sampling of some of the classic bloopers that we can’t seem to let go, no matter how much we love the game.

The Just Plain Angry
If YouTube has done any real damage to hockey, it’s been in letting amateur’s catch us at our worst. Jim Mayfair is the perfect example. After being given a bad call, he flat out LOSES it! The two guys on either side of him are I’m sure were,praying he wouldn’t destroy their sticks. The poor guy looked like he was going to choke himself pulling off his coat and hang himself with his tie on accident.

The Coach Losing It

The Truly Scary

The scariest things YouTube documentsmaremthe injuries. Throat slitting is a big one. It doesn’t happen,frequently, but when it does, you can bet someone’s videoing it. These accidents are as frightening as concussions. The next time you see a guy play NBA or NHL, remember those big boys may fall hard, but they don’t get potentially exsanguinated by the other players’s shoes. These video clips are painful to watch, yet propel us to think of better safety rules.
Throat slit by skate

And the Just Shaking My Head Query

One of the most impressive feats in hockey is Zdeno Chara’s slap shot. The math and physics of his shooting skill is mind boggling. I’m always impressed with the goalies who have to defend their goals against one of his shots.

This leads me into the perfect example of why you should stay way from this guy: if he can shoot that hard and fast, what kind of damage can he do in a fight? What’s more, there are people who actually willing and do fight with him. To me they look little more like rag dolls being tossed around in the hands of the Zman.

I like YouTube. I like a lot of things about it. It’s accessible, you get to relive those great moments, see a moving tribute to someone who deserves our respect and admiration and to live into eternity. I think the following statement applies to hockey fans, ‘If you want to know what someone fears losing, look at what they photograph.’
Just don’t leave the videography in the hands of your child!


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