Saturday, November 12, 2011

Radio, someone still loves you

While the Canucks were on the road in sunny California, hitting the links and soaking up the sunshine, I was somewhere in a muddy cut line or overgrown slash on Texada Island with leaky boots and dodging falling Alder limbs.

My fruitless four day hunting trip was highlited by end-of-the-day hot rums and the staticky Team1040 Canuck broadcasts and that was fine by me.  I've been raised on the theory that the success of a hunting trip is rarely measured on the hunt.

Radio is a lost art.  As a guy who has for the bulk of his life relied on BC Ferries for transport I get a healthy dosage of radio broadcast during ferry line-up waits while BC Ferries brass spend my money on lucrative playoff tickets.  Picturing the unseen is so much more vivid than any high definition broadcast could ever make it to be. The mental image of the game is so much  more grandiose than can ever be witnessed in moving picture or live action.  The aura that surrounds the ancient practice of radio broadcast and the legendary names that made it that way offer something that in-game advertisements and shameless food-product plugs can never provide.  I've never lost appreciation for radio broadcast and I never will.  It is quite simply from a broadcast spectrum, far superior to television in every way.  Radio broadcast compared to television is like baseball before the steroids, J-Lo before Bennifer or British office before the Steve Correl version.  They're all essentially the same thing adapting to change, and while one may have become temporarily more popular, to the purist the pryor is prefered.

Three generations of hunters were at camp this year, most of them the friends and family of my hunting partner Alvin "Chicky" Cimglia. You can guess by the family name that as an Anglo-Canadian I was grossly outnumbered by Italians, some who immigrated in their early teen years even.  The names of the hunters huddling around the oil barrel stove in the corner of the shack, known to the hunting community in the area as 30-30 Wop St., read like the film credits to a Mob flick: Sylvano, Vito, Felix, of course the mysteriously dubbed "Chicky" to name a few.

Despite the cultural differentials we had two very strong commonalities: a love of the national game, and, poor accuracy -  and I'm not talking about the two-holer.  Vito, Chicky's brother some 10+ years his senior, explains they were sperated by a sister and the second World War.  Chicky, just six when the Cimaglia's uprooted, has no accent, but Vito speaks the warm and hearty tongue of Wop-anese, which makes even meddling hockey commentary Shakespeare. Vito has never returned to Italy but has heard that the unique dialects of each town are being lost because of the public school system.  Here at deer camp the dialect is usually that of the common working man, beautifully blue collar and expletive rittled.

Their countrymen is off to a poor start, but Roberto Luongo earns the win in the first of back-to-back games in So-Cal as the Canucks stake an early three goal lead then play kitty bar the door, eaking out a one goal victory.  Needless to say they weren't Lou-ing at 30-30 Wop St the next night in Orange County as The Ducks, losers of nine of their past 10 games chased Roberto Luongo after lighting him up for four goals.  Tonight the Canucks were on the losing end of a come from behind one goal effort, but their were positives. 

Jannik Hansen found some chemistry with the twins notching two late goals and Kevin Bieksa got his first of the season as the Canucks dug deep and showed some resiliency. 

Aarom Rome may have cost the Canucks the game with an elbow to the head of Anaheim rookie Devante Smith-Pelly, but he has shown how much the team misses his physical play.  Hopefully the ridiculous suspension he meted out to him in last year's Stanley Cup Final series earns him a pass from new league disciplinarian Brendan Shannahan.

The biggest negative of the 3-3-0 road trip was the decision to play "datfugginaluongo," as he was so often refered to, in back-to-back nights.  The benefit would be to get his confidence up, only it's once again shattered. Worse off the obvious negative was the message that playing Lou in back-to-back nights sends to Cory Schneider, and, Canuck fans at large.

I do grasp what AV was trying to accomplish, but a quick positive/negative examination of the scenario quickly quashes the logical man from ever coming to this decision.  Unless Schneider was injured that was a bonehead move, no two ways about it, and the tolerance for winnable games being flushed down the perverbial crapper as the Canucks' coaching staff try to massage Luongo's ego is at an all time low, just like AVs popularity rating.  There cannot be another instance of Luongo favouritism until his play, not his pay, dictate that he is the number one guy.

The best part about the radio was not having to see another early night for Luongo, rather enjoy listening to the rest of the team play their hearts out to try to mount a four goal comeback in the final period of the last game of a long six game road trip.

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