The Spirit of the Game
This was one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It spoke about periods of time throughout the evolving of one of Americas most intense and loved games. The book was split up into two large sections and then divided into chapters inside the sections. The first section was called The Spirit. The first chapter of this section deals with the early stages of development in the game. From the beginning hockey was known as a sport of integrity, grit, hard work all mixed in with a little class. Some of the most influential hockey players of all time such as Dan Bain, Goaltender for the 1899-1900 Winnipeg Victorias represented all these things that represent what hockey is all about. The next chapter in the section is called Team Game. This chapter in my opinion talks about the most important part of the game, which is teamwork. In the beginning hockey did not have all the individually talented players of today, it was all about the team. The 1932 Detroit Falcons, which would soon be, renamed the Red Wings were a prime example of a 1920-1950s-hockey team. Not one player on the team tried to put their own individual statistics before the team, no matter how good they were. With this intense team playing style they won the Stanley cup the following season. The next and final chapter in section 1 was Behind the Bench. The most substantial role is not being played on the ice, but behind the bench by the coaches. The coaches in any sport set the tone and mood of their team. During the game the coach is probably ranked higher than the players mother in the authority category. This gives the coach almost unlimited power. Coaches become very close to their players and learn ways to get them to perform individually as well as a team player. Coaches become as involved in the game as the players. Some coaches such as Al Arbur have just had a knack for going to a poorly ranked team and turning them into playoff contenders. The presence of a good coach is felt all over the ice and can influence things such as the ref?s decision making,as well as the player?s performance. The second section in the book is called The Game. This section is a chronology of the greatest players of each decade from 1930s-1990s.
In the 1930s were strangely dominated by four players on the same team, Charlie Conacher, Murray Armstrong, Buzz Bowl, and Busher Jackson of the Toronto Maple Leafs who brang home 3 Stanley cups together.In the 1940s the hockey world was mesmerized be the presence of Ted Kennedy.The 1950-1960s were dominated by the Red Wings Team.The 1960s in the NHL were full of thrills with the help of Gordie Howe.The 1970s were Bobby Hull?s years.The 1980s were filled with a bombardment of players whom not one triumphed over another.The 1990s was the year of the two greatest players of all time Mario Lemiux and Wayne Gretzky.I loved this book and learned a lot about the heritage of the game although I read it in a short period of time.The most exciting portion of the book was the chronology that went through time and allowed me to view hockey transforming.The least exciting part of the book to me was the Behind the Bench chapter because I was not really interested in the coaching part of the game.The words I learned were: Plumed, procession, Heinous, Dabble, and tycoon.One new idea learned was the fact that coaches played a bigger part in a player?s career than I thought.One Idea which I already knew was that with spirit you would never succeed.The author had a very plain style, but I think it fitted this type of work so I didn?t mind it.One symbol I saw was the Stanley cup, which represents victory. And the one theme I saw was Hard Work, because every one in that field is working hard all the time.