Monday, September 29, 2008

Reggie Dunlop er, Paul Newman Dies...

Hockey mourns Paul Newman

The death of actor Paul Newman on Friday at age 83 is being mourned worldwide, but it hits hockey particularly hard because Newman was the star of the best hockey movie ever made, “Slap Shot,” released in 1977.

Newman gained stardom in the 1950s and never lost the movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Exodus," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting" and "The Verdict."

He finally won an Oscar in 1986 -- on his eighth try -- for "The Color of Money," a sequel to "The Hustler." He later received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards was the Motion Picture Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. But Newman was renowned in hockey circles for his portrayal of Reg Dunlop.

Steve Carlson, who played Steve Hanson in the film, knew for a long time that Newman was ill.

"We had a tribute to Slap Shot in Boston last year with the Bruins Alumni," Carlson said. "We had 'Dr. Hook,' Paul D'Amato; 'Hanrahan,' Christopher Murney; goalie Denis Lemieux,' Yvon Barrette; and 'Johnny Upton,' Allan F. Nichols. We tried to get Paul Newman to come up, but he wasn't feeling well even then and had to decline. It was great to see the boys again. What a cast that movie had."

Carlson was one of several real hockey players used in the movie. He grew up in Minnesota's Iron Range and played for the Johnstown Jets from 1974-76. He was the leading scorer in 1975-76. He then played two seasons for the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the WHA and then the New England Whalers and Edmonton Oilers of the WHA. Carlson broke into the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings in 1979-80 and played 52 games. He ended his playing career in 1987 after playing four seasons with the AHL Baltimore Skipjacks.

Carlson took advantage of his “Slap Shot” role and appeared with the other "Hanson Brothers," his brother, Jeff Carlson and Dave Hanson, in charity fundraisers over the years. He's got his shtick down pat:

"I made Newman what he is," Carlson exclaimed. "He was just a young pup trying to make his way in the movie business and we put him over the top. Remember, he won his first Academy Award after Slap Shot.

"Truthfully, I'm very saddened. Paul Newman was a great, great man. A great man. You know, we weren't actors. We were hockey players and he took us under his wing and guided us to what we had to do. With him there, we had a fabulous time doing it. He was one of the world's best actors but with us, he was just one of the boys. We laughed and had fun and worked when we had to work. We had a really good time doing that movie."

Carlson had some difficulty with the memories, so he retreated again to the safety and comfort of humor.

"After all we did for him, he goes and steals our family recipes for salad dressing and popcorn," Carlson cracked. "Then he got into race-car driving because he knew we were after him and couldn't catch him in those cars of his.

"I always thought it was the main characters, Paul Newman and Strother Martin, that made that movie. We were a big part of it but they really made that movie a classic. What a cast.”

Carlson's humor touched on a sore point. Newman was one of the greatest actors of his era, if not the best. He was nominated six times for Best Actor In A Leading Role Oscar for “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” “The Hustler,” “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Absence of Malice” and “The Verdict” before winning in 1986 with “The Color of Money.” He was nominated again in 1995 for “Nobody's Fool,” but again didn't win.

Carlson said he has stayed in touch with a lot of the characters in Slap Shot but hadn't seen Brad Sullivan in a long time. Sullivan, "Mo" in “Slap Shot,” was in two movies with Newman. He was also the sleazy, incompetent hit man, "Cole," in “The Sting,” another movie directed by the late George Roy Hill.

"This is terrible news, what, he must be about 81 now," Sullivan said. "I've had so many friends getting very sick in recent months. We were in ‘The Sting’ together, but I didn't get to know him then as well as when we did ‘Slap Shot.’ He was a good person and this upsets me."

"My first recollection of Paul Newman is the day he knocked on my door in Johnstown," said Hanson, who played three seasons with the Jets. "This was prior to making the movie and I was taking a nap. I open the door and there's Paul Newman! Put his hand out and said, 'I'm Paul Newman, sorry to bother you. Can I bring these guys in and show them what a hockey player's apartment looks like?' I'm like, ‘No way, it's a dump,’ but he asks if I have a beer, grabs one from the fridge and sits down and starts watching a race on the television.

"That's the kind of guy he was. Our relationship just grew from that, and believe me, my stories about that time with him can go on and on. He was a terrific guy and a man's man, the kind of guy you wanted to be buddies with.

"For the three months that we were filming, he'd pull us into his RV, crack open beers, listen to classical music and tell dirty jokes. He would sneak off with us to find quiet bars until the word got out and people started recognizing him. He didn't like doing autographs because he didn't need the ego boost and it made him feel uncomfortable to be on a pedestal.

"We were young hockey players then and Steve and his brothers pulled a lot of pranks on people," Hanson continued. "Paul joined in and wound up giving as good as he got. That made everyone feel at ease. I was fortunate to be able to keep in touch with him over the years and went to a few races with him.

"He was just a great guy and his legacy will be that you look at the millions and millions of dollars he generated and what he did with it, all the philanthropy. He was a guy who could put on a tux, but he'd rather be in loafers, jeans and a T-shirt and be with regular guys. It said a lot about him.

"As far as his talent, he took to heart the acting lessons we gave him and went on to fame while we toiled for another 25 years before getting a best supporting actor award for a DVD premiere, Slap Shot II. Tell the truth, I don't know if anyone's acting ability rubbed off onto anyone else.

"Paul canceled a couple of things a while back, saying he had back problems, but I guess things were getting worse. I've got a book coming out in November and Paul was going to write the forward but I got a call recently that he was going to be laid up for awhile."v

“Slap Shot” was based on a book written by Nancy Dowd, whose brother, Ned, was a member of the 1975-76 Johnstown Jets. He told his sister the team was for sale and when she asked who owned it, Ned Dowd replied he didn't know. That and stories her brother told her convinced Nancy Dowd to move to Johnstown and write her fictional account of a desperate hockey season. Jets' players were used in the movie, which was released in 1977.

Newman played Reg Dunlop, a washed-up player who hangs on by accepting the job of player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs of the Federal League. The team is playing poorly when General Manager Joe McGrath, played by Strother Martin, signs the immature but brutally physical Hanson Brothers, a trio of muscular, long-haired, turtle-shell-glasses wearing nose breakers who play with a train set they brought with them. Dunlop turns the team around by adopting the Hanson Brothers "Old Time Hockey" approach and by lying to his players that there's a buyer in Florida for the team.

Newman was married to actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years and they had three daughters. He had two children from a previous marriage to Jackie Witte.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Euro Blog Announcement...

With a little less than a month until the 2008 European Lacrosse Championships, I am already looking forward to the month to come. The Irish-based members of the National team and a few fill ins from Dublin Lacrosse will be playing AIST in a two game series in the mid portion of July. After that its just a mere 2 weeks until the national team gets together for training camp at 10am on the 1st of August.

I am going to do daily blog posts during training camp and during the YoYos as I have taken to calling them. Between me and Christian Lee Wong-Arnolds blog you should be able to keep well up to speed on the events of the summer.

Things are coming together as the Uniforms are being shipped today from the US and should arrive late next week or early the following week. I am getting excited but, think I am going to have to purchase some additional lacrosse gear to keep me near my mark of three working sticks and looking at dying one of the heads.

There should be some 1Lacrosse gear on its way too though Arnold has yet to confirm when this will make its way to Dublin. My hopes that it will be around prior to the games vs. AIST so I can test the gear in game situations. You should check it their website at though basic at the moment I believe the official launch coicides with the opening of the Euros.

Well that is all for now.. My dad is in town and has been sleeping like a hibernating bear due to the apparent jetlag he is going through. His trip has been good so far as he took in the sites in town yesterday and I am sure he will be updating his facebook page in the near future.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Welkom in Amsterdam

Well the latest instalment into Gibby's World was a amazing yet tiring lacrosse weekend in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam for the Lowlands tournament.

Mike, Colm, Moffat aka 'Kevin Quinn' and myself departed from Dublin Airport for Eindhoven to catch a train to Amsterdam. Once we arrived in Amsterdam we hopped a cab and headed to our hotel the Hans Brinker Hotel...

Once we were checked in and sorted we headed to the opening night party at Cafe De Stoof were we met up with the rest of the Irish based contingent which included our Czech tour guide Simon Vit... After several rounds of beer we headed back to our sweatshop like room to ajourn for the evening.

After breakfast were we met up with our remaining continental based players, We headed down to the fields on the Metro. It was a 45 minute commute across the vast Dutch city and not too bad to get an extra few minutes of kip. The weather was bright and sunny and asides from finding out we were playing on astro truf and not having the perfect footwear we began our first match against Prolax. We over powered our mostly German opponents by a score of 9-2 for our first victory. The score sheet was balanced with Matt Walsh earning a hat trick, Gibby grabbing a pair and four others getting on the scoresheet.

Our second game was against the formidable Lions of Amsterdam who were the toast of the Dutch Lacrosse League. There roster included several Dutch internationals. It was decided that Colm, Gibby and Kennedy would brandish the long poles for the game. The Dubliners took tot he game like clock work and Matt Walsh continued his goal scoring exploits, while the Dublin defence were dominant. John O'Connor grabbed his first goal in a Dublin Lacrosse uniform. The Dublin side handed the hosts their first defeat.

Our final game of the day was against the German side Breman and with the hopes of topping the group was at stake for the Dublin side. It was another solid performance and the Dubliners took full marks for a very well balanced attack and contributions from our imports Dan, Cam, Bob, Sonke, and Sam were a huge addition. At times during the game we held possession of the ball for good spells and Bremen was no match for the Dubliners as we topped the group with an easy victory.

That evening after we ate a meal fit for kings, we partied like it was 1829 in the Pirates bar. It was a good night for all and all teams were represented.

Sunday mornings semi finals featured the Spencer (ENG) vs Amsterdam (NL) and Dublin (IRE) vs. Netherlands (NL). We played the Dutch national team and it was a very competitive match early on. But, 10 minutes into the game the Dubliners had a comfortable lead which they took into the half. With the offence running on full cylinders and Moffat doing his best and defensive stop after defensive stop the Dutch team ran out of gas. The Dublin side again winning by a comfortable margin. Setting up a Dublin vs. Spencer final a rematch of last years semi finals.

The Dublin side was unstoppable in the final. The Dublin offense was led by Matt Walsh Simon Vit, and Daniel carried a four goal lead into the second half. The defense at half hadn't conceded a single shot on goal. Moffat came out of the half making three huge shots and took the wind right out of the Spencer side. Dublin made it five-nil before spencer managed to get a goal back. With Spencer mounting a mini comeback, the Dublin side scored to make the final score 6-3 in a comprehensive victory.
Moffat was clearly the teams MVP only allowing 12 goals across the 5 games.
Matt Walsh was selected as the Tourney MVP and Dublin Captured only its second ever tournament victory and its first abroad.
It should be noted Kennedy had mentioned on the plane that like the Dutch football team in the 1970's who engineered 'Total Football' we engineered total lacrosse...

It was a good weekend had by all and I have included some additional photos of our final party.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Irish oddities in warm weather!

In the realm of Ireland, warm sunny weather is often a rarity. This past weekend we experienced abnormally warm tempeatures. This caused some interesting things. If you happened to find your self near a coastal area you may have found yourself staring into an eery fog like something out of a hitchcock movie. But, comically I happened to be coming back from Brian McCann's birthday in Dundalk when I noticed an even more bizarre Irish habit of traffic watching. On almost every overpass ok the m1 between Dundalk and Dublin it was observed that countless people were watching the traffic. I don't know if it an Irish thing or not being able to cope with warm weather in thief own country but, the Irish people were drawn the the traffic rather than the nearest beach which must be told is no further than a 2 hours drive from any where in Ireland.
Oh well day four of the "heatwave" continues hope it holds.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Shaka, when the walls fell"

So how much of a nerd am I?

Whilst in the midst of the beach party Christian and I passed comment regarding how the Czech kids were dancing like crazy and all the North Americans were happily reverting back to college days of flip cup, drinking games, and socialising. When I past the comment, "Shaka, when the walls fell" well this nearly floored Christian when I followed it up with the comment "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra". This obscure but, completely relevant reference to the second episode of the fifth season of Star Trek the Next Generation sparked a ten minute discussion of the episode and including an amusing story of Kelly Arnold near mishap with 'assimilation' by the Borg at a Star Trek Convention.

An Exercise of Grit and Determination.

2008 Ales Hrebesky Memorial

Day One

Well an ominous start against the tournament favorites was on the cards and it was a hard fought physical affair. Despite having few numbers the Dublin Riggers fought hard against a numerically supiorior Boston Megamen. We ended up loosing the contest by a score of 10-2 but, not before we scored two of the best goals of the tournament both coming from behind the cage.

Result: Loss (10:2)

Day Two

The Day started with no expectations as we played TJ Malesice who were last years runners up. We set the tone early with some punishing play and big hits as Bingo was on a mission to hit anything that moves. The score was kept closer than Malesice would have liked and had a narrow 2:1 lead at the half. Matt Walsh scoring a nice goal as he fell on the way to goal slotting the ball in the five hole of the Malesice goalie.
More bruising play continued and eventually the Riggers hard work paid off tying the game at 2:2. Malesice quickly regained the lead shortly after and put the game out of reach in the final 2 minutes. Though the result was not reflective of the dominant play by the Riggers.

Result: Loss (4:2)

The Riggers finally broke out offensively against the Old Dogs Plzen. It's hard to imagine a team of 8 guys playing box lacrosse utilise a 'run and gun style offense' but, that is exactly what we did. We jumped out to an early 4:1 lead and did not look back at all. Pouring it on offensively the Old Dogs had way more than they bargained for and eventually succombed to the Riggers. The Score sheet was pretty balanced with everyone contributing.

Result: Win (8:4)

Day Three

Last Year the Tricksters tricked us and got the better of us, this year we were determined not to be fooled again. Bratislava pulled of a suprising victory against the Team from Philly in a shoot out so a lot was expected of them. But the Combination of Gibby's Domination at the face off circle, Matt Walsh's Hattrick, the steallar goaltending of Tony Devine who was filling in for Matt Cannon, and the punishing style of play led to the Riggers second victory in the tourney. It has to be mentioned that this is the first time I think a coach has yelled at a played to score and that player did. Coach Arnold should definitely get the assist on that goal.

Result: Win (7:3)

Next on the cards were BiBer the combination team from Berlin and Bielefield. Simon Vit and Gibby got the Riggers offense running again and Matt walsh's contributions made the score 4:1 at the end of the half. It was an offensive explosion by Gibby who bagged three in the second half which saw the Riggers narrowly pull out a victory against the German team who was clawing their way back into the game.

Result: Win (7:6)

Day Four

The combination of 'running and gunning', drinking, and playing a bruising punishing style of defense definitely had taken its toll on the Riggers and heading into the 9th place game the Dublin side had little left in the tank. Though not before making a little more noise as the Riggers jumped out to a 2:0 lead in the first half on a goal by Gibby and an well finished quickstick by Tony Devine. Matt Walsh bagged himself another goal and Gibby finished out the scoring for the Dublin side. But, the game was not for the Riggers to claim as the younger LCC Tigers pulled out the victory late in the game.

Result: Loss (7:4)


This is the best result to date for the Dublin Riggers who finished tenth and earned a ton of respect along the way. The Gritty Irish team who dominated faceoffs, physically dominated opponents on the defensive end and scored some of the tournaments highlight goals were definitely the talk of the town. How can 8 guys play that much lacrosse and do so well in that kinda tournament is beyond me but fairplay to each and everyone of the guys for the effort they put in.

MIcheal Kennedy, Adam Ginty, Peter (Malesice), Matt Walsh, Matt Cannon, Tony Devine, Bingo, and Simon Vit all played like legends and my hat goes off to each and everyone of them. Coach Arnold's half time speeches and key time outs were top notch.

Tony Devine, Sean Gibson, and Christain Arnold (COach) Represented the Riggers in the All Star Game. While Gibson also was selected a tournament All-Star.

Brian Bendig Awards

The Brian Bendig of Keilbasa was Michael Kennedy
The Brian Bendig of Tour Guides was Simon Vit
The Brian Bendig of Pain (Both to himself and others) was Bingo
The Brian Bendig of Dancing Naked was NAZ
The Brian Bendig of Missing Third Day of tournament mornings was Matt Cannon (was also the 2006 winner)
The Brian Bendig of Smoking Cigarettes was Christain Arnold though this was close as Tony took second place.
The Brian Bendig of being pantsed in the stand was Tony Devine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trip to the North Day One

Lauren and I had decided long ago that we should venture to the north for a few days during her visit. She had a number of things she wanted to see and do while up there and we made a best effort to accomplish them all. We were unfortunately not able to go across the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge , this is mainly due to the fact that the bridge would get stolen during the winter months or so the locals say... (I think it may possibly be due to a more sinister plot..)

However, we lazed our way from Dublin enroute to WhitePark Bay on the North Antrim Coast via Belfast, Ballymena, Coolraine, and Bushmills. It was a good easy drive and relatively easy to navigate our way in my little car. We decided to stop at Dunluce Castle.

It was a hazy day but, the views from the castle are amazing. The rugged northern coast is something that everyone should take an opportunity at least once in there lives to see for them selves.

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is one of the most extensive ruins of a medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and is arcessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. It is between Portballintrae and Portrush. The castle is dramatically surrounded by terrifyingly steep drops either side, which would have been a very important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood. It is a State Care Historic Monument sited in the townland of Dunluce, in Coleraine Borough Council area. (For further Information regarding Dunluce Castle click here.)

After I managed to almost throw myself off the cliff we headed to our B&B on beautiful WhitePark Bay near Ballintoy. We stayed at the Whitepark House B&B and I have to say it was worth every penny we paid. I will have a review in a later blog posting.

Here are some further images from Dunluce Castle:

Next Post Day Two: Giant's Causeway and Bushmills

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Wings of Dublin

by guest blogger Chris Arnold
When you think of Dublin and food, the first thing that comes to mind is Chicken Wings right? Wrong, BUT luckily there are a few places that actually do wings well, the way us North Americans like 'em.
I've sampled the wings at quite a few places, but there is a clear winner in the "Best Wings" category.
TriBeCa in Ranelagh (Dublin 6)
Tony Devine & I popped in for lunch yesterday, so I could see what all the wing hub-bub was about.
We got an order of about 20 wings while we waited for our sandwiches. I immediately regretted that I didn't order more wings. They were small but crispy and soaked in a buttery, spicy wing sauce. They werent soggy and not too hot, although I did break into my trademark sweat. Luckily, it was only a mild sweat compared to the embarrassing 5 alarm fire sweat I have experienced with some wings. One of the most important factors when eating wings is of coure the Blue Cheese dressing, usually it pales in comparison to what we're used to in the States, but at Tribeca it is absoultely on target...and yummy. Plus, plenty of good looking, crisp celery.
Tony & I were both pleased with our sandwiches (Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich and Tiger Prawn Sandwich respectively)...both very good yet a tad pricey at around 12 euros each.
Total bill : about 40 euros (2 sandwiches, 20 wings, 2 cokes)
The best part about Tribeca ? Its only a 10 minute walk from my house...I'll be back!

The year's hottest artists on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. AOL Music takes you there.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First Culinary Entry for 2008

Lamb Doyles

After much deliberation about what to do for lunch and reminding myself of the commitment I have made to this blog about recipes and restaurant reviews. I decided to make my first 'culinary entry' about my local.

About Lamb Doyles
Lamb Doyles has a long and colourful history with its connections with Horse Racing at nearby Leopardstown Race Course, and as a famous gathering place for Dubliners and tourists who appreciate the magnificent views over Dublin City and Bay.

About the Menu (
The menu has changed alot since thier website was created and now is typically what you would find at any bog standard pub throughout the Dublin area. The menu is simple and reflects the strengths of Irish cuisine which always strikes me a being very comfortable in nature. I would expect it being the nature of the average punter who may frequent the place and also due to its location at the start of the Wicklow Mountains.

My Meal
As I was dining at lunch time and was feeling overly hungry I decided to go with a starter of Potato Skins, and a Steak Sandwich for my entrée.

My starter came out piping hot and was presented simply with your normal expectation of a few leafy greens and an orange slice as a garnish. With three halved potato skins with cheddar cheese and bacon. There was no accompaniment of the usual sour cream or salsa which I would expect to find and for €5.75 seemed a bit steep for the portion size. The taste was pleasant as expected and was timely served.

My Entrée followed shortly after and as I like my steaks rare, I was not disappointed. The sandwich was again garnished with the previous garnish, and was on a plate with an ample serving of chips. The steak sandwich itself was served on a ciabatta bun and topped with fried onions and mushrooms. I would have to say it was all that you would expect from your typical pub based restaurant and if I could say anything it was that the food was just that typical. The meal lacked personality and there was not much of a flavor to much of the food. The 6oz. steak sandwich rings in at €12.95 and is a bit steep in price but, you leave feeling full the entire entrée is more than ample to fill an empty stomach.

I have a soft spot for Lamb Doyles as it is my local but not only that, the older gentleman who serves during the day is very pleasant and will go out of his way to help you.

Today's Rating
Food: 2.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Cleanliness: 4/5

Overall: 3.5

Monday, January 7, 2008

First Game Back or Should I Say, "Frost Game Back"

Well on Saturday night I played in my first hockey game of the new year and wow, two weeks off of skates really showed. After posting one of the best performances of the season in the IIHL Allstars vs HK Kurbads on the 22 of December. I followed it up with a shaky first game back. Granted we did have 6 players and the Bulls 'B' had an army of players. But, in the end we won 4-3 and remain in a 3 way tie for top spot. I will chalk it up as more of a practice and more time on the ice. Training tonight and I am going to watch the second leg of the Bulls vs. Concordia Stingers series.

On another note: Team Canada won it's fourth straight world junior hockey championship and it was very exciting to be abroad to watch and see our nation defeat some of the world's elite junior hockey players.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Welcome to my Blog

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to do a blog for all the interesting events that unfold throughout 2008. Because of the nature of who I am and my interests in many things this blog may become fairly abstract. I will do my best to include all things and for you foodies I will include recipes and reviews of restaurants that I encounter through 2008. All major sporting events that I am involved should earn an entry in here.

Before we can start into 2008, I thought it would be good to include the top five moments from 2007.

Top five moments of 2007:

  1. Captaining Ireland in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships
  2. My trip to Halifax in October / November
  3. The trip to Cork
  4. Jimi Dlouhy Cup - Radotin, CZ, London Blues Tourney
  5. Playing and getting involved with Irish Ice Hockey - PRO

I wish you all the best for 2008 and hope you enjoy reading whats to come.