While one of the biggest local sports stories in recent weeks has been the Capitals’ playoff push, they were upstaged this weekend by the Nationals and the new stadium. I was fortunate to attend last night’s Opening Day game, and quickly noticed a decent number of Caps fans in attendance. They were wearing Caps hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and even jerseys. After attending many, many Nationals games over the past few seasons, I can’t recall ever seeing a display like the one I witnessed last night. Perhaps the Caps weren’t as back-burnered as I thought they were. I was, however, heartened to see that the new stadium kept the Washington Hall of Stars tradition alive, with Rod Langway representing local hockey on the banner.
Last week, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga shared this item about the Nats’ manager at Nationals Journal:
Manny Acta really likes the movie “Slapshot”, and was very happy to find out that Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau was an extra in the movie.
Personally, I was a little surprised to learn this, since Manny doesn’t seem like a hockey movie kind of guy, although I suppose the movie could (and should) be considered one of the quintessential sports films. One article from the San Jose Mercury-News captured the essence of “Slap Shot” without once mentioning Bruce Boudreau! (It seems to be a rarity in articles about “Slap Shot” since November 2007.)
In the frozen world of hockey, “Slap Shot” isn’t merely a film. It’s a cinematic treasure that has forever been ingrained in the sport’s culture. Almost everyone, from NHL equipment guys to team captains, can quote the often profane dialogue, inside and out…Although it didn’t impress critics much when it was released in 1977, “Slap Shot” quickly developed a cult following and now routinely is placed on the short list of all-time best sports films. The biggest raves come from the people who watch – over and over – their sport mocked as thuggery on ice. All these years later, hockey players still are laughing along with it.
One can now add a major league baseball manager to those who laugh along with it. Who knew?