Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time flies, just like Bobby did

The picture is still one of the most famous in hockey history, spread out like Superman flying through the air, celebrating the goal that won a Stanley Cup!

He was the player many of us wanted to be as we grew up on the rinks, or in the streets playing the game we love. The sale of jersey's with number 4, probably could have stopped a recession in its tracks. Such was the presence of the boy from Parry Sound.

Robert Gordon Orr, known to all forever as Bobby, turns 60 today, a quiet celebration for him at his Florida winter home, but what surely will be a boisterous exhibition of joy for the folks of Boston as they flash that famous smile, the Bruins B and the forever immortalized number four on that huge screen at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Bobby Orr is 60, where has the time gone.

And while those of us who watched our black and white televisions and then the colour ones, grow older and look the part, Orr still looks the image of a youngish man. True he's not the fresh faced youngster who set the hockey world on its ear in the mid sixties, but surely he's not a man who if he had remained in Canada, would be five years away from a Canada Pension Plan cheque.

Still a public figure in some demand, he's there nightly on our television sets, the quiet spokesman who never actually mentions the product he's endorsing, but instead just that touchstone of the past for the nation of his birth.

He's busy taking the kids to the rink, picking shaving cream out of skate boot, or giving advice to a nervous mill worker from Saskatchewan ready to shoot a puck for a million dollars, it's all in the name of teamwork, Bobby. Still the leader, still the icon.

May he enjoy his day surrounded by his friends and family in that Florida sun and more than aware that the old snowbound homeland still ranks him as one of their favourites, a symbol of a different time. Hero for a generation of hockey fans that saw magic on the ice in a Bruins uniform, flying down the ice ready for another score, another great rush for number four.

to say there's a few things of note on the Internet today about such a grand occasion, here's a sample.
Globe and Mail--Tim Wharnsby-- The years fly by
Globe and Mail--Stephen Brunt--An icon turns 60

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