Archive for March, 2013

A ‘King’s’ secret passion for paint

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Painting and hockey were always two of Richard Brodeur’s passions.

But while he played hockey for a living during the 1970s and 1980s, his painting remained a secret.

“I loved painting, but as a professional athlete, you don’t really come out and say you are an artist/painter, that wouldn’t go over too well in the dressing room,” he admitted.

Brodeur’s pro career began in the World Hockey Association with the Quebec Nordiques and he played in his home province until the league merged with the NHL in 1979. With his rights belonging to the New York Islanders, who had selected the goaltender in the 1972 NHL amateur draft, cheap nfl jerseys he played in the Islanders organization for a season before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks.

In 1982, he earned a place in Canucks lore, earning the name King Richard as he lead the underdog team to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the New York Islanders.

Many times, Brodeur would come home after a game and paint until three or four in the morning.

“It was a pressure reliever, a way to get away from the game,” he said.

His last NHL season was split between the Canucks and Hartford Whalers in 1987 88. He retired the following year, having played 333 games, and all but eight with Vancouver.

Following his playing days, Brodeur got into business, and he now runs his own event management company, based out of North Vancouver.

“The weekends, that is my hobby, that is my getaway, my relief from the pressure of business,” he said. “This is something I will cherish forever.”

He spends about 20 hours a week, usually on the weekends, on his paintings, although he said he would love to do this full time, putting in 60 hours a week exclusively on his art.

When Brodeur was on the ice, all he could control was giving his best effort and hoping the results were positive.

But as an artist, he said, there is no control.

“You just put (your piece) on the wall and have to be proud of what you do.

“As an artist, your reward is that someone liked it and bought it. It puts a smile on my face when I see a little red dot on it, because it means it was sold and someone liked it.”

While selling a piece is exciting and the end goal, Brodeur does it for more than that.

“But first of all, you do it because it is a passion and you want to do it,” he said. Gallery in Fort Langley and runs until April 29.

The show features oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings of Brodeur’s childhood memories of growing up with pond hockey, street hockey and backyard hockey in his hometown of Longueuil, Que.

Brodeur says his childhood memories are the same as thousands of other hockey loving kids from across the country.

“When people look at (the pieces), they are happy and it brings back memories from when they grew up,” he said.

Some of the kids in the photos have Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr and Guy Lafleur jerseys on, while others have current stars such as Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

a Seahawk family history

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

I wanted to be a wide receiver. The dream died in junior high even at that age, I had a reasonable grasp of the obvious.

Football shouldn’t matter, but it does. My first team, discovered in elementary school, was the 1972 Miami Dolphins, still the only team to run through the regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl with a perfect record. Paul Warfield, a graceful receiver, was my first football hero. He ran like a dream of running.

I still owe my dad seven car washes for Super Bowl XVI in 1982. He conned me into picking Cincinnati, even though I was a San Francisco 49er fan that year.

His favorite quarterbacks are thinkers Johnny Unitas in the old days,wholesale jerseys Peyton Manning now. He liked Jim Brown and Jim Taylor, bruising running backs. I liked Chuck Muncie, who fumbled too much, and Earl Campbell, who didn’t.

Our household rooted against the Dallas Cowboys in the ’70s, against the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos later on, when the Seahawks were their doormats.

We followed the Seattle team from its inception. They were more fun than good early on, but we loved Steve Largent, the undersized receiver with sticky hands who outwitted a generation of defensive backs.

The Hawks stole my heart for good in 1983, when coach Chuck Knox and running back Curt Warner arrived, and the team took off. Knox was a run first coach, perfectly paired with Warner, a sneaky fast back with more moves than a jukebox.

Kenny Easley, already a fixture but still young, was a safety from hell, the first Seattle player I can recall who scared other teams, the godfather of the Legion of Boom. Imagine a blend of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, dipped in cobra venom. That was Easley.

We watched the team get close, so close in ‘83 and ‘84. The rest of the decade was a slow decline, marked by occasional moments of glee: Fredd Young demolishing Dokie Williams Largent, in his last year, gaining perfect payback against Broncos safety Mike Harden.

Apart from that, we spent most of our fan time hate watching John Elway, the Broncos quarterback who always seemed to find a way to beat us. I hated him enough to root for flameout linebacker Brian Bosworth, but that didn’t last long. Soon, Easley was gone, and Warner too. Largent retired, and I became a father.

My loyalty didn’t waver; in those days I wrote occasional embarrassing columns for a Seahawks fanzine, marked by feeble attempts at snark. The team didn’t count for much in the ’90s. They snagged a string of no name quarterbacks, and one great player: Cortez Kennedy, the relentless defensive tackle.

I met Largent in the early ’90s, shortly after he started his political career. I worked in a small newsroom in Federal Way, with a small front desk. The guy just walked in wearing a perfect suit. I’d watched him on TV, never seen him in person. I flinched and gaped like a goldfish.

An inch taller than me, but he seemed bigger. He smiled, shook my hand and crushed it, which made sense; that same crushing hand tore footballs away from prowling cornerbacks.

As the century closed, the Hawks landed Mike Holmgren, a coach with a Super Bowl pedigree. Hope rose anew. My son was 8 when the team made the big game and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That was a great Hawk unit, but they gave us palpitations. Victories always felt like escapes.

My son’s first favorite team, oddly enough, was the 2007 Patriots led by Tom Brady and enigmatic receiver Randy Moss. They matched the perfect regular season of my old Dolphins, only to falter in the Super Bowl.

The boy was disappointed; secretly, I toasted my old Miami heroes. Meanwhile, my dad taunted me about unfinished car washes.

In 2010, our household fell in love all over again when running back Marshawn Lynch set off local seismographs. My bride embraced the Beast. We never looked back; the 49ers and their coach, Jim Harbaugh, united us in hatred of a new enemy.

My son discovered Richard Sherman’s bravado, and Russell Wilson’s cool. We gloried in last year’s Super Bowl run, his last year of high school. We bought matching Lynch jerseys. As this season began, he headed to college. We hoped for a repeat, ran the numbers and texted each other with trivia.

Two weeks ago, my bride and I watched the game against the Green Bay Packers that sent the Hawks to the Super Bowl for the second straight year. By the fourth quarter, we reached the beery acceptance stage. The Hawks were down, the offense humbled. Wilson was playing the worst game of his career. Loss looked inevitable.

Still, the defense refused to die. There was Sherman, snarling like a velociraptor with a wounded claw, countering the drama of Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his shredded calf muscle.

Sherman had a sprained elbow, inadvertently inflicted on a gang tackle by his teammate, Chancellor. Watching, I couldn’t imagine how much it hurt; I’ve sprained my elbow opening a jar of pickles. Sherman was still tackling.

Wilson threw his fourth interception with five minutes left. My bride grabbed a hunk of cheese from the refrigerator and kicked it over the back yard fence in a gesture of anti Packer defiance.

Our son texted us from his dorm: “I’m dying.”

So were we but the Packers went three and out, and the Hawks scored. We ran out of beer and hung on like grim death. Another frazzled text from our son: “This is too much.”

The Hawks needed to recover an onside kick. Impossible, surely and then they recovered it. We started jumping up and down.

They scored again and took the lead 36 seconds later on a skittering run by Lynch. We jumped and howled. They picked up an impossible two point conversion. We turned into a two person mosh pit.

A tying field goal from the Packers hold on, hold on. Then overtime, and the Hawks won the coin toss, and six plays later, Wilson sailed a rainbow to Jermaine Kearse. Game over.

A Turner using basketball to improve circumstances

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

grades weren’t good, I was missing school and getting in trouble a lot, said Turner, who grew up without a father and with an ailing, troubled mother. and stuff like that. I was getting kicked out of schools and moving from one location to another. The basketball academy taught Turner as a teen that there was more to life than mean streets and family problems and that an education via college basketball was possible.

learned to trust in God and let him take me wherever he wants me to go, Turner said. led me this far.

whole life, nothing has been given to him he’s had to earn everything, A coach said. the way he goes after rebounds. He had to go get everything in his life. He was just an underprivileged kid, meaning whatever you can imagine and what you can’t imagine. He was the first to even graduate from high school in his jerseys He started from the very bottom, and has worked his way up. I couldn’t have forced him to do so.

he had not wanted it himself, it wouldn’t have gotten accomplished. had to practice on my own. Coach just told me to keep my head on straight, stay on top of my classes, stay in shape and be ready when I became eligible.

heard right away when I got here that A and Texas aren’t on the same page, Turner said, smiling. Longhorns also kind of recruited me, but they didn’t think I was a player who could help them. It was great to show them the level I can play.