Lots in the press lately about concussions and the scourge they are in the game today. I couldn’t agree more. Having said that, I doubt there is any way to eliminate them from the game short of removing contact and fighting. Even then there would be the odd accident as there is in my old timer league where it isn’t unusual to have two guys simply bang into each other, often from the same team.
However, knowing all the good things guys like Syd the kid are receiving in terms of state of the art treatment today, here’s a little story about how a head shot got taken care of back in the day. I was back in Peterborough recently spending time with my Dad and Mom and my Dad told me a story of when he played on a team many moon ago for Hiawatha, a tiny village just south of Peterborough on the shores of Rice Lake. (This was probably the 1950’s roughly).
His team had a game one night against Norwood, another small town 20 miles east of Peterborough, and their goalie and my Dad’s buddy, a man named Don Fitzgerald, took a puck square on the forehead right between the eyes. Keep in mind, in this era, no one wore helmets, not even goalies. Not only did the front part of Don’s melon take a blow but according to my Dad, he proceeded to fall like a tall, straight jackpine right over backwards on to the back of his head and then lay there out cold.
Naturally, the boys were worried for Don and so they got him off the ice and proceeded to drive him to Keene (another tiny village between Norwood and Hiawatha) to Doc Ford’s house. By the time they got there, Don was no longer out cold but more than a little groggy according to my Dad.
Doc Ford, a man who apparently went 300+ pounds on day of fasting, gave Don a full, late-night medical once-over and declared him fit as a fiddle and good to go home…with a nice cold beer offered up for medicinal purposes.