Longtime New York Rangers announcer Jack Filman was once asked the origins of the word "hockey." He replied that it was from an aboriginal word, hoghee, that meant, "it hurts!" Hockey history is full of such myths, and the purpose of this blog is to take a closer look at them and discuss the surrounding historical issues. (BTW hockey probably originates with the French word, hoquet, which referred to the hooked shape of the sticks used to play similar stick-and-ball games.)


I've always thought there was a need for the study of sportswriting, especially the 1920s and 1930s.

The New York papers are where the trade really flourished, with scribes like Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, et al. There are several memoirs of this era (Paul Gallico, Stanley Woodward) which are full of tales (some taller than others), and even a oral history by Jerome Holtzman, No Cheering in the Press Box, which chronicles some of the better- and lesser-known writers.

There are some Canadian contributions by Jim Vipond, Jim Coleman, and Milt Dunnell, as well as my favourtie, Down the Stretch by W.A. Hewitt (father of Foster). For a taste, here is an online memoir by Charles Templeton, jack-of-all-trades and master of the same. He has great stories about Mike Rodden, former Globe sports editor, whose papers now reside in the Queen's University Archives. Other journalist papers I have run into include Dink Carroll of The Montreal Star (McGill University Archives), Charles Mayer of Le Petit Journal (Library and Archives Canada) and Harold Kaese of the Boston Globe (Boston Public Library Special Collections). There may be more...

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