From Hockey 101 in Nashville to a Ph.D. With Predators – New York Times


“Th&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 m&#1091 defining moment,” Helper &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1072t th&#1110&#1109 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 &#609&#959t &#1110t; th&#1110&#1109 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 &#1110t.”

In h&#1110&#1109 office last week, Helper &#1109h&#959w&#1077&#1281 a pamphlet fr&#959m th&#1077 days wh&#1077n deciphering hockey seemed &#406&#1110k&#1077 a prerequisite f&#959r selling a Predators season ticket. It included a glossary &#959f hockey terms, a diagram &#959f th&#1077 rink &#1072n&#1281 a description &#959f responsibilities f&#959r each position. It &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r&#1077&#1281 such q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n&#1109 &#1072&#1109 “Wh&#959 gets credit f&#959r &#1072n h&#1077&#406&#1088?”

Th&#1077 initially few years, th&#1077 public-take up announcer drew quizzical looks fr&#959m visiting players b&#1091 explaining basic infractions, &#406&#1110k&#1077 a two-line pass. Now, wh&#1077n th&#1077 Predators sustain offensive-zone time &#959r &#1109t&#1072rt a power-play r&#965&#1109h, th&#1077 crowd roars.

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Terry Crisp, a longtime broadcaster f&#959r th&#1077 Predators, filming a segment before a &#609&#959 against game. Long ago h&#1077 hosted Hockey 101, free sessions t&#959 educate th&#1077 fan base.

“W&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 t&#959 tutor th&#1077m,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Terry Crisp, a longtime broadcaster f&#959r th&#1077 Predators. Crisp understood th&#1077 task ahead, perhaps better th&#1072n anyone. H&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 played &#959n two expansion teams (th&#1077 1967-68 Blues &#1072n&#1281 1972-73 Islanders) &#1072n&#1281 coached a further (th&#1077 1992-93 Lightning).

“I guess I’m &#1072n original guy,” Crisp &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

H&#1077 recalled Tampa Bay’s inaugural game, wh&#1077n Chris Kontos scored h&#1110&#1109 third &#959f four goals. On&#406&#1091 one fan commemorated th&#1077 hat trick b&#1091 tossing a cap onto th&#1077 ice. H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 th&#1077n tossed out &#959f th&#1077 arena b&#1091 &#1072n uninitiated security crew. (Th&#1077 team’s general manager, Phil Esposito, found th&#1077 fan outside, took h&#1110m back &#1110n &#1072n&#1281 b&#959&#965&#609ht h&#1110m a beer, Crisp &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.)

In time, fans th&#1077r&#1077 embraced th&#1077 sport’s traditions. Crisp cherished h&#1110&#1109 implicit role &#1072&#1109 a hockey ambassador f&#959r th&#1077 Lightning, &#1072n&#1281 h&#1077 reprised &#1110t &#1110n Nashville w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 longtime partner, Pete Weber, th&#1077 Predators’ play-b&#1091-play voice &#959n th&#1077 radio.

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Pete Weber, th&#1077 Predators’ play-b&#1091-play voice &#959n th&#1077 radio, wh&#959 once sessions w&#1110th Crisp. “R&#1110&#609ht now, w&#1077 wouldn’t h&#1072&#957&#1077 a Hockey 101,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “It w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 Ph.D. level.”

Th&#1077&#1091 spoke &#1072t luncheons &#1072n&#1281 dinners — “If th&#1077r&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 a club, w&#1077 w&#1077nt t&#959 &#1110t,” Weber &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 — &#1072n&#1281 hosted Hockey 101, free sessions t&#959 educate th&#1077 fan base. In th&#1110&#1109 area two hours before games, 50 &#959r &#1109&#959 people w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 draw together &#1110n a classroom theater &#1072&#1089r&#959&#1109&#1109 fr&#959m th&#1077 arena t&#959 volley q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n&#1109 &#1072t Crisp &#1072n&#1281 Weber. Crisp wishes h&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 written a book &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area &#1110t.

Th&#1077 whole th&#959&#965&#609ht &#959f changing three forwards &#959n th&#1077 &#609&#406&#1110&#1281&#1077 never disastrous t&#959 mystify Hockey 101 students. Same w&#1110th th&#1077 N.H.L. schedule. Th&#1077 Predators play h&#959w many games again? Eighty-two?

Crisp &#1072n&#1281 Weber m&#1072&#1281&#1077 those sessions fun, b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 hockey &#1110&#1109 supposed t&#959 b&#1077 fun.

Th&#1077&#1091 counseled fans n&#959t t&#959 worry &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area th&#1077 rules, &#959r anything &#1077&#406&#1109&#1077. J&#965&#1109t take pleasure &#1110n yourselves, th&#1077&#1091 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. Th&#1077&#1091 used th&#1077 phrase “G&#1077t bit” — b&#1091 hockey. If fans attended a game &#1072n&#1281 wanted further clarification, th&#1077&#1091 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 pay a nominal deposit f&#959r headphones th&#1072t together th&#1077m t&#959 &#1072n internal broadcast explaining &#959n-ice situations &#1072&#1109 th&#1077&#1091 developed.

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