Monday, April 2, 2007

Slapshot Extra Remembers Great Memories

The Gazette ran a story on yours and my favorites sports movie, Slapshot. The story covers the memories of Bob O'Reilly. You remember Bob... he played "Heckey" of the Broome County Blades. Still don't remember? Okay.. he is the players that was sucker-punched and choked by Steve Carlson, who played Steve Hanson. Some quotables:

A madman on Slap Shot's Syracuse Bulldogs, Ogie is introduced by announcer Jim Carr thus: "This young man has had a very trying rookie season, what with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada - and that country's refusal to accept him. That's more than most 21-year-olds could handle."

The character was fashioned after real-life minor-pro wildman Bill (Goldie) Goldthorpe of Thunder Bay, Ont., who earned a stunning 1,132 penalty minutes in only 194 pro games and once had a battle for the ages against O'Reilly.

(It ended when Goldthorpe, on the ice trying frantically to climb into O'Reilly's penalty box, blocked a steel chair with his skull. Goldie and O'Reilly wound up as teammates the next year, and Goldie shook his rival's hand, praising him "for being even crazier than me.")

Newman could barely skate, so he was doubled in action sequences by the Broome Dusters' Rod Bloomfield, a career minor-leaguer from Bracebridge, Ont., who was near enough to Newman's advertised 5-foot-9.

O'Reilly wisely took Ned Dowd's advice to try sneaking into scenes by creeping into faceoffs while watching for cameras. He's on screen six or seven times, as best he can tell.

"The best is with Steve Carlson," he said. "I break my balsa-wood stick over his back and he one-times me. I go down and he gets on top of me, supposedly choking me and banging my head on the ice, but I just kept laughing because I'd fought Carlson during the year. That probably cost me a good closeup.

"I took my parents and brothers to the movie in Montreal. My folks were bragging to everybody that I had a speaking part. Well, in one scene I'm skating down the ice and I'm speared by one of the Hansons and I go, 'Oof.' You can hear it as I go down face-first. I had my family pumped up for months.

"There was a guy from the (NAHL) Cape Cod Cubs I hated, and I had one scene when I was just supposed to miss him. But I whacked him with an elbow in the head and knocked him out. The director came over and said: 'It's not supposed to be that real,' but he was winking. He loved it.

"The best hits? They're real, because they happened after 3 o'clock when all the extras were hammered. It was boring, sitting around on the set from 7 a.m., just waiting to be called."

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