Saying bye to a movie legend

Posted 2/7/24

It was a sad day in Hollywood last week with the passing of Carl Weathers. Weathers, a professional football player turned actor, passed away at 76 years old, leaving a legacy that was always …

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Saying bye to a movie legend


It was a sad day in Hollywood last week with the passing of Carl Weathers. Weathers, a professional football player turned actor, passed away at 76 years old, leaving a legacy that was always underappreciated, in my opinion. There were countless tributes in his honor, and I’ll admit that I, too, overlooked how iconic some of his performances were.

As a sports guy, I’m frequently asked the question, “What’s your favorite sports movie?” My answer is always the same. “Either Rocky or Happy Gilmore.”

As Apollo Creed in the Rocky series, Weathers was brilliant in his portrayal as the proud, boastful, charismatic antagonist who would eventually befriend Rocky. With numerous lines that have lived in sports infamy, he created one of the best characters of all time.

“There is no tomorrow!”

“You fight great, but I’m a great fighter.”

Then, as Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore. He was excellent as the nutty golfer’s coach. He perfectly blended the voice of reason with a smidge of wackiness. He provided Happy with plenty of valuable lessons on the green, doing so with just one hand after losing the other in a fight against an alligator years back when the animal stole his ball.

Chubbs: “I tore one of that bastard’s eyes out, though. (Pulls out a jar with an eyeball). Look at that!”

Happy: “You’re pretty sick, Chubbs.”

One of the funniest exchanges in movie history.

But don’t worry, his replacement hand was “made of wood, real sturdy.” That was true until it met that 18-wheeler in the street.

It’s funny because after all of these years, after the hundreds of viewings of these two films, I never appreciated the fact that he was part of two of my favorite movies. Of course, I knew he starred in the films, but it did not hit me until his passing how impactful he was in my love of sports movies.

Rest in peace, Carl!

Back in 2019, I wrote a column griping about the systems, or lack of systems, at the Thayer Arena when it came to the crowds and security during big hockey nights.

Between a free-for-all in the parking lot, kids sneaking in the back doors (literally), overcrowding, hundreds of people standing in walkways and blocking exits. It has always been an issue.

Well, finally we saw a totally avoidable incident occur during the Pilgrim-Toll Gate boys hockey game on Friday.

Early in the third period, Pilgrim scored the go-ahead goal and multiple players skated to the student section and launched themselves into the glass, which is a customary celebration in hockey at all levels.

This time though, chaos ensued as the glass failed and the players shattered the panel which pelted members of the student section.

Multiple students needed medical attention with cuts, some on their faces, but fortunately none were seriously injured. There was about a 30-minute delay as the glass was cleaned and a new panel was installed.

I hate sounding like a crusty old grump, I don’t want to be that guy trying to spoil the fun of the student section, but it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

As always, and I mean always, the student section spilled onto the walkways surrounding the ice. Between periods, kids were sitting on the floor with their backs against boards while others stood, creating barriers to disrupt the flow of traffic, pretty much halting the flow altogether. Kids were climbing on the boards, shaking them. It wasn’t until the incident happened that the PA finally directed the kids to remain in the stands and take their seats.

Had the students been sitting in the correct area, the obvious area, there almost certainly would have been no one hurt. Luckily it was only some cuts and scrapes, but it could have been significant.

To Thayer’s credit, it has tightened things up a little bit since 2019. The parking lot has cleaned up its parking arrangements and security has improved in terms of forcing all spectators to enter through the front door. When it comes to containing the student section, though, it has failed miserably.

It’s pretty simple … just tell kids to return to their seats. Every ice rink in the state allows a reasonable number of fans to stand along the boards, but there’s a difference between one or two bodies standing at each panel of glass and a sea of students completely overtaking a third of the arena. It is a safety concern on so many levels. I actually never even considered the possibility of the glass shattering and hurting the kids, I was thinking more along the lines of a potential fire or evacuation and kids trampling one another or again, blocking necessary emergency exits.

It’s a simple solution to a massive problem. Do better.

Weathers, Thayer, pitch


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