Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Liev Schreiber's Winter Classic Post-Game on HBO

How do you break down the magnificence?

Did I love it from the first words? YES.

Did I laugh out loud when Boudreau told his "shitbums" to "git 'er done" in front of hundreds of fans? YES.

Was I thrilled to feel like an insider when I recalled Crosby's rituals (from episode 1) as he went for his pre-Classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich? YOU BET.

Did I get choked up when Mike Green talked about learning the game as a kid skating on a poured pond in Northwest Calgary??? YOU KNOW IT! (Thanks for the shoutout!)

All those things and more made it the most exciting sport doc anyone has ever seen. Who knew that on ice dialogue between players and refs would ever amount to as much as it does? Or that it would be a game that did leave questions which the doc answered. (like those disallowed goals). Both coaches prepared their teams by telling them this was going to feel like a playoff game. And did it ever.

The tempo of Liev's voice as tension mounts adds so much to the experience that it almost feels as though he has a stake in it; like he's somehow on a team. He sounded invested in the thing. It was as though he was speaking from the heart - not reading off a piece of paper in a dark studio somewhere.

Tonight HBO and Liev captured the feeling that Hockey gives us Canadians. In spades. Here's hoping that Hockey Fever continues to take hold down in the States so the sport can grow and flourish.

After watching our Canadian Juniors lose to Russia tonight in the most astonishing 3rd period in probably the history of Hockey, let's hope HBO sets their sites on the Junior teams and we get the Road to the World Junior Championship. Now THAT would be some exciting, riveting (those boys are 16 - 19), compelling TV. And let's hope they hire Liev to bring it all to life for us.

Thanks HBO. Thanks Liev.

P.S. This time I only heard one telltale clue that Liev's a native New Yorker:  Montreal. New Yorker always say Mahn-tree-AWAL. We English Canadians call it Mun - tree- all. And if you prefer to say it the French Canadian way, then you would say Mow-Ray-Ahl.  I love when a little bit of the real Liev is revealed.

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