MARLBORO, NY – Mostly all young and emerging readers pick their reading material based on subject matter. I was no different. If the book was sports-related in some way I would pick it up and for the most part enjoy what I was reading. As you all know by now, I am a
rabbit rabid hockey fan and Boston Bruins fan first, so a book entitled Bobby Orr And The Big Bad Bruins was right in my wheelhouse. As a kid you pay almost zero attention to who authors the books you read… that is until you grow older and make an association by some accident or further education.
Some guy named Stan Fischler wrote the aforementioned Bobby Orr book and it was around the mid-1980’s before realizing from various hockey telecasts that this bearded man with the thick New York Jewish accent penned my all-time favorite hockey tome. During this time period the New York Islanders were on their Stanley Cup winning run of four straight championships and Sports Channel televised all their games. Jiggs MacDonald and Eddie Westfall provided ply-by-play and color commentary, respectively while Fischler contributed with between periods interviews and analysis. The production value of the in-between period entertainment was cheap at best–it looked like they draped a curtain over restroom stalls somewhere in the bowels of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Mausoleum. Like the Islanders, I despised all of them as I thought objectivity was missing in their coverage of a very “chippy” but talented team. The bottom line though, was they were all “homers” and Fischler was number one on the list.
It felt dirty to like reading that book as a youngster.
And so with the demise of the Islanders dynasty, Fischler, who is also known as the Hockey Maven, became more palatable even with the cable television explosion which increased the man’s visibility. Today, Stan the Man serves the same capacity as he did on those Islanders games… but for the New Jersey Devils. Not for much longer, however as it was recently announced that Fischler is retiring from the television work he has been a part of for so very long.
The Fisch Man changed with the times and so did my distaste for him. The Maven even responded to a couple of my tweets around playoff time and that was huge to me to have a knowledgeable hockey guy acknowledge my views. It took the course of thirty odd years to totally soften on this mensch and author of nearly one hundred hockey and baseball books, to the point of wanting to share a bagel with lox and a schmear. Fischler is a very youthful octogenarian and I hope he lasts long enough to write another book about the Boston Bruins.
Good luck in your next chapter, Stan.
That’s it. Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for @ByDJEberle – an honorary hockey mensch. You can find us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00 and Instagram @MeetTheMatts, as well. And don’t forget to like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.