Dick Beddoes

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by checkerdome, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    Watching the Leafs on our little black & white antenna TV in the early 70s, a game's coverage was extended for a reason I've forgotten.
    A colorful(even on a B/W TV) sports reporter; Dick Beddoes, was brought out to comment on the game and the Leafs in the post-game show.
    There seemed to be a sort of "nudge-nudge-wink-wink" aspect to the way Mr. Beddoes was presented to the viewers and it was like I was listening to an inside joke I didn't get.
    Everyone seemed to know who he was, but a hick like me out in the sticks of rural Manitoba didn't.
    I just tried to "wiki" Dick Beddoes but I could find no entry for him.
    I Did see that he wrote a biography about Harold Ballard.
    How influential was Mr. Beddoes in Toronto?
    thanks
     
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  2. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    He was a Toronto sportswriter. I've read some of his columns in the Globe & Mail archives. Much like Don Cherry, he would sometimes make outlandish comments without being able to put his personal biases aside. He was quite popular, but I don't think he was as respected as say, Milt Dunnell.

    Much like Stan Fischler often went overboard criticizing Bobby Orr, Beddoes did the same with Wayne Gretzky. When Gretzky was rewriting the record book in the early 80s, Beddoes was claiming that he wouldn't be good enough to make the Leafs roster in the 1940s, though later in his career he conceded that he was better than he gave him credit for.

    I met him once and asked for his autograph, and he came across as a very nice gentleman.
     
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  3. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    That's what I recall of him. Very old-school, set in his ways in terms of the game.
     
  4. mbhhofr

    mbhhofr Registered User

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  5. Scott1980

    Scott1980 Registered User

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    The thing is about Beddoes is, he woke up one day in the 80s and realized that he was wrong about Gretzky.

    I mean, they're was a time when (And let's give him credit for being VERY BRAVE! YES, AND VERY STUPID!) there was this parade after the 1982 playoffs and he road in the back of one of the floats and shouted, over and over again, "Gretzky sucks!"

    Then, of course, as was once posted here, I understand, he went on TV and lashed out against Gretzky and his big contract earlier in '82 not long after breaking Richard's records.

    To his credit, though, he consulted with Richard and Howe over Gretzky. AND he LISTENED! Realized he was wrong, and did two things.

    He had the guts to interview Wayne for a book, and at one point said, "What you've done, is incredible!" Soon, he realized he liked Wayne, or at least respected him.

    When he wrote the book, he was clever enough to admit almost ALL the things he had said about Gretzky. But after each one, he recanted it and proved he was wrong.

    He even said at one point, "I once made the statement that Gretzky would have been the third line center on the Leafs team of the 40s", and then he went on to compare (not cut down) many of Wayne attributes as being on par with Richard, Howe and some others.

    That was it for me! I respected Beddoes after that. He 'fessed up!

    Now, as to his comparisons with Cherry, well Cherry always has always loved Gretzky, despite some...wait, has he ever criticized Gretzky? If so, he always praised him at least as much.

    Anyone here ever seen the original Winter Classic (Montreal/Edmonton 2003). I swear, at one point Gretzky and Cherry started talking and there was nothing but respect both ways. They even started laughing together!

    As for the other person, WHO I WILL NOT NAME, because he wants attention and I will not give him that. HE never 'fessed up. Constantly bashed Gretzky. AND to this day, I've been told, continues to insist that Potvin is better than Orr (even on his twitter account, apparently). Also, now is apparently, insisting that Crosby is better than Gretzky!
     
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  6. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    Thanks!

    That answers a lot of questions I had about him.

    It's surprising that wikipedia doesn't appear to have an entry for him, given how many personalities on the more obscure side have one.

    I guess the hat thing and his way of dressing was a bit of a gimmick to bolster his "brand" recognition.

    I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
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  7. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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  8. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    Thanks for the very interesting clip.

    Everything Mr. Beddoes says appears to be tongue in cheek.

    It looks like he's playing a role in order to give CBC news a clear pro/con angle.

    He still manages to come across as very knowledgeable.
     
  9. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    Joe Flaherty played a sportswriter called Dick Bedlow on SCTV in two sketches. The hockey movie Power Play ("O Canada...and it's Billy's first game, Billy's first game") & Monday Night Curling (with Martin Short as "Howie McMeeker")
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CZlBcY1Jjs
     
  10. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Shepelev's greatest fan.:laugh:

    I'll never forget in his early 80's anti-Gretzky tirades, he claimed Shepelev was the best hockey player in the world, not Gretzky.

    Now I don't mind somebody making a case for a Soviet being the best in the world, but Shepelev of all people, LOL!
     
  11. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    I haven't watched this clip yet, but I remember SCTV presenting a Dick Beddoes type criticizing a Leafs person; saying something like "I guess I'll be buying my playoff tickets in Philadelphia!"

    I could have sworn it was John Candy playing the role though.

    I'm sure I'll see that in this clip.
     
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  12. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    I watched the link provided but I didn't see the "tickets in Philadelphia" bit

    I searched other SCTV YouTube clips without success.

    Joe Flaherty sure looks like Dick Beddoes in the curling promo.

    You've got to admit, "Monday Night Curling" is a can't miss concept!:D
     
  13. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Power Play was a spoof of that 1970s Canadian cinema "classic" Face Off, about a young player's rookie season with the Leafs. It featured cameos from George Armstrong and Derek Sanderson among others. It was one of those movies that falls under the category of "so bad it's good". It aired on Canadian TV a lot back then, so when SCTV did their version the Canadian viewers totally got it, but it went over the head of most viewers in the States who had no idea what it was supposed to be.

    "Monday Night Curling" came from the episode where SCTV staff were on strike, and in a satire of U.S. networks showing CFL games during the '82 NFL strike, Guy Cabalerro gets Edith Prickley to ask Pierre Trudeau (who she was having an affair with) to let them carry CBC programming during the strike.
     
  14. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    I believe that was when John Candy did the voice overs for "Hinterland Who's Who".

    Re: The "Face-off" movie.

    A) I'm pretty sure they used Jim McKenny of the Leafs for the on-ice game footage. He and Billy Duke both wore number 18.

    (As a complete aside, Wikipedia reads "As a junior, McKenny was considered the second-best defenceman prospect after Bobby Orr.")

    B) Man, Trudy Young was drop dead gorgeous as Billy Duke's girlfriend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  15. hfboardsuser

    hfboardsuser Registered User

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    Or facts. As you alluded to, not only did he make controversial observations, they were in at least one documented case wrong and legally actionable. In his 1990 book Greatest Hockey Stories, Beddoes incorrectly stated that a retired NHL player had died when he was in fact still alive. Beddoes and the publisher were later sued.
     
  16. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    That comment has withstood the test of time and it's what I remember the most about Beddoes. The comment he made was that Gretzky wouldn't have cracked the center position on the 1948 Maple Leafs who had Apps, Kennedy and Max Bentley. Don't get me wrong, that's some no doubt about it HHOFers and some unique talent but this was around 1983 or so when Gretzky was obliterating the rest of the NHL, I mean how can you not see that?

    He also felt that in 1983 Gretzky was NOT the best player in the world. He conceded that the best player in the world was Sergei Shepelev. Yeah he had a strong bias against Gretzky. When he wrote a book in 1990 he literally took a 180 and gushed about Gretzky for a chapter, I guess that kind of made up for it and after a decade of dominating the NHL he gave up criticizing him.
     
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  17. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    I couldn't find that clip. In "Power Play" John Candy plays Billy Stemhovlichski, who discovered by the coach of the Toronto Bay Leaves while playing road hockey against little kids. His first game is against Philadelphia. The game starts while the anthem singer & the red carpet still on the ice & the Flyers score within about 4 seconds. At which point the sportswriter turns to the Toronto coach & says:"I guess I'll be buying my playoff tickets in Philadelphia!"
     
  18. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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  19. Peter9

    Peter9 Registered User

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    Dick Beddoes arrived in Toronto from Vancouver long after I left Toronto for California in 1957, but I remember his name well from my time in Toronto and Keswick, Ontario. He must have been syndicated nationally or he may have written for one or more of the journals I read then, the Hockey News, Hockey Pictorial and Blueline. At that time I think he was a well-respected sports journalist, which would fit in with the Globe and Mail, a well-respected newspaper, hiring him in the 1960s. Killion might be able to help on this.
     
  20. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    It was not just Gretzky that Beddoes had issues with. He was extremely negative about the whole Oiler franchise.

    It was in in an interview involving Beddoes that Pocklington proclaimed that the Oilers
    would win the cup in their first five years.
     
  21. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    :laugh: Ya, she was hot. She hosted a kids show in the mid-60's called Razzle Dazzle. Ran just before Forest Rangers, with Chip, Joe & the Old Fort, Gordon Pinsent; shot up in Kleinburg but I digress.... yep, Im proud to say I had quite the crush on Trudy Young as a lad.

    Maybe a little but I think you & others know a lot more or at least remember him better than I... what I remember is a real clothes horse & Peacock, never seen in public absent a fedora, often oversized & white. Cant say I was impressed quite frankly. He was a sort of Tick Tock McGlauglin type, the reporter portrayed by William H. Macy in Seabiscuit, or Robert Duvall's role in The Natural. Not quite Damon Runyon but certainly "inspired by". Struck me as being a little to "Palsy" with Pal Hal & King Clancy. A bit facile. Superficial. Far from substantive. His hats, his clothes, they wore him, he didnt wear them. Nice guy n' all, but seein as how ya asked Peter... well, I guess Im just a nasty olde snapping turtle...

    ...like Howard the Turtle, Trudy Youngs co-host on Razzle Dazzle. Oh, how I wished I was Howard. The object of Trudys affections....
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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  22. isitin

    isitin Registered User

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    I knew Dick Beddoes really well in the early 70's. I used to be a regular caller on his Hockey Hotline talk show on CKFH. He invited me down one night to sit in the broadcast room & see the show live. I took him up on his offer & went down. He asked me to come by more often to help him with errands, (I was 13 years old). Running hockey scores from the news room, looking up obscure questions that callers called in with. Eventually they let me roam the studios freely. He asked me to find a Toronto Marlie so he could interview him live on the air. So I went to the Gardens bumped into a 19 year old Bruce Boudreau mopping the floors at the front entrance of MLG & offered him $50 to come down to the show. He said yes & we became friends for a while also. The nicest thing about Dick was he would give me his tickets to Leaf games when he didn't feel like going. Got my first NHL puck after it hit me in the head at an Islander-Leaf game. Went to that game with his assistant Deborah Stiff. They were golds two rows behind Punch & Dorothy Imlach. Kept going to the show before every game till it was finally cancelled. He was a generous person with his tickets & Christmas card money, ($50 bill at Xmas was great for a 13 year old back in 1973). He also made sure I got to go to the Bobby Orr-Mike Walton Sports Camp in Orillia. Met & roomed with 12 year old Blayne Lastman at the camp. So how can I say anything bad about the guy, we both liked each other. Did not see him again till 1988. Went to a Leaf game & had Golds to the game. Saw Beddoes sitting in the same section but different seats than in the past. I went up to him & he did not recognize me till I told him my name. He than had ahuge smile on his face & we chatted for a bit & I left for my seat. Never saw him again, than I heard he died a few years later. Think of him once in a while & will always think about how good of a man he was. R.I.P. Dick.
     
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  23. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    And here it is again
     
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  24. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Was he one of those, too, like Stan Fischler?

    He's a little before my time, but in clips of Beddoes I've seen I didn't really mind him. He seemed to have a sense of humor -- tongue partly in cheek, if you will -- about what he was saying, as if he knew he was losing the uphill battle but defiantly stuck with it.

    But Fishler was just a prick, as far as I'm concerned. I suspect Fischler had some deep-rooted issue with Glen Sather from his playing days, as Fischler discredited the Oilers/Gretzky for everything. In 1981, Fischler said Gretzky only scored 164 points because his teammates were so bad (i.e., he got a lot of ice-time... or something?). After 1983, he declared Trottier superior to Gretzky and said the Oilers would never win. After 1984, he declared the Oilers "team arrogant" and said they'd never win again. After 1986, of course, Fischler's dream came true (Oilers lost) and he lapped up every second of it. In 1987-88, he did an article comparing Mark Messier to Mike Gartner and concluded Gartner was the superior player.

    Beddoes seems harmless, by comparison. I don't mind the old-skool guys, as long as they're not arrogant about things.
     
  25. ChrisK97

    ChrisK97 Registered User

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    Of all people, he picked Shepelev? Considering he played on teams with Tretiak, Mikhailov, Fetisov, KLM Line, you'd think he'd have chosen someone else. Like, MAYBE if he chose Fetisov/Makarov/Larionov, but this guy?
     

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