Friday, April 10, 2015

HANSON BROTHERS: THE BEST ON SIBLINGS DAY


"He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

Fat, thin, freckled-faced, or forced to wear the worst-haircuts man has ever seen, pictures of
brothers and sisters adorned Facebook on National Siblings Day. Yes, it seems like every day
has become something national. There's National Puppy Day or National Do-Rag Day. I'm
sure the National hide-your-favorite-waitress-from-Tiger Woods-day is coming sometime
soon.

Admittedly, the siblings day thing is pretty cool. Pictures of brothers, sisters, and brothers
and sisters together is kind of, shall I say, heartwarming, which probably isn't all that cool
to admit, but I don't care.

I wondered to myself who were the greatest siblings in sports, but when I thought about the
names like the Manning's, Dean's, DiMaggio's, Hull's, Sutter's, well, all that came to mind
was vanilla, as in boring. Very boring.


Then, the Hanson brothers, popped in my head for some reason. Oh, they never played in
the NHL or won any awards, but if you love hockey and were coming into your own in
the late 70's, then you know all about them.

The Hanson brothers were the guys who put the goon into the movie, "Slapshot", which
was "Bull Durham", well before "Bull Durham." It was an insanely funny movie about
life in minor-league hockey.

I'm quite certain it would be on the level as "Bull Durham" in terms of popularity if
producers found a way to edit it so that it made sense for a general viewing audience.
However, because of the number of four-letter words and nudity, there was no way
any network would show it repeatedly as they do with  "Bull Durham."


And that's too bad because "Slapshot" is, was, and always be a classic and the Hanson
brothers are a big reason why.

These "brothers" didn't look the part when it came to professional hockey players. They
had long-hair and horned rimmed glasses. Yes, hockey players do wear long hair, but
I can't recall too many of them wearing funny-looking glasses. None actually.

The Hanson brothers, glasses and all, loved to fight and play "old-time hockey", which
meant bar knuckle brawls and vicious body checks. They were the guys who stood up
to authority telling referees to "Shut the F%#k up", because they were trying to listen
to the national anthem with blood oozing down their necks. They were the ones who
were "putting on the foil" as they prepared for nightly donnybrooks against guys like
Ogie Oglethorpe.

The Hanson brothers became cult heroes to those fans in the movie and it flowed right
into mainstream America or at least those who loved hockey. Their shelf life doesn't
seem to have an expiration date.

The Hanson brothers still travel around the country to do their gigs at minor-league
rinks and people still very much identify with them. Those "brothers" were actually
Dave Hanson and Jeff and Steve Carlson, all of whom could skate and skate well.

They are the best of the best when it comes to National Siblings Day, even if they
were just a figment of some whacked producer's imagination. They will always seem real
to many of us, though, because they were just crazy  brothers who just loved to have fun
and hit people real hard.


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