Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR – PHILADELPHIA

Mekkar was still young but he was growing up pretty fast on this tour. He felt that he was learning lessons that could not be acquired anywhere else and that he could draw upon in the future. Nevertheless, being an immature teen has its drawbacks. Mekkar still had a bad problem or Alf would refer to it as a flaw in his character. Alf mentioned that his older sibling was often bravely dumb or just flat out crazy and stupid. Alf could not decide which was the case. It is a fine line between acting brave and being stupid. This description fit Mekkar to a tee. This defect was shown when Mekkar would refuse to back down from a battle or a fight, even when it might be more prudent to do so. The hand injury just compounded the situation.

The arctic native needed to be wary of combining his problems as a result of the increasing issues of bodily damage including the head area. The blunt force trauma endured by Mekkar was a consequence of short term thinking and the amount of brawls he participated in. Not realizing it then, many of Mekkar’s future activities in life would be drastically affected.

It is well known that other collision sports athletes from other sports appreciate the skills needed to play ice hockey. Many would be surprised how many NFL football players go to watch pro hockey games today. Like other fans, a few go to watch the fights. Similar to the small number of car racing fans watching only to observe the accidents.

People forget how loaded with talent and toughness the Flyers were with Andre “Moose” Dupont, Bobby Clarke, Rick MacLeish, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, and more. In one instance, one of the members of the Flyers was engaged in a round a fista-a-cuffs with Mekkar. Rapid Fire as Mekkar referred to his fellow combatant in contrast to the well known Hound Dog nickname by others. [Wikipedia] Two reasons why Mekkar called Bob Kelly by this term. One reason was the rapid firing punching hand at Mekkar’s noggin and the other was a slight reference to gangster Machine Gun Kelly. Mekkar’s normal tactic of using the boards as a brace behind him from falling backwards and hitting his head on the ice on this occasion backfired. Once they were squared off halfway from the face-off dot near the corner of the rink; Rapid Fire alternatively grabbed Mekkar’s head by its sides and repeatedly kept slamming it against the glass.

He was now in sort of a fog and Mekkar’s mind began to wander. As he was taking this throttling he strained to look up in The Spectrum and noticed different items up there on high. Mekkar also observed other aspects upward that many arena patrons might never notice. Then, the reality of Mekkar’s setting knocked him back into focus enough to gain his bearings. The Arctic Warrior realized that he must turn the tide against his aggressor somehow. He lifted his knee upward, while still balanced against those side boards, and thrusted it into the groin of his adversary. His opponent’s cup moved slightly to one side enough to inflict enough pain. Finally, the action of the head-to-glass pounding against Mekkar ceased. He was just thankful that he didn’t slump backwards during that maneuver and hit his skull directly on the ice. As Mekkar often quips, “Because ice always wins!”

During another part of the same exhibition matchup, one of the Philadelphia players’ took a nasty cheap shot against a Selects’ member. That same Flyer player had taken these actions before because that strategy had been employed beforehand against other visiting squads. It was used to create an environment of intimidation, even though the Flyers had plenty of skill and great goaltending to be successful with any style they wished. Mekkar was having none of this and chased after the infractor and sought revenge - ready to beat his butt.

That individual hurriedly fled behind tougher Philadelphia teammates instead of defending those actions. In true smack and run pest mode did not have to face the music in retaliation for their own despicable behavior on the ice. So, Mekkar went right back to taking up arms against one of the other Flyer goons. Mekkar despises that Flyer alum right up to the current day because they didn’t have the guts to physically defend their dirty actions on the ice that day.

Due to the nature of this match and the multiple concussions he suffered as a result, Mekkar remembered almost no details afterward. Fortunately, his younger brother Alf, his best friend Lasse, and other teammates filled him in later. They had to wait to plug in the details after his mind had cleared a bit from the head trauma. Mekkar essentially lost a week of his memory at the time. As was a common practice among his squad, the others’ around him filled in and completed the information of the time he was there in person, but absent otherwise. For example, that the Selects were beaten up and defeated 6-1. That is, until the young Mekkar gained his faculties back from all the whacks to his crown, ready to do it some more later on.