• Cosh on Heatley

    by  • July 7, 2009 • Uncategorized • 24 Comments

    … did you ever read Isaac Asimov’s short story Nightfall? It takes place on a fictional planet within a system of six suns that keep the surface illuminated throughout the day. Only once every 2,049 years is the one visible sun overhead eclipsed. On this planet, the scientists have figured out that these periodic nighttimes have coincided with cyclical, undocumented collapses of civilization, so they take precautions against the psychologically unfamiliar advent of total darkness. What they cannot anticipate is the sudden appearance of the background stars — the dreadful size and plenitude of the universe, made evident in one intolerable instant.

    Yeah, that’s an actual paragraph from the story. Well worth reading though – it’s a rare day that you see Oilers sportswriters referred to as “fools” in print.

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    24 Responses to Cosh on Heatley

    1. lowetide
      July 7, 2009 at

      Sometimes I think of Cosh as a bright commenter on the various Oiler blogs. And then other times I’m reminded that he is an exceptionally talented writer with real intelligence and acumen.

      Never met him, but would bet he drinks. :-)

    2. Krankor
      July 7, 2009 at

      I get the impression that Cosh is an old-school journalist in many ways. So he’s gotta drink and smoke, right?

    3. mc79hockey
      July 7, 2009 at

      YOU ARE WRONG. (Said in the Gregor sense of you being right).

    4. Mr DeBakey
      July 7, 2009 at

      I just wanted to give “Nightfall” a plug
      It’s radical.

      And
      The short story was expanded out to novel length by Robert Silverberg a few years ago.

      And
      I heard it before I read it.
      On the old radio show “X-1″.
      X-1 episodes generally were dramatised short stories and such.
      The Library has [had] copies.

    5. Mike W
      July 7, 2009 at

      I am so ready to jump ship — the minute there’s a Hamilton Steel Panthers team *pffft* I’m gone (at least until the Oilers front office undergoes some sort of meaningful turnover).

      But yeah, dumping Dustin Penner’s salary is a no brainer. Just hate to see the Oilers trip over themselves loading up the return package beyond Cogliano, Smid and Penner considering how Bryan Murray is in an equally tight spot from which to negotiate.

    6. mc79hockey
      July 7, 2009 at

      Might be sooner that you think Mike. Reinsdorf’s offer is apparently built on The Brick principles: “No Money Down! Don’t Pay a Cent until 2011!”

      Creditors versus the city, I think.

    7. kris
      July 7, 2009 at

      Nice article.

      I think the Heatley thing is more “Waiting for Godot” than some short story by Aasimov.

      From the beggining of “Waiting for Heatley”…

      TAMBELLINI:
      Heatley should be here.
      KATZ:
      He didn’t say for sure he’d come.
      TAMBELLINI:
      And if he doesn’t come?
      KATZ:
      We’ll come back tomorrow.
      TAMBELLINI:
      And then the day after tomorrow.
      KATZ:
      Possibly.
      TAMBELLINI:
      And so on.
      KATZ:
      The point is—
      TAMBELLINI:
      Until he comes.
      KATZ:
      You’re merciless.
      TAMBELLINI:
      We came here yesterday.
      KATZ:
      Ah no, there you’re mistaken.
      TAMBELLINI:
      What did we do yesterday?
      KATZ:
      What did we do yesterday?
      TAMBELLINI:
      In my opinion we were here.
      KATZ:
      (looking round). You recognize the place?
      TAMBELLINI:
      I didn’t say that.
      TAMBELLINI:
      You’re sure it was this evening?
      KATZ:
      What?
      TAMBELLINI:
      That we were to wait.
      KATZ:
      He said Saturday. (Pause.) I think.
      TAMBELLINI:
      You think.
      KATZ:
      I must have made a note of it. (He fumbles in his pockets, bursting with miscellaneous rubbish.)
      TAMBELLINI:
      (very insidious). But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?


      From the end of the play…

      TAMBELLINI:
      I can’t go on like this.
      KATZ:
      That’s what you think.
      TAMBELLINI:
      If we parted? That might be better for us.
      KATZ:
      We’ll hang ourselves tomorrow. (Pause.) Unless Heatley comes.
      TAMBELLINI:
      And if he comes?
      KATZ:
      We’ll be saved.

    8. July 7, 2009 at

      Wow. I have read that Asimov story. How much of a nerd does that make me?

    9. Krankor
      July 7, 2009 at

      Wow. I have read that Asimov story. How much of a nerd does that make me?

      I wrote a paper in grad school that quoted that story. When it comes to “nerd”, I’m full of win.

    10. July 7, 2009 at

      It’s probably the single most widely anthologized short story in science fiction, so no nerd points for you.

      The “Ont.” in the column was appended to “Kelowna” late in the proofreading process. The head of the copyeditor responsible is being Fedexed to me as we speak.

    11. mc79hockey
      July 7, 2009 at

      The copyeditor in question probably mumbled to himself “Fucking Albertans don’t even know where Kenora is” as he appended the “Ont.”

    12. Oilman
      July 7, 2009 at

      Slightly off topic but, isn’t that story pretty much exactly the same premise as the whole 2012 end of the world stuff – just with 2,049 years replaced with like 24,000 years. Were the Mayans fans of Asimov??

    13. Krankor
      July 7, 2009 at

      I don’t know if they were fans of Asimov, but I can tell you 100% for sure that the Mayans wouldn’t do the Dany Heatley deal because he doesn’t backcheck.

    14. July 7, 2009 at

      On a related note, I do drink, but I’ve never been drunk enough to compare Andrew Cogliano to Guy Lafleur.

    15. July 7, 2009 at

      Golden thread. I loved the Cosh article, and I’ll second (third? fourth?) the praise for the Asimov short story, although of course Asimov’s genius is so readily apparent that I hardly need to chime in.

    16. David Staples
      July 7, 2009 at

      Kris. “Waiting for Heatley” great stuff. And also accurate.

    17. Robert Cleave
      July 7, 2009 at

      The head of the copyeditor responsible is being Fedexed to me as we speak.

      Fedexed? Dale Tallon deplores your ruthless efficiency.

    18. lowetide
      July 7, 2009 at

      Nor have I. :-)

    19. slipper
      July 7, 2009 at

      Every off-season I share the same setiments as MikeW, but then when the hockey starts in the fall the beating of my heart drowns out the blathering in my head.

      If the banana circus they call Oilers managment eventually kills my love for the team, I’d probably end up swearing off hockey all together before cheering for some other uniform.

      I mean if I was to think really hard about it for a while I’m sure I’d conclude the whole thing was one giant waste of time.

    20. Chris
      July 8, 2009 at

      No matter how much indifference you think you feel, everyone gets curious for the first couple weeks of the season. Then there is always one good stretch of games where they seem to have put things together to fill us all with false hope, then the wheels fall off and we can be disinterested between February and mid-March until the annual drive for 8th place gets underway and sucks us back in. Such is Oiler fandom.

    21. David Staples
      July 8, 2009 at

      Of course, the proper over-enthused, over-the-top, Habs-from-the-1970s comparison for Cogliano is Yvan Cournoyer.

      As soon as Cogs masters that fake slap shot, he will be the New Roadrunner.

      LT never compares Oilers to Habs from the 1970s, as he was a Bruins fan, I do believe.

    22. Vic Ferrari
      July 10, 2009 at

      Good article, thanks for the link Tyler.

      I remember years ago listening to Stauffer and Spector’s radio show on the drive home. An old guy called in, really old sounding, like Don Zimmer old. I don’t remember the topic, but the caller quoted Cosh. The name was familiar to me, because Tyler had linked to him on occasion at a hockey messageboard I read. Just as he would occasionally link a Battle of Alberta or Tom Benjamin article.

      Anyhow, Spector went spare, spewed out a “Who the hell is Colby Cosh!” in a way that showed he already knew. The caller tells him he writes a blog and contributes columns to The National Post amongst other print publications.

      Spector goes nuts; “I write for the National Post and I’ve never heard of this guy!!!1!” … that sort of thing. Dude was off the rails, a tonne of emotion. Why?

      Anyhow, that moved me to bookmark colbycosh.com. I read back through older columns of his, looking for subjects that I knew something about. No small task, I’m not very knowledgable.

      Ever notice how on those rare occasions when the television or print media report on a situation that you know well, that they screw it up beyond all recognition? Not so with Cosh’s stuff in my admittedly small sample. Well researched articles and fairly presented, not necessarily what I would have like to have seen written, but fair I think. So he’s a rare bird. The prose is a bit flowery for my taste, and a lot of his references to politics and literature are lost on me, though not as much as Dennis’ generally bewildering pop culture references.

      That got me started reading the hockey blogs daily as well. MC79, Cino, Benjamin, BofA and Reaugh then.

    23. Vic Ferrari
      July 10, 2009 at

      slipper:

      Yeah, but all hobbies are stupid when you think about it. I was driving back from snowboarding in Jasper a while ago when something occurred to me:

      Snowboarding is idiotic. I could have saved a lot of money by getting my neighbour’s idiot teenage son to scare me shitless by driving me around icy country lanes at treble the speed limit in his car. Then I could have hired someone to beat the fuck out of me with a two by four.

      It would have been the same effect, and I would have been done by lunch on the first day.

      Ever sit back and think about golf? Or collecting anything? Or boating? Or amateur oil painting? And that’s not even thinking about the really mad shit like the Lego Club or model trains. One time I was googling, looking to rent a metal detector for a day (long story) and I stumbled on a Alberta Metal Detector enthuiasts messageboard. They had more hits than OilFans that day. Sweet Lord.

      Hobbies are almost all stupid if you take a step back from it.

    24. Death Metal Nightmare
      July 12, 2009 at

      These are sentimentalists in a ruthlessly unsentimental environment — or, to use the technical term, “fools.”

      i said the same things before even finding this. its sour-poopy-diaper syndrome for impatient babies who think theyre entitled to being “entertained” by Dany Heatley. Cosh could even get more radical in his analysis and just start to bash how ridiculous truncated the maturity level is of all participants in the entertinament industry. from fans who hold some proto-nationalist allegiance to alcohol and team, to media spreading the virus of bread and circuses, etc, etc.

      the “true fan” is a hit and run artist and knows when to laugh off all the crap thats being spewed forth during this Heatley “saga.”

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