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Sunday, 25 November 2012

TBC: Down Goes Brown

I have had the chance to read many books from many published writers who now write their own blogs for various media outlets. Rarely do we see the flip side of the coin where established bloggers become well-to-do authors since it seems there's still a stigma attached to blogging without some sort of journalism or media background. I can honestly say that today's entry in Teebz's Book Club pounds that stigma into submission like Brent Johnson on Rick DiPietro. Teebz's Book Club is proud to present The Best of Down Goes Brown, written by Sean McIndoe and published by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Limited. This book is funny, insightful, and very entertaining, and I have to say that as a blogger, I've always been a fan of Sean McIndoe's work. But you might be asking yourself who this Sean McIndoe character is? Well, chances are you've read his stuff at some point if you've ever followed hockey online.

Sean McIndoe, pictured to the left, is the author and comedic mind behind the blog Down Goes Brown. You may have read Sean's work in the National Post newspaper where he is published twice weekly, on the Grantland blog where he is a featured writer, or on TV and radio where he has appeared on TSN and on TSN radio. Sean started Down Goes Brown in 2008 as one of the few hockey humor blogs, and has since grown it to his own media empire (almost)! While he makes fun of a lot of hockey topics, Sean rarely insults those he is talking about and almost always finds the people involved laughing about his jokes. He is, in this writer's opinion, the best hockey humor writer in society today.

The Best of Down Goes Brown may disappoint some readers if they follow his blog very closely since some of the stories in the book are from his blog directly. However, since I'm one of those who stops by his site often, I didn't find this to be a downfall of the book at all. If anything, it reminded of the stories that I found very funny, and made the book even more enjoyable.

Mr. McIndoe also incorporates some new stories in the book written explicitly for the book, so people who are fans of his blog will still get a bunch of new material to read and at which they can have a chuckle. There are 46 "Greatest Hits" that Mr. McIndoe includes in his book, but 24 brand-new articles are also added in for readers. If you haven't read his work, you're getting "The Best of" as the title states as well as some new "Down Goes Brown" that no one has seen.

Being that Mr. McIndoe is a Maple Leafs fan living in Ottawa, he certainly has to know humor. There is no topic off-limits in The Best of Down Goes Brown as the Leafs are routinely mocked, and he takes jabs at other topics such as Brendan Shanahan's videos on suspensions, Sidney Crosby's diving, the Vancouver Canucks, Jeremy Roenick, and a ton of other stuff that he turns into comedy gold. Again, all of his jokes are light-hearted, but he is very sharp and witty and you have to know your hockey to understand some of his jokes.

Case in point? This funny example the chapter "Breaking Down the Battles: Inside Canada's Provincial Rivalries.
"Playoff Predictablility

Battle of Quebec: You could always expect a hard-fought series with plenty of bad blood.
Battle of Ontario: You could always expect a close-checking series in which goaltending would be the deciding factor.
Battle of Alberta: You could always expect the series to end with an Edmonton player scoring the winning goal."
At first, that one didn't really resonate with me because the Oilers won so many Stanley Cups while knocking off the Flames in the 1980s. Except the Flames also won a Stanley Cup by defeating the Oilers on the strength of a Steve Smith own-goal that eliminated the Oilers! This is the intelligent comedy that Mr. McIndoe shows throughout The Best of Down Goes Brown, and it really makes this book a pleasure to read.

As I stated above, if you're a fan of the Down Goes Brown blog, The Best of Down Goes Brown will certainly resonate with you. Mr. McIndoe's funny, witty, self-deprecating style of writing is perfect for a laugh, and his intelligence in his writing doesn't speak down to anyone nor does it seak above anyone. He's a great writer with a knack for hockey-related jokes, and I read through The Best of Down Goes Brown's 270 pages in less than a day because it was such a great, funny read.

Because of these factors, The Best of Down Goes Brown certainly deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval. While some of the jokes might be a little above some younger readers' understanding, this book is appropriate for adolescents and above. There are no instances of PG-rated language, so feel free to get your hockey fan this book as a Christmas gift if you're looking for that special something!

MO' BRO: We've built an exciting roster of Mo' Bro All-Stars by naming 22 players in Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, Mike Ramsey, Derek Sanderson, Lanny McDonald, Bryan Trottier, Dave Babych, Dave Schultz, Rod Langway, Jamie Macoun, Harold Snepsts, Dave Tippett, Michel Goulet, Paul MacLean, Mike McPhee, Mike Bullard, Bob Murdoch, and Rejean Lemelin. We've also named out two Mo' Bro coaches in Pat Burns and Joel Quenneville. Today, we're petitioning the league for all games to be refereed by a moustachioed zebra legend!

Bill McCreary was an NHL referee from 1982 until 2011. He officiated in 1737 NHL games and 282 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and wore #7 throughout his officiating career in the NHL. To his credit, he officiated the men's hockey gold medal game at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and he worked the NHL Stanley Cup Finals each year from 1994 until 2007. He also worked in the 1991 and 1994 Canada Cups, the 1994 NHL All-Star Game in New York City, and a total of 15 Stanley Cup Finals. During the 2004-05 work stoppage, McCreary reportedly worked as a kitchen cabinet builder, showing he is fairly skilled in other trades as well. He started his career in 1984 officiating a Devils-Capitals game in Washington, and finished his career by calling the Sabres-Capitals game in Washington.

McCreary set the officiating standard with that outstanding moustache, and you knew instinctively who was calling the game when you saw him from afar thanks to that magnificent 'stache. If you want to get in on the action, head over to the Movember page and get registered so your 'stache can stand amongst these great 'staches!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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