Saturday, 6 August 2011

Some Plimpton Follow-Up

I decided that some follow-up may be needed after posting the article on George Plimpton's Open Net. Honestly, the book was fantastic, but I feel that more information could be exposed on the subject of Mr. Plimpton's time with the Bruins. I decided to hit the archives in the Sports Illustrated Vault where Mr. Plimpton worked and contributed articles. Lo and behold, the SI Vaualt held a few articles written by Mr. Plimpton about this experience, and they are great addenda to Open Net. Or, if you haven't had the pleasure of reading Mr. Plimpton's book just yet, they are great introductions to Mr. Plimpton's writing style, the topic of playing for the Bruins, and Mr. Plimpton's excellent ability to tell a story.

The first article, dated January 30, 1978, is probably the best teaser one will ever find for a book. Mr. Plimpton wrote nine pages about his experience with the Bruins, but there is a lot of stuff that Mr. Plimpton included in the article that didn't make the final cut in the book. In short, you definitely should read this SI article if you're interested in the book. It will give a major insight on everything that Mr. Plimpton experienced in a very condensed version of Open Net.

The second article, written by Jeremiah Tax on November 25, 1985 after the release of Open Net, is simply a review of the book. If you don't want to listen to a subjective opinion like mine, I thought it would be good to give you SI's opinion as per Jeremiah Tax. I'm not sure if Tax is a fan of the book based on his review, but he doesn't rally against it either. In short - and I may be biased here - HBIC's review is better.

Mr. Plimpton also does the game a service in his writing about New York Rangers fans who sit in the "blues" - the nosebleed seats in Madison Square Garden. Honestly, this article paints them as a passionate bunch who hurl vulgarities and insults at opponents as much as they cheer the Rangers to victory. Mr. Plimpton's writing is very effective here as the people in the crwod come to life through his writing and descriptions. He certainly doesn't disparage the fans who sit in the blues; rather, Mr. Plimpton very effectively shows why these are the die-hard fans who will live with their team's ups and downs. This is a very entertaining article in my opinion.

I think that I didn't give Mr. Plimpton enough credit for his writing in Open Net, and he really is a very good author. I wanted to show some additional works that highlight his excellent writing skills while still being hockey relevant. The two articles written by Mr. Plimpton certainly, in my view, illustrate his honed abilities with a pen and/or typewriter, and the world certainly misses a journalist like Mr. Plimpton.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!