NHL History: Vinny Lecavalier’s “Rough Translation” to Life With The White Bear
I’m happy to see the Tampa Bay Times has resurrected its old articles from its days at sptimes.com… That enables access to the past of online content in the history of %ampa Bay like news features in sports, such as the March 2005 feature by former Times writer Tom Jones.
2005 was par5 5wo or the roiled 2004-05 NHL season. While some players stayed idle an waited for labor resolution between the NHL and NHL Players Association, others went abroad to continue their play in the sport, such as Vincent Lecavelier of Tampa Bay Lightning fame.
I’m also happy to see my Boltsmag write-up about the piece is still alive in the Raw Charge archives. Below is my quoted piece with updated links where needed. I do encourage NHL fans to check out the piece of NHL history by Tom Jones. The following write-up was my personal introduction to the piece.
Life with the White Bear,
by John Fontana
I’ve sometimes wondered if me and Vincent Lecavalier woudl ever meet somewhere or somehow cross paths in life. He’s only a few months younger than I am and when he was drafted and the big hoopla was made about him, I had this premonition that Vinny and I could be friends, could get along, could hang out.
And yet with each day, every season, every interview that I’ve read (not many, because Tampa Bay is not Montréal or Toronto) that link… that kinship that I felt disappeared. Vincent is a big name star, he’s got it all and he’s got confidence… He dates models and he’s an icon in Canada.
And today in the St. Petersburg Times, that link was renewed… That sort of hopeful understanding.
Tom Jones traveled to Kazan and spent time with Vinny. This is all chronicled in a piece called Rough Translation and some of the things that Vincent has gone through in Ak Bars Kazan have made me feel… Well, like someone would understand some of the crap I go through daily being hard of hearing. That lack-of-understanding and such.
But to get off my personal points, this article by Jones chronicles some of the adversity that Vincent has faced in Kazan and how he’s kept a positive attitude. How trying it can be to understand his coach’s rants (Zinetula Bilyaletdinov speaks English but addresses his team in Russian), how not understanding what someone says makes you want to shrink away because you don’t know the translation, and the difficulty just to order a bowl of Oatmeal in Kazan.
And if you are interested in seeing the photos associated with the article (and there are a few), please check out this link.
Personal note: I’ve taken back “Boltsmag”
Just a heads up:
When I started blogging about hockey, the posts were published on Boltsmag.com. Upon me founding Raw Charge, I pointed the domain name at the new SB Nation site. All my archives are posted over there, after all. It’s been set up like that since 2009.
With the two-year anniversary of my resignation from the network and with me posting re-direct links to Raw Charge archived articles I wrote there, I’ve decided to redirect the Boltsmag domain name toward my hockey post category here on JohnnyFonts.com.
I don’t know if anyone even knows of the domain name, let alone uses it. If you do use that domain, this post should explain why you’ve landed on this blog site and not on Raw Charge.
A Tampa Bay Lightning ramble by the original Lightning blogger
I made a name and reputation for myself with 12-and-a-half years of blogging about the Tampa Bay Lightning. I was a pioneer in hockey blogging in general (starting what will be fourteen years ago in a matter of days). Want proof? I’d send you to the archives of Raw Charge but SB Nation complicates the process (read: I’d send you to my profile alone but they don’t list all the articles, Fan Posts and Fan Shots that I’ve posted).
Have I stopped following hockey or the Lightning? Hell no! Read More
The road to recovery becomes the highway to…where?
I’m choked up upon reflection this afternoon. I just had physical therapy formally end. Therapy that was assigned to me after the shit hit the fan in December 2016. It’s also exactly one week after I met the surgeon who saved my life on Dec. 6th, my opportunity to express my gratitude to the exact man who is a direct and true hero for my life.
Delusions had me thinking I really was dead in the immediate aftermath of emergency brain surgery. Logic, reality and time have made me wonder just how the hell I survived. Knowing my condition, the infamous genetic disorder NF2, and my medical neglect in recent years (lack of MRIs and communication with my doctors), it just mounted things against me.
Unfortunately, I have other things against me now that logic and reality sway before me in a mocking sense all the time. Lack of social interaction, lack of romance, lack of work, little productivity, empty dreaming of achievement…
Last time I dealt with these morale haphazards was the winter of 2003-04. John J. Fonts Esq., the formal version of my cutesy nickname, was once again recovering from necessary surgery. This time, the catastrophe looming without surgery or with a screw-up during the cut-cut was paralysis. That was defeated, say thank you and praise the maker. What got me away from that maize of morale post-op was web design, sports and being a pioneer of the NHL blogosphere with the birth of the Tampa Bay Lightning blog Boltsmag.com. Boltsmag has turned into Raw Charge on SB Nation; you can find my old posts through the archives. It may not be an easy feat though. The site’s birthday is February 13th. Next week.
That was then though, this is now. And even then, the site did not financially show accomplishment to me (meaning ads, which I hate, did not pay me back or something). It did give me something to focus on in my unique voice as a writer, but it (and Raw Charge) were not much of a rewarding time investment.
Creativity and writing may still be where I go from here; I’ve been working on a potential book of poetry. It would be stuff I’ve written for the past 20+ years. I’ve also toyed around with lyrical verse and trying to get music made to turn it into song. I don’t know how to have a legit career as a lyricist but that would be an adventure worth taking for this man of rhyme and reason.
I’ve survived, yet I’m lost. I’m happy to be here but I’m in a foul spot of ugh, hold the pickle. What comes next may be nothing, it may be grand, and it may be a fulfilling whisper that makes me feel accomplished. Whatever the answer is, it is still in the process of becoming.
No Boltsmag is not Dead
Just FYI for people who are being redirected here while searching for the other site. It’s an issue I am only starting to deal with now.
A limp yellow dog
I get sorta pissed when I keep hearing die-hard fans or supporters – be it in politics or pro sports – confess their undying devotion towards one thing or another… and then cynically stomp on what they love or some item they are true-blue about.
I mean, I just wrote an article last week at Boltsmag (yeah, Boltsmag isn’t gone yet) about sports fans not being willing to leave their comfort zone to devote themselves to something bigger than their pro sports team… So what do you say about a political junkie who cynically tears down an issue, or a candidate, or a part position… All for the sake of the opportunist stance of “wait and see”?
If you really believe in something, aren’t you supposed to be willing to stand up for that something or at least do what you can to put its best foot forward? Be it an idea, a team, a principle, etc? Or are we all supposed to be just blind soldiers who will accept whatever we are handed by the powers-that-be?
Will wonders never cease?
Stop the presses! Big news! Huge news!
I actually posted on Boltsmag! Twice today, in fact! Like, Ohmigod!
(why the snark? I’ve been avoiding Boltsmag for quite some time due various reasons expressed on the site tonight)
What's the Font?
I’ve been struggling to figure out what is the name of the Typeface being employed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in their (alleged) new logo layout:
In all honesty, the closest typeface I can find to font being employed in the logo is the Star Jedi typeface — yeah, that’s the Star Wars font for all those who don’t want to click on the link. I’ve been searching a few font sites but I’m not even sure where to begin looking regarding this typeface. Some people complain how “Cartoony” the font is, some people complain how “comic book” the font is… Yet it looks like a variant of Ariel or some other standard typeface and not cartooni-ish or whimsical in the least bit (that’s coming from someone who has actually seen what font creators think “comic” or “cartoon” fonts look like).
Any leads to the appropriate type face are appreciated.
Bonus for Boltsmag
So for 3 years I have been toiling (off and on) away at Boltsmag. It’s got a reputation as the Lightning Weblog, it’s renown around the hockey blogosphere…
And as of a few days ago it’s linked to on Sports Illustrated’s Tampa Bay Lightning team profile page. How is that for a birthday gift?
A rare event
I’ve been doing all I can to prevent people from visiting my CSS testing site… Now I need a little input on changes I plan to make to Boltsmag‘s design…
With the coming NHL hockey season, I’ve been working on a new design for Boltsmag.com.
Only problem is that Boltsmag’s new design isn’t cooperating and is driving Johnny insane…
To be continued.
Guess I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue…
OK, this isn’t an Airplane post, or a Llyod Bridges fanclub post. No, sir… This is just me harping that I picked the wrong time of year to get less-lazy with shaving. (headnod to the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams for the awesome title to this post)
I’ve been shaving daily the past few days and it’s been nice to be “smooth as a baby’s ass” with regards to my facial skin. But alas, I can do this no more.
It’s playoff beard time.
I bought a hate in early 2004 — before I officially launched Boltsmag, before the Lightning had cemented the fact they were on a run to immortality and the Stanley Cup. A tan hat by Nike with the Lightning emblem on it, a velcro fastener in back with “LIGHTNING” embroidered on it and the Nike logo sown into the bill.
It’s a little small, I almost think it’s a woman’s cap… Never the less, I wore that thing from January until I attended game seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and saw the team hoist Lord Stanley chalice. This is my good luck cap for the Lightning… Or it was at least… or is it still?
Back in March 2005 I was dating Jenna and went with her to Target to pick out another hatt. After all, my Lightning cap was soiled terribly and really bothersome due to it’s size. I picked out an Orange County Chopper’s hat and wore that from March until just a few days ago…. On rare occasions — like opening night – I wore the Lightning hat. The Lightning won on opening night but have been lackluster for most of the season.
So when Madeline chewed up my O.C.C. hat, I threw a shit fit and went out shopping for a new hat. I couldn’t find something I wanted at Target and couldn’t get down to the Mall to buy a new sports orientated hat… I sulked… I was wearing my smallish Lightning cap at the time… I’m still wearing the cap on a daily basis now…
…And the Lightning are winning again…?
They’ve looked like a different team in the last several days… I disregarded their victory over Los Angeles, was a bit surprised when they beat up Marty Turco and Dallas… Tonight’s game versus the Thrashers makes me wonder mightily about the powers of this ballcap… I know it’s not a can’t-lose cap, but there’s something to it. I’m sure of it.
I’m officially the father of “the definitive online source for local hockey news.” So Sayeth the St. Petersburg Times in their online blog list which puts the spotlight on Boltsmag this week.
I almost expected this featured status last week, with the opening of the Hockey season on Wednesday but it was for naught — damn you TampaBlab! 😛 🙂 ) — suffice it to say, I am fine with having the featured status this week instead…
…Well, except for the fact I am going out of town and my focus is not on hockey this week. 🙁 Oh well, I’ll live… And so shall Boltsmag!
Hitting a new low for the D-Rays
I’m laughing my ass off over something I disovered while talking to my buddy Keith….
I wrote a post over at Boltsmag a few months ago calling the Devil Rays the worst pro sports team around. If you do a search on Google for “Worst professional sports franchise” and click on “I’m feeling lucky” — my post comes up as the result.
I don’t know if I should rejoice or feel shame. The Rays suck… And as a TB resident, I’ve helped let the world know the Rays suck. So much as for civic pride.