Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And this brought to you live from the Tillsonburg Film Fest...

This blog is steeped in tradition like a well-warmed pot of orange pekoe tea... astringent, virtuous and oxidized. With an excellent cup by my side, I present the holy grail of the Velvet Lounge award season - the 2nd annual 'Fallen Angel' Award. Setting the bar with last year's recipient, this tribute is bestowed annually in the harshest depths of winter on the individual who once captivated us with a vigour befitting a rousing icon - and who has subsequently fallen on the hardest of times.

And with that preamble behind us, the 2005 award winner needs no introduction. This character dominated hockey through the 1990s like no one ever will again. This universally beloved powerhouse known for his finesse and style raked in an amazing 23 points over 9 seasons, earning himself a lofty overall rating of 32 in NHL '94. His career succumbing to a motorcycle accident in 1999, our recipient retired - to a sold out crowd of idolizing fans no less - to open and operate the legendary tough-ass biker 'Twisters Iron Bar Saloon' in quaint Imperial, Missouri.

But our story doesn't end there. For a while things went according to plan and graceful obscurity seemed assured. The bar prospered and our hero kept content co-hosting an afternoon radio show on KLSG. Yet, things were brewing in far off Phoenix which would soon consume our champion. His good and wholesome name had been sullied and his character defamed. In the 'Twister' spirit of tenacity and deference we had come to respect and love through his playing years, our hero would seek nothing short of unequivocal redemption.

At first, the year 2004 wasn't looking good as his long anticipated heroic comeback was arbitrarily cancelled. While crushing, things were about to change for our recipient. After eight years of sweat, tears and four long legal battles, the 'Twister' - the Edmonton native - found himself finally vindicated by a court of law from the pen of that nefarious Calgary born McFarlane. While all about the honour and never about the money, T.T. was awarded $15 million and MacFarlane found himself in bankruptcy court.

So here's to Tony Twist - our 2nd Fallen Angel Award victor. Edging out Mike Danton for the honour, Tony exemplifies the award as from the heights of hockey 'superstardom' to the depths of suburban biker-bar ownership, Tony has seen and been it all. His gladiator comeback foiled, radio contract terminated and second job as professional griever complete, Tony's flailing attempts at rectifying his once stellar career are finally fading out of view. It's tough languishing in the shadows. All I can offer is to take solace in the fact that you're still Imperial, Missouri's favourite son.


Blogger Nick said...

My back still aches when I hear that word. Classic. Twist has long been my least-favourite NHL alumnus ever since the introduction of spiritless commentary segment on The Score, and carrying on to the present day and this shamelessly opportunistic lawsuit. I'm not sure of which to be more embarrassed: that Twist thinks his name is worth $15 mil, or that a judge agreed with him. Putting aside that his name would not be worth a red cent if he was born Tony Smith, the idea that there are publicity rights surrounding a career fourth-line NHLer is laughable. Don't defamation cases like these only apply to people who are somehow marketable? Anyway, Twist is a worthless leech and I hope he dies alone.

So, how's life otherwise? Still at Constance? I'll be in TO next weekend, I'll have to stop by.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Dick said...

I indeed still hold down the joint on Constance... and will continue to do so until I figure out what's next in the grand scheme of things.

Be sure to drop by. Too bad you weren't around two weekends from now. Sudbury's Kate Maki is coming to The El Mocambo on the 12th. She sings the best bitter-ass country music... and is cute in that bookish artsy way we've spent so much time elaborating on in earlier Velvet Lounge discussions.

An upcoming post expressing my awe is inescapable.

11:33 PM  

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