Bobby Hull died last week, at the age of 84. He was my first hockey hero. In my home town I could easily pick up the Chicago games, at night. Given a six teal league, Chicago was on tv on a number of Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada games. They were also on a number of CBC Sunday night games on radio. The Golden Jet had a wicked shot and was the first play to score more than 50 goals in a season.
Things were different back in the 1960’s. There is a song from FleetwoodMac called Landslide which has the following lines,
“Children get older… and I’m getting older too”
Perceptions change when one gets older. Hull was known for his fiery temper and his drinking. He was divorced three times. His marriage ended in divorce amidst allegations of domestic abuse. His second wife made thr following claim,
“He took my shoe — with a steel heel — and proceeded to hit me in the head. I was covered with blood. And I can remember him holding me over the balcony and I thought this is the end, I’m going.”
No charges were laid relating to that incident. Hull did plead guity to assaulting an officer after the officer intervened in a domestic dispute and his third wife. His wife also laid charges of assault but later withdrew them.
In a late 1990’s interview with a russian newspaper Hull declared that Hitler had some good ideas and that the Black population was growing too fast. He later denied making those statements.
Over time as one gets older and wiser people can feel remorse for past actions. Hull, in a 2010 interview, when asked if he was a different person, said,
“Same guy. Same guy with the same attitude toward life. You only pass this way one time, and if you don’t have fun, you’ll go to the grave, and you’ll have missed a lot.”
Kind of sad when your childhood heroes reveal themselves to be so tarnished.