WBKB Channel 7 - Midwest Sports Special - "Inside the World of Hockey with the Chicago Blackhawks" (Part 6, 1964)
Here's Part 6 (the final part) of Midwest Sports Special - "Inside the World of Hockey with the Chicago Blackhawks," hosted by Frank Sweeney, as aired on WBKB (now WLS) Channel 7. This was transferred from the original film, and thus has no commercials. Featured in this part are player Bill Hay, Standby Club fans Larry Chetienne(?), Elaine Urich(?), and Maya(?) Lerman(?), referee Vern Buffey, linesmen George Hayes and John D'Amico, and general manager Tommy Ivan. Includes:
A pan over the Blackhawks' locker room at Chicago Stadium, followed by the players arriving in their street clothes, changing to their hockey uniforms.
Host Frank Sweeney explaining what goes on before the game, and interviewing Bill Hay as he's changing into his hockey gear; Hay explains the various "equipment" worn by players as designed to protect against serious injuries that are part and parcel of the game. Once he's fully dressed, he explains what's going on during times when full-blown fights break out in the course of a game.
We are then treated to displays of enthusiasm from the fans in the Standby Club, with Larry Chetienne(?), president of the club, explaining how they got together and secretary Elaine Urich(?) explaining how the club started with second-balcony fans and expanded to the lower end of the rink as the fans got older and couldn't make it up to the second balcony. As Larry continues, we see a cloth sign, "Black Hawk Standbys," being raised up in the balcony. One older lady explains how she and other fans travel to other cities (Detroit, Toronto, New York and Boston) whenever the Blackhawks are on the road - and how Toronto was where she's had the most trouble. Larry then mentions that the oldest fan has been attending Hawks games for 25 years. Then we see the old lady again, this time wearing what looks like an Indian headdress, identifying herself as 72-year-old Maya(?) Lerman(?), the "Big Chief," who's been also following the team 25 years, and explaining her overall enthusiasm, even with injuries she's sustained over time.
Frank next speaks to NHL referee Vern Buffey, and linesmen George Hayes and John D'Amico, who explain their jobs and how the fans' reaction is "part of the game." We cut to "Big Chief" Maya who calls the refereeing "out of this world" and asserting that "we haven't gotten any [referees]"; then back to Vern about how it all doesn't bother him; back to the "Big Chief" once again railing against the referees; and Vern commenting of "rabid fans." General Manager Ivan calls the fans "the greatest in the world in Chicago."
Next, a light in the stands comes up and the fans let out their yell, raising bells, and showing their love for their team. As the play starts, Frank makes his concluding comments and advises viewers to tune in next week "for another Midwest Sports Special."
The show concludes with the closing credits over shots of the team in action and accompanied by Sousa's "King Cotton March":
Midwest Sports Special
Produced by Cliff Braun
Directed by Sam Ventura
Associate Producer - Ronny Born
Production Assistant - Roger Goodman
Coordinators - Paul Frumkin, Arthur Morse
Cameraman - Bill Butler
Editor - John Oertel
Sound by Walter Oakes, William J. Biltgen
A Kupcinet Production in Association with WBKB Sports
"We stand by the Hawks whether they're up or down . . . I think we're actually playing the game along with them."
This aired on local Chicago TV on Saturday, December 19, 1964 (and repeated on Saturday, March 20th 1965) during the 5:30pm to 6:30pm timeframe.
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