ESPN’s Keith Olbermann wrote a wonderful tribute to Gordie Howe when the legend fell ill in 2014.
He begins by recalling that night in 1950 that Mr. Hockey was nearly killed on the ice.
In Game 1 of the Detroit Red Wings‘ playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Howe either missed a check on Teeder Kennedy or was butt-ended by the Leafs centre. Either way, Howe crashed into the boards and didn’t move.
Most were uncertain the great would live let alone play again. Of course, he did.
Olbermann’s touching recollection touches on the fights, hits and goals, but more interesting are his personal accounts of meeting Howe at age 10 and again at 37.
“And the last time I ended up amazed by that brain,” the ESPN commentator said.
Olbermann, you might recall, co-starred with a retired Howe in this fantastic “This Is SportsCenter” promotional sketch: