Bobby Hull #5

Part of an interview with hockey great Bobby Hull. With jokes, anecdotes and stories, Hull discusses his career as a hockey player with both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets. He also comments on his relationship with his family, particularly his father, and explains why he refers to his time in Chicago as,"the greatest years of his life."

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

00:19Copy video clip URL The crew sets up the camera equipment and tests it.

01:09Copy video clip URL Bobby Hull talks about his experience with hockey as a child. He brings up having been raised in a family with 11 siblings, and how certain kinds of hockey equipment, like pads and helmets, were luxuries to them. Hull tells about how he and his siblings would spend hours shoveling the ice on a nearby pond in order to play “Shinny” for a few hours a day. He explains that he did not begin playing organized hockey until the age of 10, borrowing his brother-in-law’s equipment once a week to play.

04:43Copy video clip URL When asked whether his time playing hockey as a child was the most fun he’s had playing hockey, Hull jokes, “When you get to be my age, three things happen: you lose your memory, and I can’t remember the other two things.” He goes on to state that although he’s always enjoyed playing hockey, the most fun he had ever had was playing for the Blackhawks in Chicago. “This is the greatest city in the world . . . these were the greatest years of my life, right here in Chicago.”

06:20Copy video clip URL On George Blanda, the renowned ex-football player, Hull jokes, “He could still be kicking field goals. He’s tighter than a buzzard’s ass in a power dive!”

06:45Copy video clip URL Hull discusses the feeling he’d had since childhood that he would become a professional hockey player, despite the league being much smaller and more competitive in those days. He counts his passion for the sport and his talent as the primary reasons for his success as a hockey player. “It was just a matter of time, for me, that I was going to be a professional athlete.”

08:13Copy video clip URL Hull talks about having been skilled in the sport of football in addition to hockey, and how he was offered a football scholarship to Colorado Springs the year before he joined the NHL. He then recounts the events that led up to his turning pro and playing for the Blackhawks at the age of 18.

10:50Copy video clip URL Hull talks about his relationship with his father, calling him the “driving force” behind his success, though he says that he never could have taken the verbal abuse from his father without his mother. He goes on to say that he believes that his father’s criticisms were his way of keeping him grounded, and to strive for excellence as a player. He illustrates this dynamic between he and his parents by telling about times when he would play in a hockey game and receive criticisms from his father on one end of the rink, then hear words of encouragement from his mother on the other side. “Everything that he did, he did to bring out the best in me.”

13:55Copy video clip URL On his time playing for the Winnipeg Jets, Hull remarks that although it was an important time in his career, when he first signed to play there, he was unsure what would come of it. “Chicago was the only team that I wanted to play for, and Chicago was the only city I wanted to live in.” He explains that his father had warned him about changing teams late in his hockey career, and outlined the problems that would come of playing in Winnipeg, including a whole new whelp of new responsibilities and cold weather. “If I had listened to my mother and father my entire life, I’d have never been in trouble.”

16:10Copy video clip URL Looking back on his father’s advice, Hull says that in hindsight, his father was exactly right about his move to Winnipeg. “I hated Winnipeg, as far as the weather was concerned . . . I never got used to it.” Though he says that he had mixed feelings about joining the WHA, Hull continued to help promote the league and play hockey with the Jets, which he believes played a major factor in the WHA’s survival.

17:55Copy video clip URL Hull names Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, two Swedish players on the Winnipeg Jets, as two of the most talented players he’d ever played with. He also brings up Lars-Erik Sjöberg and Mike Ford, saying that the five of them “played as a unit.” These players, he says, suited his “all-over” playing style better than anyone else.

19:37Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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