5 out of 5 stars
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For Canadians, watching their favorite hockey team vie for the Stanley Cup is a national pastime. In Two Minutes for Talking to Myself, Curt Keilback shares personal stories from his time as an NHL (National Hockey League) color commentator for the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes. From players ramming each other into the boards to a coach attempting to climb a barrier to confront an opponent, hockey is a rough-and-tumble sport that is not for the faint of heart. Mr. Keilback describes these moments as an eyewitness to history. He provides a unique perspective on the details behind the scenes and beyond the rink. With decades of experience in the broadcast booth, Mr. Keilback has interviewed Hall of Fame players, coaches, and managers. He has also travelled with the teams. In this book, he reminisces about the many “hockey people” he met along the way.
The cover design features a pale blue background that depicts the ice at a skating rink. A photo of Mr. Keilback doing his job is placed at the center, and the book’s title is framed by two hockey sticks. The title itself is a reference to hockey penalties because players are often given two-minute minor penalties for committing an infraction. The text is separated into five parts. There doesn’t seem to be a theme or particular order with how the parts and stories are presented. The author has a conversational yet concise writing style. In addition to the written accounts, a few photographs are included. There are some suggestive jokes, but they are conveyed in a tasteful manner. The text contains only borderline profanity.
Reading this book was a very personal experience for me. It brought back bittersweet memories of watching Hockey Night in Canada with my late father when we lived in Montréal. I recognized legendary names, like Wayne Gretzky, Don Cherry, Guy Lafleur, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr. I liked how the author included additional information after some of the stories. This information gave context or drew attention to ironic turns of events. In one instance, the author recounted the humorous story of how he got hired as a broadcaster for the Phoenix Coyotes after the original Winnipeg Jets organization moved to Arizona. He barged into the team president’s office and declared that he was the only man for the job! I appreciated Mr. Keilback’s honest opinions about his work, his colleagues, and the various NHL franchises. He also provided fascinating insights into the fans’ receptions of their favorite teams and the game itself.
I only have one suggestion to make regarding the layout of the book. I would have preferred if the sections and stories were arranged in chronological order rather than switching back and forth between the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Alternatively, the parts could have been based on a clear theme with a brief explanation at the beginning of each section. Nevertheless, this minor issue did not make the text any less entertaining.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is a must-read for hockey fans of all ages! Therefore, I happily award Two Minutes for Talking to Myself by Curt Keilback a rating of five out of five stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys sports and memoirs. Older folks will be particularly fond of this trip down memory lane as they consider the many ways that the sport has changed over the years.
Two Minutes For Talking To Myself
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