Falling Back

Posted on November 3rd, by Ralph Strangis in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. 1 Comment

Losin’ on October’s last day and November’s first to close the season’s unofficial first month begs a simple but double-entendre laced ponderin’; “Where are the Dallas Stars?” Record says they’re 4-3-4, 12 points, and pretty much in the middle. They’ve blown some games, stolen a couple of points, have a nearly impossible to hit or explain 1-0-4 mark at home, and depending on how you look at it are either well positioned to make a run or are a week away from being closer to the bottom than the top. So that’s where they are…

But – where are the Dallas Stars?  You know – the Dallas Stars?  The fast-skatin’, hard-chargin, puck-possessin’, no-excuse makin’, everybody ropin’ and ridin’ up and comers who caught opponents unawares and had all of us in the palm of their hand as they put on a … Read More »


Rivals

Posted on October 8th, by Ralph Strangis in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. 5 comments

“Who’s the Stars biggest rival?” I hear that one a lot and never have a very good answer for it.  Some argue playoffs make rivalries, the NHL asserts that it’s geography that can do it, while others say the best rivalries are long standing, competitive and built over time. Yankees/Red Sox hits all of the above.

And while rivalries like that are as rare as the albatross, there are plenty of sturdy and burgeoning ongoing conflicts worth a look. Let’s first look at some Stars history.

In Minnesota, the North Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks played in the Norris Division together during most the 80’s and early 90’s. Between 1982 and 1992 the teams met over 50 times in the regular season and 6 times in the playoffs. The Hawks won 4 of those 6 playoff series, which were must-watch TV. Old … Read More »


UNSENT

Posted on September 24th, by Ralph Strangis in All. 1 Comment

I’m writing this piece while flying back from the FOX SPORTS Regional Broadcast meetings in Los Angeles, and before the memory joins the jangled and bursting hard drive in my head, I wanted to share some information and offer some observations.

The seminar consists of large-room open discussions featuring broadcast and production panel members kicking around a variety of relevant topics. The NHL shows up to give us what’s what with rule changes, and there are short presentations on audience feedback, new technologies and graphics.

A large block of time at the very end yesterday was dedicated to what our chief Mike Connelly slated “Unexpected Moments”, and the discussion and subsequent debate centered mostly around Dallas Stars’ Center Rich Peverly’s cardiac episode on the bench last season, and specifically, how both our show and the visiting (Columbus) show covered the incident.

So Razor, … Read More »


My Summer Vacation

Posted on September 10th, by Ralph Strangis in All, Dallas Stars. 1 Comment

The next time I write in this space, and for months thereafter, I’ll be writing almost entirely hockey. This should be a welcome development for most of my friends and (dare I say) fans out there. Sure you’re mildly interested in Ralph the adventurer, you’re somewhat intellectually curious about Ralph the pontificator, you’re impressed by Ralph the other than hockey sports columnist, and maybe you’re thinking about putting down a few of your hard earned dollars on Ralph’s novel (if and when that ever gets published).

But – who’s kidding who? You want to hear from Ralph the voice of the Dallas Stars. I know you do and soon you’ll get it here and regularly this season at www.dallasstars.com. And to be truthful, I can’t wait for all things Dallas Stars this season. We got quite a group here in what … Read More »


Ripped Near the Tide

Posted on August 8th, by Ralph Strangis in All. No Comments

Bookending an infamous and vibrating strip of Oceanside boardwalk in Southern California are two gyms – cousins – neither of which looks anything like the gym you call home. “Muscle Beach” and “Muscle Beach Venice” are working gyms to be sure, but their open-air facilities, wind and sand battered raw equipment and eclectic clientele put them in a club with exactly two members. The passerby experiences a show to remember, and for those man or woman enough to walk through the gates there is enough sweat, testosterone and sense of history to make it a must do for anyone who’s ever picked up a dumbbell.

I’ve walked that patch dozens of times over the years, stopping and looking at the bodybuilders and the exercise hobbyists but never getting closer than leaning on the outside fence in Venice.  I’m here for a … Read More »


Novel Idea

Posted on August 1st, by Ralph Strangis in All. No Comments

Advance warning: THIS IS A ME COLUMN! You ain’t interested in Ralph Strangis, what Ralph Strangis likes to do when he’s not doing hockey games, or are just now annoyed that Ralph Strangis opted to refer to himself in the third person, then stop reading.

OK – for the few brave souls then. Welcome. Good to have you here. Might get a little weird…  I actually say that a lot to people who are curious about getting to know me beyond Ralph the hockey announcer. Went to Lady Gaga last week. What a crazy display of humanity that was. Other thing though – she says – in the  middle of the show she says – “I’m not sure where I’m headed exactly but the more that life challenges me  probably the more f—ed up this s—‘s gonna get. Sounds right.

I act … Read More »


WARPATH

Posted on July 25th, by Ralph Strangis in All, NFL. No Comments

CBS’ Sean McManus’ comments to “The Hollywood Reporter” recently regarding the network’s view on whether his announcers should use the term “Redskins”:

We haven’t talked to them yet. Generally speaking, we do not tell our announcers what to say or not say. Up to this point, it has not been a big issue for us. Last year, it was simmering; now it’s reaching a hotter level. But we probably will not end up dictating to our announcers whether they say Redskins or don’t say Redskins. We leave that up to them and our production team. There are times when something becomes important enough that we talk to them, and between now and the start of football season we’ll decide what is the right thing to do.

Let me begin by saying – this is not a piece that will address my feelings … Read More »


Voices

Posted on July 15th, by Ralph Strangis in All, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers. 2 comments

Nobody had to tell me to listen to sports on the radio when I was a kid. I loved it. Loved listening to games. That’s all there was pretty much. Just games. No bits, no tickers, no personalities, just games and the guys who called ‘em. And you had to be good at it and these guys were. They were the guys who invented the craft or grew up listening to the guys who did and worked hard to build on what they heard.

I was lucky growing up in Minneapolis in the 70’s. Had a deep well of true craftsman to model. Like Ray Scott and Ray Christensen and Al Shaver. And on weekends I could watch and hear TV play-by-play guys who moved over from radio like Scully and Nelson and Gowdy and Jones and Enberg and Marv. What … Read More »


Restoration

Posted on July 4th, by Ralph Strangis in All, Dallas Stars. 5 comments

You don’t know everything. You can’t. And I can’t tell you. In most cases, you’re better off. Like the sausage factory analogy. And so on.

You trust me and so do they. Walking that line is tricky sometimes for guys like me. We’re not “journalists” in any meaningful sense of the word, although few are anymore but that’s another thing. We’re company guys.  We’re fairer than most I think and we work hard at that because I want your trust and need theirs. Twenty-five years doin’ this I’ve seen a lot, spun a little, and know what’s what. Trust me.

Let me tell you something that isn’t a violation of the pact; what we got now – what we got with Jim Nill and Lindy Ruff and our hockey staff and our captain and team (all with Tom Gagliardi’s support) is superb.  … Read More »


USA! USA! USA?

Posted on June 30th, by Ralph Strangis in All. No Comments

I live in a downtown Dallas high-rise almost on top of the American Airlines Center and overlooking the south plaza, which was crawling with spectators Thursday for the USA-GERMANY World Cup match. I had the game on the television, scanned twitter and glanced down occasionally at the diverse group assembled below and it got me thinking.

Then Friday morning I get up and see a column by a prominent woman who was so clearly fishing with Ahab’s ferocity and tortured spirit I won’t oblige her by republishing her name here.

But the questions swirl in my head amidst the seemingly unrelenting current of divisiveness. What is American? What does it mean to be patriotic – what constitutes a patriotic act? And am I an idiot because I’m asking these questions? Shouldn’t I know? Shouldn’t we all know? Shouldn’t these truths be self-evident?

The … Read More »