Being a recent convert to this wonderful sport of ours, I never got to see the giants of yesteryear play.. but I've made it a mission to seek them and their exploits out. Steve Larmer, Wendel Clark, Stan Mikita, Jari Kurri, Teemu Selanne (wait, what?) and Some Guy Who Wore "99" spring to mind.
However, there is one player, who adorned the Canucks for four-and-a-bit seasons who stands alone in terms of Pure Awesome.
A feared enforcer who could also seriously play.. a man who bowed to no-one in an era full of monsters.. a man who made that horrible V-Jersey look cool.. a man who, cumulatively, spent three entire freaking days in the Box
David "Tiger" Williams, take a bow.1) Those Records
All-Time NHL Penalty Minutes.. 3966 PIMs in 962 Games. To put it in context, No. 2 on that list, Dale Hunter, has 400 fewer PIMs in 450 more games. And La Petite Peste sure as [Torres] never led the league in PIMs AND his team in Goals in the same freaking season! Tiger did, in '80-'81, with 343 PIMs, 35G, 62P in 77 GP.
Seriously. maybe Mike Bossy equalled Rocket Richard by scoring 50 Goals in his first 50 games that year. Maybe Gretzky set a new Assist record. Who cares? Can you imagine how many Goals Tiger would have scored if he hadn't spent a seriously large chunk of the season in the Penalty Box? A Shitload, that's the answer.
2) He's Called 'Tiger' For Goodness Sake!
Williams credits his first Coach, John Norman, back in Weyburn Saskatchewan for giving him the name "Tiger". When he was Five Years Old!! When you or I were five, chances are we were called something like "Snookums" or "Cutie-Poo" or something else that made us unfit for a lifetime of punching Dave Semenko in the face.
David James Williams has been identified with the biggest, baddest mammalian predator on the planet since the days when he thought that Crazy Glue was part of the four main food groups. It's clear that his destiny was Awesomeness on an Epic Scale.
There are elite Air Force Squadrons in NATO who paint their planes with Tiger stripes.. including the ARC.. all they need to do is add the number 22 to become the most feared fighters in the whole damn world..
not pictured: Dave Schultz' house, far below.
3) NoMeansNo Wrote A Song About Him
I'm sure you all know about NoMeansNo (Vancouver's Greatest-Ever Band) and their Hockey/Ramones side-project The Hanson Brothers? If you don't, remedy this.
On their seminal 1996 Album "Sudden Death" there is a song called "He Looked A Lot Like Tiger Williams"
Listen to it.. you can buy me a drink some time
Yes, they're suggesting that God looks a lot like Tiger Williams in the last verse. I don't know about you, but I haven't had any excellent punk band compare me to a deity in song lately..
4) He's Growing Bald With Grace
Some go for the combover, some go for the Rogaine.. they suck. Real men let their hair go and don't try to hide it, just like Tiger. See that gleaming scalp reflecting the light of the sun, there? Religions have been formed around less. So, Bobby, srsly.. get rid of that Rug..
5) The Stick Riding Thing
This stroke of Awesome McAwesome needs no further comment than the thousands of GIFs..
You've seen all the "They See Me Rollin': They Hatin" ones before.. so here's the source
So, the Man has Unbreakable NHL Records, the World's Coolest Nickname, is pals with an Awesome Band, has Accepted Hair Loss and Disregarded it and Rode His Stick..
Clearly, he has Out-Awesomed all of us..
But, wait: there's more..
This is a picture of SCH All-Round-Good-Guy Powrfwd37 with Tiger in Afghanistan, where he has gone on several occasions to play ball hockey with Canadian troops (and doubtless kicking their asses) for Hockey Night in Afghanistan .He has also been an enthusiastic supporter of the Special Olympics/Paralympics since his playing days and now hosts the annual Tiger Williams Pro AM Golf Tournament to raise funds.And, last but not least, the Man wrote a damn cookbook!
No idea if there is a recipe for Bobby Clarke Puree in there..
The Hanson Brothers led a campaign to get Tiger into the HOF in 1996.. it ultimately failed but in I'm sure the Big Man could care less. He got to appear in their video for "The Hockey Song"
Tiger Rules, OK?