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One Sports Fan's Memories
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Even Heroes Make Mistakes

Back in 1976 I had two favorite hockey goalies. Mike Palmateer in Toronto who I got to see most Saturday nights on HNIC, and Joe Daley of the Winnipeg Jets who I only to see a handfull of times a season at the Arena.
 
Unlike today's superstars Daley was a regular fixture in the community. He belonged to the local chapter of the Kiwanis along with my father. He attended one of my Morse Place Eagles hockey wind-up banquets and signed autographs for the kids after giving a speach and eating the obligatory rubber chicken.
 
Joe was an excellent goalie who didn't mind taking a chance or two.
 
On January 9th, 1976 I went to see Joe and the Jets battle the usually pathetic Indianapolis Racers. However on this particular night the two teams battled it out to a regulation 1-1 tie. Of course the WHA trying to give the fans what they wanted, and to differentiate themselves from the stale NHL, actually had a sudden death 10 minute overtime period.
 
I remember the play was a break-up at the blueline with the Jets unable to keep the puck in the Racer zone. The puck got loose and made its way down the ice. Joe made his decision quick, not making that uncertain second pause that would mean certain doom. He was fleet of foot but obviously no match for the oncoming Racer forward chasing the puck. The puck had just crossed into the Jet zone and Daley knew he was in trouble. He dived at the puck and swiped at it with his goal stick as he slid along the ice. To no avail. I don't remember if he missed the puck, or if it bounced off the Racer, but the Indianapolis forward went around Joe with the puck and then fired it into the wide open net. The Jets lost on Daley's mistake.
 
Racers  2 - 1 Jets
 
It's funny of all the great games he played in a Jets jersey in front of me, that his mistake would be the most enduring memory of Joe Daley on the ice that I would hold onto.

racerslogo.jpg

From that night's program
racers.jpg
click to see full scan

racersgretz.jpg
some model in a Racer's jersey, circa 1979