Fred Shero peered across the frozen landscape and imagined what could be. His mind created a reality that many weren’t able to comprehend. All visionaries face similar fates during their mortal lives.
‘Freddy’ has surely continued to observe the game he loves since his passing in 1990. Today, the entire hockey world finally looked up at him with full admiration.
While Shero’s Hall of Fame election was long overdue, he will now rightfully be honored forever.
He wasn’t in a fog
The 145 regular season National Hockey League games (and 13 playoff games) that Shero appeared in, while he was a New York Ranger defenseman from 1947-1950, weren’t dynamic. However, his passion for the rink eventually led to his iconic years behind the Philadelphia Flyers’ bench during the infamous ‘Broad Street Bullies’ run, which included back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75.
Frederick Alexander Shero, gained his nickname ‘The Fog’ because he often appeared to be in one when seen from afar. However, those who employed, worked with, played for or knew him understood that he was a brilliant, inquisitive, well-read, innovative man who helped to forge what became the modern game.
This Manitoba native is believed to be the first to hire an assistant coach, employ what is now referred to as a ‘system’ of play, study film (videotape) of his team and the opposition, travel to Russia to learn about the former USSR’s hockey techniques, create the pre-game skate and promote physical conditioning among his players.
Shero’s most famous quote was, is and will always be what he wrote on the Flyers’ locker room blackboard during the 1974 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, “Win together now and we will walk together forever.” (That is the exact quote, as some other interpretations have been seen through the years.)
He made many other enduring verbal points during his life including:
“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”
“Arrive at the net with the puck and in ill humor.”
“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
Shero’s timeless character
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. For your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Shero’s reputation initially denied him election to the Hall of Fame. But, his timeless character was fully seen by the majority in 2013.
Now, his transcendent life will be honored forever.
Sean O’Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He worked in the front office for the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A team that formerly was located in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and later became a print sports writer. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his blog Insight.
Additional features this author and the Yahoo Contributor Network include:
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