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At the Canucks Fan Zone, blogger Derek Jory asks the question (of no one in particular — they don’t allow comments) whether the following photo, ostensibly from 1984, is real:


It’s a pre-game faceoff between Stan Smyl and Mario Lemieux, with Michael Jackson (yes, here we go again) doing the honours.  Jory asserts that there is actually a confluence:

It’s possible this is the correct date.  1984 was Lemieux’s first season in the NHL, and (there is no C on his sweater) was not yet captain of the Penguins.

On the contradicting side, Jory also points out that there’s “no red carpet” as there is in this photo.  However, if you look behind Michael Jackson, you’ll notice the penalty box.  The red carpet typically extends from the players’ benches for these sorts of things, since the penalty boxes and scorekeeper’s bench do not have exits, and those benches are clearly behind the photographer.  Furthermore, the photog is clearly standing on the ice, and for safety reasons would only be standing on carpet himself… so just because you don’t see the carpet doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I did some digging and here’s a photo of Michael from 1984, wearing what seems to be the same outfit.


I’ve got to say he really foretold the whole bedazzled revolution, didn’t he, Wal-Mart shoppers?  Must’ve liked that jacket, because here it is again (also in 1984) with the sleeves rolled up.


So there you go, sports fans.  I have resolved this issue of critical importance to the hockey nation.  Michael Jackson did in fact drop the puck at Mario Lemieux’s debut game in Vancouver in November, 1984.  Please now relax, drop an ambien, and head to bed happy.  The speckled one loves hockey.  Though perhaps not as much as Gary Coleman: