Thursday, August 18, 2011
Prior to that night's game between the Czech Republic and Sweden, as fans began sitting down after the playing of the national anthems, the public address announcer began announcing, in Czech, about Machač's passing. Knowing that a moment of silence was about to follow, I returned to my feet. Some Swedish fans behind me, who couldn't understand the announcement, asked me what was happening. I told them, and they asked who it was for. My answer was simply, "A player from the Czechoslovakian national team from the '70s."
My short answer was partly because I assumed they wouldn't know who he was, but partly because, apart from his name and time period when he played, I didn't really know anything either. Of course, Czech hockey fans of a certain age have no such problem. I didn't have to speak to many before I even found some who knew him in person, and apparently he was one hell of a nice guy. I also learned that he was a bruising defenceman with a booming slapshot from the point who starred domestically for Brno and won three World Championship gold medals.
The article goes on to explore more about Machač's career. His most notable accomplishment may be his 293 international games played for Czechoslovakia, which is second only to the great Jiří Holík.
You can read the full article here: