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|Mark Hoppus and Blink-182 have a new album, so John Buccigross takes their songs on an NHL tour.|
They are very much like a productive hockey line -- three men with different skill sets, contrasting and complementing a fluid situation.
Mark Hoppus (clever two-way center), Tom DeLonge (yapping scoring winger) and Travis Barker (sauciest hands of the bunch) are Blink-182.
Formed in the same year as the San Jose Sharks (1992) and close to age as "NHL 2Night" (1995), Blink-182 is very much a "hockey" band, the band I most associate with the old ESPN2 and our ESPN2 hockey show because of the band's age (the average age of the guys and girls who worked on "NHL 2Night" was Blink's average age, despite the dusty and ancient Barry Melrose). And after living my 20s in poverty, the newness of everything covering the NHL at ESPN on a daily basis was like being back in high school, except I no longer had Wheat Thin-sized acne. Every day was a "Rock Show."
Blink-182 is fast, ferocious, funny, profound, profane, vulgar, touching, honest, insecure, self-effacing, violent and fun. If there is a band that shares adult North American hockey's true DNA, it is this one. There is little difference between a Blink mosh pit and a game-ending hockey scrum in front of the net in a one-goal game.
All three members of Blink-182 (just "Blink" to their followers) are Southern California-bred. Hoppus' and DeLonge's parents divorced as kids, while Barker's mother died of cancer the day before the drummer entered high school. Fertile and liberating ground for artistic and outcast teenagers. For Blink., there is no holding back; there is no fear of what Mom or Dad or Coach would think. They just play. This is not a cone-and-whistle practice, this is pond hockey.
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