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Archive for April, 2010

NHL 1st Round Playoff Thoughts,TSN Commentator Commentary, and The Pwning of Pierre McGuire.

April 27, 2010 9 comments

As the first round of NHL playoffs comes to a close, 5 SDC Blogs readers have had their picks advance to round 2 of the Double Championship contest.  Congrats to Adam Whitmore, Grant McMillan, Casey Fodor, Rob Cunning, and Rich Abney for living to fight another day.  I am a little hurt by Drew Doughty and LA’s early exit, but I’ll get over it.  Good thing I specified that contestants have until the completion of the final first round series to make their selections.  Still time to vote!

Now, on with some hockey thoughts….

As many long-time readers will know, I have a healthy distain for TSN/NBC hockey announcer, Pierre McGuire.  It’s generally due to his hyper-sensationalizing of insignificant plays, and ludicrous and completely incorrect game assessments.   He’s got a reputation for creeping out other announcers, like Darren Dutchysen.  From time to time, he gets paired up with former NHL player, coach, and GM, Mike Milbury.  Though no stranger to schizo opinions himself, Milbury put Pierre right in his place the other night, saying to McGuire, “Let’s have an intelligent conversation about this, so you keep real quiet.”

Beautiful.   Absolutely beautiful.  Exactly what everyone else wants to say to him, but can’t because they’re worried about staying professional.  When in doubt, get a former NHL cementhead tough guy to do your dirty work.  What’s doubly great is that Milbury’s so much physically bigger than him, that when he verbally belittles him on a TV broadcast, Pierre looks like he just got his lunch money stolen, and though he’s mad, he knows retaliation will mean being housed in a locker, or having his hair washed in the toilet.   

How Pierre McGuire continues to be employed as a broadcaster boggles my mind.   I know I’m not the only one who thinks so either; there are multiple facebook groups dedicated to his stupidity and/or professional demise.  Dave Hodge is another guy that I can’t figure out how he keeps earning a paycheque.  The guy’s hosted way too many shows that have all gone up in smoke, and his hair’s way to grandfatherly looking to be allowed on the air still.  It’s like he keeps convincing the TSN brass to give him another chance, “Look, I know ‘That’s Hockey’, ‘Inside Sports’, and ‘The Reporters’ , were all bad gigs, but I’m telling you, I can make the next one work, honest! Please-please-please-please-please come on I really need this… I got these cheeseburgers man!”

I long for the “Sportsdesk” days (pre-ESPN corporate buyout ‘Sportscentre’), the days of Gino Reda, Michael Landsberg, Teresa Hegert, Paul Romanuk, and the all powerful moustache of Jim Van Horne.  Merge them with the likes of today’s talent, Darren Dutchysen, James Duthie, Jay Onrait, Dan O’Toole, and Jennifer Hedger, and you’ve got a roster that’ll send McGuire and Hodge their pink slips quicker than Vancouver and Montreal fans hang their star players out to dry after they are eliminated from the playoffs every year. 

Speaking of eliminations, the Devils are gone.  But did you see some of the saves Brodeur made in that series against Philadelphia?  I guarantee that if Brodeur had made more saves like this one during the Olympics, Canada would’ve rode him to the gold medal:

From that same series, don’t you hate it when dusters like Dan Carcillo score; especially OT winners? These guys contribute nothing offensively all year (unless you count the ways he offends everyone with his appearance and playing style), and then they happen to find themselves playing on a line with 2 good players to protect them, they’re in the right place at the right time once or twice, score, and then always act like their dirty style and roster spot is so justified after; like there weren’t a million players that couldn’t have scored those tap-in’s  just as easily. 

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Does it amaze anyone else that after 23 years of Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry still doesn’t know how much time he has left for his segment, nor is he able to say everything he wants to in the amount of allotted time that has been the same since the beginning?

Serenity Now!!

Nothing Says “Best in the World” Like a Stanley Cup AND a Gold Medal In The Same Season.

April 21, 2010 18 comments

As all of Canada is aware (and most of the US is pretending not to know anything about it or what we’re talking about) CANADA WON THE OLYMPICS AND WE’RE THE BEST IN WORLD AT MORE STUFF THAN EVERYONE ELSE ESPECIALLY HOCKEY STILL. 

With that in mind, I was thinking the other day, that there’s a handful of Canadian hockey players that played for Team Canada this past Olympics and won gold there, that have teams that qualified for the NHL playoffs, and have a shot at winning the Stanley Cup this year.  So for the following list of players (and coaches), there’s a HUGE opportunity to pretty much have the awesomest year of hockey possible, if they were to win both championships in the same season:

 

Vancouver Canucks    –    Roberto Luongo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Penguins   –    Sidney Crosby, Marc-André Fleury (does it count if you didn’t play any games?)

 

 

 

 

 

New Jersey Devils         –    Martin Brodeur, Jacques Lemaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Blackhawks  –   Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Predators  –   Shea Weber

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles Kings    –   Drew Doughty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers   –    Chris Pronger, Michael Richards

 

 

 

 

 

San Jose Sharks          –    Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton (does it count if you didn’t contribute?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Bruins           – Patrice Bergeron

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit Red Wings     – Mike Babcock

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Sabres            – Lindy Ruff

Members of the Sharks and Blackhawks have the most personnel with the opportunity.  But don’t count out Sid and Fleury’s Pens (mostly Sid’s), Brodeur’s been playing out of his mind for Jersey so far, Doughty may be a darkhorse, wily ol’ Mike Babcock and the Wings always have a chance.  You can count out Luongo. 

So, here’s what I am proposing.  I will allow people to post their bets for Stanley Cup Champs/Olympic Gold aka “Double Hockey Awesomeness & Supremacy” (name subject to change), via the comment board.  Once the last team is eliminated in the first round (to the nearest millisecond) I will tally the final ballots, and close the wagering.  Until the cutoff time, feel free to change your votes, but be warned, I will only take your last choice at the elimination of the final first round team.  The person(s) who correctly choose the correct players/team that win it all this year will receive….something, from me.  I’m thinking an SDC Blogs t-shirt that says “I’M THE SMARTEST MAN/WOMAN ALIVE”, or something like that.  I’ll let you know when I get it nailed down.  Whatever, everyone likes t-shirts, right?

*** SDC TRIVIA: Who was/were the last player/players to win the Stanley Cup /Olympic Gold aka “Double Hockey Awesomeness & Supremacy” in the same season?***

                                                                                                                      (no prize awarded for this one)

So with that, happy betting! Enjoy the playoffs, and may the best/luckiest person win!

GO KINGS GO!

The High School Reunion: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Did Facebook Already Kill The Need To?

April 13, 2010 16 comments

I’ve got to be careful about what I choose to write here, because I think I might inadvertently get myself de-invited. 

I while ago, I got the official (via Facebook) invitation for my 10 year high school reunion, set to go down this summer.  Good on the former students for organizing, apparently the school was ZERO help.  So with the class of 2000 set to ride again, I pose the following query for your dissection: The whole Facebook thing seems to have eliminated the need for high school reunions, hasn’t it? 

I mean, wasn’t the whole thing with the reunion to see and catch up with people you lost touch with over the last X amount of years, and catch up?  So, now with pretty well every human being on the planet having a Facebook profile, and certainly most of every grad class that ever, well, grad-ed (even those who took a little extra time)… well, haven’t we all been doing that very same catching up, and keeping IN touch with each other already, via Facebook, or email, or whatever?

For those who just wanted to see who got fat, who’s bald, who’s rich, who’s still on drugs, and/or who you think you have it better than, well, there’s an app for that all the magic of those mysteries can be solved with a few clicks on incriminating Facebook posts.  So that’s out.  Even if you just want to creep on pictures, and see every move everyone’s made over the last decade, well, that’s at your disposal too—as long as you’ve got that all important “Friend Request” approval.  You don’t even need to leave your house for that.      

And for those looking to show up and prove some point about what you made of yourself and how you’re back to extract revenge on all the people that picked on you by rubbing your accomplishments in everyone’s face, well, if you didn’t already know… YOU’RE THE REASON NO ONE WANTS TO GO TO THESE THINGS. 

Here’s a few direct quotes from people in the reunion group that I cut and paste from our reunion page; all examples of things I don’t want to deal with, nor conversations I want to become involved in, if I were to attend:

I think this past year was my best looking year”

“I’ll be at the grad reunion and be the shocker of it all”

“I neither got fat nor skinny. I got out of my Goth period and grew my hair long.”

“I wasn’t the smartest student…and some people may have thought I wouldn’t do much in my life… well I am happy to say I’m doing pretty good.”

So basically all the things that make you point out how late it is, or pretend you’re getting a call on your phone that didn’t ring, or remind yourself of what you left on the stove, or plugged in, or what’s burning down, or whatever else you can conjure up to exit that convo A-S-A-P.

Now, of course there are good, positive reasons to go.  There definitely is no replacement for seeing people in person when compared to online social networking.  There are a few good people that I would enjoy seeing, and hanging out with again.  Rekindle some old friendships, and re-connect with those who have managed to hermit themselves from technology.  Was there anyone that became famous in our class?  Hmm, might be interesting to find that out. 

Of course, there’s going to be people who’re only going to go if ______ goes, and then there’s a stalemate, and then no one goes.  And some people live really far away, and just can’t go.  I’ve been fortunate to stay good friends with the people of that group I care to keep in touch with most; and at times, I think that’s probably all I really need.

Look, high school wasn’t that bad for me, compared to some of the tortured stories I’ve heard from others.  I had some good times, and some good friends, tried to be a good dude, and also tried not to fail classes and get stuck there.  I think I learned a few things in class here and there, but math DID turn out to be useless just like we all contended; outside of calculating tips at restaurants of course.  I definitely had my insecurities, embarrassments, and jerks and idiots that I wish I never had to have dealt with; but I got out relatively unscathed.  Some stories I’ve heard are certainly of the kind of psychologically damaging material that has people paying shrinks to keep them from climbing to the top of a bell tower and opening fire.  I don’t recall crossing anyone in that manner, so I think my odds of getting shot are fairly low.  I can think of a few people whose odds are probably not in their favour though… remind again why we all want to get together with each other again?

So if we all know that eveyone’s got their issues buried somewhere down deep, can we just all agree that this thing’s not an opportunity to get revenge, or to continue being an idiot to people, or to take that last shot at love with the girl/guy you liked but were too shy to talk to, or whatever agenda you’ve been stewing in the crockpot for waaaay too long, and can we all just hang out like civilized adults that weren’t only brought together by the social bindings of a mandatory public education system?  Can we all just pretend that despite the social awkward life period of us all once being acceptance-seeking (just me?) adolescents that were forced to congregate in the same building for 5 consecutive years, that we actually want to be in the same place with each other this time for some reason?

 Or maybe should we all just go buckwild; have one side of the room for people who want to start fights, gloat, and get embarrassed by asking out the person you always wanted to date that still doesn’t want to date you roll the dice on a crack at romance, and the other side for all the people who are over themselves and their issues, and just wanna hang out and have a good time?      

Again, I hope I haven’t just lost my invitation.  I know I sound cynical, but surely I’m not the only one with these thoughts running through their heads. 

My invitation status is currently set as “Maybe Attending”.  Do you think I should go?  Why or why not?  Did you/are you going to yours?  Why or why not?  What’s your best high school reunion story?

March Madness Meanderings…

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Some quick March Madness thoughts before no one cares about college basketball for another 10 or 11 months…

There really should be a rule against college basketball players wearing t-shirts under their uniforms.  It just looks so ultra bush league.  There’s a reason why NOT ONE player in the NBA wears a t-shirt under his jersey; and I’d speculate it has something to do with looking professional, rather than looking like a high-school freshman wearing a pinny over his gym-strip in P.E. class.  Some of these guys will actually go onto the NBA, so they better get used to the cold, or people seeing their non-existent arms sometime.

these guys would be the first stroked off my list if I were scouting. Good thing I'm not.

This whole March Madness thing’s got a lot of people hooked hey?  I’ll admit it looks like a cool atmosphere to play in front of for the players, or to be there as a fan.  But as far as basketball, I gotta say I Just. Don’t. Care. 

Maybe it stems from my own basketball career.  In grade 7, I was really good at it; legitimately one of the best at Rose Valley Elementary School.  Problem was, we didn’t win a single game that entire year.  And even despite my winning the RV 21 championship, I eventually faded into mediocrity once I hit high school, and found other things I was more interested in.  But I digress…

It’s bad enough I have to endure the network battling over whether they’re going to air the NBA or NHL playoffs when the games periodically overlap (didn’t Gary Bettman used to work for the NBA?  Hmm… suspicious season scheduling…), but this NCAA stuff has really got people gassed up.  Admittedly, despite low scores and no dunks, it’s good basketball; which helps its cause (can you imagine what would happen to hockey if if the NHL presented a “New NHL” to American TV networks that featured lower scores, and fewer exciting plays?).  I get the Americans, they like there basketball, football, and baseball, and no one’s gonna tell them different; but even in my college town of Caronport, Saskatchewan (population: 919), there are students with brackets posted on the walls, pools, and battles for Bell Express Vu Satellite TV time.  So surely if small Canadian prairie towns are digging it, a lot of other places are too. Crazy.  Maybe that James Naismith was onto something…

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