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Look Soccer, We Have to Talk….

June 23, 2010 14 comments

Look soccer, I tried.  I tried really hard to like you, and to even fall for you.  On your grandest stage of all, the World Cup, I’ve kept up to date on highlights, tried to get a feel for who’s good and who’s not, forced myself to watch “The Footy Show”, and in the end, I hate to break it to you but….I’m just not that into you. 

I’ll stand by my earlier claims that I respect the abilities of the top players in the game, and thoroughly enjoy playing the game; but as far as sitting at home at watching on TV, I’m going to have to pass. 

I feel like this point has been beaten to death over the years, but you guys gotta score more goals.  Scoring = excitement in all sports, 100% of the time.  I can’t pretend to be riveted to the action of another “nil-nil” scoreless draw.  As I’ve previously iterated, Your game features THE BIGGEST NET IN SPORTS, so someone fill that net already, especially in a tournament that allows you to pick up extra points in the standings for your team’s “Goals For”, in addition to wins, losses, and draws.  Oh yeah, by the way, points for a tie?  Isn’t this the playoffs?  There are no ties allowed in the playoffs of any sport, I thought this was unilaterally understood.  Someone win the freaking game already, you only get to compete every 4 years in this tournament, so go make your mark, don’t just be happy to be there.

And can someone please tell us, definitively, how much time is actually left in the game? 90 minutes is clearly not 90 minutes.  I think the whole injury time thing is a good idea; recouping all the time the divers have wasted, plus the legitimate stoppages.  But why does the referee have to keep this seemingly arbitrary number of game extension time so secret?  Why can’t it be displayed on the clock with the rest of the time; or even better, why can’t you just stop the clock all together for said stoppages??

It’s possible that because Canada sucks at soccer didn’t qualify for the tournament nor will they ever, I am less enthused about the whole event.  On a side note though, I heard you’ve been screwing the American team, so you’ve got that going for you; keep it up, you’ll win Canadians over yet.  After spending a year in South Korea, I’ve found myself rooting for them a bit; also for the home South Africans because of friends we have there, and for the old standby’s of Brazil, Italy, and England.  Wasn’t France supposed to be good too?  But after a while, you realize there’s like a bazillion teams (well, 32) competing, and that just seems like such an obtuse number of squads competing at once.  Can’t you just narrow down the field a bit more before calling the tournament?  I mean, you’ve had 4 years to whittle down the numbers, it’s not like you were short on time or anything…   

I feel like comparing your game to China; in that we’ve been hearing for years now that China is going to take over the world in all aspects, and we’d all better learn to speak Chinese or we’ll all be screwed and have no future.  I’ve been hearing how soccer is the most popular sport in the world (probably true, in the global sense) and how it’s eventually going to be all the rave in North America.  Well, bad news for both hopefuls – I’m getting tired of waiting, and the language I’ve been speaking and the sports I’ve been playing all my life seem just fine they way they are (If China wins the World Cup, I’ll sign up for Mandarin classes).

I’ll give you one thing though, I DO like those vuvuzelas.  Seriously, I think they’re great.  I’m not sure if they’re an African thing or not, but if they are, no one should be saying a thing about banning them.  If that’s a cultural thing, let it be.  They sing during games in Europe, let them blow horns in Africa; why is this worth so many people getting angry about, and people having to invent software to edit them out of broadcasts?  I think it adds a unique flavour to the tournament.

I resolve to continue to be a casual soccer fan.  I’ll probably watch the final, and the odd highlight package, but don’t expect much more from me.  Unless they give all the players sticks.  And they let the players bodycheck.  And they pour water on the field and freeze it.  When those things happen, let me know, and we’ll talk.  Until then…..

2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Final Thoughts, and the DCC Champion Declared!

June 14, 2010 12 comments

First off, congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley-Freaking-Cup (as though they all are collectively reading this blog and saying, “hey thanks man”), and to Rich Abney of Kelowna for winning the 1st Quadrennial SDC Blogs’ Double Championship Challenge!  Along with his prize, Rich receives 4 years of bragging rights.  Keeeerr-rap (doubly for runner up Ryley Herzog, who will be hearing about it at Chevy’s Source for Sports for the next four years J).  It was looking like Ryley and the Flyers had a chance of pulling one over on all of us with that Bruins/Habs massacre, but alas…

What a great playoffs overall.  Complete with a standard Canucks exit,  Pronger’s puck stealing/Carcillo antagonism vs Byfuglien/everyone, Joe Thornton and San Jose’s meltdown, Pronger vs. Burish chirps, awesome NHL “History Will Be Made/No Words” commercials and CBC video montages, 3rd string goalies becoming starters and fading out 1st stringers while fading in huge contracts next year (see: Rask, Halak, Niemi, Leighton, etc), Keith losing 7 TEETH mid-game and continuing, Crosby and Ovechkin eliminated early by an underdog, Hossa rescinding his Cup curse, Vince Vaughn, the rejuvenation of hockey in Chicago and the end of the longest running championship drought, a mullet and a mystery OT Cup winning goal (and a Crosby-Olympic-Golden-Goal-esque one at that) by Kane, a prophetic mural, the Conn Smythe and yet another championship for overshadowed (until now) Jonathan Toews; hard to find anything bad to say about that guy.

The Stanley Cup is just simply awesome.  Winning it is an un-top-able feat (no, not even Dilbert’s Topper could); truly the most difficult trophy to win in sports, by all accounts of comparison of every other sports’ playoff formats.  In no other sports are you required to win 16 games and not lose more than 3 per series to secure final victory.  And when you do accomplish said task, an achievement-appropriate sized trophy awaits you; also the biggest in all sports.  Often described as the lightest 34 pounds you’ll ever lift over your head, most dreamers will never have the opportunity to find out what that really means.  From the first moment video cameras show the Cup in the building to well after it gets lifted over the captain’s head, I get perma-chills and goosebumps every year.   

Justin Bourne did as good a job as anyone could on describing what winning the Cup means here.

I had one idea about something to change in the playoffs though.  You see, it’s always better to win the Cup at home, in front of your own fans.  The Wachovia Center in Philadelphia was dead silent when Patrick Kane scored to win, and rightfully so.  How much better would that moment looked on TV if the Madhouse on Madison had the chance to chant “Chelsea Dagger” alongside Toews’ Cup hoisting?

So here’s my idea: for sure in the Cup final, and perhaps in the previous series’, once a team has won three games, the remaining games should be played at that team’s home rink; unless the other team wins 3, in which case the series would shift to that team’s rink.  It might play havoc with some arena scheduling, but I think it’d make for a better winning atmosphere.  Your thoughts???

Well, that’s it for hockey for a while.  Cripes (I’m sure the female readers out there are breathing a sigh of relief).  No, I won’t watch baseball in the meantime.  Trying reeeeallly hard to give the World Cup and soccer a chance…. but can someone score a goal or two already?  90 +minutes and 0-0 draws are not helping the cause.  It seems too exciting of a tournament to have play that boring, doesn’t it?

If you’re looking for a hockey fix over the summer, why not check out the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp in Kelowna this summer?? check out www.bournevents.com for more info!

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Hockey, Sports

The Awesomeness and Infuriation of the Goal Song.

June 8, 2010 3 comments

 

Anyone who’s played hockey before knows that scoring a goal is awesome.  It’s a huge feeling of self-accomplishment, followed by an immediate and obligatory get together to thank

C'est le but! As the French say...

the guy(s) who set you up to score, then group hug everyone on the ice with you, and then skate-by high-fives for everyone on your team’s bench from everyone on the ice.  As you can surely put together, putting that little black puck in the net brings a lot of satisfaction on a lot of different levels.

Besides your home crowd going bananas (assuming you scored while playing at home), the other add-on that can upgrade you and your team’s current state of awesomeness is having what’s known as a “goal-song”.   Pretty self-explanatory; a goal song is the song that gets played EVERY SINGLE TIME after your team scores.  A good goal-song gets your team right pumped up after scoring, and simultaneously drives the other team absolutely nuts and makes them want to destroy the arena’s audio system with their sticks because they’re so tired of hearing it.

I’d like to submit to you, my top 3 favourite goal songs; 2 of them currently being used by both the Blackhawks and Flyers.

The current reigning champion has to be the Chicago Blackhawks’ song;  “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis.  It makes the Madhouse on Madison go, well, mad.  :

On the flipside, here’s how much Chicago’s mortal enemies, the Vancouver Canucks hate hearing the tune:  

Makes home team happy, enrages the visiting team. Check and mate.  Fratellis FTW.

so good.

Next is a song called “Bro Hymn Tribute” by Pennywise.  I have some personal attachment to this song because when I played minor hockey with the Westside Grizzlies, the team from Merritt would always play it when they scored.  When we beat them out for the league championship, we blasted it on our own stereo and piped it through the ventilation system so they could hear it from a few dressing rooms away.  We stole it for our own, and then rode it out to the Provincial Championship we won right after.  Currently, the Philadelphia Flyers are using it.  Great tune.

Which one of the 2 do you think we’ll be hearing more of in game 6(/7) of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals??

Finally, Kernkraft 400 ‘s “Zombie Nation” may be the staple of all hockey goal songs, across all teams and leagues.

Honorable mention to U2’s “Vertigo” currently being used by the Montreal Canadiens, and The Vengaboys’ “We Like to Party” , which the NAIT Ooks used to play when they scored on us, and it used to drive us (and every other team) absolutely nuts, and Joe Satriani’s – “Crowd Chant”.

What did you think of my list?  Agree? Disagree?  Did I leave something out?  How about some suggestions on good celebration songs from other sports?

 

Why Roberto Luongo is Like A Fax Machine, The Crustacean Job Crunch, and the European Style Excuse; amongst others.

June 2, 2010 4 comments

I’d like to take a moment to thank you folks, my loyal and/or re-routed from links on other websites’ audience.  Last month was again, an all-time high for reads, and marked the 10,000th read of this non-sense.  That’s a pretty low readership compared to other bloggers, but I think it’s pretty good for a guy who rattles off his random thoughts at 2 am 5 times a month.  It’s fun to see that people read this stuff, and voluntarily choose to come back again.  I’ve even had a few of you mention to me in person that you read and enjoy the blog, and that’s been pretty cool too.  So, thanks everyone!  I’ll do my best to continue to entertain you, (hopefully less often) stir up controversy, and generally thieve relatively unimportant moments of your life away from you that you’ll never get back :)

Alright, on with the show…

Mike Gillis tried to fax Luongo his termination, but got a busy signal. Oh well, only 11 more years...

 

Why on earth does faxing still exist?  It’s like laserdisc-like invention that we seemingly got too excited about too early, and then made waaaay too big of a commitment to.  It was a pretty revolutionary idea for its time, no question.  But by the time email rolled around and made it obsolete, every business in North America was still too proud that they had their shiny new fax numbers listed in the phone book, and weren’t willing to give them up.  And like the gasoline engine, or Robert Luongo’s 12-year strangling overpayment deal, we’re in too deep and/or just too proud to get out now.   

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After all man’s technological advancements and inventions, the power still goes out when it gets stormy. Can we solve that already?  We can broadcast a zillion useless channels to every TV on the planet, move ourselves with every form of transportation imaginable on and off the planet, and even create objects capable of leaving the solar system; but we can’t quite figure out how to keep the lights on when grey clouds roll in and it starts to rain.

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so, the iPad is basically just a big iPhone that doesn’t make calls? What do I need one of those for?  Of all the things I need to carry around that doesn’t fit in my pocket, is an oversized electronic rectangle one of them? 

Any iPad owners out there?  Are you happy with your purchase?  In 200 words or less, tell me why or why not, in the form of a comment. 

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We recently discovered water on the Moon & Mars, which we previously believed to be barren,  and found shrimp-like creatures living in frigid Antarctic  waters… Does anyone else get the feeling we don’t know as much about the universe as we thought we did?

How long until we start sending Honda Asimo’s to other planets to settle new civilizations?  And of course, how long until they become self-aware, and enslave the human race?

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Are we done using the “it’s European” excuse to wear ridiculous things skinny jeans, faux-hawks, and man-purses  in North America yet?  Can we just let the Europeans be the Europeans already??  Have we still not learned anything from Seinfeld???

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It’s unfortunate that misogyny is a negative word. Everyone likes massages, don’t they?

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Girls that have been told they look like their dad, or their brother, or some other male, probably shouldn’t get boy haircuts, right?

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Do you think the job market is as tough for crustaceans and other sea life as it is for humans?  Example: the Alaskan Pollock fish that are masquerading around as crab and being sold as imitation crab meat, just because they’re lower in cholesterol and cheaper; do you think they’re putting hard working real crabs out of work?  Yeah me neither.  The crabs are probably pretty pumped about not being swiped out of their existence and being boiled to death, I’d say.

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