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XP PSP s01e12: Justin Bourne debriefs Sochi 2014 hockey

March 3, 2014 Leave a comment

In episode 12 of XP PSP, Justin Bourne from The Score dropped by to debrief the Sochi 2014 Olympic hockey tournament with me, and discuss it’s implications on the NHL moving forward. We talked about Canada’s route to gold, USA’s fall from grace, Backstrom’s Olympic suspension, how it affected Sweden’s outcome and why team doctors weren’t regulating his intake better, whether Canada’s win justifies all the heavily critcised roster adjustments the coaching staff made, who steps into Steve Yzerman’s role next Olympics, who Canada would send if the NHL chose not to participate in the 2018 Olympics, what the alternative to the Olympics as a best-on-best tournament would be, how John Tavares’ Olympic injury affects the decision for the NHL to return or not, how it affects the Islanders going forward this season, how Olympic performances affect NHL players finishing their NHL season, and more.

Click here for the XP PSP audio podcast at Podbean

Download_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_1004https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/xppsp/id643817929

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!

Jeremy Roenick, Larry Fitzgerald, and The Terrible Trouble of Toppers.

March 13, 2010 15 comments

You stay classy, JR.

Sometime back in November ’09, I was sitting in a Kelowna pub, waiting for my boss to drop off a cheque to me.  He clearly wanted me to drink the money away with him right then and there, but I vowed to keep it, and my immediate debts clear.  Amidst my time biding, a man with an odd familiarity, though seeming out of place, caught my attention.  I puzzled to put the pieces together… finally assembling that it was former loud-mouth agitator showman NHL’er, Jeremy Roenick.  Once I put it together, I opted not to bother him (he was a good player and all, but I just didn’t seem to care that much).  He seemed a little perturbed, as if someone had just called him spoiled for getting paid to play “a game” for a job.  I found out later he was in town for the Kelowna Jaycee’s Gentlemen’s Charity Dinner… go figure.    

I still thought it was cool that I saw him, so I texted my friend, Justin Bourne, who resides in Arizona, about who I’d just seen.  A few minutes later, I got a text back saying something to the tune of, “Oh yeah? Well I just walked past Larry Fitzgerald.  Take that.” {editor’s note: verbatim may be exaggerated for effect}  He included the following picture:

My immediate reaction was to accuse Mr. Bourne of being a “Topper”, and of attempted topping, while under suspicion of conspiring to top.  He refuted the charges. 

Now you may be asking yourself, “But SDC, what is a Topper, or topping for that matter?”  Well, I’m glad you asked, and I’ll be happy to explain.  Or better yet, I’ll let Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comics visually explain:

So basically, a Topper is someone who always seems to conveniently have a better story than someone who is currently, or has just finished telling a story; generally for the purpose of garnering attention and admiration of others in earshot of the happening. 

Now, to be fair to, and in defence of Bourne, this definitely was an isolated topping incident, and I hold no other claims to current or former toppings.  But there are definitely people out there who do this on a regular basis, quite purposefully. 

The other side of this scenario is that, at the time, I had no idea who Larry Fitzgerald was (apparently he’s good at that game with the weird shaped ball that’s hard to throw, and a super guy) as I don’t watch football, but Bourne definitely knew who Roenick was (was good at hockey, and apparently a huge jackass).  So Justin may have a claim to innocence based on the fact that his topping criteria was not necessarily of topping magnitude, considering that I was not aware of Larry’s level.  But one could also cite that this point is irrelevant, and nullify the claimed innocence.  So what do you think?  Does the evidence speak for itself, or is topping relative to the participants?  Did Bourne (try to) top me? 

My conversational provoking query to you is: Do you know a topper?  What is your best topper story that you’ve seen or heard of?

Also, enjoy some more Topper comics, my favourite character in the Dilbert series.

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