A couple of bits that don't fit anywhere else right now. Enjoy.
Ah, the leftover remnants of a Senators fan, desperate for attention during a Tuesday night shootout (literally) vs. the Devils. Keep in mind that the game was broadcast by Sportsnet, but who's counting? And can we please talk about fan behaviour during shootouts? From Butterknife Row, I was able to catch people literally squatting -- they would stand up and cheer the player's announcement (Dany Heatley or similar), but then seemed unsure if they should remain standing, or to sit back down. It (almost) goes without saying that all fans should be a) still in the building and b) on their feet the entire time during the shootout process. Why do I have to keep telling you these things? Aren't you people from "Hockey Country"?
If you witnessed that Renegades Town Hall meeting on A-Channel yesterday, you know why I'm posting this picture. Renegades head coach John Jenkins has drawn comparisons to Ric Flair and Bill Cosby (mostly due to aesthetic reasons), but now you can throw Hank Hill's name into the mix as well. I swear to God, I've never heard a three-dimensional figure utter the words, "I tell you what". But Jenkins did. Multiple times. Combine that, with his brilliant idea to save the Renegades: Jenkins wants to have a telethon. I Dr. Phil-ed for a good two minutes when he said that. This 25-minute broadcast broke the Unintentional Comedy meter. (The previous record was held by any time Liam Maguire chose "reply all" to the group emails that Josh sends out. Liam actually writes "brother" and "g'day" in his missives. It's a legitimate Valley persona. Damnit, that kills me.)
According to the A-Channel's breakdown of "important dates" on the 'Gades calendar, April 4th has been listed as "Drop Dead Day". Guess when the Lynx are holding Media Day?
A couple of bits that don't fit anywhere else right now. Enjoy.
...because Cynics don't like people who say "jou-jou".
· Unfortunately, I don't really write about golf because a) I don't have time to get to it after I hit on everything else and b) I suck at it -- my swing's a combination of Charles Barkley and the Bionic Woman. That being said, it doesn't mean that I don't care about it. I've followed Mike Weir's career since he was "Mike Weir, Esquire". I can even tell you where I was when he won the Masters: I was on my way to Vegas and had just passed through customs. When I got word, I was tripping out so badly that The Driver thought U.S. Homeland Security was going to give me the boot.
Anyway, I was just as happy to see Stephen Ames pull through at The Players Championship yesterday. But this piece from James Duthie irked me a bit:
But we all know that when he's in contention, almost every Canadian golf fan roots wildly for Mike Weir.
And why not?
He's the little Canadian that could. A wannabe hockey player, just like you!
A grinder who won the freakin' Masters!
Weirsy is your boy!
So when he tripled The Fourth, I bet more than a few of you flipped over to March Madness.
And Stephen Ames?
Well…sure…you were politely clapping for him, too. Hey, anytime the Canadian flag is on top of the leader board, it looks pretty cool.
But c'mon, Stephen Ames? He's…not really Canadian…right? I mean geez, he's from Trinidad and Tobago, and only moved to Canada because his wife's from here. No way he ever played hockey.
This is what we do sometimes in our country. We grade people on how Canadian they really are.
I'm not going to disagree with the main analysis. But truthfully, how Canadian is Mike Weir? The Boy from Bright's Grove has lived in UTAH for years -- he even went to BYU. Stephen Ames willingly became a resident of this country. And who doesn't love Ames' personality? Mike Weir (whom I also adore) maintains that sheepish persona that is so often attributed to Canadians. Ames is emotional. He's candid. He's playful. In short, he's good for golf...especially Canadian golf.
(Aside -- Ames also looks exactly like a ventriloquist from The Ed Sullivan Show whose name escapes me right now. I'll probably scream it out in the middle of the night, and The Driver will think I'm cheating on him.)
· What a shock: Toronto doesn't like the idea of Hockey Night in Canada being moved to another network. I don't understand what the big deal is. Other networks would still maintain a Torontocentric mentality, but also possess the financial ability to broadcast regionally and/or nationally with shorter notice for scheduling changes. That's the excuse we were given for the lack of regional broadcasting in regards to the Buffalo-Ottawa game two weeks ago, correct? Strangely enough, I also received several emails from American residents living close to the border, who claim that HNIC is their only refuge from horrific American broadcasting, and that they don't have access to TSN and Sportsnet with their cable packages. I wish there were actual numbers available to give us an idea of how many Americans this situation applies to. Regardless, I can tell you that when I was still living in the land of Staalapalooza™, TSN was a long time coming on basic cable. I shirked the tradition of HNIC, choosing instead to watch the local Detroit affiliate's coverage of the Red Wings. I wonder how they're going to respond to that revelation?
The style of camerawork, replays etc. on Canadian other networks is at the very least on par with the CBC. It's only one night of hockey a week we're talking about. Get over it.
Besides, I think everyone at the CBC is catching Bob Cole's cryogenic fever (yes, I know that's an oxymoron...go with it). When Edmonton missed an empty-net goal with the shot ringing off the post last Saturday, Greg Millen dropped this bomb: "There's something I've never seen in a long time."
Whew...I'm torched. More tomorrow.
Steppenwolf's John Kay and...
...Gonzaga's Adam Morrison?
P.S. Bloody hell, Adam got to it as well. Why don't we just man up and admit we thieved the idea from Rob?
I'm the biggest nerd evah, but truthfully, it was bugging me that he hadn't referenced it yet. This is from Simmons' SportsNation chat this aft:
Antar, Thunder Bay, Canada: When the hell are you going to drop the Katie Holmes v. Michelle Williams corollary on us? Seriously, did anyone see this coming? When Dawson's Creek wrapped, Holmes all but had the "America's Sweetheart" title wrapped up in a neat little bow. Michelle Williams was a fringe actor who was two steps away from Cinemax. The whole thing got turned on its head. The former is now an unmarried pregnant Catholic girl, linked to the craziest man in Hollywood. She's not damaged goods -- she's destroyed. The latter bagged Heath Ledger and an Oscar nom. Scoreboard much?
Bill Simmons: (2:00 PM ET ) I've been thinking about this one for awhile... the weird thing is that she's HOTTER than Katie Holmes now. Who would have seen that one coming? it's like Jimmy King turning out to be the best NBA player out of the Fab Five - the odds had to be 1 million to one.
My favourite sights during tonight's game vs. Pittburgh:
3) A fan in section 119 sporting an 'O6 home jersey with the phrase, "Git-R-Done";
2) An entire Sens home audience giving a standing ovation to the CIS Champion Carleton Ravens Men's basketball team (you know Death Cluster in Vegas would've loved that -- I was completely nonplussed);
1) A fan in section 120 with a giant prop box of tissues labeled "Crosby Kleenex".
My favourite sight that I missed:
There was a drunk guy in the standing section of 318 -- when I went down to visit The Driver, he kept mentioning how irritating he was. Said drunk guy peeled off in the middle of the 3rd, and streaked the entire section before heading to the concourse where he was subsequently nabbed. And the coup de grâce? His friends took off with his clothes.
...because I had Bradley in my brackets, so take a suck of that.
I'm a little behind and we've got a lot to get to. Welcome back and yeah hey, little Cynics. Let's get started...
· The story of Sundin's/Alfredsson's stick apparently had legs throughout the week. Alfredsson, when questioned, explained the stick was a model that Sundin had previously used in his career. Fine and good, right? Not necessarily. When Alfredsson arrived in Ottawa from Torino, my spies tell me that he returned with a stick marked with Sundin's name on it, as well as one of the 'qvists goalie sticks -- tape was covering the entire name, so they were unable to discern which goaltender it belonged to. So what's the story? Are they souvenirs from the gold medal victory? Are both Alfie and Sundin now using the same stick -- regardless if they were, why weren't they respectively marked?
(Aside -- Yes, that is indeed a cartoon of Mats Sundin. I don't know if that trumps the drunk Sundin/Belfour photo, but it's pretty damned good. Be warned: There's more to come. *shudder*)
· Take a hint, Pittsburgh -- your pathetic arena made a feeble attempt to off itself and you had the audacity to save its miserable life. On the same night, this latest reach by TSN regarding Sidney Crosby was made: "That was almost a highlight reel-worthy play!" Does Sidney play horseshoes? I might be ahead of the curve here, but I have yet to hear the following Crosby defense regarding his battle with Alexander Ovechkin for the Calder Trophy, media headlines, individual NHL supremacy etc.: It's a marathon, not a sprint. We'll see who ends up with the most scoring titles, Cups et al. Isn't the last line of defense for a player who for all intents and purposes, has been completely overshadowed by his competition? Alexander Ovechkin is currently 5th in scoring with 85 points. It's not likely that he could win the Hart trophy, but the argument could be made that he's undoubtedly the most important member of the Capitals' franchise. Pittsburgh fans may be nonplussed by this fact. I think they should get used to it.
· Speaking of MVP candidates, why is Joe Thornton's name being left by the wayside? The immediate argument may be based on the Sharks' current record (33-23-10, 76 points and currently in 10th place). But it's important to remember that Thornton didn't join the Sharks until November 30th. At that time, their record was 8-12-4, and they were on a ten-game losing streak. Since the trade, San Jose has gone 25-11-6. Other players have benefited as well, most notably Thornton's linemate, Jonathan Cheechoo. Cheechoo amassed only 15 points before Thornton's arrival. He has bagged 54 points since then, including a remarkable four hat tricks. Joe remains only two points behind Jagr in the points race as of tonight, with 99. His name deserves consideration for the Hart.
More tomorrow, immediately following the Penguins game.
On their way out of Ottawa last night, the Sens left from MacDonald-Cartier, as opposed to their regular Shell station departure point. My spies tell me that Meszaros was walking with a "definite limp". However, the Senators Media Line reported no new injuries following the Buffalo game. If the young defenseman plays poorly tonight in New Jersey, you'll know why. Stay tuned.
I returned from SoCal early Tuesday morning, and I'm still a bit torched. I'm now on my way out to the valley (sigh) to pick up Peanut, whom I missed dearly during my travels. I spent most of yesterday sleeping, catching up on television (24, PTI etc.). I also managed to watch most of the game (Arnason invisible for the majority...way to help the Leafs). Alternatively, I could blame Tampa Bay for not putting in a greater effort in order to ensure them coming out with at least a point. Some fan I am. And what the hell's wrong with the Rangers? They've been unable to right the ship since the break.
Jesus...I'm babbling. Anyway, long story short...the Deglaze is delayed until next week and will return to its usual position on Monday.
P.S. I watched The Sopranos in San Diego and wasn't that impressed. 24, on the other hand, appears to have a death quota to fill. Ryan Chappelle had such an emotional death two seasons ago, meanwhile Tony, who's been part of the series since the first season, gets the needle. Seriously? I'm hoping the entire cast goes into "whisper quiet" mode as a tribute.
...or rather, LoCal. Del Mar, to be specific. This entire area is completely buggered. I spent the majority of the trade deadline on the 405, viewing most of Orange County from the freeway. I hooked up with Sportnet's text messaging system, and was able to receive information about most of the trades on the road.
I'm dying to know what the local reaction was to the Arnason trade. One can only get so much reaction from the message boards and papers. I've found that quite a few people seem concerned by Arnason's lack of grit. Varada, Neil, McGrattan et al...how much do you need? I think the bulk of negative sentiment has arisen from the media's insistence that the team had Olli Jokinen in the bag. When Jokinen re-signed with the Panthers, one was really left to wonder what Muckler had up his sleeve.
I read an interesting quote from Muckler in the Citizen this aft -- "You don't get guys when they're at their best," Muckler said in a quiet moment after his media scrum at the Scotiabank Place. What intelligent person wouldn't agree with that assessment? You need to go after someone with a flaw -- a player with potential that's going through a cold streak; a guy that doesn't have chemistry with the rest of the team in the dressing room. Those "negative" attributes become your bargaining chips. Word has it that Chicago was looking to get Antoine Vermette in return for Arnason. Could you have imagined the uproar such a trade would have caused?
Muckler was insistent that the Senators weren't going to lose a member of the current squad. That type of thinking seriously reduces the options available for a trade. You can't conjure up a Stanley Cup-winning offensive/two-way/faceoff specialist star name centres out of thin air, and furthermore, you can't expect to get one without giving up a lot.
Senators fans would complain about this move, but likely would've balked more if Muckler had stood pat. That's just their way. Arnason was a +2 tonight, with an assist in just over ten minutes of play tonight during the game vs. the Thrashers. It'll be a test of Murray's ability if he can groom Arnason into the talented player that he's more than capable of being.
P.S. That photo is from the parking garage of the Westin LAX.
...because I'm a hypocrite for going to SoCal. Why don't I just take up smoking?
·Donald Brashear displays his disdain for Brokeback Mountain and the NHL -- although not necessarily in that order. The Philly enforcer apparently has a problem with the game being adjusted to favour the skilled players. Don, you'll just have to adapt -- after all, Domi did. Oh, wait a minute...
Speaking of Domi and the Leafs, they're currently rocking the outside of the playoff bubble like no one's business. You had to love that 1,000 game ceremony for Domi before the Sens dropped the hammer on them (again) Saturday night. And how about the Leafs kicking in for Domi's new wine cellar? After all, nothing says "tough guy" like letting the entire world know you're an oenophile.
(Aside -- can you ever get enough of that picture? I know I can't.)
· Meanwhile, Steve Simmons has up and lost his mind (yes, again)
by suggesting that the Leafs drop McCabe and go after Chara in free agency. After all, "you could build a winner around Chara". Get the bloody hell outta here! Really? And all this time I figured we were trying to do that with Varada. Anyway, you can trust this scenario would occur over John Muckler's already-embalmed corpse. If Zdeno were to jump ship to the dark side, it would make the Johnny Damon incident look like a tea party.
· After watching 24 tonight, we now know why Elisha Cuthbert hasn't been posting on her NHL blog -- she's trapped in the communications room of CTU, attempting to escape the "Syntox nerve gas". And is anyone seriously disappointed that Edgar kicked it? My money was on Curtis. Next up: President Logan's wife. (Please, for the love of God...)
(Aside #2 -- I know you were hoping for an Elisha picture here. It's my blog, damnit. Too bad.)
· Finally, the biggest local story of last week (besides the Marcus Allen-esque insistence that the Sens are going after Olli Jokinen), involved the resignation of Lonie Glieberman from the Renegades. The Driver was dead-set on getting me to write about the 'Gades this week, but I refused. Why? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that no one cares about Ottawa's CFL team...especially in Ottawa. The timestamp on the above TSN story is 12:23 p.m. When I went back to check for comments at midnight on the same day, guess how many there were? Zero. Even now, nearly five days later, there are only 23 posts. Combine that, with the recent poll the Team 1200 had on their website -- the question was, "With Lonie stepping down, are the Renegades taking a step in the right direction?" -- 38.4% said they didn't care. I echo that sentiment wholeheartedly. There's nothing that could possibly hold my interest in the CFL. Even the players for the Lynx are working towards something. The CFL is nothing more than an NFL dumping ground. I'm convinced that this city hadn't thought beyond hosting a Grey Cup. Now they're stuck with a dying football franchise that they don't know what to do with. Lovely.
I'm leaving for SoCal on Wednesday, but I'll try and post something from there. I spell like the English, curse like the French and am paler than JJ Redick -- I guarantee at least one of those characteristics will freak the locals out. See you later this week.
Meet Ch. Hartgersotten's Bode Miller -- a standard Schnauzer who has been tearing it up on the Arizona dog show circuit. Bode the Champion also appears to enjoy the snow, as displayed on his web page. Hopefully that's where the similarities end between the loser skier and his namesake. No word if Bode the Schnauzer also enjoys a malt beverage gently poured into his food dish, and a visit to the bitches' kennels after his epic runs -- his svelte physique and excellent hindquarters will definitely ensure more luck with the ladies. After his 0-for-5 showing in Torino, we're assuming that the real Bode was reduced to drunken self-pleasure in the snowbanks outside of the Olympic village. Good luck to both Bodes -- at least we know that one of you is capable of some success. And hey, loser -- the next time you straddle a gate for the DQ, do what the champ does: Blame it on an ingrown dewclaw.