Okay, so you'll notice the time...yes, I haven't gone to bed yet. My area of Kanata is notorious for blackouts, and I was hit with one at about 1:30 this morning -- it lasted approximately two hours. Peggy Feltmate's going to hear from me soon.
Anyway, I'm on deadline today, and I'll be starting work later than usual. If anything is posted today, it will be coming in the late afternoon at the earliest. Apologies to the government workers. You know who you are.
There's a lot to discuss -- the undying rumours surrounding Vesa Toskala, the signing of Wade Redden (any day now...seriously!), Zdeno Chara (whatever), and the likelihood of Jeremy Roenick coming to Canada. (Anyone want a loudmouth that's so far gone in the concussion department that he talks to his mittens...anyone?)
I'll try and get to some of this afterward...or if news breaks.
Goodnight now. More later.
P.S. I googled "Kanata photos" and ended up coming across a bunch of Japanimation -- hence the photo.
Okay, so you'll notice the time...yes, I haven't gone to bed yet. My area of Kanata is notorious for blackouts, and I was hit with one at about 1:30 this morning -- it lasted approximately two hours. Peggy Feltmate's going to hear from me soon.
I read this on an American blog last night re: the trade of Bertuzzi to Florida:
"'Bert' should flourish in the Coach Martin system"
That's all it said -- a statement with no explanation. How is Bertuzzi going to flourish under Jacques? Are his offensive numbers suddenly going to rebound in a renaissance of sorts, because Jacques would let him freewheel? Don't think so. What about fighting? Is he going to drop the gloves, lest he face the consequences and have his minutes cut? What about aggressive behaviour on the ice? How much of that will be sacrificed to placate Martin?
Todd Bertuzzi is in Florida because Mike Keenan wanted him there. But this isn't the type of player that Jacques covets -- quite the opposite, actually.
"Flourish"? I highly doubt it.
P.S. It should be noted that Bertuzzi only fought twice in the last season (he won both) but undoubtedly the lack of tilts was due to being in the spotlight so much. If Bertuzzi is to regain his game of old, he will need to begin displaying emotion again, and aggression is a big key to his game.
So Star Jones is leaving The View -- BFD, right? Probably, but at least it gives us an excuse to revisit the co-host getting smacked in the face with a football, courtesy of Jason Sehorn.
This week's column made reference to my "lexicon of yore" -- a different manner of language that is used in Thunder Bay, and in some cases, Northwestern Ontario in general. I've been asked to explain this further, so in the hopes of educating the masses that there is life beyond North Bay, here goes.
Boosh -- To forcefully push a person or object out of the way
Byark -- Fright-inducing exclamation -- used to scare the hell out of people on late-night walks, high school freshmen, etc.
Camp -- a cottage
Persian -- Highly superior to the Beavertail, and available exclusively in Thunder Bay and the immediate surrounding areas. An oval cinnamon bun base (no raisins or nuts) topped with strawberry icing. I discussed Persians with Marc Staal at last year's Entry Draft while Bob MacKenzie stood by, looking absolutely perplexed. Good times.
Scoffs -- snacks, food etc.
Shag -- A pre-wedding celebration held by future brides and grooms that serves two purposes: To allow their family and friends to attend a decent party, and to make fistfuls of coin off a cash bar (usually to help pay for the impending nuptials). Commonly referred to as a "mixed stag" or "Stag and Doe" in Eastern Ontario. The term represents a mixture of the female "shower" and male "stag". We still use this in spite of the Austin Powers trilogy, and no one thinks it's lascivious.
There's more, but it's been nearly ten years. As I continue to remember, I'll keep adding to the list.
...because I punked out on a draft blog due to it being bloody nice out.
Here's Kent, making short work of Boo Boo's mock draft (2 correct out of 30 -- score!)
Some quick thoughts on the Entry Draft:
Not terribly exciting, and not a lot of surprises (which the exception of a couple of trades, but we'll get to that later). Why are all of those Staal kids going to teams I can't stand? Did I do something previously in my Lakehead life to deserve this? After Pittsburgh selected Jordan Staal with the No. 2 pick, I told The Driver that Jared Staal (the youngest, and rumoured to be the best of the four) was going to end up in Toronto. Naturally, I immediately regretted saying it.
Okay, so Pittsburgh now has three young, big-name centres (two of which will play this year), and 12 players tying up just over $15 million in salary. Now might be the time to start worrying about what's going on behind the Penguins' blueline instead of in front of it.
As for Ottawa, I imagine most will be happy with the selection of LW Nick Foligno from the Sudbury Wolves. Grit is an essential addition, but it's also important to take note of the Foligno's position. People are obsessed with the Senators' centre position woes, and sometimes the team's LW weaknesses get lost in the shuffle. It's nice to see the team attempt to bulk up the left side.
There was one other event that held my interest at the draft, and that was the trade between Boston and Toronto that sent Andrew Raycroft to the Leafs in exchange for Tuukka Rask.
Can we have John Ferguson Jr's IQ tested? You know, just for comedic purposes?
Ooh, but Andrew Raycroft won the Calder Trophy! So did Jim Carey -- what's your point? Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask's play was one of the biggest stories at the World Junior Championships this year. Goalies are an odd breed, and there's no guarantee that Rask would pan out, but posters at the HFboards are saying that the Leaf fans in attendance had their faces in their hands when the trade was announced.
It should also be remembered that the Toronto was rumoured to be going after Evgeni Nabokov before the trade was announced. Rock that spin, Toronto.
P.S. If you're looking for more comedy, check out the Tolstoy-esque Chris Pronger thread at the HFboards -- currently at 37 pages and counting. Their misery isn't amusing, but their ideas for an equivalent trade are (e.g. Dany Heatley and Martin Havlat, or Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Whitney).
If you'll remember, we were discussing the formula required for Ottawa to initiate a trade with Florida for Roberto Luongo. The Driver's suggestion was Martin Havlat, Anton Volchenkov and a first-round pick.
Well, according to Boo Boo today, we weren't far off. He says to swap out Volchenkov and include Chris Phillips instead.
If Havlat is looking for a one-year-deal (as reports indicate), it's obvious that he will be on the move. But to ask for Phillips would be too much, at least one would assume.
But maybe it wouldn't have been, if the Senators had drafted Marc Staal last year instead of Brian Lee in the first-round.
And that, Cynics, will be the subject of this week's upcoming column -- the error made by the Sens when they passed on Marc Staal at last year's draft. See, it's all coming full circle.
Staal is a big, stay-at-home defenceman with a) the ability to make the team (he's expected to make the Rangers this year) and b) possesses a name that now carries a lot of weight in this league.
Ottawa could've taken him at No. 9, but they passed and took Brian Lee instead. Lee is considered to be a carbon-copy of Redden and likely will require some culivation in the farm system before he arrives.
Could Staal do everything that Phillips did in the playoffs (be extremely effective, but unnoticeable)? Maybe not right away, but if the team was able to make that sacrifice to nail down Luongo, would it matter?
But we'll never know, because Ottawa doesn't have Marc Staal to turn to. And the really upsetting thing is, they could have, but chose not to. I knew they'd regret that decision. I just didn't realize it would begin so soon.
UPDATE: Luongo is off the market. The Canucks have shipped Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alexander Auld to the Panthers in exchange for Roberto Luongo and Lukas Krajicek.
More details are coming out from Jose Theodore's night with Paris Hilton. Apparently his girlfriend kicked him out after learning of the tryst. And the coup de gras? She was in Toronto as well -- they were in town to pick up their daughter. Here's a clip from CTV.ca:
TQS, a French-language television network, reported on Thursday that Stephanie Cloutier ended her relationship with Theodore and gave the Colorado Avalanche goaltender the boot from their Montreal home after learning of his apparent indiscretion.
According to Le Journal de Montreal, Cloutier and Theodore were in Toronto on the weekend to pick up their three-month-old daughter who had been hospitalized since her premature birth.
While they were in town, Theodore took time out from his familial obligations to escort Hilton, who starred in TV's The Simple Life, to a Toronto awards ceremony.
You can read the rest of the story here.
Some final thoughts regarding Carolina's win...
Obviously the fans that have remained by this team surely are overjoyed, and that's cool. But how is it possible, after all their defensive caterwauling, that I'm still able to open the paper, and on Page 3, read the following headline:
"Raleigh fans give hockey showdown the cold shoulder"
Keep in mind, this was the day after their Stanley Cup victory -- the hardest championship to win in all of sports.
One of the most interesting quotes came from an actual hockey fan, who said, "People need us to win the Cup in order for the interest to grow."
Planning on growing a large crop of fair-weather fans, are you Raleigh? It wasn't enough that the team had been to the finals twice in four years? What happens when you don't win it every time? What occurs when you need to spend a few years rebuilding, as all teams eventually do?
The question of fan growth is still being asked, even after a long and illustrious Stanley Cup run. It may not overshadow, but it's constantly there. It's a source of irritation to the legitimate fans that do reside in North Carolina and its surrounding areas, but all they can do is defend. The rest of the hockey world is waiting for the proof.
It's not anyone's right to maintain a NHL team in their particular city -- it's a privilege. And it makes it exceedingly difficult to convince on-the-fringe hockey fans (not Carolina ones, just general, potential hockey fans) that they should be supporting this league when questions are being asked about one of its now-elite teams. "Why should I follow the NHL, when the majority of Raleigh doesn't even care that they might win a Stanley Cup?" Do you have any idea how many times I've heard that? Do you realize how bad it looks and sounds?
Raleigh is in the spotlight now, and they had better produce, because talk is cheap. No one's asking for the NHL to replace basketball as the sport of choice. To do so would be extremely foolish. But when you win a major sports championship, and people are still asking where your fans are? How is the rest of the NHL supposed to respond to that? How are we to defend that to the critics? 30,000 fans coming out to a Cup celebration is a great start. But you had better work hard and show some legitimate results -- it's your duty to the rest of the league as Cup champions.
There's Hockey Country, and a Hockeytown. Right now, Raleigh -- the Stanley Cup champions -- barely qualifies as a hockey hamlet. They might want to start changing that. They were just given the biggest, shiniest reason in the world to start.
Paris Hilton visited Toronto on Sunday for the MuchMusic Video Awards, and appears to have caught hockey fever in the process.
Hilton was spotted with Jose Theodore, the Colorado Avalanche's No. 1 goaltender. The couple appeared close and were photographed holding hands.
The two left Club Ultra on Queen Street West and headed for Paris' hotel. Hilton exited first, and waited for Theodore in the lobby. The goaltender followed shortly afterward.
Not to go completely op-ed, but it should be noted that Paris has dabbled in other sports as well -- the heiress has been spotted with Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher, and USC pseudo-stud (now Arizona Cardinal) Matt Leinart. We're just wondering which league right now is worthy of the trifecta: Arena or CFL?
Tabernac! What's Jose thinking? Will he fondle her with his glove and blocker on? Will Paris be bitter because his chest equipment is bigger than hers? Right now we're just hoping that Paris washed off the Eau de Buzzsaw before she donned her skates.
Good luck, Jose, and happy skanking. We'd say it in your native language, but unfortuately, the only Québécois phrase we know is, "Go f*ck yourself with a handful of thumbtacks." (And yes, that's a direct translation.) Keep that one in your back pocket if the tramp gives you anything that requires penicillin afterward.
P.S. For the record, Theodore had a daughter with girlfriend Stéphanie Cloutier in March of this year, and the couple were expected to marry eventually. Specifics on their current relationship are unclear at this time (granted, from the photos, it doesn't look promising). Details to follow.
[Story and Photo Credit: TMZ.com]
Please pick up the blue and orange phone.
Looking for Howard Finkel-Hurricanes stuff? Go here. Keep in mind that it's Game 7, and we still don't know the true name of the announcer.
Very disappointing start to the Oilers' game -- they should feel fortunate to only be down by one.
Which brings me to another point...
Whenever Edmonton doesn't bring their best game, why isn't Carolina going up 2, 3 or more goals? Blocked shots aside, what's up with that? If you ask me, that's the sign of a good team -- not a great one.
UPDATE: In case you're keeping track...
Harry Neale's Ohio State Buckeyes references -- 1
(Miami Heat Head Coach) Pat Riley references -- 1
Farmers' philosophy references -- 1 ("It doesn't matter how you feel, the cows still have to be milked.")
The Driver's take: "I picture (Neale) wearing a beret tonight."
UPDATE #2: This is Senators-esque. Not getting to the puck first, the ineffective drop passes, the neutral-zone trouble, the lack of bodies in the offensive zone...
Oh my. Stellar 5-on-3. Do they sell shower rods on Whyte Avenue?
UPDATE #3: What do you think Kevin Lowe will do to hang onto Fernando Pisani? Don't forget that he's a UFA this year, and has turned into the 2006 version of Martin Gelinas (during Calgary's run).
UPDATE #4: Marshall Johnston has a Stanley Cup. If that's not enough to make you nauseous, I don't know what is.
Did you check out Justin Williams' fan club? Who the hell were those chicks?
For the record:
Ray Bourque-esque "f*cking rights" - 3 (Justin Williams, Aaron Ward and Ray Whitney). Apparently no one's lording over the censor controls at the CBC tonight.
Being someone who follows and covers the Sens -- it seems like bizarre irony to me. The play, particularly in the final game, was so similar. But the major difference between the two teams was always "the want" -- the desire to charge forward, and seize the victory. Tonight, Edmonton didn't display that mentality to the fullest. They may have felt it, but it wasn't blatantly evident.
Congratulations to Carolina, and particularly to Eric Staal. I hope he fills the Cup with Persian icing and takes it up to Bethammi.
Alain Vigneault was seen boarding a flight from Ottawa to Vancouver tonight. Obviously Dave Nonis would like to have someone secured in the head coaching position before Saturday's Entry Draft, and Vigneault has been in the running for the Canucks' job for some time. Is this why he left for the West Coast so early? Stay tuned.
Over/under on arrests on Whyte Ave. tonight: 179.
Good things happen when you go to the net, produce on the PP and get to the puck first. Sincerely, Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- hockey analyst to the stars.
How about Harry Neale suggesting that Harper become a scout "when he loses the next election"?
By the way, if this goes the Oilers' way on Monday, Kevin Lowe should nail down a vintage white Ford Bronco for Markkanen.
Other thoughts re: the Satellite Hotstove...
(Flashback to 48 hours ago)
The Driver: I want Luongo.
The Driver: How come? Havlat, Volchenkov, and a No. 1 pick.
Me: Whatever -- that little bugger is going to want to become a UFA next year, regardless. Mark my words.
Pierre LeBrun confirmed that tonight -- Keenan seems to be looking for a trade, but Luongo and his agent still want to test the market next year.
No. 1: 'Canes fans think Ryan Smyth's removal of the silver dollar at the RBC Center's center ice yesterday afternoon was classless. I look at it more as a gut reaction to blatant uncreativity.
No. 2: Could you possibly get enough of the fans lingering behind after tonight's game? I couldn't. My personal favourite was the shot of the mother and young boy. Ah, the waste...the expense. No Billy, there won't be a Christmas this year.
No. 3: "Hey Erin, why did I hear some guys suddenly talking about that TiCat's cheerleading incident on Wednesday? I mean, the story previously appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Sun and the Hamilton Spectator. In fact, the story started appearing as early as Saturday, yet they didn't talk about it until Wednesday. Hmmm. Curious. I wonder where they might have seen it and why they refused to reference the source? And I also wonder how they think that the RBC Center's announcer sounds like Howard Finkel, just like you did. Wow, that's one hell of a coincidence."
Yes Cynics, it sure is.
P.S. Happy belated birthday to R.C. -- be sure to email for your complimentary dancing Boo-Boo.
Tuesday was a very good day for TUC -- thanks to The Hater Nation and Deadspin (our first link to the site), we received mega exposure for the CFL cheerleader piece, which was extremely cool. At last count just before midnight, we were over 3,400 hits for the day. Very decent for a blog that few are aware of.
More later...including some extremely interesting dirt on Frank D'Angelo and his alleged interest in the mothballed Renegades.
P.S. If you're into late-night reading, may I suggest that you check this out. I don't get it either.
Yeah, you may have noticed a couple. I haven't fully decided yet, and I just noticed that hyperlinks don't appear in a different colour on this template, leaving the reader to scroll for blog-esque Easter eggs. Dumbass. Gimme your feedback, and I'll keep tinkering.
Two Hamilton Tiger-Cats cheerleaders have been fired after appearing on The Howard Stern Show. I'm told they presented themselves as some sort of health experts and the TiCats were never mentioned. Details to follow....
UPDATE: The two women, Deanna Garraway, 25 and Ashley Harrison, 21, appeared on Stern's Thursday show. Apparently the girls were referred to as CFL cheerleaders (no mention of Hamilton), and participants in a Toronto fitness competition. Naturally the conversation took a ribald turn, and there was discussion of the girls' alleged virginity, and fellatio experience. Both girls also participated in the use of a sex toy on-air.
My source tells me that the a representative from the fitness competition contacted Stern today, to let him know that the girls had been dismissed from the TiCats' squad. Stern's calls to the Hamilton team were not returned. You can read more about this story on Stern's website (halfway down on the right-hand side) or at the Hamilton Spectator's site.
I'll update again once Stern has filed his synopsis for today's show. Here are the head shots from the TiCat's website of Ashley and Deanna:
UPDATE #2: No new news from Stern's website, but the Toronto Sun has picked up the story. It was an insignificant blurb, but it did mention that the women were exposed to a penis. (Cease the lascivious filth!) You can read the Sun piece here.
I'm sure the third update will entail the women's future employment at The Brass Rail. Just a hunch.
Right now it's looking like Craig MacTavish made the right choice. And right now, it appears that an Oilers' Cup loss would not come down to goaltending.
However, the Oilers are still displaying some Senators-esque problems that will lead to a 4-1 series victory for the Hurricanes, should they continue. Their PP remains unorganized and lackluster, with unscreened shots that Cam Ward can see coming from a mile away. Worse still, they're not capitalizing on the rebounds, and lacking the traffic in front (that won't be construed as goaltender interference*).
The Oilers also need to make a concerted effort to get to the puck first -- there was a better effort in Game 3 -- including a couple of bellyflop pokechecks to get it out of the zone. But I think all Oilers supporters would like to see faster wheels from the team.
Regardless, a win's a win. We'll see if they can string something together tomorrow.
To wrap it up...a few non-sequitur quick hits:
· CBC showed the Oilers returning to the dressing room after the game, and Joey Moss was standing at the entrance. Everyone gave him love except Ryan Smyth. What the hell's up with that, TEETH?
· At around 1 am EDT, ESPN's E.J. Hradek appeared on The Score, and promptly threw the 'Canes under the bus for their post-game behaviour. Apparently Rod Brind'Amour refused to come out of the dressing room and address the media. ("A 35-year-old veteran is pulling this -- he can't just come out and say, 'We played a good game, but we'll pull it together for Game 4'? He's got to pout in the room because he's unhappy with the refs?") He also mentioned that Cam Ward refused to talk when Hradek approached him. E.J.'s final analysis? "Maybe Lindy Ruff was right. Maybe the Hurricanes are a bunch of sore losers." Ouch.
· Speaking of Carolina -- their fans, who pride themselves on their bottomless well of knowledge, weren't able to give me the name of the RBC Center's arena announcer, even after three days of inquiries on a message board. 63 views, no replies -- hence the reason why there was no name referenced in today's column. Thanks a lot, 'Canes fans. You're ever so helpful. (And from now on, the announcer will be known as Howard Finkel. End of story.)
* Karma for McGeough being out to lunch (and out of position on the disallowed goal). But the Velveeta-loving media are pushing it with their claims of symbolism involving the puck going off Smyth's chest logo for the winning goal. It goes both ways.
...abbreviated because I'm working. For reals!
Thanks a lot, Dick! Charles Wang brings outcasts Neil Smith and Ted Nolan into the Islanders' fold. The Nolan story is an intriguing one -- he claims that he didn't go to Moncton to get back into the pros -- he took the job to rediscover the passion of the game. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of people pulling for him (septugenarian Ottawa GMs not included). As for Smith, he's identified with bloat, excessive spending, and selecting veterans instead of committing to farm development. I guess this means Yashin's staying.
This post from Deadspin (and its accompanying commentary) might be one of the funniest pieces to ever appear on the website. If you're unaware of the backstory, read this.
Rob Brodie interviewed Brian Williams about his departure from CBC, and Williams claims that Nancy Lee fired the 32-year-veteran by fax. Toffee-nosed cow.
More later. Maybe.
"Game 2 is scheduled for one fall!"
Like it matters now, but The Driver and I stopped by Ty Conklin's house before the game to purchase some cotton candy, and I said the score tonight would be 6-0 (for Carolina). Not far off.
Bloody painful television viewing if you're an Oilers fan. Capitalize on those rebounds much? (Irony...ha.) And from the Mick McGeough School of Drama to Bill McCreary's machinations -- does anyone long for Kerry the Coif? Just thought I'd ask. For the record, and all McCreary hatred aside, so many of those Edmonton infractions would've been called by the majority. If the Oilers want to have a chance, they've obviously got to squelch that behaviour. I think Craig MacTavish's hair is white enough as it is.
One benefit that will come from the imminent return to Rexall Place -- everyone gets away from that Howard Finkel-esque arena MC in Raleigh. That, combined with the crowd's incessant Ric Flair-on-helium imitations have been grating on my nerves. I may as well be watching RAW.
"The winner...and NEWWWWWWWWWWWWW Stanley Cup Champions!" (Admit it -- you can hear it in your head.)
So, The Driver and I passed by the little fair taking place in the (NEW!) Hazeldean Mall parking lot this evening, and there were a few rides present --The Octopus, Round-Up (a.k.a. The Expectorant) and some bumper cars.
Don't you always remember going to the fair, and generally being creeped out by two things: 1) Carnies and 2) that damned Conklin Shows logo?
But looking at it now, and remembering what occurred last night -- how appropriate is that? Right down to the crosses for the eyes.
And to add the ironic icing on the cake, here's part of the scouting report on Conklin from TSN's website: "Assets: Can handle big-game pressure. Has the ideal demeanor for the goaltending position. Works extremely hard at improving his game."
Oh, don't you worry about me. It'll wash off. I hope.
Obviously this is me, using sarcasm in its ultimate form. I mean, I'm a member of the media. I'm not supposed to care. Rooting for a team is unprofessional, after all, the "fan in me died a long time ago".
Don't ever believe this. Don't believe it when a journalist says it, don't believe it when a beat writer says it, and definitely don't believe it when an analyst says it. They respect both teams, but you can be damned sure that the majority of them in this country are pulling for (and likely have heavy action on) the Oil.
And a lot of them are probably regretting that decision, now that Dwayne Roloson has gone down.
This is all I have to say about the Oilers' goaltending situation: If Carolina Hurricanes fans want to win their Stanley Cup in such a fashion -- by facing a team lacking an integral cog, then their respect for the Cup should be questioned. Injuries happen -- this is true. But ultimately you wish to have the fairest, and most balanced matchup possible to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup. If the Hurricanes shut this thing down in four games, and Roloson never returns, I will personally always wonder what might have been.
(And if Edmonton manages to somehow pull this off, someone better keep the defibrillator in the general vicinity of Joey Moss.)
Here's a snippet from Terry Jones' piece that appeared in yesterday's Edmonton Sun:
They hold 40 Atlantic Coast Conference titles between them. In the past 36 years the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Wolfpack have been to the NCAA Final Four no fewer than 23 times. North Carolina, under the winningest college basketball coach in history, Mike Smith, taking 13 titles, and Duke, under Mike Krzyzewski (or "Coach K" as he is known here), close behind with nine. Michael Jordan played for North Carolina.
Mike Smith? Who the bloody hell is Mike Smith? I think this is the guy Jones meant to reference.
As for the stellar Coach K synopsis -- just as the Carolina faithful don't want to be told that they lack hockey intelligence, I don't expect for a Canadian writer to assume that his readers are unfamiliar with Coach K and the school he's affiliated with (uh, that'd be Duke, for those keeping score at home). For the record, Krzyzewski is known as "Coach K" everywhere -- the man is so bloody mainstream, he's even appeared in an American Express commercial (which was aired in Canada ad nauseam, in addition to the annual NCAA tournament).
But before anyone feels the need to bleat and moan that it was a hockey piece, and not everyone knows about these frightfully obscure American college basketball coaches, let me also provide you with this and this.
Educate yourselves, my little puck-obsessed sponges.
P.S. I'm surprised that Jones forgot to inform us that Michael Jordan is black, as well.
The hypersensitive reaction from Carolina Hurricanes fans. Unbelievably lame.
Someone sent this to me a couple of days ago, and I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Needless to say, if you're busy looking for potential insults being hurled towards the Carolina Hurricanes on Myspace, or some ridiculous blog (yes, like this one) -- you have too much time on your hands.
Do you know what the biggest concern of some Carolina Hurricanes fans is right now? It has nothing to with winning the Cup. Some 'Canes fans are freaked by the idea that someone, somewhere, might be calling them a redneck.
I'm dead serious.
Never mind that they are supplementing their ironic online outrage with a photo of a fan from the RBC Center during Game 7, who is holding up a sign that reads, "Redneck Hockey". Never mind that some in Canada refer to Albertans as rednecks or roughnecks, due to the province's prevalent oil industry. And never mind that there are other legitimately negative portrayals being made in the mainstream media that are receiving copious amounts of coverage.
Portrayals such as the one Bomani Jones provided to ESPN.com's Page 2 this week.
Here's a synopsis of Jones' piece: He traveled to Raleigh-Durham during the Carolina-New Jersey series in search of Hurricanes fans. He scoured a number of venues (restaurants, bars et al) to see who would be out watching the games. All venues visited contained barely a handful of fans (both for afternoon and evening games), and in some cases, the game wasn't even being shown.
In other words, hardly encouraging.
I don't want to get into Jones' piece in depth, because I've referenced it in this week's column. But it bears mentioning here, because it demonstrates that mainstream media are attacking Canes fans on a legitimate topic: Fan growth. Are Jones' claims true? Are they not? Why? Tell us. Give us your side of the story.
But alas, they seem to be far too caught up in their Internet wars. And the most blatant observation I can make thus far, is that these comments are getting to them. But rather than ignore them, they bite -- which is obviously what the instigators want.
How highly predictable. And how unbelievably lame. Now come on, 'Canes fans -- add the icing on the cake and bring the "jelly" retorts.
Here was the obvious foreshadowing from the RBC Center, as referenced by TUC in April, which labeled the Canes as the "2006 East Conference Champs". For the record, it's "Eastern", not "East". Bloody Mensas.
And here's your 2006 Stanley Cup Final: Op Art Spasm Logos versus Ralph Klein's Tar Sands and Heritage Fund from Tarrytown, NY.
Of course, you all saw this coming a mile away, didn't you?
P.S. Eric Staal may have bagged a Prince of Wales trophy tonight, but I had a Persian for breakfast. Trust me, he's jealous.
UPDATE: The RBC Center website has corrected their error, now listing the team as the champs of the Southeast division. Here's a question: Who really IS the champion of the Eastern conference? Ottawa won the regular season, but Carolina won the playoffs. And if Carolina loses in the finals, are both teams going to raise Eastern conference banners? Sounds like a question for Liam.