From his SportsNation chat this aft:
Erin (Ottawa, Canada): Why was Storm Large wearing Phil Jackson's suit when she sang the national anthem on the Contender last night? Apologies from Canada for going 2-for-2 on Rockstar. None of us liked Lukas, but we all probably dug Jason Newsted's double denim and fingerless gloves.
Bill Simmons: (2:59 PM ET ) I'll say this: Storm Large was MUCH cuter in person than I thought she would be. By the way, Lucas is probably 5-foot-4. No joke. And he's very pleased with himself. Also, Toby is much taller than I thought (maybe 6-foot-3) and has that happy/possibly drunk Austrialian vibe to him... seemed like a good guy. He'll be in rehab soon.
Of course, it wasn't much of a question -- but I thought referencing fingerless gloves would get me in. On second thought, I should have asked about his face, as it appeared to be melting off during his interview on The Colbert Report two weeks ago.
From his SportsNation chat this aft:
(As featured on Deadspin ...byark!)
Once again, the lowdown: Each week, we will accessorize our Jake Plummer inaction figure to represent the type of week he had. A bad game? Expect more a feminine look. A good game? Jake will be all man. We'll continue this until a) Plummer is replaced by rookie Jay Cutler or b) someone of significance tells us to stop.
Week 3 Plummer stats: 15 for 30, 256 yards, 2 TDs.
Jake vaults back into our good books by showing up Mr. Bridget Moynahan, and feeding WR Javon Walker for two touchdowns. So how does our hero wind down after a long day at Foxboro? A night spent with a copy of Penthouse Variations (circa January 2003), and a rather vile-looking frozen pork tenderloin ought to do the trick.
Next week: Bye.
For Week 1, click here. For Week 2, click here.
Sens' Redden leaves game with tight groin
Groin problems are becoming a bad habit for the Ottawa Senators in the pre-season, with the latest victim being the team's No. 1 defenceman.
So, in case you're keeping score, that's three: Alfredsson, Schaefer and Redden...all with groin problems.
Hopefully they'll all stand behind the bench and yell while sporting a towel around their necks, during various stages of their recovery.
Smolinski scores in OT as Hawks edge Panthers
CHICAGO (AP) - Bryan Smolinski scored his second goal 46 seconds into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 pre-season victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
For an explanation on why we refer to Bryan Smolinski as "Binkie", click here. This will also explain why we're hyping a Chicago preseason game versus the "formidable" Panthers.
Edit: That Deadspin link is being finicky, so here's the cut and paste version if you can't see it.
Who's Your Favorite Sportswriter's Binkie?
Inspired by a comment in this morning's story about Jason Whitlock and his rips on Michael Irvin, a commenter named Mr. Poon -- who runs this site -- pointed out something curious about Whitlock. Namely, that Whitlock, in pinch, will fall back on his blind spot; his odd belief that Jeff George (a high school classmate of Whitlock's) was/is, in fact, a great quarterback. George is, essentially, Whitlock's "binkie;" his safety blanket, an athlete that he "champions and claim sis better than anyone else is willing to admit."
We think this is an outstanding notion, this "binkie." It does seem that all sportswriters seem to have one, their person that they won't stop celebrating as great, facts, their eyes and the opinion of everyone else on the planet be damned. For Whitlock, it's George. For the late Ralph Wiley, it was Eric Davis. For Peter King, it's (obviously) Brett Favre. Jayson Stark has a thing for Curt Schilling (and, somehow, Doug Glanville). Rob Neyer kisses the ground Billy Beane urinates on. Bill Simmons, typically, has a non-athletic celebrity as his binkie: Jimmy Kimmel.
We love this game. Who's your favorite sportswriter binkie? The comments are open, folks. We're curious to see what you've got.
When it comes to Senators hockey, 99% of the time, we'd rather spend any game night with Bad Religion instead. We did just that on Wednesday, blowing off the Sens' preseason home opener vs. the Leafs, and instead heading down to the Civic Centre for a very decent show. (Apparently the boys gave the 67's a surprise when they turned up in their dressing room unexpectedly.)
I've privately been taken to task about my comments regarding some of the newest Sens, so I thought last night would be a good time to confirm my findings regarding Joe Corvo with L.A. Kings freak and Bad Religion guitarist, Greg Hetson.
Guess what? Greg said that "(Corvo) has always been like that. He's always been frantic." Oh, so it wasn't just the nerves of training camp? Fantastic.
As for Kings forward Sean Avery, Greg claims the instigator always knew that he was going to be re-signed with L.A. Avery went so far as to allegedly state, "How could they not re-sign me? If I'm not there, who's going to come out to see the (Kings)?"
Like I said, typical Avery. Sure sounds like him.
Chris "Notice me, give me attention because I'm not getting enough in my niche market" Pronger has decided to vent about the rumours surrounding his departure from the Oilers this summer -- mostly involving alleged infidelities.
Forgive me, but has this issue recently resurfaced? Has there been any discussion involving potential marital indiscretion? So why is Pronger continuing to talk about it?
Here's a choice quote from the Edmonton Journal:
"I've heard all the nasty stuff, about all my girlfriends...that I've got more kids than I started with. I must have six kids out there."
Well, where are the other five, Chrissy?
The premise: We're accessorizing our Jake Plummer inaction figure to represent the type of week he had. For Week 1, click here.
Plummer stats: 16 for 30, 173 yards. QB rating of 56.7, rushing yards -2, and 1 interception. Denver barely pulls off the victory, beating Kansas City in OT, 9-6.
After throwing for zero touchdowns, Jake enjoys a Cosmopolitan and some European flavour while hanging with Swedish-born NHLer, Daniel Alfredsson. We hate to get our Alfie involved in this, but Plummer needed some male company, and we weren't about to defile our John Elway figurine (yet). Note that Jake takes his Cosmo with lemon, as opposed to the traditional lime. Gauche bastard.
Next week: At New England.
P.S. It should also be noted that "Burnt Sienna" Shanahan is telling all the Jay Cutler supporters to bugger off.
We're starting a new feature at TUC -- it'll be a way to incorporate our love for the Denver Broncos into a non-boring format for all the hockey-obsessed readers.
Here's the scoop: Each week, we will accessorize our Jake Plummer inaction figure to represent the type of game he had. A bad game? Expect more a feminine look. A good game? Jake will be all man. We'll continue this until a) Plummer is replaced by rookie Jay Cutler or b) someone of significance tells us to stop.
We're a week behind, but we haven't forgotten. Here's Week 1, vs. St. Louis:
Plummer stats: 13 for 26, QB rating of 26.3. 3 interceptions, 4 sacks and 2 fumbles. Broncos lose to the Rams, 18-10.
Pearls for girls, baby (spare us the obvious bukkake references). Next week: Denver at home to Kansas City.
Welcome back. (More about this sign, and other Northwestern Ontario goodness later.)
If you were at the Senators Fan Fest yesterday (and I was -- I rushed back from Thunder Bay to be here in time for it), you'd probably understand the title of the post. Now it seems clear why they were handing out those ridiculous paper helmets circa the Gretzky Era. Not only did they make everyone look like they belonged on a short bus, but I'm convinced that they lowered everyone's respective IQ as well. I was not impressed with what I saw yesterday, and my concern mostly involved the players who will make up the final squad. Here are a couple of quick notes:
Martin Gerber: You'll notice that Gerber's poor performance was mentioned in today's Sun, but it doesn't explain what the issue was. From my vantage point, I saw an uninspired performance, lacking the effort and crispness of an efficient No. 1 goalie. The rebuttal to all of these complaints will be, "it's a practice". It doesn't matter. You have to be expected to perform, regardless of the situation, and especially if you're pulling down down $3.7 million a year. That certainly wasn't the goaltender who gave Team Canada fits at the Turin Olympics. If this continues, expect some sort of "Swiss Miss" moniker to arise -- likely from me.
Alexei Kaigorodov: I tried to keep an open mind regarding the White Knight -- but it was difficult, given that I've been reading the HFBoard's insistence that the 23-year-old was some sort of Russian deity for nearly a year. And after yesterday, I can tell you that every concern I've read about him is true: The haphephobia, the sketchy faceoffs etc. He also wanted nothing to do with the boards, seemingly creating a barrier between himself and any edge -- it was like bumper bowling on ice. But probably the biggest irritation involved his insistence to casually reach with his stick, as opposed to skating for the puck. These Gumby-like attempts were completely ineffective, but I do understand why he doesn't make the effort to move his legs: The White Knight has all the pickup of a three-cylinder Geo Metro.
Joe Corvo: I now understand why Joe Corvo is labeled as an offensive defenseman -- he's got the same disease as every Dominican ball player in the MLB: He'll take a swipe at anything that comes his way. Patience is definitely not Corvo's forte, and it shows -- whenever the puck arrives in his direction, he panics and immediately fires in the direction of the net, refusing to pass to his open linemate. Granted, some are bound to go in, but the idea of putting this high-strung player on the same line as Wade Redden doesn't seem like the best idea (Corvo and Redden played together for the majority of the scrimmage). The former King is entirely too reckless and needs a stay-at-home defenseman like Chris Phillips to bail him out if he gets into trouble in his own zone (and he does -- regularly). At one point, Corvo blindly followed Redden down the right side, deep into the offensive zone. Both were hugging the boards, and the rest of the ice was wide open. Do you want to see that happen in the playoffs? Yeah, that's what I thought. If Redden and Corvo stay together, expect Redden's offensive numbers to drop off.
Not only was I unimpressed with what I saw from these three, I was bored for the majority of the scrimmage. This team seemingly lacks any kind of identity, and although the goal is still the same (win the Stanley Cup), the path to it doesn't appear as clear. Chris Stevenson attempted to put a positive spin on this revelation in a Friday piece, but after reading it, I was left feeling perplexed. Here's a quote:
"With the personnel changes made this summer -- the departure of Zdeno Chara, Martin Havlat, Dominik Hasek, Vaclav Varada, Bryan Smolinski, etc. -- this Senators team won't be as skilled as some in the past.
But you know what? That's not necessarily a bad thing. Really, what's all that skill got them so far?"
I will agree that there's less skill, but has that skill been replaced with another positive attribute -- like heart, for example? Of course not. Less skill, and the same lack of intensity. How is this supposed to sell tickets?
The ironic thing is, it did -- and then some. 13,000 single-game tickets for the first half of the season were sold on Saturday.
It really explains the power of those paper helmets, doesn't it?
...as soon as we return from the hellish drive up to the Land of Staalapalooza. We'll have lots of good stuff for you next week, including training camp buzz, fallout from the landing of the mightily hyped Alexei Kaigorodov, wild speculation on why the Team 1200's Glen "The Kulkster" Kulka stares at me at the gym, and several new features that'll make you do the Boo Boo avatar dance.
Stay tuned, silly bitches. We'll see you back here early next week. Until then, eat it with a spork.