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Dress Up Jake: Week 8

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

13 for 21, 174 yards, QB rating of 104.1. 1 TD, 1 sack, 1 fumble.


The following is a true story.

Around this time of year, we're known to carve a pumpkin or two. We were getting ready to carve a Broncos pumpkin, to honor our team of choice. We even selected the handsomest, roundest gourd available. Honest to God: It was a pumpkin of supreme pulchritude.

Imagine our surprise when we cut open our perfect pumpkin on Sunday, and found it to be disgustingly rotten on the inside.

What a perfect analogy for the Denver defense: A thing of beauty, until it's time for you to make true use of it. Only then do you discover the deception.

Are we reaching? Probably. But the Denver D really did throw up all over themselves during a critical game, and listening to Phil Simms verbally hump Peyton Manning for four quarters was more than we could bear.

Sorry Jake, we know it wasn't really your fault, but a loss is a loss. Happy Hallowe'en, Beardo. By the way, we threw Daniel Alfredsson in there for good measure, because lately, he's been just as relevant.

P.S. Those are the guts from our Buzzsaw pumpkin that The Driver requested -- he's got a thing for Matt Leinart (and bandwagons, apparently). More photos below.

Jake and Alfie in the shadow of the Buzzsaw

Cardinals pumpkin lit up. 1-7...scaroi!

Next week: At Pittsburgh.

The Dress Up Jake Archives: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7

Belfour takes out Lakehead boy No. 5

Monday, October 30, 2006

From Sportsnet:

Belfour's Bottle Injures Auld

Florida Panthers' goalie Alex Auld was injured early Friday morning at his team's hotel in Uniondale, NY, after slipping on water when Ed Belfour dropped his bottle of water.

As reported in Sunday's Miami Herald, Auld needed stitches above his right eyebrow after the incident in the lobby and did not play Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

Belfour vehemently denied various eyewitness accounts that he had become belligerent at an adjacent bar, where teammates stepped in and tried to get him out.

"We weren't even drinking," said Belfour, who has had a history of alcohol-related legal problems. "There was no alcohol involved whatsoever. There was no drinking, it was a pure accident. I don't even know why we're talking about this now, especially on a game day. We were just hanging out. We went, had a bite to eat and were watching some of the [World Series] baseball game. That was it. We all left together."

First Letowski gets hammered, now this? By the way, the least Eddie could've done was offer Auld one billion dollars to cover his insurance costs.

The current reading list

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'll be honest: I don't read a lot of hockey blogs or columns on a regular basis. Very few of them can hold my attention -- and unfortunately, a lot of the writing falls into two categories: Dry or delusional. There's currently one exception: Patrick Williams. Williams is a great source for interesting AHL pieces -- needless to say, I would have been shoving his Buffalo column into everyone's face if Rochester hadn't decided to get off to such a great start.

The Hater Nation -- we're curious to see what Adam's going to do now that Steve Bisheff has reportedly taken a buyout from the OC Register. And for the record, we're getting our ass handed to us in his Gridiron Apocalypse pool. Like it matters -- we're too good to venture into downtown Vegas...even to pickup a six-pack of Hamm's.

NFLAdam's AOL Fanhouse blog -- Significantly better than Ian Mende's blog, which also goads fans into melting down.

Sports Journalists Totally addictive -- like, 3 am in the morning, eyes-bugging-out-of-your-head addictive.

Norm Clarke (Las Vegas Review-Journal) -- If an athlete does something stupid in Vegas, he'll be the first to report it. And how can you not be into a columnist sporting an eyepatch?

Yaysports! -- Because hockey writers wish they could be this amusing.

Orange Mane -- A place of solitude for Broncos freaks.

I'll continue to add to this list throughout the year....stay tuned.

Your Sens' goaltender PSA

Thursday, October 26, 2006

We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that Ray Emery is only signed to a one-year, $925,000 (all terms US) deal. Was he the deciding factor in tonight's 7-2 victory over the Leafs? No. But at any point did he make you nervous, a la the 3.7 million dollar Swiss bank withdrawal? Nope.

Here's the truth, as I see it, and as we stand right now: Ray is the more confident of the two goaltenders, regardless of situation. Hands up those who gasp every time Gerber comes within 10 feet of the puck. And have you noticed how much traffic he lets into his crease? It's Paris Hilton-esque. If Gerber was a chick, he'd have an STD by now.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because the better Ray gets, the more likely John Muckler will be to encounter this situation in the summer of '07:

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Dress Up Jake: Week 7

Monday, October 23, 2006

Week 7 Plummer stats: 20 for 41, 209 yards. 2 INT, 2 sacks, 1 TD. QB rating of 51.8.

Analysis: Jake remains as relevant as the Sens' power play, and just as likely to bugger up. Therefore, as long as he represents the weak link in the equation of a Broncos' victory, we have to continue with the XX chromosome dress-up experience. This week: Jake tackles the Mensa-level mindbender known as the Cosmo Quiz. By the way -- the purple marabou pen? That's all us. The title of the quiz? A really horrible coincidence.

Jake's Cosmo Quiz results:

Question 1: It's five days after a hot date with no contact from him. You:

a) Leave the ball in his court. If he doesn't call, it's his loss.
b) Mope. He just wasn't that into you.
c) Call and text him...twice.

Jake picks (b)

Question 2: I take ___ to dress predate.

a) Fifteen minutes or less. How long does it take to comb a beard?
b) One to two hours
c) Two hours five outfits and one pep talk from my friend

Jake picks (a)

Question 3: You see a Josh Lucas lookalike at the gym. You:

a) Grab the treadmill next to him -- then trade a few sexy glances.
b) Keep walking. Getting rejected in the sweats = the lowest depth of misery.
c) March up to him midworkout: Is he free after his sweat session?

Jake picks (c)

Question 4: Do you worry a guy you're dating will think you're easy if you sleep with him too soon?

a) Nah, he'll just know you adore him.
b) Sort of. That's why you wait so long.
c) It really depends on the dude.

Jake picks (a)

Question 5: What body language would you use on a dinner date?

a) Subtly stroking your collarbone
b) Reaching across the table and holding his hand or rubbing his thigh
c) Nodding at everything he says
d) Flipping the bird behind your back in a half-assed, nonchalant attempt.

Jake picks (c)

Question 6: How much do you reveal about yourself by date three:

a) Your wild past, your contempt for draft picks from Vanderbilt, family...
b) Enough to keep him warm but still keep him curious about your past
c) You ask him all the questions.

Jake picks (a)

Question 7: Ever broken plans with a friend when a guy called you to go out for drinks last minute?

a) Yep. You worried that if you didn't accept, he'd go permanently MIA.
b) No. You knew he'd call you again.
c) You've been guilty once or twice.

Jake picks (a)

Question 8: When your date checks out another girl on the street, you:

a) Joke, "I think she's hot too..."
b) Wonder if he'd rather be with Jay Cutler.
c) Don't sweat it. He likes you.

Jake picks (b)

Question 9: Your man of two months say you two should go skiing. When you bring it up weeks later, he acts distant. You:

a) Apologize for crowding him...but keep your winter weekends open.
b) Email him the link to a cute ski lodge
c) Say, "I'm just so excited to ski, maybe Rod Smith will plan a trip..."

Jake picks (c)

Question 10: You have been dating a guy for months and are tired of schlepping your stuff to his pad. You:

a) Tell him you'd love to leave your hand towel and mouth guard...cool with him?
b) Unpack your stuff into his dresser
c) Buy a bigger overnight bag.

Jake picks (a)


Doubtful Dumbass

The thought most likely to course through your brain, days after another poor outing versus a team like the Browns? "Burnt Sienna Shanahan's just not that into me." You're never sure that you're pretty enough, exciting enough or capable of putting up better numbers. Your lack of security holds you back. You assume every week has an implosion date, and if you aren't really careful, everything will just fall apart, and a-holes like Brady and Manning will get all the post-season love instead. Your homework: "Get In Touch with Your Inner Sex Kitten," page 126 of the playbook. You'll learn the short routes a self-assured QB needs to have under his belt. Vince Young, watch out!

Next week: Indy at home.

The Dress Up Jake Archives: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 5 Week 6

If you haven't seen it yet, here's the Coach's Corner clip (three-quarters of the way in) featuring the now-infamous "Who the hell is Chris Stevenson?" rant. This little name drop has got legs in Ottawa, but the off-the-cuff comment Cherry drops afterward might be the funnier reference. Is it just me, or has Cherry made references to MacLean's sexuality in every CC episode since the beginning of the season?

Well, don't I feel like a jackass

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Consider this an explanation...

I wrote this week's column on the Senators' excess of Wade Redden-type defensemen. It's my belief that Ottawa has a plethora of blueliners who fit into the mould of No. 6, and not enough traditional stay-at-home guys. And it's ironic, considering that the team believed that Redden's attributes are difficult to replicate (one of the biggest reasons why they resigned him).

Anyway, the Redden replicas went on a tear tonight, scoring five of the seven points put up by Sens defensemen.

How bloody infuriating, especially considering that they were seven shades of brutal during the Avs game on Thursday.

Regardless, I stand by my argument because a) I believe the defense's offensive output tonight was an aberration; b) Chris Phillips is consistently one of the best players during the second season (the season that matters) and they could use more of his ilk during that critical period and c) as long as players like Jason Spezza continue to cough up the puck, you need someone who won't get caught up trying to join the rush, because he was in too deep at the other end. Basically, you need someone that's a safe precursor to the heart attack-inducing expense known as Martin Gerber.

In short: I'm not trying to be a downer; I'm not looking for the negative stories when everyone will be concentrating on a badly needed redemption game. I wrote this column on Wednesday. I am forced to write the columns early, because of scheduling. It almost always works out. Tomorrow it won't, and I'll look like an a-hole.

Now you know why.

Dress Up Jake: Week 6

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Dress Up Jake phenomenon is sweeping North America (uh, kinda). Check us out here, here and of course, with Deadspin. We'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that DUJ is the creation of a Canadian (ack!) woman...not an American man. We have no idea what might have tipped you off -- the readily available Cosmpolitan ingredients, the girlie handwriting, the Victoria's Secret coupon...or that curious pronoun being used in our profile.

Now you know.

(Aside: Don't ask us if we're ever coming out with a CFL version of this. Three-down football and the rouge can chew us.)

Week 6 Plummer stats: 11 for 18, 102 yards. QB rating of 76.6. 0 TD, 2 sacks.

Analysis: With Jake's role becoming less relevant through each passing quarter (in essence, being told not to bugger up), it seemed obvious that our interpretation was going to be a difficult one this week. Jake didn't blow it for the Broncos last night, but he's hardly worthy of us breaking out a cut of meat and a Maxim.

Not male...not female...but then, it came to us...

Feel free to aim the ball in the immediate direction of Mrs. Tim Hasselbeck's mouth on tomorrow's show, Rosie...I mean, Jake.

Next week: At Cleveland.

(P.S. If anyone has footage of LaMont Jordan's towel-biting incident, for God's sakes, email us. The Driver missed it, and my imitation didn't do it justice.)

The Dress Up Jake Archives: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 5

I spent Friday evening downtown at the Capital Music Hall interviewing Fletcher Dragge (far left in photo) -- guitarist from the Hermosa Beach, CA institution known as Pennywise. Pennywise is another one of those fantastic SoCal punk bands that I grew up listening to -- so imagine my surprise when the Ottawa Senators recently began spinning one of their tracks after a goal is scored.

The song is called "Bro Hymn", and the trend of hearing it played after goals didn't start in Ottawa -- it actually began in Anaheim during the Ducks' playoff run last year. Anaheim would play it religiously, and the fans eventually caught onto the catchy chorus. Here's a clip of the song as it's heard in both the Anaheim and Ottawa arenas:

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If a song is receiving regular exposure in the venues where a major sport is being played, you'd think the band would be thrilled, right? Not necessarily...because there's a lot more to "Bro Hymn" than just a great hook.

The song was written by Pennywise's former bassist, Jason Thirsk. During a leave of absence from the band in 1996 (a decision made to battle growing problems with alcoholism), Thirsk tragically died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Thirsk had originally written the song as a tribute to friends in his life who had passed on, but after their bassist's unexpected death, the band dedicated the song to him, closed every live show they have played since with it, and included Thirsk's name in the lyrics.

So what was Fletcher's take on their sacred song being used at NHL games?

"We're not upset, but it's not cool," Dragge said. "There's a deep meaning behind that song and it's weird for it to be used in such a fashion.

"I mean, we're not that upset, because it's a celebratory thing, and the song celebrates life. Jason loved sports. It all depends what it's being used for, right? I mean, if it were being played in a shampoo commercial, I'd be bummed."

The main issue currently irking the band seems to be the importance of the song getting lost in the shuffle.

"They're only hearing the chorus; they're not hearing any of the lyrics," Dragge pointed out. "They don't know any of the lyrics, but if they did, maybe they could relate better.

"We appreciate the recognition, but the importance of the song is being missed."

Pennywise's best-known song is also significant to its fans; the band regularly hears of it being played at funerals, and Fletcher even referenced a father and mother showing up at the Toronto show on Thursday, who had recently lost their 15-year-old son.

"They played (Bro Hymn) at the funeral, and they wanted to be at the show for their son. The most normal-looking people you'd ever see," Dragge said.

But the more traditional celebratory use of the song doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. In fact, this isn't the first time it's been used at a sporting event.

"There's a Belgian soccer team that uses it -- you've got 70,000 people all at once singing it -- it's crazy," Dragge said. "We went over there, and no one knew who we were until we played the song. Then they went absolutely nuts."

No word of a mosh pit breaking out. Something tells me Thirsk would have loved to see that happen.

Bro Hymn lyrics

To our friend,
Present, past and beyond
Even though you weren't with us too long
Life is the most precious thing you can lose
While you were here the fun was never ending
Laugh a minute only the beginning
Jason Matthew Thirsk, this one's for you

Wooooaoooah Woooah Woooah Wooah

Ever get the feeling you can't go on
Just remember whose side it is that you're on
You've got friends with you till the end
If you're ever in a tough situation
We'll be there with no hesitation
Brotherhood's our rule we cannot bend

Wooooaoooah Woooah Woooah Wooah

When you're feeling too close to the bottom
You know who it is you can count on
Someone will pick you up again
we can conquer anything together
All of us are bonded forever
If you die I die, that's the way it is

Wooooaoooah Woooah Woooah Wooah

To all my friends,
Present, past and beyond
To all those who weren't with us too long
Life is the most precious thing that you can lose
While you were here the fun was never ending
Laugh a minute was only the beginning
Jason, my brother, this one's for you.

Dress Up Jake: Week 5

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Week 5 Plummer stats:

13 for 24, 106 yards. 1 INT, 1 TD, QB rating of 62.2.


Our boy's performance in the first half vs. Baltimore had us prepping to drip him in our finest lingerie. However, he pulled it together down the stretch, and finally fed Rod Smith a late-game TD. This forced Tony Kornheiser to cease any immediate discussions involving Jay Cutler, but allowed him to continue the John Elway references. Jake must get so sick of this -- we bet he wants to kick Elway right in his two-time Super Bowl-winning horsey chompers. Jake would only talk to the TUC after the game regarding his true feelings for No. 7 -- you can read the quote below (and naturally he kept his helmet on during the interview.)

(Aside: Can Ray Lewis become the captain of the Ottawa Senators? Pretty please? We'll even overlook all of this unpleasantness from the past. Could you imagine Ray asking Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips if there are "any dogs in the house" [woof woof woof woof]? What are club seats going for at the SBP right now? I'll pony up double if I can watch this instead.)

First half:

Second half:

Next week: Oakland (at home).

The Dress Up Jake Archives: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3

You did well, Ball Bearing Boy

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In spite of the criticism during the preseason and the endless questions surrounding his anointment as Ottawa's No. 1 goalie, Martin Gerber stepped up huge tonight, holding off the Leafs and garnering a 4-1 victory to open the season.

There's no doubt that Gerber kept the Sens in it, particularly during the first when Phillips decided to begin solidifying any UFA arguments for him to leave this summer, along with Anton Volchenkov taking the plunger to any of his future trade value.

And about Gerber: Frankly for me, he's going to take some getting used to. He's very smooth -- as if his joints were all replaced with ball bearings -- but he's not as crisp as Hasek. That being said, he's also a lot more calculated with his movements. My only pet peeve (and this is carrying over from the preseason) involves Gerber's constant searching for the puck. He manages to stave off the goals, but I can never feel confident about a goaltender who is perpetually checking behind him.

Other bits and pieces...

Good to see Andrej Meszaros finally shake off the cobwebs -- he was looking atrocious in training camp.

Dean McAmmond -- the only time I really noticed him was during missed scoring opportunities. I've come to expect a lot from the old boy of late, seeing as Gord Wilson hasn't stopped talking about him since mid-September. Eventually I pondered that McAmmond should be grateful for Wilson's recent vasectomy, because what Gord was doing could potentially be described as verbal humping.

Can we talk about timing, because something's definitely off. A Sens player would skate in on Raycroft (usually whomever was on centre), take the shot, allow the rebound to come out, only to have the RW skate too far and end up behind the net -- leaving him way out of position for any second chances. It was like watching drunken virgins experimenting with the rhythm method. Could we attempt to synch it up a little better than that?

Phrase of the night: "(Leaf player) wins the faceoff..." Fill in the blank with Michael Peca, Mats Sundin or similar. Is anything ever going to be done about this?

And speaking of Sundin (and before I forget):

Minus the hair...oh, and the blood. Of course.

P.S. We make our glorious return to Butterknife Row tomorrow night! Let the high school hijinx begin!

...because I said I would.

All right, you're going to have to cut me a break because I can't find an appropriate video or photo. What I wanted was an image of Stephen Colbert from his show, index finger in the air, balloons dropping on him while he screams, "I called it! I called it!"

I wanted it, because I wanted to show you what my reaction has been to Alexei Kaigorodov's performance in the preseason -- and that's exactly what it looks like.

It wasn't perplexing enough to have every online armchair GM proclaiming Kaigorodov's perpetual greatness, long before he stepped onto terra Canadiana. No, you also had to add the confident claims of the media and the front office loaded behind it, all insisting that Alexei could step into the No. 2 centre position with ease.

Whatever these people were smoking, surely must have been banned by the Conservative government by now.

Even towards the last days before the final roster was announced, some were still attempting to salvage the Russian's performance, by claiming that putting him on a line with Chris Kelly would provide an education in grit. The team even decided to have Kaigorodov room with Kelly on the road, in spite of language concerns.

Kaigorodov has made the final cut, but unlike Denis Hamel, you have to assume that the choice was reached more out of paranoia, as opposed to confidence. If the White Knight ends up in Russia as opposed to Binghamton, the fallout would be substantial. But in spite of joining the big team, Kaigorodov will penciled in as a healthy scratch tonight during the season opener vs. the Leafs. Second line centre, indeed.

Disappointment rating (thus far, out of...I dunno...five?):

Other nonsense...

Enjoying the cool weather lately? The nights have been appropriate for building a nice fire, no? Of course, you could probably use some kindling. Here's some sufficient fuel from the Saturday Sun:

Alfredsson has had his leadership questioned, mostly by those who point out no European NHL captain has raised the Stanley Cup.

Like the team he captains, Alfredsson's post-season play has rarely been up to the standard he sets during the regular season.

He unflinchingly absorbs the criticism and made no apologies for his leadership style.

"Until you win, the criticism is always going to be there. It's part of pro sports. I know myself and my abilities and the way I judge myself and what I think of my own play carries more weight than what anybody writes or thinks. I think it's fair and until we win ... we've had good chances and haven't been able to do it. Most of (the criticism is) fair.

"I believe I don't have to be a big motivator. I'm more of a quiet leader, not just vocally, but I don't want a lot of attention for it because I don't think it's that big a deal being a captain in the NHL. I think we have a lot leaders in this room and I get a lot of great help. It makes my job fairly easy."

Lovely. Is there anything better than putting someone in a position of leadership, only to have them show a frightening amount of indifference? Could you picture Steve Yzerman or Mark Messier delivering a quote like this?

More later.

P.S. A quick note on the Boo Boo avatars: I didn't create them; I don't know who did. But I do enjoy them, and I thought everyone else would as well. Hopefully no one will take them seriously, or in an inflammatory manner. A lot of bizarre things are done with the columnist mugshots -- if you want proof, search the archives for the Sidney Crosby decoupage, created by an enraged reader with my own photo.

A day away

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm spending the day in Syracuse, NY, but when I return, we'll launch into fierce deglaze mode (mostly because I haven't done one in a while). We'll hit on Kaigorodov, Mike Fisher, Alfie (and specifically his captaincy), and a general speculation on Jim Rutherford's IQ (here's a hint -- after that trade, it can't be that high).

Here's hoping I don't get stopped at the border... and that I'm home in time for The Colbert Report.

More later.