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...because we've never heard of this team.

· Alright, it may not officially be fall proper, but it's close enough for us...and that means two things: The return of regular Deglazes and the beginning of the NFL season. Full disclosure: TUC HQ has always shown a high personal preference of football over hockey for obvious reasons. Firstly, football is always much more of an event than your run-of-the-mill NHL game could ever hope to achieve. The majority of games take place on one day, which provokes an insane buildup. Combine this with a much shorter season, a one-and-done playoff format, a product that translates beautifully to television and the high prevalence of HD broadcasts...in short, the NFL kicks the NHL's ass up, down and sideways. Apologies for overstating the obvious.

Of course, we spent Sunday watching our beloved Broncos break the hearts of thousands of Leaf fans masquerading as Buffalo supporters. A couple of thoughts: Sophomore QB Jay Cutler (a.k.a. The Cutlet) is half asskicker, half myocardial infarction inducer with an arm that won't quit -- sometimes we want to high-five the hand attached to said arm, and sometimes we want to break off the arm and beat him with it. And have you seen his team photo yet? He looks like that kid you knew in high school who was obsessed with first-person shooter video games (and always rumoured to have been caught enjoying a Sears catalogue a bit too much in his parents' rec room). As for Travis Henry (a.k.a. Nouveau Shawn Kemp), we were initally concerned, but can't complain about 139 yards (an average of 6 per carry) on his first outing. No TDs, but you know one's coming -- the guy knows a thing or two about scoring. (I'm sorry, that was way too easy.)

· As for the Senators -- with a fairly successful rookie tournament completed and players beginning to trickle for training camp, you'd assume there would be a high sense of optimism surrounding the beginning of the season. Not on this end. Let's see...we've had Ray Emery's recent traffic incident, the Manatee is pulling a Martin Biron (scroll to last paragraph), constant speculation regarding the futures of players like Jason Spezza (potential RFA), Mike Fisher and Dany Heatley (potential UFAs of the big fish variety). In addition, one player has been engaging in some heavy-handed irony regarding his long-term status with the team. Outwardly, it would appear he wishes to stay. Whispers and actions indicate otherwise. This is an awful lot of drama to contend with in mid-September. We don't envy Bryan Murray's position right now.

· You may have noticed that nothing was mentioned in this space regarding the alleged last game played by the Ottawa Lynx (the Triple-A version, anyway). What am I supposed to say? Am I supposed to comment on the ridiculous nature of Ottawans who throw their support behind a quality product when it's too late? Am I expected to reference the pathetic nature of certain media members in the past who were heard openly complaining about being "forced" to attend the Lynx' annual Media Day? What about the outlets that regularly chose not to cover home games? What about the radio stations that treated game coverage as an open mic night for their on-air staff?

Here's what I will say: The Lynx -- staff, players and front office -- have been an outright pleasure to deal with. The level of courtesy and respect shown by all of them should never go ignored, and I will always be grateful for all of their help and kindness. They were, and are, the best team in the city to deal with. No contest.

And to wrap up today, let's close out with an e-mail from Blair in Burlington:

"Ever heard of an HBO show called 'The Wire'? There is a drug dealing kid on there who is a dead ringer for Ray Emery."

Blair sent this link (as well as this one) to solidify his point. Point taken.