TUC HQ is preparing to go into hibernation as the perfect storm of international hockey, progeny on skates and the holiday season hits Kanata. The Sens' goofy-ass "make or break" roadtrip likely won't be enough to hold our attention, but that luscious Winter Classic out at Wrigley Field will. Mmmm... Hawk v. Wing goodness.
We'll see you on the other side. Merry Christmas to all -- even the media (hey, I'm feeling jolly) -- behave yourselves, and be safe.
*A classic phrase around here at TUC HQ. One of The Driver's co-workers fell asleep at work, and was caught by management. She opened her eyes and uttered said phrase before going back to sleep. Needless to say, it didn't end well.
Here's the thing: The OBC likes to talk...a lot. We talk more than your annoying sister-in-law after she's gotten into the Kahlua. And when people like us begin to toss ideas around, well, interesting things can happen...
You may be familiar with the "We Are All Canucks" media campaign in Vancouver -- TUC's friend Alanah from Kukla's Korner was part of it. Smiling, happy fans in Canucks merch, sprinkled with Vancouver players have been plastered all over buses, SkyTrains and similar throughout the city.
The OBC, familiar with this marketing scheme and depressed by the state of its own franchise, decided it was time for a bit of a Sens-flavoured spin. Six photos, one from each member, representing our current state of mind -- however pathetic and alcohol-soaked it may be. We've entitled this pictorial monstrosity, "A Farce United". (This is a play on the Sens' current slogan, "A Force United". Get it? Get it? Oh, Christ...)
Here I am with Mr. Heatley (or a Todd McFarlane-created facsimile). Dany may wear No. 15, but we've been associating the number 50 with him for some time now (he was a 50-goal scorer in back-to-back seasons in '05-'06 and '06-'07). However, given Heatley's underachieving ways of late, I thought it was time to demonstrate which type of 50 he's probably more interested in these days.
Too much? Not enough? Think you can do better? Send us your own version. We can't guarantee it won't be mocked, but if it's decent, you could see it on one of the OBC blogs.
In the meantime, check out the contributions from Five For Smiting, Hockeyschlock, Sens at Land's End and Scarlett Ice. Many camera angles were considered and much hard liquor was consumed -- or so I'm told. Enjoy our pain, dear readers. It's our Christmas gift to you.
More great stuff coming from William Houston of The Globe And Mail. Check it out here.
Posted in Media |
Yay, dear friends, do not despair, for I have not forgotten you. The news -- the glorious news -- of the Swedish Messiah's arrival on the West Coast last night has left me faint. I could barely finish my red meat-laden meal with The Driver, let alone the vodka-grapefruit chasers.
O, let us come and marvel at the Canucks' new deity. Let Mike Gillis swaddle the saviour's alabaster skin in polyester jerseys, then nestle him in a manger outside GM Place for all media to worship.
Praise him! Praise him, damnit! He is your king now!
(You know, at least until he blows out a knee or something.)
Respectable, despicable it seems all the same
Now we realize that we have nothing to say
If your reserve is weak
Ask yourself again: "Do I deserve much from them?"
-- Give You Nothing (Bad Religion)
A few things you should know about TUC:
1) I'm not a hockey hypocrite (see the Sean Avery post);
2) I'm no patriot, especially when it comes to this sport. Canada NOT winning the gold medal will make a tournament like the WJC far more interesting. Yes, it's a taboo statement. I don't give a damn;
3) I don't write about garbage.
Notice a glaring lack of posts lately? That's because I won't waste my digital motor skills covering what may, or may not be going on with this city's team. I've said everything I could up until this point. The Ottawa Senators aren't worth my time, let alone my money. The next time I enter SBP for an event involving the Senators will be on February 3, 2009 -- I'll have comped tickets in my hand and an Anze Kopitar longsleeve t-shirt on my back. I don't know how much more blatant I can be: I won't be there for the home team.
The OSHC can continue to lurk around here all they want, but they should know they're wasting their time. It's one thing to suck; it's quite another to put people to sleep in the process. We all know how much the Sens "hate it" when fans and the media pile on. Be very careful what you wish for, ladies. Let's see what happens when observers finally throw in the towel, stop caring and move on to other interests. Check the falling numbers on the attendance. Listen to the frustration and hopelessness of the fans on the post-game show. News flash, Mensas: You're losing them. You're losing your fans in a fairweather town, and you're too damn proud to admit that this time, you f*cked up huge. Bravo.
Yeah, I know I'm late. Shut the hell up -- you wanted it, so you're getting it. Here's my first -- and hopefully the last -- word on Sean Avery.
We know what Sean said was inappropriate. We know the media's reaction was beyond hypocritical. And we know that women aren't as offended by this incident as men seem to insist they are. Let's move on to some lesser discussed issues surrounding this incident, shall we?
1) The whole idea of shining the spotlight on misogyny smacks me as incredibly hilarious. Chew on this, Big League: An extremely large proportion of the population is disrespectful to the female gender to some degree. Hell, I wouldn't hesitate to lump myself into that category as well. You can deny it all you want, but here's the truth: Society as a whole likes to employ female-related terminology and issues in a derogatory manner -- so much so that it's become commonplace. How many times have you heard someone refer to a cranky person as a "bitch"? Worse still, how often do you think said person was asked if it was "their time of the month"? For the hell of it, here's a personal example: A while ago, a reader sent me an e-mail, criticizing Mike Fisher. The thing was, the reader wrote "Hunt" between No. 12's first and last name. Funny? No. Vulgar? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely not. So why do it? Is "because we can" a good enough reason?
And yes, you'll notice I wrote "population" above, not just "men". Women are not only willing participants in the regular slagging of their gender, but they also choose to a) tolerate it and b) encourage it to a baffling degree. Don't believe me? Check out footage from a Girls Gone Wild video, or a clip from Mardi Gras sometime. You can literally call a woman a "slut" or "whore" to her face, then command (not ask) her to bare her breasts for you. Not only will the woman likely acquiesce, but she'll probably giggle prior and post-flash, then buy you a Hurricane afterward. What a world. (For more on this mentality, go pick up Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy.)
The idea that Sean Avery went "over the line" with his comments makes no sense to me. Society shows that this kind of talk has made its way into our general verbal expressions on an everyday basis. It doesn't mean it's acceptable, but rather that you have to pick your spots when it does occur. Sean's comments were gross, but they really weren't offensive. What is offensive, is to think that the male-dominated sports media has hoodwinked the masses with their feigned shock and disgust. Memo to The Old Boys' Club: Don't try to bull(expletive) me, okay? I know you. When you heard it, you laughed. And don't pretend like you can't relate to the language used -- I heard far worse epithets being dropped in the Ottawa Senators' press box during my time there. Some of you said things within my earshot that would make Avery look like a saint. Oh, but there weren't any cameras around, right? I guess that means it doesn't count.
2) You may have noticed claims that Avery's comments were meant more as a shot against Dion Phaneuf as opposed to Phaneuf's girlfriend (and Avery's ex), Elisha Cuthbert. May I offer another reason why women seem to be less up in arms about this incident: Selective defense. My gender is a funny group. Call Paris Hilton a "slut", and you'll likely get a Marcus Allen-related retort. Use the same term for Angelina Jolie, and well, you'll come across more than a few who will defend her. Both Hilton and Jolie have, shall we say, sketchy histories. However, with Jolie's large (partially adopted) brood, philanthropic efforts and UN appearances, she has shrewdly become a likable and sympathetic figure.
Elisha Cuthbert is a C-level actress who has done little of note -- short of dating NHL players. This is the girl who faced the mountain lion on 24, and everyone was rooting for the cat (Jack Bauer would've gotten over it in 3 or 4 hours, tops). Have we ever seen any puck bunnies in the past who were deemed to be sympathetic cases (let alone puck bunny-actress hybrids)? Don't think so. My gender will never take up for a woman like that. Case closed.
To summarize: When I heard Avery's remarks, I laughed to myself. That being said, I knew what he did was inappropriate, but it didn't offend me. The media has completely blown this incident out of proportion for one reason, and one reason only: Attention. They know when Avery talks these days, he draws more eyeballs and ears than Crosby and Ovechkin combined...and THEY LOVE HIM FOR IT. Sean's actions were premeditated, and the media's response was totally predictable. However, since the infamous soundbite was dropped, only one of these parties has been referred to as a "joke" due to their actions. We may want to re-think that take. And in meantime, why don't you let me decide what is, or isn't offensive? Have I ever had a problem telling you otherwise? Yeah, that's what I thought.
This is why TUC HQ loves Prison Break: It's the one show where you can watch a reasonable facsimile of Martin Gerber physically threaten an extremely reasonable facsimile of Roy Mlakar.
(Confused? Read the second part of this post. Oh, and thanks for joining us.)
In other non-news, get ready to steel yourselves for additional drunken antics from the OBC via live blog this evening. Most of the crew (minus yours truly, who's currently tied up with other business) should be attending this Atlanta-related affair. Make your presence known at around 6:45 pm EST or so -- bring your dancing shoes, but prepare to duck SLC after he's had a couple. Dude's been known to get a little frisky.
Play nice, ladies. More later.
Don Brennan on OTP late last night:
"Is there anyone not expecting the Senators to snap out of this funk soon?"
...because if we haven't given you a nickname, you're pretty much a nobody.
Oh, look -- Giggles was so busy growing facial hair that he forgot to duck Bobby Clarke's shiv. Here's the notable quote from Clarke, courtesy of his Thursday appearance on TSN's Off The Record:
"Great players are hard to play against. I don't think anybody fears playing against Jason Spezza ... other than the fact he might score or make a great play on you. You never get bruised, you never get touched."
Black Aces took issue with Clarke's criticism by performing quite the name-drop:
"The latest media tirade against Jason Spezza came from Bobby Clarke. He complained that players don't fear playing against Spezza because he can only make you look bad by "making plays" but won't lay a hand on anyone.
What, you mean like Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Mike Modano, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Pat Lafontaine, Ron Francis, Joe Sakic, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Elias and Jaromir Jagr?
If it was good enough for them, why not Spezza?"
While I've never been a huge fan of Spezza's, I'm inclined to agree with BA's take. Senators fans have always expected a lot out of No. 19 -- I don't think physicality was ever part of the equation. That's not to say fans wouldn't appreciate a little aggression from their No. 1 centre, but come on now. There seems to be this mentality that if players are being paid all this money, they had better be complete, and then some. We want them to be snipers, two-way performers, playmakers, muckers, leaders, team players, disciplinarians and (expletive)-disturbers. Show me a team made of nothing but complete players, and I'll show you a league that throws in the towel, and hands out its championship in the first month of the season.
That being said, fans are never going to stop coming down on players to improve upon their current skill set. If Chris Phillips is a shut-down defenceman, he should play the body. If Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher are to be considered true two-way players, they have to find the back of the net.
As for Spezza -- if you want him to instill fear into the hearts of his opponents, why not squelch his predictability with the puck, both during his successes and errors?
(Okay, even I made myself laugh with that one.)
Who's in the mood for an overkill troika? I want to see Brian Burke collaborate with Guns N' Roses on a new soundtrack for Twilight. Seriously -- now that Brian's in Toronto, can we give it a rest already? I knew we were in too deep with Burke when it became common knowledge that a) his wife's name is Jennifer and b) she's seeking a prominent position in television. Honestly, can you think of the name of another GM's wife (and her current career aspirations) off the top of your head?
I guess I'm expecting too much. Burke's already getting credit for crap he had nothing to do with. TSN.ca's headline last night (post-Leafs victory) declared Burke's arrival as a "Successful Debut". Alrighty then.