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...because the old-school Jungle listener in TUC still giggles after hearing Bruce Springsteen utter the line "tramps like us...".

I know a lot has gone down in the past few days, and frankly, I was not available to hit on any of it. Therefore, I'm going to concentrate on the bits that stood out to me the most, and leave the rest for leftovers and miscellaneous stuff. Ready? Here we go...

TUC is still trying to figure out what Mr. Eugene's deal is. One day he's venting and applying completely inappropriate analogies to the Senators' woes; the next he's on the radio acting so sickeningly sweet and positive you'd think he was freelancing for Disney...or a chiropractor.

Look, I get that the guy has to pull for the team -- after all, he's the one who's ponying up for them. But no one's forcing him to open his mouth right now, and therein lies the rub. These days, Ottawa fans don't want to hear that this team has a legitimate shot at a playoff berth, a lengthy post-season run, or God forbid, a Stanley Cup victory. Why? Well, because it's a bunch of bull(expletive). (Sincerely, Marcus Allen -- CBS Sports.) Hell, it wouldn't do them much good to keep from humiliating themselves on a daily basis, because as it stands, there are top-shelf draft picks at stake -- and damn good ones, too. What does an eighth-place finish in the East get you this year? Your precious two-game homestand gate receipts? Repeated nostalgia from all those post-season sweeps of yore? Way to pump up the masses, Mr. Eugene. Enjoy your season ticket base of 8,000 people next season, and by the way -- pass the C-4. Some of us are smart enough to realize that not everything can be fixed with bandaids, rotating personnel and kids from Colgate University.


The crazy Columbus ginge known as Mike Commodore weaseled his way into my heart a couple of days ago, when he let loose with some unflattering thoughts about his tenure in Ottawa. Now to be fair, I don't really give an arse about his beef with Bryan Murray. That being said, this little quip was bank:

"I didn't play well. I was not a good player," Commodore said. "But when I go around the room and ask the other defensemen how we play in our own zone, and I get six different answers how am I supposed to fit in?

I swore up and down that Commodore said something similar (although maybe not as direct) during his actual time as a Senator, but damned if I could find it when I needed to. Regardless, the following helps to illustrate what I've been saying for some time -- the Ottawa Senators are completely lacking in a proper defensive system. This -- combined with the lack of effective puck-moving blueliners -- is destroying them. I'm not going to defend Commodore's play as a Senator (e.g. him not showing up as the hard-nosed guy fans were expecting), but it's one thing to not understand a lesson that's being taught -- it's a whole 'nother ball of wax when you're expected to learn without any lesson at all. I know these players make a lot of money and we in turn, expect a great deal from them. But for all their talent, you can't simply send a defensive core out there and tell them to just "be". It's not that Zen. You have to find it somewhat telling that a former player is coming out with claims against the Senators' defensive structure (or lack thereof). It would be wonderful if Ottawa would actually get off their ass and do something about it, as opposed to being blasted in the media by unhappy ex-employees.


Finally, let it be said that TUC is viciously unhappy to watch William Houston of The Globe and Mail unceremoniously ride off into the sunset. God willing, the appropriate person will come along to step into his place. They're big shoes to fill, but the Canadian sports media desperately needs someone to keep it in line -- be it at the Globe, or another any other traditional outlet of significant size.

One of Houston's final columns provided me with quite a laugh (although surely unintentional) when he wrote about the CBC's issues with the word "pansification", and Don Cherry's refusal to say it. Here's a clip from the column:

Cherry has mimicked effeminate males when discussing the media in the past. But he said he has never publicly put down homosexuals.

"I've upset just about everybody else, but never ever said anything about gays," he said.

The Hockey Night commentator said yesterday he supports gay initiatives and has influenced teenagers to come out of the closet. He recalled plugging a gay hockey tournament in New York on Coach's Corner several years ago.

"I got a nice letter from the head of the gays thanking me very much," Cherry said. "The whole deal. And I wrote them back, too."

Honestly, that's lovely. But "the head of the gays", Don? Seriously?

More later.

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