Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

Mid-week morning Chewable

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random question of the day: Who's less deserving of a job in media? Those who resent the protection that keeps them employed in the first place, or those who can't do their own jobs without resorting to outside assistance? (i.e. "Hey readers, I'm interviewing ____________ in an hour. What should I ask him/her?")

As for the Senators, please view the following photo:

I'm not doing this again, goddammit. Fix your goaltending. Bolster your blueline. "Best players have got to be your best players." Just read the freaking archives, OK? Oh, but they made the playoffs? Success! I guess I'll just sit back and wait for You Know Who to insist that he's "schtaying the coursh." (Sorry.)

More later.

Seeing as TUC has had a lot of dictionary-related discussion over the past 24 hours, I figured it was fitting that I pass this on. From urbandictionary.com, it's the "Spezza Pass".

When a hockey player swings the puck with their stick behind their back in the hopes of making some incredible passing play to their team-mate, and it instead goes tape-to-tape on the stick of the opposing player who is heading the other way. Usually results in a goal against or at the very least a strong scoring opportunity where the goalie has to save the day.

Note: A fancy attempt of tilting your wrist in the wrong direction can only be referred to as a 'Spezza Pass' if it results in the other team getting some kind of scoring opportunity.

Announcer: "And here comes Spezza across the line looking for the pass . . . what . . . the . . . *BLEEP* Did you see that Spezza Pass! AND THERE GOES OVECHKIN THE OTHER WAY! IN ON GOAL..."

Congrats, Jason. You must be so proud. And despite all of his own current drama, Jacques Martin is surely rubbing his ears together with glee while shrieking, "See! I told ya! 'S all you need to know!"

(Rack bump to Steve Lloyd for the find.)

Not cool, Coach Clouston

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston in the post-practice scrum on the difficulty of shadowing players: "You used to be able to almost rape a guy."

How is this appropriate? Sens PR, we await your response. I hope it comes with an apology.

Credit to Dan Seguin's Twitter for this.

P.S.: And before anyone makes an "oversensitive" remark, you might want to take a look at your daughter, wife, sister or mother before you get back to me. Much obliged.

We also refer to them as the "taxi squad", but I prefer the old-school term. From the 2006 TUC archives: Enjoy. (Thanks again to Liam Maguire for his help with this.)

Monday afternoon Deglaze

Monday, April 19, 2010

...because I have Steel Panther's Community Property stuck in my head. Don't. Trust me. Just...don't.

From the Twitter account of the Senators' PR rep, Phil Legault : "Young series is 2-1, yet pendulum of media desperation has swung again in the other direction."

Oh, dear.

First off, I'd like to meet the media who were initially ensconced on the other side of the fence, and I'd like to know how firm their convictions were. (Damn, I just made myself laugh.) I think everyone reserves the right to question many of the players on this club -- from the guy in the net, to the defence, to the ones on the top line. Have there been exceptions? Yes, of course. But not enough to convince me that this series will swing back into Ottawa's favour.

A couple of issues that have been irking me:

Have you ever noticed how the Senators are nearly incapable of setting the pace for the game? This stretches back to the days of Jacques Martin, which is frightening to consider. We saw some bright points after Bryan Murray began his initial coaching stint with the team, and his push for offensive aggression made it seem as if firewagon hockey had arrived in the capital. But this notion of chasing the game perpetually smacks Ottawa in the mouth when it matters most -- the playoffs. The opposition always seems to set the tone, be it physical, a trap game, speed-driven and so on. Even when the Sens have the lead, you often get the sense that they have trouble in the driver's seat.

My other quibble involves the rare and elusive Ottawa odd-man rush. Is it just me, or can you almost see the wheels turning in the players' heads when this happens? The reaction should be instinctive, but it appears to be anything but. I can almost hear Daniel Alfredsson calling out, "OK, boys: Now just like we do it in practice." News flash: If I can see them thinking about it from the perch on my couch, the opposing defence, and particularly the goaltender can view it from a mile away (hence the reason why nearly all of these rushes are easily stifled).


More Twitter bitching (twitching?) from yours truly. How hard is it for some media to get the hang of in-game tweeting? Case in point: I follow the Senators press box list, and unfortunately, the majority of it is a write-off. (Ed. note: Bite my tongue, bite my tongue...) I'm looking for quirky observations, injury updates, things happening in the building/box that I can't see otherwise, etc. I don't need to know the score at the end of the period, and who has the goals/assists. We already have services for that. (Sincerely, Marcus Allen - CBS Sports.) Oh, but you want to save your quirky observations for your column? Yeah, that's nice. Work more, watch more, talk to your co-workers about the hotel bar a lot less. I know, what a concept.

More later.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, Alyssa Milano is still attractive. However, the 2010 offerings for her sports clothing line, Touch, still leave a lot to be desired. Case in point: I'm pretty sure 99% of female sports fans have never thought the following...

"I'm a woman. I'm a sports fan. And I have a monumental urge to wear two 'P''s on my asscheeks, because dammit, I'm that big of a Phillies fan."

(Ed. note: Is it just me, or do they kind of look like eyes? Is this some sort of "don't stare at the ass, it'll just stare right back" trick?)

Want more? Go here. She almost had me with the Dodgers hoodie, and then I saw that gruesome sundress, circa 1985. Ack.

More later.

What are my arms doing on a blog from the Minneapolis Star Tribune? Come find out.

(Rack bump to Michael Rand for his generosity with textiles, Lifter Puller wisdom and for kicking so much ass.)

Here's RandBall backstage at the Bad Religion show in Vegas on the 26th of March. Bonus points for my crazed expression and looking like I'm missing a front tooth. Blame it on too much action in the pit...

More later.

Thursday night chewable

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Poor Daniel Alfredsson...you've got to feel for the old boy.

Sure, it looks like he's going back to the playoffs, but he knows in his mind that this is going to be an uphill battle -- even moreso than usual. He's done everything in his power to be a proper face for the Ottawa Senators (minus some snafus here and there than only his haters like to obsess about). The man even gets booed in his own building on a regular basis.

So if this season ends up being a disappointment, what harm would it do to start thinking about doing him a solid, and trading him to a contender so he can get the Cup he so richly deserves? Hell, there's nothing saying it has to happen at the beginning of the year -- $7 million next season is a lot for most teams to handle. But perhaps as the trade deadline nears next March, Alfie will be interested to re-think that no-movement clause. And when it's all done, he can be traded back (as Ottawa is filled to the brim with killer prospects) and have a nice shiny ring to show off when he picks up his takeout at Baton Rouge. Win-win for everyone, right?

Go ahead and chew on that. Memo to David Shoalts: You'd be obliged not to swallow.