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Spotlight on the Lynx

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anyone who's been reading the columns for some time knows that the Ottawa Lynx are my pet cause. Their ticket prices are more than reasonable, they provide quality entertainment in a decent ballpark, they market like mad and their PR and front office are some of the best that I've dealt with in the city. In spite of that, the majority of Ottawa (and local media) treats them like something a politician scrapes off the bottom of their shoes.

This blog is attempting to thwart that attitude, and they've been doing an amazing job so far. Profiles, analysis, updates on alumni members -- in short, it's quality information on the team that is difficult to find, particularly for the casual fan. Carl and Patrick deserve a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate (pardon the pun) and providing such a necessary blog -- golf claps to you two. Go check out what they have to say, and do it yesterday.

Wednesday morning deglaze

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

... because you know that just isn't right.

· As Adam from The Hater Nation would say, "I'm pulling a bit of a Bish right now", but time and circumstances didn't allow me to promptly comment on what took place last week between Buffalo and Ottawa. Therefore, this is all I have to say:

1) What Chris Neil did was the equivalent of someone paying a visit to the Mustang Ranch -- just because it's legal doesn't necessarily make it right (or...uh...clean, for that matter);

2) How more of this incident didn't end up getting heaped on the refs is beyond me. There was an opportunity for the officials to explain to Lindy Ruff why Neil didn't receive a penalty for the hit, and to politely remind him that Buffalo did have last change. In other words, Ruff could have been given a chance to cool down slightly, and rethink his decision to ice his enforcers (I doubt it would have happened, but at least there would have been an opportunity);

3) The chest-puffing buffoonery that took place amongst Ottawa fans in the hours following the fight smacked very much of a town with a severe inferiority complex;

4) Anyone who thinks that fighting doesn't play in the U.S. needs to have their head examined. Discussions surrounding the fight took over The Jim Rome Show (based out of L.A.) on Friday, but Team 1200 listeners were preempted by Over The Edge's continuing coverage. The fight was also referenced repeatedly on Sportscenter in the U.S. (as confirmed to me by a number of American readers) and was given the No. 4 slot in discussions on PTI the same day. The Americans (once they get over their "hoc-key?" jokes) live for the scraps. No blood, no American love. It's that simple. Now I'm not saying that fighting needs to enter the normal repetoire of our regular season rotation, but a decent brawl will ultimately grab U.S. attention -- if only for a moment. And that is so important, when you're talking about a market that normally resides in asystole.

(Aside: Speaking of Rome -- two weeks ago I was in Florida, and managed to catch up with Rob in Tampa -- one of Rome's more infamous faxers during the late '90's. Good times. I'm pretty positive we're the last remaining members of what was once a rather large group of clones [I don't use the 'L' word], in spite of the fact that neither of us listens to the show anymore. Regardless, we had a nice visit, and reminisced about the Tour Stops of the past. Not surprisingly, Trapper's name came up a lot. WAR guitars and pies.)

That was the past...let's get to the present, shall we?

· How about that Ottawa defense, Senators fans? Are they making you feel assured and comfortable with the current situation? Yep, that's what I thought. Let's go to the email for some more perspective:

"We are cursed by the number 7 this year....haha.....any player whose number is divisible by 7 sucks...7,14,42....actually, I've been so busy worrying about 7 and 14 that I have stopped getting on 42."

I concur. In fact, although it's not mathematically permissible, I'd be content to add No. 6 to that mix as well. Is there anything more nail-bitingly tense than seeing Meszaros and Redden on the same line? (Okay, Meszaros and Corvo.) During the last handful of games, there have been multiple incidents involving Meszaros and Redden remaining overwhelmingly static as pucks waft right past them, and into the Ottawa net. It's also become blatantly obvious that Ottawa's blueline lacks the mental and physical toughness required for the postseason. I feel badly lumping Phillips and Volchenkov in with the weak links, because they bring some stability to the group. But it's unrealistic to think that these two will be able to shoulder the load from March until May. More and more people -- both media and fans -- are claiming that the Sens' D will be their downfall in the playoffs, and you can count me among them. Right now, the informal over/under for the Sens in the upcoming postseason is the first round, and most are taking the under -- kind of like a backwards futures bet in Vegas. Bring on the tee times.

· Finally, I need to give some appreciation to SLAM's Patrick Williams, who spent four days in the NCC last week, and a decent amount of time with me. Dude is great for a tangent or three, and it was fantastic to have a sounding board in the newly-christened Scott Norwood Section of Butterknife Row. If you want to see what else Patrick's been up to lately, you can also check out his column index here.

Let's just put this out there...

Don't you find it odd that Pittsburgh was able to land Gary Roberts for a song named Noah Welch? We were all told that Jacques had every intention of raping Ottawa -- all the variables were in place. 1) Roberts allegedly had only two teams in mind that he wished to join (Ottawa and Toronto); 2) Local buzz and talk from the team indicated that interest in Roberts was very strong and 3) Jacques, being the previous long-time coach of the team, knows the roster well and likely had a good idea who he wanted (i.e. Antoine Vermette or Patrick Eaves).

Now, if Pittsburgh had given up something larger for Roberts, we could assume that Muckler had decided that the cost was too high, and opted to bow out. But come now -- Jacques is currently talking up Noah Welch, but the kid has been sent down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton five times, not to mention that he's coming from the Penguins, and we know that their D is weak.

If Jacques was willing to settle for this, you're left to wonder if he ever had any intention of dealing with Ottawa at all -- which also explain why we settled for Oleg Saprykin instead of making a bid for Martin Gelinas*.


* I know Saprykin and Gelinas are both LW, and the major need for the Sens is on the blueline. However, if you're going to make a move, Gelinas would bring the type of leadership experience that the team seemingly can't produce, whereas Saprykin could flake on us, i.e. Tyler Arnason-style. Saprykin was a total impulse purchase -- the equivalent of purchasing something from the clearance section of Old Navy while out shopping with your friends. You don't buy something just because everyone else is.

P.S. More math that doesn't add up: I just saw a clip of Muckler on TSN, talking about Gary Roberts and what the asking price was. Muckler claims that he received a call, "last night at...I dunno...five to twelve or something like that, and we elected to pass". That's funny, considering that TSN had reported that Martin had found an acceptable trade partner on Monday MORNING for Roberts, and was simply waiting for the veteran to waive his no-trade clause. Why would Jacques call Muckler at midnight when he had already made a deal? And why would Muckler be waiting for a call, when he was the one supposedly pursuing Roberts? Wouldn't he be the one on the phone to Florida?

Cueball chicks get free Crunch tickets

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is an unorthodox way to approach a ticket promo.

Sensing Britney Spears' recent anxiety regarding her headline-making lifestyle, the Syracuse Crunch have graciously offered her an oasis of privacy -- and where better than in snow-buried western New York State? The team has invited the maligned pop star up to Syracuse for an all-expense paid vacation, to help her escape the eyes of the vicious paparazzi. No, really.

Better still, the Crunch are offering any woman with a shaved head a free ticket to the February 24th game vs. the Manitoba Moose. You'll need to show proof at the team's box office before cashing in, however.

I'm just pondering here -- how hard and fast are the head-shaving rules? What if a woman has a bad case of alopecia? What if Michael Wilbon came to the box office dressed in drag?

[Source: Syracuse Crunch Official Website]

Bridget's secret

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It turns out that Tom Brady's ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, is three months pregnant with the New England QB's baby. Brady and Moynahan broke up in December after dating for two years, and Tom has recently been dating Victoria's Secret model and nude Colts mascot rider Gisele Bundchen. Can't wait to see how the Dimpled Chin handles this. We're betting Gisele bitches him out something fierce, then tries to rope Leonardo DiCaprio and his shoe lifts to take her to the Oscars again, just to make pretty Brady jealous. If you see photos with Leo's tongue down Gisele's throat any time soon, you now know the reason why. You're welcome.

[Credit: New York Post]

- You may have heard some complaining that the Stanley Cup was not present at last night's *cough* celebration and ceremony for the 1967 Leafs -- the last Toronto team to win the Cup. Screw Stanley -- it looks like Dave Keon could've used a pimp chalice instead. Note the red lining, and the matching gait of the dude walking behind him. Who is that dude? His expression seems to indicate that he's never been prouder or more comfortable with his sexuality at this very moment. "Hell yes, I'm walking with Dave Keon who's wearing a 3/4 length fur coat with red lining! Jealous much?" 10 to 1 says these two split a bottle of Remy Martin in the ACC's basement after the game.

- Re: The afternoon game's between-period commentary -- if you're going to have two guys named Kitchen and Galley working together, may I suggest that the CBC put them both in chef's aprons and refer to them the as Redundant Duo.

- I caught a portion of Friday's Penguins-Devils game on TSN. Claude Julien's horseshoe was overdue for a trim, and well, it wasn't hard to make this correlation:

Don't blame me for being harsh -- it was The Driver who pointed it out.

Anyway, I know it's not customary for me to do Leftovers before a Deglaze, but we're having some issues with our roof over here at TUC HQ, and it's been taking up all of my time. I'm still receiving your emails re: the restricted access -- I'm shocked by the amount of interest, and I want to thank all of you for your continued support. If I haven't responded to your request yet, rest assured that all of your addresses will be saved in case we go private again.

More later...yeah hey,


Greetings Cynics -- The Driver and I have been on holidays for a week (hence the lack of a column on the 11th), and we're currently in the middle of a bizarre transborder tour. I'm back in Ottawa for today, but will leaving for the land of Staalapalooza tomorrow. I'll try and make a quick post before we head up...the operative word is try.

More later.

P.S. You'll notice that full access to the blog has once again been granted. I don't know how long this will last. If you want to be an invited reader, submit your (real) email address and identity -- you'll find my email in my profile. A warning: We may be pulling a Hyde on some applicants (or for the old-schoolers, Studio 54). Deal with it.

Super Blah

Saturday, February 03, 2007

That isn't a reference to my feelings on tomorrow's game -- in fact, I'm quite looking forward to it.

My issue is with the large majority of Canadian coverage that's taking place, both in traditional media and online. The Canadian media has this incessant need to tie everything back to our country, because they assume that's the only way readers will be interested in the stories. "Hey look, this DB played for the B.C. Lions in '98! Let's ask him about the three months he spent there!" For Christ's sakes, enough already. Ask them if they've had violent sleepwalking dreams where they throttled the opposition's QB, and ended up kicking the crap out of a houseplant. Ask them if they think anyone's going to pull a Eugene Robinson the night before -- they don't have to name names.

Then there's this. The Globe and Mail sent down two writers who are co-authoring a Super Bowl blog. The above link offers a "description" of a Super Bowl bash. Here's my favourite part:

The answers to those and other fascinating questions were revealed during last night’s media party at Gulfstream Racetrack where the premises was dotted by women dressed in jockey uniforms. Just not like jockey uniforms like you’ve ever seen before – as in three-inch spiked heals (sic), short skirts and tight tops.

"Heals"? That isn't going to do much for the perception that male sportswriters are the antithesis of Tom Brady/Brad Pitt/Whatever man is hot enough to make all women ignore everyone else in the room. If you can't spell it, my guess is you haven't seen enough of them.

I also don't understand what's up with that bare bones description. There are no photos on the blog -- aren't writers supposed to paint a picture with words? I mean, I'm cognizant enough to realize that my audience is between 95-98% male. Tell me that the chick's legs are longer than a John Madden run-on sentence. Say that you didn't know where to look, because your interview subject's nipples were pointing to first and third. That's what I would have done...I'm comfortable enough in my sexuality to do that for my audience.

Anyway, there's more on the above blog if you want to check it out -- including hilarious tales about forgetting your co-worker's room number after you've gone out to pick up some beer. Sigh.

On the other hand, if you want to read some legitimately interesting and funny Super Bowl blogs that will provide a better snapshot of the week's festivities, I highly suggest checking out these ones from Deadspin and Bill Simmons. Simmons' radio row day was a particularly good read, and Deadspin's tomfoolery with ESPN is utterly classic. Check them out if you haven't already.