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

Mike Milbury and the Continental Refuse

Thursday, February 25, 2010

There's no debate that the games from Vancouver were choice, but the off-ice drama last night came courtesy of Mike Milbury after Team Canada's 7-3 victory versus the Russians. Milbury, never one to hold back -- or verbalize anything of relevance, for that matter -- offered this opinion regarding the Russians' performance:

"I was shocked that this was this one-sided and I was really disappointed that these guys came with their, their Eurotrash game. It was just no heart, no guts, no nothing there to back it up."

(Ed. Note: Video available here.)

The reaction on Twitter was interesting to say the least. One of the most perplexing moments came courtesy of Elliotte Friedman, who wrote that the comment was fair, then claimed that he didn't understand if the term was controversial or not. Alrighty then.

Here's the thing: We all know Milbury's M.O. at this point. His feeble attempts at edginess tend to bite him in the ass on a regular basis. It seems to me that he was desperate to insult the Russian team and grasped at the first disparaging word he could think of.

Unfortunately, there are two problems here. One, "Eurotrash" is generally considered as a descriptive slang term that has nothing to do with sport. For a loose definition that's generally accepted by most (keep in mind this is a term that you are not going to discover in your average dictionary) read descriptions 1 and 2 here.

Obviously, Milbury was attempting to use the term, albeit incorrectly, in a much more literal manner. And that's where the issue lies for many.

"Trash" is already a fairly harsh word to use to describe a team's game. Granted, the Russians surely didn't show, but there's no need to stoop to that level. However, the addition of the "Euro" adds fuel to the fire. "Their Eurotrash game," as Milbury put it, suggests that this is some sort of condition that is only identifiable in a certain type of player from overseas.

Trust me, there are people who are much more upset about this than I am (Dmitry Chesnokov for one). I'm not as offended as he is. What bothers me the most, is Milbury's need to take unnecessary jabs at teams/players -- he does it with such unabashed ignorance that it would be considered unprecedented, if not for a weekly exposure to Don Cherry every Saturday night.

The man wanted to criticize European players*, lacked the wherewithal to do so in a constructive or comprehensive fashion and ended up using a term that didn't even apply. Somehow, I'm not surprised.

Remind me again why he's on television to begin with?


*Russia is part of the continent of Asia, but don't tell Mike. It'll blow his mind.

Remember when the '06 Olympic team couldn't find the net to save their lives? Worth a review for the old-school photo of a drunk Mats Sundin and Eddie Belfour having a bro moment.


P.S.: The Finlandia Club is a notorious bar located above an even more notorious restaurant called The Hoito (in Thunder Bay, naturally).

The hydraulic malfunction of the Olympic flame in Vancouver last night is a moment that won't be forgotten any time soon, and thanks to the various telecasts, we got a glimpse of the discomfort at stage level. Let's have a look, shall we?

Keep smiling, Steve. Just think about soccer. Or basketball...I guess.

Nancy Greene Raine, with the facepalm felt around the world.

Catriona Le May Doan, after the mechanical meltdown jobbed her out of lighting the flame. She's trying to play it cool, but you know she feels like cutting a bitch.

And the icing on the cake, courtesy of the NBC feed: The Miserable One.

P.S.: Best actor award of the evening goes to Rick Hansen - he never let on that something might be amiss, hence no photo.

TUC rewind: Torino's opening ceremonies

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let's take a walk down TUC's memory lane, shall we? In honour of the Olympics opening tomorrow in Vancouver, here's a post from February 2006 I did on the opening ceremonies in Torino, Italy. Cows on wheels? Photos taken via Mesozoic Era cell phones? Oh, you know you want some of this.


P.S.: Note the tone of the Senators bit. That was in 2006. Just saying.

Your Tuesday afternoon Chewable

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Since 2010 began, many Ottawa Senators fans have been happy to throw out a phrase to anyone who they deemed a naysayer: "Mental toughness."

The ironic thing is, mental toughness doesn't truly display itself when you're riding a double-digit win streak. Everyone's mood is happier, their step is lighter and it's not the most difficult situation for a team to be in, trust.

And that's why the latest loss an old foe -- Toronto -- is actually a good thing. 1) It involved a rival; 2) It was against a team that by numbers, should have been easier to beat and 3) They were stymied by a goaltender who they were unable to solve all evening.

Days of yore, much? You're damn right.

Mental toughness doesn't come from admiring your work from atop the highest peak. It comes when you've been repeatedly kicked in the mouth, and you keep getting up. Regardless of their opponent's current position in the standings, Ottawa needs to smack the hell out of Calgary tonight to put things back on track. It won't make them a Cup contender, but it will go a long way in showing what they might be capable of.

More later.

Sex under Sidney Crosby? Just say no...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Damn, I want to believe Flyers fans are this committed. Here's the last letter from Bill Simmons's mailbag today:

A couple of weeks ago at a frat party, I began to get with a pretty cute girl. As the night wore on, and the drinks started flowing, she took me back to her apartment. When I entered her room, the first thing I saw was a giant Sidney Crosby poster. Without saying another word to her, I left. My buddies have never stopped making fun of me since, but I still insist that it was the proudest moment of my life as a die-hard Flyers fan. Can you please give me some consolidation, or should I have just swallowed my pride? In my defense, I would not qualify her as "hot."

--Dave Z., Philly

Love it, regardless if it's true or not.

Check out this gem from Mike Fisher's future wife on the NHL's available awards (starts at 1:38). Can Bettman start handing out a wreath this June, because that might be sweet. Also, I hope their new home has plenty of room for the "plaques." Please tell me there's a "Mike Fisher -- Participant" among them. Love those.

P.S.: Obvious joke: "She was talking about trophies for the Senators, dumbass!" Yes, you're all very funny.

Your Monday morning Chewable

Monday, February 01, 2010

Part of being a cynic/Senators realist is that you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sure, happy days are here again in the nation's capital, but when it comes to the Ottawa Senators -- what goes up must come down. And we're looking at you, Brian Elliott.

In the midst of all this euphoria, did anyone stop to think that some of the Manatee's ways may have rubbed off on No. 30? And believe me, this isn't just controlling those wayward rebounds.

Brian Elliott may know how to keep the ball rolling, but he certainly didn't start it. That distinction belongs to Mike Brodeur, with his two victories over Montreal and the Rangers in mid-January.

Elliott was then handed the keys, and told not to crash. So far, he's been doing better than expected.

And what does this have to do with Martin Gerber? Well, it would appear like his predecessor, Elliott does not handle pressure with the greatest of ease. However, bring him into an already positive situation, and he'll perform as desired.

But good times don't last forever -- not for any team. So here's something to chew on for those crowing about the Sens' glut of goaltenders (including one highly tradable Pascal Leclaire, according to the glue-sniffing fanatics): Until you have a backstopper who can help dig you out of a hole, as well as keeping you riding high, nothing regarding this netminding controversy has been solved.

More later.