The Legend of the Backup Quarterback, by ESPN

(I know I recently scheduled myself to write a post about the absurdity of Erik Karlsson winning the Norris Trophy, but that’s going to have to be put on hold for this most recent outrage.)

So I was at the gym today staring at the cuties actually working out, and for some reason I felt compelled to check out the TV that regularly airs ESPN (Sportscenter in the mornings) all day. Normally, when I spend the energy to twist my neck to see a television screen, I do it because I’m expecting something with substance, but I was feeling adventurous. From the distance, I could see a football field with players in unorganized formations. Ugh, training camp. Then my mind took it a step further. “Oh, god, please not Tim Tebow and the Jets.” Obviously, it was the Tim Tebow and the Jets, because I’m really starting to question whether or not ESPN actually knows that other teams actually do stuff during the offseason. So they decided to show the live feed for about five minutes, with the focus on Tebow and his inaccurate throwing arm. Whatever. Ten minutes go by; it’s 9:00, and a “new” Sportscenter airs. What do they open with? Jets training camp. And they showed it for, legitimately, ten minutes, maybe closer to 15 (I kind of blacked out from the rage). And that’s what they showed. It was just Tebow and the Jets running drills. That’s it. That’s what they call news.

I had no sound, but the audio probably sounded something like this: “OH and Tim Tebow! Tebowtime! Tebowmania, even! Look at Tim! *mumble mumble the Jets mumble mumble* but the Tebow offense! Tebow at the goal line! Tebow with his shirt off! Rex Ryan and his Tebow offense! And here are some players nobody should ever care about oh but there’s Tebow! It’s pandemonium, so much Tebow Tebow to talk about! More Tebow after the break! Just kidding, more Tebow right now! AHHHHH HAHAHAH!!!”


Let me tell you something about ESPN you probably already know, especially if you’ve read my previous ESPN rant: they can throw whatever garbage they want on the TV, and the masses will watch it. I’m serious, they could start regularly airing competitive elderly crocheting (as much of a sport as poker, which they aired) during prime time, and I swear to God, it would become the newest big craze sweeping the nation. Go ahead, prove me wrong, ESPN. You would market the s*** out of that. You could even have some neat-o “needle cams” (or whatever the hell they use to do the crocheting), and people would be like “Ooohh, technology!”

Still don’t think it would generate as much attention as a backup quarterback all day? No problem! You could just find the most interesting, provocative, controversial, or sexy elderly lady (I really don’t know what your qualifications for picking new sensations are), follow the crap out of her all day, and just air raw footage (don’t bother editing or adding a narrative, nobody wants to see quality TV) of the boring junk she did all day. Oh, and don’t forget to make the story bigger than it really is. “Whoa, this lady is walking around barefoot? Ah ha! News!”


For the record, I have nothing against Tebow – in fact I think he’s a pretty good guy and a solid role model – nor do I have an extreme hate towards the Jets. However, much like the root of my hate for Sidney Crosby (among many, many other things), the excessive amount of coverage that he gets just forces me to hate him. It’s like ESPN wants everyone to hate Tebow and the Jets.

The problem is that ESPN essentially has a stranglehold on sports media. There’s not really a competitor that gets nearly as many viewers. Seriously, name one other cable network channel that [supposedly] covers every sport and every important sporting event. People tune to ESPN because they don’t know anything else is out there, and there’s really not, unless you’re looking for selective coverage of a particular sport or market. It’s a similar case for the Web, too. As I write this post from work (uh, just kidding, boss who may or may not be reading this), is basically the only sports Web site that isn’t blocked here. For what reason, I’ll never know, but that’s what my coworkers and I are limited to on our computers (thank God for smart phones).


As I alluded to earlier, last week, there was apparently some uproar about Tebow running out onto the field without his shirt. SCANDALOUS! Come on, people do stuff with their shirts off all the time. Seriously, that’s news? Some ripped guy working out topless? Show me a young, ripped jock-guy who doesn’t show off his guns and pecs all the time. That might be news.

Try to convince me that this coverage isn’t exactly what E! Entertainment Television, Access Hollywood, or some other bougie celeb news medium would do. You’ve become the paparazzi; worse, maybe. I can’t wait five years for when Tebow inevitably develops a bit of a gut as all QBs eventually do, and then have to listen to you talk about how fat he’s gotten for 47 minutes straight. Complete, of course, with the expert (lol) analyses of both Steven A. Smith yelling about something irrelevant like Harry Potter and Skip Bayless condemning LeBron James for not helping Tebow keep his beauty form, as well as an ESPN-Axis breakdown of where he’s lost some of his allure.

Is there really nothing else to cover? To steal a little bit of rhetoric from WFAN’s Boomer and Carton in the Morning show, what about Peyton Manning and his new team in Denver? Or the guy that ultimately forced his exit from Indy and who is also supposed to be the next big thing in Andrew Luck? How about RG3 in Washington? Or even Cam Newtown trying to repeat his rookie-season success? Or – and this is probably a bit crazy – what about the recent Super Bowl Champion New York … umm…I’m sure they have a team name in there somewhere. But no, we have to see what a backup quarterback and his controversial team is doing in their spare time; because the reality is – and no offense to Tebow – he’s a backup. Nothing more, despite how ESPN wants to try to spin it. Maybe there’s a tiny bit of QB controversy between he and Sanchez, but could you imagine if every single backup in the league got that much coverage? There would literally be no time to talk about anything else. What makes Tim Tebow so special? (And again, no offense), Nothing really. And the previously mentioned topics are just for football. What about everything else going on in the world? Wasn’t there some giant event or something with every nation competing against each other for medals and stuff?


All I can do here is point out how foolish EPN (not a typo) is and how they really couldn’t care less about the actual content/spots news their network and its affiliates air. They’re dumbing down the nation. ESPN, like all businesses, sadly, is a ratings- and profit-driven medium that has lost its way. The sad reality is that they find the easy story that typically lacks substance and force it down the throats of Americans. I can encourage as many of you as I can to avoid ESPN altogether (as I am doing) or even simply to change the station when they start talking about Tebow, Jeremy Lin, or whatever the latest synthesized sensation is that really shouldn’t garner that much attention. If they see their ratings drop, they will make a change. And even if they don’t, at the very least, you’ll be able to sleep better at night, knowing that you don’t support something that is having its way with the intellectual minds of the youth.

1 Comment

Filed under ESPN

And your losers are…

So this post is long overdue, but it has to be done. A few weeks ago, the NHL handed out its annual awards to recognize the best players in various aspects of the sport, both on and off the ice. However, what you don’t know is that the league also holds a separate voting for some of the league’s less-prestigious awards, honoring the worst players in said aspects. Of course, it would be a PR disaster to release these results, and you can imagine all the lawsuits, but lucky for you, I happened to steal a copy from Scott Howson’s jacket pocket while he was busy making his team terrible.

I know these awards are only supposed to be based on what happened over the course of the regular season, but much like the real “GM of the year” award, that doesn’t work too well here. So in no particular order, here are the results:

The Doug Mohns Honor, given to the league’s least valuable player (Here’s a little background on the name: Doug Mohns captained his team, the ’74-’75 Washington Capitals, to the worst record in NHL history. The spread? 8-67-5 (21 points). Yes, eight. Eight wins. The team won a total of eight games in an 80-game season (.131 winning percentage). And they only managed one of those wins on the road. They went a staggering 1-39 on the road. Also, they allowed 10 or more goals in seven of their 80 games: 11 percent. To clarify, yes, this is an NHL team, and they finished only 92 points out of first place in the division. Oh, and it was the team’s inaugural season as an expansion team. Rough way to start.):

Let’s be real, there’s only one winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it) here. And that player is none other than the $7.35 million man himself, Mr. Scott Gomez. Yes, in 39 games, Gomez managed to put in a number of goals that is just one of 10 numbers that can acceptably be spelled out by rules of AP Style: two. To make that number worse, he didn’t manage to score his first goal of the season until February 9, his 25th game of the season, which prompted the popular Web site And that follows a seven-goal effort (80 games) in the previous season. Did I mention the Rangers managed to screw trade him to Montreal for their best defensive prospect? So congratulations, Mr. Gomez, you are absolutely deserving of the award of player least valuable to his team.

The Wade Redden Award (don’t worry, the name works because he’s no longer an NHL player nor will he ever be again), given to the worst defenseman in the league:

Dennis Wideman: He’s just not a good player. He never has been. Constantly out of position, always having a plethora of pucks bounce of his legs/skates and end up in the back of his own net, lazy decision-making…yep, this guy’s got all of the tools to earn this award…and to earn a nice $26.5 million contract, apparently (seriously, Calgary?). Oh, and he was a -7 in 14 playoff games.

Erik Karlsson: Oh, what’s that? He actually won the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) this year. Hmm, interesting, how foolish of me. Well, there goes my nomination and all my credibility I guess. WRONG. Since this award doesn’t necessarily go to the worst defenseman in the entire league (there are too many scrubs and no-names), but rather the most overrated one (it’s kind of an unsaid thing that goes with the award, you know, like how the Norris trophy is supposed to go to the best defenseman, but rather it goes to the one that puts up the most points). How is he overrated? Well, that’s just a tangent I simply don’t have enough space or relevant thoughts to put down here, but I’m sure you can expect an explanation from an awesome blogger in the near future (*wink wink*).

The Leafs: No, just the Leafs. Yeah, I got lazy, but…yeah, the Leafs aren’t good at defense.

And the winner is…well, I guess you’ll just have to wait for my next blog post to find out who I think the winner/loser is. …Oh, I already gave it away? Um, well, you should probably read my next post anyway.

The Wolf Stansson Judgement (yes, that is Iceland’s coach from D2: The Mighty Ducks) for biggest scumbag. And the nominees are:

Cam Janssen. Ah, yes, an excellent choice; a true scumbag in the very sense of the word. Here are some of the comments he made on some douche radio show (WARNING: contains very crude, albeit censored, language). He openly states that he tries to catch people with their head down and tries to hurt people to “put the fear of f***ing God in people’s eyes.” Yep, here’s a classic example of an idiot player that gives the sport its “goon” image that the league has worked so hard on to eliminate without removing the necessary aspect of fighting. Good luck trying to vouch for yourself when you talk to the Shanabanhammer after you inevitably take a cheap shot on someone. Try using the classic excuse “Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt him, it was an accident!” Mhmm, sure Cam, and you’re a good hockey player that belongs in the NHL. Oh, did I also mention he’s a giant homophobe? If you’re really curious as to what he had to say, check out the link to the other blog, but it’s really not appropriate stuff. But basically, he thinks it’s a good idea to beat up a homosexual hockey player for the sole reason of being a homosexual. Classy stuff, guy.

Raffi Torres. Mr. Torres has an outstanding list of credentials and a career of douchebaggery that make him an excellent candidate for this most prestigious award. Most notably is his recent assault on Marian Hossa during the playoffs that immediately made him infamous in the hockey world. Feel free to check out any of his other qualifications by YouTubing “Raffi Torres” (trust me, you won’t find anything involving actual hockey) or save yourself the trouble by entering “’Raffi Torres talent’” into Google (using quotes around that phrase in the search bar) and watching the search results top out at “zero”.

Matt Cooke: Sure, he didn’t really do anything last year, but what he’s done over the course of his career still has its ramifications on some of the people he’s harmed and still warrants notoriety today.

And the winner is…oh, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a tie. Yes, there are no winners when it comes to biggest POS in the league, and each of these morons should be blacklisted from the sport.

The Empty Net Award, given to the goalkeeper who might as well have not even shown up. Keeping with the theme of talking about things that are most recent to my memory and not actually things that would make for a legitimate discussion of the original idea, your nominees are: Ilya Bryzgalov and Marc-Andre Fleury.

On one hand, you have Swiss cheese, on the other, you’ve got Swiss cheese that was left out in the sun and chewed on by. Yeah, both these guys were awful in this year’s playoffs. They posted a 3.46 and a 4.63 GAA (same digits, heh), respectively. However, they both did give us a very entertaining first-round series between bitter rivals the Douchebags and the A-holes Flyers and Penguins, so for that, I’ll give each of them a pass and declare neither of them winners. Er, losers. Whatever, you know what I mean.

So there you have it; there are some of the awards that the NHL loves to vote on but doesn’t want you to see. Don’t tell them I showed you the results. Stay tuned for next post’s to find out why the voters of the Norris Trophy are oh-so silly.

1 Comment

Filed under NHL

All Star Game? More like, All Star..Lame..

I apologize for the headline, I need to work on that.

So, the 2012 All-Star Fantasy Draft was completed yesterday and was packed with surprises! Well, not really. It was pretty lame, which doesn’t qualify as a surprise, unfortunately. I guess it was decent, but that music they played after every damn player was selected was annoying as s**t. I did enjoy watching Carey Price (who is a really goofy bastard, apparently) “miss” captain Zdeno Chara’s handshake and have Chara sort of chase him into the seats and stare him down…and also Marian Gaborik walk over to Henrik Lundqvist’s side of the room before turning around to go to the correct team. Alright, fine, NHL, I guess it wasn’t that bad, it was somewhat entertaining, but it did get old after the first few picks and after they stopped talking to players. But anyway, it at least set us up for this weekend’s exciting events. And by exciting events, I mean, of course, the skills competition. Can’t really understand why they still have the actual All-Star game. What kind of ratings does that thing get? If I want to watch a hockey game, I’ll watch an actual hockey game when the points count. The skills competition is at least unique, exciting, and most importantly, is a competition.

Seriously, I’d rather watch Ovechkin make a clown out of himself for three hours than watch 35 super-skilled skaters and Dan Girardi (sorry, bud) lollygag around the ice and half-ass an offensive effort, while the goalies just hang back in their nets trying not to pull a Rick DiPiet– I mean hamstring. It’s just not entertaining.

The skills competition is great. It’s hockey-related, and it’s much more interesting than an effort-less hockey “game”. You get to see the players showcase their skills and have something to brag about to everyone else; they can tell their teammates and the other players, “hey, you see that? I’m the fastest skater in the league, fools!” or “hey, did you see how nifty and clever my moves are?” or, in Chara’s case, “hey, you see that? No, it was probably too fast for your puny human, non-giant eyes to comprehend; don’t try blocking that shot in a game or you might break an ankle and miss the playoffs. Seriously, Mr. Ryan Callahan” (seriously, Callahan).

And the fans love it! It almost feels like a refreshing break from an adrenaline-filled season. It’s different, and that’s what makes it great! There aren’t any faceoffs, offsides, 1-3-1 traps, officiating, heart-wrenching saves and posts, or Daniel Carcillo (WARNING: don’t have anything in your mouth when you click the link). Now that’s not to say that all those things are indefinitely bad (except for the last one, maybe), but they can become a bit monotonous over an 82-game season. The skills competition is to the regular season sort of like what a losing season must be like to a Detroit Red Wings fan: sure, it’s nice to win, but it’s probably annoying to win ALL the time. Right? (Tough to enjoy winning if you don’t know what losing is like? Uh, no good without evil? Er, no? Well screw you, Detroit fans.)

Not to mention that we get to see the more human side of players. Instead of crowding on the bench or drifting around the ice looking like they’re hating life, players are hanging out, palling around, and chatting it up while they aren’t performing in one of the events, and actually seem to be enjoying themselves; usually they’ll mic up a few players, and sometimes they’re actually funny. And who doesn’t love the shootout tournament? When do you ever get to see something like that in the regular season? ..OK, we get the shootouts in the regular season, but they really shouldn’t be there (that’s a story for another time). Still, one on one with the goalies until only one shooter remains is a pretty exciting deal (much better than 6+ shooters deciding a point in the standings), and the players have to love it..well, everyone except for Girardi, who will probably try to dive in front of the shots directed at Lundqvist (is there a shot blocking contest this year?).

Unfortunately, the league didn’t force the captains to split up the Sedin twins (don’t they get tired of each other anyway?), which would have been neat. Especially if they were in a matched against each in a competition like, oh let’s say the accuracy contest…people would be adjusting their TV screens like crazy (“Honey, it’s doing it again! We’re only getting half the picture, and it’s mirroring itself! I told you we should have bought the Japanese one!”). And who would they award the point/win to when they inevitably tie in every single event they compete  in?

The point is, the skills competition is fun for everyone involved: the fans, the players, the media, the Zamboni driver, the hot dog guy, Mike Myers…basically everyone except for ESPN. Screw those guys. The players don’t have to try that hard and it’s still exciting. We get to see how talented these guys really are, and they show us in a way much different from the standard stuff. I love watching players try to best each other in one-on-one situations. I love watching players, which includes the goalies, make asses out of themselves in the “creative shootout” competition (by the way, more of that, NHL); you just don’t get to see that kind of clownery on a regular basis unless you’re a fan of the New York Islanders or Columbus Blue Jackets.

There are many question to be answered: Will Chara break his own record for deadliest, er, fastest, shot? Will Gaborik score on arch-enemy Henrik Lundqvist in the elimination shootout? Will Pavel Datsyuk embarrass every single person in the arena whenever he touches the puck (spoiler: yes)? Will anyone actually care about the game? One thing is for sure, though: I’m going to be muting my TV when Lupul, Kessel, or Phanuef are participating in an event, or generally anywhere on the ice at all, because those Sens fans hate the Leafs, apparently. I hope Phil Kessel wins the MVP of the game and is awarded another car in front of those obnoxious, booing fans. And then he takes it for a victory lap around the ice…all while having a glove malfunction, of course.

1 Comment

Filed under NHL

Just want to give a shout out to ESPN…

I’m done with you. You guys have become the second-worst “news” network on television (a close second to Fox News). I can’t believe you claim to be a sports news medium. You don’t cover sports. You cover entertainment. You cover the easiest thing that will draw ratings, which is usually a product of your own design.

Let’s start by mentioning your hypocrisy, because it probably is one of your biggest weakness (or strengths, not sure how it works in the corporate world). And what better example than the Lions/49ers “handshake” incident:

One week. You talked about the handshake that, even by your own admitting, “didn’t matter”, for an entire week. And I don’t mean just lightly mentioned it; you guys took it to the extreme, and it became THE issue of the week. The event that every single “analyst” on your network, including Skip Bayless, who I’m pretty sure is exclusively told to take the minority side of every issue (in addition to making an ass out of himself), simply passed aside as an incident in which two coaches let the emotions get the better of them after a hard-fought game. It happens. Worth mentioning, but nothing worth getting invested in.

But that’s not your biggest sin. You condemned media for mentioning the pointless issue because talking about it would “overshadow the great game that was played.” After making that claim, what did you do? Talked about it. For a week. Every day. You analyzed the event to no end, trying to draw something that wasn’t really there. You brought in “experts” to talk about it. You brought up past altercations between coaches, trying to compare the most recent scrum to those in history. You didn’t talk about the “great game” that was played. You talked about the meaningless altercation at the end of the game that really had no relevance or effect on anything, then talked about how the altercation had no relevance or effect on anything. Instead of talking about that game, football in general, or really anything else that actually had any importance, you chose to talk about the handshake that “didn’t matter” and was a “non-issue”. Non-issue, huh? Do you guys listen to yourselves talk?

Let’s continue with your hypocritical nature. You condemned LeBron James for “The Decision.” And rightfully so. We should definitely go after the network that chose to air that self-righteous prick making a big deal about which team he was going to sign with, because clearly, it’s not that big a deal, and we shouldn’t be portraying it as such. Oh, but, which network decided to have a one-hour long segment about the superstar and his decision? To which network should we bring the torches and pitchforks (I got mine for Christmas)? Surely, it couldn’t have been ESPN, the network that criticized him for making such a big deal about his signing…oh, it was? That’s strange. Did you guys know about that?

Also, I never thought a network that supposedly prides itself on bringing up-to-date sports news would rely so heavily Twitter. To be fair, Twitter can be a very useful tool, as it can deliver news as it’s happening to a mass audience, often quicker than any TV or radio network can. But that’s not how you use it. I don’t want to know what LeBron has to say, via Twitter, about the NFL lockout. I don’t want to see what LeBron, via Twitter, has to say about baseball. If I want his, or anyone’s, meaningless, non-expert opinion on an issue unrelated to them, I’ll go to Twitter myself. How does anything an NBA basketball player has to say about any issue outside his own sport, or outside his team for that matter, make news, especially when it’s usually some kind of joke or personal nonsense? How many times am I going to change the channel to ESPN looking for news and find you guys talking about Twitter or airing a minute-long segment of what your anchors are doing “behind the scenes”? I’m glad you guys are having fun out there, but…I don’t care.

I won’t even get into Tim Tebow, because the entire world is sick of hearing about him. But you know what you’ve done, and what you continue to do.

Because you, the “Worldwide leader in sports coverage” (or some other BS like that, I really don’t care what your slogan is), have such a stranglehold on the national sports market, people are going to tune in to you guys and take in whatever garbage is spewing from your mouths.


Being unemployed (*hint hint*), there’s not much more for me to do than sit here and rant and watch TV; and let’s be honest, television today is awful, especially in the morning and early afternoon. So during this time, I usually tune to SportsCenter, because I’ve accepted the fact that there’s nothing else on, and I’m curious to see what’s going on in the world of my favorite hobby, sports. But I can’t do that anymore. You guys are phonies. You don’t cover sports news; you cover senseless issues that nobody except you and your wallets, and by proxy, your entire audience, care about. You’re making America stupid. You’ve become Access Hollywood: Sports Edition (please note that I have no idea what Access Hollywood actually talks about, but the name is fitting). Through your “work”, casual sports fans are going to know more about LeBron James’ leg hair than they are about relevant issues going on in the world, such as, oh, let’s say an entire hockey team dying in a fatal plane crash.

What’s that? No idea what I’m talking about? “Hockey?” you say? Yeah, it happened. You don’t remember when, at the end of the year, you listed professional athletes that died in 2011, and neglected to mention a single hockey player? When you forgot about the 26 players (plus 11 staff members) that died in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, and the three players who died over the summer? “That happened?” you say? And when that “slip-up” was brought to your attention, as if only to appease those who knew and cared about the deaths, you said you would run an updated segment listing the excluded players. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…the updated segment was only for some — not all — SportsCenters, of course. I guess those athletes were only worthy of mentioning to a few select audiences.

What sports are you supposed to cover? All of them, you say? Interesting. I still cannot believe you claim to be the “Super awesome sports network that covers all the important sporting issues of our century! Come see us talk about LeBron James’ underwear and compare Tim Tebow to Abraham Lincoln!” Is that your slogan, ESPN? I truly forget, and I apologize for that. You see, after so long of watching your crap, my mind, too, has turned to crap. I no longer have the ability to perform decent research and understand an entire story before bashing my head on my keyboard and releasing the unfiltered garbage to the world. You aren’t even trying anymore.

The last straw, in accumulation with many other outrages, that triggered my fury was an event that occurred on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. I turned you guys on, hoping to get some balanced coverage about all the important stuff that happened in the past day of sports (heh, I know, stupid, right?). What was I thinking? Anywho (I only use that word when I’m trying to be as condescending as possible), I was hoping to get your take on the biggest hockey event of the season so far: The Winter Classic (oh, I should probably explain what that is…hockey is a sport in which two teams…). I was hoping to see what you guys would say about it, and therefore what opinion would be generated by your zombified masses.

I can’t say that I’m surprised, or disappointed, at your coverage (or lack thereof), but it was pretty embarrassing. I mean, why bother to mention that the event even took place if you’re not even going to explain what happened? Here’s my summary of your guys’ summary of the event:

-Hey, look everyone, hockey is still a sport! And they’re playing….OUTSIDE?????

-OOOOHH, eye black, that’s adorable, they think they’re a real sport, like baseball or football!

-Second period! (that’s where the game starts, right?)

-Ummm this guy has great hands and he scores (by the way, someone scored before that, but we won’t tell/show you, you’ll just have to figure out why the scoreboard already read 1-0)

-Third period! The score is now 3-2! I think one team may have scored three to come back from a 2-goal deficit, but who cares. Oh! And there are just 19 seconds left! Isn’t hockey exciting??? Anywho, it’s total chaos, this guy covers the puck in the crease, and it’s a penalty shot! It’s like a shootout! And since shootouts are so thrilling, and pretty much the only relevant part of hockey, we’re going to show this replay twice (don’t worry about the goals, guys, we’ll show you what’s really important)

-Oh, he made the save and the game is over

-The coach’s post-game comments! Look at how he rips the refs! Why is he ripping the refs, you ask? We have no idea! And neither do you, because we didn’t bother to show any of the controversial calls/non-calls…but I’ll be damned if a coach calling out the refs isn’t entertainment, even if there’s no context!

-The NHL Eastern Conference Standings, blah blah, …we apologize for that brief delay in which we didn’t relay actual sports news to you; we now return you to your regularly schedule programming, the wonderful Miami Heat!

-(I just want to clarify that I am not mocking John Buccigross, who covered the Classic and this segment here, or make him look bad; it’s not about him, and he did a great job with what he was given, and he does a good job covering hockey in the minimal time it’s allotted.)

You spent more time talking about a team (the Heat) that receives more coverage than the sports of hockey and soccer (two of the biggest sports in the world, and, despite your beliefs, both very popular sports in this nation) combined than you did the biggest hockey event of the season so far (it was sort of like the NHL’s Superbowl..they even had an unnecessary fly-over by jets and a crappy intermission musical performance). No, wait, let me clarify…you spent more time talking about an individual player who receives more coverage than the sports of hockey and soccer combined: Dwane Wade. As if LeBron wasn’t enough.

Well, to be fair, I can only assume he got that much coverage; my outrage caused me to immediately change the channel to anything else than your garbage, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. But, with nothing else on TV, what did I change it to, you ask? Looney Tunes. Yes, I would rather watch 50-year-old cartoons that I’ve seen hundreds of times as a child (OK, fine, also as an adult) than what’s supposed to be a live, daily update, complete with invigorating discussions, of what is happening in the great world of sports. Because, quite honestly, EPN (not a typo), finding out and analyzing how Bugs Bunny is going to outsmart Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and other great characters, is much more intellectually stimulating than finding out how LeBron James puts his pants on, which apparently, isn’t one leg at a time like the rest of us.


Filed under Uncategorized

Oh, what’s that you say? Sidney Crosby returned to the lineup? Thanks for the update!


I’m getting this from the top, and, bear with me, but it appears that Sidney Crosby has been cleared to return to the lineup, and…yes, I’m hearing that he WILL play tonight against the Islanders. It looks like I’ll have to do a bit of digging to find this story out, and…yes, it’s confirmed. Great news for hockey! Thank god there’s someone out there willing to talk about the great Sidney Crosby, even if the media try their hardest to keep us guessing at his status.

*Several hours later*

Ah, much must have passed in the past few hours, as there were several games going on simultaneously. Surely there must be multiple interesting and unique stories. Now to see what people are talking about in the hockey world and (Warning: the following link may contain graphic images of some schmuck with a creepy sharpie-drawn stache and multiple orgasms from HOLY S**T!!!

If you weren’t brave enough to click the link — and I don’t blame you  (screenshot of’s front page) — let me summarize it for you:

Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Sid Crosby Crosby Sidney Crosby Crosby Crosby some crap about the Bruins winning 9 in a row Crosby Crosby Crosby oh that prick Kaleta got fined? Who cares what he did, it’s all about Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Olli Jokinen.

I also have to note that I didn’t even get all of it in that screen cap; there’s actually a fifth headline (“Sid powers Pens with 2 goal, 4 point return”) on the top of the right sidebar, an entire sidebar entitled “Crosby’s return tweets” in which other players tweet their tweets about the guy, and a poll at the bottom that asks fans to predict how many goals Crosby will score this season. I mistakenly cut the top part of the page too short and accidently circled the story about the Bruins getting their ninth straight. I apologize for that; anything I may type about or point out that is NOT about Sidney Crosby is completely by accident and as irrelevant to the world as irrelevant as the human appendix is to gunshots. 


It’s great that he returned to the lineup. It’s good for hockey. I may hate him (and don’t get me wrong, I DO hate him), but it’s good publicity and it’s the one hockey-related subject that ESPN and those other media goons are willing to talk about. But stop it. We get it. He’s a great player. Have some mercy on us non-Penguin/Crosby fans. I haven’t heard someone use a name that much since I heard Devil’s color guy Chico Resch talk about Marty Broduer putting on his jockstrap.

Neglecting to showcase much else that’s happened in the past 24 hours in the hockey world than Crosby is demeaning to the fans, the players, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins roster (except for Matt Cooke). There may not be a TON going on right now, but at least let us figure that out for ourselves. I don’t need you to tell me what Crosby is eating for breakfast or what other players think about him (did I mention that I hate him?).

And it’s impressive that he scored four points (two and two) in his return to hockey after 10 months, especially considering the nature of the injury (concussion). He already has more goals in one game than Scott Gomez has scored all season. He may have even made a couple of really nice plays (I refuse to link you to any of them, as you’ll probably see them on your milk carton tomorrow morning anyway. Have you seen this man-boy?). Let’s also not forget the fact that he played against the Islanders (still trying to make it to the NHL) and that the Penguins are a very talented team with or without him (11-6-3 this year without Crosby and pretty good last year without him AND Malkin).

It’s upsetting to see his face and name plastered all over any place that’s talking about hockey. I can understand that his four-point return is a top story, but it’s not the first-, second-, third-, fourth-, AND fifth-most interesting story. used 3/5 of its moving headline slots for a single player as well as the top five of its 10 sidebar headlines. That’s just upsetting. I’m willing to admit he’s a great player and is very newsworthy (I still hate him though), but one story is enough (or two even, I’ll give you two! I don’t know how you can make the same story into a pair, but it’s such a big issue I’ll cut you some slack), especially after we’ve had to hear about him for the past 10 months when he wasn’t even playing.

But let’s not pretend like and other media are the only culprits of this reporting atrocity; that simply wouldn’t be fair. I also blame Alex Ovechkin.

Seriously, where are you bud? You’re supposed to be interchangeably #1 or 2 with the player in discussion. I have you on my fantasy team, and I’m not going to lie, Alex: I’m doing terribly. And I blame you. I drafted you with the number one overall pick. I trusted you. I put my trust in you and you betrayed that trust. You aren’t playing well, and therefore are not an issue in the hockey world right now. You’re betraying the entire league by allowing your arch-nemesis (at least in hockey, I don’t know his evil Russian counterpart) to thrive off your failures. Get better.

But I digress. Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby (I’m not even copying and pasting as a way to let out my rage) Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby Crosby…


Filed under NHL

Nightmare scenarios

The NHL season is long and stressful for everyone involved, so let’s take a break from that and think about some crazy nightmare scenario that I hope never happens:

Imagine you’re the fan of an arbitrary hockey team…let’s say the New York Rangers — nay! You’re a player of the New York Rangers. After a long, grueling season where your team found itself under the microscope time after time, your team is down to its last two games. You’re neck and neck with a division rival (oh, let’s say the Philadelphia Flyers…just for argument’s sake, of course) for that final playoff spot. Both of your games are against that division rival. You’ve worked your ass off to get this close, made a dramatic run in the past few weeks, and you’re not about to let a bunch of scumbags take this opportunity away from you.

You need to win both to make it. You win the first of the home-and-home in your own arena in a close match. But there’s still game #82. And game #82 is a hard-fought one. It might as well be Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Everything is on the line: your pride, your fans’ pride, a chance to embarrass and eliminate a hated rival, and most importantly, a chance to make a run for Lord Stanley’s glory; the winner of the game advances to the playoffs, while the losers go home crying, or pursue an internship with a fashion magazine (again, it’s all hypothetical). There must be a victor, but the game is too epic to end in regulation; in fact, it’s too epic to end in overtime.

Wait, what? Anyway, someone must win. And what better way to decide whose season is over and who advances than a…SHOOTOUT!!!

It’s all the rage! One on one with the goalie! Six shooters! Two guys who try to stop the black circle! One puck! ZERO DISAPPOINTMENT!!! You don’t even have to understand the sport or any of the rules, because this event doesn’t factor any of that in! Yet this one event, that will presumably take just a few minutes, will surely determine our champions!

And what do we have here? It’s Olli Jokinen! Yes, this guy! The shootout and the game — nay, the entire SEASON — is on the line, and it comes down to this gentleman. If he scores, we move on to a bonus round! If not, his team’s season is over…after all they’ve fought for. Here he comes, skating in on some schmuck…Boo-shay? His name is Boo-shay? OK, whatever, and OH he’s stopped! Game over! Season over for one team! Wasn’t that fun, folks? Tune in next year for some Matt Cooke shenanigans!

Of course, that wasn’t a hypothetical nightmare I just made up, it actually happened. Even the Vogue magazine part.

The shootout has worn out its welcome. It was fun to watch for a year or two, and it may have drawn some positive attention to the sport, but the gimmick is done. Trash it. What’s wrong with ties? Or extended OT? A hockey game should not end in a skills competition. Teams’ seasons should not end short because they weren’t good enough on breakaways. It’s such a small portion of the game that determines such a large portion of the standings. It’s a silly way to determine winners, and losers, and it can happen in each of the 82 regular season games.

And that fact was made even more clear two nights ago by mega-troll Danny Briere (the same mega-troll that played an evil part in the previously-mentioned shootout).

Yes, that actually happened, and yes, it counted. And yes, the senior VP of hockey operations condoned it.

What’s that, you say? How could anyone in the league, especially that high up on the Bettman ladder, think it’s fine for a player to, on a shootout attempt, come to a complete stop in front of the net, snow shower the goalie while the masked man flops to make what appears to be an angle-removing play, and then simply skate around the frozen goalie and put the puck in the empty net…and be OK with that type of play having the potential to essentially determine who earns the extra point in the standings (fortunately, the Devils beat the Flyers in the shootout that night)?

Here’s what Mike Murphy, senior VP of hockey operations, had to say on CISCO NHL Live about the incident.

“Can the player come to a complete stop?”

“Absolutely…the puck cannot come to a complete stop. The player can stop as long as the puck is continuing to be dribbled or stickhandled or moved from side-to-side, and that’s the case with Briere last night.”

Let’s review:

-Player movement doesn’t matter (he can stop or even skate backwards).

-As long as the puck is moving, and not heading backwards, play continues. I guess moves where the puck actually does head in the opposite direction, like a toe-drag, still count.

-Oh, and there’s a specific rule that trashes everything the second rule stands for, allowing spin-o-rama type plays to be perfectly legal, even though the puck travels backwards about three feet.

So what do we have? According to the current rules, it is totally legal for a player to stop in front of the net as long as he continues to stickhandle from “side-to-side”. He can stand there as much as he likes…a quick second for a quick move like Briere used, or for 27 hours. There’s no limit, no rule disallowing it.

So, OK, that’s the current rule, so while what Briere did was technically legal (apparently), the rule needs to be amended, right?

Wrong, according to Murphy.

“Well, I think [if] you add too many words, you confuse the issue.”

Yeah, screw words! Screw reading! It’s too confusing. We can’t expect players to be able to skate on ice, hold a hockey stick, understand icing, AND learn a new amendment to the shootout, all at the same time! I mean, we just added the shootout a few years ago, I’m sure players are still adjusting to all the new updates. And don’t even get me started about the trapezoid! Can you touch the puck there, can you skate in that area, I mean what’s the deal???

Expect players to replicate Briere’s strategy and stop in front of the net until they have a sure goal. Expect seasons to be decided by a gimmick that gets more ridiculous every month, and by players as ridiculous as Olli Jokinen (bonus Photoshops; of course it’s from HFboards). And don’t expect the rule to change anytime soon, because you heard it from the top: the rule doesn’t need to be changed.

Oh, and unfortunately, that nightmare scenario, too, is real.

Leave a comment

Filed under NHL

The world needs a villain

The world needs villains as much as it needs heroes. There’s the paradigm that without evil, there is no good; there’s no love without hate. The same law applies to the smaller world of the NHL.


Sean Avery: one of the most hated players to ever play the game, and currently interchangeably #1 or #2 with Matt Cooke. Cries of joy were jubilantly sung when word was passed that he was waived and demoted to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale (can we talk about what a ridiculous name that is, and how awful their jerseys are?). Some got even more excited when they heard he was considering playing in Europe. “We never have to see this scumbag in an NHL arena again!” said 90% of the league’s fan base and Marty Broduer.

But is that really what we all want? Is it possible that supporters of the anti-Avery agenda were speaking purely out of raw emotion and not considering all the things that make the sport great?


Everyone loves to hate someone, or something. In every context, people are going to have a passion both for and against at least one idea. It’s true. Think of any topic and you’ll quickly be able to recognize one thing you hate and one you love about it. Think of your favorite team. Think of your favorite TV show or movie. Think of your group of friends (there’s always “that guy”) Hell, think of your family. Now, think of how all those things would be without the thing(s) that you hate. It’s going to suck not having a scapegoat to blame when your team blows a 3-goal lead. It’s going to suck without that one character that you just want to see their face get punched in every time they make an appearance (I’m looking at you, Shooter McGavin). It’s going to suck not having a “friend” to talk smack about behind his/her back. It’s going to suck not having the one “screw up” in your family to make you feel better about yourself (if you can’t point him/her out, it’s you. Get your life together!). Everything is better when you have something to hate as much as something to love.

Now think of your favorite sport (in this case, it’s hockey. It’s not hockey? Let me direct you to the giant red “X” in the top right of your computer screen…don’t click it; I need readers). Now think of the players that comprise the sport. Think about every time you watch a hockey game and how you feel about certain players. In every game you watch, whether it’s a team you care about against a team you hate, or the Florida Panthers vs.  the New York Islanders, there’s going to be one player, coach, referee, announcer, vendor, or annoying fan in the background that does something you hate. You wish that scum was gone from sport and maybe even the face of the earth, at least for the time being. But if you look deep inside, you’ll thank the hockey gods that these people are around; it’s your disdain for them and how angry they make you feel that makes watching the game so fantastic. That’s what being a sports fan is all about. It’s the thousands of varied emotions you feel on a second-to-second basis, and how each moment makes you feel alive. You want to see a-holes get rocked by a George Parros uppercut; you want to see them fail at the sport; you want to see them get crushed into the stanchions by a 6’9″ Zdeno Chara body check (too soon?). You live for those moments as much as you live for the moments when your team wins; and for fans of a team that doesn’t win, you have to rely on those hate-driven bursts of glee to keep sane (I’m looking at you, all of Ohio’s pro sports).


Deep inside, you’re glad that Sean Avery was placed on re-entry waivers and could make his season debut as early as this Thursday (unless you’re an Avery-hating Rangers fan). Sure, you might hate New York sports already, but isn’t it much better to hate them with that loudmouth clown running around stirring the pot? Don’t you want to play the Rangers and obliterate them and that fashion-designing, stick-waving, name-calling bum?

And you hate Sean Avery for all the right reasons; he’s the ideal player to hate in the league. Despite popular belief, he is NOT a dirty player: he’s never been suspended for an on-ice action (nor should he have been), he’s never injured another player, he’s never thrown a bad elbow to someone’s head, he doesn’t take runs at players from behind, or generally do anything that Matt Cooke might do (which, this year, unfortunately includes putting the puck in the net). And that’s a good thing. You don’t want to hate a player because he’s a safety risk out on the ice, you want to hate a player because he’s either too good and wrecks your team or he’s just that douche from high school that you hoped would get caught for smoking weed in the bathroom.

And let’s not forget about HBO’s upcoming 24/7 (I can’t WAIT!). Assuming Avery will still be on the team by the time filming starts, he’s going to make the series a lot more interesting. Who doesn’t want to hear some of the stuff he says to players on the ice that make them hate him so much (some examples). What’s he like off the ice? What antic is he going to come up with next?

Bottom line is that Sean Avery is a character that brings some attention to the sport outside of the hockey community (see what he’s done for gay rights, which took balls, by the way); whether that attention is good or bad is up for debate, but the sport needs characters. The sport needs a villain, and I think we can all agree that we’d rather the villain be a loudmouthed bum than an elbow-happy, gap-toothed, dog-rapist faced scumbag (the ambiguity is intentional yet unavoidable).

Leave a comment

Filed under NHL