Thursday, October 30, 2008

DON'T YOU HATE PANTS? TFP ICE GIRLS EDITION

I was going to just do a MARISA MILLER IS SO FREAKING HOT post to get it over with, but why not a hockey themed post?

Thanks to The Fourth Period, we have the women of the 2009 TFP Ice Girls™ Calendar.

To keep things local (and because there's no Miss Buffalo or Miss Newark, god forbid), here's Julia and Jessica, Miss New York and Miss, er, New York. While only one of them is of the opinion that Potvin Sucks, they both can agree that they completely abhor pants.



I have to say that I also really like Pamela (Miss Pittsburgh) almost as much as she hates her pants.




For the record (and in case she's reading this), I have no problem with Sidney Crosby.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RANDOM YOUTUBERY: "GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR" COMMERCIAL

Here's a great commercial for "Guitar Hero World Tour", a parody of the famous scene from Risky Business.



In order of appearance: Alex Rodriguez, Tony Hawk, Michael Phelps, and Kobe Bryant.

Wow, how much did this commercial cost to make? Those Guitar Hero guys (Activision) must be making a fortune.

Monday, October 27, 2008

PHILLY FANS ONCE AGAIN SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS

As a prelude to the riots and fires sure to be touched off by the impending Philthies World Series win (delayed for the first time by shitty weather--yes, it's snowing in upstate New York right now), a Flyers fan threw a smoke bomb onto the ice during the Devils/Flyers game on Saturday night.



Meanwhile, across the way at Citizen Spank Park they are building onto their reputation as awful, boorish fans by acting like complete tools towards visiting Rays fans during World Series Game 3.

Children were cursed at, and one 9-year-old boy had beer poured on him. A Rays family member stayed locked in a bathroom stall because, he said, Phillies fans were banging on the walls and threatening him.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe "Not To Be Confused With John Madden" Maddon added, "Throwing mustard packs at my granddaughter is not very cool". Wow, that's fantastic. And this shit is tame compared to what goes on at Iggles games.

I'm so tired of fans' awful behavior being tolerated just because they're rooting for a bunch of athletes who play a sport near their house. As a kid I didn't understand why some people really hate sports, but now I get it. It's not so much the sport itself but the attention lavished on it by the media and the asinine actions of its fans. While I enjoy sports, I can't get that emotionally involved in it; my eyes glaze over whenever anyone tries to explain why they're a bigger fan than that guy over there. It really doesn't matter. It's certainly not an excuse to lob the c-word at women and terrorize kids just because they're not wearing the same color shirt as you.

So after the Philthies finally win the WS (if anyone watches it) I hope they burn down Independence Hall, defecate in the Liberty Bell and slap a few children along the way, as that will definitively prove to the world that they're the best fans and have the best team! Woo hoo!

Stay classy, Philthadelphia!

(As an aside, as soon as the Anaheim Ducks dropped the "mighty" from their moniker, they won the Stanley Cup. I thought as soon as the Rays dropped the "Devil" from their name they were a shoo-in to win it all. That remains to be seen.)

HOCKEY HITS: LUCIC VS. VAN RYN (AND THE PLEXIGLASS)

I thought this stuff only happened in NHL '94.

Milan Lucic sent Mike Van Ryn through the plexiglass during the Leaves 4-2 win on Thursday.


Massive Hockey Hit Into the Glass - Watch more free videos

Yikes.

Friday, October 24, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: GAYVERY'S DOUCHEBAGGERY AND SPORTS HEAD GAMES

Dallas Stars' Sean Avery gets knocked down by New Jersey Devils' Mike Mottau (27) as Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) watches the puck dyring the third period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. The Devils defeated the Stars 5-0.I couldn't let this week go by without mentioning Sean Avery's visit to the New York City area, this time as an overpayed member of the Dallas Stars. Now the enemy, they (for some reason) booed him in his old prancing grounds, Madison Square Garden, and taunted him when he was checked to the ice. He was similarly heckled at the Prudential Center when he refused to fight David "Kelly" Clarkson. Don't you know that all this dickish diva wants is you to pay attention to him? Doesn't anyone realize that negative energy only makes him stronger, like the slime in Ghostbusters II? You puckheads should know better. Hell, what am I saying? People still chant "POTVIN SUCKS" at MSG. Personally, I didn't agree with him getting booed and decided to say "Boooo-very".

Maybe there's something to be said about Gayvery's pest tactics. Since the league is putting up with his "agitation without pugliation" policy, he'll continue to play and garner attention. But to me he represents everyone in the world that's allowed to be a complete douchebag and get away with it: the Wall Street maverick who makes money when stocks collapse, the guy in the BMW who weaves through traffic, the asshole who goes in the bathroom exit at a hockey game when there's clearly a fucking line, the Patriots fan who didn't seem to exist for the first 30 years of my life. As long as opponents don't let him get in their head (as Brodeur clearly didn't in Monday's 5-0 drubbing, his 98th SO), and the defense keeps him off the scoresheet (he's currently on pace to score 0 goals), he's a useless player. He knows it, and that's why he's already focusing on his post-hockey career in fashion.

Other than company softball ringer Darryl Strawberry, I wonder if booing and heckling affects players that much. The head games that occur on the ice are probably more effective, but I'm not too sure it doesn't affect them on some subconscious level, either positively (while on the road) or negatively. All I know is that I don't care what players say about each other in the press, just take care of your job on the ice.

* While at MSG on Monday night (to witness Turco's one good game so far this season) I realized that the Rangers have two players who have names that sound like "boos" when chanted by the crowd: Drury and Dubinsky. I think they should go further and get an entire team of players with the "oo" vowel sound in their name, so you can't tell if they're booing or not, like J.P. Dumont, Jordin Tootoo and Francois Bouchard. Do they chant "Chee-choooo" in San Jose? If so, I say they trade for him.

Speaking of, whatever happened to Chris Droooory? Did he retire? Oh that's right, he's the captain and starting center for the NY Rangers. He's only got 1 assist in 9 games and is a minus-5. Ouch.

* The Sabres continue to win (if you count prevailing in the Dodge Honda SuperSkills Competition a win, and I guess we have to since the NHL does). Maybe they're finally shaking off the hangover that was last year's season, but they're off to an incredible start (6-0-1) after defeating the Wild in the shootout.

* We have a new sports jinx: the Sarah Palin Curse. Ever since the dunderheaded vice presidential candidate dropped the puck at the Philthy Lyers' opening night at MassiveBankFailure Center, they haven't won a single game (0-3-3, 3 points, last place in the East). The actual reason for this might be the injuries on defense and lackluster goaltending that have produced a conference worst 29 goals allowed (only Dallass with 32 GA, most of them thanks to Marty Turco's 4.03/.848, are worse). But I have no problem blaming it on a politician, especially one that's an insult to intelligent women everywhere. I have a feeling they might notch their first win this weekend, since the Devils have a home-and-home series with them wherein Friday's game is quickly followed up by 4 PM Saturday start (due to the damn Philthies/Rays game). But look for the Blues fast start (4-2-1) to be quickly snuffed out, as she will be dropping the puck tonight in St. Louis!

(I'm turning into Puck Daddy by mixing politics and hockey. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.)

* GOAL OF THE WEEK
Brendan Morrow, proud member of the Zelepukin Slappers, against It's good to be the King Henrik at MSG, 10/20/2008 (2-1 Stars). (Fast forward about 0:58 in.)



I saw him score this live, from his stomach.

* Great player names: Wacey "Wascally" Rabbit (C, Boston Bruins). He hasn't been spotted on the ice yet, but Elmer Fudd is currently hunting for him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

WRIST SHOTS: IT'S ALL PART OF MY HOCKEY FANTASY

New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26), of the Czech Republic, takes a shot as Atlanta Thrashers forward Marty Reasoner (19) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, in Atlanta. New Jersey won 1-0.<br />(AP Photo/John Amis)It's weird what you find yourself rooting for when you have a fantasy team, especially a fantasy hockey team. It was late in Monday night's game and the Rangers were already up 3-1 on the Devils with Marty pulled, so I was rooting for Gomez to score an empty net goal, or an empty net assist, or something! During garbage time in the Wild/Thrashers game (I just stopped to think: man, those are awful team names--sounds like a bar band that plays only 80s hair metal covers--THE WILD THRASHERS!), I actually cursed at GABBO! for missing an empty net. At least offensive-minded defenseman Ron Hainsey got a few SOG for me, while Zeppelinberg was busy hurting his groin in a back alley somewhere in Detroit. Dammit, Kronwell, get that plus/minus up!

Among the things I will NOT have to root for: anyone in a Philthy Lyers or Maple Leaves sweater, or guys like Todd Bertuzzi or Sean Gayvery (because I kicked them off my draft list). So here's my fantasy team, about whom nobody cares about but me. (Not sure if that's the name I'm sticking with.)






Zelepukin Slappers
1. (6) Martin Brodeur
2. (7) Henrik Zetterberg
3. (18) Martin St. Louis
4. (19) Marian Gaborik
5. (30) Eric Staal
6. (31) Thomas Vanek
7. (42) Brenden Morrow
8. (43) Dan Boyle
9. (54) Niklas Backstrom
10. (55) Nicklas Backstrom
11. (66) Marc Savard
12. (67) Lubomir Visnovsky
13. (78) Niklas Kronwall
14. (79) Dustin Byfuglien
15. (90) Zach Parise
16. (91) Henrik Sedin
17. (102) Ron Hainsey
18. (103) Mathieu Garon

Yes, I got Niklas Backstrom and Nicklas Backstrom. I thought about dropping one of them because I was just going to get confused . . . but which one?

Strangely, the three (two) people who blog here each autodrafted their respective team's goalie: I got Marty with the 6th pick, Kris decided the 6th round was Ryan Miller Time, and Rob ended up with King Henrik.

* It's 2008, and interference is the new obstruction! This happens at the beginning of every year, where the officials pick one penalty and call it incessantly. Yes, I understand they want to "set a tone" and hope the players follow their lead, but these games are being called ridiculously tight. There's no doubt they want to increase scoring by calling more infractions (and judging by the scoreboard, littered with 6-2, 7-4 and 5-4 finals, scoring is up), but how in God's name did the Islanders get NINE POWER PLAYS last night? And there were two monumentally horrendous calls last night against the Devils, one of them was called "interference" when Colin White was merely finishing a check, the other was a tripping call made after a player tripped over the blue line. This will probably taper off in the second half of the season, but power plays and the resulting goals are a little off the charts right now (except for the Devils, who always stink with the extra man).

* Last night, there were maybe 5,000 people attending the Devils 1-0 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta (don't believe the claim of "11,293"--there aren't even that many hockey fans in all of Georgia). Even Chico "Eats" Resch commented on it stating that it was one of the lowest turnouts he's ever seen, and he was a Devils goalie when they were only winning 17 games a season. It was pretty depressing. Apparently, to offset low ticket sales Thrashers management is trying to lure customers by making some seats "all you can eat". No, don't give people discounts, just give them unlimited shitty nachos. What fatty could refuse that? Well done, guys!

So where were all the fans in Hotlanta last night? It's not like there was a Braves playoff game last night--oh wait, they don't attend those either. Can we just admit that the Southern Fried Hockey experiment didn't work? Of course not, because the NHL will never admit defeat, they'll just raise ticket prices and add teams in places like Kansas City and Barcelona. Okay, you got the Stanley Cup all the way down to Carolina and Tampa--congratulations Bettman, you shitface! I hope you're happy, and made a plaque commemorating that incredible accomplishment. Now can we get this league back to actual HOCKEY, featuring teams in (Canadian) cities where people give a shit and attend whether the team is good or bad?

* My free NHL CENTER ICE preview ended PROMPTLY at midnight on the 15th. In fact, there was still a game going on when it cut out. Thanks, Comcast Cablevision Cocksuckers! I didn't matter much anyway, as those channels were nearly unwatchable in standard definition, and there are exactly ZERO HD channels allotted for this package on CV. One other note: because of DirecTV pricing based on potential "viewing occupancy", the CI package would be $749 for the season if purchased at a bar (1-100 people). That's ridiculous. And I was all ready to chip in $50, but that won't even make a dent. NHL, don't you want ANYONE to see your sport?

* The Battle of New York was won by . . . the Sabres on Wednesday night. Their 3-1 win in MSG prevented the Rangers from going 6-0, which would have been their best start ever. Speaking of, I will be attending a hockey game in the Most Famous Arena On Planet Earth for the first time in a long time. It will remind me how depressingly lame it is to have your home team's rink in Newark.

* GOAL OF THE WEEK

Martin Havlat vs. the Coyotes (4-1 Blackhawks, 10/15/08).



Egads, that's a wicked backhand.

Here's my blognostications for the playoff teams this season:

Wales (Eastern): Pittsburgh, Washington, Montreal, NY Rangers, New Jersey, Carolina, Buffalo, Ottawa.
Campbell (Western): San Jose, Detroit, Minnesota, Vancouver, Chicago, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis.

* As you might know, Marty Brodeur has the chance to set two career goalie records this season: wins and shutouts. I'm just glad I've been around to watch most of these--holy back bacon, he's got nearly 100 shutouts (not counting the postseason)? Yikes. Anyway, I'm proud to introduce: Marty Watch.

MARTY WATCH

Wins = 541 (11 more to pass Patrick Roy, 551)


Shutouts = 97 (7 more to pass
Terry Sawchuk, 103)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TOP 10 THINGS I DIDN'T MISS ABOUT NFL FOOTBALL

Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants scores a touchdown in the second quarter. (Al Bello, Getty Images / October 5, 2008)We're about 1/4 of the way through the NFL season, and I'm already tired of it. I didn't realize how exasperating it can be, as I filtered out all the shit and just remember the Giants Super Bowl win. But getting there is quite a shitty road. Because everyone loves Top 10 Lists, here's another one, Top 10 Things I Didn't Miss About NFL Football.

10. Chris Fucking Berman. Not only has his shtick worn out its welcome, but he's also appearing in NutriSystem commercials. Good God, just shut up already.

9. Joe Fucking Buck. I wish the FOX robot would take the baseball bat he's armed with (cross promotion with MLB! Kill me now!) and slug that smug prick in the face.

8. Owners thinking they're part of the team. You don't know anything about football, you just have a lot of money and own a bunch of amusement parks and oil drills. So stop sticking your face in front of the camera, Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones, and fuck off.

7. The media thinking I care what football players have to say, or what they do off the field. The Giants' Plaxico Burress didn't answer his phone for 2 days, was suspended two weeks (one of them a bye, which is horseshit), and they still pummeled the Seahawks? Who cares? Just catch passes, or throw them, or do whatever it is you do on the field. I don't give a shit about the rest of it.

6. Every media outlet slobbering over the Cowboys. At this point I'm rooting for Tony Romo to break his arm on a pass to T.O. as the ball explodes and the leather shards permanently blind him. It's also amazing to me that the Giants STILL they don't get any respect or attention. What do they have to do, win the first game on the moon?

(UPDATE: I wrote the above sentence weeks ago, before Romo broke his pinky and could be out for up to 4 weeks. Thanks!)

5. Football Night In America. Lousy name, lousy show, brought to you by lousy NBC Sports. While the team of commentators (Costas, Collingsworth, King, Tiki, Jerome, etc.) are mildly irritating, nothing is worse than the has-been dream-team of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. The latter is especially glib and unfunny in the role he's rehashing for NBC, as if he's saying, "Kick me off MSNBC's political reporting for being too smug a prick about McCain, eh? Why, I'll be so insufferable doing football highlights they'll HAVE to reinstate me!" I think it's all a ploy to make Madden seem brilliant by comparison. It's working, because it's actually enjoyable to listen to him after all of NBC's jackassery. (Oh, and the John Williams theme music makes me constantly look over my shoulder to see if there's an evil Darth Someone about to stick a lightsabre in my Jar-Jar Binks.)

4. So many abysmal teams with ancient, boring QBs. Kerry Collins, Gus Frerotte, Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia--the 2008 NFL season is going to be known as The Year Of The Old White Guy. Do you mean to tell me there isn't one college QB from the past 10 years that are better than Gus Frerotte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, J.T. O'Sullivan and Sage Rosenfeld? Speaking of, check out this craptastic play by Lions "quarterback" Dan Orlovsky:



Where the hell did you think you were running? We're not in Canada! Good God, you suck.

3. The commercials. Good Lord, they're interminable. Kickoff, then 4 minutes of commercials, 3 and out drive, punt, more commercials, a couple of plays, timeout, more commercials--FUCK! While watching a game is excruciating, I can't imagine even GOING to a game any more, it would seem endless. At least if I'm at home or at a bar, I can find something else to do to pass the time.

Not only are the commercials never-ending, but they're also incredibly fucking dumb. After watching a lot of Discovery HD over the summer, the plummeting collective IQ of the marketing campaigns saved just for football fans feels like a spike driven into my frontal lobe Here's the trifecta of ubiquitious and annoying ads I have to endure.

* "How will I know if my beer is cold if the little Coors mountain doesn't turn blue?!?" I don't know, maybe you can tell because IT'S IN YOUR FUCKING HAND? How about you break the bottle over your head and feel it that way? Assholes.

* Budweiser American Ale. An American style ale brought to you by a Belgian owned company! Woo hoo! I know they're probably referring to the style, but I'm not buying it, literally and figuratively. In fact, I would love if people revolved and stopped buying their shit, but that will probably never happen as long as they keep putting out groundbreaking products like light beer with lime flavoring in it. Go get fucked, A-B.

* Heineken wants you to believe that because the city of Amsterdam is great, this means that their skunktacular beer must be great. However, they use "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis as the background music. Why did they choose a song by a band from Scotland to tell you how great the Netherlands' biggest city is? If Amsterdam was so DAM GOOD, they should at least have one good band, no?

2. Monday Night Football. I can avoid listening to ESPN talking heads during the week by just not turning the channel on. But when your team plays on Monday night, and the radio feed is 30 seconds ahead of the action, what can you do? Seriously, the commentators are atrocious this season, constantly undermined by chatty jackass Tony Kornheiser. ESPNABCDISNEY needs to bring back Dennis Miller. And no, I'm not kidding.

1. Instant replay. They just don't seem to get it right. Personally, I would love to see it removed from all sports, and have the referees just say, "Fuck you, I'm calling it on the field". Instead, they're afraid to make a call (or in the case of Ed "Herculis" Hocholi, a little overeager), and they huddle up to make sure they're all making up the same story. Because no matter what they call, someone will complain about it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

DAD OF THE YEAR IS LOCKED UP

Meet Randy Lewis, a shoo-in for Dad-of-the-Year:

See Randy found himself in a bit of a predicament the other day. He was already staring down 2 DUI convictions, but he had just drank 15 beers and "some liquor" and needed to get home.

Making a spur-of-the-moment decision that only alcohol allows, Randy handed his keys to his son and told him, "get me the fuck home, now."

Great plan, except Randy's son is only 10. Now a 12-year old, yeah he can drive 90 mph (according to the cops), no problem. But at 10, not so much (on the plus side, no one died).

Needless to say, Randy Jr., rolled the vehicle. Not only were Randy and Randy Jr in said vehicle, another 10-year old and a 6-year old were also present as well as Paula Elaine Evans a 38-year old friend of Randy Sr (and probably his sister and lover). Paula had copious amounts of undefined "pills" and she did what every inbred woman would do in her case and started swallowing them so the police couldn't confiscate them.

Now many people are going to say that Randy's tee shirt shows just how deep his problem goes. I say that now-more-than-ever, Randy needs a beer.

Let's hope that Randy Jr learns to drive better, quickly, 'cause someone's going to have to bring Dad beer in the clink when he's doing 5-10 for the various laws he broke.

[WSBTV via Jalopnik]

[Update: The Smoking Gun has the arrest report]

THE END (OF NON HOCKEY SEASON) IS NEAR

Kammann already ran his upcoming season preview and that's great, because I'm not going to spend anywhere near as much time.

I've got a couple of comments:

*I like Drooory too and I wish he was still on the Sabres but I like the fact that the Rangers made him captain.

*I've looking for the Sabres to make the post season this year. Even if the boffins out there don't think they will, I'm confident - at least to a certain degree. Maxim for Men's in a contract season and keeping with a majority of European players, this generally means he'll perform well. Derek Roy impressed me last year and there's a lot of young players on this fast team. Hopefully...WHOA. Hold the press. I just went to sabres.com to check out something and I see they named Craig "I don't want to go to Buffalo" Rivet captain. What the fuck? I know that he's made amends for the aforementioned comment and I'm sure he's a great guy, but the Sabres have a large amount of motivated, home grown talent (cough, cough Pominville cough, cough).
I like Lindy...a lot...and based on that, I'm going to try to withhold judgement on this decision, but off-the-cuff it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Anyway, I'm glad to see Teppo back for another year. Sucks that Gaustad is out for the beginning of the year, because he brings heart to this team, but I'm hoping to be watching illegal streaming video of the Sabres come May.

Anyway: You know it's hockey season when the NHL.com sends 5 spam messages per day. At least they're getting the most for the marketing budget; we're talking about it. And that's all that counts.

Oh, I forgot to mention this: Bettman Sucks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

RANDOM YOUTUBERY: JAPANESE PIZZA COMMERCIAL

Here's a Japanese commercial for PIZZA-LA.



♪Pi-pi-pi-pi-Pizza-la-kun
to to to to toppings!♪

You can't make this shit up. Suddenly, I don't feel like having pizza for lunch today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

HOCKEY IS BACK!

<br /><br />NHL ice hockey team Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier handles the puck during his team's practice session in Prague October 3, 2008 REUTERS/David W Cerny (CZECH REPUBLIC)There's a chill in the air, the leaves are starting to turn, the Christmas decorations are already in the stores, the Mets choked away another season . . . all of this can only mean one thing: BETTMAN SUCKS!

I mean, HOCKEY IS BACK!

Unless you were from Michigan, last season probably left a bad taste in your mouth, what with Avery's Rangers douchebagging their way past the Devils, the Sabres missing the postseason boat, and the Big Red Wing Machine boring everyone en route to another Cup while making Sid the Kid cry. But it's a new season and a clean slate, as right now every team is in first place and dreaming of kissing Stanley's shiny metal butt at season's end. Conversely, every team is in last place, trying hard not to completely embarrass themselves in front of ever-dwindling crowds who would rather be playing golf or watching NASCAR. It's a crap shoot, but it's a fun one.

Because everyone loves bullet lists, here's my Things To Look Forward To for the NHL 2008-09 season.

* This year, four NHL teams are inexplicably being exiled to Europe to play their first 2 games: Sidsburgh Penguins vs. the Senators in Stockholm, and the Rangers vs. TB's Mullet Marauders in Prague. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the Lundqvist-led Rangers in Sweden? Maybe when they planned this, they envisioned Jagr being on the team and playing in his native Czech Republic, but it's still shitty planning if you ask me. Anywho, the Rangers had to lug 6800 pounds of equipment over there for just TWO GAMES. With the economy in the toilet, the high price of jet fuel, and playing these games at noon time (Eastern) during football season, the NHL is really thinking outside the brain on this one. Brilliant marketing ploy. I hope you sell a lot of $400 jerseys in Prague, you assholes.

* I have to admit, the NHL.com site redesign is pretty slick. However, they decided to (uncreatively) go all black, just like the vast majority of the league's 3rd jersey designs. Will voters reciprocate and go all black this November? We'll have to wait and see! (A cheap joke, I know.)

* As Salo pointed out, the season for exaggerating Canadian announcers has already begun. Check out this Carey "Jesus" Price save, from a Montreal preseason game.



Yeah, nice effort, but we've pretty much determined that it wasn't going in anyway. But that doesn't stop the irritating homerriffic TSN announcers from losing their shit over it. The Canadians want a Canadian born goalie on a Canadian team to be the next Patrick Roy/Martin Brodeur SO BADLY, so they can say, "YUP HE'S THE BEST AND HE'S A MONTREAL CANADIEN!" Of the 6 teams they're clinging to, Luongo can't win the big one, and you saw what happened when Ray Emery crashed and burned: they made him RUN AWAY TO RUSSIA. They're just a little bit frustrated, and will stop at nothing to overrate their own. In other news from Canadia, Vancouver is undefeated in the preseason. I say we give them the Cup now!d

* In local news, Chris Droooooory was named the Rangers captain. Who was their last one? I can't remember. It was Messier . . . and then someone else, who isn't even on the team anymore. Anyway, great choice, I've always liked him.

* I have to tell you, I like Bobby Holik back on the grind line for the Devils. He signed big money to be "the man" in NYC, and had similar expectations foised upon him in Atlanta, with subpar results. But as a team player on the Devils, he's where he should be. If he and Madden can remain relatively healthy, I think they'll grind out a few goals here and there.

* I don't go out of my way to frustrate myself, most of the time it just finds me. However, this time I sought it out directly by researching the NHL Center Ice package. Specifically, what the going rate is and weather they're going to make more HD games available, a promise made in 2005 when the league returned with their VERSUS/NBC package. Since I have cable I'd have to go with Comcast's "Sports inDemand", and it's quite pricey at $159 for the season (by comparison, baseball is $199 for the season and offers over twice the number of games). On top of that, this is what their site says about HD games: "Up to 7 games a week in Hi-Def now included." Wow, as much as SEVEN and as little as ZERO games will be in HD every week, despite the fact that they're ALL broadcast in HD. Sure, I'm luck I live in the NYC area and get quite a few games already (Rangers/Islanders/Devils) plus Versus HD. But I don't think Cablevision has any HD channels devoted to CI (at least they didn't last season). What a waste.

So if I wanted to watch the same games online, it would have to be cheaper right? Nope: the NHL Center Ice Online package is $169. So I can watch the games on my laptop for more money? And the ridiculous blackout rules kill a lot of the games, and the out-of-market NBC, VERSUS and NHL Network games are not available either? Holy crap, where do I sign up? Since CI subscribers get 50% off the purchase of CI Online, it would cost $243.50 for the season! That is monumentally absurd. What average fan is doing this? All of this for a sport that is less popular than the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA and NASCAR in this country. (Again, by comparison, the MLB.tv package is $129 for the season. That's right, it's less.)

Once again, the NHL seems insistent on screwing their fans right in the wallet (including increasing the cost of premium weekend games in D.C.). Instead of catering to the fair weather fans, and trying hard to break into markets that don't really care about the sport (Atlanta, Florida, soon to be in Europe), how about you cater to THE FANS YOU ALREADY HAVE??? If the NHL wants their sport to grow and the ratings to improve, they should be giving this stuff away, or at least they should think outside of the current business model, which is, "Screw the fan and they will bend over and take it." I've said it a billion times: they just don't get it. At least there's a free preview from October 4 - October 15 (NOT AVAILABLE IN FRANCE).

* I've decided to increase my hockey intake (or frustration) twofold this year: Once, I've started the 1st Annual Open Hockey Blog Fantasy League. And two, I bought a Playstation 3 along with a copy of EA Sports' NHL 09. So I can have my players underperform in real life AND in the videogame world (especially when I'm the one controlling them). At least I can live out my dream and skate for the Hershey Bears or the Lowell Devils using the new "Be A Pro" Mode.

(I thought about blogging my BAP progress here, which wouldn't be interesting to anyone else but me--but when has that stopped me before? That's one thing I wish people did more of: review games as they're playing it, weeks/months after it comes out. I hate these guys that play it 3 times, and say "I give it a score of A-minus!" and then never talk about it again. Well, how is the Be A Pro mode over the long haul? What about the online league? They just abandon the game after posting their initial review.)

Let's drop the puck already!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ODE TO THE THIRD

There's been a lotta talk about this next topic, maybe...maybe, too much talk:

[This article is going to be hampered by the fact that the Excellent Puck Daddy Yahoo! Hockey Blog has the worst ever search engine, but anyway...]

Hockey's third jerseys (which I guess affects other US-based sports too, but really who cares about them) have been getting all kinds of bad press about the money-grabbingness of them. Yes, my friends, it is a money grab, but I find it better than the $8 beer or the $5 pretzel (or the hashed horse meat that they used to serve at the "Continental Airlines Arena & Superfund Site" for $8).

Number one, let me clear the air and say, as a Sabres fan, I applaud any and all efforts that lead to the extinction of the Buffaslug. The Sabres' new third is a perfect homage to the past, while remaining cutting-edge, 21st century cool. But that's not why I write this:

Those people who claim that the new third is a money grab are obviously bleeding heart liberals who think that we should protect everyone from themselves by outlawing "fun." When was the last time you entered your local NHL arena and had an usher point a gun at your head and say "buy a different jersey." Fuck that. You have the choice if you want to buy it or not.

The new Sabres third will probably sell great because it's what the fans want. Some of those Southern teams are putting out shit jerseys for shit teams, and you know what, if some 'Canes fan has to buy it because "he needs to have it" well then, good for him. That's obviously $90 less that he'll spend on crystal meth and an alley-abortion for his underaged girlfriend. The rest of us will make our own decisions.

I've lived in Europe for the last 5 years and the soccer (football) clubs here change jerseys every year, then they have 3rd, 4th, 12th jerseys too. I actually find it cool. It allows teams to do one-offs (or for a couple of games) something that they wouldn't usually do. Last night Olympique Lyon played a Champions League match against Bayern Munich. They wore day-glo yellow jerseys. Don't get me wrong, it was hideous, but it was different too. Different is good, IMHO, even if it sucks.

The infamous Blues jersey? I like the principle, of course it is horrible (although the thought of pictures of Chris Pronger in that...hah!), but it was still awesome that someone would make this into a jersey. I like the "fallopian tubes" Stars jersey. Damn it, it shows fucking creativity, something that is horribly lacking in Bettman's league of horrors.

Anyway, all you whining liberals out there. Stop worrying about other people's money and start worrying about what type of gun Sarah Palin is carrying right now. You know she's thinking about it.

ADVICE TO ALL CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS

When a customer calls to notify you of a service outage it is not acceptable to say:

"It's Normal"

No, it is not fucking normal that I pay you every fucking month for a service that you are not providing to me. I am very understanding of the fact that you systems need to be "updated" from time to time. I suggest you do this when no one is using the system. Or you send a subscriber-wide email to notify your clients of the outage. 24 hours without internet is not a) Normal or b) Acceptable.

"Don't worry"

Don't fucking tell me what I should worry about. I count on my internet connection every day. You cutting my service for 24 hours and insisting that I not worry because "everything's normal" is probably the worst possible thing you can do. Don't offer to reimburse the FUCKING DAY that I was without service. The 1€ that you credit me on my bill is completely and utterly irrelevant to me, and it doesn't even pay for 1/100th of the money that I spent calling you motherfuckers on a PAY customer service help line. I believe it's 11 cents per minute (down from 34 cents/min because the government felt that literally raping their customers was a little over board), but it still took me over 40 minutes to finally get on the phone with someone to be told "not to worry."

And lastly you can stop telling me the time I spend on hold is free if I'm calling with your service. OBVIOUSLY I'M NOT CALLING WITH YOUR SERVICE BECAUSE IT'S BROKEN! Assholes.

The only thing worse is that every single ISP is the same here, so I don't have a lot of options. Although, I see that I can switch to Cable, get an HD box for 5€/month and NASN for 6€/month...This would be 11€ more than I pay, BUT non-200kbps streaming pirate internet...Actual, real TV-quality hockey, "As Live."

I think I'd have to pay 50€ to get out of my current contract, but I think I'm doing that. Plus Numericable promises pr0n much much fast..."up to 100mb/s" (I think a few different houses share the fiber optic connection, which means I would never get 100mb/s) but it is still better than my current 4.8mb/s by a couple of mb/s.

Ugh...I hate customer [dis]service.

Great news for all you cynics out there. In looking for the above demotivator, I found the following mug. I don't know if it's as good as "Fuck Off, I'm Reading the Onion" but it's up there.