Archive for the Sports Category

Vancouver Riot Act

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by Jordan

Last night the Vancouver Canucks proved unsuccessful in claiming their first Stanley Cup Championship in their history. However, the city of Vancouver did prove successful in overtaking Montreal as Canada’s most irrational, moronic and childish city.

Almost as soon as the final horn sounded and the Boston Bruins claimed their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, violent and destructive riots broke out in concentrated pockets of Vancouver’s downtown core. Thousands of disappointed and irate Vancouverites (many of whom dawned Canucks jerseys) overturned and set cars ablaze, looted stores, and antagonized hundreds of police officers relentlessly. These events were basically a carbon copy of what happened in 1994 when the Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the New York Rangers. That said, the rekindled events of 1994 by the media in the days leading up to last nights game basically set the stage for a Vancouver riot wether the Canucks won or lost game seven.

After sifting through articles, forums and videos that documented the riot and reactions to last night’s events, the overwhelming consensus is that the riots were an embarrassment, a black mark on the city and an inaccurate representation of the city and its people. Many have deflected the blame of the riots to non-Canucks fans and have suggested a handful of anarchists congregated with Canucks supports with the intention of inflicting chaos on the city. To this, I call bullshit! I have seen more than enough video from last night of young men and women wearing Canucks jerseys who are jumping on cars, breaking windows, antagonizing police and looting stores. For people to claim that last night’s destruction was caused by a few “radical visitors” is completely asinine. Any one of the thousands of bystanders in downtown Vancouver holds a significant amount of responsibility for last nights events… almost as much as those who actively participated in the violence and destruction. Rioters gain strength and courage with numbers and to them it doesn’t matter if those numbers are active or not, just that they are present. Under normal circumstances, a small group of men would never have the audacity or courage to throw objects at a group of police officers in riot gear. Given the right number of supporters, the strength and courage of an emotional mob grow to that of the Lion Man at the end of The Wizard of Oz. In my opinion, this is exactly what happened last night… strength by numbers.

It is said that Gretzky, Yzerman, and Crosby all had to learn how to lose before they could know how to win in the NHL. In the last 17 years, Canucks fans have had two opportunities to show their character in defeat and in both cases they acted like a child who was denied a chocolate bar at a grocery store checkout. Last night Canucks fans and the city of Vancouver showed they are not ready for nor deserving of an NHL championship. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before another Canadian city shows the world the warts of their underbelly; but until then, Vancouver holds the unfortunate claim as Canada’s most embarrassing city.

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Are the Vancouver Canucks now Canada’s Team?

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by Jordan

It’s been 18 years since a Canadian NHL team won the Stanley Cup and I would be willing to wait another 18 if it meant the Vancouver Canucks didn’t win it this year.  Since the Montreal Canadiens won the Cup in 1993, four Canadian teams have made it to the finals and come up short which includes the Canucks in 1994.  On all four occasions, I rallied behind these Canadian teams that were full of character and heart vying to bring the Cup back to Canada.  In the past, the last Canadian team standing in the playoffs has assumed the temporary title of “Canada’s Team” but this years addition of the Canucks is making it difficult for me to adopt them as “My Team”.

The Canucks are an unbelievably skilled and fast team who collectively make a nightly appearance on the highlight reel.  For the most part they do play hard but the element of this years Canucks that makes me unable to jump on their playoff bandwagon is that they react soft.  The character that this team establishes through their physical and aggressive play is nullified every time Ryan Kesler or Alex Burrows dives or flops on the ice after they’ve been touched in a post whistle scrum like they just had their balls ripped off.

As for the rest of the team, there isn’t one player on the Canucks entire roster that seems charismatic or interesting enough to want to sit down and have a beer with. The Canucks are the epitome of Team Nerd.  They are captained by an uninteresting Tony the Tiger look a like and backstopped by what appears to be a bottle of Crisco with a mask on. I’m not sure either the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning will be much of a match for the Canucks in the final but I’m ready to put my support behind either one if it means the Canucks don’t win the Cup this year.

Chara vs. Pacioretty

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2011 by Jordan

The NHL and the sport of hockey has received a lot of negative attention this past week because of Zdeno Chara’s questionable hit on Max Pacioretty. This incident has spawned public outcry from many fans and sponsors including; Air Canada who threatening to pull its league sponsorship unless the NHL took more drastic actions to protect players, Prime Minister Harper who offered his two cents for those who thought it was of value, and half the city of Montreal who called 911 to report Chara’s “crime” to police. The whole situation has become a ridiculous soup opera that has energized the emotions of fans and caused a widespread epidemic of overreaction. What uber-emotional fans need to understand is that the play Chara committed on Pacioretty was a hockey play that occurs in every game. The only thing that sets this play apart from any other type of neutral zone hit or obstruction interference experienced in hockey was the severity of Pacioretty’s injury.

The idea of labeling Chara’s play as one with “intent” to hurt Pacioretty is an asinine accusation for two reason. First, there is no possible way to determine Chara’s “intent” unless he confirms after the fact what his “intent” actually was. Chara has clearly stated that he had no “intent” to guide Pacioretty into the stanton at the end of the bench; consequently, “intent” to injure has to be dismissed from the equation because this play was a common hockey play that occurs in every game. Second, any hockey player will tell you that at least 50% of hits delivered to an opponent contains “intent” to hurt that player. If players start getting suspended or charged because they have “intent” to hurt someone, I would wager most hockey teams would have a difficult time icing a team because so much of the physical aspect of hockey correspond with “intent” to hurt one’s opponent.

I don’t doubt that Chara knew where he was on the ice but hockey plays unfolds too fast to think “I’m going to drive this guys head into the stanton at the end of the bench.” The instinctive play to make in hockey when you are being beat wide with speed is to do what you can to slow your opponent down. This is essentially what Chara did but with an unexpected and extremely unfortunate injury resulting from the play.

I have scoured the web to find example of hockey plays that set out to accomplish three objectives. The first is to show that hits into the stanton or bench occur all the time and that sever injuries have happened from these plays before with little public outcry. The second is to show that there are far more obvious examples of “intent” to hurt one’s opponent than what the Chara hit demonstrates. The final objective of these clips is to show that hockey is a fluky and dangerous game where injury is often chalked up to luck.

This clip demonstrates that hitting is part of hockey and sometimes players end up in the wrong spot at the wrong time. The result of this hit is an unfortunate outcome but it’s the result of a hockey play. Jack Johnson has to make this hit regardless of where the glass starts/stops. The interesting thing about this play is that it happened about three years ago and there was no public outcry like what we are experiencing now despite the fact that Ryan Smith sustained a serious injury on the play. Perhaps the debate over this hit was less because it occurred in the US and it was between two American teams or maybe because the hit was deemed a hockey play with an unfortunate result.

This hit shows Tyler Ennis about a foot away from possibly ending up in the same state as Pacioretty. Note that the announcer says there was nothing wrong with the hit except where it occurs. There was no speculation of “intent” on this play despite the hit occurring in essentially the same spot as the Chara hit.

This hit is in the exact same spot as the Chara hit. These types of hits occur all the time in hockey and almost always get a huge cheer out of the crowd. However, Patrik Burgland is fortunate and doesn’t get hurt when he flies into the bench despite the fact that there is a ton of physical danger one can experience when getting hit into the bench. As a result, fans and the public don’t care. Would public opinion be different on hits that see player’s get hit into the bench if someone ended up with broken vertebra like Pacioretty?

This is another example of a hit that results in a player going into the bench. In this case it actually gives the announcers a laugh.

This hit is in the exact same spot but on the penalty box side of the ice where the glass is all the way down the boards. This hit shows the flukiness of hockey but also how the exact same hit Chara made resulted in no injury. The interesting thing about this play is to speculate whether there would be public outcry to change the glass used in arenas if Al Iafrate had been seriously injured.

To me this clip demonstrates more “intent” to injure a player than the Chara hit. Sergie Gonchar clearly tries to hurt an unsuspecting Cal Clutterbuck by blindsiding him when he doesn’t have the puck. The Chara hit on the other hand looks more like two players jockeying for position and one guy getting rubbed out in the worst possible place and experiencing the worst possible result.

These last two clips demonstrate the risk of hockey and how fluky of a game it can be. People get hit all the time and the difference between sustaining an injury and not is often chalked up to luck.

The point of all these clips is to show that hockey is a contact sport and that there is always risk. Some areas are more dangerous than others but even the so called “safe” areas are dangerous. Because hitting his part of the game players do not take into consideration what area of the ice they are hitting someone. If the hit needs to be made, it needs to be made. In the case of Chara, the play was interference so it was technically a penalty. The result of that interference play was at the edge of extreme. If Pacioretty wasn’t severely hurt I find it very hard to believe that anyone would even care. In fact, if Pacioretty was not injured the clip would have likely ended up on the bloopers reel for the week. In my opinion, the idea of taking legal action against a hockey player and charging them for making a hockey play that resulted in an injury is ridiculous. Hockey is the fastest contact sport in the world that incorporates a hard playing surface and hard equipment; consequently, injury is inevitable and often the result of misfortune. Hockey fans need to check their emotions and evaluate future situations with a less emotional and more rational perspective.

Worst 1st Overall NHL Draft Pick Ever

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2011 by Jordan

Every NHL draft has had its fair share of busts in it.  It’s not uncommon to look at a list of first rounder’s from any past draft and not recognize half the names on it. What is uncommon is for the first overall pick of the NHL draft to be a bust.

 

The annual NHL draft began in 1963 with the Montreal Canadian’s selecting Garry Monahan from the St. Michael’s Juveniles… that’s right Juvenile!  Since 1963 there have been 47 first overall picks and just three have never played a single game in the NHL.  All three of these players were selected in the 60s when NHL players made like 20 bucks a game so I don’t really care about them.  So, rather than analyzing all 47 first overall picks to determine the worst one ever I am only going to focus on the 26 that have occurred in my lifetime starting with Mario Lemieux in 1984.

 

When I look down the list of first overall picks since 1984 there are some pretty big names on that list including; Wendel Clark, Mike Madano, Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros, Joe Thornton, and more recently Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos.  In addition to these names I’ve mentioned there are a host of other studs that are equally as impressive.  However, three names stand out as the worst; Alexandre Daigle, Patrik Stefan and Rick DiPietro. These three guys are without question the biggest NHL first overall busts of my lifetime.

 

The Ottawa Senators selected Alexandre Daigle before Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya in the 1993 Draft.  It is reported that the Senators even passed on a deal with the Quebec Nordiques that would see them acquire Owen Nolan, Peter Forsberg and Ron Hextall for their first overall pick.  Instead, the Senators selected Daigle and offered him a five year $12.25 million deal, which was the richest entry level contract in NHL history at that time.  Daige amassed just 327 points over 11 seasons while playing for six different teams.

 

 

Patrik Stefan was selected first overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the weak 1999 Draft ahead of the Sedin twins who were basically the only bright spot of the 99’ draft.  Stefan racked up a feeble 188 points over seven seasons while playing for the Thrashers and Dallas Stars.  Lack of accomplishments aside, Stefan is probably best known for one of the most memorable bloopers in NHL history.  While playing for the Stars, Stefan over handled the puck on an empty net breakaway and then watched the Edmonton Oilers collect the lose puck and score at the other end of the ice forcing the game into overtime.

 

 

Both Daigle and Stefan were bad first overall selections but to me the worst NHL first overall draft pick since 1984 was Rick DiPietro.  The New York Islanders made history when they selected a goalie for the first time in NHL history as the first overall pick in the 2000 draft.  Islanders GM Mike Milbury traded Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for the first overall pick and the right to secure DiPietro with the first selection.  DiPietro came out of college with a lot of promise and for the most part lived up to the hype in his first couple of season in the NHL while playing on a bad team.  DiPietro was rewarded with his solid play in 2006 when he signed a 15-year $67.5 million contract with the Islanders.  What makes DiPietro a bust in my eyes is that he showed the potential of being a premier NHL goalie, signed a big contract, and then literally fell apart after sustaining injury after injury.  In the last three seasons DiPietro has played just 34 games and accumulated just 10 wins.  DiPietro is the quintessential boom player that cashed in big and went bust in a hurry.  There is no way Mike Milbury can look at DiPietro today and say he has come even close to living up to his potential.  He certainly can’t say DiPietro for Luongo was a rewarding deal for the New York Islanders.

 

For the Boys

Posted in People, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by Jordan

Twitter has expanded my mind in remarkable ways since signing up a couple of months ago.  I have been exposed to hilarious tweeters and bloggers who touch on numerous subjects. However, the golden nugget of twitter that has caught my attention like no other is a website called girlsinyogapants.com.  To me, this website is hilarious, filled with unsuspecting girls caught in both flattering and unflattering positions and girls that try way too hard.  There is nothing quite as pathetic as a girl posting a picture of themself standing in front of a mirror with their butt stuck out as far as they can stick it…. Oh wait yeah there is, posting a picture of themself doing the exact same thing on hotornot.com.

The Loser Fish in the Big Pond

Posted in Sports, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Jordan

A couple of Saturday mornings ago I was watching Sports Center (as I do every morning) to catch the highlights from the night before.  For anyone who has watched T.V. on Saturday mornings you know that there are really only three different T.V. options on Saturday mornings:  Kids shows, infomercials and fishing.  On this particular Saturday I decided to stay tuned in to TSN following Sports Center to watch Canadian Sport Fishing hosted by Italo Labignan.  Some of you may know my oldest brother is obsessed with fishing so I am no stranger to watching fishing on Saturday mornings, Canadian Sport Fishing included.  As far as fishing shows go Italo does a pretty good job on Canadian Sport Fishing.  He often goes to remote places and catches some unique and huge fish.  This is far more interesting then that tub of guts Darryl Cronzy who catches nothing but walleye so he can get back to shore to have his shore lunch.  I don’t know what was up with Italo on this particular day but he missed the boat big time when he made his theme of the day catching pan fish.

For those that don’t have a fish obsessed brother like me, pan fish are little skinny and spiky bitch fish like; sunfish, perch and rock bass.  I’m not sure why but for some reason Italo thought it would be a good idea to make an entire show about catching fish people catch when they are trying to catch real fish.  The best part of this episode was how serious he was taking it.  First of all, he was in a boat.  Second, he was using a wide variety of jigs and crank baits and talking about how pan fish like the action of these baits.  Third, he was catching fish that were like four inches long and saying they were a good size. Last, he was using a net to bring the four-inch fish into the boat and bragging about his little net he got for catching pan fish.

IS THIS GUY DEREK FOREAL!?  There should not be a show on T.V. about catching fish that any moron can catch at will and there should definitely not be a show on T.V. that analyzes how to catch rock bass.

I will tell you how to catch rock bass right now.

Step 1 – Find any random bridge that crosses a river.

Step 2 – Put a worm on a hook.

Step 3 – Drop your line in the water.

Step 4 – Wait 10 seconds.

Step 5 – Reel the 10 once fish out of the water to the top of the bridge.

Step 6 – Throw the fish back in the water.

Step 7 – Repeat Process.

There you go.  Bring on the sponsorship Berkley Trilene.

Commonwealth Gamezzzzzzzzz

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Jordan

I read an article last week on tsn.ca stating that Canadian summer athletics had taken a giant step backwards after being pushed from the overall medal podium at the Commonwealth Games by host India.  Apparently this was the first time in 48 years Canada failed to finish in the toppppppppppzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Oh I’m sorry I fell asleep attempting to give a shit about the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.  Never has there been an athletic spectacle that is a bigger waste of money then the Commonwealth Games.  I am an avid supporter of Canadian athletics and love watching Canadian’s compete in international competitions but any two week athletic competition involving summer sports where Canada contends to be one of the top three nations participating loses it’s legitimacy as a reputable international competition.  This is just my opinion but I have never been as uninterested in an international sporting event as I was for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Note the outstanding crowds in the photo provided.

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