Addiction to Bad TV is a Bad “Situation”

Posted in Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by Jordan

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it has become apparent that I am addicted to shitty T.V.  The cold months of winter have kept me indoors and watching some of the most mindless and numbing television that exists.  I am honestly one episode of America’s Next Top Model away from ending up on AE’s Intervention.   In the past month I’ve found myself watching the over-hyped Oscars, religiously following The Biggest Loser and even live tweeting the events of The Bachelor finale.  To top it all off, I watched The Roast of Donald Trump on the weekend featuring “The Situation” from Jersey Shore as one of the roasters.

I will admit up front that watching Jersey Shore is also part of my addiction.  That said, I do find the odd episode to be outrageously funny. The MVP combo of Mike, Vinny, and Paulie are typically the driving force behind the laughs on the show but after watching Mike (aka “The Situation”) attempt comedy during The Roast of Donald Trump I think it is pretty evident that the cast of Jersey Shore are funny because they are the joke not because they make good jokes.

Warning:  This video will make your skin crawl with second hand embarrassment.

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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.

Charlie Sheen’s WINNING RECIPES

Posted in People, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by Jordan

Up until about a month ago I started to find that my meals were becoming stale. It seemed like the LC and I were eating the same five or six meals over and over every night.  Luckily for us, my brother joined us in Halifax at the end of January and with him he brought his Chef at Home cookbook by Michael Smith.  This cookbook is filled with a host of tasty dishes that are actually fairly easy to make.  As much as I’ve appreciated swishing up our meals I’ve determined that Michael Smith himself is not necessarily my style.  Consequently, I started scouring the Food Network for a cooking personality that I could claim as my own.

I was immediately drawn to Giada De Laurentiis (because she’s hot) but her recipes are a little too fancy and a little to time consuming to prepare on a daily basis. Bobby Flay was initially a strong candidate but he’s a bit of a poindexter so I dismissed him.  Rachael Ray didn’t even get considered because she’s just too irritating to listen to.  As a result, I found it difficult to find my “Michael Smith” and thus new and exciting meal recipes. Luckily for me, the Food Network added a new program this past week that fits into my lifestyle perfectly.  It’s called Winning Recipes and it incorporates a dash of “duh” and a splash of “tiger blood” resulting in complete #winning.

Enjoy!

Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipes from Charlie Sheen

Shirley Temple? I’d Rather Have a Beer

Posted in History, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2011 by Jordan

Sometimes I think back to times past and reflect on what life must have been like during certain time periods. One of those time periods is the post-WWII era and the years of the baby boom. During this time period, economic growth and prosperity was like never before, all the while the fear of communism and the constant threat of nuclear war constantly weighed on people’s minds.  Economics and politics aside, I think the worst part of living during this period had to have been the programming on T.V.  All signs indicate that Shirley Temple was the best thing to watch during the late 50s and early 60s with Howdy Doody coming up a close second.  I have no ideas what Howdy Doody is but I do know that Shirley Temple has an entertainment value equal to that off a Darryl Sutter monologue.  If T.V. was this bad when I was a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s I probably would have become a better speller. I truly feel sorry for anyone who grew up looking forward to this show.

City and Colour can Suck it and Keep on Suckin’ it!

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by Jordan

The 2011 Canada Games concluded in Halifax yesterday after two weeks of competition.  I took in a couple of hockey games and watched some long track speed skating at the outdoor oval one afternoon. The actual sports of the Canada Games did little for me (the athletes were young teenagers and the elite level of competition just wasn’t there for the most part) but I was a fan of the nightly free concerts put on by the games. Throughout the two weeks I took in four of the free shows, including; Joel Plaskett, Sloan, Hey Rosetta and City and Colour.  The concerts were all outside and other than Joel Plaskett’s show on Valentines Day the temperature was pretty cold for every concert.  However, it wasn’t until City and Colour took the stage last night that I heard a single band complain about the cold temperatures and essential let it ruin their show.

Going into last night, I had seen City and Colour play once before.  It was on other a brisk September evening a couple of years ago in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.  At this concert, Dallas Green commented after every song about the cold and how it kept affecting the tune of his guitar.  As their first song came to a close last night, I turned to my brother and said, “I guarantee you this band complains about the temperature and says that it keeps putting their guitars out of tune.”  Within five seconds of me saying that Dallas Green says, “We’re going to be taking a little more time than usual between songs because the temperature keeps putting our guitars out of tune.”  It was nice that Dallas didn’t make a liar out of me but he and his band followed that comment up with countless others like it throughout the night in addition to long delays between songs, stopping a song halfway through it because Dallas’s guitar went out of tune and taking a five minute break to warm up after playing just four songs.

I get that playing in -10˚ C temperatures is not ideal and that playing the guitar is tough when your hands are cold.  However, City and Colour did themselves no favors last night.  They failed to put their hipster image aside for one night and dress appropriately for the frigid temperatures.  Dallas was wearing a denim jacket with a scarf while the other guitar player wore a three-piece suit and a top hat.  To me, the incessant complaining fell on deaf ears for a host of reasons.  One, the girl that opened up for City and Colour in the exact same temperatures didn’t say a word about how cold she was, probably due to the fact that she wore a winter jacket and a toque.  Two, Sloan played in temperatures close to -30˚ C the week before and absolutely killed their set without muttering a word about how cold they were.  Again, these guys dressed appropriately by wearing parkas, toques and gloves with the fingertips cut out.  Last, City and Colour had several fans blowing hot air on them throughout the entire show.  From what I could tell, Sloan had just one bush league heater on the stage that the one guitar player occasionally heated his hands up with in-between songs.

I’m not saying that City and Colour is a bad band because they’re not…. they write some of the best “sui watch” songs in the business.  What I am saying is that they are a bunch of pussies and complainers that can’t handle less than ideal playing conditions. I have now seen City and Colour play two outdoor shows, neither of which was without complaints about the temperature.  Consequently, if you plan on watching an outdoor City and Colour show you best not waste your time unless the outside air temperature equals room temperature (roughly 20-21˚ C).  Because of this, City and Colour can suck it and Leah Miller can keep on suckin’ it!

Indian Idol Will Rock You… Sing it!

Posted in Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by Jordan

I have no idea how many years American Idol has been around but if I had to hazard a guess I would say about 10.  I’ve never really gotten into American Idol but I have tuned in enough throughout the years to have a handle on the state of the show. I think it’s safe to say that “Idol” has become rather stale in recent years and has correspondingly spawned very few stars (if any) since Carrie Underwood.  That said, the addition of the humorous and eccentric Steven Tyler to this season has been a nice touch.   He is after all, Jim Henson’s greatest creation.

 

In an attempt to find some actual singing talent, I’ve been forced to abandon American Idol and engage some of the other national “Idol” shows.  I tried Canadian Idol but it has been downhill since Kalan Porter (Not like Kalan Porter was a real high point in Canadian music… am I right or am I right?).  I gave British Idol a go but it produces nothing but Liam Gallaghers who dump beer on the judge’s heads or Chris Martins who just seem to make the Brits seem a little bit gayer.  Consequently, it wasn’t until I stumbled across Indian Idol that I actually found something worthwhile.

 

Rather than have a billion Indians show up to a cricket stadium to audition for the show’s top 20 contestants, preliminary contestants send in their audition tapes.  The Indian Idol judges sift through millions of tapes and release only the best of the best to the Indian public.  We at The Whole Ball of Wax have gone through the best of the best and in our opinion this is the Best of the best.

 

Enjoy!

 

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.

 

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