Monday, January 30, 2006

Wow...Carolina is scary good.

The Canes just picked up Doug Weight, giving them three top centers along with Staal and Brind'Amour.

They're already tops in the whole NHL, and getting a guy of Weight's, um, weight, makes them a Cup favourite.

I almost don't want the Leafs to sneak in at the eighth spot, just to avoid the embarrassment of being destroyed by these guys. They ain't the same team we should have beat in 2002.

And in the "Holy Shit" category, Darryl Sydor needed SEVENTY stitches to close a severe facial laceration near his kisser from Saturday's game.

I hope he has a wife, and a pre-nup, because he is going to be one ugly motherfucker for a while...not to mention a little loopy from a likely concussion.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jason Allison to the minors?

I've been hearing this rumour being kicked around are my thoughts on it: it's stupid.

The guy has been playing well all year...he's second on the team in scoring, and this from a guy who hasn't played hockey in over two years.

If you haven't heard, his contract pays him $222,222 for every five games he plays over 35, so long as he maintains a .65 points-per-game scoring average.

He's easily surpassed the games and scoring average requirements...and because he's playing well, they wanna ship him to the AHL.

This is the kind of backwards logic that makes me crazy. The whole team is playing like shit, and let's demote the guy who's playing half-decent, because he's too expensive! Wow.

If we were really interested in clearing cap space and making a run mid-season, why did we pay a million plus to dead weight like Tie Domi and Aki Berg? OK, so that's hindsight, fine...then how about we look at a guy who's making almost 7 million, and has a paltry 10 goals in 38 games?

That's right...Mats Sundin. Why don't we trade him? We could get a ton of good players for that amount of money.

Oh, but you say, Sundin was hurt, and is behind the curve...well guess what? He chose NOT to play during the lockout, and that's cost him just as much as the eye injury. Jason Allison was out of hockey for a full year longer than Sundin, and he's doing about as well...for about 5 million dollars less.

I'm not advocating trading Sundin or Allison...this season is pretty much a writeoff, and I didn't expect this team to get past the first round of the playoffs anyway.

Bottom line: paying Jason Allison for playing well is the least of our worries. If 2 million bucks is breaking our bank, then the front office is stupid for putting themselves in that situation, given the tenuous health of, like, half the team.

The Leafs need to face reality, bite the bullet and ride this season out...if they miss the playoffs, fine. Let's remember that the salary cap is likely going up next season, so it'd be foolish to panic when there might be relief up ahead. Rework the team in the offseason, jettison the overpriced guys, and have a competitive team for 2006-2007.

I know this must be scary for Leaf fans...but let's actually "rebuild" for once; it's not a dirty word.

Crap. I jinxed them.

I bought my first Leafs jersey on January 1st. Since then the Leafs are 2 and 9.

I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! I just wanted the sweet-looking third jersey! Damn your sexy jerseyness!

8 in a row!

Eeeeeeeeeeee...this is getting ridiculous.

What's the answer? Firing Quinn? Trading Sundin?

How about bitch-slapping the players who take stupid penalties?

In another the-NBA-is-fucking-retarded move, Chris Andersen was banned from the NBA for testing positive for an "abuse drug", ie. cocaine, heroin, etc.

Fun fact: The same result can be achieved after testing positive for steroids four times. FOUR TIMES.

This means that you could be roiding it up your whole career and get caught four times, or do one line of coke and get the same penalty...unbelievable.

It's the Ross Rebagliatti marijuana thing all over again. Those drugs don't enhance performance (if anything they hinder it), and yet they are given the same weight as steroids.

Andersen was a character, but also a great teammate, and it shocks a New Orleans team that's already dealt with a lot of adversity this season. And he can't even apply for reinstatement for two years, and there's no guarantee he'd get back in.

Chances are his career is over, and it's sad. Professional athletes everywhere are cheating every day with steroids and stimulants and whatever else they can get to give them an illegal edge...and Chris Andersen does a recreational drug that has nothing to do with his on-court performace, and he's out of the league.

Fucking. Retarded.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Mighty Ducks will no longer be mighty.

Somewhere in a dark alley, Emilio Estevez is sobbing uncontrollably at the loss of the last breath of his career.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Two blowouts = mediocre football weekend.

Both games weren't even close by the half...didn't make for exciting football.

But congrats to Jerome Bettis and the Steelers for getting to the Super Bowl, and to the Seahawks for their first trip in franchise history.

Say it with me now: The Leafs are in ninth place in the conference. And you know what? They deserve it...these blowout losses to Ottawa are pathetic.

There's a lot more weight on that off-the-bandwagon foot...and the other foot is getting itchy.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The NBA gets another black eye.

Antonio Davis got suspended five games for going into the stands last week.

When you put it like that, it seems like AD didn't get enough. But I say he shouldn't have been suspended at all.

He rushed into the Chicago crowd because he thought his wife was being assaulted.

But thanks to Ron Artest and that band of idiots in Auburn Hills last year, he gets suspended just for entering the stands, even though it was for a good reason.

It turned out that it was just a misunderstanding, but you can't fault Davis for fearing the worst when it comes to the people he cares about the most.

Whenever I hear the term "zero-tolerance" in any kind of ruling, I get nervous, and usually with good reason. Why we can't treat situations like this on a case-by-case basis is beyond me. Seems to me that "zero-tolerance" is another way of saying: "We're too lazy to think."

Let me ask Stu Jackson, David Stern, and every member of the NBA league office: wouldn't you have done exactly the same thing if you thought your wife was in trouble? Damn right you would, if you were any kind of a man.

It's rare, but in this case, quotes from the athletes themselves are the most poignant:

Knicks guard
Jamal Crawford: "His wife and kids were up there. If you see your family in harm's way, you're going to go protect them. You're the man of the house, and at that point you're thinking like a regular human instead of an athlete."

Knicks coach Larry Brown: "That thing that happened in the stands had nothing to do with the two teams. That's a man concerned about his family."

Davis: "I witnessed my wife being threatened by a man that I learned later to be intoxicated. I saw him touch her, and I know I should not have acted the way I did, but I would have felt terrible if I didn't react. There was no time to call security. It happened too quickly."

In a league full of wannabe gangsters who refuse to practice or wear a shirt and tie to work, the guy who stands up for his family gets suspended. Shame on you, NBA.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All is not well in Leafland.

We've lost 3 in a row (possibly four, down 4-2 to Minnesota in the third), Lindros is hurt bad, Tucker is hurt bad, McCabe is possibly hurt bad, and Belfour is stinking it up.

The Leafs are only two points away from being 9th in the it time to panic? Maybe.

What's worse is that this year we have very little room to make trade deadline moves, being so close to the cap.

But unfortunately, management has delusions of winning the Cup, so they won't do the things necessary to make the team viable for the future (ie. making Tellqvist #1, trading for young defensemen, etc).

Unless we magically get healthy come playoff time, this is a one-and-done team. Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Carolina are far superior clubs, and I doubt we'd make it past Buffalo or the Rangers at this point.

You can call this me taking one foot off the bandwagon, and kinda letting it drag on the road...and if things don't get better, I might start putting some weight on that foot.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Only got two this time...and 50 points in the Carolina/Chicago game ain't a defensive battle, though I was right about Steve Smith...anyway.

I'm excited for the Carolina/Seattle matchup...I am officially backing the Panthers as my Super Bowl pick. I'm not as excited about Denver/Pittsburgh...don't really care about either of those teams, and having Indy and New England out of the running kinda takes the steam out of things. Those teams had stories behind them...the other two, not so much.

So go Panthers!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

My predictions were pretty good...might have been perfect if Carson Palmer didn't tear his ACL and MCL on the first pass of the game...poor kid. You hate to see that happen, and it's nice to see remorse from the guy who did it...shows there's still some class and a sense of community amongst professional athletes. They're not all me-me-me guys. Hopefully Palmer comes back strong, because he was arguably the best QB in the NFL this season.

There's a lot of controversy as to who would have won if Palmer was healthy...and the answer is, who knows? The Steelers put up 31 points, and that had nothing to do with Palmer, but then there's that pesky momentum X-factor. Much like in the Canada-Russia gold medal game when the Russians scored but the ref missed it. That goal would have made the score 2-1, and possibly changed the complexion of the game. But, it didn't, so we'll never know. Why is everyone so obsessed about what might have been? It's another example of society's intense desire to play God; to control the uncontrollable, and to know the unknowable. We've got referees, computers, video instant replay, and a jillion camera angles...just let it go, people, and accept the fact that sometimes we fuck up.

On that note, some predictions for the next round:
Seattle beats Washington and avoids the overrated label for another week
New England squeaks by Denver in a typical Patriots last-minute field goal type fashion
Indianapolis soundly defeats Pittsburgh
Carolina defeats Chicago in a defensive battle decided by one big offensive play (likely from Steve Smith)

And RIP to Betty Hockin, the grandmother of Wayne Gretzky. Tough times for the Gretzky family, just three weeks after his mother wishes to Wayne & family.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Some more stuff for today.

Mikael Tellqvist. WOW. Anybody who says he shouldn't be the #1 goalie for the Leafs after Belfour retires better have watched tonight's game, because he was amazing.

I'm not sure why people don't think he's capable of starting...he's perfect for the Leafs' style of play, which in case you need a refresher course, is as follows:

1) Don't play defense.
2) Goalie stands on his head.
3) If #2 is happening, increase #1.

If Eddie calls it a career, I'm backing Tellqvist...unless they can snag Roberto Luongo or something.

And also, please kill Joe Theismann. PLEASE! He is the worst fucking football announcer on the planet. At least John Madden is unintentionally hilarious...Theismann is just a goddamn idiot.

In today's Skins-Bucks game, Redskins safety Sean Taylor got thrown out of the game. They showed on the replay that Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman whacked Taylor in the helmet, and Taylor got penalized. Theismann says, over and over, "That's a terrible call, that's just a bad call, ridiculous", blah blah blah. It was later revealed that Taylor spit at Pittman, and that's why the ref tossed him. Without flinching, Theismann goes, "Well he deserved to get tossed then." AAAUGH! The ref knows better than you, jackass! He's on the field, and you're orbiting Uranus (heh). Especially after he just sung the praises of the refereeing staff as being the best in the NFL. He is so infuriatingly stupid and is almost always completely wrong. The only time he's right is when he states the absolute obvious, like "That was a big hit" or, "They need to get him the ball so that he can make plays."

He also starts every comment he makes with either, "We talked to so-and-so" or "You talk about so-and-so". It's like those two qualifiers kick in his commentating auto-pilot, and then he blathers on about shit that either has nothing to do with the play, or describes exactly what just happened on the play, as if we weren't just fucking watching it.

Can we pay the dude that ended Theismann's playing career to end his commentating career as well? Because that would be super.

Even better...what's Terry Tate up to these days?

Ah, Hockey Day in Canada...

All 6 Canadian teams playing each other...doesn't get much better than that.

Although it brings to mind one major problem I have with the new NHL: the terrible, terrible schedule.

The Leafs are on the Western Canada road trip right now...Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver...they don't go back until 2008. What the hell is that about? You'd think it'd be a no-brainer that they'd be there every year. And we don't play Detroit or Chicago at all this season. That is just plain wrong. Original Six teams have to play each other. Instead we play the likes of Minnesota and Anaheim. That simply won't do.

And I think they're going a bit overboard with the new rivalries...Vancouver played Colorado three times in I think 5 days...all in Denver. That's just stupid...and don't tell me it's got nothing to do with the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore incident. There's manufacturing rivalries, and then there's just overkill. After the Leafs resume their, um, heated feud with the Wild *cough* on January 18, they don't play a single game against the Western Conference for the rest of the year...sheesh, let's get some balance for Christ's sake.

I can understand building new rivalries and such, but that shouldn't come at the expense of killing old ones. Just because it's the "new" NHL doesn't mean that previous seasons' traditions should be overlooked.

For those of you who care, here are my NFL playoff predictions for this weekend: Washington over Tampa Bay, New England over Jacksonville, Cincinnati over Pittsburgh, and Carolina over the Giants.

And thanks to Corey Koskie for the half-year of subpar, injury-riddled baseball. You were the odd man out, and you quickly found out that just being Canadian doesn't give you the benefit of the doubt. Just ask Paul Quantrill, Paul Spoljaric, or Rob Ducey. Have fun in Milwaukee, if you can find any.

Enjoy the hockey and football.

Friday, January 06, 2006


I won't bother with an intro. If you wanna know more about me, check my personal blog, state of integrity, to the right over there.

Let's get to what this blog is all about: what I think about sports.

I'll start with the topic of the day: the Canadian junior hockey team winning gold just hours ago, soundly defeating Russia 5-0. This team was supposed to be an underdog? They decimated the competition with the physical brand of hockey that Canadians have come to love as their own. The defence was stout, and Justin Pogge was outstanding in net. Makes me feel (somewhat) better about the Leafs' future chance at a Cup, with Pogge and Tuukka Rask, who backstopped the Finnish team to a bronze medal and a victory over the favoured Americans, both in our farm system.

I'll thank whoever didn't peg these guys as the favourites at the outset of the tournament, because it must have lit a fire under their asses. They outscored their opponents 9-0 in the playoff round...doesn't get much better than that. Way to go boys.

On to baseball, and I'm itching for the Blue Jays to get going. Their team looks awesome on paper, and barring injuries they can take on Boston and New York, but that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the US media crapping on every move the Jays made. Apparently we're foolishly spending a lot of money for players that may not necessarily pan out. So we're supposed to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, but we're not allowed to operate exactly like they do? Fuck that. If it was New York signing B.J. Ryan, or Boston signing A.J. Burnett to those kinds of big-money contracts, no one would have batted an eyelash. But because it's the Blue Jays, it's suddenly a bad move.

The Jays did exactly what they needed to do to get the guys they wanted, because let's face it; professional athletes do not want to play in Canada. They have to pay a lot of taxes, it's out of the American media's myopic spotlight, and it's fucking cold most of the year. J.P. Ricciardi knows this, and so he did the only thing he could do: he got out the checkbook. He gave those guys the extra year on the contract and the extra 5 or 10 million, because that's what it takes to get players to come here. Baseball analyst Jeff Blair called it "the exchange rate", and he's right on the money. I won't feel the least bit guilty if and when the Jays succeed, because they're only doing what everybody else does, and if they have the money, they have every right to do it.

And lastly, congrats to the Texas Longhorns for winning the Rose Bowl. Even though I don't give two craps about US college football, I'm glad Texas won, so that everyone could stop talking about how fucking great USC, in this age of parity, whenever any team strings together a couple of excellent seasons, it's like they're a dynasty. You wanna know what a dynasty is? Winning the majority of championships in a decade. The 1950s Canadiens did it, the 1950s Yankees did it, the Gretzky-era 1980s Oilers did it. What did USC do? They won two national titles in a row, and one of them was disputed/shared with LSU. That is not a dynasty.

And the worst part is that every GD announcer was calling for the three-peat* weeks before they even stepped on the field. This is goddamn ridiculous. We need to decide what we really value: parity or dominance. We can't have both. Do we want unpredictability and never knowing which team will rise and which team will fall, or do we want one team to clearly rise above the rest? I think we say we want the former, but what we really want is the latter. It's all well and good and warm and fuzzy to believe that everybody has an equal shot at the big time at the start of the year, but I think deep down we hope that one team just kicks the shit out of everybody else...and you know which team that is? Our team. You think anybody in New England or the Bronx wants parity? I don't think so, chuckles. People in Kansas City and Tampa Bay want parity, because their teams are shitty and/or cheap. So in conclusion, we want our team to dominate, and if we can't have that, we don't want anybody else to dominate, so that our team has at least a decent shot at winning. And then if we do win, we want our team to dominate.

*Fun fact: Pat Riley has the term "three-peat" trademarked. He gets cash money every time somebody uses that term. That dude is fucking brilliant.

That's all for tonight. There will be more to come, I have no doubt.

One little footnote: yes, I do work for The Score Sports Network (channel 53 on Rogers,, plug plug plug), and yes, I know a hell of a lot about what goes on behind the scenes there. But for the sake of my job and my budding sports broadcasting career, I won't be commenting on or mentioning any of that stuff, until it becomes public knowledge. If you really need to know something, I'll tell you, but not on here. I have bills to pay, and cats to feed. Thanks.