Monday, February 27, 2006 

Until Vancouver 2010

Closing Ceremony’s

Ladies and Gentlemen: you have your televisions back. Skeleton and biathlon will be replaced in your prime time lineups again with “classics” like Survivor and Desperate Housewives and whatever the other crap is these days that people are told to like. In fact, no matter how hard you try you won’t find any sports from the Olympics, apart from Alpine and Hockey, even outside of prime time hours on your TV for 4 years (unless you live in Canada where the Scott and Brier have the next month under wraps as well. And for curling fans, with Kelly Law absent from the Scott, my curling attention will be on hold until the Brier starts up in a couple weeks). Since most Olympic events aren’t really worth watching (until barrel jumping is introduced in 2018 that is), this really isn’t a big deal. The games are over, and USA was just barely able to hold Canada off in the medal race, finishing with 25 medals to Canada’s 24. American has 10 times more people than Canada, and shares a good deal of similar climate, which makes this result incredible. But it also got me thinking. Canada itself is quite populous compared to the other Winter Olympic countries – the 12th largest of the 26 medalling nations to be exact. Here, now, are the medal standings if all nations’ results were scaled to the same population (around 13.3 million people):

55 Norway
37 Austria
30 Estonia
25 Switzerland
23 Finland
21 Sweden
9.7 Canada
8.9 Croatia
7.3 Netherlands
5.8 Latvia
5.2 Czech Republic
4.7 Germany
3.0 South Korea
2.5 Italy
2.5 Slovakia
2.1 Russia
2.0 France
1.8 Bulgaria
1.3 Australia
1.3 Belarus
1.1 United States
0.7 Poland
0.6 Ukraine
0.2 Great Britain
0.1 China
0.1 Japan

Canada still fares fairly well in this measure, with their record setting medal-haul coming in 7th in the standings. The Americans, on the other hard, would win a disgraceful single medal, finishing in 21st out of 26 countries on a medals per population basis.

Here are a couple of further notes about Canada’s record-setting haul:

Canada was the only Nation who medalled in 10 of the 15 Olympic disciplines.
Canada finished with 45 top 5 finishers, which tied them for first overall.

NBA at

Minnesota T’Whiners

Wow. Did anyone see this thing? I hope for your sake that you didn’t. Look it up if you must, but I am not going to give that guy any more coverage here. It was the ultimate soccer play, if you know what I mean, and it came from a fan in the audience. Pathetic. Z was clobbered on the head by Wallace yesterday for a decent number of stitches, and I didn’t see him taken off on a stretcher. Just pathetic, guy. I can’t wait to see your lawsuit thrown out, which it damn-well better be.


My fortunately named team pulled it out again, as “Jimmie Johnson’s Bush Sacks” leader, Jimmie, came in second place to some other guy, and just ahead of some hicks whose names escape me. I am clearly the NASCAR pool master now! Speaking of NASCAR, there were some highlights of the race on TSN, and Hillary Duff was there to drop the flag. What’s that all about? I would wager anything that she hadn’t seen a NASCAR race before, unless her daddy made her suffer through some as a kid. What an odd choice.

Groin Watch

One last day of games at the Olympics, and one more addition to the Groin Watch. This one is horrible news for the Rangers, as Jaromir Jagr has been added (for the second time) to the list of Olympic casualties, choosing this year’s popular injury to do so. Before the games started I said that the players whose teams could least afford to lose them to injury during the Olympics were Hasek, Elias and Jagr. I guess it was the kiss of death since all three of them are among the injured from the games. All three.

I said it many times before, and I’ll say it again one last time before 2010: they should not hold these tournaments with NHLers if they occur during the playoff run. How do Canucks fans feel right now, having lost 2 more blueliners to injury on a squad that was short to begin with? How do Sens fans feel about relying on Emery in net as their playoff spot is determined? And it’s not just injuries. 4 years ago Tommy Salo was one of the hottest goalies in the NHL going into the Olympics. During the games he had that long goal go in on him over his shoulder to knock Sweden out of the games. He took more heat for that goal than he should of, and to the degree that it happened it’s no wonder it shook his confidence. He was never the same since, and that pretty much finished off Edmonton’s season. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of NHLers representing their countries in a kind of all-star game where everyone plays like they care. It makes for a great watch… in June or September. But for people who really care about hockey, they care about the NHL and their teams. Having NHLers in the Olympics does nothing but hurt NHL teams, and their fans once the league starts up again. Can the Rangers actually win games without Jagr? It’s hard to picture too many.

Sure, USA and Canada had trouble medalling with only amateurs in the games (probably at least partially why the rules were changed), but it was still fun to watch. It was the one chance for amateur players to actually make a name for themselves. Something for them to strive for in their game. The professionals had the Stanley Cup, and the Canada Cup (ie. World Cup), and this was the only showcase for anyone else. Sure, that meant someone like me would be playing, and inevitably losing badly to Russia, but so be it. At least Ohlund would still be around for the playoff run under that scenario, and once the games are over, does anyone really care anymore about individual results? Not nearly as much as hockey fans care about a playoff spot.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 

Saturday Night . . .


It's Saturday night, and it's about the time I'd normally get around to a post for today. The wife, however, seems sad and has a sore back, so I'll be using this time to give her a nice long back rub instead. I guess that's what have I ever don’t to desrve a hot girl (and for those of you new to Sports Guy North, no I'm not illiterate, and please don't ask if hooked on Phoenix worked for me). Goodnight everybody, and remember to email me about the baseball pool (i wouldnt even know how to abuse your email address and information if I wanted to, so don't worry about it).

NA Medals

Canada (24) - Clara Hughes, Ladies 5000m Speed Skating, Gold
Francois-Louis Tremblay, Men's 500m Short Track Speed Skating, Silver
BEDARD Eric, GUILMETTE Jonathan, HAMELIN Charles, TREMBLAY Francois-Louis, TURCOTTE Mathieu, Men's 5000m Relay, Short Track Speed Skating, Silver
Cindy Klassen, Ladies' 5000m Speed Skating, Bronze

USA (25) - Apolo Anton Ohno, Men's 500m Short Track Speed Skating, Gold

Saturday, February 25, 2006 

Join Sports Guy North's Fantasy Baseball and Win!

Sports Guy North's Fantasy Baseball

It's the middle of winter, the snow's falling and the thermometer has finally dropped below freezing, so that can mean only one thing - it's a beautiful day for a ball game; let's play two! That's right, Pitchers and Catchers have reported to "spring" training already, and questions have begun coming in to me about who I would advise taking in fantasy drafts. Here's the easy answer - I'm not telling yet. The reason being that I've decided to reward my loyal readers with a FREE Fantasy Baseball league. This league will be roto, with prizes for the ultimate winner, and for the person with the most dominant week. The prizes will be determined by my Sports Guy North related advertising revenue between now and the end of the baseball season, so if you are lucky enough to get a team don't forget to start padding the prizes. You all know how that works. Also, every week the weekly leader will get a small feature article where they can speak their mind and/or advertise their blog or anything else. Since a lot of my readers are bloggers, this might be the biggest draw, not to mention the pride that goes along with finally proving that you know sports better than, say, the guys over at Forward Progress.

How can I enter, you ask? Well, since I am limiting the pool to 50 people, you have to prove to me that you have been reading, and you aren't just looking to win. Send and email to

with your answers to the following questions:

1. Who is the worst defenseman in the NHL?
2. Which Basketball Player Can Name Sports Guy North As His Number One Fan?
3. Who Is Your Rucchin Of The Year and Why?

Simple as that. Remember also to mention what city you are from. I have a list of 25 servers that access my sight the most often, and if you're from one of those places, you'll likely be at the top of the list if a tie breaker has to be implemented.

Olympic Hockey

I was ready to write a big article about the Olympic hockey semi-finals, but the Kasparitis sucked the entire desire out of my by being Kasparitis. I don't even want to give credibility to him by mentioning anything he did that pissed me off. Anyone else who saw the game has to feel the same. This guy has been ruining hockey for way too long now, and needs to be stopped. Violently. There is no way that I'm the only one who is cheering for this. Anyway, the results of these two games were exactly as I expected (although one was a little higher scoring than I thought it would be), bringing my record to 6-0 predicting the playoff round. That's nothing to brag about, though, because there's no reason to have gotten any of these games wrong. None of them were in doubt on any level. Russia should take the bronze in much the same way, no, but the Gold medal game might actually be decent. I'm still sticking with my pre-Olympic pick in Finland, but it should be a good game anyway. Sweden is more than capable of throwing in a surprise or two, along with some entertaining hockey. Even Freddy Modin scored a pretty one in this tournament. I know I've mentioned that already, but I'm still trying to come to terms with it. I'm not sure I ever will.

Barrel Jumping

This picture from Russia's win over Canada brought one thing to mind for me - Barrel Jumping. What happened to this sport? I used to love random sightings of it on Wide World of Sports back in the day. I could watch it for hours. Unfortunately, in this overly safety-conscious world, it seems to have disappeared. I could watch this stuff all day, and I really think that if it was added to the Olympics it would easily be one of the most popular events.

Even without the barrels, they need to come up with some other Winter Olympic events that amount to the equivalent of the Field half of track and field. Speeds skating already has the track part covered. Barrel Jumping can cover the long jump. Shot put might not be a good idea on ice, but how cool would pole vault be with a skate up to the jump? At the speed that skaters could get up, the jump heights could get out of control. If anyone else has some other field events they'd like to see in the winter, please suggest them. Also, if you know somewhere me and the JF can go to watch some barrel jumping this winter, speak up as well. I just can't get enough of that mostly defunct sport!

NA Medal Counts

Americans put a little distance on Canada in the battle for second place today, picking up 3 medals to only one for Canada. This should ensure their finish ahead of the Canadians, but it was a good run while it lasted. 2010 in Vancouver should be a great battle. Remember to join me there for the 2-man luge. It'll be the event of the century!

Canada (20) - Russ Howard et Al, Men's Curling, Gold

USA (23) - Julia Mancuso, Ladies' Giant Slalom, Gold
Chad Hedrick, Men's 10,000m Speed Skating, Silver
Pete Fensen et Al, Men's Curling, Bronze

Friday, February 24, 2006 


Today I’m going to handle a couple of the questions that people have been sending my way. Typically Internet people call this the mailbag. That’d dumb. I didn’t receive anything physically in the mail, and even if I had it probably wouldn’t have been delivered in a bag. Have you ever gotten a bag in the mail? Not likely. So I’ve decided to call this what it is:

Dealing With Your Crap

1 – How Can I Find Highlight Footage of the NBA Dunk Contest?

You can find it the same damn way that I did – google it. If you’re too lazy for that, just click below. It is worth another look. Nate doesn’t appear to be completely out-matched when you aren’t forced to watch the 30 misses. AI is still the clear winner, though. The dunk off the backboard may have been the best dunk ever, but I really love his behind the back dunk. It just looks so smooth, like as if it was the best take out of 30 attempts…

NBA Slam Dunk Contest Video Footage

2 – Who Would You Have Picked for Team USA?

The American choices weren’t as glaringly bad as Team Canada’s, but they weren’t good either. Ryan Miller was of course the big over-sight, but a few other young kids were left off too that shouldn’t have been. Here is what my lineup would have looked like:


Schneider Leetch
Berard Rafalski
Preissing Liles

Others to Consider - Gil, Hill, Martin, Corvo


Tkachuk Rolston Gionta
Cole Conroy Modano
Blake York Smlinski
connoly cullen drury

Others to consider - Weight, Arnasson, Langenbruner


Ryan Miller
Rick DiPietro
Tim Thomas

Others to consider - Grahame

3 – Do You Think the Raptors Should Pick Up Half-a Man’s Option After Next Year?

Seriously? Of course they should! Who wouldn’t want to pay $3 million dollars to the worst player on their NBDL affiliate team? There is no way that Half-a Man is destined to play in Spain or Italy, and then coach some random elementary school team over there. Nothing in his “game” gives that indication.

4 – Do You Really Think Pronger Is The Worst Defenseman Ever

This is a tough question. It’s a very bold statement in a world that includes Wade Belak and Sergei Gonchar, but I don’t care. I would take Aki Berg on my team any day over Pronger. Maybe that’s a problem in me, and it likely is, but I really can’t stand the way Chris Pronger plays. On top of that you can tell that he thinks he is really good, and that just makes it so much worse. The biggest factor of all, however, was his picking up the MVP one year. That was the biggest travesty in the history of sporting awards, and it will forever taint his game. It’s too bad that Canada didn’t win a medal, but I love the way it happened. I hope it will put a rest to the Pronger-idling that seems to go on inexplicably in the hockey world. It has to, right?

5 – what have you ever don’t to desrve a hot girl?

Priceless stuff. Keep that hard-hitting, well-thought and expressed talk coming!

6 – Did You Really Think the Raptors Could Have Made the Playoffs After Starting 1-15?

Yes. I did. That’s why I said it over and over back then. To be honest, they would still be hot in the race if not for a few mental lapses. There are about 7 or 8 specific games I can think of where they fell apart as a team and didn’t bother to just win a game that was theirs to lose. Just look at recent happenings. They are 6-4 in their last ten games, and that could have easily been 10-0. Two overtime losses against the Clippers and the Spurs that could have been over before OT, and then the two recent devastating shutdowns against New York and Memphis. If they had won just those 4 games that obviously could have gone their way, the Raptors would be only 2.5 games out of the playoffs right now. No one would be questioning me if that were the case. I do think now that those 4 losses are enough to finish their chances this year. If they keep this core, however, next year will be a different story. This team is young, and just learning to play together. With another year under their belt, the recent stretch would almost certainly have been a 10-0 run. I’ll predict right now that the Raptors will win 45 games next year. I reserve the right, however, to change that estimate if significant changes happen in the off-season.

7 – What Do You Think About the Raptors Hiring Colangelo As Their New GM

I think that Mr. Colangelo is incredibly smart, and knows the best way to keep his reputation as being a great basketball mind in tact. Toronto is a team whos most recent GM has taken more flack than anyone who isn’t named Isiah. Quietly, however, the Raptors have built a solid team that will certainly moves its way to the top of the East over the next couple of years. All someone would have to do is step in there and convince people to stay, use the huge amount of cap space Babcock and Emery got the team for the offseason and bring in a big man and a 3 point bench player. If anyone can convince people to play for him, it’s a GM with the reputation of Colangelo. There has never been a more perfect fit in the NBA – the Raptors will finaly have a means to convince players to play in Toronto, while Colangelo will have an easy ride to another executive of the year award. In my mind there is no way this teaming doesn’t happen. Something this easy is just destiny.

8 – The Cletics are not ****ing racist. You’re the ****ing racist, you racist ****ing white-hating p***s-lick dumb. You don’t know anything about sports, you should be ****ing ashamed of ripping off boston sports guy and ****ing making **** up you **** *** *** ****ing *** face. Get a life.

I concur?

9 – Do You Miss Ross Rebagliatti?

I’m not sure what you’re imnplying there, or why you ask, or anything about what’s going on. Truly puzzling question. But yes. Yes I do miss him. Dearly.

10 – Did You Really Pick Finalnd To Win The Olympics and the USA to Blow?

Yes, I did. I picked Finland over Canada in the gold medal game, and Russia over the Czechs for the bronze. It was very easy to see that the states were going to do horribly. I still find it hard to believe that anyone didn’t think that.

11 – Why Do You Hate Canada?

This question seemed right out of left field. I can only imagine it came up because I keep expressing surprise at the Canadians sticking right with the Americans in the medal standings. Historically, however, this has not been the case. I may be wrong, but didn’t Canada set their record in the 1992 games by winning 7 medals? With a couple of days, and a guaranteed medal already left in curling, Team Canada stands at 19 medals, and 20 for sure by the end of the games. That is a ridiculous turn-around in a decade. Going into these games, in the all-time medal standings, the USA had 193 medals, and the Canadians had 96. Norway led the way with 263.

Put it this way – Canada has already increased their all-time medal total in the Winter Olympics by 20% (compared to the USA by 9.8% and Norway by 6.8%). So to say I’m surprised by Canada’s relative medal count would, and should be an understatement. Canada is actually ahead of Norway in the medal standings at this point. There is no way that anyone anticipated that. Canada smashed their record in medals in 2002, and were still doubled by the Americans count. I do not hate Canada, but that doesn’t mean these Olympics haven’t been a surprise. Anyway, I’ll finish off Dealing With Your Crap as I‘ve finished off every article lately - with today’s North American medal hauls:

Canada (19) – KLEIBRINK Shannon et Al, Women’s Curling, Bronze

USA (20) – Sasha Cohen, Women’s Figure Skating, Silver
Rosey Fletcher, Ladies’ Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboarding, Bronze

If you have any questions for Sports Guy North, email him at

Thursday, February 23, 2006 

Chris Pronger is the Worst Defenseman Ever

Pronger 2, Canada 0

This is a little earlier than normal for my tomorrow post, especially since I'm calling it my tomorrow post, but I have to say this now. The game between Canada and Russia just came to an end, and like I predicted Russia came out on top. Brodeur did his best to keep Canada in the game, standing on his head from start to finish. Canada couldn't get any offense going, but at the same time they weren't playing any defense.

Most notably, Chris Pronger took his normal disastrous stab at defensive play. It was to the point of being ridiculous in this game. I have been saying this over and over since his MVP season - he is nothing but a liability in the defensive end, more so than anyone I've ever seen. He has no business being involved in international competitions especially, and I hope all the glaring evidence from this game will be enough to keep him from being selected ever again. It is painful to watch him go into the corners. The winning goal was set up from Pronger having lone control of the puck behind the net, losing it, then panicking and swatting it straight out front of the net to a player on the other team. So much was wrong with that play, but somehow it wasn't the worst effort he put up in the game. Not but the next shift out on the ice, he let a guy walk circles around him in the corner and hold the puck for 5 seconds, long enough to get a line change. Not only that, but Chris just gave up in the end and backed away, allowing him to make a pass. After the pass was made, Pronger then followed the other defenseman into the same corner he was in - a mistake that a 10 year old wouldn't be allowed to make. The culmination of all this was in the final minute of the game. With the net empty, Pronger was skating out of the zone, and Russia had only one guy forechecking. Pronger had an open pass to both sides of the ice, so what did he do? He tried to throw it forward right at the forechecker. Puck bounced off of him, and Pronger took a penalty in an attempt to get the puck back.

A classic Chris Pronger game all around, and hopefully enough to finally get him out of international play. It honestly would have been better to have me out there on the point instead of Pronger. That's just not right.


The Interview

They interviewed Pronger after the game, and there was nothing mentioned about his play. All he said was that as a team they blew it. No responsibility for himself, just that the young guys didn't play hard enough. When asked why they were taking undisciplined penalties at bad times, he answered with it was hard to interpret what the refs would call and so on. Nothing about himself closing off the game with a dumb penalty at the end, then any ref at any point in history would have called. Pronger also said today was the best his foot ever felt, so you can't even look to that as an excuse. Pronger is just bad, and for a leader to point the blame at his young teammates instead of taking any himself is extra disgusting. He mentioned that they would be in the gold medal game in 2010, and said it as though he would be a part of the team. Lets all hope that just isn't true.

Other Hockey Notes

Anyway, all the games today went down as expected, and the 4 winners were as easy to pick as they appeared. Nonetheless, I'll try to say a little something about the other three games now, even if it is mostly things I could have written before the games were actually played.

One surprise, though, was that Freddy Modin scored a really pretty goal for Sweden today as they took advantage of their favourable 3rd place finish. Freddy Modin. Really. That's tough information to figure out what to do with. But no matter, this game was like watching a midget team taking on some NHLers. Seriously. Sweden was just toying with them, building a 5-1 lead after the second period, and just toying with them in the third. The Swiss out-shot them 14-2 in the third, but they were all long shots and the ones Sweden wanted them to take. It'll really didn’t make for a good game to watch, but it was very smart for the Swedes to put themselves in that position. If only Canada was as smart, but like Cherry said, they just aren’t. Czechs are easily handling the Slovaks today. Shots were 17-5 after the first. That could have been Canada.

Ohlund went down in a heap today with what looked like a shoulder injury, but is now being called broken ribs. Gagne also took the plunge today, which really makes me question again having these generally meaningless tournaments mid-season. How happy are all the Canucks fans out there that this tournament took place? They lost a couple of key players now, and it will hurt their run to the playoffs. A couple more injuries, and 2010 may be the last time we see NHLers in the Olympics for a long while. If you ask me, that's just the way it should be. These tournaments are a great idea, but not in the playoff races. Honestly, how many of these games were fun to watch? The Canada-Russia game today is probably the only one I can think of.

The Americans took on Finland today in another of the quarterfinal games, and as I predicted, they were no match. The American team in these games just was not very good, and it showed yet again. The day that Chris Chelios stands out as being the least inadequate, you're beyond the point of something having gone wrong. That's just embarrassing at that point. Hopefully for the next tournament they will follow the youth movement they should have this time, and more than anything hopefully Ryan Miller will be in net. He has secured himself as a top-3 goalie in the NHL and really deserved to be there.


So, in watching some of the Czech vs. Slovak game it dawned on me that these two super powers were once one country. Could you imagine if Czechoslovakia was still together? I don’t think there is a single tournament in the last 10 years they would have lost if that were the case. Upon quick inspection, here is a team that they could have sent to the Olympics this year, if they were still together (and baring injuries):

D Slk CHARA Zdeno
D Cze MALIK Marek
D Cze SPACEK Jaroslav

F Slk BONDRA Peter
F Cze ELIAS Patrik
F Slk GABORIK Marian
F Cze HEJDUK Milan
F Slk HOSSA Marian
F Cze JAGR Jaromir
F Cze LANG Robert
F Slk SATAN Miroslav
F Cze STRAKA Martin
F Slk SVATOS Marek

G Cze HASEK Dominik
G Cze VOKOUN Tomas
G Slk BUDAJ Peter

That's ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that players like Hemsky, Kotalik, Prospal, Stumpel and Zednik are sitting at home in this situation. But so is Ryan Miller, so maybe it's not so strange. Either way, I really don’t see how anyone else could compete with what the Czechs and Slovaks would put together under one team these days.

Dem Bones

Duff, the Canadian gold medallist in skeleton, was very candid in an interview yesterday. He stated that every time he switched sports it wasn’t because he enjoyed the sport, but because he was going after his goal of representing Canada. And that's the only reason. He went from speed skating to bobsled, and finally to skeleton, a sport which he admittedly used to make fun of. He felt he had the best chance of representing Canada in that event, so he took it up anyway. It's nice to see the real spirit of the Olympics is still alive.

And with that, here are today’s medallists from North America. Surprisingly the Canadians yet again caught up to the Americans in the standings. This is baffling. Unfortunately, there will be no hockey medal to add to that total for either team. it's too bad, too, because they both could have medalled if I was in charge of things. Pity.

Canada (18) - Cindy Klassen, Ladies' 1500m Speed Skating, Gold
Chandre Crawford, Ladies' Sprint Cross-Country Skiing, Gold
Kristina Groves, ladies' 1500m Speed Skating, Silver
Alanna Kraus, Anouk Leblanc-Boucher, Amanda Overland, Kalyna Roberge, Tania Vicent, Short Track Speed Skating Ass-Pushing Relay, Silver

USA (18) - None

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 

The White Album

Olympic Meltdown

I must admit, my motivation to write something every day is being sucked away by the Olympics at this point. It’s just too much mostly un-interesting stuff shoved in my face in a short period of time, and I don’t want to feel like I’m contributing to it. There is just no escaping sport during these weeks. I almost want to switch it up and write a political post, or something about “saving the males”, but I realize that this likely would turn the few loyal readers I have away. When you’ve only got a core fan base of 20 people, you really can’t offend them.


Speaking of saving the males, and offending people. When I typed out save the males up there, I thought it was pretty funny. That is, until I did a quick google search for Save the Males. What I found might be one of the most offensive sights I’ve ever come across. Everything is on there, from Relearning the Heterosexual love, to stating that George Bush is Jewish (and that it’s a negative thing, as you may have guessed). How an anti-feminism website turned into an anti-Semitic website is beyond me. But the strangest thing of all is that the site originated from the University of Winnipeg. The funniest thing of all is that it displays a flash that bashes the school for having a population that is 80% women, and says that socializing there stinks because there isn’t enough guys, shown here - (remember, if you watch this part, do not view any of the rest of the site. I do NOT condone it, and find it very offensive. I just think it’s funny that some people out there can still be this way. It’s beyond me.)

Anyway, to my straight readers out there, what is your first thought when you hear those statistics about UW? Probably the same as mine – why on earth didn’t I go there, and maybe what Graduate studies do they offer! Nothing in what they are complaining about sounds like a problem at all. But I guess if you’re someone who is going to take the time to research ways in which George Bush might be Jewish, you’re probably the type to find a way to hate anything. More importantly, if you’re so insecure in your own sexuality that you need to lash out at anything bordering on homosexuality, or being different in any way, then there’s probably a reason that you aren’t happy being surrounded by a 4 to 1 ratio of college girls.

Back To the Olympics

OK, that was enough of a side track for now, back to the Olympics (there really is no escaping it). I was watching a bit of the hockey coverage, and Don Cherry himself called Europeans smart, and said they use Canadians as dummies. Then he said that Canadians are kind of dummies, the way they act.

Oh sure, when put in context it was a little different than it sounds there, but who cares about context? It's media prerogative to take something way out of context in order to prove a more interesting point, especially if it then becomes something inflammatory. Hence, Don Cherry agrees with all those out there who think the education system is failing our kids and needs to be revamped. Maybe the best way to do that would be to get more boys into higher education, and fields like maths and sciences. I hear that they are at a disadvantage in those ways these days.


But in reality, maybe he has a point. Maybe Canadians are stupid. The Swedes were smart enough to throw their game in order to face the Swiss in the quarter-finals, why weren't the Canadians smart enough to throw their game against the Czechs. Obviously it was a huge brain fart for the Swedish coach to suggest out loud that they would throw the game, but it was a great move to throw it. No one expected them not to anyway. The same should have been true for the Canadians, except that the expectation with Canada is that they would never do something like that, so it wasn’t anticipated. In a sense, though, that is a pretty stupid charateristic of Canadians, if your definition of success lies purely in results.

Round Robin withstanding, the Russians are the one team in the tournament who would likely be the biggest challenge for the Canadians. And at this moment, I don't think they can beat them. It will be a Russia - Finland final, and since the Canadians didn't throw their game, that means no medal for Canada. Simple as that. The Swedes might not be in the gold medal game in the end, but I would much rather play the Swiss, followed by the Slovaks like they are primed to do, as opposed to the Russians and then the Fins. Winning today was just pure stupidity on the Canadians part, and it will cost one of the top 2 teams a medal. Brodeur’s really going to have to steal one for it to not be the Canadians who are going home. Depending on how you look at it, stupidity does play a big role in that outcome.

Non-Olympic Basketball

On the Raptor front, sandwiching 2 horribly blown chances to win around both sides of the all-star break is no way to weaken their effect. These lackadaisical efforts, especially in the 4th quarters, have probably but a stop to the raptors playoff hopes this year. 22-32 looks a lot better down the stretch than 20-34 does. I'm almost now at a point where I have to declare the season officialy lost. The next week and a half will say for sure. But if they even one more game get away like they did against both the lowly Knicks and he Griz, then it’ll be over for sure. At that point they will have a tough quandary to deal with. On one hand, Mike James’ contract is up at the end of the year, so if they don’t trade him and he signs elsewhere the Raptor’s office will take a lot of heat for losing him for nothing as they did with Donyell last season. On the other hand, if they do trade him it will upset franchise player CB4, who has been vocal about wanting Mike around long-term. I really don’t have a suggestion of which way to go. With their track record thus far, any move they Raptors office makes will be met with scrutiny, and will likely be looked upon as the wrong move. They need to have Embry make the decision, then bring in the new GM so that he isn’t tainted by the inevitable fall-out. No matter how the season closes from here on in, it’s going to be a tough one for the Raptor’s front office staff. If only a magical mind like Babcock’s was still around to find a way around this problem. I would love to see his approach.


North American Medal Update

Here now is the daily recap of how Canadians and Americans fared today as far as medals go. The Americans are finaly pulling away from the Canadians, which really is no surprise. Canada has Skeleton to thank for keeping it close for as long as they did.

Canada (14) – None

USA (18) – Shani Davis, Men’s 15m Speed Skating, Silver
Shauna Rohbock, Valerie Fleming, Women’s Bobsleigh, Silver
Chad Hedrick, Men’s 15m Speed Skating, Bronze

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 

Brake My Wife, Please

His exuberance is perplexing

Yes, I may have tackled a little too much today. I was watching one of my favourite episodes of The Simpson’s, and I decided to write down all of the best quotes from the show, and then tackle incorporating them into headlines for today’s post. I think my temporary enthusiasm may have gotten way ahead of me, and like Michael Johnson racing Donovan Bailey, I just may have to pull up limp in the end. Unlike MJ, though, I will honestly try to give it my best shot.

Public transportation is for jerks and lesbians

I was going to write about women’s hockey under this title, but I wasn’t prepared to face that kind of backlash today. Instead I’ll talk about figure skating again. No, not in the way you are thinking. A story that was somewhat lost in Jeff Buttle’s surprising climb back up to the bronze medal position was that Weir’s fall from second to fifth had something to do with transportation problems. Apparently when asked about his poor performance he had this to say:
“I felt rushed. They changed the bus schedule; I missed the bus, and had to jump in a car. I never caught up to myself and my body didn't catch up."
How do you train for four years with one goal in mind, and then miss the bus? I don’t care what they do to the bus schedule, you don’t miss it. You just don’t. And if you do, and are still able to get there on time, shake it off. 4 years versus 5 minutes of inconvenience. Yikes. There isn’t a single athlete in the world that would have acted that way. Not a single athlete.

I said bishop to queen 4!

2 more fourth place finishes for Canada today, including the gorgeous Kelly Vanderbeek, to take them to a total of 7 4th place finishes thus far. That’s an alarming number of people in the first loser position. If any of these athletes put up slightly more effort to bring home the hardware, Canada would be leading all countries in the medal race.

Martha I want a divorce

Well, apparently the wife isn’t too happy with all of the pictures of girls that have been popping up on my site lately, culminating in the possibly misplaced photo of Maria yesterday that was accompanied by no mention of tennis (please not, today's headline is the title of the Simpson's episode, and not a comment on my wife in particular!). To make this up to her, in today’s post everywhere I wanted to include a picture of a girl, instead a picture of Valerie will be in it’s place. I hope this doesn’t cause you too much confusion, and reassures my lady that she is still the prettiest girl in the world to me. For now.

Oh George you made me so happy

And by George, I mean Teddy. The Teddy Roger’s Sportsnet channel is by far the best source of escape from the Olympic onslaught forced upon us these days. As they aren’t involved in Olympic coverage, they aren’t allowed to show any footage from the games. This limits the amount of Olympic coverage to 24 minutes per half hour instead of the 29 you find on TSN. It might not be much, but at least it’s something.

Please accept this free ticket to the 1939 worlds fair

That’s probably what winning the bronze medal felt like today to the American Women’s hockey team, although they’d never let on. As expected, neither the Gold nor Bronze medal games were particularly close today, as the worlds two dominant nations found themselves separated into two separate games. Gold to Canada, surprising silver to Sweden and Bronze to the states. I can’t figure out who was more devastated by Sweden’s surprise win over the USA – the Americans themselves, or the Fins, who saw any chance they had at a medal in a match-up with Sweden fly out the window. Either way, the medals went to the three countries that really play the sport, and the most dominant team won the gold. Sounds about right.

We touched hands and then we had to wash the cooties off

2 man luge. Shudder.

I want to amble... I want to saunter...
Above is a link to the box score from one of the games more unbalanced hockey match-ups between Russia and Latvia. Unlike the pitiful American team, who could hardly manage a tie against lowly Latvia, the Russians handled them with ease, winning 9-2. Well, most of the Russians handled them with ease. The Pittsburgh Penguins struggling defenseman, Sergei Gonchar, however, has continued his woeful play in Italy. In a 9 to 2 win he actually managed to be a minus two. Seriously. Check out the link above there, it really happened. While his teammates were playing hokey, Gonchar was happy as always lately to just saunter back and forth along the ice. If anyone in Pittsburgh should have retired before ruining his legacy forever, it’s Gonchar. I think after his Olympic performance it may be officially too late.

You shake me from my bootie to my fro

This here is just a shout out to all of the fine ladies of women’s tennis. We haven’t forgotten about you all in these Olympic daze. You’re always on our minds in some form or another.

You can’t walk to Turkmenistan

Then I guess it’s a good thing that the other Turks aren’t in on the bidding for the 2014 Olympics. Surprisingly, neighbouring nations Georgia and even Kazakhstan are in on the running, and since most people in those countries can’t afford to do anything but walk, it’s a good thing no one said that you couldn’t walk there. The entire list of 2014 hopefuls is:

Almaty, Kazakhstan
Borjomi, Georgia
Jaca, Spain
Pyeongchang, South Korea
Salzburg, Austria
Sochi, Russia
Sofia, Bulgaria

I guess they’ve run out of elite countries to hold the competition in. You have to think that this one will come down to Jaca vs. Salzburg, and I know I for one am rooting for South Korea. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to go to any events no matter which of those cities win, so since I’m up all hours of the night, and can’t watch anything during the day, something in the far east time zones suits my schedule the best. I can’t miss my 2-man luge fix. I just can’t.

My feet are inside me

Someone did a search for “ruutu, jagr, tackle” that ended up at my sight today, and got my hopes up that something cool happened before the check in Saturdays game. You know, something involving Jagr tackling Ruutu, and maybe giving him some precedent like retaliation for the dirty hit he laid on Jagr. As it turns out, it was just some soccer fan that doesn’t know what a check in hockey is called. Ruutu is just the same old ass as he has always been, and for no reason but his assiness went around Jagr’s body on the check to make sure he got his head into the boards. Classy move from a classy guy. I’m sure glad that he gets to play professional hockey, he really makes it great!

Who’s we? Got a mouse in your purse?

Oh yeah, 2 man luge again. Can’t wait to see it in person in Vancouver 2010! I’ll start recruiting places in the big cheering section sometime in 2008. Book your spot today and avoid the rush!

Commander Cool (aka me)

This one’s for you, Captain Fudge. Welcome back from Ottawa, wasn’t the same around here without you. I actually had to talk to Aaron to pass the time. No one wants that.

What should I do, Dr. Hotdog?

I received this quote from someone today, that I can’t quite tell what to do with. “aki berg looked like the real adam foote out there. he was awesome.”
If anyone out there can decipher this for me, please help. Aki Berg is horrible, but it seems like it might be a complement. On the other hand, though, Adam Foote has no business being on an international team either. E is mediocre at best, but definitely better than Aki. My hope is that the first part was a reference to Foote also sucking, despite his hype, and that the second half was sarcasm. I’m not certain about that, though, so whoever gets me the right decipher will become the new Dr. Hotdog. Good luck with this one guys.

Tonight his beloved mock apple pie will have real apples

A friend of mine made the following observation the other day regarding Chris Pronger. It likely stemmed from the incident where Pronger couldn’t handle 5 foot nothing Koivu behind the net, who then set up a goal in the process. He compared him to Sheldon Souray, by saying that he actually thought he was watching Souray in the game. This comes as no surprise to me. Even in Pronger’s MVP season I couldn’t understand why people didn’t care that Pronger is incredibly weak on defense, especially in the corners. As I’ve said before in this blog, anyone at all that wants to walk out front from the corner if he’s on the ice just gets to. Simple as that. It’s nice to see that people are finally coming to this realization I made years ago. Pronger and Souray, a carbon copy on D.

Dude - Meet me in Montana. xoxo Jesus (H. Christ)

That’s right, Jerome Bettis has signed on to join Joe Montana in NBC’s NFL studio come this fall. Hopefully this means that we will finally find out in one of the broadcasts just where Bettis is from. That unsolved question has been plaguing me for months now!

How bout a make up snuggle? It would be so rad.

As I send this to a close with today’s North American medal winners, I just hope that the pictures today were enough to get a little bit more than a make up snuggle. Goodnight everybody.

Canada:Various, Women’s Ice hockey, Gold

USA: Tanith Belbin, Ben Agosto, Ice Dancing, Silver
Various, Women’s Ice hockey, bronze

Monday, February 20, 2006 

Notes of Note

It’s early bedtime again for the Sports Guy North today, and you all know what that means. It’s time for the great nation of Hungary’s favourite new feature: Notes of Note.

Ice Dancing

Did anyone see the Canadian ice dancing team today? That was quite the spectacular drop to end their skate. If you could guarantee 3 or 4 of those per skate, that might make it something to see. Oh, or what if multiple pairs had to go at a time, and they were allotted one body check each per session. Get like 8 pairs on the ice, and then if you’d done too well in the past everyone would be out to take you down. That could be something. But that’s not how it is, so highlights from ice dancing on my sportsnet news are limited to the one big drop of the evening. And that’s more than enough for me.

All Star Sunday

So they had a follow-up to the wonderful Saturday night events, and actually in the end it ended up being pretty good. LeBron and TMac each put on a show, and the second-half ended up being really good all around. When I saw Vince going in for the ally-oop dunk at the end, all I could think was I hope that bounces off the back of the rim, and finds it’s way down to T-Mac in time for him to hit the winning three. Sure enough, Vince blew a tire on the dunk, but unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough time to finish it like I pictured. Deserving MVP accolades to LeBron, becoming the youngest winning in history, and all in all a very nice show put on. It is the most impressed I have been by an al-star function since I was a kid.

Daytona 500

NASCAR! If that got your attention, then I no long wish to have you as a reader of mine. No offense or anything, but NASCAR is not something worth any of your attention. Odds are no one who likes NASCAR can either read, nor do they have internet, so I think I’m safe. Anyway, I only mention this because we have a NASCAR pool that we set up as a laugh, since no one knows anything about NASCAR. When I made my team I called it Jimmie Johnson’s Bush Sacks, because I was actually able to put Jimmie Johnson, some guy named Sacks, and a couple of Bush’s on the team. So that’s what I did. Low and behold Jimmie Johnson apparently won the 500, and I am the king of NASCAR at this point. It’s sure to last. Yay NASCAR!

Ricky Williams

Oh Ricky.

Olympic Hockey

Wow. But not really. Two losses this weekend for Team Canada to Switzerland and Finland, and the Nucks have slid down the standings. The Americans also picked up a couple of loses this weekend to fall to 1-2-1 and fourth place. Both teams will still be in the playoffs, as 8 of 12 teams make it, and Germany, Italy, Latvia and the Kazaks are still in the tournament. Really, I’m not surprised by the results. I said before the tournament that the Americans would win only 2 of their 5 games, and also that the Fins were better than the Canadians. The loss to Switzerland by the Canadians and the tie against Latvia by the Americans were the only surprises to me. The Canadians should still pick up a medal, but only because the other nations did a horrible job putting rosters together. Finland gold, Canada silver and Russia bronze was my original prediction, and it could still hold. The Slovaks are playing some interesting hockey, though. And the Americans are just as bad as I thought they would be. Seriously, Team USA, I am available to help you put together a team any time you want. With the talent available that wasn’t on the team I could have guaranteed a medal, but instead the worst American team in a long time was sent to make a short appearance in this years games. Luckily for the Canadians, that is.


Medal Tracking

With a couple of medals today, the Canadians have caught back up to the Americans in the medal race again. This really is unheard of at this point. The standings are as follows:


Anyway, here is a recap of today’s results that brought Canada back up to a tie with America. Surprisingly they were in semi-real events this time that have been in the Olympics for years, bringing the real medal total for Canada up to 5 at this point by my count.

Canada: Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown, Two-Man Bobsleigh, Silver
Cindy Klassen, Ladies’ 1000m Speed Skating, Silver
USA: Nothing

Sunday, February 19, 2006 

NBA All Star Saturday Night Recap

In The Begining, There Was Nothing

The NBA skills night starts out with 50 minutes of.... nothing. Nothing at all. Some kids playing drums, 10 year olds dancing, and all culminating in Walter McCarty inexplicably taking a stab at the national anthem. How did they let this happen? Seriously. How. This is not a good sign for how the rest of the night will go. I fear the worst.

Followed By Nothing

So, then the next ten minutes are also filled with effectively nothing as they have another go at the team competition. That’s the thing where an NBA player, an old guy and some girl take shots from assigned areas, with the best time winning. The Spurs were up first, with Parker, Kerr and some lady. They go through with no error, and then Parker makes the half courter on the first shot. Game over, no one is beating this. The Lakers were up next, and I’m reminded beforehand of Magic’s humourous struggles last year, and I anticipate the same again. Instead, this time there is Lisa Leslie right under the basket needing 6 shots, and Magic making his first. He did need 5 shots for his second, but then Kobe, like Parker, also makes his first half court shot.

Swoops Clyde and TMac then have little problems, but they cant meet the first time set by San Antonio and they know it. This contest is done, even with Phoenix left to go. Thunder Dan just doesn’t have enough tricks in his pockets, and this meaningless, retarded event is over. Parker, Kerr and whatever girl that was take it.

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Skilled Completision

Next up is the skills competition. This has somehow become the marquee event of the night with all the biggest stars taking place. LeBron, Nash, Chris Paul and Wade are this years competitors, while Iguodala, Nate Robinson, Smith and Warrick are in the dunk contest. This isn't right. Imagine a dunk contest with LeBron, Wade, Iguodala and Kobe. It's just really weird to me that the skills competition has the marquee names now. But whatever, nothing can change that at this point.

Paul went first and went slow, finishing at 42 seconds. Wade followed it up with a dunk, pretty passes, but a horrible time at the 3 point line, managing to just edge out Paul’s time at 39 seconds. LeBron, showing yet again that his passng game is a thing of the past, came in between their times at 40.5 very unspectacular seconds. Nash then went in there and was a disgraceful hack. But really, who cares? This event is dumb, and the star players should be back n the dunk contest. No one cares about this one. Play station must be paying a lot of money to get guys like LeBron and Wade into this debacle.

Second time through LeBron does a little better and throws down a 33 second run. Wade whips through at 26 seconds with a perfect run for the championship and all the glory that comes along with it. At this point in the night I'm really questioning why I’m sitting at home watching this instead of doing absolutely anything else. An hour and 20 minutes have gone by without a single second of entertainment as far as I'm concerned. At this point I also know that my least favourite part of the night is going to be the repetitive showing of Eva Longoria in the audience. Who decided that anyone cares about her? She's not all that attractive, she instantly gives off an air of “I’m better than you” anytime you see her, and she's in the worst show on tv since sex in the city. I just don’t get it. Someone has to give me a job deciding what goes on tv, i know i could do a much better job than anyone who actually holds one of those jobs. And don't even get me started on advertisers.

Three Point Contest

But moving on, 15 minutes inexplicably pass again, and they finally get around to the three-point contest. I would love to see Donyell Marshall take one of these before his career comes to an end, but for some reason he's never invited. The contestants this year are Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitski, Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups, Q Rich and Jason Terry. Again, unlike the dunk contest, this is a pretty decent lineup of all-stars (plus Jason Terry). But I guess no one cares about dunks anymore.

Arenas starts off with no buckets on the first rack, but finishes off with 14 points. Not bad for 0 to start. Jason Terry went second, started off with a big air-ball, took too much time and ended up with 13 points. Disco Dirk, the tallest competitor in three-point contest history as far as I can remember, came in strong with 14 points as well (although it should only be 12 as far as big Charles is concerned). Next up - more ads. Sigh. How long can they drag this night out? And it's all going to climax with Nate Robinsons appearance in the dunk contest. Maybe I should call someone up and see if anything else is going on tonight. Before I get around to it, though, the contest is back on and Ray Allen takes to the court. Likely the best shooter in the game today, he gets off to a slow start, but comes on strong finishing with 19 points.

Barkley just compared Allen’s shot to his Golf Swing, saying there is no wasted motion. Has anyone else seen Chuck golfing? It's something. Not a flattering comparison if you ask me.

Back to the contest, Chauncey comes out of the gate strong, but then misses 11 of 12 in the middle, finishing with only 12 points. Last up is Q – air ball to start yet again, and six misses to finishes off and become eliminated. So the finalists are Arenas with 14, Disco with 14 and Allen with 19. Not so great.

Second round, Arenas' up first and misses his first few shots again, but again comes up strong finishing with 16 points. He also made a new symbol with his fingers that i hadn't seen before, and it kind of made me miss the days of the triangle over the head. What does that say about this new sign? Anyway, Dirk’s up next and looks a little better this round, putting up a quick 13 points by half-time, finishing with 18. Ray Allen ran a little cold in the middle, finishing with only 15 points, making Big Disco the 3-points champion, and guaranteeing that the 3-point champion this year would be taller than the dunk champion. I don't have much definite history to back this up, but I can't imagine there were many years where the 3-point champ was taller than anyone in the dunk contest. Says me.

he conclusion of the 3-point contest sees another huge break, including an inexplicable appearance from Elton Brand introducing yet ANOTHER look at the NBA cares program. Man, are they over-hyping this thing. We get it already - not all NBA players are thugs and gangstas. To drive the point home even further, next comes a performance by Andrea Bottecelli. Did I spell his name right? Probably not. And why is that? Because I am a basketball fan, so there is a 99.99999% chance that I DON'T CARE AT ALL ABOUT THIS GUY. What is going on here? I haven’t seen this much over-compensating since Third Eye Blind came out with their follow-up “We Are Not Gay” album. It's one thing to want to bring up the image of the league, but once it's at the expense of putting your fans through a constant barrage of crap they don't care about, it's gone way too far. Just way too far. They had an opera singer performing at a basketball all-star event. Seriously, that's what happened. Sigh.

The Big Show?

We are now 128 minutes into this thing, and finally onto the dunk contest. I can't wait to see what Vince and LeBron are going to do to top Kobe's performance. Oh wait, I mean what Nate Robinson and Hakim Warrick will do to top Smith. Sniff.

So anyway, benchwarmer Hakim Warrick (although a favourite of mine) is up first, and he throws down a simple fake statue of liberty, come back underneath dunk to score a 44. 6'6" AI is up second, throwing the ball up to himself off a bounce and doing some stuff with his arms like you always see people do on dunks these days, but still coming up with 45 points. The 5'9" Nate Robinson gimmick takes the floor, with a throw bounce ally-oop, followed by a pretty nice 360 dunk. It wasn’t much better than the first two dunks BUT he gets the gimmick votes and takes 49 points, setting up for a gimmick to win yet again.

Then, since Smith realizes the only way to beat a gimmick is with a gimmick, he goes out and puts tape on the floor at an impossible distance... only to ignore it completely and attempt one of those take a full step over the free-throw line dunks for 41 points. What was the tape for? Yikes. The contest so far is ever worse than I was anticipating. It can only go up from this point, right? Smith's going to use that tape on his second attempt, right!?!??!

Speaking of second attempts, here we go again. Warrick takes 2 attempts to catch a pass from a dude in a chair and jump over him. Haven't seen that before. Sigh. 42 points, for 86 total. AI up next, and to the great amusement of the announcing staff, he sets up to take a pass from the other AI. What was so funny about this? I have no idea, the best I can tell is that they were passing up lots of cocktails in the media room in the last commercial break. But finally... FINALLY something to see! Iverson passes it to him off the back of the backboard, he grabs it, pulls the ball and his head under the backboard, and then extends it back upwards and dunks it for 50 points and 95 total points. This is one of the best dunks i've ever seen, and my heart is finally beating a bit for the first time tonight. Only to be taken back down by a simple toss up to the gimmick, who still somehow gets the gimmick votes for 44 and 93 total, taking Smith out of contention even before his second dunk. Have I mentioned how much I hate gimmicks? They are so bad. Nate didn’t make good dunks and he's in the finals even before JS's second dunk. I really hope AI saved something for the finals to take him down. Anyway Smith did something and got some points and is out.

The final is set to go, after another huge break, and it's the real guy against the gimmick. Mind you, he isn’t that much of a gimmick. He's only 2 inches shorter than Iverson. But nonetheless he is getting the full gimmick treatment. And as he starts off here, he's trying to get the Birdman treatment as well! 7 misses so far. Now 8. Moving through different styles of dunks as well. 9 now, and the gimmick is getting tired. He clearly has his sights set on Birdmans records. 10 misses and I notice that this is SO much better than having Smith in the finals with AI. 11th try through the legs, opposite hand, and throws it down. Decent dunk, but if he wins after missing 10 attempts, it will be the lowest point of the night. 44 points and onto AI, who gets a little love from Dr.J and steps up to the free throw line, tosses the ball up in the air, grabs it in the air with his left, behind his back to the right and in. Wow. AI is the real deal. Those are 2 real 50-point dunks for AI.

Now, as if the gimmick wasn’t gimmick enough, he pulls the original gimmick himself out of the audience in Spud Webb, takes a bounce pass from him and jumps over another short guy for the dunk. Sigh. The new ultimate gimmick to end all gimmicks has finally taken place. Jumping the shark shall from now on be known as jumping the spud. I hope and wish that this won’t pay off, but AI put up a pretty lame dunk, through the legs, and was saved for my sake into a dunk-off. I hate gimmicks so much, and tonight has been hard enough to sit through, if a gimmick wins I will officially be with drawing from watching slam dunk saturday in the future. So with that, we move onto the dunk-off. Apparently not happy to have come up short of Birdman’s record earlier, Nate is quickly into the double digits in misses on his dunk-off attempt. Once you get to 15 misses you give up, right? RIGHT?!!?? Apparently not. This is out of control. 20 attempts (the announcers generously said 14) and he finally gets one down. It's pretty good, under both legs at the three point line, off the backboard and dunked. 47 points. That’s a tough score for AI to take down. And he didn’t do it. This isn't right. Not right at all. The gimmick won, and did it by not having the best dunks, even if he took 50 attempts to get them. And I'm done with this. Don't expect an All Star Saturday post from me next year unless something drastic changes. This was brutal all around. I have nothing more to say about it. It's a mess.

It's My Game

After watching the mess that was this evening’s event, I think to myself who should have been in these contests to make it better? I first decided that the only way to fix the first hour and a half would have been to miss it, as the Team thing and the skills comp just don't belong and serve only to fill up time and bring in more advertising money. The other two contests, however, were just horribly cast. For one thing, these contests should only involve people who are actually playing in the all-star game. On top of they, the participants should be voted in by the fans out of the cast of people who are in the game, and if they are voted in they should be told that if they don’t compete in the event they are voted into, then they can't play in the all-star game either. Maybe then there would be a little more excitement in the Dunk Contest that hasn't been there for 6 years.

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Without the fan vote, however, it should default to me picking who is in the contest, and thus be independent of the games participants. If I were setting up the evening, the three point contest and dunk contest should have involved the following:

3 Point Contest

Ray Allen
Mike James
Raja Bell
Chauncy Billups
Steve Nash
Kyle Korver

Dunk Contest

Vince Carter
LeBron James
Kobe Bryant
Andre Iguodala
Jermaine O’Neal

Now that would be an evening to watch. Until that day, I have now officially retired from watching All Star Saturday. I just can’t take another night like tonight, and I really don’t think that we, as fans, should have to.

Saturday, February 18, 2006 

Round and Round

The World Is Upside-down

Halfway through the Olympic Games and the medal standings are as follows:

................... G S B Tot
1. Norway.... 1 6 6 13
2. Germany. 5 4 2 11
2. Russia..... 5 2 4 11
2. Canada.... 2 4 5 11
5. USA......... 6 3 1 10

This is unheard of at this point, the Canadians are actually ahead of the Americans for now. Has the world gone topsy turvy? Well not so fast. Take a look at 8 of the 11 medals that the Canadians have won.

Gold – Moguls, Skeleton
Silver – Team Cross Country Skiing, Skeleton, and 2 in Team Pursuit
Bronze – Skeleton, Snowboard Cross

That’s right, make up enough fake sports, and any country can come out on top. As it turns out that Canadians have the most free time to spend on freak winter sports. I mean, how many Canadians haven’t gone hurdling down a hill face first on a Krazy Karpet? Skeleton was made with crazy canuck kids in mind. The Gold medal winner also set the record as the oldest Olympic gold medallist in history, with just 6 months until his big 4-0 to smash the old record of 35. That itself says something about the skelton competition.

Without these medals it would be 3 bonze medals and a spot down the medal list at this point for Canada, but so goes the world where trampoline and ballroom dancing are more representative of world sports than baseball. I still have faith, though, that the American will shoot well past the Canadians by the end of the games. Canada should certainly enjoy their lead for now, though, it’s not something that happens every 4 years.

Women’s Hockey

To those of you who said I shouldn’t condone the Canadian women’s outright destruction of their opponents, take note today. I said the reason they had to do it was to be able to put off playing the Swedes, as they have made big strides in their program. Sure enough, Canada gets the tie break, and the Americans are forced to play Sweden in the semi-finals. What’s the end result? The Americans lost today in a shoot out against the Swedes, setting up the first final in the history of women’s hockey history (15 plus years) that does involve Canada and the states. As a reward for blowing away their round robin competition, the Canadians were rewarded with a blowout win over Finland. And all those Canadians, Don Cherry included, who were all over the Canadian women for running up their scores better be choking on their words today.

By the way, with their loss today the Americans overall record against Canada stands at 9-26-1, while against the rest of the world they fall to 60-1-2. Sweden is giving note that the money and attention they have spent on their women’s hockey team is paying off, just in time for women’s hockey to be removed from the Olympics for the 2014 games. Too little, too late, but at least there’s a little something special to look forward to no in women’s hockey. The days of guaranteed same old same old are behind us, and with Sweden leaping ahead in third, Russia is sure to follow and pay more attention to their teams. Good news for women’s hockey, but like I said it’s probably a little too late at this point. If the next games weren’t in Canada this sport would be gone already. And it’s too bad too, because there is nothing hotter than women playing hockey. Hands down the sexiest look for a woman is wearing nothing but shin guards, hockey socks and hockey pants. You really just don’t see enough of that.

Groin Watch

According to Thomas Vokoun, I retired the groin watch prematurely. In an interview yesterday, Vokoun claimed that the injury Hasek originally called a hamstring pull was in reality a groin injury. Even I’m getting tired of all the groin injuries at this point. Something must be done, and soon. It’s out of control at this point.

Medal Watch

USA – Lindsey Jacobellis, Ladies’ Snowboard Cross, Silver

Canada – Duff Gibson, Men’s Skelton, Gold
Jeff Pain, Men’s Skelton, Silver
Dominique Maltais, Ladies’ Snowboard Cross, Bronze

Friday, February 17, 2006 

Llyod Moesby?

This Lloyds for Yyou

Ignoring my normal line that I draw as to what is and isn’t a sport, I will start off today with somewhat of a figure skating talk. In particular, my new hero Lloyd Eisler. I mean honestly, who among us wouldn’t leave our wives for the original Buffy? Even if the old wife is 6 months pregnant at the time, given the option we’d all jump at it. And I commend Lloyd for trading up so publicly as he did, despite how it might look in the press. Keep up the good work, Lloyd, and bring the illustrious Skating with Celebrities championship back home to Canada! You must be very proud of what you’ve accomplished lately, we are all very proud of you.

Hamstring – the New Groin

Like I mentioned yesterday, Haseks injury really knocks a favourite out of contention. Today even the Swiss team even beat the Czechs. The Swiss team. Honestly. This is probably a bigger upset than the American’s tie against Latvia. Sweden also lost 5 to 0 to the Russians. As I said back on January 4th,

“The selection committee has made their choices. There's no going back on that now… The problem is, the other teams in this years Olympics seem even more questionable, so I'm pretty sure that whoever the Canucks go with, they are pretty much guaranteed a medal. And guarantee Gretzky's involvement in Team Canada for eons to come. But to me at least it's clear that they did not do the best job in assembling this team.”

This is possibly the worst international competition that has been assembled in years. And everyone will again say how great Gretzky’s team was, but really Canada is just going to win by default. I’m not sure what exactly went wrong in every other country, but if you have the results that the USA, Czechs and Sweden have put up happening, then some people’s heads need to roll. Team USA – I am available for consulting in the future. I could have easily put together a medalling team with the members you left at home. Enjoy your two wins you’ll get with the team you picked without me.

Best Olympic Name

Dick Pound. Discuss among yourselves.


The New Babcock

With the Rob’s early exit from his General Managing career, I decided it was time to take it upon myself to find the new Babcock in the NBA. What I found, however, was a little surprising. As it turns out, one of the most successful teams in the East may have out-Babcocked Babcock himself in recent history. Check out these moves on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers:

On February 24, 2005 Cleveland acquired Jiri Welsch from Boston for a No. 1 pick in 2007 and the removal of lottery protection on its 2005 pick.

On June 28, 2005 Cleveland sent Jiri Welsch to the Bucks in exchange for a 2006 second-round pick.

On Oct. 4, 2005 Cleveland reacquired its own 2007 second round pick from Orlando in exchange for Milwaukee’s 2007 second round pick.

Details : Removing the protection allowed the Bucks to pick up Sean May with the 13th pick. Jiri played only 16 mostly useless games for the Cavs. The Cavs are still paying part of Jiri’s salary. The draft pick exchange does nothing but bet that the Bucks will do better next year than the Cavs will. Even if there was a chance of this happening, why would a team do this? There are a million levels on which this makes no sense. I don’t even think Babcock himself would have been dumb enough to make this move.

End result. The Cavs downgraded a second round pick, along with trading:

First Round Pick
Removal of Protection on a first round pick
Paying a guy to play elsewhere


Second round pick

And with that, a new king is crowned. As the Wobby said, "when you have a no-brainer selection in lebron, it hides the fact that all their moves definitely aren't great."

Elias Watch

Patrick bruised his ribs from a check in the Czechs game against Switzerland on Thursday, and had to leave the game. How horrible is this news for Devils fans? Is it worse news than Hasek for the Sens? Maybe not, but these are probably the two worst injuries that could have happened. As I said before the Olympics, staging a, for all intents and purposes, meaningless tournament in the middle of playoff runs is just asking for trouble. If this is an extended injury for Elias that would pretty much ruin their chances at going any further up the standings. It was his return that sparked the team, and his loss would likely have the opposite effect. Lets all hope the injury isn’t all that serious… but serious enough to keep him from playing any more meaningless games for a team that can’t even beat the Swiss. And lets just get through the rest of these two weeks without any more injury notes. At least the Groin Watch is still retired. For now.

Olympic Update

USA (9)– Seth Wescott, Men’s Snowboard Cross, Gold

Canada (8)– Men’s Team Pursuit, Speed Skating, Silver
Ladies’ Team Pursuit, Speed Skating, Silver
Jeffrey Buttle, Men’s Figure Skating, Bronze
Melissa Hollingsworth-Richards, Women’s Skeleton, Bronze

What’s that, Canada’s only one medal behind the USA? Yeah, that’ll last.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 

The Luge Post

2 Man Tragedy

Well, this isn't the type of thing you want to see. Literally. Today's 2-man luge went off full of hitches, notably among them was a crash involving favourites Brian Martin and Mark Grimmette from the USA. As if it's not bad enough for the men to have to jiggle and bounce up and down on each other as they race, these men, among others, had to scrape along the ice at the same time as a few sleds flipped as the day went on. Luckily Martin was there to break Grimmettes fall, while at the same time Grimmette was able to break Martin’s fall, as you can see in the following pictures. The pair lucked out as such naturally occurring padding can't be found in any other sport.

So, did anyone else attempt to watch this event, or was it just my 2-minute shot at it? What brought my watching to such a quick, abrupt close you ask? The replays. And no, I don't mean the replays of the crashes that sent one man to the hospital with a head injury (I guess only Americans provide the ample cushioning that goes along with the Fast Food way of life). Rather, it was the close up, slow motion replays of the normal runs down the course. This event is even worse than I imagined. If you've managed to avoid these slow motion jiggle fests then try to keep up that trend. I can't even put it into words. Nor do I want to. Nor should anyone want to. But it is over now, and 4 more years will pass before I sit through another run. I wonder how long it'll be before they have female luge pairs. Judging by the female luge medallists on the right, this is a luge event that may warrant some viewership. And these are even the German women. Congrats to them!

The JR and the AD

2 minutes into the game, Jalen found himself with 3 fouls, sadly taking his impact out of the rest of the game. I was looking forward to seeing a real battle between Jalen and Mope as the Raps extended their winning streak to 4, as well as 7 of their last ten. The Raptors did their best to let the Knicks run away with this game, but, as it turns out, they’re the Knicks, and they barely hung on for the win. Loren Woods even got non-garbage minutes against them, it what now looks like a majo under-estimation by coach Sammy. The only thing I can really say about this Knicks team right now is that it’s nice to see Larry Brown struggling. I really don’t respect his move to New York, and I love watching it blow up in his face.

On the other hand, you have to feel for Jalen this season. He had to suffer through the Raptors 1-15 start to the season, and just as the team was turning it around as one of the hottest teams going into the all star break, he is traded to a team that is now in a 1-16 run. He is a great player, and model athlete off the court, and he deserves to be in a positive situation for the first time in years. Hopefully good times will find him again, he is very deserving.

Darko and Carlos and Kato

In a big O deal, Darko and Carlos Arroyo went to the Magic tonight for Kelvin Cato’s expiring contract and a draft pick. That is the value that the second overall pick in a draft that included LeBron, Carmello, Wade and Bosh. This is officially the worst draft pick in the history of the league, knocking the Half-a Man pick out of the top spot. Ignoring the fact that the pick never made sense for Detroit, as a big man is the last thing the Pistons needed, he still very obviously had less talent than a few people taken after him who would have fit in positionaly. Could you imagine how dominant the Pistons would be right now if they had Wade in the mix? But now the Darko experiment moves in alongside the Francis experiment, which followed the TMac zone defense experiment, etc. The days of Shaq are long gone in Orlando, and bringing in Darko is not going to do much to change that. Those of you who hurried into your leagues and picked up Darko on news of the trade must have never seen any of the garbage minutes that Darko put in over the last few years. He is not good. Could he be good if he played consistently? I don’t know the definite answer to that, but I have a guess. Nonetheless, he hasn’t played consistently, and he isn’t about to jump in and play 20 minutes a game now. He still has no fantasy value, and in case I had to point it out for some reason, neither does Kato. This trade does nothing but close out the only sore spot on the Pistons front office in the midst of the wonderful work they’ve done over the last half-decade building the strongest team in the East. The Darko minutes, though, were the best moments of Pistons games for me, and I am going to miss them. It was always fun just to see what new and wonderful ways Darko would put up zeros on the board. He was special.

Minor Hockey Notes
Canada easily handled the Italians today after toying with them for a while. No surprise there. Cherry complained about running up the scores. No surprise there. Cherry did, however, side with me and rip on the Olympic brass for removing baseball and softball from the games because they aren't played in Europe. It really is just too stupid, but no matter. Hasek went down with an injury, taking yet another country out of real contention. This isn't a good Canadian team, but the others are all so bad. Like I said before the tournament, the American team is just horrible this time, and they showed it with a tie against Latvia today. Where is Ryan Miller? It's such a joke. But at least Steve Moore is doing his best to help bring the Canadians down by picking the wrong time to yet again be the ass that he is. He really needs to give it a break at this point. No one cares anymore. You were never good, and there is a 0% chance that you would survive in the new NHL. So take your 5 minutes of fame and move on before everyone turns on you. At this point you're still relatively the good guy, I suppose. Now please just leave us all alone, it's getting ridiculous.

A Luge Tribute

In tribute to my luging friends, and courtesy of, following the North America medal recap will be a photo-tribute to the gold, silver and bronze medal winning German lugistas. They deserve all the accolades I can give them!

Canada – Anouk LeBlanc-Boucher, Ladies’ 500m Short Track Speed Skating, Bronze

USA – Toby Dawson, Men’s Moguls, Bronze

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 

The V-Day P

NBA at

In honour of Valentine's day, I've decided to just be nice in my post today.



Woozle wazzle?

Wow, as it turns out, that means I have nothing to say. Maybe this is a sign that I should take some time to reflect on who I have become as a person. That sounds like an awful lot of work, though, with minimal return. But so also goes the life of an Olympic athlete. Can anyone name even 5 athletes, not from their own country, who didn't win an award in the last Olympics (and don't play for a professional sports team)? How about 5 from your own country would didn't win 3 Olympics ago? It can't easily be done. I'd go back to the reason why that is, but I already promised I only be nice for Valentines day.

Olympic Love

So, if to only further the fading into oblivion of Games losers, I'll list as always here yesterday's medal winners from Canada and the United States.

Canada: nothing
United States: Joey Cheek, Speed Skating Men's 500m, Gold
Hannah Teter, Snowboarding, Ladies Halfpipe, Gold
Gretchen Bleiler, Snowboarding, Ladies Halfpipe, Silver

Raptor Love

The Raptor's faced off with the T-Wolves last night, and again put on a show. Antonio Davis put in 29 strong minutes against Garnett, but did looked a little mismatched in the tandem. Nearly not as much as Loren Woods did in his ugly 8 minutes of play. Man, that was mean again. This is hard. Not as hard as times have gotten in Minnesota, though, as the Wolves have now dropped 7 of their last 8 matchups, with an inexplicable win against the strong Suns in the middle. On the other side of the spectrum, that is now three in a row for the Raptor's, and 6 of their last 8 to move to only 5 games out of a playoff spot. I know you all still don't believe me, but this is an exciting team to watch, even on a night where CB4 failed to show up. James and MoPe put on a show that was worth your admission. They are just a big man and another years experience away from making the second round of the playoffs. It's just a shame that Babcock isn't around to see what he built from scratch, it really is turning out surprisingly well. And man will I miss his draft day!

Groin Love

I'm not touching that one with a 20 foot pole. And that's the last straw. I clearly don't function properly on some mental level. I can't be nice, and I promised I would, so I'm just going to have to bail. I'll see you all again after love-day has passed. Hey Sax Man, play us something sweet on our way out, I promised my wife a nice dance tonight.

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