Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dear Lord, Please End This Hockey Season

I'm no Christian, and the last time I prayed I think I asked Jesus to give me the Star Wars Dagobah System set--shit, that was awesome--but I'm strappin' on the feedbag of old time religion to ask the Gods of Sport (aka these fellows) to please, pretty please, pretty please with a $100 bill soaked in Philip Rivers' blood on top, to end this hockey season. Like, last week.

Before I get to the prayer, lie down on your naptime mats and follow for a sec...

Imagine, if you will, a teen boy, loosed onto the internet by his loving parents for the very first time. Oh golly, he says to himself, finally! With the power of broadband at my fingertips, I can, at long last, immerse myself in the endless wonderment of the Worldwide Web!

But! Where does he go first? To search out funny photos of camels wearing hats? Images of underweight Thai housewives having sex with multiple partners? No, friends. He hies himself straight to the House of Georges. T see if what the kids in his neighborhood have been saying is true.

And what does he fucking see? Hockey coverage. Opinions on line changes. Youtube videos of gigantic goons from the '70s. Do you think that kid wants to ally himself with the roughly 6 percent of the sporting world that digs hockey? Fuck. To the. No.

He wants manly opinions about chest hair-having sports, like baseball and soccer. He wants to read about the vagaries of NFL free agency, about the criminal pasts of the Chefs' third-string long snapper, about the various authors' childhoods, political opinions and taste in collared shirts.

And yet, we give him hockey. Shame on us. Shame on all of us.

Now, I can't expect a lifelong puckhead like Bank to stop now, and I would never ask him to. So, Sport-Lords in your old timey baseballing suits, if you exist (maybe I won't go there just right now) and don't prefer the prayers emanating from Mecca, Mumbai and Americus, GA, then I humbly beseech thee to just end it, already.

If it takes a meteor, know what they say about makin' an omelette.


blairjjohnson said...

Awesome. I'm sure when hockey's done, and Cubs/Rockies baseball, Broncos OTA news, and the NBA playoffs are all that's going on, you'll be less distracted enough to cover them.

What is this, a fantasy baseball message board?

Unknown said...

Are you kidding me. Y'all spend 1000s of words and countless hours sifting through minutia of America's former pasttime and most embarassing professional league.

Yea, I hate leagues that actually focus on athletic competition rather than front office bullshit. The NHL had the strike and made the RIGHT decision.

Hell, it takes MLB 162 games just to hammer home the point ... the Red Sox have lots of money. There is no worse post-season on this planet than MLB's ... and we've still got MONTHS of regular season left.

Be real, once the NHL season is over, you're just countin' the days until NFL preseason.

Watch out, Goodell is gonna drive the NFL in the same direction. Once that goes down, the NHL will be all you've got, ol' boy.

Just you watch.



Cecil said...

...aaand we've heard from the entire hockey crowd.

Unknown said...

That's it. You can't even bring SOMETHIN'? C'mon, name a worse postseason than MLB. How 'bout a more embarassing league in US history. You could try to XFL, but it never really had the clout to raise serious embarassment.

Good luck with those.

-- TLR

Cecil said...

Your spittle-flecked rage at baseball is nothing less than hilarious, TLR.

Hockey's postseason lasts for 8 months. When it's over, they start playing fucking hockey again a week later. How do they expect anyone not in the Club--and make no mistake, hockey fans are a clique like no other--to give a shit?

So, yeah, I think it's a worse post-season than baseball (the NBA's is as well, but that's another rant).

And the league, despite all of your fanboy blather, is still trying to fill empty barns in fucking Tampa Bay and Atlanta instead of Winnipeg and Hartford--you know, where people actually care about it.

I won't even get started on the caveman-want-blood attitude that's seemingly a prerequisite for fandom, either...because lord knows, if you don't agree with it, "you don't know the game." I don't know of another sport wherein a player can wilfully injure someone--Chris Fucking Simon, anyone?--and have it passed off as well, that's just how it is. And then be consistently re-employed for injuring people well.

Which is all fine with me. I'm not interested in minor leagues. If I was, I'd pay more attention to winter baseball.

Blanche Feverpiss said...


Is 7 going to start doing Women's NCAA Softball in the Daytime?

blairjjohnson said...

Before you start uttering uninformedalities, look here and here , and explain to me how this is "passed off as...just how it is."

Cecil said...

Please. The dude was busting heads in the NHL for a decade and no one gave a shit. That hardly makes the league look like a paragon of fair play and righteousness.

"Oh, your first 27 incidents, we don't mind, but that last one?? You're outta here, buddy!"

Someone let me know when Todd Bertuzzi gets booted, eh?


blairjjohnson said...

Another incorrect statement. The old Chris Simon -- of Capitals fame -- was a long-haired, seldom-heard-from, scarcely penalized dude. It was only in recent years that he tended toward in-game violence.

And Todd Bertuzzi? He had one (albeit major) incident. It came with a massive suspension, criminal charges, and was followed-up by both public and private apologies to his victim.

Wanna try again?

Blanche Feverpiss said...

Yeah- Ron Wilson. That motherfucker's daughter keyed my car.

Cecil said...

"Wanna try again"???

Are you serious? My point is beyond proved, dude. And your reflexive defensiveness only proves the larger issue I referenced earlier: that hockey fans, by and large, embrace this idiocy and thuggery.

"Albeit major." Fuck that. He coulda killed the guy. Bullshit.

Cecil said...

And nice apology from the Toddster, too. I'm sure that will give Steve Moore his fucking career back.

Wanna try again?

blairjjohnson said...

You haven't proved anything, dude. As I've said countless times on these pages, you're on skates. On ice. Any form of contact threatens your balance and participation in every play. That doesn't happen in any other sport.

You know what does, though? Sucker punches, bench clearing brawls, players going into the stands and fighting fans, dudes charging the mound with bats in their hands. But, yeah. It's hockey that's thuggish and idiotic.

Bertuzzi's shot on Moore was a sucker punch. The ensuing concussion and end of his career were coincidental. Yes, it was very unfortunate, and a shame, but that's all it was. A coincidence. Does the name Kevin Everett sound familiar?

Since you clearly don't know anything about hockey fans, perhaps you shouldn't speak for what you think they embrace, which happens to be the game. Fighting happens as a result of both the contact, and some coaching strategies as well.

So, yeah -- wanna try again?

blairjjohnson said...

Perhaps what you're not getting here is that your assertion that there's some "club," that hockey fans are in a "clique like no other" is dismissive, inaccurate, and insulting. Like I said, if you knew anything about hockey fans, you'd know that they want more people to embrace the game, which is contrary to the exclusive implication of the word "clique."

It's attitudes and mouth-spurtings like this that ruin the good name of a great game, i.e. it's full of violence, it's cliquish, and dumb, and belongs in Canada. You and I both like baseball, football, and some basketball. You like whiskey, however, and I don't, but I don't present foolish tirades about how whiskey drinkers are moronic imbeciles that belong either in the tank or in the 1700s; I respect your choice to like it.

Unknown said...

The comment I attempted to post last night didn't make it.

That's too bad. It was downright eloquent.

I'll make another attempt at it in a bit.


1. Cecil amuses me.
2. Cecil's inherently defensive argument style..
3. Bertuzzi should have been banned ... so should Pedro Martinez.
4. A few do not represent the whole ... Denver Bronco example.
5. Logic



Cecil said...

Yeah, draggin' out the name of logic here makes a ton of sense...

Comparing fighting in hockey--on a generalized scale--to baseball players going into the stands is downright ridiculous. For one thing, a large segment of your fanbase, league and participating players both major and minor think it's as much a part of the game as wearing skates.

I *know* the two of you won't deny that. The same simply cannot be said of baseball, football, lawn bowling, etc. Fighting is a part of the culture of hockey. That is a sentence that you can take issue with, I guess, but you realize that you'd be wrong.

And to say that the aftereffects of Bertuzzi's hit on Moore were "coincidental"'re reaching to defend the indefensible.

It would also be "coincidence" if you hit someone with your car and they broke both legs. Slamming someone's head on the ice from behind--which is what happened, lord knows we got to see the replay enough around here--is liable to result in some of these "coincidences." Jesus. And the Kevin Everett comparison holds no water: kickoff return=not same as getting head smacked into ice.

I appreciate your love of the game, really, I do. I've even enjoyed watching it myself, although I absolutely admit I'm nothing but a bandwagoneer. And I could care less if anyone else likes whiskey. More for me.

But you're casting your argument in particularly combative terms, i.e. I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, and while I wouldn't pretend to your knowledge of the game, I know what side of the mountains the sun rises on. I've watched a few matches. Read a few pamphlets. Even talked--gasp!--to a few hockey fans. Like, um, yourself. My opinion is that the vast majority, while they might "want you to embrace the game," are also quick to respond exactly the way you did--"you know nothing about hockey!"

Which only proves my earlier point. But whatevs. No one is trying to change anyone's religion, here.

As for the Lone Reader...defensive? It was my original (and it should be noted, tongue-in-cheek, which seems to have escaped you both) post, ya goon, and you puckheads immediately leapt up with your gloves off. I let you vent, and you prodded the cage again...and you accuse me of being defensive. You're awesome. Roger Goodell on line 2, news about the Lake Champlain Monster...

Unknown said...

If only my comment had been posted, fine sir. I just don't seem to have the energy to go through it again, but I’ll give it a shot.

But I like your attempt to make my argument for me. However, you did misinterpret by generalizations.

1. Cecil's inherently defensive argument style… You made a case and then argued that the opposing side is inflammatory. By doing so, you then put yourself in a position to point your finger at any opposing argument and yell, "See I told you. Look they're inflammatory." That approach, in itself, can certainly be argued to be inflammatory as well.

2. Bertuzzi should have been banned ... so should Pedro Martinez … The NHL should have banned Bertuzzi, and he’s an embarrassment to the Canadian National team. I know some pretty big fans of that team that agree with that position. In the same vein, Pedro Martinez should have been banned the day he openly targeted an opponent’s head with a fastball. Such things reach beyond the realm of a particular sport, and into the scope of assault.

3. A few do not represent the whole ... Denver Broncos example … We can spend time picking through particular fights, penalties and situations, but these are far outweighed by their counter. We cannot form our vision of a larger group by the behavior of a few. If that were the case, then you must all support the notion that all Broncos are obnoxious, self-serving, incoherent jackasses like Shannon Sharpe. Now that’s not the case, is it? I certainly don’t think so.

4. Fighting really has no place in the game of hockey … I don’t like it … never have. That’s the primary reason I really dig both college and international hockey. I’m still pissed about that UMaine loss to Denver in 2004 (1-0 and we had a 5 on 3 for the final minute … ugh). I’m certainly not alone in my stance on fighting. While it’s a part of the current “culture” of the game, I firmly believe it will change in the near future. It’s not necessary to have a goon enforce rules. The league can take care of that with appropriate suspensions and game review. This is actually a fairly common expectation among my fellow NHL fans. Most of them are not eager to see the change, but they do expect it. My disagreement with fighting, however, does not require that I dismiss the league. I think the NFL’s overtime is a joke. I’m sick of the endzone and field celebrations. I still love the league.

5. Logic… In this section, I was shocked by my perception that you simply didn’t like the game of hockey. You have stated otherwise, which I thought, upon consideration, you would. I could not see a logical reason to dislike the game. I mean what’s not to like … the speed, finesse, hits? It’s a great game, and the league is only going to grow. They’ve wisely followed a model similar to our most successful professional league, the NFL. I believe fans want winners. The sport comes second. If markets believe they’ve got a shot to win, the fan base will grow. It’s all about providing a fair and exciting product. The NHL figured that out. I think that’s a pretty likeable quality in a league.

6. Finally … 567 … about the average number of hours that each team in MLB plays in the REGULAR season. That’s before the post-season even begins. An NHL team plays about 205 hours during the regular season. How can I reasonably entertain the notion that the NHL needs to speed things up from a man who staunchly supports a 162 game season, with almost no league representation in the post season? I just can’t see the consistency there.

Cecil, it’s always a pleasure.

I’m sure you’d be lovin’ every minute of the Stanley Cup Finals if the Aves were playin’.



blairjjohnson said...

1) I believe I said you don't know anything about hockey fans/what they want and believe. Not hockey itself.

2) For someone who claims to have seen the replay so many times, I'm embarrassed for you as to how wrong you have it. Their was no head slamming; he blind-sided him with a punch to the temple region, and it knocked Moore out. He then hit the ice face down, and slid motionless for about ten feet.

3) As much a part of the game as wearing skates? Talk about not holding water.

4) To say that fighting is part of the "culture" of hockey implicates fans of it, and anybody involved in the league. Couldn't be untruer. It's part of the game of hockey.

5) The after effects were nothing but coincidence. Bertuzzi sucker-punched him, it knocked Moore out. The knockout/concussion is a direct result. The fact that it turned out to be the grade of concussion it did: coincidental. Athletes and concussions are like snowflakes; no two are the same.

6) I'm not trying to be combative. Pinky swear. I just get frustrated to see you base this stance on inaccuracies and trite sayings.

7) I really don't see where you've proved even a smidge of a point in any of this, thus my frustration.

8) Let us vent? Come on, dude. Your comments are just as consistent/immediate as ours. Scroll up!

Cecil said...

We have officially used more words in this comment thread than in 93 percent of our recent posts. If we're not careful we're going over our allotment...

This particular mule has done been beat almost dead--almost--but I'll finish with a few answering numbers of my own:

1. If what you said was true, and it's certainly debatable on both sides, I'd say I was taking the offensive, not the defensive.

2. Well, here's where my Whitlockian hypocrisy comes in. I'm inherently more lenient of a fastball to the head than any hockey assault. It's because of answer #5.

3. Fair enough, except that Shannon Sharpe is the greatest tight end the modern NFL has ever seen.

4. Well, that's the kind of perspective the league could use more of--although as you say, it's probably already moving that way. Agreed that the shootout sucks.n The only good shootouts are in soccer and Old West saloons.

5. As I mentioned, I really have no problem with the game. I just wasn't raised as a fan like you and Bank. For whatever reason, I barely even realized that it existed outside of the far periphery of the sporting universe--I distinctly recall the first time I ever heard of Wayne Gretzy, and it was around the time he moved to LA. Baseball was generally first and foremost among my sporting loves, eventually to be supplanted by the NFL, but still a biggie. Hockey had to fight the haze of semi-adulthood, and by that time all of my allegiances were assigned.

6. Baseball is just fine the way it is...except for the steroidally ruined records, economic disparity and Saint Louis Cardinals.

Likewise. And if they were, I'd be climbing the bandwagon like every middle-aged housewife from Littleton, of course.

(And that's all. No more comments from this kid. Not even about Bank's defense of Todd Bertuzzi. Quit splitting hairs and call a spade a spade.)

Blanche Feverpiss said...

Never thought I'd ever se this exchange here! Hey 7, any day games tomorrow?