Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Let The Games Begin

Hey peeps and anyone else checking in - thanks for stopping by.

I started off this morning with a 6 km run (no, not with my running buddy) - went to drop one of our cars off to be fixed and decided to run home (28+ mins). The run this morning was a little painful, especially after having run last night...it was an omen - the day would prove to be somewhat painful. It rained for most of the day, which meant I took the day to catch up on some paperwork - and of course, I made the mistake of turning on the radio to listen to the Team 1200...which was the primary source of my pain today.

So I'm sitting here sipping on my favourite Port wine, with some dark chocolate, and thinking about what to write about tonight - this is what I came up with:

It took less than five days for someone to start questioning the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement and how it won't be fair to their team. I turned on the radio this morning to hear about a columnist in Edmonton talking about how with teams being restricted on how much they can spend on players (with most having roughly the same amount to spend) - some of the bigger NHL cities will have an advantage in attracting the best players because of what their cities have to offer both on and off the ice. The guys on the radio explained that this column talked about how cities like Edmonton will be at a disadvantage in attracting players (even though they could match offers from other teams) because Edmonton can't offer everything that some of the bigger US cities and Canada's big three can offer. According to the article, cities like Toronto will be able to attract players to play for less money - because players will have more exposure and more opportunity to make money off the ice with endorsements.

The article touched off a discussion about current free agents and who would go where - and of course, the Leafs were the topic of discussion (funny how Ottawa fans hate the Leafs...but they are the topic of conversation about 30% of the time). It started with the idea that some free agents have already stated their desire to play with other players/friends in the league. Peter Forsberg has gone on record as saying that he wants to play with Markus Naslund - and of course Sundin is pushing hard to have them come play in Toronto. One of them started off on a tangent that would see the Leafs sign - Forsberg, Naslund, Jeff O'Neill, Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk (with the possibility of Lindros and Leclair too) all at discounted prices... as they try to make a run for the Cup. You could hear this guy start to work himself into a lather (he normally tries to come off a aloof and easy going). This started the calls coming in, about how the CBA is only going to benefit the big markets like Toronto and New York. To this I had to say "HUH?"

A few days ago, you were all rejoicing about how this was finally going to put everyone on a level playing field...and now because of one article written by a guy in Edmonton...the new CBA is crap (which by the way I agree - but not for that reason) and Ottawa and other teams who tried to build through a draft are going to get screwed again. This is "ree-god-damned-diculous" - it is a GM's job to get the best available players anyway you can - if its selling the lifestyle in the city...if its selling marketing opportunities...if its selling sentiment "Ask Hazel Mae what Boston was like when they won the World Series...wouldn't you want to be part of a Stanley Cup winner in Toronto?"...A GM's job is to do anything to get the best fit for the team - can you imagine the irony of the richest team in the NHL winning a cup under a salary cap? That would be so fitting...I'd so be at that damn parade.

This is going to be the way of the NHL from here on in...you load up when you can for a run at the cup - like the Avalanche have done in the past. Teams are going to be able to build quickly through free agency - especially if most teams can only afford to have five or six top flight players...parity means quick shots and championships...before falling into the category of also-rans.

The late afternoon guys picked up on this idea today (this was after suffering through three hours of the Jim Rome show) . But the afternoon guys (two guys who sleep in sens pjs) were all over why free agents should want to come to Ottawa. One of them suggested that European free agents would want to play in Ottawa because the city has a European feel to it....HUH? The guy in question is a clown at the best of times (he came within a hair of breaking down a few years ago after another playoff loss to Hazel's Maple Leafs)...his hatred of everything "Leaf" is well known...but to go on and say Ottawa can attract European free agents based on the European feel of the city is absolutely ridiculous. These two condcuted their idoitic panel discussion they refer to "the meeting of the minds" and went on to trash Jacques Martin for his coaching style...and lauding Bryan Murray for they kind of coach he is (excuse me...has Bryan Murray won anything? has John Muckler won anything NOT built by Glen Sather in the 80's and early 90's?). Typical Ottawa crap...last year and in previous years they loved Martin...now "he needed to go...he wasn't the kind of coach they need right now...his style of play held the Senators back" - I can't wait to see these clowns fall flat. No matter what Pierre MacGuire says...I wonder what Hazel thinks of the new CBA...and whether she could start planting the "playing for the Maple Leafs seed in the mind of Joe Thornton." hahahaha

Getting back to the afternoon spot with Jim Rome...the city of Boston was front and center on his show today. Boston has recently signed on to Rome's syndicated show (why I don't know) but today's show was all about the "chowds", and a bunch of weak references to "ManRam". I don't listen to Rome for a number of reasons...not in any particular order:
  • The Team 1200 doesn't stream his program over the net - not that our crappy firewall would let it through anyways;

  • He tries too hard to be cool with his mix of west-coast meets white guy ebonics;

  • I'm not too impressed with a host who applauds a bunch of white 20 somethings from the middle and southern states who have nothing better to do that stay up all night...scripting themselves in the cool "Rome-like" ebonics...panting nervously and breathing heavily as they try not to screw up...going on about nothing. Rome calls them clones...he couldn't be more right.

  • Rome is a pompous, arrogant ass who thinks that by repeating everything three times (with the pre-requiste pensive pauses) he is imparting wisdom or deep thought on his listeners. Witness today...tell the people of Boston that they might not "get his show...but give him two weeks and they'll get it." You have to tell some of the US's most astute sports fans to give you two weeks to "get your show" - Rome...you picked the wrong bunch to talk down to...I'm sure Boston will show you "who gets it". How this guy has a gig on ESPN I'll never know (oh wait...it's only a half hour show...unlike his THREE HOUR radio show which has all of about 30 minutes in content - minus is repeating).
I know I'm hating on Rome...always have - he a close minded, self-righteous, ignorant ass who condescends to his listeners...and to things he doesn't understand (his hatred of soccer...though he knows nothing about it...but fan violence). This beacon of sports journalism had Roy Halladay on today - one of his hard hitting questions...which he paused for a few seconds before asking "Roy...The Jays seem to play the big guys tough...you guys handle the Red Sox, the Yankees, the O's, the Angels and the White Sox...what is it about your team that you let down against weaker teams like the Rays" - GEE Rome...that question hasn't been asked a million times...by every sports journalist.

This is Rome's in-depth interview...where he gets at the heart of things...I mean...its where Rome goes...he gets right in there where few sports journalists go...he asks the tough questions (pause four seconds) he wants to get right down deep into the story...to provide you what the players are thinking...the players takes (to readers checking in from Boston...if this paragraph doesn't make sense to you...listen to Rome for two or three days and it will). God I hope Hazel isn't a Jim Rome fan...that would be so disappointing.

Ok..I'm calling it a night...I have to call a friend of mine to catch up on things in our world...and I have a big day tomorrow. For those of you who got this far...thank you (damn..I feel like Rome tonight hahahaha a lot of talk here). As usual...feel free to leave a comment if you agree, disagree or if you have something to point out in the world of sports.

A very good night/day to everyone checking in (that goes double and triple for Hazel if she's peeking in)

The song of the day on Hazelspeeps (which is growing every day now - I'm guessing from visitors to this blog) - in honour of the prospect of Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund linking up with Mats Sundin...with Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk welcoming a fellow Toronto boy Jeff O'Neill...all in the name of winning a cup for the Toronto Maple Leafs... I give you

Reunited - Peaches and Herb (a cheezy R&B/soul love song from the 80's).

I hope that ends this entry with a smile...you know who has a great smile? a smile that lights up a room? a smile that....

Peesth Out.


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