Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Week's Worth Of Thought - Or Not

Hey peeps, and anyone checking in - whether you are a semi-regular or a first time visitor...a special "hey" if you happen to be Hazel Mae.

It's been a while since I have posted, which brings to mind "Try Again" by Aaliyah, ft. Timberland -
"Been a long time,
I shouldn't have left you
Without a dope beat to
Step to, step to"

Busy week in my world...but hey, none of you really care, so lets get at it. Since I missed last Wednesday's recap of the weird, whacked and downright silly in the world of sports, I'll start off with that.

You Can't Hide Your Lyin' Eyes
Last Wednesday's CFL game between the Ottawa Renegades and Hazel's hometown Toronto Argonauts was, from an officiating standpoint, at best a joke - in reality a farce. As usual, the game was chock-full of suspect calls from referees...with most of the questionable and downright retarded calls going against Ottawa - one really took the damn cake. In the third quarter, with the Argos driving, John Avery fumbles the ball deep in Ottawa territory; the ball is picked up by Ottawa DB Greg Moss who returns it for a touchdown. The Renegades are lining up to kick the extra point, when the Argos start pointing to the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre (Hazel's old stomping grounds for Blue Jays games) - the referees watch the replay, confer amongst themselves and then claim Avery was down by contact and take 6 points off the board. Replays were inconclusive - though TSN analysts thought Avery was down, and therefore the right call was made. The point is that there is no replay call in the CFL...and they had originally called it a touchdown (no whistle was heard during the play).

The CFL's slogan used to be "Our Balls Are Bigger" - the referees proved that last night...cuz they had to have a set of bowling balls to make the call they did...only in the CFL.

Speaking of the CFL, Edmonton gets their cans handed to them by the woeful Hamilton Tiger Cats, and the BC Lions lose another game...this time to Saskatchewan. And Ottawa couldn't beat the Argos, ever hear of things coming in 3's - unfortunately not in the CFL this past week.

Under the category of "Maybe you would be better off without him..." Another one of Hazel's K.C. Chiefs is in trouble again...this time its the coaching staff. No, Vermeil hasn't be cited for public crying or anything like that...this one is even better. Tight Ends coach Jason Verduzco, had a run in with K.C's finest (no, not Danni from what abs) and was sprayed with mace when he became aggressive after being refused entry to the stadium. Verduzco is said to have bumped an officer with the bumper of his SUV. Given Tony Gonzalez's numbers over the first four weeks of the season...I wonder if Vermeil had Verduzco stopped outside. Note to Hazel...your Chiefs could use your could your Cowboys - cuz Green and Gonzalez aren't doing a damn thing for the team named after you...

Just wondering...if the NFL wants to sell the game outside of North America...just what in the hell where they thinking when they came up with San Francisco and Arizona matchup. Someone deserves to be canned for that one...don't you think? Hazel...who would you have scheduled for a game in Mexico? An afterthought on the game...Suzy Kolber's delivery leaves a hell of a lot to be desired - she comes off as trying to hard to sound like a football coach, every story sounds like a "Win one for the Gipper" deal... I know Hazel has a lot of respect for Suzy...but all the same, I'd rather see Hazel on the ESPN or ABC sidelines...but that's just me...can I get a "Whoooooooooooooa Hazel!!!!!!!!!!"

Hazel, if you are checking or peeking in...can you (or anyone else for that matter) answer each or any of the following questions:
  • When did Brett Favre get so damn old?
  • What happened to K.C.'s week 1 and 2 defence
  • Where is Dallas' secondary?
  • Who kidnapped Priest Holmes?
  • What made anyone think that Minnesota would be better WITH Culpepper and WITHOUT Moss?
  • What makes anyone think a Marty Schottenheimer coached team will win anything? (ask Cleveland Brown fans).
Just a few of the questions that I'm asking myself four weeks into the NFL season...I'm not going to ask anything about the Patriots...they have 13 weeks to right themselves in a week division.

Da DaDa - Da Da DaDaDaDaDaDaDaDaDa - Theme From Pink Panther
A law professor at the University of Iowa has received death threats - why you ask? Well, it seems the professor had criticized his university for having the visiting team's locker room painted in pink - claiming that it demeans women and perpetuates negative stereotypes against homosexuals... Hazel has on occasion worn pink, and it sure as hell doesn't demean her in any way shape or form (someone posted a picture of her on the yahoo pink...breathtaking is an understatement).

So last week, earlier in the week, the Indians looked like a lock for the Wild Card in the American League - they were on fire, playing great, getting good pitching and timely hitting (Hafner was unconscious a couple of weeks ago) and it all falls apart. The Indians blew it by losing to the White Sox, the same Sox who had already clinched the Central....the Red Sox lose the Division to the Yankees, but win the Wild Card the next day. Go figure.

More to come on baseball heard it here first...Angels and Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. Cards and Astros in the National League.

The season hasn't started and "the experts" are picking the Ottawa "Senatards" to win the Cup...and the Leafs to miss the playoffs - don't you love "experts". Dominic Hasek wouldn't inspire a lot of confidence in me; and the fact that some of Ottawa's defencemen are whining about the rules (Chara and Phillips), tells me this isn't going to be a Cup year for Ottawa. You can feel free to sing "Three Cheers for Ottawa".

Non-Sports Related
Found a funny link related to Jim Rome, in "non-sports related" cuz Rome is just that. I was out at lunch and had to listen to him talk to the city of Philadelphia...the same crap he was peddling to Boston a couple of months ago...who in the hell "Doesn't get a sports show"? If you have to explain it to them...or beg listeners to keep listening...well...Jim Rome breaks his cardinal rule...HE SUCKS.

Alright all, that is about it for tonight...Monday's recap will come tomorrow...a day late and a few brain cells short. Have a great and all. Hazel, if you are peeking in...have a groovy week, I'm sure it'll be a wild week in Boston - I think Hazel Karma will definitely be a factor in this year's run.

The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps at yahoo... I started off with "Try Again" by Aaliyah...which would fit tonight's entry. So now it's editor's choice...for the MLB playoffs...

Centerfield - John Fogarty

"Put me in coach
I'm ready to play"

Hazel in her Jays hat...I'd put her in Centerfield (though she is renowned to be quite the pitcher).
Peesth out peeps.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Whacked Wednesday Will Wait - til tomorrow

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in.

Working tonight to prepare for three meetings tomorrow, and reviewing two major HR plans - oh...and doing up a business case to get my can to T.O in late October to attend a conference that I'm really interested suffice it to say that I'm "listening" to the Sox and Jays on Rogers (thanks a lot you jerks...why didn't you just pick up the NESN feed? - if you have gotten to this know why I'm saying that).

  • yesterday's entry with the 100th entry on "Thoughts of Hazel Mae" (many more on Hazelspeeps - pre blog)
  • coming up on 2000 hits on this page in the last 4 months
  • one of the peeps told me that this page comes up on google blogs..."SWEET"
  • hazelspeeps is now up to 55 members, and counting (4 alone this week - Hazel, if you are peeking in...join up with a pseudonym...NFL picks to start up again this week)
  • congrats thread to Hazel on maple leafs message board hit double digits...with many more views
Ok...back to work - hope things are good with you and yours...thanks for stopping by.

To Hazel Mae I say...I hope things are groovy in your world, I'm sure this week will be an exciting one.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - for no particular reason

Right Here Waiting - Staind (tres cool!)

Peesth Out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Monday Night Recap - Tuesday Trophies from Hazel

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in - whether you are a regular, semi-regular, a first timer...or Ms. Hazel Mae herself (stranger things have happened) - thank you for taking a few minutes to stop by.

So on Mondays I highlight some of the more notable performances in the world of sports - from those that deserve applause and those that leave you wondering "what in the hell were they thinking or doing?" So if there were actual awards for Hazel to hand out...she'd be doing it on Mondays; but since I didn't get back last night (wow the Chiefs got smoked) I'm doing it Tuesday.

Over the last few years, the NFL and its players seem to make headlines for the off-field activities almost as often as their on-field accomplishments; often for the wrong reasons, with players being arrested for a variety of offences from assault and batter to reckless driving, to drug abuse and worse.

I don't know if you caught this or not, I would suspect that anyone checking in from New England would know this, but Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis (former Patriots offensive coordinator) did a truly great thing for a young fan. The coles notes version of the story is that Weis visited a family who had a son that was dying of cancer - this little boy was a huge Fighting Irish fan and was thrilled to see Weis show up. Weis regaled the boy with stories of his days at Notre Dame with Joe Montana (the boy's name was Montana...after the 49ers QB) and talked football with the young boy. Weis promised the boy that he would allow the boy to call the first play of last weekend's game - pass right. Weis kept his promise to the boy, calling pass right on the Fighting Irish's first play of the game...the sad part is that the young boy died Friday night. Weis of course downplayed the incident, not wanting to draw too much attention to it (avoiding any "win one for the gipper" like stories) - for those that don't know, Mr. Weis has a severely challenged- child with an affliction very similar to autism. What a class act Charlie Weis is...what the NFL, past and present, should be about. Weis is definitely a Monday (Tuesday) Hero.

I gotta think Hazel would have covered that story on her nightly newscast...right? Can I get some confirmation on that?

This past weekend in the NFL was highlighted by some "heroic" performances at the RB position - it seems that most of this weeks headlines makers started in backfields across the league.

Shaun Alexander of the Seahawks - he rushes for 140 yards and FOUR freakin' TDs. You can pass it off by saying it was the Cardinals...but FOUR FREAKIN' TIMES? Great performance.

LaDanian Tomlinson of the Chargers - he rushes 21 times for 192 yards, scores two TDs and even throws for one. The Giants had no answer for him...memo to Drew Brees, if you think you can go out and chase Free Agents bucks next year without LT...think again.

Corey Dillon of the Patriots - his numbers weren't staggering; 61 yards on 21 carries - but he had two TDs (one great 7 yd run) and the threw THREE great blocks while picking up Steeler blitzes, saving Brady's can and allowing Brady to complete passes to keep drives alive. Dillon was seen as a bad apple in Boston doesn't agree. Hazel had to be all over Dillon's performance...I'm sure she likes hard-nosed football.

Brian Westbrook of the Eagles - he rushes for 68 yards and a TD, he cathes 6 passes for 140 yds and a TD...and T.O thinks HE is worth more than $7M...I think Westbrook will have something to say about that before its all said and case you are wondering - yes I hate the damn Eagles.

Cadillac Williams of the Buccaneers - rushed for 158 yards (on a sprained foot) and sets a record for most rushing yards in first three games of his career. The kid has heart...Mike Alstott is becoming an afterthought Tampa Bay...Warrick Dunn may already be.

Adam Vinatieri of the Patriots - the only kicker that will get Hero mention on this page...he just does it too often and rarely if ever with a gimme...the guy is money...from 30, 40 or even 48! Wish the Cowboys had him.

There were some guys who get honourable mention - Steve Smith of the Panthers and Thomas Jones of the Bears come to mind...but they didn't win. Enough said.

David Ortiz - why? Just because he is Big Papi. Seriously...I saw a stat on him the other day - at time, he had 42 HRs (buh bye Mr. Spalding as Hazel would say) - 17 of them came in the 7th inning or later, 4 of them were walkoffs -that my friends and fellow Hazelspeeps is MONEY.

Manny Ramirez - on another HR tear...had hit 5 HRs in 4 games last week...pickin up for Big Papi.

Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies - 31 game hitting streak, hitting HRs every couple of games...putting the Phillies on his back as they compete for a wild-card.

Who else but Luis Figo of Inter Milan - last year, Milan had trouble winning games - at one point they were undefeated with something like 8 or 10 ties to go along with 6 wins...this year is a different story...Inter won two games this past week, by a score of 1-0. Figo set up both game winning goals with crosses from the wing...something Inter lacked last year. Inter and Chelsea in Champions League final...and Portugal in 2006 - right Hazel?

These were some of the more notable sports figures to catch my attention this week...feel free to dispute or submit a few of your own.

As always, there were a few that didn't quite make the grade...the "not so heroic".

Remember how I started off by saying NFL players make headlines for the wrong reasons...this week's NFL Round-up/Wrap Sheet.

John Henderson of the Jags - domestic battery against his girlfriend

Bryant McKinnie and Marcus Johnson of the Vikings - "a scuffle at a gas station early (3 am) in the morning" think about it... a "scuffle" at a gas station...roid rage maybe?

If you have read the know that I wasn't one to jump all over Rafael Palmeiro and the mess he got himself into this season. I was never about kicking a man when he is down...but Raffy's crossed the line when he talked about Miguel Tejada giving him a B-12 injection...bad form Raffy...very bad form. No more support from "Thoughts of Hazel Mae".

A.J. Burnett and Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins - both of whom for all intents and purposes gave up on their team down the stretch. Burnett has gone on record as saying he won't resign cuz he can't stand Manager Jack McKeon...Cabrera was suspended for conduct detrimental to team.

Erik Hinske...just for being Hinske. Ok, I'm being hard on him now.

Jeremy Roenick, is out again with another concussion after a clean but very hard hit by Denis Gauthier of the Coyotes. Roenick complained about there being a lack of respect in the the hit should never have been delivered "cuz you don't do that in pre-season". This is the dumbest thing I have heard him say...and you know how freakin dumb he is. Jeremy is angry cuz the guy delivered a hit in pre-season - to follow Roenick's logic, it would be ok to do it in regular season or playoffs. Roenick is famous for never letting up...having delivered some bone-crunching and borderline vicious hits in his career. Some of Roenick's hits have been delivered with the clear intent to injure...and somehow that is ok because it is the regular season? I don't see the logic...think about it...

Well, that is about it for tonight...going to catch the very end of the Jays/Sox game...the Jays came back and have the lead in the bottom of the eighth...can anyone say walk off HR in the ninth by Big Papi?

Goodnight's hoping that things are good with one and all...goodnight to anyone who isn't a "peep" (check it out...and show your support for Hazel)...and finally a shout out to Hazel herself (if she's peeking in)'s hoping that things are groovy in your world, must be a really exciting time for you in Boston (this page will keep you up to date on the Leafs and Leaf Nation this winter).

The Song of the Day on highlight the game winning crosses by my man mark the slashing running style of LaDanian Tomlinson, and Carnell "Cadillac" what pitchers must be thinking when they see Big Papi and "Manny Rrrrrrameeerrrrez", to Jeremy Roenick's eyesight after Denis Gauthier's hit...the one...the only

Kriss Kross and their one hit - Jump Jump

The mack daddy make ya
Jump Jump
Kriss Kross make ya
Jump Jump

Have a great one...thanks for stopping by.

Peesth out.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Remnants of Hurricane Rita or Hazel?

It is 9:05 pm - the Kansas City Chiefs are on Monday Night Football, and the Jays-Sox game is rained out...remnants of Hurricane Rita the weather service claims - I wonder...think Hazel is tuning into the game in the studios at NESN? Does she have the night off? Did she call in *wachoo...cough cough*? Maybe she didn't do anything...maybe she intended to follow both games...but then again - the Chiefs on Monday night...I'll let you decide.

Never doubt the power of Hazel...I'm calling for a Chiefs win.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog entry.

Peesth out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's Been A Busy Week

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in - especially if by chance you happen to be person for whom this page is named (whistling innocently). This week has been pretty damn busy, which is why I haven't gotten on much - I had thought about logging in to post "Songs of the Day" to mark Hazel's first year at NESN...but the days just kept getting away from me.

Tonight's entry is brought to you by the letter "F" and the number 3/4 - as the week in sports could be summed up with both...well in a pro-line sort of way. I couldn't buy a winning pro-line ticket this week, 3/4 - 2/3 - 4/5...with plenty of late game heroics to screw me over this week. So you can well imagine the urge to utter the F-bomb was contstant. To add insult to injury, not only did I get my can kicked in this week's "Spreads" pool...I picked the Cowboys as my suicide pick for the week...freakin' Bledsoe threw two INTs that led to 14 points for the 49ers (one INT for a touchdown)...Cowboys won on a late touchdown, but they didn't cover the 6.5 and I'm out. While I was seething at Bledsoe today - even grumbling that the Hazel Karma didn't rub off on him (Hazel interviewed Bledsoe before training camp)...but given that he has engineered two late game winning drives in three weeks, I guess it has. Hazel, couldn't you have done something about that line today? I really could have used your help today, can we send out good thoughts to try to limit Bledsoe's blunders?

In the non-spreads pool, I had a pretty good week I guess - I have 62 points going into tonight's Chargers/Giants (Chargers 12 points) game and the Chiefs/Broncos (Chiefs 3 points) game. The suicide pick was Indy...who I thought would be a gimme game this afternoon...but I guess Romeo Crennel still knows how to mess with Manning.

Speaking of Manning - Indianapolis has been less than overwhelming this year...could it be that Tony Dungy has finally rubbed off on his team and they have become as dull as he appears to be? I don't see how this team is going to get through the AFC...I have never thought much of them, but I really think that the league is catching on - they are studying what the Patriots have been able to do to Manning and the Colts.

Speaking of Patriots, Hazel had to be smiling today with that last second field goal by Vinatieri. I can't stand the Steelers, I can't stand Cowher and that scowl of his (too much of a high school jock look) and I can't stand Roethlisberger - so to see them smiling and celebrating when the tied the game up today (did anyone see Ben pounding his chest at the Patriots bench?) - to see the "iso" on Roethlisberger when Vinatieri hit the FG...nice. Brady...simply the best.

Three weeks into the NFL season and here is what I have gotten so far -

1) The NFL method of scheduling (the higher you finish...the tougher your schedule) keeps things interesting by making "so-called experts" look foolish. Case in point, the San Diego Chargers...last year's feel good story - this year's hard luck chumps. Teams who are playing tougher schedules, based on last year's records are taking a step back. Houston who were thought to be ready to move to the next level are looking like an expansion team a couple of years removed...very beatable - though they have had to play a Bills team with a tough D and the Steelers.

The Giants, the Redskins the Bucs...all look a lot better than they really are - thanks to their "last place" schedule. As I type this...the Giants are getting their cans kicked by the Chargers...go figure. Are the Chargers that good? The Giants that bad? or somewhere in between?

Note: Hazel's Chiefs look like a pretty good bet to take the AFC West this if Trent Green and Gonzalez would just start getting me some points in my fantasy football league - they aren't doing Hazel Mae's Cowboys any favours this year.

2) The NFC is going to Mexico...Ron Mexico that is. In a lot of respects, the NFC is wide open; the Conference is up for grabs. The Eagles (aka the new generation Buffalo Bills) will not win the Conference this year, for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that they have lost some key people on defence, and the Terrell Owens/Donovan McNabb saga is starting to wear on that team. If you are on the Eagles (player or mgmt) do you really think you can trust Terrell? Do you think Donovan trusts Terrell? Michael Vick looks like he can singlehandedly (double-footedly) win that Conference for the Falcons. There was a lot of talk about Buffalo's D - Vick made them look very ordinary today...VERY ordinary.

With any luck, I think the Cowboys can make some noise...that defence is good enough to do some damage if Bledsoe "manages" the game the way the Tuna wants him to.

3) Tom Brady is the best player in the NFL. Yes, the BEST player in the NFL. He doesn't get the credit he deserves - for being a leader and a winner. The talk in New England is always about Belichek's great of a coach he is - and I'm not going to doubt that for a second. But Brady just makes everybody around him so much better - he makes his O-line look good by making quick reads and getting rid of the ball quickly; he makes good receivers look great and average receivers look very good by distributing the ball to anyone and everyone on the field - defences can't focus on one receiver...he makes his running game so much better because of how much of a threat he is to throw the ball. Brady's game reminds me a lot of Troy Aikman - the best QB of the 90's...much like Aikman, Brady will never get all the credit he deserves.

The most overated player in the league is Daunte Culpepper. I said before the season started that the Vikings would regret losing Moss...Culpepper has looked very ordinary without Moss; actually he has been awful. The Vikings beat the Saints today - but the Saints are dealing with more important things than football "games". The Vikings will benefit from getting to play the "gawd-awful" Packers twice, getting a Bears team with an anemic offence and a Lions team that looks confused under Harrington...if they were in a half-decent division, the Vikes would be no more than a .500 team. Long season for Culpepper and the Vikes. Honourable mention goes to Jake Plummer, who has started out the season playing like a plumber.

The most over-hyped first year player/starter - this may relate more to where we live and the NFL coverage we get in Ontario - but the Buffalo Bills J.P. Losman looks to be way overmatched. The Bills got rid of Bledsoe (thank you Buffalo) because they thought Bledsoe was done, Bledsoe was too slow, Bledsoe was indecisive and took too many sacks...I saw Losman getting manhandled by the Falcons today...much like he did against the Bucs. I feel sorry for Buffalo fans; putting their faith in Losman is going to make for a very disappointing season (I can almost hear Bills fans screaming for Flutie).

Carson Palmer, currently a bench QB for Hazel Mae's Cowboys (but future starter if Trent doesn't pick it up soon) is going to have a monster year - he is off to a great start...but he is going to get better. I watched him against the Bears today...mid-way through the game, he was having a hard time with the Bears - then the light went off, and he turns it around with a couple of long throws...the guy finally gets it.

Impact Rookie of the Year - toss-up DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys and Cadillac Williams of the Bucs.

Ware, WOW...this guy imposes his will on a game. He makes rookie mistakes; but he is solid and he IS a playmaker. More to come on DeMarcus this year. Williams, takes over a game with his spirit. The guy is a fighter, he just keeps pounding and pounding until he breaks one. Reminds me of the way Emmitt Smith used to run when he joined the Cowboys.

That's about it for tonight...just some thoughts on the NFL after three weeks...I wonder how Hazel feels about the start of this season...more to come this week - the latest installment of Sox - Yanks will feature prominently tomorrow...the NHL starts to get coverage this week too.

It's nice to be back.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps ... in keeping with the one year at NESN for Hazel...

Fall to Pieces - Velvet Revolver.

"Been a long year,
Since you've been gone.
Been a long year,
I've grown old..."

Congrats again Hazel...hope all is groovy in your world...

Peesth out.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Night - Cowboys Game

Watching the Cowboys and Skins tonight - keeping an eye on Hazel Mae's Cowboys, currently beating up on my opponent tonight, but there is still quite a bit of time to go. Hazel (if you are peeking in) your Kansas City Chiefs (Green, Gonzalez) are killing me...they aren't doing your name proud - though Tynes is doing well. I should have went with Carson Palmer...he's coming off the bench Hazel...he's getting ready to suit up unless Green starts doing something! hahaha

I didn't get to submit Heroes entry for tonight, will do it tomorrow. However, gotta mention the original triplets - Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith who were honoured in the Dallas Cowboy ring of fame! They were awesome in the 90's and were part of one of the greatest NFL teams ever.

Back tomorrow to recap the week in NFL pools - I switched Arizona as one of my suicide picks and picked Tampa instead...only 8 of 40 left - I'll be looking for suggestions on next week's pick...I'd go with Hazel's pick if she submitted one.

Ok..back to my port and the game. Sam Ryan is replacing Michelle Tafoya...I think Hazel would have done quite well...I think she'd be great on the sideline in Irving tonight! Go Cowboys.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - in honour of Hazel's first anniversary at NESN and from fans of the Dallas Cowboys to our triplets...

Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell,
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail,
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish,
How I wish you were here,
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here.

Congrats to the triplets...and special congrats to Hazel on her big day - let's hope NESN does something to acknowledge it!

Peesth out.

Hazel Marks 1st Anniversary

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in.

I haven't been able to connect to blogspot from my computer at home...keeps shutting down firefox browser...why I don't know. Monday's installment of Hazel's Heroes and "Not So Heroic" will follow later today.

I just wanted to log in to say Happy Anniversary Hazel! For those of you that don't know...I think this week marks the anniversary of Hazel's debut on NESN! I want to extend my congratulations and continued best wishes to Hazel.

If you are a semi-regular here...why not leave a message of congrats/support for Hazel (who knows if she checks in or not...but if she does...) here or on the Hazelspeeps yahoo site...

NESN better be planning a party for her or something! hahahaha Hazel if you are indeed peeking in today or whenever...Congrats on marking your one year...we are proud of you - we knew you would be great!

Song of the morning on Hazelspeeps to mark Hazel's anniversary - a song that is definitely worth downloading if you can find it...the CD is out of circulation.

All Come True - World Party

"She's making it all come true this time"

Congrats Hazel...hope things are groovy in your world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wednesday Morning Hangover

Hey peeps and anyone checking in this Wednesday morning or whenever - thanks for stopping by.

Suffering this morning - Nyquil hangovers are always tough to wake up from (yes I had Nyquil after my moonshine-laced lemon tea).

I've had some interesting/funny stuff mailed to me (at my work address - in my real life) about some of the happenings in the world of sports. One of the topics of discussion is whether or not ping pong (sorry...."table tennis") is a real sport - I won't bore everyone with the details of the discussion. My position on this is, if table tennis is a sport - then so is golf, so is bowling etc - which is NOT scoring points with me 20-something co-workers/colleagues/friends. Hazel, if you are peeking in...what do you think? Is table tennis a sport? What about golf? (I'm guessing you would say "hell ya" to golf).

Of note for tonight - the headline you won't read oin Canadian sports pages, or even New England for that matter "What the Foulke happened to Hinske's nipple?" CBS sportsline had a recap of the Sox-Jays game (I have to say again, gotta love when Ortiz hits those HRs/Dongs) - the recap included a report about a heated exchange between Eric Hinske and Keith Foulke...after Foulke plunked Hinske in the 7th. During post game interviews, it was reported that Hinske had a bag of ice taped to his nipple - I'll shut up now...but more to come later on Hinske.

Shaq lives up to his branding! Shaq's off-season job is that of modern-day Superman.

Another one of Hazel's boys in trouble - Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs got himself in some trouble with police, a case of domestic violence. The theme song for the K.C. Chiefs this year should be "I fought the law" by the Clash (yes, yes, a remake of the original...but you can't beat Joe Strummer's edgy voice and Mick Jones' powerful guitar - LOVE THE CLASH).

Something I didn't need this morning - with my head all clouded up...a phone call to talk to me about a job offer - tomorrow. I soooo can't do this...but, being a typical male - the woman who called to talk to me is very nice...and she's pretty hot (we've worked together before) I accepted. You can all groan now...what can I say, a Nyquil hangover kind of day.

New addition to Thoughts of Hazel Mae...Hazel's Horoscope (see what Nyquil does to your judgement?) - for Wednesday (though she probably won't see it in time...if at all).

"Get involved. Be a participant - active and agressive in going after your goals. You will get the help you need in going after your goals." 4 star day.

Given that this is also my horoscope...I should be a little bit more enthusiastic about the call I got this morning...operative word "should" gets trumped by the after effects of Nyquil.

On the drive in this morning...a great song...listen to it - no explanation needed.

Iris - Goo Goo Dolls

Have a groovy day gang (especially you Hazel).

Peesth Out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Feeling Like Hell Tonight

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in (especially if your name happens to be Hazel Mae) - thanks for taking the time to stop by.

I think I have my first summer/fall cold - and this one really bites - so no glass of Port tonight; instead it is cup of lemon tea with Portuguese moonshine (I'm giving some serious consideration to having a Nyquil chaser). Even with this cold, after a long day of running buddy came knocking on the door today - damn her; it was a short run 5 km with a 1.5 km walk (never mind the time...I was sick...and yes she kicked my can). I was entitled to a short run tonight, we did 8.5 km in 41 minutes on Saturday and a freaking 20 km bike ride and 4 km walk on Sunday (yes, before the NFL). I can't wait til her damn friend's ankle heals and is ready to rejoin her - maybe I can take the occasional night off...but maybe I'm just a suck with a big mouth who is afraid of my "buddy" kicking my I run (thank God my work pays for Life Insurance).

So how many of you got spanked in your NFL pools this week? Was this a messed up week or what? I fared relatively ok in both pools...though on first glance it wouldn't seem that way.

In the "spreads" pool I wound up with 71 points...enough to slot me in at 20 out of 80. There were some very low scores this week. My suicide pick of New England -7.5 came through. Biggest disappointments were St. Louis and Denver not I'm hating on both of them.
In the "non-spreads" pool I wound up with 26 points...enough to slot me in at 6 out of 25. A bunch of people finished in the negatives. New England came through for me in that suicide pool. Biggest disappointments were Minnesota, St. Louis and Denver.

For anyone wondering...Hazel did not take me up on the offer to join either pool - but comments and picks will be welcomes throughout the year.

In fantasy land...FOOTBALL...fantasy FOOTBALL - what were you thinking? Hazel Mae's Cowboys tied this week scoring 80 points to opponents 80. Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez were disappointments this week (thank alot Hazel...the Chiefs...grrrrrrrrr) - but Larry Fitzgerald, Plaxico Burress and Julian Peterson saved my bacon.

I said it last week...mark my words...the Minnesota Vikings are going to suffer big time without Moss - they may have been the biggest disappointment of the week. Minnesota traditionally comes out of the gate hard (5-0, 6-0, 7-1 etc) for them to start off like this...against Chuckie's Bucs? Big trouble - Culpepper will lead the league in fumbles (yes, even more than Pennington) and may set a new record - teams are gonna pin their ears back and come after him; they won't be afraid of the home run toss to Moss.

Nice to see the Eagles lose last night too. If you read last night's entry...Terrell has a free pass for a while...but it was nice to see McNabb frustrated, confused and over-matched at times. Jeremiah Trotter got his can tossed before the game for throwing a punch at back up CB Terrence Mathis. Way to go Trotter.

Indianapolis - the Pats main rival - was their defence that good on Sunday night? or was Baltimore's offence just that bad and predictable?

Hazel's boys in K.C. played defence on Sunday (even after trading Scott Fujita to the Cowboys) - now if Green is ok...they might do something - then again, this is the Cowboys year...sorry Hazel.
Not a lot more to say...David Ortiz hit another bomb against Toronto...he hits the nicest moon shots. For those of you that watch TSN...I have the television on in the background - I want to punch Darren and Hedger. They were recapping the action in Champions League today...they keep calling Real (Ray-awl) Madrid "Ree-al" - it is really really annoying...geezus, say it right for crysssakes. Hazel, if you are peeking, don't say "ree-al" - you know better. Pronounciation coaching available...but you don't need can roll the "R" like those of us from the Iberian if we can get you to say "lu'eesh feeeeeeegou" - we're golden!

Ok, I'm calling it a night...I had my tea...said my peace - feel free to leave your thoughts...comments...picks or suggestions. For the "peeps" if you haven't checked in to the Yahoo page...please go - there is a message about possible changes to "Hazelspeeps".

Ok the Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps for the NFL teams that have some hope after Sunday's games - teams that may have a breakthrough season (Dallas Cowboys anyone?)...and because I heard it this morning on the way to work and I love it...

Break On Through - The Doors

A very good night/day to one and all...Hazel, if you are peeking in...hope things are groovy in your world...go to yahoo sometime, check out the growing number of "peeps" who are in your corner...hope things are groovy in your world!

Peesth Out!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekend Recap of Heroes and the "Not So Heroic"

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in...from the semi-regulars, to the first timers, to of course Ms. Hazel Mae (if she is peeking in) - thank you for stopping by.

So Mondays are the day when this page takes a look back at who has made headlines over the last week - some for very good reasons; other not so good. I'll let you decide.

Cristiano Ronaldo, winger for the Portuguese national soccer team. Ronaldo lost his father early last week, with Portugal scheduled to play in Russia for a World Cup Qualifier - he suited up for his country...saying his father would have wanted him to play. If you read this page, you know that Portugal and Russia played to a 0 - 0 draw...but the inner strength and love of country displayed by this young man should be acknowledged and applauded. He is ready to lead Portugal for years to come...

Peyton and Eli Manning - Last week I talked about what Joe Horn and Curt Schilling did for the victims of Hurricane Katrina; the Manning brothers bought 31,000 lbs of non-perishable foods and covered the costs of flying it into Louisiana...they were also there to unload the food. Good on the brothers Manning and their family (former NFLer/New Orleans Saint Archie Manning). I have said it before and will say it again - these guys may be millionaires, and its easy for us to pass off what they do by saying "They can afford it" - but the bottom line is that they don't have to. I mentioned them last week...I didn't know how much they had done.

The New Orleans Saints went into Carolina, with every reason and/or excuse to lie down and get walked over by the Panthers...and they won on a last second field goal. While I don't want to over state things with the "this is so great for the people of New Orleans" stuff (I think those people have a lot more than a football game on their minds)...the Saints came big. Good for them.

Terrell Owens - yes...Terrell Owens...I know, I know, I can't believe it either. Michelle Tafoya just reported that Terrell Owens spent a day at the Astrodome (I couldn't quite hear her) with the victims of Hurricane Katrina - Owens was so moved that he decided to put his 2004 NFC Championship ring up on EBay and donate the money to the relief efforts. Just when he is headed for the all time "Hazel's Not So Heroic" list...he goes and does something like that - I'll give Terrell a pass for the next few weeks at least.

For fans of Monday Night Football - you will have noticed that Michelle is pregnant...I'm going to call it in advance...I think Hazel would be a great replacement for Michelle. She knows her NFL - even though she's a Chief's fan...she is a solid interviewer and she has presence. Don't be so quick to pass it off...I won't say anymore now.

Hazel was once quoted in a Canadian magazine as saying her ideal Sunday was sitting around in her pyjamas watching the NFL - to that I say OH YEAH...I'd bring the pizza, beer and Port for an NFL afternoon with Hazel.

This week marked the end of the road for a number of NHLers...from the greats like Mark Messier - to the very very good like Al McInnis - to the very good and always under-appreciated like Vincent Damphousse.

Damphousse - a former Maple Leaf, called it a career last week. While Damphousse was always criticized for being a one dimensional player (early in his career), to being too slow (his whole career) ...Damphousse put up some 1200 points. A very good career - Merci et bonne chance Vincent.

McInnis - a former Flame who retired a St. Louis Blue. McInnis was one of the top defenceman of his day...a guy who's overall game was overshadowed by his cannon of a point shot. He was always seen as an offensive defenceman...but the man was great at both ends. A Maritimer to boot!

Messier - he will always be an regarded as the ultimate lieutenant (to Gretzky's general)...Messier did something Gretzky never did - he won a cup after Gretzky was traded to L.A. and he won another one with the Rangers. Messier has to go down as one of the top 10 players of all time...I don't think his accomplishments will be fully appreciated for many more years...but he will be looked back on in the same way as guys like Gordie Howe, Gretzky and Bobby Orr.

David Ortiz, the guy just keeps getting walk off hits to keep the Red Sox in first place - the guy is Manny Ramirez is cranking them out again...he gets mention today for hitting the glass roof at the Skydome Restaurant tonight...speaking of which, I wonder if Hazel made her way up here this weekend...if she has, someone say hi to her! (As I type this...Ortiz just hit ANOTHER HR - I swear!!! - in the 11th against the Jays...Hazel's Karma strikes again).

I'd like to think Hazel would give her thumbs up...or the classic head nod to the aforementioned Heroes of the week.

Terrell was going to be the lead guy here this week...for the ongoing saga with Donovan McNabb...but I can't do it - Terrell just got himself out of purgatory.

This week's nominees come from the NFL.

The Minnesota Vikings - for all the talk of how they were going to be a better team without it was now Culpepper's the chemistry on the team was great - the lost to Tampa...they didn't just lose, they had it handed to them. I said a few weeks ago that entrusting this team to Culpepper was a mistake that the Vikings would come to regret - yesterday's performance did nothing to change my mind. Culpepper isn't the kind of QB that can lead a team to championships...Moss made him look much better than he was - get used to seeing Dante fumble...cuz NFL defences don't have to double and triple team Moss now...they are coming to get him.

The Denver Broncos - Jake Plummer, one of the most over-rated players in the NFL, took his Broncos down to Miami and was badly outplayed by Gus Frerotte and the "Ricky Williams-less" Dolphins. Plummer made his name with his late game heroics in Arizona (both in college and with the Cardinals) - with respect to his NFL career, his comebacks were often a result of his poor decision making throughout the game which cost his team points...Denver is in for a long, long season if they are counting on Plummer...that running game better get in shape - or Shanhan and his weird/creepy "capped smile" may be out.

Chris Chelios and Tie Domi (the latter may not sit well with Hazel...being from Toronto) - these two, both definitely in the twilight of their respective careers continue to spout off their opinions about anything and everything...the latest being on the circumstances around the hiring of Ted Saskin - why these two think that they are now spokesmen for the PA...I'll never know. I wish Chelios would just go for Tie... $2.5M for 2 happy happy and be quiet.

That's about it for tonight (or today, depending on when you are reading this). I hope you all have a great week...keep checking back and feel free to leave your comments (always read and considered). To Hazel Mae (if she's peeking in from Boston or even Toronto this week) - here's hoping you have a groovy week...the big 1 year is coming up huh? *smile* We knew you would do it...congrats!

The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps at yahoo goes out to Dante Culpepper and the Minnesota Vikings who have to be missing Moss...

One - U2

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now its all I got

Oh...for those of you wondering why I wasn't gloating about the Cowboys win? That comes tomorrow...remember...Jones...Williams = Division Championship.

Peesth Out.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Charging Into The Weekend

Evenin' peeps, and anyone else checking in from the semi-regulars, to those finding this page for the first time, to of course Ms. Hazel Mae (if she is peeking in) thanks for stopping by.

Plenty happening this weekend - I wonder what is catching Hazel's attention this weekend?
  • The Red Sox visiting the Yankees this weekend?
  • Week 1 of the NFL, where the Patriots kicked things off with a win over the Raiders?
  • The US Open Tennis Championships (she has been known to swing a racquet)?
  • The PGA's Canadian Open? (maybe not...but since we can't ask her, I'll speculate).
It is September, the Sox and Yankees neck and neck in the A.L. East - Hazel's gotta be watching. The series got off to a bad start for the Sox - if Hazel wasn't at Yankee stadium, they had better get her over there; judging by tonight's highlights, they could have used some Hazel Karma. They did their best to throw and boot the game away...though I'm sure that Red Sox Nation was all over Dale Sveum for sending Varitek home early in the game (he was thrown out by a mile, but he plowed Posada).

So as things stand now, the Sox lead is three games - I still don't think the Yankees have what it takes to catch Boston...that pitching staff isn't going to do it (though Shawn Chacon is throwing for Hazel's Heroes tomorrow...and we could really use a good start). The Yankees won't sweep Boston - though I'm calling for Boston to win tomorrow afternoon, and the Yankees to buckle on Sunday...Boston leaves New York with a 5 game lead.

For Canadian viewers, we were treated to another night of Jamie Campbell and Tom Candiotti talking about the "what ifs" of the Blue Jays season. I'm not a fan of Campbell (though my opinion doesn't matter) he reminds me too much of Dave Van Horne (former Expos broadcaster). Campbell's whole night is making excuses for the Jays, musing about the "one or two unlucky bounces or pitches." Van Horne used to talk about the Expos like they were in first place or had that potential...when in reality they were a 60 - 70 win team...I remember those awful season wrap ups where he would go through the'd swear they won the World Series. Campbell is a lot like that...he's too much of a fan...and comes off as being a Jays schill. I don't think Campbell is overly knowledgeable about the game either.

The Patriots beat the Raiders last night - I wonder if Hazel sneaked over to Foxboro to ring in the NFL's season opener. The Patriots looked good last night - though they scared the "bajeezus" out of me near the end when they couldn't seem to put Oakland away. There were a couple of times where Moss had that secondary looking shaky (I know Moss does that to almost everyone...just not used to seeing it happen to New England). Tom Brady - the more I see this guy, the more I like his style - he reminds me a lot of Troy Aikman (though I think Aikman had more natural ability).

Note: if you checked out my football picks - I ended up changing New England in the "spread pool" bumping them up to my 16 point pick. I also picked New England in both of the suicide pools I entered. That's why I was a bit shaky last night.

Things in the land of the Eagles are getting interesting - Brian Westbrook is now unhappy with the Eagles, feeling that the team has disrespected him by not talking contract extension.
  • Westbrook is unhappy
  • T.O is telling anyone that will listen that he is unhappy but that he and Donovan are ok...that they understand where each went wrong (huh?)
  • Todd Pinkston goes down for the season
  • Hugh Douglas gets shipped out
  • Andy Reid starting to look like a dictator
ya...this team is going to win the Super Bowl...with all these distractions they are going to overcome it all and win a Super Bowl. I'm not seeing it.

Watch Parcells get the Cowboys into shape and surprise the Eagles and the rest of the NFL - Dallas' D is going to kick this year:
  • Roy Williams is ready to have his breakout year
  • Terence Newman is going to re-establish himself as a shut down cover guy, and Anthony Henry is only going to make them better
  • DeMarcus Ware is going to be an impact player
  • La'Roi Glover is going to anchor that Defensive line...

the offense is better than it has been in years with
  • Julius Jones there for a full season
  • Bledsoe is an upgrade on Vinny T
  • Four good wideouts - Glenn, Keyshawn, Peerless Price and Patrick Crayton
I'm seeing 10 and 6 (maybe even 11 and 5) for Dallas this year. It's going to be a good year to be a Cowboy fan...still time and room on our bandwagon for Hazel.

Not much to say about Golf and Tennis, not really watching them this weekend - but maybe someone is...contributions are welcome.

Well, that's about it for tonight...more to come this weekend (probably some NHL stuff..since Rogers and TSN are reporting that the Flyers have encountered some injury problems...and it seems like everyone is retiring these days).

I wonder if these are the thoughts of Hazel Mae...

Wow...looking back at this entry, there wasn't much rhyme or reason to it..I must be freaking tired tonight - oh well, some people get paid lots of bucks to write columns with less content/opinions than my entry (no smart remarks!).

The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - for the "idiots" who will pull things together tomorrow against New the Patriots who, despite the changes, are looking a lot like they did last the Cowboys, who keep adding former Parcell's (tongue in cheek) the happy bunch of Philadelphia Eagles...

We Are Family - Sister Sledge

Have a great one everybody...Hazel if you are checking in, hope things are groovy in your world.

Peesth out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Whacked Wednesday = My Pool Picks

Hey peeps and anyone else checking in (especially if your name happens to be Hazel Mae) - thanks for stopping by.

If this is your first time here, Wednesday entries take a look back at the weird, whacked and downright silly events of the last seven days in the world of sports - with Week 1 of the NFL about to kick off in Hazel's backyard... I thought it fitting that my pool picks for this upcoming week be featured here. (Memo to Hazel Mae if she's peeking...if you want in on any of these "Canadian" pools...I'll enter you, I'll cover your entry fee, I'll even register your weekly picks...Hell, I'd be more than willing to take your expert advice for my own picks).

It was a relatively sane week in the world of sports - nothing that would really be considered outrageous or really whacked...but some strange and silly occurances nonetheless.

Barry Bonds "might" be back tonight for the Giants - I find this a little strange. I wonder how his teammates will welcome him back...while the Giants were floundering, Bonds never talked about returning - he didn't even rehab with the team. With the Giants clinging to a slim hope of catching San Diego - he announces he may make it back this year. This promises to be entertaining...especially if they fall out of the race with him in the lineup.

Baltimore Orioles called up prospect Walter Young - in and of itself, calling up a prospect in September isn't whacked, weird or silly...but young Walter stands 6'5" and "tips" the scales at 322 lbs (Walter was a favourite of the Ottawa media when he was with the Lynx this year). Watching Young hit against the Jays tonight...he looked like a Raven's OL up there.

I heard yesterday that going into tonight's game vs. the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had won 10 or 14 against the Bronx Bombers - after tonight, make it 10 of 15...I don't think I can come up with anything that you haven't come up with yourself. Maybe that's why Tampa wouldn't fire Sweet Lou - he knew how to beat the Yankees...Maybe John Henry covered Lou's salary to keep him down there.

Lloyd McClendon was fired by the Pittsburgh Pirates - why I don't really's not like he had anything to work with. From what I have read about Lloyd, and what I have heard, he was by all accounts a solid manager...good tactitian...he just had a bad team. Good luck to whoever takes the job - first order of business maybe be to kick the crap out of Dave Duncan of the Cardinals.

Unrestricted Free Agent Peter Bondra has a whole new take on the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and salary cap. Bondra has taken the term "collective bargaining" literally - reports indicate that 37 year old Bondra rejected Washington's offer of a 1 year/ $1.5 M contract - and is countering with a 2 year/$5-6 Million contract with a no trade clause included. Bondra and his agent think this is a good deal for Washington...comparing him to Ziggy Palffy. I'll let you figure that one out.

The NFL in its infinite wisdom has accepted the New York Giants offer to let the New Orleans Saints use Giants Stadium to host their scheduled Week 2 matchup (which was to take place in the Superdome) - the only thing is the game is against the damn essence giving them 9 freaking home dates this year. Parcells was fuming, but reserved comment on the word if he suffered a mild stroke or not.

In the continuing saga of the Philadelphia Eagles...T.O is ready to kiss and make up with Chunky Soup man Donovan McNabb. You know this has more to do with the fact that T.O hasn't seen himself on tv for the last few days...than with Eagles' team harmony. Maybe T.O just wants to hear Hazel talk about never know, he may have buddies in Boston.

World Cup Qualifying today - Portugal and Russia ended in a scoreless draw today (in Russia), meaning that Portugal now needs 1 win in its final two games (against minnows in UEFA) to move on to Germany...I'm guessing Hazel didn't report on UEFA tonight.

Of note in today's action - England lost against 116th ranked Northern Ireland. That has to merit mention on a Wednesday...this loss was particularly hard to take as England's Manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, has gone on record as saying England can compete with Mike Myers (Wayne's World) used to say...SHAAAAAA RIIIIIIGHT. The reaction of the English media and fans over the next few days promises to be entertaining.

And now for the really NFL picks for the week...for various pools -

Fantasy Football -
Hazel Mae's Cowboys'
QB - Trent Green, Chiefs
RB - Stephan Jackson, Rams
WR - Javon Walker, Packers
WR - Plaxico Burress, Giants
WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Cards
WR - T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals

K - John Kasay, Panthers

D - Roy Williams, Cowboys
D - Julian Peterson, 49ers
D - Simeon Rice, Bucs

No Spreads - ranked with negatives attributed for wrong picks
New England - 16
Minnesota - 15
Washington - 14
St. Louis - 13
Carolina - 12
Cincinnati - 11
Pittsburgh - 10
Indianapolis - 9
Denver - 8
Jacksonville - 7
Kansas City - 6 (not putting too much faith in Hazel's boys this early)
Green Bay - 5
Dallas - 4
NY Giants - 3
Houston - 2
Atlanta - 1

Update to come on Monday.

Spread - ranked (no negatives)
16 - Cincinnati -3.5
15 - St. Louis -4.5
14 - Washington -6.5
13 - Indianapolis -3.5
12 - New England -7.5
11 - Denver -4.5
10 - Jacksonville -3.5
9 - Panthers -6.5
8 - Steelers -7.5
7 - Vikings -6.5
6 - Packers +2.5
5 - Cowboys +4.5
4 - Cards +2.5
3 - Chiefs -3.5
2 - Texans +4.5
1- Atlanta +1.5

and there you have can start laughing now...or provide suggestions before 8 pm on Thursday. I'm open to suggestions.

With Week 1 of the NFL coming up...with my pool picks out there for all to see and laugh at (last chance to join the pool Hazel...your opinion is welcome throughout the year)...The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps at Yahoo is

Gimme Hope Johanna - Eddie Grant
(a reggae hit from the 80's)

Gimme Hope Johanna
Gimme Hope Johanna
Gimme Hope Johanne
Before the morning comes.

Have a great one peeps...hope things are groovy in your world.

Peesth out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Addendum to Monday's Heroes and "Not So Heroic"

Hey peeps and anyone else checking in. Tuesday morning brought news of people who deserved mention in the Monday Heroes and "Not So Heroic" entry.

If you have read this page before, you will know that Curt Schilling has been the topic of a number of entries here...usually related to how "outspoken" he can be/is. Well, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due - Curt Schilling and his wife are helping a family from New Orleans whose lives were changed forever by Hurricane Katrina.
Curt and Shonda Schilling have stepped up big time, flying the family of nine to Boston and providing them with housing for a full year. I'm the first guy to get on Schilling's case most days...but he and his family stepped up huge. While it would be easy to say "Hey...he's a millionaire, he can afford it." The fact remains that there are a lot of millionaire athletes and celebrities who haven't, and most likely won't step up to that extent. A new found respect for Schilling...though I'd still like to stuff a Dunkin' doughnut or something in his mouth when he starts talking. I'm sure Schilling and his family will get some attention from Hazel in her broadcast...nice.

Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has signed to a contract to play in Russia with a team owned by Roman Abramovic (Owner of the Chelsea Football Club of the English Premiership) Avangard Omsk. Datsyuk was said to have wanted Joe Thornton kind of cash...Detroit GM Ken Holland was offering up to $4M per year. Datsyuk has got to be joking - there is no way he deserves Joe Thornton kind of it a negotiating ploy (he has an escape clause) or whatever...I hope Holland lets Datsyuk play in Russia this year. Bad move Pavel...

But I saw a funny sight on my commute in this morning. This morning was sunny and cool - about 10 C (50 F)... I see a dude all decked out in his inline skating gear - the helmet, knee pads, wrist protectors and elbow pads...this guy was a sight. So he pulls up to a red light and right there, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a smoke. You may not agree...but I thought it was hysterical - here is this guys protected to the hilt, doing some pretty heavy duty physical activity...and he's smoking. Reminds me of my younger years when I played ball and used to smoke in the dugout between innings - or run outside for a smoke between periods in hockey.

To follow that up...I saw an old woman in a walker...she pulls out a smoke too.

Ok...I've gotta book here. Have a groovy day one and all...especially Hazel if she's peeking in this a.m.

As I type this, I'm listening to K-Os..."Crucial". A great song that will definitely be a Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps...count on it.

Peesth out.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Recapping a Long Weekend

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in (especially if you happen to be Hazel Mae) - welcome and thank you for taking the time to stop by. I hope your long weekend was a safe and happy one - it was a glorious weekend here...could have asked for a better weekend weather wise.

So, Mondays are now "taking stock" days...where we look at who has made headlines for the right and wrong reasons? I started out calling it Hazel's Heroes and Zeros - but "Zeros" is a bit of a harsh we'll look at the week's Heroes...and the "not so heroic" (Note to the peeps - is that better? See? I'm listening...though I'm not sure I agree that Hazel would object to the term Zeros being used...she's supposed to have a sense of humour...remember?)

There is one person who really stood head and shoulders above everyone else this past week - Joe Horn of the New Orleans Saints. There have been a number of stories about athletes going to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina - the most notable may be the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli...who help distribute food and supplies to those in need. But I read a story about Joe Horn, who went down to see survivors and spent time with them. Horn was quoted as saying "they need to feel me...they need to see and feel that we's why I'm down here." Horn spent the day playing with kids, spending time listening to survivors stories...and just being there.

I think what I was most impressed with was that Horn was down there amongst the masses...he got right in there. You get so used to seeing "spokespersons" - who do a lot to raise awareness of events and injustices...but Horn spent time with those people...his presence lifted their spirits. Big time props to Joe Horn... I'm sure Hazel would concur.

This past weekend saw UEFA playing World Cup Qualifiers - Portugal beat Luxembourg 6 - 0 on Saturday (game played in southern resort city of Faro). The "notables" were of course...Luis Figo, who has made quite the impression since returning to the National Team - setting up the first two goals and controlling the early part of the game. Figo imposed his will in the early part of the game...backing off when the game was well in hand.

Also on Saturday, Pauleta scored twice in the victory - bringing his international total to 41 goals...two short of Portuguese legend Eusebio (one the the World's best strikers in the late 60's and early 70's - he was legendary...Europe's answer to Pele). So, for the striker from the little island of Sao Miguel, Acores...a shout out from across the ocean - Hazel's gotta like a guy like Pauleta...he's works hard, he's humble...and he's from an island - what's not to like?

For Canadian readers - Milt Steagall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers set a CFL record for touchdown receptions. Steagall has always been a pretty classy guy, so you have to give him his due, he is now officially one of the CFL's greatest receivers.

We'll leave it at that for now...I won't even mention that Kevin Millar hit another HR this weekend...nope, not me.

The "Not So Heroic" (ZEROS)
Did anyone get a load of Barry Bonds today? I just saw Bonds talking about how great it is to be back working out with his teammates...being out on the field...talking about how he is happy to be back in a S.F Giant uniform. Being back with teammates? HUH? Bonds is noted for being a loner...a guy who turned his locker into his own personal little bachelor style pad. Give me a break...back with teammates - tell that to Jeff Kent, a former Giant.

The Baltimore Orioles and the cover up for sending Rafael Palmeiro home to Texas - the O's management was in fine form, talking about his injured knee and ankle...and how they hope to have him back for the last 10 games or so - that is so insulting, that it is offensive. The fact that they commented on it at all shows that they must think fans are complete idiots. I'm not letting Palmeiro off the hook either - for going along with this charade.

There are a few people I'd like to nominate here - but their only crime was to screw up my pro-line tickets...and it would be petty to put them in this category for that.

In a non-related sports nomination - one of the guys from Hazelspeeps sent me a link to a message board where it would seem that its ok to take someone's picture and desecrate it for some very cheap laughs...and sprinkle that in with some remarks made with racist undertones - all in the name of meaningful dialogue - very weak should be ashamed of yourselves - for responding to it, or not calling for it to be pulled. For the administrator of the site - that thread should have been doesn't show well for the site, the content or the city its based in.

Not Sure Where To Fit Them
So the sports world is lining up to congratulate Denver's (49ers', Raiders', Seahawks') Jerry Rice on his retirement after a great career. Ok, being a Cowboy fan...I had a big time hate on for Rice and everything 49er - but I can respect the numbers the man put up. What I don't get is how he is being congratulated for seeing that his time was over and doing the "big thing" and retiring.

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't see it as Rice retiring as much as it was Rice realizing that he wasn't a number 3 receiver anymore - he really hasn't been a legitimate number 3 receiver for at least 3 years...and did his team more harm than good by sticking around. I don't mean to be overly harsh on him - but come on now...congratulate him for a great career, but don't laud him for realizing that it was time to hang them up, that decision was made for him by Mike Shanahan.

Ted Saskin - newly appointed (maybe not now) head of the NHLPA. It would seem that Saskin slipped in there without proper approval of the membership - the kicker here is that he helps negotiate a deal with the NHL owners that sees a salary cap implemented...the players taking a 24% rollback in salaries...and he gets the same salary his predecessor was getting $2 Million per year. Not sure where you would fit him...I think I'm being nice by putting him here.

Ok, I think that's it for me tonight - its going to be a busy someone once told me "A long weekend just means that you have to cram five days of work into four." Alright's hoping you have a groovy week ahead of you (that goes double for Hazel if she's taking a peek). Thanks for taking the time to stop by...hope you'll come back again.

The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - given that the Hero was Joe Horn...for his work with survivors of Katrina.

Listen to Your Heart - don't know who does it, but it is a remake of a Roxette song...with a voice over of Katrina's survivors mixed in. It's really a heart wrenching song...I'm not gonna get sappy though. Support those people...

Peesth Out.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Here Comes The Weekend

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in - from those of you are that regulars or semi-regulars to those of you that have happened on this page for this first time...thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Ok... I gotta say one the latest member of the peeps (joined tonight) - man...I don't even wanna know what your handle means (you say you are a big Hazel Mae I'll take your word for it) but do you really wanna keep that handle? Even with the "mullet" in it? I just don't know...but hey, the peeps are a diverse and varied bunch of characters (witnessed by their emails).

A long weekend ahead of us...why is it that long weekends always start off with exhausting days? Why is it that a long weekend gives everyone a right to stir up a hornet's nest...because "we have to get this done today...since it is a long weekend and we won't be back til Tuesday." ummm YA...ok? and? It's not important I guess - on a personal note, found out that this fall is gonna be freaking busy...with me having two major deliverables to go to freakin Parliament (in less than 10 weeks no less) - so that means the updates might be spaced out a bit more - oh I can hear you all crying right now (all three of you that keep checking back here and increasing the views - hahahaha).

Ok...a sip of tonight's Port (W&J Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port...nice) and away we go.

The Labour Day weekend didn't start off that well - the Renegades had their cans handed to them by Montreal. They looked awful against Winnipeg going into their bye week a couple of weeks ago...and they looked just as bad tonight, if not the second half anyways.

The extent of my NFL update for tonight is the result of my fantasy football draft from last night - my team, a.k.a Hazel Mae's Cowboys made out pretty good for an expansion team. For those of you that don't know, Hazel's favourite NFL team was the Chiefs - no word on whether or not she is a Pats convert (maybe she'll peak in and give us a hint - maybe not)...anyways, the "Cowboys" is for my favourite team - I had to strike a compromise. So Hazel Mae's Cowboys look like this for the upcoming season:

Trent Green - KC ...Yes I heard about the stent put in his leg....but if Trent himself isn't worried, and if Hazel isn't worried, neither am I.

Carson Palmer - Cincinnati...supposed to be a breakout year for him...we'll see.

Stephen Jackson - St. Louis...He takes over the full-time duties for Marshall Faulk...looks like the real deal...a faster version of Eric Dickerson

Duce Staley - Pittsburgh...Pains me to take a Steeler who happens to be a former Eagle...but there wasn't many RBs left when I got him

Tony Gonzalez - KC...what can you say? The best TE in the league...again. Right Hazel? (feel free to chime in anytime if you are reading this)

Randy McMichael - Miami...If the Dolphins are half as bad as people think they are going to be...Frerotte will be looking to dump plenty of balls off to Randy...before getting killed by the oncoming rush.

Javon Walker - Green Bay...Just sign the Packers you are worth the money you are asking for. Give them another monster year...don't go T.O on me

Larry Fitzgerald & Anquan Boldin - Arizona...These two should build on last year's season, especially with scruffy Kurt Warner throwing to them. Let's hope these two are thunder and lightning.

Plaxico Burress - NY Giants...I can't believe I picked a former Steeler who is a current Giant. He was a big free-agent signing - he had better live up to it. He's going to start the year on the bench I think - but he's big, he's strong, he's got great hands...he's gotta get some TDs...doesn't he?

T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Cincinnati...A steal where I got him, he should benefit from Palmer's breakout year and a lot of attention being paid to Chad "T.O Jr." Johnson. Hazel, better brush up on T.J's name and pronounciation - sorry, but I hope its a name you have to repeat over and over on your Sunday night anyone else reading...say his name five times - come on, try it.

Lawrence Tynes - KC...Former Renegade for my liking, current Chief for Hazel's liking...and he beat up a bouncer outside a bar...gotta be to everyone's liking...doesn't it?

Defensive Players
Roy Williams - Dallas...The man! Does anyone hit harder than this guy? Does anyone else look better exploding into a guy? Roy is the real deal...with this year's defense...WATCH OUT McNabb and T.O.

Simeon Rice - TB ...A sack machine again...we hope. Maybe he will be inspired by Chuckie! Chuckie! Chuckie!

Julian Peterson - San Francisco...Again it hurts to take a 49er...but he is a franchise player and a difference maker on D.

Bertrand Berry - Arizona...A steal in the last round I would say. 14.5 sacks last's hoping for a repeat.

Ok...I think that's it for tonight. It's been a freaking long day and I want to go download Stain'd new song..."Right Here Waiting" I think its called. Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by...let me know what you think of Hazel's Cowboys (if you want)...and have yourself a great weekend. Hazel, if you are checking in...Have yourself a groovy long've earned it!

The Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps, since there isn't really a theme tonight - I guess I could have went with the old instrumental - NFL Round UP...with my analysis/justification/hopes serving as the John Facenda voice over. I give you

Here Comes The Weekend - The Jam
(a great song from the 80's...if you don't know The Jam...find some of their music...its worth it. The Lead Singer for the British Mod/Punk band - Paul Weller - went on to front Style Council...they got a bit more acclaim in the U.S.) If Hazel hasn't heard the Jam...I pull something together.

Peesth Out.

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