Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Rant

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

As sports fans our daily ritual consists of opening up the sports pages of our favourite newspapers, visiting our favourite websites, or checking in on our favourite blogs (Thoughts of Hazel Mae perhaps?) to see what is being written about the teams we follow.

We look for the "behind the scenes stories" or some insight on what is happening in the world of sports - but most days, the "behind the scenes" stories are just filler with standard lines and information (rumours) from "sources close to the situation"; at best, the "insight" we are getting doesn't amount to much more than a PR/Communications function for the team or being trying to be provocative or controversial by focusing only on the negatives, from the Dan Shaughnessy school of "journalism".

Some days you have to ask yourself - "Why bother? What's the point?" (again, hopefully you don't say those things about our little corner of the internet). A few examples of what has us saying "Huh?"

Mike Lowell and the Boston Red Sox held a press conference yesterday to announce that they had reached an agreement on a three-year contract worth $37.5M. While not being members of Red Sox Nation, we can understand the excitement about the announcement - an important part of the 2007 Championship team has re-signed for three more years. Everyone said all the right things during the press conference - "Don" Epstein said that getting Mike Lowell back to Boston was his main priority; Mike Lowell says it "wasn't all about the money" and how he wanted to stay in Boston; let the love affair between Lowell and Red Sox Nation be rekindled - we're all about being warm and fuzzy here at Thoughts of Hazel Mae. But seriously, the write-ups on the announcement were pretty much off the shelf material:

Start with rumours of potential suitors who missed out on Lowell - make sure to mention the words "money left on the table";
Sprinkle in a few quotes from Mike about how much he loves the city and fans;
End it with some news on transactions

Presto in 15 minutes you've satisfied your editor and presumably Red Sox Nation with a neat little wrap up that has everyone wanting to throw a log on the fire and cuddle up with Mike Lowell. - it's Miller time now baby!

Then we have the write-ups about the Leafs vs Bruins game from last night - a game, that from the perspective of some was almost "unwatchable". Luckily for the print media in Boston and Toronto there were story lines to follow - there was some "insight" to be given on this particular game.

We some of the crustier members of the Toronto media reveling in the fact that a former Maple Leafs prospect won his first career NHL start against the team that traded him away - in their own building no less. You could almost see the smug little smile on a certain "journalist's" miserable mug as he typed out yet another "I hate the Toronto Maple Leafs" article (if you call his particular brand of drivel "an article"). You could almost see him giggling with glee as he regaled his readers with another article how about bad the management in Toronto is - because in his mind, only HE can see this - and how this management will regret trading away prospects.which , of course, is something HE would never have done.

On the opposite side of the spectrum - you have print media in Boston who, for the most part, recapped the game's salient points (as beat writers should) - but somewhere along the way go WAY off the deep end about a very good performance by a goalie making his first career start. We're down with giving Rask kudos for winning last night (you happy now Quikdraw???), but seriously, when a beat writers says "One day, we may look back on last night's game vs. the Maple Leafs as a key moment in history: The day Tuukka Rask introduced himself to the NHL", you really have to ask this guy "how long have you been watching hockey?" As much as we love our Maple Leafs, they are still a middle of the pack team and this guy is going to annoint a rookie goaltender with number one status based on one game against a team that has struggled at home all year long? The dude needs to be shaken - or provided with the very long list of goalies who have won their first career game and NOT become players of historical significance. Geezus man, how bad are things in Boston when it comes to the Bruins?

Admittedly we're a little crusty today - 3 inches of snow in a surprise storm, our "counterpart" buzzing us with taunting emails about Rask burning Toronto last night and no clear cut "lock pick" for this week's NFL pool (maybe that's a good omen) - so apologies in advance if we were overly snarky today. Oh yeah, NO three stars today - we're good sports.just not THAT good.

Today should be better though - we hope; Portugal hosts Finland on the last day of qualifying matches for Euro 2008. The boys in maroon and green only need a tie to advance to the big tournament - normally, we'd feel pretty confident about that happening, but strange things regarding officiating have been happening down the stretch. We've got our fingers crossed that the game won't be decided on one or more questionable calls and that it unfolds the way it should - Portugal 2 - 0 Finland. We'd ask for Hazel Karma.but we're pretty sure she isn't down with the Euro qualifiers.

Tough night last night in more ways than one - the week starts off on an awful note - $180. We'll give you three winners tonight.

Detroit over St. Louis - the Wings normally dominate teams in their division, they've had a couple of hiccups lately, but they'll get things straightened out against the Blues tonight. Lay $100 on Detroit - $250.

Minnesota over Vancouver - there's some bad blood in this game, stemming from the Mattias Ohlund incident with Koivu - you probably saw the slash. Canucks missing three regulars on D and go into Minnesota where the Wild are lights out. Lay $100 on the Wild - $160.

Carolina over Philadelphia - aside from the fact we hate the Flyers, we still think they are over-rated. The Canes are solid at home and should benefit from last change tonight to beat Bob Clarke's boys (no matter who is coaching, or who is GM - it will always be Bob Clarke's team). Lay $100 on the Canes - $145.

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We're Out!


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