Thursday, January 10, 2008

When Donkeys Speak

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

One of our favourite websites – joesportsfan (definitely worthy of a daily check) – has a weekly entry entitled “Crap that actually came from someone’s mouth”. The guys at joesportsfan focus mainly on ESPN - the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” – and their panel of donkeys for a good part of the content that goes into the weekly entry. Its unfortunate that the guys aren’t down with hockey, they could write a daily entry with the crap that comes from the mouths of TSN’s panel of donkeys. As an aside, TSN happens to be associated with ESPN proclaims themselves as “Canada’s Sports Leader” see the connection?

As can be expected from a Canadian sports station – TSN prides themselves on the most complete coverage of all things hockey: from the NHL to Major Junior Hockey to the World Junior Hockey Championships. Part of being “Canada’s Leader in Sports” means that you have to assemble a panel of hockey “experts” to break everything down for the average Joe who tunes in. We won’t get into the crap that comes from Bob “I state the obvious, but I’m not saying it is for sure” McKenzie, or Pierre “I have a bad case of man-love for everything Ottawa Senators or Detroit Red Wings” McGuire – we’ve given those two donkeys more than enough play here.

Instead, we are going to look at two former NHL players, who were also bad GMs, who are getting plenty of face time at TSN.

Former Philadelphia Flyers player/captain/GM Bob Clarke was interviewed by Michael Landsberg on a show called “Off the Record”. Clarke had plenty to say about Saturday night’s game against Toronto where Flyers resident retard, Steve Downie, sucker-punched Leafs forward Jason Blake. When asked about the incident Clarke responded:

“When he went after Blake, I loved it. Blake was a guy who had no problem going out saying that (Downie) should be suspended for life or suspended for a year. When you do that and say something that stupid, why shouldn't this kid go after him? The kid did what every hockey player should do: stand up for himself.”

This is particularly amusing to Canadian hockey fans who know that during his playing career Bob Clarke was the epitome of a gutless coward. Clarke was one of the dirtiest players ever to play in the NHL, but was never held accountable for his actions because he had Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly, Don Saleski and a number of other goons protecting his cowardly can. When asked about his fighting prowess by a Russian interviewer a few years back – well, Bob said: “No, I couldn’t fight worth a damn. I tried especially when I was young but I quit it pretty soon. Now, playing good tough hockey is a different matter.”

We know Bob, some of us remember you actually fighting (actually flailing like a little girl) with your gloves on.

For our American friends – TSN has also added former Bruins player/coach/GM Mike Milbury to the fold. Milbury is never at a loss for words and never shies away from an opportunity to be “controversial” (read “Donkey”). Milbury has made a number of outlandish statements that don’t merit repeating – but we are going to highlight a quote for the foolhardy Milbury.

Reporters at the Toronto Star have followed the lead of head donkey/associate sports editor – the one and only – Damien Cox in pronouncing the 2007/08 Toronto Maple Leafs dead in the water. They have turned their focus on what the Leafs have to do to turn the ship around in the future – it starts with trading Captain Mats Sundin. The Star asked eight hockey people what they would do with Sundin. All eight proposed trade scenarios with the most likely partner and who would be involved in a potential deal. All but Milbury stated they would look for at the very least two young NHL ready players, with most adding they would also demand two or three additional high round draft picks (1st or 2nd round). Not Mike though – Milbury said he would trade Sundin to New Jersey for:

Nicklas Bergfors, RW. 20 years old. New Jersey's first-round pick, 23rd overall, in 2005 and 2008 first-round draft pick.

That’s all Mike would ask for. Not only would Milbury would ignore the bad history between both franchises, he wouldn’t dare ask for “too much”. Keep in mind this is the same donkey that, when in charge of the Islanders, traded Jason Spezza and Zdeno Chara to Ottawa for Alexei Yashin (he of the 10 year/$90M) and also traded away Roberto Luongo. Leaf Nation thanks you for your input Mike.

Speaking of the Toronto Star – there’s Damien Cox. Never mind, he has solidified himself as an all-time donkey; we don’t need any more examples to illustrate that.

We wouldn’t leave out our American friends – not with four playoff games going in the NFL this week. Thank God himself for CBS Sportsline’s Pete Prisco – once again this week, Big Pete, shows us all why he knows more about the NFL than the rest of us. Pete has made a name for himself by picking dogs to win the game outright – he does it every week – but in Pete’s line of work, wins and losses don’t count for much (he still gets paid by the word); no, what counts is pointing to the dogs you picked to win outright…who cares if you are wrong 9 out of 10 times, you celebrate your shot in the dark with a glass of scotch and a pat on the back.

Big Pete, when not spit-shinging Peyton Manning’s member, studies all the trends – who put a poor season behind them with one or two good games, who played poorly in a meaningless game, all that stuff that makes Pete piles of cash with his book. Pete’s upset pick of the week is the Giants – it started out with all four favourites winning, but Pete was asked “who could be upset”. Damn it all if Pete didn’t go with the Giants – it went from the hypothetical to a foregone conclusion; the Giants are going to beat the Cowboys this weekend because Pete says:

“The Giants appear to be on a roll.”

Pete points to Terrell’s injury and the fact that Eli Manning had a “mistake-free game”. He’s got the Giants winning 34-30. Before you call your book with Pete’s expert analysis, consider this from Wild Card weekend:

“The Redskins appear to be on a roll. They've won four consecutive games and they have the look of one of those "charmed" teams. You know the kind that gets hot at the right time. The Redskins are doing it with good defense and a running game. Clinton Portis is playing his best football. Todd Collins is doing a great job of not turning the ball over at quarterback. Seattle has been inconsistent this season. Their loss at Carolina a few weeks back is a major red flag for me.”

A 21 point loss where Todd Collins was 29-50 for 266 yards and 2 INTs and where Clinton Portis rushed for 52 yards on 20 carries isn’t going to dissuade Pete from going with the trends. Pete’s gonna pick that dog eventually – if it isn’t the Giants this week, it’ll be Green Bay over Dallas and Peyton Manning’s Colts over your New England Patriots next week. For the record, CBS Sportsline’s “expert” was 1-3 vs the spread; and the lone game he picked correctly was the Giants over Tampa Bay.

We have been lazy this week and it has had a direct impact on the total – we would have been a perfect 3-0 on Monday and 2-0 last night; but that counts for nothing. The total for the week stands at + $235. Tonight’s suggestions:

Toronto over LA Kings – the Leafs were pummeled last night in Anaheim (hence no three stars today), but as bad as they have been – the Kings have been worse. With everyone writing the Leafs’ season off, we like them to respond with a win. Lay $100 on Hazel’s favourite team + $115.

Montreal over Boston – the Bruins are banged up and playing inconsistent to downright poor hockey; the Habs on the other hand are relatively healthy and in the midst of a good run. Lay $100 on the Habs - $115 and say hi to Hazel if you see her at the game.

Buffalo over Ottawa – our upset special. The Tards’ goaltending has been less than adequate lately and they go into tonight’s game against a Sabres team that always plays them tough and is desperate for a win, having not won in seven games. The Tards might be down a player or two tonight as the flu bug is going through their dressing room. Lay $100 on the Sabres + $180.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Special thanks to Tilt for posting this entry. Have a great one.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out!


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