Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
Monday, August 13th, 2012
The Americans may believe they “won” the Olympics. But really, it was Usain Bolt who won the Olympics. That guy is just awesome, and I never get tired of watching him cruise past all the other competitors like he’s not even trying. He reminds me of that scene in The Incredibles when the parents are yelling at the kid to slow down and only win by a little, so no one gets wise to the fact that he’s a superhero.
I also love the showmanship of the Jamaican sprinters. But their win in the 4×100 was a foregone conclusion. I think it would have been far more interesting, and also would have been great showmanship, if Yohan Blake had handed the baton to Usain Bolt, who then passed it to the fattest Jamaican weightlifter on the team for the anchor leg. Take that, the rest of the world, we’re gonna win this regardless.
I think that by adding Anthony Davis to their Olympic roster, the American men’s basketball team were basically doing the same thing. See – we can have a gyu who’s not even in the NBA, and we’re still gonna win!
I think the Canadian women’s soccer screw-job against the Americans will actually be more memorable, in a decade, than an actual win would have been. Of course, had we lost the bronze, that might have been different.
I think the best game I saw in the whole Olympics was Australia – China in waterpolo.
Rhythmic gymnastics is the ice dance of the summer Olympics. In that it’s the one event that I can’t watch for more than one second before my skin tries to crawl off my body.
I hate watching horses jump over things.
Destinee Hooker also wins the Olympics. I give this super-hot US volleyball star the title of Best Name At the Games, ahead of Yay She-Win, Regina George, Jack Bauer, the Brazilian soccer player Hulk, Canadian swimmer Victoria Poon and (barely) Kim Yoo Suk. I also give her props for appearing in ESPN’s the Body Issue. Naked posing is gutsy for someone 6’4″, but moreso for someone named after a poorly-translated Hong Kong brothel.
I have decided that I really don’t care at all whose parents have recently died, whose father was diagnosed with cancer, or whose mother had her house foreclosed upon. Once is fine. But when every single athlete at the Olympics has some kind of personal tragedy to overcome, then in the end none of them do.
Synchronizing things is a really lame way to add more events into the Olympics.
Being proud, as a country, of a gold medal in trampoline is like being proud, as a country, of Nickelback. It’s the sort of thing you say while coughing. Yeah, we won a gold medal. In what? In coughtramcoughochokeoline.
And my new favourite athlete is Alex Morgan. For at least a week, until I forget everything about the Olympics I just watched.
Friday, June 29th, 2012
You know, the ancient Olympics in Greece were contested entirely in the nude. I thought it might be a good idea to bring the idea back…
Seems like a decent idea, right? Then again…
Much as I like to think I’m a traditionalist…maybe we’ve made progress. No one, no matter how hot they are, looks good when they’re competing in a (real) wrestling match!
Friday, April 27th, 2012
After round one of the NHL playoffs, the teams with home-ice advantage are playing .500 hockey. They’re 4-4. That’s because unlike most other sports, hockey is the one where home ice is pretty much irrelevant, and it’s also unique among the major sports in that every team that makes the playoffs has a very real chance to win the Stanley Cup.
There is a very real reason for that – playoff hockey is different from regular season hockey. It’s tighter, rougher, and relies much more heavily on goalies. And the reason for that is that referees call the playoffs much differently than they call regular season games. They stop calling penalties by the letter of the law, and blow the whistle only for egregious fouls. This would be fine with me if they did the same in the regular season. But they don’t. And it creates a situation where a team can be a playoff style team while just squeaking in over 80 regular season games.
Then teams get to game 7. And the rules change again. Now the refs pretty much put their whistles away entirely. Which is not necessarily a problem – both teams have to deal with the same new rules – but it DOES create a whole new game, yet again. And any penalty call that might happen is bound to inflame fans because after the stuff they’ve let go, anything now seems like a chintzy call.
Not that I’m making any excuses for the Senators, or getting bitter over the Game 7 loss. It was a sensational game, and Lundqvist alone won it for New York. But these changes in reffing bother me. They create parity where there should BE no parity, because refs in hockey have more of an effect on the outcome of the game than they do in any other sport.
You almost never see an upset in the NBA the way you do in the NHL. The #8 team never beats the #1 team. As it should be. And yes, the NFL and MLB have the last-placed playoff team win the title now and then (like this past year in both), but they don’t let everyone into the playoffs like basketball and hockey. The St. Louis Cardinals were the 8th-best team in baseball. Which means there were 22 teams who were worse. The NY Giants were the 8th-best team in the NFL, better than 24 other teams.
Only in hockey can the 16th-best team in the entire league actually have a real shot at the Cup. The #8 seed in both conferences makes the playoffs, even though they are closer to the bottom of the 30-team league than they are from the top.
Imagine they changed the rules like this in baseball. Only the home plate umpire has the same level of influence as refs in hockey. So they want lower-scoring defensive battles? Alright, for the playoffs the strike zone will now be from the ankles to the eyeballs. And if we get to a game 7? Well then the strike zone will be bigger – any pitch the umpire thinks a batter might have been able to contact will be called a strike. How would that play, you think?
The point is, the best teams are (usually) the best teams for a reason. And the changes in refereeing do nothing but even the playing field unnecessarily. And even unfairly. I love playoff hockey, but every year I feel like the Cup champion was the luckiest team, and not necessarily the best team.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Everyone has noticed the trend in this year’s NHL playoffs. There are more head-shots, more players carted off, more serious injuries than in any playoff season I can remember. There are also more fights. A LOT more fights. There was a time when Zenon Konopka would never have stepped out of the press box for the Senators during the entire playoffs.
But then, game 2 of the Ottawa-Rangers series and there he is, skating around menacingly and glowering at people while Matt Carkner beats the crap out of Brian Boyle, making the most of his 40 seconds of ice time before leaving the game and being suspended. But Carkner was just standing up for little Erik Karlsson, right? Who got punched a couple of times by Boyle in the previous game? And that’s what hockey is about, right?
Well, let’s look at that premise for a second. Karlsson is roughed up, but not injured. Boyle takes a penalty, Karlsson stays in the game and runs the power play. A full 48 hours later, Carkner is going to send a message – you don’t rough up our stars! Boyle takes his pounding. Stays in the game. Then joins the Rangers on their 5-minute power play while Carkner leaves for good. But Boyle will know better than to go after those Senators players now, won’t he?
Strange, it almost seems like the 6-foot-7 Boyle didn’t get that message. He hit every Ottawa player in sight on Monday night. Oh, and scored a goal. The only goal. While Carkner served his suspension in the press box.
But the REST of the Rangers were intimidated after Ottawa came out fighting, right? Well, except for Carl Hagelin, I guess. I suppose he wasn’t too worried about Carkner, cause he was out of the game. And maybe he knew, after his elbow to Alfie’s head, that he would be ejected and therefore wouldn’t have to worry about Konopka either. Now he’s gone three games, but if Alfie’s gone three games also, it seems like a pretty good trade for New York.
It seems to me that it’s time to retire this old, tired, cranky-old-man adage that fighting prevents cheap shots. It doesn’t. Not even a little bit. We have seen more fighting AND more cheap shots than ever before in these playoffs, and the fighting comes solely as a result of the cheap shots and does nothing to prevent more of them.
Witness last night’s brutal headhunting hit on Marian Hossa of the Blues by Rafi Torres of the Blackhawks. No question about the intenet to injure. In the immediate aftermath of the hit, Brandon Bollig goes after Torres. You know, to fight him. Problem solved, right? Two messages have been sent – one, there are consequences. And two, you can’t intimidate us!
OK sure. But now, the Hawks are killing back-to-back penalties, while their star player Hossa is being taken out of the rink in an ambulance on a stretcher. And what will actually prevent Torres from doing something like this again? Only the suspension that comes along with the hit. And what will prevent another Blues player from taking a run at another star? Nothing.
I’m not saying take fighting out of the game. I AM a fan of hockey fights, and I think there’s a place for them in the game. What I’m saying is, shut up about this nonsense that fighting prevents cheap shots and dirty play, which NO true fan likes. It does nothing of the sort.
It’s the same mentality that looks back to the Broad Street Bullies and Boston Bruins of the 70s and says “those guys played the game right – tough, but not dirty”. Which is revisionist history at best, and completely insane bulls**t at worst. What was Bobby Clarke most famous for? Some goal, or his slash that broke the ankle of Valeri Kharlamov? He was the star, AND one of the dirtiest players of all time. Does your memory of the Bobby Orr Bruin glory days completely forget Wayne Cashman? And the myriad of injuries inflicted by both of those teams on opponents all over the league?
So keep fighting around. The crowds love it, the players want it, and it can serve a useful purpose – giving a team that emotional boost that comes from watching their guy land more punches than the other guy, or just getting out some frustration (which leads to the funny fights, like Crosby-Giroux the other day). Just stop pretending it’s anything more than it is, or that it prevents the really bad stuff. The days of Semenko creating a bubble around Gretzky are long gone.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Wanna play dodgeball? The Ottawa Invaders are looking for teams of 7-8 to play in a tournament all day Sunday, February 26th. Sign up here and take on the Hosers two Sundays from now! Proceeds go to Roger’s House and the Invaders.
So it’s been a rough week for me. Fired as coach of the Beaver Cup CHEZ 106 Hosers after an 0-3 performance last Saturday, I had scheduled a team meeting at The Works in Westboro today to go over the weekend, say goodbye over burgers, and give the guys the Beaver Cup bags I forgot to give them on Saturday.
That meeting, however, will be considerably different today. Rather than an epilogue on a disastrous Beaver Cup, it will be the prologue to something equally cool. The Dodge or Die dodgeball tournament will play host to the redemption of the Hosers! Perhaps I was mistaken earlier – I didn’t put together a hockey team, I put together a dodgeball team!
So this coming Sunday, February 26th, I will be taking the very same Hoser team to the Dodge or Die tournament for the Ottawa Invaders football club (coached by Ken Evraire) and for Roger’s House. Because we couldn’t play hockey – but who can’t play dodgeball? The Hosers are now reborn as The Hosers, Mark II. A dodgeball team. Redemption is at hand!
You want to come out and play dodgeball? Sign up as a team of seven or eight people (or you can sign up individually as well – no matter how many you are, your team will be filled out for you), and let’s throw some balls at some folks. Go Hosers!
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
It has been a trying time for the Hosers and for me. I have been fired as coach of our hockey team after a disastrous Beaver Cup performance, where we went 0-3, outscored 21-2 in our first game. A terrific comeback in our second game fell short as we lost by a single goal - but we couldn’t keep that momentum going. We were moments away from getting our first win in our third game, until the other team showed up and avoided the forfeit.
It’s the guys I feel bad for. Craig, whose offensive skills and speed were largely wasted by my inability to get him the puck. Mark, whose two goals in the first game consisted of our entire offensive output, and were overshadowed by the 21 goals scored by the opposing team. John MacLean, who, like his Die Hard namesake, didn’t need shoes OR socks to get the job done – rather than running over broken glass, he ran barefoot over the ice on the canal. Josh, a broomball star who remained in good spirits through the losses, even though he was clearly accustomed to victories. Mike P, who was willing to play the team system and stuck to his position even when that system broke down all around him. And Mike T, who stayed late for the last game even when I told him the wrong time, and was late for his Valentine’s dinner with his wife just to help out the team.
We let the fans down as well. Little Nadia, who was there from 8:00 in the morning watching that first drubbing, who coloured us a picture of Dora The Explorer and Boots saying “Go Hosers” – a picture that may have inspired us to a much better team effort in the second game. The good people at Malones, the bar in the Dows Lake Pavilion, whose tequila may have inspired us for that second game as well. The Works, who fueled us up with burgers – maybe THEY helped create that effort as well. And good ol’ Bruce and his family, who came to see the final game and politely clapped for the one solid defensive stop I made all day.
In the end, it was all about camaraderie, burgers, beer and fun. It had to be – it couldn’t be about wins! And we did have a blast. Great bunch of guys, too bad next year will be an all new team. With an all new coach!
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
It’s time to introduce this year’s CHEZ 106 Hoser team for the Beaver Cup. This is the team I will be “leading” into the “competition” this coming Saturday at Dow’s Lake. Without further ado…
Mike Pashkoski – Mike says that he plays a great left bench, and needs Works burgers to help him put on some pounds – and if there’s one thing I know it’s how to help others gain weight!
John MacLean – First of all, he proved at Nakatomi Towers that he is indispensible in the event of a terrorist attack. And who knows, at the Beaver Cup? John also says he’s as fat and hairy as I am, and I know that will keep him warm while we spend all that time outside.
Michael Taggart – Michael is in it for “camaraderie, laughs, and hockey” – and I really appreciated that he said Hockey last!
Mark Waymann – Mark has played in the Beaver Cup before, although not with the Hosers. We needed someone who knows a little bit what’s going on. He also said in his email that Zeppelin rocks, and I happen to agree.
Glen Inglis – Glen coaches girls’ hockey, so he may be of value as an assistant (you know, if I make any bad decisions as head coach). Also, he comes with his own cheering section, which is nice. He’s an average everyday beer drinking 40 year old, so he’ll fit in just fine with the Hosers!
Josh Mills – John is 20 years old, and says he has been playing hockey ALL HIS LIFE! So…20 years of experience! He says he has great hand-eye co-ordination, which means he is less likely to spill beer or drop our Works burgers. Oh, and it might come in handy during the games also.
Craig Patterson – Craig is 21, an engineering student at Carleton, and he says his hands are so dirty, he’s sponsored by Purell. Which will be useful, I think, if things get chippy. We need a Chris Pronger type out there.
Eric the Intern – Eric is chubby, lazy and out of shape. He enjoys burgers and sitting down, and promises to cheer loudly for the Hosers for at least a few minutes in every game. He also needs someone on the team to lend him a helmet.
And there you have the 2012 CHEZ 106 Hosers! A team that, correctly coached and guided, should put previous editions of the Hosers to shame! Or at least, we’ll have a good time.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Is this awesome or what? I saw this and thought, I HAVE to make one of these for the Super Bowl. Bring people over and serve a stadium full of meat! Then I discovered that my wife had booked her flight back from Cuba, and that I have to pick her up at the airport. In the MIDDLE of the game! Cancel those plans. Oh well, maybe next year.
Friday, January 13th, 2012
I know a lot of you clicked on this link hoping for pictures of women in bikinis. I am sorry. But I do hope that you stick around to watch this video, which is totally amazing. Here is the greatest rally I have ever seen in sports.
Another bonus here – this will be the only post about sports you will see all weekend that doesn’t mention Tim Tebow in any way. Oh. Oops.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
I don’t have the first clue WHY this exists…I guess it’s a promo for the upcoming UFC event December 10th in Toronto – UFC 140 will pit Jon Jones against Lyoto Machida. But whoever dreamed it up was just bonkers enough to actually do it, and I came across it because I have a “google alert” set up for Steven Seagal.
And…there you go. UFC 140 – complete with karate kid crane kick and a peacefully pleased Steven Seagal.