Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pretty Please?

Is this a signal?

From ESPN Soccernet...

Blatter said his personal inclination was for rotation to continue to North America, with the USA, Mexico and Canada all capable of hosting the tournament.
Yes, he said Canada. And perhaps the signal is this: if Canada can successfully host the U-21 World Cup this year, then maybe they can be considered for the real deal. I think this is a pipe dream given the state of soccer's low profile in the country and that there would be no way the government would front the amount of money necessary to secure such a bid, but how cool would it be?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Old Style Brawl Up

Here are my thoughts on this:

1. These type of hits (Neil on Drury) are the ones that are hurting guys and giving many a concussion. Blind side hits and lack of helmet straps are starting to become the norm. The shoulder to head is also a problem, and it is legal. What can you do though? It's heads up or lights out. My thought is, why should hits be allowed after a player has released the puck? If you take out that rule, you decrease shenanigans by like 90% if you ask me. But then the argument is : "but we like shenanigans." Well, everybody does, until it is their player that takes the initial knock to the head. I'm not one to complain though. I don't condone violence, I just enjoy it.

2. Why is Ray Emery grinning like an idiot? Is it because he knows he's about to kick some serious ass? The guy has boxers painted on his helmet, why would Biron challenge him.

3. There is something seriously wrong with the situation where neither the referees nor any Senator stepped in to stop Peters from challenging Emery. That is a disgrace. The guy is in goal pads for Gods sakes.

4. Rob Ray finds himself in the middle of a fiery feud between Ruff and Murray. If you watch closely, you will see once the obscenity riddled rants start flying he quickly covers his microphone. Guess a little bench to bench chat isn't suitable for all audiences.

5. Rick Jeanneret Rules! That guy could make eating a bowl of soup exciting.

Think Rational

UPDATE: Uh-oh, Gord Miller was talking about something that I was also fearing too much to bring up. He feels that moving Smytty to the Island may have been a retribution move for Smytty failing to be agreeable at the bargaining table. This however, doesn't really make sense, since Smyth would really only have to be there until the end of the season and he is a free agent anyway. So hopefully my theory below still stands.

Also, Pierre Maguire was speechless over this move. PIERRE MAGUIRE! That says a world about this trade.

Let the rumours and conspiracy theories begin.


Smyth to the Islanders?! Are you kidding me? I never actually thought they would let him go for any price. I am absolutely in disbelief / outraged / shocked ... what I thought at first. And rightfully so. This guy is one of the biggest reasons I converted to Oilers fandom. But rationality has kicked in. Just like there seems to have been events recently that seem to keep happening to keep me away from returning to soccer (the greater good trying to prevent me from being injured severely again? stay tuned), I also have a feeling I was given insight into another future event. On the TSN page that tracks trades today, there happened to be live audio from TSN studios of their trade coverage. I put on my headphones for another reason and happened to catch what they were discussing. And it was this...

They were discussing how dumb it is(and I agree) for players that are at the end of their contract to be traded away so that the team could get something in return for their star player, and then that same star player that was traded away returns to the team after the season is over. Think Doug Weight and Mark Recchi last year. In the long run, if your team isn't going to make the playoffs, like the Oilers this year, then they get some value for trading Smyth away now, and then he can sign back in the summer time. It's an abuse of the system, it seems to me, but teams are doing it. And if it benefits the weaker teams, maybe the league won't step in and prevent it.

Smyth bleeds blue, and I find it hard to believe he wants to be, of all things, a New York Islander. I will put my faith in him and believe whole-heartedly that he will find his way back into an Oilers uniform this summer. So we will save the cursing of anyone's name until this summer.

What I do know, is that Kevin Lowe will be hearing it from the crowd big time tonight at the Messier celebration. Can't wait.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Juicy stuff

Robbie Keane's thunderous thump off the near post makes me want to hulk up. The video quality cannot do it justice.

Who cares if this guy is "fat"?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Score's Top 64

This is genius because it brings together some of the best plays of all time in one place for all to see. I don't actually expect it to find the best play or moment of all time, the subjectiveness of flaky human perception will ultimately ruin it. Think of Don Cherry getting into the top 10 of The Greatest Canadian. Who in their right mind would have gotten him that far? (Ron McLean I could at least understand)

This type of bullshit will come through in The Score's top 64 as well, almost seen already as "The Play" nearly got beat by a Fred Brathwaite save. Albeit amazing, how can a single, desperation stick save beat an amazing kick return in a national championship where "THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD!"? The play has existed through time, it had a moniker attached to it, and it now has (at least one) commercial made in it's honour. And it almost got beat by Fred's stick save?

Tonight an amazing Dr. J layup is in tight against Marek Malik's shootout goal. Now again, this is bullshit, dominated again by the fact that hockey is an obsession around here and that it is still fresh in peoples memories. I never thought much of Malik's goal, despite the attention it got. Anything more than plays of the week is too much for play this highlight. I mean common! It's a freakin shootout goal! The guy can practice it all day long, maybe it is the only shootout move he has! And I've seen children successfully pull off this move, no joke. So why is it so amazing that he pulls it off?

And when he scored it, why was it important? They didn't win the Stanley Cup; they didn't clinch the playoffs. It was a non-divisional game at the beginning of the year. The Rangers got an extra point in a game that had already seen 13 rounds of shootout marathon. At what point does a shootout become boring? It had to be close that night.

Although I will enjoy this, I will vote responsibly. Because voting is not a right, it is a privilege.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thank you Jebus

from Sportsnet...

The Oilers swapped defencemen with the New York Islanders on Sunday, sending Marc-Andre Bergeron to Long Island for Denis Grebeshkov.
I don't care if they locked him in his hotel room and quickly left Toronto, just getting rid of this guy is something that should have been done long ago.

Unfortunately this effectively highlights the waving of the white flag from Oilers management, displaying their concession of any hope for making the playoffs. Being that there is nobody to fill Bergeron's skates, and believe me, it wouldn't take much, they are clearly retooling for the future. Not that this should be any surprise to anyone, obviously Kevin Lowe saw last night's loss (and Minne's win) the same way as I did: au revoir playoffs.

So this is basically a return to the "not so old" day's, ie. the pre-Pronger/Peca days, when a struggle for a playoff position was only met with either futility or a first round exit. Because let's be honest, the team can't score and it certainly can't defend like it did with Peca/Pronger. If it weren't for Roloson, we'd be in Philly territory.

The only possible surprise left waiting is what happens with Ryan Smyth. Hopefully the Bergeron deal is not an indication of what is to come.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Photo(s) of the Time Period

I had some fun with Photoshop this afternoon. I meant to do this looooong ago, but I "failed." So here is me, hulking up in Australia during Brett's stag after I had smashingly smashed my face into the pavement while smashed.

And if you need some gore to fill you day, here is a close up of my knee after the ACL reconstruction surgery. The large gash on my shin was so the surgeon could insert a long rod up my leg with which to strip of pieces of hamstring which made up my new ACL. Hungry?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ears of a clown

Well I don't know what I have, but it sucks ass. My suspicions leads me to believe it is one of these:

This is all new to me. I have never experienced having this before, nor have I heard of anyone having this. The doctors have strongly indicated to me that what I have is viral and related to a cold virus moving into my ear.

I can describe it as spinning yourself in a circle for 30 seconds and that feeling lasts permanently and then trying to function normally. The first morning, while I was showering, I couldn't turn around without falling against the wall. And last night it also felt like I was sitting on slant and watching TV while laying down and on my side resulted in double vision. I was physically unable to focus on the tv. Do you have any idea how devastating that is?

Today I felt a little better, at least I could go to the bathroom without wanting to puke, but the dizziness was still as bad as ever. Speaking of going to the bathroom, I have no choice but to sit now. Very effeminating.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Belfour Jr. alert

Nice swipe Emery.

Donut try this at home

I would like to share a special event that occurred on Friday that I myself shared with another man in my life. I believe I can say that this was not only the first time I shared in such an event with another man, but also, the first time I've indulged in it alone.

You see, at work, one of the video lab dudes, Alex ironically, had bought donuts and invited some of us to share from the trough. I decided the garbage was better. For you see, when "late" Kevin and I went to ask some video lab questions late in the day, all the donuts were gone, save one. A plain donut, deemed unworthy to exist in the light of day and banished in its Tim Hortons coffin to the rubbish abyss for all of eternity. That is, until we rescues it.

Yes, Kevin and I dipped into the unholy waters and satiated our temptations for lustful plain donutry, splitting it nearly right down the middle, and guiltily consuming our trash can delight. Now Costanza only had a wrapper for separation and he acted alone. At least I can say that I had a full donut enclosure and a peer for encouragement, which can only make me less subhuman than George was on that fateful day.

Sure the donut was plain and sure it was in the garbage, but damn it, if that wasn't the best damn donut I've ever tasted then I don't know what ever was.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Instaces of Italy

My Italy pictures are now available for display on my flickr page. Click the link below:

Thursday, February 08, 2007



This is pretty funny. He bashes his own his own employer pretty good, which thankfully some one has done after all this trashy tabloid news:

Today, the world mourns.

Kevin, this is her:

Drinking Time!

Oh man, I have to organize one of these at work on "bring the investors to work day."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ultimate Sugarsplosion

They really need a name for the coke/mentos thing. How about colkano or sugarsplosion?

Props to Ryan for showing me this ...

More Italia

From Roberto Gotta at ESPN Soccernet ...

This makes me thousands of miles away, physically, from Catania, site of Italy's latest horrific episode in a long list of football violence, and a couple of universes away on a metaphorical level, as I listen to the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears coaches speak gracefully about the upcoming match, watch fans mingle peacefully with each other and bask in the chance to be at a sporting event where you don't have to watch your back at all times - unless you fear pickpockets.
He is obviously Italian and speaks of the horrors of his homeland. But here he points out the same contrast that I also saw, from the opposite end. There is a clear civility about North American sports. I mean, how much respect was there (in the media anyway) between the Colts and Bears, Dungy and Smith, for the Superbowl, the biggest single game of any kind on earth? You won't see that in media or in fan behaviour in Italian soccer.
Of course, a responsible media is not something we enjoy a lot of in Italy, with most weekday talk shows ending in shouting contests and the vulgarization and oversimplification of concepts resulting in the impression, to the less discerning and more belligerent, that the actual game-day experience is a war between opposites who could or should never meet.
This is more amusing, because in the hotels Venice and Milan I spent some time watching TV while Heather slept 19 hours a day. I believe I watched a soccer "round table" program which seemed to be debating issues, but also which clearly had a line drawn down the middle, dividing the two sides. I couldn't understand a thing, but man, they could get into some heated conversations. At one point, this 65ish year old man started pounding on the desk in a blind rage while the 65ish year old man opposite him made mimicking gestures as if he were wiping away tears. The climax of the show was when one of the old dudes got up and started shouting at another old dude who was sitting at a tv and watching a game that was going on live at the time and giving periodical updates. Then, he started shaking him and pushing him a little, to which nobody seemed to mind. Now that, that is ridiculous.


From Andy Greeves at ESPN Soccernet ...

During the game, fans lit a large fire on the terraces while they bombarded the pitch with flares and flag poles. This kind of behaviour seemed to be normal practice at Catania. When I read the match report in the Gazzetta Dello Sport the next day, there was no mention of the trouble, which confirmed my belief that it was acceptable.
He is referring to soccer behaviour in Italy, something we witnessed first hand not too long ago. Sure it was entertaining to see Bari supporters sitting on top of the plexiglass fencing meant to hold them in and keep them separated from impending riot, one of which was holding a lit flare as if he were preparing to launch it into the crowd of Juventus fans. However, if he would have done so and an actual riot would have broken out, that entertainment would have very quickly morphed the experience into one of the most fearful events of our lives.

You know Italy has a problem when other Europeans, especially from the type-cast hooligan country of England, are shocked at the chaos and shenanigans of their fans. Here's the list of other events around the country that didn't get very much (any?) play from the weeks before the police man's death:
The appalling scenes during and after their Sicilian derby match against Palermo, that ultimately resulted in the tragic death of a policeman, followed on from a number of violent incidents the previous weekend. An official from the amateur club Sammartinese was killed after he was attacked trying to stop fighting between rival fans and players.

On the same day, a Livorno supporter needed 20 stitches after being attacked by Fiorentina fans while police in Bergamo fought running battles with over a hundred Atalanta hooligans. In a Serie D game, a drum was even thrown from the stands, hitting a linesman during a Genzano Normanna game.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Favorite Super Bowl Commercials

The cost of the game

From CNN...

The Serie A matches scheduled for last Saturday and Sunday were canceled because of the rioting after the local derby between Palermo and Catania. The decision on resuming professional games would be made after the Cabinet meeting, Italian soccer federation commissioner Luca Pancalli said.
Thankfully this didn't happen while we were in Italy. I would have been crushed. I was freaking out enough in Turin when I was late getting to the Juventus game and couldn't find out where to buy tickets. We ended up missing the first 15 minutes of the first half and if it turned out we couldn't get tickets, I would have probably cried. Not that me seeing soccer is more important than people obeying the 5th commandment.

The suggestions that the game should go on, despite any deaths being caused, let alone a police officer, are utterly repulsive. Here in North America, you have no idea how civilized we are in the sporting arena as compared to the rest of the world. Here, even in very competitive sports, opposing fans do not need to be segregated in the stands and are most often able to support their teams without fear of retribution from those around them. The soccer games we went to seemed to be on the verge of riots and that is probably a normal occurrence. I suggest that punishment be brought onto the field for crowd behaviour. I think that there is definitely a good chance that if a team loses points in the standings or they are reduced by a player (or more) on the field, that some amount of civility can be brought to the crowds.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Soccer atmosphere

Sorry for the shitty quality.

Pay attention to how great a time Heather is having in this video.

This is Adriano's goal set up from a free kick. Some subtle things to notice: 1. At the beginning, the fans in the home end of the stadium are all bouncing up and down, causing the stadium to shake. 2. When the goal is scored, someone takes a water bottle and squeezes it while shaking it violently, soaking some of the spectators below us. 3. Everybody in the stadium is smoking, giving off the noticeable haze and the reason for Heather's apparent depression in the last video. 4. Some of the fans shake their fists at the opposing fans as a kind of "fuck you" after the goal. It appears the dude in front of us actually does give them the finger.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I thought this might benefit / entertain everyone, so here we go with:

The Top Ten Things That May Surprise You About Italy

1. The food SUCKED! Friends of ours recently came back from Italy saying food was the best part of their trip. First of all, their pizza sucks hard goat teat. It is like a tortilla crust with some regular sauce and cheese and 2 pieces of pepperoni on it. Apparently they don't like toppings. Also, I ordered a steak and it was rarer than rare, in fact, they didn't even ask me how I wanted it cooked, I guess they only like their red meat red. It was ~40 dollars Canadian, huge, and tasteless. I ate about a 1/4 of it. Biggest waste of meat ever (insert witty comment here). When my parents went to the grocery store, they couldn't find orange juice, but pear juice, for sure! For breakfast in Rome, we were served toast, prepackaged dry toast. Didn't see a toaster the entire time we were there. Finally, they eat very differently than we do here. The menu has the food laid out like such: first course is pasta, second is a meat dish, and then there is sides like veggies and salad seemed to be served last. And at different restaurants, the serving sizes were so inconsistent you might end up super stuffed or barely full (and we only ever had 2 of the four courses). I would be hard pressed to find anything I would say was better than anything we eat here.

2. Italian soccer is awesome, even if you don't like soccer. I'm sure it can be interpolated to European soccer as a whole, but I've seen Italian soccer on TV and their fans are nuts, nuttier than I've ever seen anywhere else (other than the racist Spanish fans). The game we went to at the San Siro in Milan to watch Fiorentina and Inter had one of the Inter players hit in the head with a projectile coke bottle as he was about to take a corner kick. Although this was the most violence we saw, there was plenty of crowd activity to keep everybody entertained. In Turin, for del Pierro's 500th game, the opposing fans set off loud firecrackers and smoke bombs in the crowd and climbed on top of the hockey-like plexi-glass dividers that attempted to keep them separated from the rest of the home fans. In Rome, the Siena fans charged at the Lazio supporters as they exchanged projectiles launched at each other after Siena scored a late equalizer, despite the fact that security officials divided the two groups. In all cases, the fans at these games were constantly active either waving giant flags or singing or bouncing up and down (in Milan, this bouncing shook the 82,000 seat stadium). The pictures tell tales of the adventures at the games.

3. Bum Washers! In 3 of the 4 hotels we stayed in, we got a bidet tub. It looks like a sink / toilet mixture. You run some water into the basin and then sit your ass down in it and wash your asshole. Needless to say, I skipped this portion of the acculturation process.

4. Italians are slim. It was rare to see an exceptionally overweight Italian and even slightly chubby Italians were few and far between. Either this is because they do so much walking, which seemed to be the norm in places we stayed, or because their food sucks so much that they wouldn't want to eat much. I guess it wouldn't hurt that fast food was basically non existent. There was the odd McDonald's and a Burger King or two in Milan.

5. Traffic was insane. They drive like crazed maniacs. Anytime you cross the road as a pedestrian, you risk your life. They often don't drive in lanes and there are tons of scooters that will weave around anything to get to the front of lines of stopped cars. In fact, you can stand at a cross walk and no car will stop for you unless you inch your way onto the street.

6. They drive on the right hand side of the road. They drive the same way we do, I guess it is just in the UK and Australia that they are backwards.

7. There doesn't appear to be such thing as a double / queen / king sized bed. All the places we stayed in had two single beds pushed together to make a double. This often resulted in one of us sleeping in the "crack." Heather said she liked it, so apparently she is addicted to crack. Everything makes sense now.

8. Late night TV. It's all topless girls advertising for sex lines. Nearly every channel changes to this, maybe even the church channel. I might have been tempted to call if I could ever figure out their screwed up phone system.

9. Liquor. You could buy wine for 2 Euro at the supermarket (and we did!). I only tried beer once, they didn't seem to drink a whole lot of it, and it was not very good. Obviously underaged drinking is not as taboo as it is here, kids that were at the Universiade curling games on a school trip were buying and drinking beer with classmates.

10. Watch out for the tax collectors. Armed guards at all the soccer games and at the Universiade games and at any other big event had "Guardia di Finanza" written on their backs. These dudes look seriously ready to bust some ass. However, translating their Italian names from my dictionary revealed that they were "tax officers". Somehow, this doesn't sound right.


From TSN's Ice Chips...

"Heatley has 46 points in 21 games against Toronto."


I love Andy Dick