Roloson makes maybe the two best saves of the year in quick succession. Still love you Rolly.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Roloson makes maybe the two best saves of the year in quick succession. Still love you Rolly.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
For a limited time only. Not sure how this is being released. The trailer is mediocre and this has the potential to be very disappointing, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
OK, shit happens sometimes. But someone explain to me where the fuck Keith Ballard disappears to after he slashes his goalie across the HEAD?! Don't you hang around to check on his health. Or do you just hit him and see him flail around in agony and skate away? Wow.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Though this popular song sounds like it was written and composed in the 30's, it actually didn't come into existence until the 1970's. And unfortunately, green isn't the original colour.
Yes, it's true, blue is actually the colour. Premier League soccer team Chelsea had the song created in 1972 (all "facts" per wikipedia). As you could imagine my shock, I heard their fans singing to the tune of Green is the Colour before a game recently. It doubly hurts to know that the Riders' version is a rip off and that they ripped off a tune from a close rival of my favourite Tottenham Hotspur.
Regardless, it's still a great fight song and I'll sing it all the way to the Grey Cup this year. Rider Pride!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I can kick for a trip to the Grey Cup! Jen B gets props for the info.
Want a chance to win a couple tickets to SOLD OUT Grey Cup???!!!
Join Rock 102 at Griffith Stadium on Thursday, November 12th from 12:00 (NOON) to 1:00PM.
Person to kick the furthest field goal wins a (2) tickets & hotel accommodations for the SOLD OUT 97th GREY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP on Nov. 29, 2009 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary!
Anyone can come down!!! Sign yourself up by emailing email@example.com.!!!
My response to Dave Hodge's question on hits to the head: Should the NHL institute a penalty for headchecking?
There is nothing an unsuspecting player can do to avoid getting hit in the head. Looking at the most recent examples, Booth and Toews both didn't see the hits coming. The only way to settle this is to make the checker responsible for his actions. If Richards had wanted to hit Booth in the open ice, fine. But make him have to choose his speed and shoulder contact more carefully.
And on the same topic of avoiding career threatening injuries, remove hitting after a player gives up the puck. There is too much leeway for useless physical contact. It would have saved Booth and would eliminate players running other players because it would force them to choose their speed more carefully when lining up a body check. Hitting a player with the puck makes sense by trying to free the puck; hitting a player without the puck is simply a punishment for having had the puck.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm getting fed up with the cliché "admiring a pass." Mac-T used it three times in his refusal to condemn hits like that delivered to David Booth by Mike Richards over the weekend. Keith Jones also used it on their panel discussion about the issue on Wednesday night hockey last night on TSN.
Come on! Why does it always seem that it is former 3rd/4th liners that are getting to opine on these kind of things (Cherry and his lackeys too). These are the people who, in their conservative ways, feel like hockey is going to be ruined by making the game safer. They want fighting and hitting and running the goalie and brawls, just like the good old days. Hell, they even have the ability to come to a consensus that a fighter knocking a ref down trying to stop a fight shouldn't be suspended! What the fuck do you have to do nowadays? But such is the place of fighting in the NHL.
Hockey is hockey. And though I enjoy it's current form, I wouldn't enjoy a reformed hockey any less. It just seems too simple to me.
The hit in question:
First, these blindside hits over the middle of the ice. These are professional hockey players. They don't admire passes, it's a stupid saying. They fucking look to see how the play is going to develop. Does a player on a two on one pass the puck over to his linemate and then put his head on a swivel. (Well maybe he should, since hitting from behind is legal in the NHL, but I'll get to that later). No! He looks for the return pass / rebound. Is this what we want hockey to be? Guys shooting the puck away, scared about what's coming from the other direction. I guess that's what Booth should have done: passed the puck, come to a complete stop, and then proceeded when it's safe. It's like crossing the street, kids!
Solution: Fucking outlaw hitting players who do NOT have the puck (AND outlaw headhunting which is exactly what this looked like to me). I'm always astonished as to how glorified Scott Stevens was for his ability to deliver cheap shots. And that's what the Booth hit was. Anyone can go and find a guy who got rid of the puck and who's not looking and absolutely cream him. Mike Richards is 5'11 195lbs. He's about the size of Wayne Gretzky. If Richards can do it, anyone can. The fact Stevens dwarfed Paul Kariya and Ron Francis makes some of his hits even cheaper.
So, (as the hardened hockey crowd will easily be able to pick out) I've never played hockey. Which means I'm clearly out of my league here. But somebody please explain to me what purpose the rule of allowing players to be hit within a second after they get rid of the puck has? Is it for entertainment? Is it so that the NHL can showcase it's third line checking talent? Seriously. It is legal interference. Wouldn't the game be better served if there were less interference? Oh, but who likes skill when we can watch grown men assault each other!
Most of the time, you see a defenseman in his own end play an outlet pass or rim it around the boards, with a forechecker coming in, and then stand there waiting to absorb the hit. Now clearly this defenseman needs to play the puck quickly or he's going to get hit and potentially lose the puck. So what effect does allowing the forechecker to hit after the puck's gone serve? Seems to me it serves the forecheckers team by allowing it to punish the other team in the form of injuries. And hockey is a physical game right? So therefore trying to injure/punish opponents is a winning strategy.
I guarantee you if Crosby is the one hit (or Ovechkin, as Richards tried a repeat hit Tuesday), people would sing a different tune. In that case, "we need to protect our marquee players." Hypocrites.
Take hitting after puck's gone out of the game! It serves little, if any, purpose and only encourages devastating hits.
And what about fighting? Entertaining? Not really. Maybe back in the days when guys fought through emotion. Now it's either fighting because you have to (aka, someone broke "the code" of running the goalie, hitting a star player, etc.) or it's two 4th liners trying to make themselves useful (aka, earn a paycheck).
I say toss the fighters from the game, just like in World Juniors, which I must say, is some damn fine hockey. But wait! They'll say enforcers are needed in there so ensure things don't get out of hand and they can police the ice. Right, because when those guys are in the box for 5+ minutes after fighting each other, it's utter mayhem on the ice with guys karate kicking each other and shit. Tossing them from the game would just mean more time for actual hockey players and, you know, actual hockey playing.
Hitting from behind. Legal? Sort of. It's OK as long as you don't do it very hard and they guy doesn't fall and break his neck. Otherwise, HO HO (think Costanza)! You're in deep shit, buddy.
I'm pretty sure I'm not dumb, so why can't I figure out why I'm wrong on this one? Why not penalize any hit from behind as long as the hitting player isn't stationary. More penalties? Yes. But the reason you have penalties is to discourage behaviour. And allowing 90% of hitting from behind into the boards isn't discouraging any behaviour, it is ENcouraging it.
Also, nearly every big hit I see in hockey is borderline charging.
That's about all the hockey bashing I have for today.
Nope, there's more. Apparently this is illegal:
Not sure why. It looks like a hipcheck coming in from the front. But again, the theme here? It's a late hit, which is purely unnecessary. If there is a rule against this type of hit, I'm unaware of it.
And if you ask Nick Kypreos (hey! another 3/4th liner at the analyst's desk), this one is bad because he can seriously injure Colaiacovo's knees. But throwing your shoulder into someone's head is ok. That's not liable to ruin anyone's career.
Thank God there is some sense out there in Jim Kelley and Bob McKenzie (note: neither is a former 3/4th liner!).
I get frustrated because I can't swim well, despite having a friend who is head coach of a local swim club. In fact, Heather is a better/faster swimmer than me. Athletically, this is hard for me to take.
But really, why should I be upset? The worse I am at swimming, technique-wise, the more of a workout I'm getting in less time! It's like my refusal to give up my 1994 mountain bike. Along with the fact that no-one in their right mind is going to want to steal it, it's shoddy mechanics and heavy frame give me a better workout in my summer commutes to work.
So here's to poor technique. Keeping what should be obese people overweight since 2008.
Friday, October 23, 2009
yes, admittedly, it is also the day John Gormley really reveals how much of a douchebag he is, but that happens every Friday. No, my friends, what I'm talking about happens only once a year, like Christmas and Lent. It's Wendy's Kick For A Million Day!
Normally I'm not so excited because I continually get SCREWED over by not winning this contest in which I have literally (.... LITERALLY) HUNDREDS of entries. But over time, my loss is actually their loss and my gain. Because it becomes party time to celebrate the pathetic kicking efforts of old, bald, fat men.
Unfortunately, that is not the case this year. It's some 25 year old grad student from Edmonton (BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (breath) BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!). But all in all, he's still a loser; just look at his profile:
Steven is also a big fan of the Edmonton Eskimos and never misses a game on TSN.You're going to miss Steve. Those are my field goals you are stealing. I'll have a kick-off with you any day of the week, or in your case, day of the weak! Here's hope for the success of your failure!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Oh, what a great morning this is. Up early, enjoying the morning's darkness getting illuminated by the rising sun. The perk that this non-coffee drinker is getting isn't from a caffeine laced beverage though, it's from the fact that the Maple Laughs are now the only winless team in the NHL. I don't know what it is about enjoying their misery, but I do.
It's probably related to my unhealthy dislike for Brian Burke and everything he represents. Admittedly, I thought it would be a good move for Toronto based on Burke's past successes. And it is way to early to judge how his tenure will go there, but his moves to bolster their defense with the signings of Exelby, Beauchemin, and Komisarek haven't worked out in the slightest. And he still has to worry about repairing what has to be the worst offense in the league. And the best kicker is, if they stay in the basement all season and get the first overall pick in the draft, it actually will go to Boston because they traded that pick for Kessel.
So now the Leafs are resigned to retooling their offense in the absence of any high draft picks in the next two years. If you look at the really shitty teams of the last five years, they all succeeded through big names in the draft (the Islanders were a little late with Tavares); the Penguins got Crosby and Malkin, the Caps got Ovechkin, TBay got Hedman and Stamkos, and they are all way better teams because of these moves. Toronto now has to bank on Kadri to be that guy?
So what I'm really hoping for is them going out and getting another Jason Blake to help out; going back to their traditional ways of picking up elderly free agents. This is going to be fun.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Having attended Collective Soul this evening, live, for the first time, I can easily say, despite what Americans might think, they are a national treasure. CS are the equivalent of The Tragically Hip South. They represent rock south siiiiiide and I can see why they have such a strong northern following given THPs adoration here. If I were asked to describe American rock, I would say Collective Soul. And Yes, Foo and PJ and RHCP would take a back seat. Love it.
Gareth Barry. Not a big fan. He may have some foresight into balls played forward. But as a distributor and defender, not so sure. I may be biased, but give me a Hargraeves any day. As hard as that is to say.
And on that hard to say topic, Peter Crouch is a threat. For Spurs and otherwise. I like him in a weak opposition type role. He is dangerous in desperation. Birmingham have seen that this year. And Belarus are discovering presently in my time. Nobody is stronger in the air going forward.
England fans remind me of Rider fans.
Dustin Penner is a new man and Mike Comrie is a man renewed. Pleasant to see the Oilers getting some economy for a change.
Friday, October 16, 2009
It had both Steves! Still, all I can remember of it is Kurtis Thick repeatedly saying "Tea, tea, tea, tea" while doing an impression of Prince Charles. Weird.
The Dana Carvery Show - Waiters Who Are Nauseated By Food
Dana Carvey | MySpace Videos
Posted by Hamblore at 10:30 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I may be letting my "love" of Maurice shine through a little here, but I feel the need to bitch about this stupid canned statement, from the Star Phoenix ...
Upgrades to a facility such as Credit Union Centre provides an “impetus for youth” to get into hockey, said Maurice Vellacott, MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin.Don't get me wrong, I love hockey and I don't mind money being spent on projects like this. But to suggest that without an UPGRADE TO THE JUMBOTRON and ADDING SOME LED SIGNS that people might not want to play hockey is ludicrous. And if you want to combat child obesity, then think about building a giant soccer specific stadium. Soccer is the most participated in sport for youth in this country and in this province. So why not invest big in it if health is really a concern here? I mean hockey is great, but even I'm one of many kids out there who were or are priced out of this expensive sport. Soccer is easily among the least costly sporting activities around and one of the best for cardiovascular health.
“It gives them something to aspire to,” Vellacott said.
“If you didn’t have places like this, you wouldn’t have places at a lower level where people want to do this kind of stuff. You’d get a bunch of couch potatoes and people sitting around.”
Vellacott, get your head out of your ass. We invest in hockey arenas because they make money. And they make money because it is the sport in which the most people will go out and spectate. This is not an impetus for youth to join hockey. Subsidize the costs or help the organizations who help underprivileged kids play if you want an impetus for youth to join hockey. This is money to make our arena look cool to rest of Canada and the world, period.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Given stupid Kanye's attention lately, it is only appropriate to highlight this. I hate liking music by douches (Nickleback & Amy Winehouse, you know who you are), but this song is half decent (sounding, the lyrics are mega douche).
I'm not going to lie, the top two uses I get out of my iPod Touch are listening to podcasts as I bus to work (Hardcore Footy Show of course) and allowing me to use google reader while I'm on the can. Now that, is high tech shitting.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Two up and coming Canadian strikers potted goals in their head to head Carling Cup game last night, with David Hoilett's Premier League Blackburn coming out on top of Simeon Jackson and his League One's Gillingham.
from ESPN Soccernet...
David Hoilett capped off an impressive full debut with a goal as Blackburn overcame plucky League One Gillingham 3-1 in the Carling Cup second round.
The Canadian teenager was lively throughout and grabbed Rovers' second goal less than a minute after half-time as they eventually eased through to the third round.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Turns out Lucas just looks good because the rest of the team has forgotten how to play that game called soccerball (or is it footballball?). Torres has retired from being a striker in favour of falling down a lot and looking angry/sad. Gerrard looks bewildered, like he just woke up and can't remember who he is. Then, for a second, he remembers! And he shoots, no matter where he is or what direction he's facing. Then Torres falls down again. Angrily. And sadly.
Posted by Hamblore at 1:21 AM
Saturday, August 22, 2009
(For brevity's sake it shall now be referred to simply as the "A-gap")
Lucas, oddly, seems to be actually delivering while under pressure. In the lead up to the Premier League season, Benitez singled Lucas out as the outstanding performer in Liverpool's (rather non-outstanding) preseason. Again, after Liverpool's abysmal display at White Heart Lane against the ... hehehehe...Lillywhites (that's an actual nickname for Spurs, Alex, Google that shit), Benitez picked out Lucas, along with Glen Johnson (who, to be honest, looks sharp as hell) and Reina (ditto), as the only players to play up to the required standard. He was then, by all accounts, extremely useful again in Liverpool's dismantling of Stoke City. Turns out it's not just Liverpool fans that are paying close attention to his progress. See the following:
Shit. Not bad to get a call up against Argentina. God I hope he can fill the A-gap. I'm still not really convinced. But I'm open to the possibility. Best case scenario, Lucas plays so well that he keeps Aquilani out, or at least makes Rafa the gaffa consider the idea. Go on son!
In an entirely unrelated, but equally awesome, matter, Nilmar has received another Brazil call up. Who is Nilmar, you ask? Let me tell you.
Let me tell you all about Nilmar.
Nilmar, by (around) the year 2011-12, will be the single greatest and most valuable football player in the entire world. According to Fifa07. Or maybe Fifa06. But, let me tell you...you buy that guy and you just tuck him away somewhere. Stick that little fella safely up on the shelf and you wait. He's like those little dehydrated dinosaurs that you leave in a cup of water overnight. Get up the next morning and Nilmar is a giant dinosaur...in terms of...goal scoring...proportions. Sorry, that metaphor was hard to keep in line. But honestly, I've won many a Premier League title (not to mention FA Cups and Champions Leagues) for Liverpool with trusty old Nilmar. He comes good about 5 seasons in. It brings a smile to my face to see random video game bullshit take place in real life. Where the hell do the EA Sports people get their player info? Honestly, have you ever heard of Nilmar (except what I've told you right now)? They should be scouting for some European giant. At least, that is, if Nilmar actually becomes the worlds greatest and most valuable player. Should be an interesting game against Argentina.
...I think it's on Setanta...
Oh. Before I go. Just wanna give a couple of Fantasy Premier League shout outs:
First up, a hearty Fuck Yeah! to my boys from Stoke-upon-Trent. Go the Potters! A clean sheet for Faye and Sorensen. Nice work boys!
Yo! Cesc! My Gameweek Captain. Hey, I know it's just for the gameweek. Don't worry big guy, its still a big deal. You know only the cream of the crop (or Lampard) get to captain Red Star Coburg- it's a big deal even if for just one little week. Which is a good thing for you. Because rest assured that is all it will be, my friend. You're ass is dumped for Gerrard next week. Suck my nuts. Beat pompey 4-1? You don't score? And, you go off after 45 minutes? I beseech you, kind sir, to suck my nuts.
Posted by Hamblore at 9:41 AM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is just a shot across the bow, to cut off any complaining about supposed penalties before they appear here. It was not a penalty, it was a shoulder to shoulder challenge and because he was reaching for the ball, it was legal. Rafa can bite me.
Against top 4 opponents
The title awaits
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Chelsea versus Hull
Hunt made them look average
Drogba got lucky*
*Director's Cut Alternate ending:
"Kyle looked quite worried"
Black oil-fortune shirts
Suit northern mercenaries
Ireland is ice-cold
The Hammers did it
Fantasy league makes me care
But why no Cole goal?
Toffees and Gunners
My mouth falls slackly open
Sweet baby Jesus
SPECIAL AWESOME BONUS LESCOTT HAIKU
When is the next bus?
City of Man. Stadium
Glimmers in distance
Posted by Hamblore at 9:37 PM
Last night I was treated to one of the best football games I have ever seen. Round two of the A-League season saw the Melbourne Victory (reigning champions) try and recover from their gong-show of a season-opener (which, perhaps purely for the sake of cosmic symmetry, was one of the worst games of football I have ever seen) against an in-form Brisbane Roar. The game ended 3-3 with Melbourne coming back twice from two goals down, with Melbourne's Costa Rican international, Carlos Hernandez, stealing the draw for Melbourne with two fantastic strikes. What made the game truly fantastic, however, was that all the goals (accept the softly-awarded Roar penalty) were top quality. Have a look at this.
Posted by Hamblore at 9:22 PM
Friday, August 14, 2009
I predicted Chelsea to win the title last year because of ManU's loss of C-ron at the start of the season due to injury. While they did drop points, they quickly recovered once he returned. This year, he doesn't return. Plus they lose their hardest working player in Tevez. Rooney (not to mention Owen) is a band-aid, so relying on him for the extra offense might not work out.
Meanwhile Chelsea is so deep in the midfield, once Joe Cole is back they are even going to have trouble finding minutes for everyone. They could hurt at center back if either one of Carvalho or Terry go down for a long period. But they have probably the most dangerous strike partnership to choose from up front with Drogba and Anelka (convince me otherwise, Man City).
Two Torres' is what I see Liverpool needing to win anything. I just don't see the depth that will get them through another long CL run while holding off teams in the Prem. Still a quality team with the most dynamic offense around (again, we'll see in time about Man City).
When it comes down to it, there just isn't much movement at the top anymore, and that's exactly where I see these three ending up.
3. Man U
However, I think there is definitely room for movement in the 4-8 slots.
Arsenal has been weakened, but has youth and talent behind them. Depth is getting to be an issue and will struggle to keep above the pack below them.
I just don't see Man City making the strides this year to break out. Only one significant signing (so far) has been made to bolster their defense, where I see their problems coming from. If they go through a goal drought, there is going to be drama and infighting. Robinho was no revelation for them last year.
Although Everton aren't starting very healthy, they have some depth and should only get stronger as the year goes on, getting Yakubu, Jagielka, Anichebe and Arteta back in time. If they can keep Lescott, they have the best shot at breaking the top 4 monopoly. Tim Howard was stellar all summer, best keeper in the Prem now if you ask me.
Spurs will likely start bad, on a account of center back injuries to start the year, or just because they always do. There is a lot of hype about Modric for this season, but did he really get that much better over the summer? Wouldn't bother me one bit if he backed it up, great player nonetheless. I'm more excited about what Aaron Lennon will do. Should be some great goals and questionable defense this year. The only question is whether not having the UEFA Cup to worry about gives them enough strength to challenge at the top.
6. Man City
I just don't see Villa hanging in there this year. Lost Barry and Laursen retired, Downing is a ways off from healthy. Not sure if I believe in their defense holding up to some potent offenses this year.
Fulham seem to be progressing again slowly. Have hung on to Hangeland so far and haven't really taken any steps back. Schwarzer and Dempsey have re-signed and will be key players for them this year. If they can find consistent scoring, they'll finish top half table.
Sunderland has been stocking up in the last little while. No huge moves by any stretch, but this is a competitive team which can take some steps forward this year. Bent is still a quality forward.
Bolton is another team that I think fits the same billing as Sunderland. I thought they were destined for the drop last year, but I'm glad I was wrong because this has always been one of my favorite teams to watch.
West Ham and Blackburn should have enough talent to slot into the bottom-middle of the table, that's all I got.
8. Aston Villa
12. West Ham
Two teams that I've read are questionable to stay up, but on paper look good enough to me are Hull and Birmingham. I have a soft spot for Hull, and if Bullard is healthy and with Altidore up front, they add significantly more talent. I like the Hunt signing too.
I see 12-20 being a dogfight this year. Anything can happen. Can Portsmouth get stability? Will Delap surprise/fluster defenses with his throws? Will Burnley win a game? Can Wigan cope with losing so much talent since the middle of last season?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Here we go again. The last time this happened, you'd have thought I learned my lesson. Apparently not. If there was a way to put Air Canada on any more notice than they are already on, I would. My latest issue is the 4th one in my last 4 trips with this airline. That's right, they are managing a 100% customer unsatisfactory rating. Their planes had no air vents on our way back from Hawaii, we were delayed twice for hours en route to Italy, they bumped me on my flight last fall, and now this.
This story begins from the last one (link above) where Air Canada pissed me off and I subsequently got a $200 voucher from them to use within a year. Since I was going to watch the TFC v. Real Madrid game in Toronto, I figured this was a way to chink away at Air Canada's profits a little.
I went to the TO airport yesterday on my way home. Because I was traveling to the airport on public transit, I wanted to get on a later flight to avoid any possibility of missing my flight. However, there were no direct flights in the early afternoon. Now, being naive (read: stupid), I figured the 45 minute layover in Winnipeg was fine. I mean, it's not like I was traveling with Air Cana... D'oh!
All I wanted was to get back in time for my soccer game last night. I knew instantly that wasn't going to happen when the AC agent at the gate came on the mic and said "I know a lot of you are frustrated..." I guess a different flight to Winnipeg got canned and people we having problems getting home. But hey, what do I care? They screwed somebody else for a change. But the message went on: "the plane has be over-fueled and they need to figure out a way to get the fuel out, so there will be a delay."
This is where it gets really funny. What does AC do next? They remove all the checked luggage from the plane and send the plane out an hour late of course! Because goal number one is maximum inconvenience. Bad airlines make Alex something something, but fortunately I didn't have any checked luggage. So they missed me on that one. Nice try though guys!
But since we left an hour late, there was virtually no way I was going to make the flight to Saskatoon. Something I was already resigned to when we left Toronto. But it turns out we were going to get to the gate in Winnipeg at 5:10PM. Since my Saskatoon flight was scheduled to leave at 5:00PM and since nobody who was connecting (and there were more than just me) had any checked luggage, all we would have had to do is run onto the plane and it could leave. A total of 10 minutes of inconvenience to the Saskatoon flight.
Of course, that wouldn't happen. All I got was a friendly "here's your new boarding pass." They didn't even apologize for the inconvenience. They must get screamed at so often by passengers they piss off, they probably stopped caring long ago. And they didn't buy me a meal for wasting 4 hours of my time either.
It really amazes me that this airline can piss so many people off and still continue to operate. When do we all smarten up and say enough is enough? This time, I am. WAKE UP PEOPLE! JOIN THE REVOLUTION! I DON'T CARE IF YOU TAKE WESTJET, OR A ZEPHYR, OR EVEN WALK! GET OFF AIR CANADA FOR GOOD!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
While I appreciate that someone is getting excited for the start of the Prem season after the incredibly short break they get for summer, this blog is starting to look like a Liverpool fan's club. It's time to turn the tide and talk about another title dreamer (snap!), Tottenham Hotspur.
While being linked with almost everyone (not too noteworthy) under the sun this summer, things have been relatively quiet. I'm very sad that the rumour of bringing in Canadian International Julian De Guzman didn't pan out. I really don't like Wilson Palacios and with Didier Zokora gone, Willy will likely see a bulk of the midfield holding role. Another disappointment was the bringing in of Peter Couch. Though I'm not particularly affable toward the guy, I must admit he does have soccer talent instead of basketball talent for unknown reasons. Lastly, I was kind of hoping Jenas would be on his way out. Alas, it has yet to happen.
The huge crisis which is bound to condemn the team to another slow start is going to be the injuries on defense. Hopefully Ledley King can play a part at the start of the year, despite not even kicking a ball in preseason training, but Dawson and Woodgate are out. I think had they all been healthy (of course King will never be healthy), they would have had a good shot at starting on the right foot this year. They don't have to worry about the Europa League, so they can focus on the league. But I can't see anything good coming from the losses on defense.
Goaltending is also a concern, because as much athletic talent as Gomes can display, he is prone to flapping around like he's a blindfolded fat kid looking for the pinata.
But the good comes from strong options going forward. In my opinion, Aaron Lennon is the top threat in the league on the wing. And I think he will really show that this year. His ability to get space and spring down the wing, taking men on and flying by, and getting balls into the box will bode well for the poachers inside it. I think Keane, Defoe, and Crouch are all best scrapping for goals in the box. None are much threat outside of it (like a Fernando Torres).
So there, I think I've stepped up and represented North London blue, white, and bright yellow. Come on you Spurs!
Liverpool sign Alberto Aquilani for £20m to fill Xabi Alonso's berth Football.Guardian.co.uk
So...it looks like Rafa has had this deal in the pipeline for a long time. From what I've read, it sounds like Liverpool had already completed an agreement with Roma over Alberto Aquilani, including agreeing terms with player himself, in anticipation of Alonso's departure. Now that it is all over and done with, Benitez has admitted that Alonso had asked to leave as long ago as May. One can only assume, then, that the deal has taken so long because Rafa was keen on extracting the maximum possible fee from Real Madrid for Alonso's transfer. Though I'm disappointed to see Xabi Alonso depart, it sounds like he had his heart well and truly set on leaving, and in that light, the way Benitez handled the negotiations for the transfer were masterfully done indeed.
On paper, this deal does look like a rather tidy bit of business. Aquilani is only 25- two years younger than Alonso. He has captained both Italy's under-19s and under-21s. The above article reports that both Chelsea and Arsenal had previously tried to sign him as a teenager. A quick YouTube survey indeed revealed a player that looks to possess a great passing game as well as a thunderbolt of a shot. Selling Alonso for 30million pounds, and buying Aquilani (a younger model) for 20million pounds seems like some pretty astute management. I am, however, not without concern.
It sounds like Aquilani is a tad injury prone. Indeed, he had surgery in May on his ankle and it doesn't sound like he'll be fit for the opener against Alex's beloved Spurs. For me this is a worry. He won't have any real pre-season with the squad and will be facing the task of acustomizing himself to a new style of play which is much, much quicker than the rather sub-standard Italian league. In this repsect, Aquilani will take some convincing before truly filling the gap left where Alonso's comforting mid-field assurance used to be. Having said that, there are some amazing strikes (and passes) in his YouTube repetoire. A couple of those would go a long way towards erasing Alonso from the minds of fans.
Posted by Hamblore at 5:29 PM
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Rafael Benítez rewarded with £30m as Xabi Alonso seals Madrid move Football.Guardian.co.uk
First off, let me just say that I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. Secondly, let me just say there aren't words for how much I hate Real Madrid. I could handle it when they were busy buying everyone else's best players (okay, I thought it was hilarious). But now...well...they make me vomit a little bit in my mouth. Thirdly, let me say stupid, stupid Rafa. He pissed Alonso off last year when he inexplicably thought that Gareth Barry was somehow better than Xabi and tried to offload him to Juventus. It would seem that Alonso has been harbouring significant resentment since then. Otherwise it's a bit baffling why a player who has spent five seasons at Liverpool, each one bringing them closer and closer to the title, would choose now to leave. Last year was Liverpool's best ever points haul since the inception of the Premier League. This season holds (or at least it did till Alonso bailed) the most promise for the title in recent memory. Especially with Ronaldo leaving Man Utd. In my opinion, Benitez has made a pretty big mistake in his treatment of Alonso last year and must shoulder a significant chunk of the blame for this outcome.
The only silver lining is that he had the balls to hold out until he got the full 30million pounds he was after. I must admit that that represents a decent bit of business considering we bought him for only 10.5million pounds in 2004. And it does mean that Liverpool will have some cash to splash out before the end of the tranfer window. However I am deeply concerned about a lack of real creative ball-playing midfielders. There aren's many of Xabi's callibre in the world, and virtually none for sale right now.
So what does this mean for Liverpool's season? Well, bluntly, either we bring a new playmaker, or...we don't. Apparently we are linked to Roma's Alberto Aquilani, though I must admit to know very little about the player, except that he's Italian. And apart from Zola and Vialli in their hey-day at Chelsea and fascist goal scorer extraordinaire, Paolo DiCanio's stint at West Ham, Italians haven't really faired that well in England. Apart from that, talk of David Silva (the Valencia left-winger/forward) is bubbling up again. While I think Silva would be an amazing addition, giving the left wing some serious pace and skill, without someone like Alonso to ping those cross-field Pro Evo passes to him, his skills could well be marginalised. Lucas is decent at breaking up play, but his passing range is far from inspiring, and besides, Mascherano is far better as a destroyer (and distributor) anyway. To bring in Silva without a bringing in a play-making midfielder would probably mean dropping Gerrard deeper than he's played since Torres' arrival (as he is the only other player really capable of hitting those kinds of amazing, long-range passes). But of course that would mean breaking up one of the best attacking partnerships currently going in world football. It must be said that Alonso's sale (on paper at least), looks like a step backwards just when Liverpool were promising to push on.
Having said all that, I'm still going to attempt to end on an optimistic note. These moves are nothing if not exciting. Sometimes I think I'm more addicted to transfers and transfer rumors than the actual sport. Xabi's departure, while definately a loss on its own, does add an element of mystery to the upcoming season, at least from a Liverpool fan's point of view. How will we play? Will a new hero step up? Will Benitez surprise us all with a late transfer-window coup? It's important to keep in mind, I think, the fact that Alonso himself requested the tranfer. If he doesn't want to be there, it doesn't make much sense to force him to stay. Not when there would be heaps of players who would jump at the opportunity to play for the team Alonso has been so keen to leave. On the pitch Alonso will be hard to replace, but not, I should think, impossible.
Posted by Hamblore at 5:25 PM
Monday, August 03, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
GERRARD FACES AFFRAY TRIAL ALONE- football365.com
ALL the accused pleaded guilty.
It took heart. It took courage.
It was a captain's stand.
Everyone thought they were out.
They had given up hope...
Who wants to start taking bets that he's found guilty?
Posted by Hamblore at 5:37 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
Here, in a recurring series, I'm going to catalog Heather's sleeping schedule while on vacation. The total includes the previous night's sleep and the total naps of the days.
July 18 - 10 hours - 2 naps
July 19 - 10.5 hours - 3 naps
July 20 - 10 hours - 0 naps
She claims she needs 11 hours a day, so her average is already starting out low.
We're on vacation right now. We enjoyed Rec Beach in Vancouver today and will spend the night on the UBC campus before departing on the ferry tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Good old Concacaf soccer. Nothing is ever normal.
This is Mexico's coach kicking a player (apparently he was reaching for the ball) because he believed the ball was out of play and the opponent was still playing it.
He was suspended a number of games. Apparently it took 12 minutes to restore order on the field after Mexico supporters showered the field with whatever they had their hands on.
I really hate this law right now. And given my disdain for Air Canada, it's all culminating into a blood boiling cauldron of frustration.
Since the weekend I've been lamenting the fact I didn't take advantage of Air Canada's sale over Canada Day for a $550 trip to Toronto. Prices steadied at $623 and I told Heather on Sunday "no matter what I do, if I get tickets at that price they will drop, otherwise they will go up in price. Murphy's Law."
So 12 hours after I buy tickets at $623, what happens? That's right, they drop to $518. $105 dollars, down the drain. FBOMB.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
From ESPN Soccernet...
Luis Figo - Barcelona to Real Madrid (2000)Because everyone knows, Figo is a beef man.
Figo's move from Barcelona to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £37m was perhaps the most controversial in Spanish football history. Moving from the Catalan club to Madrid for such a star player was unthinkable, but Figo made the switch in 2000. The first time he returned to the Nou Camp you could say he received something of a frosty reception, which resulted in several objects being thrown at him... including a pig's head.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
From ESPN Soccernet...
Robinho believes Manchester City will be 'almost unbeatable' if the club manage to sign Samuel Eto'o from Barcelona this summer.Yeah, and while Richard Dunne sits out his 8 suspensions next year, Tevez could slot in at center back. Unbeatable.
I don't know how you get even close to that conclusion by loading up on strikers. If Tevez and Eto'o sign, that will surely close out the forward ranks for the upcoming season, along with Robinho and Roque Santa Cruz. Get ready for some bitching about playing time coming from Man City this year.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
CANADANotable absences are Dwayne De Rosario and Adrian Serioux. Dero isn't much of a surprise because he already said he wasn't likely to play. The stupid MLS doesn't respect international tournaments / World Cup Qualifying, so this makes it even tougher for players to choose country over club or vice versa. I think Serioux is battling injuries, so that likely played a part.
1- G- Greg Sutton | unattached / sans club
2- D- Adrian Cann | DEN / Esbjerg fB
3- D/M- Mike Klukowski | BEL / Club Brugge KV
4- D- André Hainault | USA / Houston Dynamo
6- M- Julian de Guzman | ESP / Deportivo La Coruna
5- D/F- Kevin McKenna | GER / 1. FC Köln
7- D/M- Paul Stalteri | GER / Borussia Mönchengladbach
8- M- Marcel de Jong | NED / Roda JC
9- F- Ali Gerba | CAN / Toronto FC
10- M/F- Willi Johnson | USA / Real Salt Lake
11- D- Richard Hastings | SCO / Inverness CT
12- M- Issey Nakajima-Farran | DEN / FC Nordsjælland
13- M- Atiba Hutchinson | DEN / F.C. København
14- D- Dejan Jakovic | USA / DC United
15- M/F- Josh Simpson | GER / FC Kaiserslautern
16- F- Simeon Jackson | ENG / Gillingham FC
17- D/M- Jaime Peters | ENG / Ipswich Town FC
18- G- Joshua Wagenaar | ENG / Yeovil Town
19- D/M- Kevin Harmse | CAN / Toronto FC
20- M- Patrice Bernier | DEN / FC Nordsjælland
21- M- Chris Pozniak | SCO / Dundee FC
22- G- Kenny Stamatopoulos | NOR / FC Lyn Oslo (on loan from Tromsø I.L.)
23- F- Charles Gbeke | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
I want to see André Hainault replace Serioux in central defense and anyone (McKenna preferably) replace Richard Hastings. I know Stalteri is likely to captain the team, but it really is time for him to quit. I'm stoked to see Simeon Jackson play for the first time, after he scored a Wembley goal to secure promotion for Gillingham to League One and he scored on his debut for Canada to secure the 1-0 victory agains Cyprus last month.
I'm not sure why Newcastle defender David Edgar or Portsmouth keeper Asmir Begovic aren't included either. These are good young players and we really need to bring them into the fold, they could be crucial for our qualification for WC 2014.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Since this topic always comes up, usually during Euro's and World Cup's, I thought I would put the issue to bed. The soccer fields we play on here in Saskatoon are just as big, and in some cases BIGGER than the fields professionals play on. Using my Google Map measuring skills, here are the comparisons:
Saskatoon Umea - 81 yds vs. 121 yds (bigger than the 80 v 120 yds max requirement for International games)
Saskatoon Newsham - 72 yds vs. 106 yds
Saskatoon Sasktel Center Fields - 75 yds vs. 110 yds
Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) - 73 yds vs. 110 yds
Upton Park (West Ham) - 73 yds vs. 110 yds
City of Manchester Stadium (Manchester City) - 74 yds vs. 114 yds
Anfield (Liverpool) - 74 yds vs. 110 yds
Nou Camp (Barcelona) - 75 yds vs. 115 yds
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I've been reduced to limping on both sides, which might tie the world record for most limping legs. This was the result of a soccer slide tackle on skin searing artificial grass. I thought it would be fun to chronicle (what I hope to be) my last raspberry.
I've done quite well with my slide tackles so far this year, probably pushing a dozen with 0 fouls and more often than not coming away with possession of the ball. This was another one of those occasions. After getting up with ball on foot, I made a pass which, shortly thereafter, was put out for a throw in which I went to take. Sensing that something might be wrong, I was queried if I wanted a sub from the bench. After hesitating, the pain started to increase and I realized it would be a good idea.
This one slide tackle reduced me to whimpering all night. Due to my foot making heavy contact with the opposing player's leg, I could barely walk on it. It got worse as the night wore on, to the point where when I went to bed, I could only lie there and moan for a few minutes. This wasn't the worst consequence of this slide, however.
Now, since I slide tackle a lot, I'm used to getting floor/grass/fake grass burns (aka raspberry) on the side of my sliding left leg. The last 3 games have all resulted in one. Yes they burn in the shower the next day, but that is usually the end of it. By the time the next game rolls around, everything is completely healed.
The one I got on Tuesday has been amongst the worst ever. Heather was even concerned, so she played nurse and cleaned the wound. She found little rubber pellets from the artificial grass embedded under my skin. Needless to say, the wet cloth against the open wound did not feel nice.
The past 2 nights, I have had to avoid anything making contact with it, including covers, wives, clothing, anything. It burns bad. So I've been sleeping with my ass exposed out the side mostly. Yesterday morning, Heather put gauze on it along with some polysporin. In a few short hours, that gauze was soaked in pus and it was stuck to the wound. This happened a few times throughout the day.
The morning-after shower, as always, was not fun. However, I don't recall ever seeing this afterward; there was pus literally dripping down my leg. After re-gauzing and disinfecting. I dressed and went to work. It took virtually no time for pus to soak through the gauze and through my underwear. My shorts were even wet from the pus. I didn't prepare for this and I had to go to Pharmasave to get supplies to re-cover the wound.
So why does this make me have to limp on my left side? Well every time I take a step, thus bending my knee, my underwear rubs against the open wound (I got sick of gauze). It is still soaking my underwear with pus and it still burns heavily.
So the conclusion? Compression shorts under my soccer shorts. Something I told myself a decade ago would be a good idea. The result of complete and utter lethargy. Somebody slap me.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
After briefly discussing the wicked picture of the lobster knife fight yesterday, I found this on CBC's website:
I know this could have been violent, deadly, horrifying, sickening, and enraging to animal lovers everywhere. Me, not being one of them, thinks this PICTURE is awesome. Not the situation.
Nothing came of it though, the knife was safely retrieve and both gorillas went back to throwing shit at each other.
...Laughing at his holiness, Brian Burke, perched atop his ivory tower, sitting on his throne, blood filled chalice in hand. That's a pretty accurate picture, I think.
Today he's announced that he wouldn't pick up Dany Heatley in a trade because of the way he asked to be let go from the Senators:
In a phone interview with Deb Placey and Billy Jaffe on NHL Live! broadcast on the NHL network, Burke stated that the Leafs had no interest in the two-time 50 goal scorer, largely because of the way he has chosen to handle his trade request.Oh, that's rich. This coming from the guy who happily snapped up Chris Pronger who up and left Edmonton after ONE season because his wife wasn't happy (for reasons that are neither here nor there).
"We're not going to be in on that," Burke stated. "He's a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades."
What's more likely is that Pronger was a bruising, suspendable player, the ilk Burke seeks, while Heatley is not.
Though Brian Burke is good and he will be good for Toronto, he is the ultimate douchebag and gives me even more reason to hate the Leafs than I already have.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
'Cause he's amazin'. Yeeeeah he's awl dat. If he ain't awn 'is grind, den watchoo kawl dat?
He'll fuck yer shit up is basically what I'm saying.
Fuckin' Noid had his own video game and everything.
Ah, shit. So did the 7-Up Spot. (by the way- wtf?! The spot? What the shit kinda mascot is that?)
And Ronald McDonald i think...
Well never mind. The Noid is still gonna rule that shit. You know it. He's the fuckin' N-O-I-D.
Posted by Hamblore at 8:49 AM
Friday, June 12, 2009
Barnsley striker Iain Hume has declared himself fit for pre-season signalling an end to his horrific injury ordeal.
The 25-year-old underwent surgery on a fractured skull and internal bleeding after a challenge by Chris Morgan during the match against Sheffield United on November 8.
Iain is a Canadian international and could be very important for our national team moving forward, with Tomasz Radzinski in the twilight of his career. Hume is small and fast and has fit well in the winger role for Canada in the past. I don't know if he can play in the upcoming Gold Cup, but that would be a boost for us and for his career I'm sure.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Good old double head scratcher article in Thursday's Star Phoenix. I wonder if accuracy is important for print media? Do they even proof read this stuff.
Notice how Todd Nichols(on) has different names in different places. I've never heard of this guy, so I don't even know which one it is! And then Todd Blythe is different heights. Did he grow while McCormick was writing the article?
Oh, and another great feature in Wednesday's edition. Though I love these articles, chronicling the Riders by position day by day, they have now used 3 different methods of denoting the imports/non-imports. Wednesday's offensive lineman chart used (n) to denote imports. Hello?