Posted on: February 20, 2011 2:58 pm

Reflections in the Super Bowl afterglow

Some things to consider about the parody of parity that is the NFL. Any team can beat any team any given week eh? Until the playoffs anyway. Seven teams have 29 Super Bowl wins among them; if you add in the Colts , Dolphins , and Broncos it means ten teams have won 35 of the 45 Super Bowls. The twenty have-nots share ten wins. Whats my point? Something smells in football, whether its the BS of college or the NFL needing marketable QBs with a Lombardi on their resume.

A quick political aside: If Julian Assange was really about all high minded ideals like complete openness he'd have already hacked into his own legal issues and shown us the evidence or lack of concerning the rape allegations against him. Hypocrite.

Where are all the good Amish professional athletes?

The NFL doesn't see fit to save a tape of the first Super Bowl but when footage of the entire game is found in an attic in Pennsylvania league officials immediately jump in and claim ownership for purely righteous and unselfish reasons. Considering a thirty second ad during the Super Bowl is running a cool $3 million that would seem a fair finders fee to the folks who have held on to the tapes the last FORTY FIVE YEARS . If nothing else lets call it an idiots tax for the NFL to wake up and focus on the legacy of the game instead of marketing marketing marketing.

Funny to hear Mario Lemieux crying about another team employing dirty play. Pot, meet kettle. If Matt Cooke isn't enough of an everyday reminder that the Pens aren't above employing chippy, remember the name Ulf Samuelsson ?  For that matter, you weren't exactly the paragon of Mike Bossy -type play either Mary. Oops, Mario.

Its difficult to support either side in a battle of billionaires vs. millionaires, but considering that we rarely hear of former professional sports team owners suffering from post-concussion disorders or needing multiple replacement surgeries etc. siding with the players becomes much easier.

Really like how Blake Griffin plays, really don't care for or watch the NBA hardly at all, had no idea they still did the dunk contest. Haven't all the good dunks been done before?

Gotta love the marketing geniuses at NFL.COM. Offering a playoff fantasy game is great right up to the final big game.....and there is no longer a link on the website to find how your team is doing. With the money they're saving on a low-rent commissioner there should be plenty of cash left to support more than a half-assed attempt at a decent fan friendly site.

Speaking of, the esteemed commissioners Goodell and Stern will work cheap if their leagues sustain a work stoppage. Gee guys, thats big of you. It doesn't sound like a cheap PR stunt either. Credit where its due, the two of you almost deserve congratulations for making Gary Bettman and Bud Selig look borderline competent. Almost.

Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Duerson 

Posted on: March 18, 2010 10:32 pm


What is it about people and society that makes us reflexively think more rules and regulations and laws are an improvement? Hockey has an opportunity to break from the other major sports by NOT legislating more crap rules. The NFL is a shining example of over-legislation. Its ham-handed attempts at 'protecting' the players have piled rule upon rule upon rule to the point of creating confusion and subsequently frustration over what is and isn't dirty. To paraphrase a Supreme Court justice from years ago 'dirty might be hard to define, but we know it when we see it'. So what's the problem with identifying and weeding out dirty players?

The biggest problem with defining what is a dirty play and, to a larger extent a dirty player, is the incredible amount of excuses that come into play after the fact. A player who commits a dirty play, whether an isolated incident or in the case of Alexander Ovechkin on a continued and consistent basis, isn't identified by geography or uniform color. The team he played for last season may not be the team he's on this time around, but the dirty player underneath is the same. Its the excusing of dirty play that needs to stop.

Over and over its said that today's athletes are 'bigger, stronger, faster' than ever before and yet somehow today's athletes have less bodily control than ever before too. How can this be? Maybe it comes down to some misplaced priorities and lack of respect for the game. As the games are played today more emphasis is put into making a crippling hit and maybe, just maybe, get a quick mention on Sportscenter. Good fundamentals and actually helping the team win be damned. Egos have inflated bigger than the sport that made the ego possible in the first place. Today's games are all about 'Look at me'.

Deflating player egos has to start in the commissioners offices. The marketing gurus and toothless disciplinarians in the league hierarchies honestly don't seem to realize that they're killing the golden goose by turning off the fans who only want to see good clean honest games. So, how does hockey turn itself away from the selfish and egotistical type of athlete that has ruined the other Big Four sports and is slowly infecting the NHL? It won't be easy.

Teaching kids how to play solid fundamental hockey while still having fun wouldn't seem to be terribly complicated, but outside forces continually corrupt the process. Whether its overbearing parents with delusions of grandeur or the cesspool of sports coverage known as ESPiN instilling a sense of sportsmanship and fair play is an upstream swim against a tidal wave. Overcoming a generation of 'me first' athletes, thirty years of mind-numbing Bermanites, and a healthy dose of Baylessness is a heavy challenge but if we truly care about the future of hockey its a challenge worth accepting.

Teaching love and respect for the game and a sense of sportsmanship and fair play will correct many of the problems in the NHL-years down the road. Of course, dropping the instigator rule would be a simple and effective short term fix in the meantime.

Category: General
Posted on: January 29, 2010 6:31 am
Edited on: February 21, 2011 7:53 pm

Patrice Cormier

The elbows of Gordie Howe are part of his legend. A player doesn't get the nickname 'Mr. Elbows' for no reason. Elbows have been part of the game forever, and so have elbowing penalties. These things aside there is no excuse for the couple of elbows thrown by Patrice Cormier over the last month.

Preaching about respect for the opponent and the game has all been said before here. Simply put, the lax leadership of the various commissioners, presidents, and rule enforcement officials has created any anything-goes atmosphere catering to the lowest common denominator of fan-all in the name of the almighty dollar. Couple that with a toothless sanction/suspension system and you get a defenceman from the Quebec Remparts convulsing face down at center ice. 'Suspended indefinitely' sounds pretty on paper. 

If the leagues were serious about stopping crap hits like the ones in the video clips above, there'd be a blanket suspension across all leagues: If you want to play this way, be prepared to be suspended for as long as the injured player is out plus one season. No exceptions, no appeals. Of course, dropping the instigator rule is such a logical option to help along the process of discouraging this type of play as not to be given even remote consideration. 

Excuses abound, but no matter how good a kid Cormier is said to be, or how popular he is with his teammates, its all simply a poor attempt to excuse and justify bad behavior, so go ahead and make all the allowances that have been tried before. None of it is going to get the Tam kid out of a hospital bed any faster, or for that matter make it clear whether he'll ever play again. 

Patrice Cormier has received a preliminary suspension and may even be disciplined further. Its a shame that the hockey establishment can't be sanctioned for the soft discipline program in place that has allowed cheapshot hockey to flourish. 

Thanks for reading.

Category: General
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