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Getting The Twit-ch

 

Today’s blog is brought to you by Pete’s Party Palace, located at 6492 Fairweather Drive, entirely because it’s an excuse to show one of my thousands of moose pictures from college.

 anchorage-2007-042

Did you know that there is a group of people on the PGA tour that refer to our chubby-go-lucky pal Phil Mickelson as FIGJAM?  Not the coolest nickname in the world, but it’s also a little mysterious, right?  I assume you’re thinking it’s something about his need for a man-zier, but if you were, you’d be wrong. 

It stands for “F–k I’m Good, Just Ask Me”.

In a related story, Phil has apparently been seen grooming his back in preperation to be Tiger’s doormat at the Masters this year.

Yet still, I love Phil.  He’s allllmost entertaining enough to make me watch tournaments that Tiger isn’t in (okay, he is).  I’ve just never seen a sport where second place is so far behind first for such an extended period of time.  I guess Federer was dec. for a while there.  FIGJAM must want to give Tigers other leg a “stress fracture” so he can actually be the big dog he apparently thinks he is.

 

Cool picture Tigs, just keep that hat on.  I think Tiger’s been feeling the recession a bit too, just in not in the pocket book.

Is anything more fun to watch than the Cleveland Cavalawesomes do their mimed displays of pure team chemistry?  I just wrote a draft on team chemistry, and Cleveland is clearly built on it (plus they have that James guy).  I haven’t seen routines like that since touchdown celebrations in the ’90′s.  Do we have a clip for that?  We don’t?  Hmm. Okay, just show Lebron.

That works.

Pardon The Interuption, or PTI as it’s better known, is the best talk sports program on TV today.  Its so good it makes other shows unwatchable.  The chemistry between Kornheiser and Wilbon is so great that they can argue without belittling the other guy, and name-call without sincerity.  Plus, they kinda know what they’re talking about.  Tony Rially is great and Kornheiser waves a Canadian flag at the end.  Sold.

On the topic of TV, I caught a lil highlight package on the NHL network the other day, and saw two plays that excited me to a questionable degree.  Ribeiro goes through his legs, and Kopitar looks bored scoring a one-handed breakaway goal.  A few weeks earlier Ribeiro scored on his own one-handed shootout move. God I love the new NHL.  Here’s the through the legger:

 

Okay, now.  Twitter.  Stupid Twitter.  I’m at the age where I’m fighting against most technology, because even though I know it’s great, I can’t afford it.  And if I could, it’d just change to something cooler the next day.  So I tried to plant my feet on any new social networks, or popular cultural waves, but the current is pretty strong.  I added my Twitter page to my blog (up to two followers), but I’m just not so sure about it.  I don’t even own a phone fancy enough to update it from anywhere other than my couch.

I can’t fathom the attention this stupid site is getting.  CNN reports it as real news, SportsCenter gets its updates from it, and 13 year girls get to let everyone know why Ben and  Tristan were sooo stupid in home room today.

The only reason I want it is because it seems to be at the crest of some new media wave, and I’m occasionally funny.  It seems like an opportunity to entertain.  The problem is, I hate the damn thing.  I don’t mind being alone, lost, and not thought about.  So it’s on my readers.  I’m tempted to take it off.  Do you hate Twitter?  Like it?  Should I buy in?  What’s your stance?

 

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You Can't Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist

 

Tuuka Rask’s recent snap show (albeit a pretty unintimidating one), reminded me of a couple other snap-shows that warmed my heart.

 

Do you sometimes get angry?  Frustrated?  So rattled you lose control of what the consequences may be and carry on looking like an asshole, completely sacrificing any solid reputation you may have built?  Yeeah no, me neither.

Here’s a couple people who snapped:

*Disclaimer:  Kip Brennan, the kind sir in the penalty box who frequently engages in facepunchathons, is a friend of mine, and worthy of a good reputation.  Though it’s not an isolated incident, he’s a nice guy.  I swear.  You believe me don’t you? 

Kip:

 

This one plays out exactly like people joke about, when you start those dream-sequence sentences with ”could you imagine if…”   This comedian follows through on the fantasy of everyone in his line of work.

I’ll spare you recent classics like Michael Richards racist ramble, or Christian Bale’s tirade, and leave you with one more relevant to my life.  Clark watches hockey now and dismisses agitators as phonies, watching as they facewash an opponent with their glove as soon as the linesmen get involved.  He thinks if you really want to fight, you can find each other.  And he’s right.  Clark fought people on the way to fights:

 

ON TO LESS VIOLENT affairs, Bri and I spent the weekend with some wonderful Greek folks in Watertown, minutes from downtown Boston.  We’re officially aiming at South Boston – it’s young, active, and the person to pub ratio is about three to one.  Plus it’s only a couple par fives from Fenway.  That’s wicked close.

I’ll be submitting my next piece for The Hockey News tomorrow, and probably Max Hockey as well. Stay tuuunnned.  I leave you with some parting opinions:

Is it just me, or does anybody else get the vibe that Tyler Hansborough is a complete dork?  His nickname is psycho.  Oooo. 

Oh, and is it time that we start checking birth certificates of college hoopsters like we do 12 year old Chinese gymnasts that are “16″?  Ty Lawson looks like he could have kids that’re college age.  I guess being old isn’t an NCAA violation, I just worry about his hips.  Lord knows he doesn’t need much of a reason to not play.

 

Thickest accent to word ratio from the weekend: “Cwops ah doahks” (cops are dorks).

And last – If puppies stayed puppies and never grew out of being fluffy and cute would it be uncool to own them?  Would a guy that owned a puppydog be completely written off as a fairy?  Cause I know I can’t wait for the Gillies puppy to grow up and get manly.  He’s way too soft and playful.  And happy and energetic.  And cute.  God I’m gay.

 

 

Blog and other postings will be delayed until Monday night – Apartment shopping in “Southie” (South Boston).  Possibly looking to sublet a spot with Damon and Affleck, who I assume live together somewhere around here.  It’s not their fault.  It’s not their fault…

This Just in…

 

Since I decided it was a suitable subtitle for my blog, I figured it was only fitting that today’s blog be called:

This Just in…

The Maryland women’s basketball team came up with it’s slogan for next year:   “We eat kids”.  

I frickin’ love it.  I don’t need a slogan, but if I did, I’m pretty sure it’d be along the same lines.  I’d probably tone it down a bit though.  Maybe ”I punch babies.” 

It wouldn’t be entirely true, but I think I’d do it if it people didn’t tend to frown on it.  Maybe I’ll change my blog subtitle to that.  Bourne’s Blog:  I punch babies.  Goo goo ga - BAM!

This Just in…

A place called 123 Burger Shot Beer.com exists.

In today’s post-meeting NYC wandering, I stumbled upon it as a lunch spot.  Guess what it serves?  Burgers.  Shots.  Beer.  Apparently, you give the kind gentleman behind the bar eight dollars, and he gives you one of each.  Where was that in college?

Also – I saw Hell’s Kitchen on a restaurant sign.  Thinking of the reality show, I wandered over to take a peek, but noticed the place beside it was a part of Hells Kitchen too.  And the one across the street.  And the one beside that.  How many of my Canadian brethren knew that Hells Kitchen was actually a part of New York City?  Well, now you do.

This Just in…

I think pigeons kind of walk how horses run, all neck-first ‘n stuff.  Aren’t you glad you read my blog today?

This Just in…

I know most of my readers are avid hockey followers, so lets discuss:

If you were looking at the NHL as a business, and were considering taking fighting out of the game, do you think you would be able to replace the blood-loving fans who might stop watching the game?  Are there hockey fans out there who are so turned off by the brutality of fighting that they’ve stayed out of the rinks, but would return if we exiled the scraps?  Aside from how it would effect the game, and the product to the fan who would watch either way, how do you make up for the likely loss in attendance?

The NHL is seeing a seismic shift in the demographic of it’s fan base.  From a business standpoint, I would contend that there is no way the NHL can afford to cut fights out of the game, dangerous to the players or not.  The players know the risks involved in their profession, and choose to fight, fully aware of the slab of slippery concrete beneath them.  I have a feeling I’ll be getting further into this later.

And last…

This Just in…

Puppy Cash and I, with Bruce peekin’ in:

Two for Three

 

As my more frequent blog readers know, between (and sometimes within) my hockey tidbits, I tend to slip in posts about animals, stand-up comedy, and the occasional Nannerpuss commercial:

 

One for three, check.

Let me go for a second one.  Today is new-mini-Newf day for the Gillies, making this their third Newfoundland (four if you count Clark).

Their new Newfoundland, Cash, is 13 weeks old and roughly 40 pounds.  In an earlier blog I posted pictures of these happy, cuddly beasts, but pictures don’t do their size justice. 

This one is of impressive stature for his age, and likely to be the largest of the lot (recently departed Hogan was pushing 150 lbs).  Pam, Brianna and I picked him up this morning and tossed around names (Diesel, Crosby and Jethro among the contenders), but all loved Cash – a tribute to how he was bought, spare change saved over 15 years.

As Kevin Croxton did for me, allow me to fill in a blank day on your April schedule:  April 18th, between noon and 8 p.m. on the eastside, NYC SNUGGIE WEARING PUBCRAWL.  God I want to go.  http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/03/25/2009-03-25_revelers_ready_for_new_york_city_snuggie.html

I’m heading up to Boston for the weekend to spend time with Bri’s sister/brother-in-law, and to apartment hunt (anyone got any leads for me?).  That means I need to get some writing done early.

Surviving the locker room got a great response, I just wish I could have written it with a little more, um, spice; less PG.  So what’s next sports fans?

 

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Part two of my series on A Hockey Player’s Life is up on www.maxhockey.com now (and echl.com, apparently).  Due to the massive amount of stuff that goes on any given game day, it was tough to narrow it down to generalizations, so I hope it’s still a fun read.  Next week I”ll take a look at the sweaty-suited world of team travel days. 

Yeah, nothing prolongs the life of my $150 dollar dime-store suit like sleeping in it on a bus for four hours, thanks for ruling out track suits, coach.

If my blog were Twitter, my “tweet” would read ”Justin Bourne is super embarrassed for Jim Cramer on the Daily Show, as much as he deserves it.  This is uncomfortable.”

Attention Deficit Dis…

 

I wrote in an earlier blog that nobody scores from anywhere with a wrister like Ovechkin.  Nobody might have been a bit much.

Pavel Datsyuk, creator of aptly named breakaway move “the Datsyuk” (fake shot flinch - backhand toe drag – ridiculously open net puck deposit), snaps a pretty mean wrister past unscreened goalies with regularity as well, I’m impressed.  But his move is even more impressive:

I watched Tyler Haskins, now of the Sound Tigers, then of the Utah Grizzlies, try, practice, and master that last year, to the point where he was burying on it in actual games.  Faaaannnn-cy.

Here’s a valid question:  Has there ever been a show with a bigger gap between the quality of the actual program and the quality of the introductory theme music than “Entourage”? 

I got my girlfriend (Breezy F. Baby) hooked on it so we’ve been watching the seasons.  The whole show is full of hip hop and low-key beats; I can’t deal with that contrived awful faux-rock song.  I won’t waste your time by running it.

I picked up a couple other things as an Idaho Steelhead this year aside from a reconfigured jawline.  Both happened to be phrases I like

In hockey, especially on the powerplay, coaches always preach “don’t force it“.  Meaning, if there is a bunch of players between you and the player you want to pass the puck too, don’t try to force it through those six skates and three sticks; settle down and don’t try so hard.  Keeping it simple is plenty effective.  It’s amazing how versatile a phrase this is.

If somebody is driving a truck with flame decals, loud exhaust pipes and vanity plates, he’s forcin’ it.  If a buddy continues to swing and miss by telling weak jokes and hitting on anything in a skirt, he’s forcin’ it.   And just my opinion, but this is Pam Anderson forcin’ it.

 

I also like “dicey”.  It’s seriously underused for something that’s just on the edge isn’t it?  Expired milk is dicey.  Brian Engblom’s hair is diceyyy.  Calling the Snuggie an invention is diceyyyyy.  (Note:  the more dicey something is, the more I want you to drag out the “y”).

He’s kinda forcin’ it too.

Here is the transcript between two guys at the train station Friday night, yelled across the room:

Random Guy A: “Hey, I’m gonna grab something something for the train, you want anything to eat or drink?”

Random Guy B: “Yeah, um, sure…. I guess just something to drink, please.”

Random Guy A: “Alright, just like a Diet Snapple or something?”

Diet Snapple?

What sort of life are two friends leading that the assumed, general, most-likely beverage to grab would be a Diet Snapple?  Yeah, like we always do.  Actually wait, I’m hungry too, do they have apple sauce?

Do they even sell that at every little newspaper stand, is that a beverage it’s safe to assume is available?  I can’t stop laughing at the obscurity of picking that as the most likely thing to assume your friend would want.  Sure, or like a crystal Pepsi or an Orbitz, whatever they have.  Diet Snapple.

Goodness.

The Sporting Climax Approaches

 

The sports world is heating up isn’t it?

As I sit here holding down my couch springs while loving round two of March Madness (aka Gamblers Paradise), I can’t help but get excited for the weeks to come. 

The Masters?  The freakin Masters??  If you aren’t aware of my obsession, here’s an earlier stream-of-consciousness blog:   http://jtbourne.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/why-i-love-the-masters/ .  I just saw a commercial:  “Amen Corner…     Where you pray, to survive.”  Tigers back… Phil is hot… I can’t even deal with it.

The NHL playoff race is thick right now.  There’s 20+ teams with legitimate playoff hopes, so we get treated to playoff intensity early.  And as much as everyone loves the finals, the first round has to be my favourite.  Four great games every night, anything can happen, and lots to bet on, including “who can claim the most-vague injury”.  I’m staight giddy for night number one.

Oh, and did you notice the NBA is headed down the stretch too?  I need Lebron to win a title and be the Tiger of the NBA, where they’re just too. damn. good. to question.  Even baseball is getting started, and the Mets have K-Rod; maybe I won’t have to threaten violent assaults on their bullpen this year.

The college hockey tournament gets started in a week too, with the Frozen Four the same weekend as The Masters.  It’ll be an amazing tournament like it is every year, despite the notable absence of my alma mater, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, who were “upset” by the Denver Pioneers 3-2 and 4-3, thus eliminating the fellas, and starting the mandatory post-post-season college bender.  My liver recoils at the memories.

Shout out to my linemate and road roommate from my senior year, Paul Crowder.  After his third season with Seapups, he just signed with the New York Rangers… maybe you’ve heard of them?  Paul you owe me money, I made you.  No?  Okay probably not.

Please soak in the below picture of Paul and I hooking up for a powerplay goal, with the rival Fairbanks (possibly fat) d-man turning in misery, with the ref doing the goal point.  Ye-he-hesss.

crowds-snipe

Either way, fun times ahead.  People get chunky over the holiday’s and try to start getting fit in the new year.  This is my holidays; I reserve the right to gain a wee beer belly before focusing on tidying up my flesh for summer.   After April, what’s the next thing you care about in sports?  I literally can’t think of one, which means I’ll have to get outside, thank heavens.

So get on your sweats, clean the dust off the TV and get involved.  Maybe join a gambling website.  Maybe write me and propose a bet.  I don’t quite deal in Charley Barkley dollars, but I’ll bet on anything, if I can tinker with the odds.  What are Bourne’s Blog readers most excited about in the upcoming weeks?  I bet I can guess….

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Good On Him

 

Dear New York,

I said some very nice things about you in earlier blogs and you’re making me look like an asshole.

Stop putting dijon (deli) mustard on my sandwiches when I order mustard, try the yellow stuff, it’s delicious.  Your weather patterns have been Gary Busey-level-volatile.  As much as I’m enjoying the first day of spring/blustery snow storm you’ve offered up today, you can cram it.

YM013359

Moving on.

Welcome to a section I’m calling “Good On ‘im

Text I got yesterday from an AHL all-star goalie:  “No one can do what Mike Green does.  Nobody even comes close.”

Scoring in eight straight NHL games as a forward is insane, any reasonable player would be thinking pay-raise.  As a defenseman, in today’s NHL, it’s such an incredible feat, I had to make mention of it.  Definite good on ‘im to Mike Green.

The Islanders signed my roommate from pre-season in Moncton to a one-year deal for $550,000, Tim Jackman.  Jax is one of those guys who plays his role to the letter, and never succumbs to the self-love players develop that leads to glory-seeking.  Tim works harder (literally), than any player I’ve ever played with, and is a guy who’ll do anything for the team, and for the game.  Based on what he’s put into the game, nobody deserves it more.  Good on ‘im.

jackman-fight

Ovechkin got to 50!  I guess on the shock-scale that didn’t warrant an exclamation mark, but an impressive feat nonetheless.  As my friend Neil mentioned in an earlier comment, nobody in today’s game consistently scores on wristers (and bullet one-tee’s) from anywhere in the arena like Ovechkin.  His 50th was insane.

dbe60873-1381-4899-9a24-3a272fb87b9d.jpg

Today’s coaches preach shoot-shoot-shoot, and the players usually want them to shut-up-shut-up-shut-up.  I’m still unsure if Ovechkin helps their case or not.  Pretty sure Ovi could snap a puck in Crosby’s mouth from two rinks away; that shots not exactly in my arsenal.

But his “good on ‘im” isn’t just for that.  It’s for his goal celebration.  Pretending his stick was too hot to pick up?  That’s the shit I do in practice to rattle the goalie.  Who is this guy?  …Whoever he is, good on ‘im indeed.

And that wraps up that section.  As for what’s going on in the world of Bourne, I spent last night listening to the unbelievable tale about one of Clark Gillies Stanley Cup rings.  I’m going to write that today, and then figure out which site would be the most interested in it. 

My article on surviving the locker room is up at www.thehockeynews.com.  And lastly, Newsday’s Gregory Logan is going to be running a bit about myself in his Islanders Insider section soon.  The link will be up as soon as the article is!

Highlights

 

No game provides a better highlight package than hockey.

Even ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports (that they carry) sneaks a minimum of four hockey highlights into SportsCenters top ten, despite not being able to devote a hot eight seconds of actual coverage of the sport during the rest of the show.  The bastards.

In all other sports, you can only go as fast as your feet can take you, and though it can be hard to deal with catching and throwing while moving at top speed, it’s not total chaos (can we teach Usain Bolt to catch and wear a Jets uniform yet?). 

Sometimes you take a few crossovers in hockey and are suprised to find you’re suddenly moving mach six.  You get that reckless feeling and start looking for someone to mow over; you can’t waste that speed.

Adrenaline, sharp skates and hard ice are a dangerously fun equation.

Football is the closest rival.  A good throw, a great catch, a big hit; it all makes for a nice package.  But everything starts from scrimmage and has a plan.  Basketball and baseball have amazing plays, but they don’t allow many opportunities for something totally different.  It’s all the alley-oop dunk, three-pointer or block; the outfield diving catch or the double play.  Thanks, seen it.

Every broken play in hockey can become something great.  There’s rarely a moment where you can send a text mid-play, like between pitches, between plays, while the ball is being walked upcourt or during the 53rd timeout. 

A hockey highlight package is a quick, intense smorgasbord that goes something like: dipsy-doodle dangle, back door tap-in.  Rockin’ glove save, some guy gets blown up in the corner and yard sales his gear across the ice.  Breakaway,  Fight.  Short-handed odd-man rush. Kick-save, shoot-out, bar-down.com, game winner, thanks for playing.

Dnews Grizzlies V Salmon Kings

I’m ragingly biased, sure.  But come on.  Check out my roommate last year tying up the game in the last minute.  That’s exciting stuff.

Speaking of goals, I can’t let this bit go that I found on Townie News.com awhile ago…

Former NHLer Randy Moller calls the Panthers games on the radio, and took calls on the Dan Le Batard show, looking for suggestions on how he could spice up his goal calls.  Fans called in, and stuffed him full of more pop culture references than SNL, taking lines from shows like Wedding Crashers and 30 Rock.  Check it check it:

 

 

Okay, new topic:  Are we done with the commercials offering  “bailouts”?  It’s a “taste bailout” from Domino’s.  It’s a “wallet bailout” from Subway.  The people at the Mattress Ranch are offering to bailout my lower lumbar.  I see what you’re doing, and thanks, but I think it’s safe to say that horse is dead.

Annnyyyways, tomorrow morning my piece on surviving the locker room is up on www.thehockeynews.com.  Enjoy!

 

 

Closing The Polls

 

Cadbury Mini Eggs.  They’re just… I mean…. wow.  Cadbury Mini Eggs folks.  Eat em.

 

 

Okay, it was St. Patty’s Day.  Everybody over here on the east coast did the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner.  But here’s my contention:  The Irish only ate cabbage because they were broke and starving.  That’s why they came here, there was no damn food in their country.

Paying tribute to the Irish is great, and as I’ve mentioned, I am Irish.  But they fled their land so they could stop eating sour lettuce.  If we like them so much, shouldn’t we serve them steak and a nice salad?  We don’t beat P.O.W.’s on the anniversary of the day they got free.  They were freed from that treatment, so we don’t subject them to it any more.  Just a thought.  Maybe give the Irish Cadbury Mini Eggs?  Did I mention I liked those?

So, the polls have closed.  My next article for The Hockey News is on surviving the locker room.  Have you ever watched Good Will Hunting without the profanity?  It takes away from the show a bit, much like the USA-network-version of the dressing room piece I had to write, but I think I pinned it down fairly well.  That piece will run Friday morning.

(PS, What a great movie.  Morgan O’Malley: “If you were gonna fight ‘em, why didn’t you fight ‘em back there?  We got snacks now!”)

Also, I went to figure out the winner of the cutest stupid animal picture vote I put up months ago (notice I’ve since abandoned the topic.  I was on a lot of drugs at the time), and the results boggle my mind. 

First, because of the 66 people to vote on animals pictures, I’m blown away at how close the voting is.  Second, because the garnish eating rabbit got no votes, and he’s my second fave.  Please settle the debate, once it reaches 100 votes (I get a lot more hits now then I did back then) I’ll declare the winner and make it my facebook profile picture.   http://jtbourne.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/every-blog-has-its-day/

Currently leading:

helllo

 

I’m writing a seven part series that looks at the everyday life of a pro hockey player for Max Hockey.com.  Much like being a player, I started with training.  Check it out at www.maxhockey.com.

St. Patty's Pontifications

 

Happy St. Patricks Day!  As an Irish/Ukranian/CompleteMutt, today I claim the one that lets me join the festivities as an insider. 

How insane is St. Patty’s Day?  It’s the only day of the year where we blatantly celebrate drinking.  Sure, we drink on other holidays, but today is the day.  There are no other well-known holidays where we celebrate entire ethnic groups within the country.  It’s not like there’s a St. Rossi’s day where we all scarf an excess of cannoli’s.  But the Irish are nationally loved for their specialty (the bottle), and frankly… everyone’s okay with it.  Enjoy your St Patty’s Day!

Now let’s begin the randomness.

Nobody in sports writing is better than Bill Simmons.

It’s over.  He’s mastered the ability to smoothly phrase what the sports-loving average Joe says in the stands, while peppering it with wit that’s tough to find.

It seems at some point, life forces men to hang out with their “boys” a bit less.  It’s tough to justify a three beer lunch to your wife when you’re trying to save money for retirement and you had to pick up your kid from school on the way home.  Pff.  Women.

Reading Simmons makes you feel like you’re having that same conversation you would with the guys, but safely from your house.  Plus, when you get the vibe that Simmons is being a dick (which isn’t infrequent), you don’t have to fake interest like you might in person.  I do predict him getting too big for his britches at some point and saying something across the line, thus getting in some hot water.  He already walks a pretty thin line, but I love it.

Next:  Isn’t it time to give “that guy” in commercials his due?  I have no idea his name, but I know he’s hilariously subtle in more commercials than I can name.  I can’t really remember the products he’s been pushing either, all I know is I laugh at every commercial this guy is in.  Obviously not Dustin Pedroia, but the other guy.

The wink after “it’s called integrity” is key.

Moving along:  A smart hockey friend of mine that plays in the American League recently sent me this text, and he might be right: “Ovechkin is the best to ever play the game.  No question.  No debate.” 

I wanted the Canadian Crosby to just do it the right way like a good Canuck would, show him the way this game is supposed to be played, and he has.  The problem is, Ovechkin is so good, normal rules don’t apply.  It’s like playing one on five basketball on a Fisher Price hoop against seven year olds.  When you have that much of an advantage, it doesn’t matter what your opponent does.  He’s just that good.  I’m still gonna dunk, and Ovi is still going to take a slapbomb off some goalies collar bone, the crossbar and the mesh for a powerplay goal.

At a difficult economic time in the US, with a good product and a strong need for attendance, wouldn’t this be the worst possible time to implement fight-removal rules in the NHL?  Not that we should appeal to the lowest common denominator, but have you ever asked a non-hockey player why they like to watch?  Why they don’t watch boxing (or UFC), I’ll never know.

Regardless, the NHL will gladly take their money.  It’s a part of the game (for reasons that would warrant their own column, had the topic not been over-written), so let’s deal with that when we start turning away fans at the ticket windows.

Old school reference:  I kinda like Jim Carrey.  I  feel like Liar Liar is underrated in the all-time funny movie department.  Not top five maybe, but worthy of having in the collection.  I hadn’t thought of it in awhile until I saw the classic bit on Family Guy the other day:

Speaking of Family Guy, is the gay guy funny enough for everyone yet?  I can barely handle watching him or Herbert (shown here)without laughing (largely because the Isles/Sound Tigers Andrew McDonald does Herbert better than Herbert).  Check the hilarious homo here:

Anyways, enjoy today, and I dunno, maybe run a water through your liver at some point!  Just a little suggestion.       – Justin O’Burne (as the last name was only four generations back!)

Topic Tourette's

 

This “having a life” thing is making finding blog time more difficult, and I miss it.  I don’t however, miss being unable to eat or talk, so I guess you win some you lose some.  Here’s today’s brain overflow:

Veggie Tray:  The obvious solution to the snack-fattery that has been my face.  Where was that recommendation, people?  Exercise?  You’re no help.

My fellow ESPN viewers:  Who the hell is this beady-eyed egghead John Clayton, and why do we let him speak about football?  I’m fairly certain he was last picked in flag football, never picked for a prom date, and picked as most-likely-to-drop-any-object-thrown-to-him, just now by me.  Don’t you need some sports playing background to gain a little credibility?  Like, even wallyball?  I want Chris Berman to go high-school-bully on this guy, bonk him on the head and take his lunch money.

Two things I enjoyed yesterday:  Sauntering around downtown yesterday, Bri and I passed three outdoor skating rinks (Rockefeller Center, South Street Seaport, and Central Park, below).  I’ve come up with a great idea for American’s who are sick of getting beat by Canada at hockey: GIVE THOSE KIDS STICKS.  Man.  They’re out there going NASCAR on that sheet of ice anyways, chuck em some lumber and make use of those horse apples in Central Park.

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Other neat sight:  It seems a hundred years ago when people paid tribute to God, they did it in the largest, scariest,  most awe-inspiring way possible (don’t skip on the grandeur).  I can’t fathom the time, effort and money that must have gone into some of the intense rockwork, sculptures and stained glass windows.  I fail to see the connection between gargoyles and God, but then, I blog about puppies and snuggies, so I’m gonna let a topic like that pass.  St. Pat’s Cathedral, taken by Bri:

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Why isn’t the E-Trade baby getting old yet (not literally)?  He just keeps hitting home runs:

Great quote: “I’ll tell you what I like about Chinese people.  They’re hanging in there with the chopsticks, aren’t they? You know they’ve seen the fork.  They’re staying with the sticks.  I don’t know how they missed it.  Chinese farmer gets up, works in the field with a shovel all day… Shovel.  Spoon.  Come on.  You’re not plowing 40 acres with a couple of pool cues.”       – A classic Jerry Seinfeld gem

For those of you cheering for the Isles to lose so you can get the number one overall pick:  Stop it, you’re killing us.  You know how this stuff works.  You root for them to lose, they’ll win.  Every game for the rest of the year, they will win.  We’ll end up picking Hachminev Albastor from Lithuania in the 44th round if you keep this up.  Cheer for your team like a good fan, and things will take care of themselves.

Fact:  Bri found the first two gray hairs of my life.  Nothing turns chicks on like the overlapping years of gray hair and acne.  Double threat guy…

That’ll be all today!  My seven-part series on the life off a hockey player is underway, and will run on Max Hockey.com, a piece at a time over the next month or so.  I’m open to suggestions for my next blog on The Hockey News.com if you have something you’d like to read about.  I have a planner full of ideas, and just need to pick the right one.  So I’d love more ideas, or simply your input:

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"Blog" Just Sounds Like A Fat Word

 

Now that I don’t play hockey, I’m getting fat. 

I don’t mean like, haha-collapse-a-lawn-chair fat, I mean Phil Mickelson I-wouldn’t-call-him-fat-but-he-probably-shouldn’t-have-bought-that-gas-station-brownie.  I’m a slender guy, but the pot belly thing is always an option, especially for a guy who enjoys the odd Stella Artois or six.

Being the degenerate couch growth I was for the months involving my jaw surgery, I learned to perfect the art of being a bum.  I used to view movies as a two hour drain on my day, and all the sudden I’m the guy with a collection.  I officially need to be wearing sweatpants once I’m in the front door, where I used to just stay in jeans until bed time.

In short, the injury lazified my home lifestyle.  People really are creatures of habit, and let me tell you, the being lazy thing is a tough one to break.  Don’t get me wrong, I work a lot, but now that my work involves sitting in sweats with snacks and typing, I’m finding the line between couch ridden slug/hard working journalist pretty blurry.

And the snacks thing?  You really don’t know what ya got ’til it’s gone.  During the nearly two months my teeth were laced together with wire, when I ate, it was a production, and a forgettable experience (I swear, if you have to blend soups into a single consistency, you’re better off going hungry).  So when I got the wires off and tasted salty popcorn and pretzels, double stuff oreos, cookie dough ice cream and pop ‘ems donuts, I officially fell in love all over again.

I’m an active guy who loves sports.  But my old job consisted of burning more daily calories than Krispy Kreme produces on a weekend, where the only calories I burn now are chewing.  As if the slowing metabolism of aging wasn’t enough, now I have to add one of the seven deadly sins, sloth, to my list of life concerns.

But what’s a guy to do?  What’s everybody to do?  I understand chubby people; food tastes great and resting feels okay too.  With the added sit-stractions like TV and the internet, a little cellulite is bound kick around a few peoples backsides.  Not that we should welcome it, but it’s inevitable.

I go for a daily run (ballpark 7-13 minutes, honestly), and bust out a couple push-ups.  My theory is that any maitenance is better than a complete free-fall into my wife-doesn’t-find-me-attractiveville.  Plus, like everyone else, I console myself with the “once ________ happens, I’m gonna get back on top of it” lie.  My blank is getting settled in my own home, but everybody has a different version.  Until they have to work more and get tired.  And then they have kids.  And then they only get one day off a week and want to enjoy it.  And then… And then…

I’m not really writing to offer a solution here.  I’m writing because it’s cathartic, and because it’s a written lecture, a physical reminder of the fact that I see the changes in my body happening, and instead of accepting it, I need to do something.  I used to bitch about forced workouts as a player, but I can already tell I’m about 10 months away from paying someone a monthly fee to force me to work out.

The point now is to keep it fun.  For me, the only real way to burn calories is to do it in a way that you don’t notice it.  There’s no way after running for miles I’m going to come home and bust out a few extra wind sprints.  But if I’m in a basketball game, and circumstances call for the hustle, I will not let my team down.  Maybe it goes to overtime.  Maybe all the sudden my hockey league, racquetball league and soccer leagues have me with more friends and clear hearteries because I hate to lose.

So Fun is my new calorie-burning fitness guru, the new trainer who supplanted the old duo of Fear and Necessity that used to run my life as a hockey player. 

So, I’m headed back to Kelowna soon… Anybody need a teammate?

Left Hand Low Blocker

 

It’s cheating, that’s all there is to it.  There is no equivalent shot for a right hander that has such ridiculously high odds of success.  Us righties have the glove side, sure, but lefties have a shot at that too because most goalies collapse their glove hand in on the butterfly, where the blocker side has to stay up to keep the stick on the ice. 

When goalies go down in the butterfly, their pads sit 11 inches off the ice, post to post.  For the blade of the stick to sit flat, their blocker is a bit higher in the air than they would naturally hold their arm with no stick. 

Because of that, there’s a good foot of room between the top of the pad and blocker (under the arm) that’s the best place to shoot in the modern game, especially if you don’t have time to get your head up.

Sometimes in hockey you just have to pull the trigger.  When goalies were stand up style, you’d zip it low on the ice.  When they fell in love with going down, you’d zip it high.  Now, they fall into butterfly form the second a shooter flinches. 

A shot a foot off the ice glove side is going to get caught, or at least redirected.  On the blocker side, the goaltender has to keep his arm out a bit for proper form.

Because of these differences, there is an obvious weakness in that one spot.  But, as a righty, we have to shot across the goalies body, giving him the extra second to react. 

A shot from a left handed shooter low blocker can spark the red light on any mindless play, because of the difficulty for the goaltender to get the blocker down.

Lefties + low blocker = cheating.  Stupid right handed stick.

*Comment I know I’m going to get:  High glove is an advantage for righties – I know.  Just not nearly as much as low blocker is for lefties.

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