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Canadian Lines, I Want To Punch Rick Reilly



It’s easy to be a hater when someone else is making the player decisions, and for Canadians, it’s been a lot of fun telling everyone the picks we would’ve made.  

I myself would like to see the roster be a little different (as I tweeted yesterday), but, at some point, the roster is set.  The team is what it’s going to be, so it’s time to love all our players like they’re our children.  Get the puck to Niedermeyer, right?!

Canada's underrated star

So here’s the lines our “children” will be attacking in (I’m not sure what the plan is on D yet, but apparently these are the forward lines):

Nash – Crosby – Bergeron

Heatley – Thornton – Marleau

Perry – Staal – Getzlaf

Toews – Iginla – Richards/Morrow


Keith – Seabrook

Boyle - Weber

Doughty - Pronger






(Yes, those goalies are in order of my preference, not Babcock’s.)

We’re rolling into Vancouver with a number of our best players hot, and bringing no excuses.  Gold or bust baby.  Gold or bust.

How do you like the lines?


So, I couldn’t be much more mad at Rick Reilly.


As a kid-slash-sports-fan growing up, there was nothing better than the back page of Sports Illustrated.  I would’ve happily bought a subsciption to SI just to read the back page and throw the rest of the magazine out, had I not been penniless and ten years old.  Not that the rest of the magazine wasn’t good, it was just that “Life of Reilly” was all that mattered.  He was the best.

As many people would agree (anyone who’s followed the progression of his writing, really), his work of late has been…. um, lacking.  And don’t get me wrong - I hate when people claim to dislike the new work of people simply because it’s not exactly like the old stuff they’re familiar with.  (You know, people who only like the old Star Wars movies, or a bands first CD (they’re new stuff sucks, dude), or whatever, you get my point - it’s like they think it really highlights how they’ve been there all along, and know what works better than the artist/author/whatever.)

But the fact of the matter is, at this point, Reilly’s recent work really is dog meat.

So when a friend sent me his most recent column on being in Vancouver for the games, I wasn’t suprised when it sucked worse than Zdeno Chara would at limbo (my attempt at a Reilly joke).  The problem was, it wasn’t just bad this time, it was kind of patronizing, and with just that right amount of condescension that occasionally makes Canadians wanna plow Americans in the face for their tone.  Like somehow the people in Vancouver are idiots because they’ve been concerned about him enjoying his stay.  Don’t worry Rick, when you left, I’m sure someone said (as you would write it) ”boy eh, I’d really like to plow that chap in the face, eh?”  (I’m okay with the accent jokes – we have a way of speaking, like people from Mass., Texas, New York, Arkansas, or anywhere else.)

But the follow-up piece today – here - was like the guy was standing in front of Royal Guards in England and trying to get them to flinch, knowing they won’t.  Like because we’re polite, we’ll just stand there, drink our double-doubles (*homer-voice* mmm double-double…. damnit it’s a good coffee, whatever!) and take the abuse?

I’ve never called beer “brew” in my life.  Not one person in the 20 years I lived in Canada called the RCMP the “Armsee” or whatever-the-f**k-it-was you claimed we call them.  We usually go with “police” or “cops”.  “Pretend you plug in your engine block to keep it from freezing too, it makes them feel better” – didn’t you just saying it was raining, a few sentences earlier?  In FEBRUARY?  How cold could it possibly be there?

I get writing a light-hearted, funny article.  I’m not really that offended.  I’m just wondering – to whom did Rick Reilly go to dig up these nuggets of imaginary wisdom?  He’s sunk to pandering to the American stereotype of Canadians to entertain his readers, the same way everyone gets to feel in on the inside joke if I say the Irish like to drink (and how!).

Sure – there’s some stuff in there that was right - I’m not saying the whole thing was a wash, but a general rule, I’ve learned, is that the whole column is supposed to be somewhat accurate.  Maybe he’s right about the inferiority complex (see: everything I’ve just written), but it’s hard to blame us there.  We’re just doon’ our best, eh?

The first column started out trying to be nice and ended up offensive, the second column is just a slap in the face.  So beat it, Rick.  Jump in your Hummer, supersize your Big Mac meal and go hunt some endagered species.

What, don’t all Americans do that?

Toby Keith rules!


Note: I live in the States, love the US, and would stick up for this country the same way.  We are the world.  We are the children.


UPDATE: As the first commenter MikeB mentions, I apparently wasn’t the first person to take a cut at Reilly.  Clearly, I didn’t get the best cut in, either.  In fact, I was pretty much swinging at an unconscious fighter by the time Kurtenblogger was done with Reilly.  Ah well.  Turns out a lot of us agree :)


19 Responses to “Canadian Lines, I Want To Punch Rick Reilly”
  1. MikeB says:

    The Kurtenblog (My #1 source for Canucks info) did a great job covering this.

    I remember when I used to get SI and the last page was often the first I read, now I think Rick Reilly is an idiot. And not just because of these two articles.

    I think Iggy will end up playing with Sid soon enough. What I would like to see is:





    And goalies I’m not too worried about, but Marty is going to get a shot to carry the team, MAF probably won’t see a game.

  2. Pete says:

    ouch! the toby keith captions sure does hurt. but your point is very well made….

  3. Alix in SJ says:

    I was offended in general about the crack about plugging in the engine block; I grew up in Illinois (Midwest–can you get any more American than that?) and we had to plug our car in all the time. I bet most of the Upper Midwest does–it gets bloody cold there in the winter!

    East Coast bias strikes again. He should stay there, and leave traveling outside the borders to the Americans that actually appreciate it.

  4. Pat says:

    I read both of Reilly’s articles and totally felt he came off as a pompous douche trying too hard to be funny. I’m surprised that it was published.

  5. mikey says:

    no alix, he should leave travelin outside of new york to people who appreciate it. actly other than the tim hortons thingy i sorta thought he was makin fun of minnesota like almost all of his comments r things we hear all the time from east coast people.

    cant wait to see the swiss n norskies go down today … hope its by like an early round womans hockey score

  6. KarenfromRochester says:

    those articles…bad bad bad and bordering on the xenophobic. He didn’t do the United States ANY favors in dispelling the image that we are, in general, an arrogant nation that thinks we are better than anyone else. I may be in the minority here, but I actually LIKED the opening ceremonies. They were different than the spectacle China put on, they introduced the country to parts of the world that don’t know a lot about them and they showed pride in the country. What more do people expect? A Disner extravaganza! And what’s so wrong with being polite to visitors and actually saying “please”, “thank you” and “sorry”?! These articles kinda remind me of that skit on Saturday night live in the mid 80′s with Bob & Doug Mckenzie. There was a generation of people who grew up thinking that everyone in Canda called each other hosers and ate back bacon. Yeesh!

  7. KarenfromRochester says:

    sorry, should have proofread before I hit send. It should have said a “Disney” extravaganza?”

  8. minnesotagirl71 says:

    So he started out with broad generalizations and insulting stereotypes and he ends with it all being ok because the pool guy saw his wife naked. Classy (note sarcasm).

    It could have been a fun article about some Canadian pop culture, but it was just mean. Sounds like he’s got some pent up hostility towards Canada/Canadians.

  9. House says:

    Reilly got exactly what he wanted…a lot of people to talk about his column. He wrote some stupid jokes about Canada and some people decided to take them seriously and get angry. It’s kind of like watching a Simpsons episode and getting mad…they are jokes, some good, some bad. Personally I love Canada (it’s hard not to when you seem to be there every other weekend in the winter during your whole childhood playing hockey tournaments), even took my wife to The Big Smoke for vacation this summer (and my son but he was only negative two months at the time), but, so far, the person who looks like the true idiot is the Kurtenblog guy. Jeeeez.

  10. Beer:30 says:

    Taking pot shots at Canadians during the Olympics has all the class of hitting on your neighbors wife at his BBQ.

  11. Pat says:

    On a side note…..remember that discussion we had a few months back about growing “smart” hockey people in the US to help develop the game domestically? Who are the hockey commentators for NBC? Roenick and Milbury. So much for that idea………

  12. The Franchise says:

    No offence to Flames fans but if Iggy is anywhere above the 4th line we are in trouble. He looks old and slow, and imho is not the same player he was three, two or even a year ago.

    Don’t mind the lines, Bergeron was a surprise but I like the fit and we have enough depth to rotate someone else (not Iggy) through there.

    As for the Armsees comment, maybe he misunderstood ‘R.C.’s’ which is a youthful slang for the RCMP here in Saskatchewan.

  13. Madeleine says:

    He lost me at “street hockey” is shinny.
    And that follow up article? Maybe he should get to know more Canadians and work on his apology skills.
    He even managed to throw in a gay joke about male figure skaters! How classy.

  14. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    I just had to try the “Rick Reilly is…” Love it.
    General thought on columnists: It seems that since bloggers have taken over, columnists have struggled a bit. They try to be funny, often to no avail (Reilly). They keep spinning their wheels on tired bits (Simmons, which kills me to say). But the most apparent thing is anger. Apparently, columnists who used to be really good, have taken over the anonymous blogger mentality of ripping anything and everything. I think Reilly needs a kitty pic.
    As for Canada, I pains me to hear the bashing. (Full disclosure: I love jokes aboot Canada. But, as mentioned above, as a Minnesotan, most of this glorious country thinks we are Canadian. F’ing Texas!)
    I also loved the Opening Ceremonies. It was refreshing that they didn’t go all Billion Dollar Crazy on it like China did. In fact, I thought they were on snow for some time and still didn’t believe it when it wasn’t. (By the way, how freaking cool was the trees-and-leaves thing?)
    I hope Canada wins any golds that the USA doesn’t. I hope that the weather improves and this turns out to be a legendary Games. I hope that Canada loses the hockey gold to the US Junior squad that we sent, in triple OT, on a goal from Erik Johnson who picked the Kid’s pocket seconds before.
    I hope that man-eating bear finds Reilly and has him for dinner…and then his “curvaceous blonde who would make a male figure skater drop his sequin gun” wife for dessert.

  15. Frank says:

    Wow……after reading those articles, I am offended……for Canada. I am an US citizen who had the luck to spend a year living in Calgary…….Justin, why don’t we send Reilly to Fort McMurray to see how the “nice Canadian” people will react to his patronizing comments?

    And I agree with your “brew” and RCMP comments….where did he pick up these inaccurate Canadian stereotypes? Did he plagiarize one of Sarah Palin’s foreign policy speeches to write his article?

    Oh, and in terms of his comments about Canada “not winning many medals”….remember folks that Canada has one tenth of the population of the US… per capita, they are doing very well!

  16. Pete L says:

    His columns were funnier and more well written when he was at SI. It may be the new gig. ESPN seems to aim for the lowest common denominator with it’s broadcasts. Obviously that has carried over to the mag, too!

    Sad, but he really isn’t funny or relevant anymore. Why is he explaining Tim Hortons to us? We have them in 11 states now!

  17. Ozzie says:

    All I can say about Rick Reilly is wow… they gave that asshole a press pass? If he’s having such a rough go of it with Canadian hospitality and a little liquid sunshine why doesn’t he take his Barbie doll wife and head home? I’d give an arm… or a left nut…. to be in Vancouver enjoying the Olympics… it would be nice to see those that get that chance to be a little more appreciative.

  18. SDC says:

    that guy sucks man. I think he’s still bitter from when we boo’ed the US National anthem at a game once. Really unfortunate that the people at ESPN give stuff like that the nod to even be printed.

  19. Tapps says:

    If you hate Rick Reilly, you’ll love our site. It takes a village.

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