New Puck Daddy: I was inspired by the Bruins 6-0-0 road trip, so I wrote about being on a team bus. Then I noticed they played every team in Canada, and thus only took busses to and from hotels and rinks. Thus, I left them out of the piece. But nonetheless, all about BUSSES!
My apologies for the no-post yesterday – if you follow me on twitter, you know why: Bri and I got hit from behind in my car like Matt Cooke was driving the vehicles behind us (thus, I was dealing with many, many insurance companies). We were car three of a five car pile-up, and Andy Altima is “on the cusp of being a total loss and fixable,” according to the dealership.
So, yeah. It was a mess. The police had to pull out tiny toy cars for all of us to try to figure out what happened, as somehow the girl who hit me, also hit the guy in front of me. I jerked the wheel to avoid the guy in front (unsuccessfully, as you can see from the damage), and she still had enough steam to carry on into the truck in front. Seems unlikely that the car that started the domino even had its brakes touched.
Anyway, Bri and I are stiff and sore a couple days after, as one would expect. Nothing I can’t type through today though. Moving on!
TBAF style: Y’know what’s crazy? Blind fan loyalty. Like the Islander fan on twitter (LastIslander, who probably reads this) who asked me “when I started hating the team that gave me a chance?” He was referencing my numerous comments about being opposed to Trevor Gillies antics.
I genuinely (it’s in italics, so you know I’m serious) don’t get being such a “loyal” (blind) fan that you have to watch every incident through team coloured glasses. Look most fans, I do root for laundry occasionally (as in, the jerseys), regardless of who’s in them. I can come around on a lot of players I dislike when they come to “my” team.
But I refuse to allow that allegiance to make me oblivious to reality, and hope other fans do too.
How about the BYU thing, where they kicked a starter off their Division 1 basketball team (which is ranked third in the country) cause the guy admitted to having sex with his girlfriend - yes, his girlfriend - and had signed a pledge as a freshman that said he wouldn’t have pre-marital sex, drink, do drugs or smoke.
To repeat myself, he signed a freshman pledge that was to cover four years. He broke the honor code.
Asking a 17 year old what he’ll do or what he’ll be like in two months will wield the wrong answer. And when it comes to sex? How’s he supposed to know where he’ll be as a person years down the road? Most people that age don’t know who they are yet. I didn’t.
Was there a “probably not unless I really love her” option? As John Stewart said: I’m sure he’s down in the the dumps right now, but I have a pretty good idea how he’s going to make himself feel better.
(Random note that I think is awesome: they describe his girlfriend as “18-year-old Arizona State University freshman volleyball player. Jeez, can’t believe he gave in. TO HELL WITH HIM!)
Bars in Phoenix should have retractable roofs, like stadiums. How has nobody built that place yet? #genius
I saw this a few weeks back and forgot to mention it: I saw a bunch of vans pull up to this parking lot with the words “Repo Games” all over them. Like, three vans and a bus.
Basically, it’s a game show/reality show where your car is actually being repossessed in real life, but these people wait for you to walk out to your car, then they ask you trivia questions. If you get enough of them right, they’ll pay the entire remainder of your loan off. Get them wrong, and they carry on with repossessing your car.
(“It’s Cops meets Jeopardy,” the producer of Spike TV says.)
Is that the worst thing you’ve ever heard, or no? What an extra dagger it would be to get those questions wrong.
I’m getting really excited for my trip with Easton to Minnesota. Even cooler: my alma mater is playing the U of M Golden Gophers in playoffs on Friday/Saturday night! I’m trying to hook up with a couple old coaches for pints one evening, should be fun. I’ll be all over twitter that weekend!
New Puck Daddy: All about hockey players and returning from mid-game injuries to finish the game, ala Willie Mitchell and his 54 stitches last night. (Puck Daddy link)
Jon Jordan writes for the must-read hockey site Kukla’s Korner. After hearing about my close relationship with my sledge-hockey playing brother Jeff, he reached out to me with his own personal story about his brother Mikey. It’s a heart-warming one, so I’m only 100% sure my own mother will truly love it.
This article first appeared in Exceptional Parent magazine in 2009.
You can follow him on twitter here. You can read his daily coverage for Kukla’s called “Beasts of the Southeast” here (primarily Tampa Bay Lightning based). Check out his work, he’s a good man.
-by Jon Jordan
In the June 1998 edition of Exceptional Parent, a college freshman’s article, written for an undergraduate composition class, evolved into a pillar of family pride, drawing attention to the story of a young man who couldn’t tell his own tale but made as big an impact on the people who loved him as any one of us can ever hope for in the short time we are afforded in life.
I authored “We Won the Lottery,” and the subject of that piece was my younger brother, Michael. At face value, it wasn’t anything special. I think I earned a “C” on it as a freshman at Florida State University and now, as a part-time writer myself, I can freely admit that it is nowhere near my best work. Still, that particular composition remains the undisputed favorite above anything else I’ve ever written.
It put Mikey’s story—as best I could tell it at the time—out there for the world to read and put smiles on the faces of family and friends, proud of his little moment in the spotlight. In some way, I felt that I had done right by Mikey just by getting his name in print and by passing along part of what I now call “Mikey’s Message.”
At the time, all I could grasp of that message was what having him around did for me as an older brother and, with less clarity, what his presence did for our family as a whole.
Twelve years later, I am only now beginning to realize the true message behind my brother’s life. Michael passed away on September 29th, 2009, after the latest in his lifetime of medical battles, at the age of 25.
As I said in the eulogy I gave at his funeral Mass, in many ways I had always been preparing for the day that my brother would no longer be with us. Even so, from the time the ultimate outcome of his final plight became inevitable, to the very moment of his passing, to the immediate days after and, finally, to the weekend of his memorials, I had never felt more unprepared in my entire life.
There were simple thoughts—the kind I’m sure anyone who loses a sibling might have: How do I say goodbye? How do I honor him? Did he know what he meant to me? And there were more complex questions, specific to Mikey’s difficulties, that I struggled with: Was there more that I could have done for him? Did our family make the right decisions? And, again, did he know what he meant to me?
But somehow, writing his eulogy on autopilot, numb from his very difficult final days, sharing “thank yous” with special people and funny stories about growing up with Mikey morphed into what I believe will be his lasting legacy.
His message …It simply came to me, without any deep thought or hidden meaning. There were no mysteries to unravel, no code to be cracked.
Michael’s message was love.
As it turns out, Mikey never knew anything else. Despite his many hardships, my brother was a living, breathing symbol of unconditional love, both given and received.
He was raw emotion, smiles or tears, with no in between (and thankfully, far more of the former). His heart was never influenced by the discouraging moments in life that most of us go through. He was as pure a human being as anyone can be. And Michael’s big grin and contagious laughter brought joy to all that knew him.
When he heard your voice, he was happy. When he saw yourface or felt your hand, you knew he was glad you were there. Of that, there was never any doubt and remembering just that has answered several important questions for me.
Mom’s morning greeting was always met with a giggle and a smile, as was Dad’s post-work hug. The “wrestling matches” (talk about laughter!) he and I would have growing up became too sporadic later in life as I moved away and started a family of my own, but my phone calls, when Mom or Dad would put the phone to his ear, still put a smile on Mike’s face as soon as he heard my voice.
My favorite picture of Mikey is of that trademark smile, with the phone pressed to his ear, me on the other end of the line. Unconditional, unblemished, unending love. Nothing stops that. Not even death.
That is how my little brother lives on and how we honor him. And that is his message that can be embraced by anyone.
Twelve years ago, I was proud to give the readers of EP a glimpse into Mikey’s life. Today, in his memory, it is my absolute honor to leave you with that message.
Love your family. Love your friends. Love yourself— for who you are. And love life. Mikey did all of that, to the fullest of his ability. •
I’m far from tech savvy, and couldn’t figure out how to copy and save pics from a PDF, so if you’d like to see Mikey and Jon, you can click here.
New Puck Daddy: On the many ways players get told they’re being traded.
My cousin Adam is on twitter (he’s a good follow, aside from his shiiiiiitty taste is sports teams. @Hnatty92. Really, Dolphins, Senators and Rangers? Have some pride.), and had a friend tweet a pretty funny joke, which he promptly retweeted for Darren Dreger to read…. who promptly blocked him.
It was when Dreger introduced his new blog, The Dreger Report. Making a play on the fact that the infamous hockey “insider” “Eklund” just bites everything Dreger tweets, says or sings and claims it as his own information, the oh-so-scandalous tweet was: “Looking forward to the introduction of The Dreklund Report tomorrow.”
Of all things to block someone over…..
Anyway, it got me thinking about Twitter tolerance: how much should we have? Not only do I want to block, ohhh, 5% of my followers, but I want to punch about 4% of them. I don’t, because….whatever. How hard is it for me to simply ignore their messages and just forget they’re reading mine?
So as of this moment, I’ve only blocked one person, and it wasn’t for any one tweet that really irked me. It was just a constant barrage of shitty, negative responses to everything I put out there that I didn’t want to deal with. I had engaged said random person before and didn’t like their tone, and still resisted the block.
But you know how sometimes you just have “one of those days?” He said something minorly annoying when I was already annoyed, so I said eff it, and blocked him.
There’s a commenter on Puck Daddy who I don’t appreciate either (Benjimann or something, I dunno), not because the guy is mean and hateful, just…..why comment with one negative sentence on every post? Piss off.
Anyway, there was an interesting story from Jeff Pearlman of CNN/SI who actually sought out a couple of his blatantly hateful commenters, tracked down their phone numbers and called them, only to find them apologetic, basically explaining a) it’s easier behind the walls of the internet and b) they didn’t think he’d be reading.
Point is, I am, in fact, reading your comments and replies, even if I don’t have time to respond because I have to work, or am simply not at my computer, but reading on the phone.
Those people he called probably got what they wanted – his attention – which sucks, but it goes to prove a point: Not many people are really as crappy as their hateful internet comments, so I’m calling out to all of us to be better from now on. There’s nothing wrong with being a sarcastic dick, but the actul vicious, nippy stuff? It’s unnecessary.
The internet isn’t new anymore, and it’s time we up the etiquette a little. Not here on this blog, by the way, everyone here could stand to be a little more disagreeable, if anything. But when you comment on other people’s work, or tweets, or videos….how about questions about the stuff you don’t like instead of leaving a line of hate and moving on to LOLcats without even realizes you soiled a moment of someone’s day? Open the conversation up.
I’m not the Almighty Polite or anything. I’m not all free-love and we have to agree on everything, just look at my post yesterday that involved Adam Proteau. It’s just healthy once in awhile to realize this new internet age is the death of the one-sided conversation you used to get from sportswriters like Rick Reilly, who by the way, are at the forefront of the blogs-are-stupid, what’s-this-tweeter-thing-I-keep-hearing-about resistance.
Nobody in the world has adjusted better than Bob McKenzie, who happily LOL’s his way through his @’s, making people realize he’s a person, not just some guy who spouts hockey info on TV all day long. We know about his sons, his musical tastes, and more. We feel like we know him, because he’s embraced the recent shifting of the plate tectonics under the sports media world, and we like him all the more for it.
Times have changed, so it’s time that we do too.
New Puck Daddy: I’m a big fan of the work Brendan Shanahan is doing for the NHL
In the wake of my Deadspin post, I haven’t really been sure what to think.
First and foremost, I’m happy about it. Obviously it’s a great thing for my career, and the article was well received, if not in the comment section (if you know Deadspin, you know it really wasn’t all that bad in there), then as evidenced by the fact that it’s recieved some 23,000 views, 140 comments, and over 215 “likes” on facebook in the span of about 20 hours so far. And the fact that it’s still in the site’s header with some of their bigger articles says something too. I’ve always been a reader there, so it was great to have the chance to contribute.
On the other hand, I feel a little…”off” about something - not about my message in the piece, because I really do think Nabokov is being a clod (I’ve heard allll the arguments from people who disagree by now, points heard. I still disagree, and that’s just the way this one is gonna go), but about two things:
One, the language, and two, for calling someone out with something I could probably never say to their face, whether I believe it to be true or not. As one commentor noted, I’m usually more even-handed than that, but whatever, two doesn’t grind on me near as much.
The language thing is interesting though, because….I really do talk like that, unfortunately.
Blame it on the lifetime of growing up within the sport or whatever, but it’s a reality. As much as I post cat pics, I really am a guy’s guy at the core. I’m conscious of my mouth around people I don’t know well (also on TV and radio), and I can usually speak fairly intelligently and meet general public standards (still batting 100% in the “no cursing on tv/radio spots” thing). But there are times when Bri and I will marvel at how quickly and casually I’ll use an eff-bomb with someone I just met.
When we drove to Phoenix from Canada, we stopped outside a public bathroom that was in the middle of the desert and totally, totally desolate. There was another car there though, and this guy probably ten years my senior was walking back to it. I looked around and said to the guy “wow, we’re really in the middle of fucking nowhere, huh?” The guy frowned, nodded, and carried on.
I was like Jim Carrey in the “I’ve had better” scene for the next ten minutes. How the eff does that happen? It’s totally unacceptable and I feel horrible, but I dunno…. I’m working on it.
Anyway, it was refreshing to get to write with that unquestioned green-light, to just let the words flow naturally as they occur in my head. I’m clearly desensitized to the words, so for me, they’re just a part of the dialogue running around through my gray matter (again, unfortunately).
That said, after submitting that post, to some extent I felt like I let guys like Chris Jones and Bruce Arthur down.
I feel like the people I look up to when it comes to the written word would read my Deadspin post, tsk-tsk and shake their head and write me off for the lack of professionalism in my column. They may have enjoyed it, but that’s beside the point. I enjoy Family Guy, but I don’t consider it quality TV.
And so, I’m in the midst of asking myself: who or what do I want to be when it comes to writing? Drew Magary or Chris Jones, both of whom I enjoy and have found success? Obviously I want to be “me,” but I’m still finding that.
And another part of me is asking: why the eff do you care so much what other people think? But hey, truth is, I’m a sensitive guy when it comes to this crap.
I do aspire to write bigger, better things - I intend to write the type of pieces that make people feel something the way Jones’ so often do, but the reality is, that’s pretty hard to do when you write as often as I do, solely about hockey, and don’t leave the house to do so.
The response to the column was overwhelming positive – just check my twitter “@’s.” I’d wager 90% of the people really liked it, I assume because it really is fun to occassionally read something that’s straight out of the dressing room or bar.
Still, I don’t want to lose any credibility in the process.
Deadspin, if anything, will actually gain me a measure of credibility; I’m aware of that. And the next time they ask me to write something for them (which may not be for awhile, my agreement with Yahoo! advises I don’t spread myself too thin), I’ll write it the exact same way, partly because it is more “real,” if less beautiful.
But yeah, this is just me trying to hash out my feelings on it. I do know that there’s one thing I don’t feel about the post, and that’s regret.
Oh, and let me clear one more thing up so I can link to this piece everytime I get the same comment:
I KNOW I never played in the NHL. I know I wasn’t good enough to even be considered an AHL player. I spent the majority of my time in the ECHL, and I was pretty decent there. That was all. But I never went to journalism school, and hockey was my education.
When outlets hire me to write, they hire me because I can write about behind closed doors, and they like when I can relate my own experiences to current events, because I can talk not only about what’s happening outside the eight-pound human head, but also inside.
When I write about My Career in every goddamn post, it’s a conscious effort to relate the insights in a way other writers can’t. You have to carve your niche out, and for now, mine is fairly unique.
I’m not so proud of those playing years that I feel the need to exploit their awesomeness in every post, it’s just how I make my living.
And further: I’m also not jealous of anyone in the NHL, and I say that with sincerity. I want part of my niche to be that I speak my honest opinion, meaning that if I think the Isles suck, I’m pointing it out for that reason and that reason only, not because I secretely wish I was on the team. I’m extremely happy with my life with, Bri, cats, beer, palm trees, sweatpants and a flexible schedule, I assure you.
Anyway, that’s a little “the more you know” on me for my readers, who by the way, deserve muchos thanks for all the support, but most importantly, for being able to conduct legitimate, informative conversations in the comments section.
Everyone says they have “the best readers,” but I dare you to find me a site where the commentors show each other more respect.
So thanks for everything so far!
Oh hai, hockey fans and fans of other randomness (cats). Ooo, by the way (I like that I have a tangent one sentence in) Bri and I are shopping for cat numero deux, a ragdoll. Before you beak me, remember: it’s better than babies, for now. Also, don’t tell my Mom, she doesn’t support it.
So sorry for the time off from Bourne’s Blog, but y’know, a dude needs a break once in awhile, and I was still writing columns. I’ll be back pecking the keys full-time on Monday, when my brother leaves Phoenix.
For those of you who haven’t been following me on twitter, here’s my story, in short:
I was flying back to Phoenix from NY on the 26th. My family was flying TO Phoenix from Canada on the same day. We were going to have a lil make-up mini Christmas, as I spent my first away from them, with the Gillies family.
My brother and step-sister, who I see like, a few weeks a year, were staying for a week, my Mom and stepdad for three.
As I’m sure you heard, it snowed like an M.F.er all over the Northeast on the 26th. Our flight was at seven at night, and we knew the storm was coming, so we woke up and checked our flight. There was not a flake of snow on the ground. Our flight was cancelled.
The next one (and believe me, we exhausted all our options. I’ll say it, I’m awesome at finding ways to work the airlines and their systems, but when more than FIVE THOUSAND FLIGHTS are cancelled, good luck). I even looked into busing home after checking flights out of Philly, DC, Baltimore etc.) we could get on was Tuesday night, 48 hours later. So we booked that, and days with my brother went *poof* into the wind.
Tuesday, we were all set to leave. It had snowed a bunch early on, but nothing since that Sunday, and was sunny and blue. Cancelled (equipment imbalance. Basically, the storms stopped planes from coming here, so they could fly people out no problem, they just…had no planes).
Next available flight: Friday the 31st, getting into Phoenix at 11pm. Jeff was to depart Sunday morning (and still is).
I’ll save you the rest, but leave it at this: After much fenagling, Bri is on a flight to Atlanta this morning, and connecting to Phoenix this afternoon. I fly out of JFK at 7pm, so I’m here, with 11 hours to kill (seven to go).
On a brighter note….this is the Rag we’re looking at:
The color will spread to most of his face (he’s a blue-mitted ragdoll), and he’s adorable. Name suggestions?
So Christmas was a whirlwind. Visit them, drink this, drink that, visit them. I mean, constant. I even hung out with fellow PD writer Sean Leahy a couple times and had an absolute blast, the second in a box at the Isles game to watch the Lightning play (the Isles won in overtime on the Tavares winner, miracle of miracles).
Below is a pic of the aftermath, in which he came to the Gillies to watch 24/7, which Pam had DVR’ed for us…..in Spanish. Ah well, good try.
I actually toured the NHL offices (courtesy Mark Fischel, the credential guy for NHL events, and absolute gem of a human) after our engagement photos too, so that was pretty cool. Check out the entrance to the NHL offices “show floor,” AKA the one visitors walk into. While we were there some of the head honchos were having a meeting in a glassed-in conference room. Very interesting stuff.
We actually met NHL.com writer Brian Compton for beers later that night – he was a great guy too, we had a hell of a day.
Now, a few more pics! I’ll be back writing soon - I’m sure Callum has another post in him before I’m back, enjoy!
And last, a link to my twitter account so you can (a) watch the TwitVid that so succinctly summarizes Long Island (it’s a local commercial), and (b) follow me and my travel and maybe TwitPics of this dude beside me wearing a sweater-vest over a fully-buttoned plaid button-up, eating BK so aggressively he has to repeatedly stop to wipe sweat from his brow.
UPDATE: He ate my phone.
Short post today friends – I only have so much to say!
New Puck Daddy: On-Ice Communication, and the many forms it comes in.
This Friday night, the fiancee and I are volunteering with some spine injury patients from her hospital at a local racetrack. I think the track is called Bondurant? I dunno, it’s supposed to be a big deal.
Anyway, we’re helping transfer those who need assistance and have the chance to do a ride-around the track – I think some of them even get to drive the cars? I dunno, but I’ll try to take some cool pics for the blog, should be fun.
All I know is, Bri starts to bitch if I drive over 80, and I’m petrified of anything remotely exciting myself, so here’s to hoping the racecars are minivans and have like, triple seatbelts. Apparently we get to cut a couple laps ourselves too. Weeee!
I guess tonight is the big Return of the Villain night (Lebron, Heatley).
I’m really just excited to read Bill Simmons take on how things played out in Cleveland. As for the Heatley/Ottawa story? Maybe I don’t know the juicy details about it or something, but as of press time here, my interest scale is hovering around “meh.”
I’ll address the stories in full tomorrow, and by “address them in full,” I mean “write a little bit about Lebron’s return.”
Anyway, go check out today’s column, and hopefully that tides you over until tomorrow!
Happy Why Can’t I Bear Down and Just Get Some Actual Work Done Day. I just can’t get myself in gear.
It’s amazing what not working for a couple days does to my ability to work upon return – it feels like I retired, then my 401k tanked, and now I have to return to work.
What? I stillll have columns to write? But I wrote LAST week!
But, as they say, that’s real life. (I’m assuming most of you don’t consider my job “real life,” but whatever, staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen has induced many hair-pulling moments.) Fortunately for me, the blog is always fun, since it’s mostly just stream of consciousness writing and cat pictures.
Today’s column for USA Today is on taking a shootout shot, and what that’s like. Wooo to the hoooo!
Let’s talk about some pressing issues of the day:
For football Sunday yesterday I picked up a six-pack of Lagunitas Brown Shugga Ale, because it sounded fun and I was up for something new. Plus, I was in the “Amber/Light” section of the Whole Foods beer thinger, and I assumed it wouldn’t be all that heavy.
Turns out it’s quite dark and strong. How strong, you ask? 9.99 percent, it turned out. For that type of percentage, it was actually pretty decent. Most of that strong stuff tastes like molasses, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Pats/Jets play a week from today, I’m stoked.
Have you ever heard of such a thing called “engagement photos?”
I’d be fully convinced Bri made it up had she not taken pains to show me alllllll of her girlfriends who’ve had them done and posted them on facebook.
Thus, we’re doing engagement photos. My understanding is you give someone a fistful of money, and they take pictures, and then you just….sorta…. have them.
I think they go on “Save the Date” magnets too or something, I dunno.
Anyway, we’re getting ours done when we go to NY for Christmas – I’ll be sure to post some on here, so ya’ll can see my new, fatter self freezing near some landmarks (I’m being overly cynical of course, it’ll be fun to get a bunch of pics done in NYC). I’m pretty sure we’ve selected the Brooklyn Bridge as our primary landmark, barely winning out over Nassau Coliseum.
Any stories on the whole engagement photos situation? I KNOW it’s not a Canadian thing…..
(By the way, below is our “artsiest” photo to date, I personally love the contrast between my fancy new jeans/hat and the old warehouse.)
How about the Miami Heat, eh? 9-8 record after 17 games isn’t quite what we were expecting to see outta them.
I heard something pretty interesting outta Bruce Arthur’s mouth on the Jonah Keri podcast this morning — if this is really that much of a debacle, at what point do you think about a trade? If by mid-season the pieces still don’t fit, can they ever? (FWIW, I think it still can, but I liked Arthur’s argument.)
The Heat with Wade and Bosh and players that equal the worth of Lebron are probably better than having him there. And you can’t trade Bosh, because a)he’s overpaid as is and b) that’s not the problem – the problem is that you have two guys who essentially do the same thing, so you’re cutting their values in half.
You might as well maximize one, bring in a point guard, and if you can, a decent center. Lord knows Wade ain’t go anywhere, so there ya go…..
If the Heat are still hopelessly underachieving in February…..do you trade Lebron?
(A new coach isn’t going to be able to do sh**, by the way.)
I’m excited for winter weather this year.
Last year was my first snowless Christmas of my life, and it was awesome. I was out washing my car on Christmas day in the sun, very pleasant. But now….. two years seems too long to be away from it.
It’s cool here – in the 60′s during the day, down to freezing at night – but that’s not winter weather. I mean, I wanna shovel some snow, warm-up the car in advance and get all rosy-cheeked.
It’s what I grew up on, I miss it.
More hockey stuff coming out soon – tomorrow’s Puck Daddy column is under way!
Let’s have a great week over here at Bourne’s Blog. Thanks for your continued support – especially you, reader who made a generous donation over the weekend. Bri and I greatly appreciate it.
New Puck Daddy: The Top Five Distractions Players Face From the Bench.
So, every price ends in .99, I get it – we see the small first number, it looks more affordable, and are thus more likely to buy it.
But are we? Am I the only one who finds round numbers more appealing? I gotta believe if a shirt is 16 bucks and the price tag says “$16″, that’s more appealing than seeing four digits in “$15.99,” isn’t it? It just stresses me out less, I think.
If you were a band, like say…. the Counting Crows. People know who you are, and you’ve had hit singles before. You have a unique sound and could still make lots of money doing it, but…. you just haven’t been able to write anything decent in years.
Wouldn’t you hire a songwriter eventually? I mean, these custom-built stars come from American Idol, and someone writes them a hit like the first six months after the show. There are obviously people who can write something relatively close to a hit with regularity out there. Don’t you just swallow your pride and say “hey um, here’s a bunch of cash… can you write me something Mr. Jones-ey?”
Or am I way off here? I’m not implying song-writing is remotely easy, I’m just saying: clearly there are gifted people out there who can help. Make me a new Counting Crows cd that’s tolerable.
Doesn’t eveyone have a “Damn, that guy made it?” guy?
Like some guy you played high school basketball with that was tall but kinda slow and not that smart and rode the bench…. just up and made the NBA when you weren’t looking? (Okay, bad example for the Canadians, but still.)
It’s super-common in hockey – whether it’s luck, natural development, or just plain hard work, I gotta believe most of you have a “wow, I can’t believe he made it that far” guy (in the business world too).
I mean, crap, GEORGE BUSH BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, I think you’d have to agree a few of his high school/college buddies went *puppy dog head tilt* “who’s president now, sorry?”
Our softball team summed up the steroids era of baseball beautifully on Tuesday. We were getting a new bat, and someone brought up how “all” our opponents used juiced bats (there’s some way to do it in softball, iunno).
Well, I don’t want to cheat or do anything illegal though, y’know.
Yeah, but we’re just putting ourselves at a disadvantage if we don’t do it too.
Yeah, you’re right, lets get a juiced bat.
I have no idea if we are or not (and frankly don’t really care), but still, it was funny to see how easy it would be to get caught up in that culture. Well, I’m not willingly falling behind, that’d be dumb. JUICE ME.
Just so you all know: If you’re a remotely competent hockey player, you can be taught to pick up the puck with your blade flat and throw it behind your back. Can we stop obsessing when a player does that, it’s barely any more difficult to do than it is to throw a lacross ball like that (and comparitively, I’m not even good at it). It was cool when that nine year old kid did it, because he was NINE. Not so much everyone else. #ParadeRain
As an add-on, the kid does do the move in like, a millisecond, which is worth badass bonus points. But still, that’s something you could do.
And with that nugget, I’m out! Listen to me on XM radio this Saturday, the Hockey Primetime Show. 12:15 EST I think, I’ll find out the exact station. Have a great Friday!
For Puck Daddy: First Goals and First Goal Pucks
For USA Today: Info on Bag-Skating
(Note – had this sent to me. I get it, I get it, I should see the movie. Fitting clip for the above column.)
Good news for people who want my stuff posted sooner – My article submission time for PD is now two hours earlier, so my columns will run before Puck Headlines over the noon hour, east coast time. Woohoooo.
As you all know, the media landscape has changed. No longer can a columnist put on his fancy hat, drink a scotch, and hand in a column that he won’t have to defend to each and every reader. ….I’m only assuming such a time once existed.
No, today is interactive. If you hate my column, it’s pretty easy to let me know. For example, here’s a fun Wyshynski tweet from this morning. If you’re pro-PG ratings, cover your eyes:
@wyshynski Why would I have a Devils dildo? To make sex boring and overpaid? RT @iLoveJeffMorris Go get your NJ Devils dildo and stick it up your ass.
See, now there’s a unique exchange between a writer and reader that didn’t happen a decade ago.
In that example, Wyshynski is able to play it off with a light-hearted joke, because he’s funny and in a decent mood.
I however, live in constant fear of badly damaging my career with one of these interactions. I’m afraid one day I’ll snap.
As I’ve gained more followers on the twitter, I get more comments from complete buffoons. As you know, I like interacting with readers, but there’s one inarguable fact: there’s a lot idiots out there, and the internet facilitates their idiocy. Once again, thanks to those of you who comment here, and are able to agree or disagree with class.
Yesterday I almost lost it. Almost typed out a searing 140 characters of blue language aimed at a twitter follower I’d never met. And there’s the meltdown. It wasn’t even that the person sent me something so horrible, I dunno. It’s just easy when you can’t see someone to fully dismiss them.
Anyway, I had the common sense not to hit “post.” But who knows if I’ll be that smart every time. All columnists can do today is bolt on the best possible filter they can find, and make their points in their articles. The two-way mirror has become transparent glass.
I get far, far more nice daily comments than crap ones, thankfully. But like most writers do – okay, most people in general - I’ll get fourty nice comments, fixate on the shitty one, and be tempted to fire back at that one instead of thanking the others.
Online stuff blows up in a matter of minutes these days, as demonstrated by Dan Ellis’ twitter comments, and the subsequent folding of his account. I guess we all just need to be cautious with our comments online, cause it can happen quick. I’m not looking to tarnish my good name by sinking into the swamp, but man, is it a battle sometimes.
This hockey community is freaking hilarious, and sometimes I find myself getting comfortable the point where I almost write something dressing room-y. Some people like that stuff, some are sensitive to it, and I’m learning to walk that fine line. As in, when somebody sends you a “stick it up your ass” tweet like Wysh got, you just gotta let it go.
Above the fray, Bourno, above the fray. Above theahhhhhhhh fuck it!
I’m nowhere near pulling a Shooter McGavin: “Why don’t you people go back to your shanties?” or anything, I’m more just going on record for when it does happen: I saw it coming.
That’s the age we live in I guess. If/when I do verbal some follower, it’s not like I’ll be the first or last to have done it. It’s like my entry about Favre/celebs and technology. There’s a learning curve here, and I’m just going to have to accept that some people are d-bags, and some think I’m one. Should be a fun ride, don’tcha think?
Quick shout-out to the Isles for winning on the road in Toronto without a few big pieces, including Bailey who left the game with a hip injury. Anyone hear how long he’s supposed to be out for?
Have a great Tuesday!
This is it for today, just a couple minute video that’s puuure smiling time. I had planned on a second post, but realized I’ve got my first USA Today Power Rankings to get started. Soooo, hockey research day! Hope you have a great long weekend. Just think, after that, it’s the sports season! So without further ado….
I present to you, courtesy my cousin’s girlfriend Jocelyn on twitter, MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON.
“Hmmp, uhh. N-I can’t, I can’t I can’t lift anything up at all.”
Quick refresher: We were junior teammates for two full seasons, we’re both from Kelowna, BC, and just in general, buddies. He got drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, was named the captain of his WCHA hockey team (Minnesota State @Mankato, with David Backes/Ryan Carter etc.), then turned pro.
As nagging injuries started to wear him down, his other gift – check that, gifts – took him in a different direction. He shut down hockey and committed to music, and here he is today. A year or two after making the transition the kid had a single on Canada’s country music chart (top 20, I think?).
Anyway, give him a listen at the very least, and hey, feel free to support not only a talented kid who writes/plays/sings quality country music (a feat in itself), but is also just an all-around good guy. There’s not a whole ton of those around. DO IT NOW OR I’LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND MAKE YOU LISTEN TO ACHEY BREAKY HEART. (Buy his stuff on iTunes)
Random sidenote: I love the pic of him that’s on the front page of Bourne’s Blog, all in a barn with rusted chains ‘n’ stuff. So country. ….Except we grew up in nice, suburban Kelowna.
Okayyyy, so it doth appear my NHL season schedule is finalized, and guess what? I have a column out every day! Suck on that, thin hopes of having a social life.
Here’s my schedule:
Mondays: Alternating weeks, my Monday column will be written for USA Today, or The Hockey News. Baaack and forth, all year long.
Tuesdays: Puck Daddy.
Wednesdays: Hockey Primetime
Thursdays: Puck Daddy
Friday: Puck Daddy.
While I love and respect all of my outlets, as you can tell, Puck Daddy will sort of be my home this year. Two of those columns each month will be with interviews with current or past NHLers, and one of those monthly entries will be a video. I’m hoping to two-birds-one-stone the interview/video once by drinking at a bar with @BizNasty2point0. He seems fun.
The blog will live on – I’ll provide links to that day’s article, and write all the nonsense stuff and curse words that are cathartic to get out.
I’ll also be doing a lot more radio. While I don’t have dates/times pinned down yet, it sounds like I’ll be a weekly guest on Kelly Hrudey’s show, then occasionally on wherever need be, like this past year. I’ll try to do a better job of letting people know where/when/how they can listen. If you don’t have it, TWITTER WOULD HELP YOU GET INSTANT INFO LIKE THAT. So, yeah, um, do that.
Thanks, thanks, thanks to all of you who supported me throughout this past season and made my blog such a success. I now have a GD career because of all of you, and for that, I’m forever indebted. And also for that, I reward you with a short video of my cat – not at his cutest, but havin’ a scrap with his old man.
Keep in mind, this cat is a kitten – 11 months old, and already at the top of the “your full-grown Scottish Fold/American Shorthair cat should weigh between 8 and 15 pounds” chart, with a year of “filling out” to go.
Short one today! Back at ‘er tomorrow, and I’ll letcha know when the Puck Daddy gig begins as soon as I know. You can read my latest piece for Hockey Primetime here, on how twitter may just create even duller superstars (if you can fathom it).
And now, just to balance the country music in the post, here’s the latest Big Boi single. I wanted to run “Tangerine”, but it’s kinda filthy, sooo… SHUTTERBUGG!
Sorry on the late post today folks. The good news is, my latest column is up on The Hockey News, about “the numbers game”, and how trying to figure it out in the off-season makes you crazy.
Friend of the blog Hooks Orpik was headed out to meet Mario Lemieux the other day, so I wanted to tell my Lemieux story, but um, twitter only tolerates 140 characters. So…. here. we. go.
Mario attends the Clark Gillies Charity Classic, which if we’re being honest, is a yearly golf tournament in which everyone gets “tipsy”, then gives fistfuls of money to sick and dying kids. The program is this: it’s an absolute blast, then Clark cries (and means it), then there’s an auction, then it’s a blast again. Essentially, you can re-create the experience if you just drink a bunch of red wine and send the foundation a blank cheque. (www.clarkgillies.org).
Well, as you probably know, Mr. Lemieux has a bit of an aura about him. And, I was never a crazy hockey fanboy or anything (cough*Sean Leahy*cough), but 66 was my favourite player, so that kind of adds to it. (Honorable mention to Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman.)
So, he had won the long drive contest at Clark’s event for three or four years running. This particular year, our group was the last one through the LD hole (and had consumed a few barleyhops sandwiches by then), so I teed one up high, took a Jason Zuback swing at it, and caught it on the screws – it passed the marker by a few feet. Which, yet again, had Lemieux’s name on it.
Now, to back up a little bit, it’s like $1500 a group (or maybe a guy? I think per guy, yeah) to enter the tourney. I was dating Bri and the time, and had promised to hang out with her and watch a par three for an ace or whatever it was volunteers did to help the charity then. But when there was a spot open…. why, yes, I do have a collared shirt, golf shoes, socks, clubs, balls, tees and an interest in playing.
So, Freebie Mooch Bourne was hesitant to write his name on the long drive marker. My drunken group however, thought it was an awesome idea.
Sooo, when they announced the winner of the long drive contest, and most people had seen Mario’s name on the marker while golfing, they started to clap during the introduction. Before even hearing the name.
Well, my name killed the buzz, and quick. I awkwardly sauntered up to the podium, took the driver I won, and sat down. I then immediately saw said driver get re-shafted and put in Clark Gilles golf bag. But hey, he more-than-deserves it for all he’s done for me.
….Back on track here….
Mario was waiting at the bar for a drink, so I decided to go say hello since I finally had a good topic to BS on at that point. I stood beside him while he talked to someone else, and I ordered a drink. As I did, I turned to talk to Bri (or whoever it was) and planned my intro. Always good to incorporate Dad in there at these things, I figured. “Hey, I’m Justin Bourne, you played against my Dad in blah blah blah.” Yep, that was it.
I turned back around to go for it and *poof* ninja dust, he’s gone.
Not even just like, walking away, but he Houdini’d his way right out of the building somehow. To this day, I have no idea what his escape route was. He had gone home for the night, and that was the last time I saw him (I missed Clark’s event this year with brokebloggeritis).
Still never met the guy. Eff me.
Join me for a hockey chat at 1 PM EST on Puck Daddy.
Heyyyyyy, it’s finally “back-to-normal-for-good” time! I ain’t goin’ nowheres, no-mores. Just straight weekday bloggin’ for the rest of the NHL season. Let’s strap in and come out swinging this morning, with the infectious, oh-so-viral Cee-Lo Green song you’ve probably already heard.
Mom, if you’re reading this, you have two options: skip hitting play on that song because of profanity, or listen to it and love it, because profanity doesn’t actually bother you as much as you pretend it does. (Love you and hope your feeling better, BTW). ….Just hit play:
And now, for your tongue-in-cheek, NHL duh-duh-duuhhhhh conspiracy talk of the day….
Friend of the blog Paul Grundy wrote me an email about the Kovalchuk contract situation, volunteering some form of this theory: is it possible that Lou intentionally drew up a contract so ridiculous that the NHL would have to red flag it? Y’know, so the league, owners and old-school GM’s could get the stupid-contract insanity to stop?
Paul’s theory was more along the line of “maybe Lou and Brian Burke were in cahoots to stop the madness and force the league to revisit other team’s stupid deals”. Mine (if I were to swing at a wild pitch) would be more that “maybe Lou and the league had some sort of mutual back-scratch agreement on that 17 year thing”.
(Note: judging by the NHL’s rejection of a follow-up contract, it’s safe to say there’s no “agreement” there, Bourne)
Paul’s idea stemmed from Lamoriello admitting at the presser ”contracts like these” shouldn’t be allowed (did he know at the time that the Kovy one wasn’t going to be?), and Burke’s testimony against the deal (as a GM with a relationship with Lou, who also hates those contracts).
Of course, I don’t actually think this is why the Kovalchuk contract thing happened. But it’s fun to think maybe Lou used it as an add-on to the “hey, why not” flavour the deal had - basically, they either get away with a criminal deal, or he gets the criminal deals stopped. Who knows, maybe that did cross his mind.
Either way, it’s fun to bat around (because remember, this blog isn’t exactly a news source). Especially since, if there’s any three NHL names you’d expect to be a part of some Skull ‘n’ Bones society, it’s guys like Lamoriello, Burke and Bettman.
What’s up tinfoil-hatters? They cook up this scheme on purpose?
Also…. JOSE BAUTISTA MIGHT MAYBE BE POSSIBLY ON STEROIDS.
Y’know what’s awesome? Those walking cane things with seats that fold down. Every time I’m in the lineup at like, the Post Office or something I immediately curse not being old.
I only spent about four hours all-told in the city when I was in New York last week, but man-oh-man do I love it. I took a few pics on my fancy new phone, so I’ll run those at the bottom of the blog if you’re interested. I immediately knew I was back in the heart of the city when a six-foot gender-neutral human passed me on a crosswalk, turned around and said “haaay white boyyyyyy”.
As a long-time stand-up comic connoisseur, I’ve thought about this before, but never really jotted it down:
Being a well-known, top-end stand-up comedian is goddamn hard. Well, you knew that. Let me elaborate.
It’s like trying to be one of the world’s best soccer players versus trying to do the same in hockey – the odds are against you in soccer based on sheer numbers.
What’s the ratio of people who grew up playing soccer versus hockey, like, 859:1? Had everyone in the world grown up on skates, we surely would’ve found a bajillion more talented people who were built to be studs at the game (and I’d be even less relevant). We even play soccer in Canada. That’s how big that game is – it’s played on frozen tundra.
Thus, stand-up comedy is closer to soccer than hockey. Think in high school – in every clique, the most well-liked kids are usually the ones that make their friends laugh. Goths, nerds, jocks, band kids, nerdy goth band kids, whoever – funny matters. And that’s where stand-up comics come from. The funniest of the funny. The cream rising to the top of all the crappy swing-and-a-missers in each and every group.
Whether you realize it or not, we spend years weeding out the funny people, making it part of who they see themselves as being, and thus, all of life has basically been a comedy tryout for everyone. Comedians were originally found by their friends. You’re so funny. You’re hilarious.
Comics epiphany: Wait a sec – maybe I’m really funny.
Sure, any socially unaware idiot can go try to be a stand-up comic (which is why small-town comedy clubs are a crapshoot for your fun factor), but none of those people actually make it. The best of the best – your Seinfelds, say - had to overcome insane “funny odds”, since everyone has tried to be funny. Except I assume, in like, North Korea or somewhere. Maybe they keep the guffaws to a minimum there.
I dunno. That was rattling around in my head.
Okay, my New York visit. I try not to do too much tourist stuff there (because I am one, thus, I’m hated) – instead, my preference is to wander aimlessly and people watch.
But this time, just to say I did it once, I happily “got robbed” for 20 bucks and went to “The Top of the Rock” (Rockefeller Building), so that’s where those pics farther down are from. The rest are just random pics, mostly of the Gillies’ dogs, soooo…. enjoy.
Mmmm, long-distance cell phone video of NYC….
A few seconds of my playing wit a wittle puppy named Cash.
Cash is over a year old now, and over 150 lbs, I’d guess.
This is Bruce, the “small” one of the three.
That’s it that’s all. See ya tomorrow!
The Hockey Greats Fanatasy Camp stole my voice. Fully theived it. Thus, I was forced to put off the debut episode of the “Bloge Salming Podcast”…. until today.
For your listening pleasure, everything you already knew about me, only this time in a 19 minute conversation with none other than Mr. Salming himself. I’m a tad disheveled, but it came together alright!
Big thanks to Bloge for having me on, and if you haven’t seen his work before, it’s must-check-out stuff.
My favourite piece of Bloge work: Olympic Welcome Rap
Well, everything is all finalized for the Fantasy Camp. For our guests that read my blog, you’ll enjoy the rest of this entry. For the rest of you, hopefully you’ll find it appealing for next year! Our itinerary!
HOCKEY GREATS FANTASY CAMP
Wednesday, August 4th – Check-in Day
Whenever-you-get-here-o’clock: CHECK IN!
Grab a gift bag, get your room key, make yourself comfortable and grab a drink.
4:30 — We’ll have appetizers, beverages and introductions on the patio, and will use tonight as a casual get-to-know-each-other. There will be an open bar until 8:00p.m, a cash bar after, and all the free beer (and other drinks) you can handle up in the hospitality suite (you’ve got keys and it’s loaded with wonderful Okanagan Spring 1516 and Pale Ale), but don’t feel pressured to keep up with the well-seasoned livers of our ex-NHLers. (Disclaimer: The Bourne boys will be staying in the hospitality suite, and reserve the right to kick you the eff out when it gets too late. Sincerely, one of the Bourne boys)
For our guests: we only invite NHLers that are fun, engaging people (with the exception of Clark Gillies who’s here out of family obligation), so introduce yourselves and sit wherever, it’s your camp.
Thursday, August 5th – Hockey & Golf Day
7:00a.m. – 9:00a.m. — At any point in that time-window, a nice Breakfast will be available in the Grand Reserve Room for all our guests (walk out the front door of the lobby and straight into the connected building).
9:00 — Bus leaves for Royal Lepage Place. *BRING HOCKEY GEAR AND GOLF CLUBS
10:00 – 10:45 — On-ice stuff: warm-up, a few drills, a few pulled groins, that sort of thing. If you want extra help or some tips, ask! Otherwise we’ll assume you prefer to just do what you do.
11:00 – 12:00 — Scrimmage. Celebrities have been divided into teams, and our guests have both black & white jerseys, so you’ll switch which group of pro’s you play with each day.
12:whenever — Hop on bus to Shannon Lake Golf Course. Lunch will be provided courtesy Augustino’s Restaurant. (Note: At this time a limousine will pick-up the wives and other family members for the Okanagan wine tour.)
2:00 shotgun start — A leisurely round of golf (as in, format non-specific. Just enjoy your round)
Free, social evening — Some may need naps, some may need drinks – do your thing, it’s been a long day.
Friday, August 6th – Hockey & Houseboat & Hotstove Day
7:00a.m. – 9:00a.m. — Breakfast
9:00 — Bus
10:00 – 10:45 — On-ice stuff: warm-up, a few drills, more pulled groins, etc.
11:00 – 12:00 — Scrimmage
*We have a fairly quick transition here – the houseboat is 12:30 – 4:30, so shower up and hit the bus!
12:30 – 4:30 — Aforementioned houseboat, with a great lunch spread provided by Original Joe’s.
6:00p.m. — Down to the patio for the “Hot Stove”, sandwiches, and the open bar. You’re welcome to ask any and all questions to our group of NHLers – a group that owns over 20 rings and boasts five Hall-of-Famers
Saturday, August 7th – The Big Game
9:00a.m. — 11:00a.m. – Breakfast
11:45 — Pro’s depart on bus for autograph signing with the public
12:45 — Guests depart on bus for arena
2:00 — The Big Game. We play for the VT Cup (in honour Victor Thomas Bourne), and the right to have your name permanently etched on the side. Bob Bourne? Two for two. Justin? Oh-fer. There will be a small crowd, and all ticket sales will go to the Rick Hansen Foundation. (The foundation will have a presence at the camp all week via their ambassadors Jeff Bourne and Stef Barber)
5:30 — Wind-up Gala begins. As per usual, open bar with wine and other drinks
6:00p.m. — Dinner is served (Carved roast beef & salmon), closing statements and thank you’s.