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The Truth Doesn't Always Hurt

 

The hypocrisy of honesty is an interesting mainstay in our society.

From telling kids “real beauty is on the inside” like Jim Carrey admits is garbage in Liar Liar, to our own personal relationships, where we agree it’s just easier to tell our large, pregnant wives that they look great, for fear of the backlash - we allow certain levels of untruth.

I just read the first chapter of Kevin Sites book “In The Hot Zone”, where he spends time alone in 20 war zones over the span of one year.  Sites had a crazy incident in Fallujah a couple years ago where he happened to videotape a Marine shooting an unarmed, wounded insurgent in the back of the head.

He faced a dilemma – release the tape to NBC, his employer (who was in a media pool, agreeing to release the tape to other news stations), and risk the backlash (losing trust from the Marines, backlash from the insurgents with suicide bombings, being labeled anti-American…), or act like it never happened and bury it.

Sites released a slightly cleaner version where the video pauses before the actual shooting, but the sound carries on.  Viewers aren’t confused about the outcome.

He was under a journalistic code of ethics – seek and report the truth (he adds that few outside the profession realize the disclaimer while minimizing harm).  Hate mail and death threats later, it’s obvious his life could have been easier without telling the truth, but he had the courage to relate it to the world.

So I got to thinking.

UnderScore on Sirius 98 asked me to interview partly to discuss maintaining a personality in sports, where the professionals are so often groomed in PR training (every team I ever played for gave a list of advice, safe answers, and things to avoid saying).

But in the context of Kevin Sites (and the other stories he tells, like the one about Eddie Adams, the award-winning photographer in Vietnam who says he “killed a General” by capturing him doing what he shouldn’t have done – leading to the Generals downfall), …is “bulletin board material” that big of a deal, hockey players?

Do we have to spend time training our athletes to watch what they say?  Would it be such a crisis to hear Sidney Crosby say “of course we’re going to beat Philly, Biron is awwwwful… you’ve seen the guy play!”

I loved the interview with Calvin Borel after he won the Kentucky Derby – tears and honesty everywhere.  Before the Preakness they asked him about his chances, and he straight faced told them he was going to win, and he was sure of it. 

It was so refreshing.  Clearly, jockeys don’t undergo the same type of media training, or scrutiny.  Bob Costas looked caught-off-guard by the actual honest answer, and could barely stammer out a response.

The truth here, is that we’re just. playing. sports.

Some things are better left unsaid, for sure.  But we need to stop over-hyping verbal miscues (24 hour sports and news networks are filling time for about 16 of those hours, I’d guess) and gives these guys some space.  I, for one, don’t enjoy the rantings of Jeremy Roenick, but I appreciate his candor.

So speak up puck-jockeys!  There are people in this world with real, important things going on, and you’re shooting vulcanized rubber into twine.  If I hear one more stagnant hockey interview I’m buying a Terrell Owens jersey and switching sports.

GET’CHA POPCORN READY!

Go Away's and Hurray's

 

Since day one of this years playoffs, I’ve been hating on the ‘Canes.

Today will be no different.

For one, I’m in no danger of upsetting any readers because nobody outside of Raleigh-Durham likes them.  This year, they’ve taken their mediocre uni’s, players I don’t know and fans who think a red line is how you know your NASCAR engine is revving to high through Boston and New Jersey.

Impressive feats.  They’ve hurt the leagues chances at an all-original six finals.  They’ve crushed a Boston fan base who deserved some post-season success.  And worst of all?  They used to be the Hartford Whalers.  I realize it’s cool now to claim you liked the Nordiques, Whalers and Jets, but I loathed every one of those teams.

So like I was saying, congrats to the Carolina Hurricanes.

*****

Good on ya Red Wings.  There is more parity in hockey than baseball, basketball or football, and for the Wings to be this good for this long is a testament to their organization. 

Someone is doing something right, especially when they continue to do it with a goaltender who finished this regular season 41st in GAA, and 45th in save percentaege.  I literally had to hit “next” on the list of top 30 goaltenders to find his stats.

*****

So, I’ve had my first serious Obama disappointment.  After all his campaigning about eliminating the stupid “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy, he bailed and is continuing on with it, recently letting one of the US’s mere 54 Arabic translators go.  As Jon Stewart mentioned, “near drowning 80-some people is morally justifiable for the military, but if you have a boyfriend… ho ho ho, time to go”.

“You can make ‘em talk, but you can’t make ‘em talk English.”

*****

I love The Roots as a band.  Always have.  Wasn’t sure what to make of them being on the Jimmy Fallon show, but now I’m sold.  They make it tick.

*****

What the broken bats is going on with David Ortiz?  Did he back off the “vitamin injections” with this new drug testing chaos?  Homie went 0 for 7 last night, stranding TWELVE runners in a 5-4 Sox loss.  That ain’t good.

*****

So, I’m a little concerned that as it gets to be summer, I’m going to hate my computer more.  I gotta golf today.  If you haven’t been to Kelowna, BC in the spring, you’re missing out.

*****

I think the hosts of Canada’s SportsCentre might be funnier than the US’s SportsCenter.  Unless it’s Scott Van Pelt and Kenny Mayne, in which case nobody is funnier… but the most part, I’ll give the nod to Canada.

*****

Okay, that’s all for today folks!  Hockey starts back up on Sunday, so in the meantime I’ll be keeping it random!  Or will I….

Simply Opinions

 

My immediate reaction to Tom Daschle withdrawing his nomination for head of US health was frustration.  I felt like media scrutiny in the US had forced the administration to eliminate the most qualified candidate.  Everybody seemed pretty excited about health care reform, and they had the perfect guy for the job.  Well, good.

But the more I think about it…. taxes?  You didn’t pay your taxes?  Whatever the figure was (I think it was around a whopping $128,000), it was owed “over a period of years”.  I have to believe as a government employee taxes is a topic that comes up on occasion.  And, you know you need to have them square if you hope to achieve higher office.  Both Daschle and Geithner, when made aware of their tax debts, just paid the balance off like it was a late cell phone bill.  It drives me nuts that the US could possibly have a less successful health policy because 1 guy is smart enough to make the right changes, yet dumb enough to try to shirk tax payments.  Straighten up.

While I’m stringing people up for being fools, let’s hang Clemens.  Roger Clemens at age 40 looked like a billboard throwing a golf ball.  Okay, you did steroids, fine.  Everything about his career was hall-of-fame, and so he was placed on the appropriate pedestal.  When he sat at home and watched Sammy “Rosetta Stone”  Sosa and Pierre Mark McGuire forget English and commit perjury respectively, he must have been just. so. happy. it wasn’t him.  So when things unfolded for him, you would think he’d have learned something.

Roger was too attached to his stats and fame to place his future and family first.  Had he just come out and said “I did steroids” when this all started, he would have faced minor punishment, and a tarnished image.  Hell, when Clemens started doing the drugs there wasn’t a policy in baseball against it, who could blame him for keeping up with the (Chipper) Jonses? 

Now Roger Clemens has commited perjury too, and could potentially see jail time.  His family must really appreciate his priorities.  It’s embarrassing watching a legend lie, like a child caught crayon-in-hand against the wall saying they didn’t do it.  And sidenote: what kind of life were these guys living?  Their wives were comparing implants at a party?  Nothing like a dose of reality when that reality is 1 hour sunshine time once a day.  At least he’s really strong.

On the sports theme, I intend to write an article about my time at Islanders main camp some day.  From my experiences, the players who have achieved actual success in the NHL are ones who are the least prone to point out their talents.  Older players like Bill Guerin and Doug Weight may be a constant topic of forum debate for fans (are they worth the money), but the quick answer is that they’ve earned it.  Bill Guerin is your old-school, ultra classy player, who commands respect and gives it back.  The Islanders are heavy on super-young talent, and having a guy like Guerin there to teach them, if nothing else, is worth his salary and more.

Presidential Ibloguration

 

Cindy McCain is hot.  I don’t think anybody would disagree with me here.  I used to see John McCain in years past on the Daily Show or wherever else he was allowed to be himself and he was an awesome guy.  I distinctively remember thinking “man, that’s one Republican I could get behind” (please keep in mind this was years ago, before they attached the marionette strings – sidebar – did anyone else think that McCain moved liked those wooden characters in the Canadian Robaxacet commercials?  I guess Hotel Hanoi will do that to you).  He was smart and funny, and actually, pretty liberal.  One great thing about Canadian politics (it sounds like there aren’t many these days) is that the choice stretches beyond A or B.  You would think in a country with 304 million-ish people, the US would like to extend their selection beyond 2.  The country is divided, sure, but not into two groups.  McCain was forced to act like he held every Republican belief even though he winced when he lied because that was the group that happened to pick him.  But wow, was that a digression.  Cindy McCain is hot.  Does anybody feel bad for John out there?  He doesn’t have to deal with the stress of this country’s recession, he just got even more stupid famous, he’s dumb rich, his wife is crazy hot, and he owns so many houses he can’t tell you the exact figure (7)… the man is gonna be fine. 

How exciting is it that Barack Obama is taking over?  It just seems it should be a given that the President be smart, but it’s been 8 years.  He’s very smart.  With great social skills, and energy.  He seems to have wonderful core values (thanks for the buzz word, CNN) and his wife is unbelievable.  If you ask me, she’s more likely to be the first female president than Bitterly Clinton.   

It’s just an amazing time in the US and they really needed something positive like this here.  It’s like when you’re sick and you start your course of antibiotics.  They won’t kick in right away, but you really hope to see some positive changes before too long.  And when you do, feeling that little bit better is going to feel a whole lot better.  It’s a proud day to be an American, because enough people got over bigotry and bitterness to elect the right person, despite his skin colour.  He won the election handily, and was black.  It would have been a run away if he wasn’t (Slavery isn’t coming back Georgia, catch up).  The smooth transition of power is not a given in every country in the world, and it’s a pretty special day for democracy, not to be corny.  Things are going to be tough the next little while in the US, with ripples up to Canada, but it feels good to know that the man in charge is really going to be trying.  Trying, like that was too much to ask from Bush.

Bush.  It almost seemed like Bush was that kid you tried and tried to teach to do something, and when the kid couldn’t, he got frustrated and gave up entirely.  He was CLEARLY underqualified (the guy didn’t even get good GRADES.  He didn’t excel at anything, actually.  How did this happen?  How did he get any votes?), but once he was elected, he got the only job you can’t be fired from.  The only boss-less (the public is his boss, blahblah yeah, nice hire.) job in the US, and this guy knew it.  He  just played around his whole life, the ultimate life of privilege, and it was nauseating to watch.  “I’m a ranch-hand, ya’ll” YOU’RE FROM CONNECTICUT!  Breathe… breathe…. okay…. okay.  It’s over Justin… It’s over. 

 (I picked a nice image of him, because we’ve all seen the other ones, and it seemed redundant)

Today, I’m going to the oral surgeon to get the wires on my teeth replaced with rubber bands, enabling me to open my mouth for the first time in 40 days.  After I make a quick stop to buy a rake to remove the fur from the inside of my teeth, I’m going to make my first stop at the gym to sweat out some toxins (not that my organs care, 6 weeks of antibiotics, painkillers, and nausea medicine have hardly blackened them, I’m sure).  Then I’m going to come home and watch CNN in sweat pants and get swallow food with some texture (still no chewing).  Either way, Its a happ-happ-happy day people.  Rejoice!Add to Technorati Favorites

Blog-ojevich, and People Who Matter

 

Fitzy of Boston

This guy is basically the reason I’m moving to Boston.  Sure, he’s the stereotypical Mass-hole (I love that expression), but what’s not to love?  The people in Boston love their sports.  Adore.  Obsess? …Yeah, they obsess over their sports.  There’s something appealing about living in a place where playing the gentlemen is borderline offensive (“who’s this queen?”).  It’s one of the last places you’re allowed to indulge every man-urge you want.  It’s probably not the formula for a perfectly functioning society, but for a Canadian kid, the entertainment value is high.  Just check out Fitzy’s webcast before last years Superbowl:                                                                                                                            *Disclaimer: May contain language not suitable for children, or people who gave birth to me.  You can imagine how the follow-up webcasts went.  I know it’s pretty low-brow, but come on… you laughed.

Rod Blagojevich

My favourite joke du jour is Jon Stewarts “Rod Blagojevich, seen here being digested head-first by some sort of hair shaped alien…”  Blagojevich looks like the mama bird might come back any second to feed the starving chicks on his head.  It looks like if he were to come in out of the cold, he would take off that thing on his head and have bad hair underneath.  The only thing funnier than this mans hair is the legitimacy of his level of corruption.  He’s like Bond-movie-evil-villain bad, complete with legitimate triple long laugh and slow mustache twirl.  I keep waiting for the breaking news about him escaping to a secret lair and exposing the star-cannon he’s had aimed at Earth this whole time.  And he’ll use it if we don’t comply with his requests (I can see Blagojevich decreeing “Henry Burris is to be an Illinois state Senator!” and Obama going “Is this guy still on that?”).  I assume the blueprint for the plot has been written on his forehead this whole time.

Boo Weekley

Never has anyone made me laugh and like them so much while simultaneously embarrassing me so much as Boo Weekly during last years Ryder Cup.  He’s like a parody of what people pretend hicks are.  It’s like SNL or Mad TV tried to make a funny hick skit, but it flopped because the person over-acted the role (over-acting in SNL?… noooo).  This is the guy who said “it’s been a windwhirl” while wiping his brow.  How can you not like a guy with a bottom lip dip of Redman in while putting for national pride.  Talk about an apt representation.  If I were Lee Westwood (who was politely bothered by Boo’s attempts to fire up the crowd), I think I would have had to laugh.  Boo didn’t even look athletic enough to make that awkward motion athletes make to pump up the crowd (And how about that motion? It’s getting pretty overused isn’t it? I just saw Tim Tebow do it after he was announcing he was coming back for another year.  The fans are grateful and love you Tim, they’re showing their appreciation.  Asking for “more effort” out of their thank-you sort seems needy).  Maaayyybe he further pigeon-holed us into the pigeon-cave Bush dug with the Europeans.  But come on.  The guy rode his driver off the tee-box at an international event.  Now that’s what being an American is about!Add to Technorati Favorites

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