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One-Touch Passes and MY CAT



My blog rules.

Since I haven’t been writing as many of my traditional blogs, my TBAF has gotten over-stuffed.  Of course, most of the hockey stuff has to be saved for column fodder, but the other stuff needs to be discussed too.

Let’s touch on a few of the topics from there.


Kobe Bryant recently claimed he learned how to be great from being mentored by Michael Jackson.


I’m sure they talked on the phone and knew each other and whatever, but this is Kobe’s, what, 15th NBA season?  After five titles and all his success this is the first time he’s mentioned it, or publicly thanked him or anything?  It never came up in a previous interview on how he got to where he is?

Usually the whole “mentor” thing comes up.  Kinda like what my uncle Ken does for me with writing/business-y stuff.  There.  Now you know.

It just came up that they used to talk; once anyone becomes a celebrity they love for people to think they’re more weird/unique/different than they are. 

My hunch is, Kobe wasn’t “mentored” by MJ.  He knew him.


Bri’s sister Brooke is 5’10 and was a volleyball player.  Her husband is almost 6’5″ and was a football player.  They just had a 9.4lb baby boy with Gillies blood named “Achillies,” (his family is greek) I’m in charge of making him a hockey player.  Beware, NHLers in 20 years or so.


I need to write a column about being a good player on a bad team vs. a good player on a good team.  What’s the better situation for maximizing your stats?  More minutes or better linemates?  I’m 90% sure I’m going to argue good-on-good is always better unless someone changes my mind.


Wheeled bags: adult men, just stop it.

I know that’s obvious and an easy target, but for fuck’s sake.  If you’re coming to the rink to get some exercise, let’s just go crazy and carry that thing.


Few things in this world are less useful than voicemail unless you have information to leave.  If you leave a “Hey, looks like I missed you, give me a call” message, c’mon.  EVERYONE HAS CALLER ID NOW.  I hate checking messages.  Actually….I hate talking on the phone period.  Just text me.

I hear there’s a program that you can get you your v-mails in text form, but it costs a couple bucks a month.  Someday, people.  Someday it will be mine.


A plug:  Hockey doesn’t get as much love as some of the other websites I write for, but they’re doing some good things these days with more in store.  They’re making a push at growing the radio and video parts of the business, so check out their site periodically.

Here’s my latest for them, on the etiquette of celebrating a goal.


Bruno Gervais fought Colin White this morning. Or more accurately, he fought Colin’s fist with his face.  Noble act, sticking up for Parenteau, but man….. it didn’t look fun.

What’re you supposed to do though, when a big thug runs someone?  You know you aren’t going to win the fight, but you know you’re supposed to stick up for a guy….. just baseball swing him?  At least Gervais did the “honorable” (stupid?) thing.


Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!  I know we did over here – I’m a disgusting fat mess of human.  To make up for that, I’ll probably do 20 mins on the treadmill, then eat thanksgiving leftovers for the second time today and go out for drinks with the wife tonight.

Thaaaat’ll skinny me up.

Cat-heavy Black Friday post.  First, a video of Tyson’s discovery that water comes from the tap (followed by a good amount of lolcats speak and Tyson biting Bri).

 And second, him playing with the strap from Bri’s bathing suit and purring….


37 Responses to “One-Touch Passes and MY CAT”
  1. Dooz says:

    Watching the Isles right now. Poor Gervais. Got smacked around trying to do the right thing AND got a penalty for getting tagged to boot. Maybe he could have come in with the gloves still on since I don’t think he’s ever won a fight and given White a nasty shove or two.
    If you walk into a rink with a wheeled hockey bag you’d better have either goalie pads or a vagina. One or the other. No gray area there.
    Have your voice mail deactivated so the caller can’t leave a message. I would but some of my family is still rockin a Commodore 64 and haven’t figured out e-mail or texting yet.

  2. hills says:

    You can route your voicemail through gmail’s phone service. It will do voice to text (not always well, but it makes me laugh to read the mistakes) and the audio message can be emailed back to you. Then you can delete it directly from your email.

  3. Scott says:

    About wheeled bags: while I tried one and didn’t like it because of the way it was designed, I know why some guys use them: pulling the bag is easier on our backs. You’ll get to that point eventually.

    About Tyson and the tap: you’ve created a monster. Our cat now jumps up on the counter and insists that we turn on the tap for him.

  4. caps says:

    Something I’ve learned from my buddys who drive kids to and from hockey – wheeled bags don’t bend in a trunk, making them very ineffecient if you have more than one. I’ve yet to seen an adult with a wheeled bag in my neck of the woods, and hope I never do.

  5. GiL says:

    >Wheeled bags: adult men, just stop it.
    >I know that’s obvious and an easy target, but for fuck’s sake. If you’re coming to the rink to get some exercise, >let’s just go crazy and carry that thing.

    Amen brother!! When I see those wheelie bags @ the rink I try to take note of their face and/or stick & try to make their night a living hell.


    ~~I guess that’s why I play at 11PM and not at 7PM~~

  6. afro thunder says:

    Long time listener, first time caller.
    I need to be on a good team. I’m one of those players who is good with good players, but not good enough to make my teammates better.
    I know this is an exaggerated example, but I’m sure the same applies on a smaller scale between teams in the same league….
    After playing college hockey (div 2), where I was logging 20-27 minutes a game in my last few seasons as a shut down d-man, I started playing in the local men’s league. Having played the highest level hockey out of everyone on the team and 95% of guys in the league, they all expected me to be good. The shutdown dman game doesn’t translate well into a non-contact rec league though. My game was all about good angles, taking the body, making good outlet passes…as well as being an expert in “off the glass and out.” The ultimate simple game, basic and safe. Coaches like that.
    Then I start playing men’s league and everyone’s expecting big things from the college guy. But I can’t hit, there’s never teammates in the right position for a good outlet pass. I’m not that fast, and have no hands, so I can’t dangle everyone in the league.
    1 goal in 10 games probably not what they expected….but hey, I don’t get scored on.

  7. Rich says:

    If you want to argue from the good-on-bad perspective I think you could use Ilya Kovalchuk as a case study. He certainly put up more numbers when he was playing in Atlanta. Now in New Jersey he isn’t producing. Maybe New Jersey now is worse than Atlanta was and Atlanta was the good-on-good and New Jersey is the good-on-bad. Just something to think about.

  8. Pep says:

    “Bri’s sister Brooke is 5’10 and was a volleyball player. Her husband is almost 6’5″ and was a football player. They just had a 9.4lb baby boy with Gillies blood named “Achillies,” (his family is greek) I’m in charge of making him a hockey player. Beware, NHLers in 20 years or so.”

    Justin, don’t take this the wrong way but maybe you should let his grandfather do that :) ) As for the wheeled bags, your young yet. Give it another 5-7 years and you will be writing a blog calling them the best thing since composite sticks. Love your writing. Keep it up.

  9. Andrew R says:

    +1 for getting google voice.

    When I got my new phone I started giving out a google voice number that I will keep forever. (Even if I switch phones, carriers, etc)

    Text transcription is just one of the many features.

  10. Mark says:

    Long (relative, I guess) time reader, first time caller here. Flushed out by the wheelie bag talk.

    God I hate those things. I currently use the same bag I got when I was 8 years old, which was 19 years ago. I swear, when that thing eventually disintegrates I will never play another game of hockey in my life.

    My rec league dressing room is dominated by wheel bags. Not only do they suck, but they also take up significantly more space in the room, which is just wonderful when Mr. “I show up during warmups” comes into the already-full room and dumps his dumbass hockey cart on top of my shit.

    What’s worse than the wheel bags, you ask? Watching guys roll their wheel bags along the corridor, past the stairs, rumbling away the whole time, and then STAND THERE AND WAIT FOR THE ELEVATOR so that they don’t have to go up the one flight of stairs. No kidding our team gets murdered in the 3rd every game, right? The elevator. Seriously, you’re 25 and you’re rolling your bag into a fucking elevator.

  11. jtbourne says:

    *I* found that comment cathartic and I didn’t even write it. Welcome, Mark and AfroThunder!

  12. Derek says:

    Good team versus bad team: It totally depends on the level of the player and the level of the players around you(obviously). If you are the third wheel with two great players it obviously is better than being the best guy on a worse team. Conversely, if you are a great player stuck with shitty linemates it is gonna hurt you.

    Another part of it is where you fit with the team. A guy on one team may be a 1st line, 1st pp guy and a 2nd line, 2 pp guy on a better team, which can make a pretty big difference. I think the biggest difference would be in the guys who are 2nd liners on a crappy team. Those guys that are decently skilled but don’t contribute much elsewhere. On a good team they can’t play on a scoring line and don’t have the skillset to be a regular checking line player.

  13. Matt says:

    Wheeled bags: You get a pass if you have major back issues. My dad has a terrible back at times, and I can feel it starting for me (biking and skiing a tonne will do that), and anything that will help that pain is okay by me.

    Maybe better south of the border, but CID in Canada is like 7 or 8 bucks a month. Fuck that shit. Voicemail sucks too though.

  14. jtbourne says:

    I will liberally dole out bad back passes.

  15. andy says:

    the only acceptable wheeled bag is the one made by bauer that has a cooler.

  16. MattyJ says:

    Wheeled bags: I’m a city dweller and play at rinks with no parking lots. I might have to park more than five blocks away. The wheeled bag has saved my arm/back many a time. Of course, I’m out of shape, which doesn’t help. Ha ha.

    In the case of my beer league, I play at a rink in a crummy part of a pretty dowtrodden city, sometimes as late as 11:00pm on a Sunday night. I’ve never been mugged, but some others have. If I’m ever confronted you better believe that extra second I gain between dropping the bag/handle and swinging the stick is going to be worth it.

    Other than that, I guess I’m just a sissy. My bag works for ME, I don’t work for my bag.

  17. Jwise514 says:

    Achilles Gillies? That’s a silly name

  18. Ryan says:

    Try hauling a bag across Manhattan (2 subways, approx. 15 blocks and about 300 wtf is that rancid smell looks) with a herniated disc and one hell of a hangover and then tell me wheelie bags aren’t a great idea.

    /someone who’s pride has not allowed him to actually purchase said wheelie bag

  19. Meg Jarrell says:

    Tyson is possibly the coolest dude in the history of cats. Love that kid :)

  20. Braden says:

    “Achilles Gillies? That’s a silly name”

    The mother has/had the last name Gillies, the kid would have his dads last name.

  21. Karen From Rochester says:

    wheeled bags…yeah. I don’t play hockey, but some people where I work use those stupid wheeled backpacks, and the sound of those thundering across the ceramic tiles in our first floor lobby is incredibly annoying in the morning when I’m trying to wake up. So I can only guess how annoying the wheeled hockey bags are!
    Tyson is cool! Love that purr-motor.

  22. Deirdre says:

    Justin, if you’d like an invite to Google Voice I’ve still got one left. You need a Google login (but it doesn’t have to be a gmail account).

    Written voicemail is just the first awesome step. My personal favorite is different voicemail messages for different lists of people (family gets 1, friends get a 2nd, unknown numbers a 3rd…)

  23. Steve C. says:

    …Mark and AfroThunder…top comments of the month!

  24. LaurenceB says:

    You can never go wrong with Hochey and LolzCute!Cat
    Thanks Justin!

  25. NHL fan says:

    Pep……LOL….. Let’s hope young Achillies listens better than Bertuzzi…..

  26. Alanna says:

    You sir, need a child. The human kind. ;-) Google Voice is cool for managing voicemail, and you don’t need an invite anymore, just a Google account, which you already have.

  27. Miriam says:

    I hated, hated, HATED my voicemail-to-text. I always had to go and listen to the message anyway because the text message would not be even CLOSE to the real message. I thought the idea of it was cool, but the execution was terrible. And then, when I went to go cancel that, they actually shut my entire voicemail off. Yeah, that was fun…

    As for the cat videos, adorable! My cat attacks us from under the door as we walk by and will just lay there, looking up at you, if you actually open the door. They’re funny creatures sometimes. :)

  28. jtbourne says:

    Yyyyyeeeahhhhhhh…….. Archie Kapetanakos.

  29. Jeff K says:

    I’m the beer guy for my team. Add a 2-4 or a 2-4 and a 12(Saturday games) and then carry.

    Think about that next time you see an old (40) guy wheeling in a bag.

  30. Richie says:

    Good/bad team : I can only comment from a goalie perspective and for bad teams, depends how bad. Flat out terrible smoked every game no one player/goalie can turn that around but a weak team with some upside is the best to play on. I get a kick outta helping underdog teams beat supposedly better teams that take you for granted. On the flip side I’ve played on some dominant teams and it’s not fun because you get a shutout – it’s because of the team being so good – you give up a few goals and it’s all your fault worst of both worlds.

    Wheely bags – like numerous people have said bad back is the only reason but I would hazard a guess that bad backs are only like 20% of wheely bag users. The other 80% are lazy douchebags. I’ve had teammates/had guys at pickup who have girlfriends/kids carry their sticks ASWELL as using wheely bag – life fail.

  31. Shawn says:

    Shouldn’t Clark be leading the effort to turn his grandson into an NHL player? :-P

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Stop with the wheeled hockey bags. Especially up here in Canada where for half the season you’re pulling that thing through the snow. If a hockey is too much for one shoulder, buy the backpack style.

    Re: Thanksgiving Day exercise, just wheel your hockey bag around the neighbourhood for 20 minutes ;-)

  32. SDC says:

    Being a good player on a bad team is probably just above bad player/bad team in ranking. In fact, I’d say being a bad player on a good team would be more desirable. At least if you’re bad and have good support around you, you can learn, and get better by benefiting from good players’ examples/assistance. As a good player on a bad team, you have high expectations, and likely have minimal quality for teammate support. Unless you hat trick every game (and even if you do, actually), you’re more likely to end up with a ton of playing time, nobody to pass to/knows anything about positional play, a lot of minuses, a team frustrated that you’re not carrying them to victory every game, and a brain that contemplates ways to permanently turn itself off at every game’s end.

  33. dwgs says:

    What if you’re an old guy (44) bringing a 4 year old and an 8 year old to practice? Wheely or no wheely?

  34. Richie says:

    Chris Chelios respectfully disagrees with your assessment of 44 as “old”.

  35. willdangleu4sure says:

    First time/sort of long time:
    Bourne, someday you and your girl are gonna look back at the cat video and laugh your asses off. Get married, have a kid and the cats will become 2nd class citizens. My wife’s first baby, errrr dog, named Maddy became the “god damned” dog the day we brought my son home. Mark my words.

    I prefer to be the better player on a bad line/team. More fun to carry the play and ring up the assists IMO. Wheel bags = sure sign of evil in the world. From what I have heard, USA Hockey is going to require them soon for squirts and under.

    @Afro thunder: In my pick up hockey circles and beer league, a ‘has been’ shut down defenseman usually goes by another name; douchebag.

  36. MikeK says:

    Being old with younger kids doesn’t give you a pass on the bags. If the kid’s practicing/playing, they can carry/wheel their own bag.

    I should mention, Mites and down get an exception from the wheeling rule, providing they do it themselves.

    The good on good or bad argument really depends on how you rank within the team. The best player on a good team is normally going to be the guy with the big time numbers. If you’re a good 2nd line center on a good team, you’re still a 2nd line center.

    Put the same guy on a bad team where he can play first line minutes, I think he has better stats. Not as good as the first line center on a good team, but still better than what he had.

  37. Simone says:

    Did you see the Grammy noms?

    Cee-Lo Green’s “F— You”/”Forget You” was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. I think you should get partial credit ’cause you linked it in your blog and really got a lot of folks to hear it.

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