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A Few Quick Thoughts

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Alright, let’s talk game one of the WNBA Western Conference Finals tonight!  ………..ahhhhh, I’m just playin’.  This is a sports blog.

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A little Gretzky reflection yesterday brought this thought a-bubblin’:  How amazingly underpraised is his slapshot from his playing days?  Everyone talks about the vision and playmaking (both head and shoulders above anyone), but man, that guy played in the treetrunk era of sticks and could knock waterbottles off like he was looking through a scope.

{The year after my Dad retired, he took my bro and I through the Kings dressing room – Gretzky signed his silver aluminum game stick and gave it to my brother and I (did you know he had custom foam grips on those?  Not tape?  Weird).  Oblivious to the fact that the stick may be something of value aside from the fact that it was reeeally shiny, we used it in the house on occassion.  Which, in retrospect, was a great call - the smudged writing looks super.}

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I recently tried to pretend that I was pleasantly surprised by the “tier one” rec hockey in Phoenix.  It was a lie.  If it were an aroma, it’d be bad enough to make you dry-heave.

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The NFL network provides original programming, up-to-date news around the league, and neat shows that play NFL audio, or tell the whole story of famous games in history.

The NHL network is re-playing the 2008 playoffs (fair enough), sandwiched by mediocre games from playoffs in the 80′s and 90′s.  It’s like ESPN Classic: Just Kidding Edition.  Can I get some current NHL news, more than a preseason game a day or something?  Why has the NHL not hired me yet? 

Hell, I’ll sit behind a desk and let someone take cellphone videos of me talking about recent happenings around the league so Americans can have some idea of what’s going on in the world of hockey.  That might even be the name of the show… “Recent Crap That Happened, with Justin Bourne”.  Who wouldn’t prefer that to game five of the 1989Wales Conference semi-finals?

Somebody, run that damn station, please!  At least hire some kid to sneak into TSN and record their show Blair Witch style, so we can get some coverage, anything!

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I spent years with my nose in the air, claiming I prefered beer bottles to cans.  But after some introspection, I think I’ve been living a lie.

I like the *crack!Pzzszszszs* sound of the can.  I like playing with the tab.  Denting the empty’s.  I mean, some beer, like a Corona, has to be in the bottle (and of course, good beer, like microbrews).  But for those times when I’m having more than one, I think I’m coming to grips with the facts that I like cans.  Anti-foaming agent and all.

Come on passionate beer enthusiasts (a great, well-established trait of my readers) – whatcha got in the fridge?  Bottles or cans?

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If I have any sway over the next few minutes of your time on the internet, I want you to spend it watching Louis CK clips on YouTube.

I know he’s growing in popularity, and starting to drift into the mainstream a bit more, but god does he deserve it.  For those of you who’ve been with my blog from it’s inception, you know I consider myself a bit of a stand-up comedy connoisseur.  I’ll get you started.  Enjoy! 

(Language advisory – F-bombs abound)

Comments

29 Responses to “A Few Quick Thoughts”
  1. Mike says:

    Could the NHL and their network try any harder to suck? I was excited to get the NHL network for about a day. There are some good shows, but the vast majority isn’t any good. Its no wonder hockey is such a small draw in the US. The league really needs to work hard promoting itself and the game. Its sad that people would rather watch cars drive in a circle for 10 hours than hockey.

  2. ann says:

    I agree with you completely about the NHL Network. I like watching the older games occasionally, especially ones from before I was alive, but some of what they call “classic” is only classic because it’s old. I realize it’s “NHL” Network, but getting some Canadian Junior on there (other than Mem Cup) would be great.

    Also, I’ve never watched the NFL Network, but I really like the setup of MLB Network, and their nightly coverage of games. Plus they have that cool mini-field… Why can’t the NHL put more into their “On the Fly” show (that pretty much sucks). There’s very little personality there. They could put a lot more into it, but I guess they’re not interested in putting any work into it.

    Oh, and for the record, if it’s anything like the blog, I would absolutely watch “Recent Crap That Happened… with Justin Bourne”.

  3. Lyera says:

    The NHL network is on at least one of our televisions at all times, my boyfriend as memorized the commercials and will make up his own words to a few of them. Really, why are we only getting 1 preseason game, and no offense, but they are only canadian teams! Seriously, if someone put 1/10th of the effort into NHL Network it could be so much better!

  4. Will77 says:

    Thats a program I’d watch, hopefully followed up by my own; Hockey and Beer. We’d discuss the two, with show rules being you have to kill a six pack prior to going on air. Should make the commentary excellent, or at least passionate.

    And sorry JT, but no cans allowed. I haven’t had cans in my fridge since the college days, though my lifetime quota for cans was definitely filled during that. Can’t beat a can for filling beer pong cups, or for shotgunning them obviously, but if I’m going to relax with beer-in-hand, its a bottle for me. Perhaps since my favorite ‘commercial’ beers are Sam Adams Seasonals, which are bottle only.

  5. JustJeff says:

    I work for the largest craft brewery east of the mississippi and I feel ashamed of my beer-geekiness… But atleast I don’t play video games!

    I’m happy you’ve admitted your love of canned beer, and your right that almost all craft beer comes in bottles, but it shouldn’t! There really are some great advantages to canned brews.

    First of all the ease of cleaning up and recycling cans… and the ability to take them camping etc. are great.

    But the most important thing is no chance a can will let in light which breaks down the riboflavin and results in skunky/spoiled beer. meaning that it will hold for a longer period of time… which is great for aging beer. much like scotch beer just gets better with age… anything 9%abv or above can be aged.

    I highly recommend trying a few beers from Oskar Blues out of Lyons Colorado. This is my favorite brewery in the U.S. and all of their beers come in a can.

    -Dales Pale Ale is the best beer you’ll ever have out of a can… and the greatest beer you’ll ever shotgun. Period. (6.5%ABV)
    -Gordon is a balanced imperial pale ale, better on draft if you can find it but still, an amazing beer (8.7%ABV !!!!!)
    -Old Chub (scottish ale, 8%ABV) and Ten Fidy (10%ABV) are delicious and great for cooking / food pairings

    My personal favorite part of canned beer is being able to take world class beer to Motocross and Nap-car races!

    As for what I have in my fridge?

    Everything from PBR (cans) & Miller High life to Dogfish Head Worldwide stout circa 2003 (23.04% ABV)

  6. jtbourne says:

    Haha, see, there’s the shotgunning option too. A can of beer can do so many things it’s like a swiss-army knife. Honestly though, I don’t have much of a preference… I just feel like cans get a bad rap.

    As for “Hockey and Beer”, who can we pitch this too? As long as we could keep it together to make a real show, we’d KILL it. Beer sponsorships everywhere. And I say we start drinking as the show starts (not prior, for fear of not completing the hour), and let the show get funnier (to us) as it progresses.

  7. jtbourne says:

    In the NHL’s defense, if it’s trying to suck, at least it’s good at something.

  8. jtbourne says:

    That may be one of the best comments ever. Riboflavin…yeah… that’s why I like cans too….

    So… Dogfish Head Worldwide stout 2003 is 23%? That sounds like it tastes bad. I’m contemplating dedicating a blog a month to beer reviews. Despite my controversial comment “Bud Light Lime… not bad, right”? I do enjoy a wide variety of “real” beer as well.

  9. Blake says:

    Hmm…Bottles vs. Cans. An age old debate.

    Right now, I have cans in the fridge. It’s of a beer called Surly, that is only brewed and distributed in Minnesota (possibly Wisconsin as well). Easily my favorite craft beer (or beer, for that matter) ever and…It only comes in a can.

    But, on a whole, I would have to say that I prefer my beer out of a bottle or a frosty mug.

  10. Blake says:

    JustJeff, what brewery do you work for?

    And, I’ve got to say, my beer geekiness is matched only by my video game geekiness *hides face in shame.*

  11. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Minnesota calls itself “The State of Hockey” but we have really poor hockey news and game coverage! Makes me nuts. We don’t get the NHL network so I know I miss alot of NHL news and info….

    Nice “bring it on” challenge! You’re just asking for trouble from your beer snob blog readers.

    Both glass bottles and cans in the fridge. But I have to say – cold tap beer in a glass (no plastic cups allowed – except at hockey games) is the best! Those plastic bottles sold at arenas are the worst.

  12. Will77 says:

    Hm, I might be getting a new appreciation from cans due to this thread. Another point for them, they have far more comedic value then bottles. Raise your hand if you’ve never tossed a friend/teammate through a stack of cans… always a good time.

    I see your point about not finishing the hour, but a little pre-gaming might be necessary. Always have to be prepared.

    Speaking of Bud Light Lime, I got to try this last night; Bud Light Golden Wheat (perks from being best friends with guys that own a bar). Surprisingly good.

    http://www.anheuser-busch.com/Press/2009/Sept/Something-New-is-Brewing-at-Anheuser-Busch-Bud-Light-Golden-Wheat-Available-for-Advance-Sampling-in-Four-U-S-Cities.html

  13. JustJeff says:

    I work for Dogfish Head.

    I do a lot of training in regards to the beer for new employee’s and also work on food / beer pairings and making recipe’s for food dinners… things that could easily be bloged about…

    After reading will77′s first post I got the idea for maybe a guest blog on your website about beer.. Whats better then beer and hockey after all, but couldn’t find your email on the site (I’m lazy)

    We could do beer reviews with you and a other commenters… beer education, tasting techniques the whole works…

    I hate the beer-geeks who come to my work but I really enjoy talking beer with regular people!

    either way… I’ll probably comment on anything beer related you may post in the future… I really had no comment on the bud light lime thing :)

    p.s. the Worldwide stout is amazing.. words can’t describe how great it is… maybe I’ll mail you a bottle or two in November when it’s released? you can’t find it in Arizona…

  14. JustJeff says:

    food dinners? wtf i meant beer dinners.. 5 course meals with beer pairings :(

  15. smoboy says:

    Hockey and Beer…that’s got Spike written all over it. Sorry the rec hockey in PHX blows. Not getting a hankering for competitve hockey again, are you?

  16. paul says:

    Bottles, cans? well I’ve never seen Zima come in anything but bottles so, yeah I am a bottle guy.
    And don’t judge me on drinking Zima, you openly admitted to liking Bud Light Lime.

    Louis C.K. is the man, I saw him almost 10 years ago at a crappy stand up comedy bar we used to go to in High school b/c they would serve minors, guy was hilarious. Also, his show on HBO was great never should’ve been cancelled.

  17. Jake says:

    Well J.B., you’ve seen my fridge in the garage. Miller Lite and Coors Light cans in there. With Hayzee in Norway, the corona bottles are long gone. Had a bbq last week and so there are some left over PBR Lite cans in there too now. You know I like my beer cans, Suds takes care of that.

    Did you happen to notice that the Yankees clinched a play-off spot the other day? You know it.
    jl

  18. jtbourne says:

    I immediately thought Miller lite cans and Boise St. games when I wrote that. You’re always good for a can vote.

    My Mets didn’t even make it much fun to beak with you this year. The stupid Skankees spent their money wisely last summer…

  19. Josh says:

    If giving you a hard time about Pascal Morency didn’t get me permanently banned, this is sure to: I don’t like beer… at all.

    Let me explain…

    Something magical happened in my last two years of college. I landed a job at the Mercedes-Benz of liquor stores in Grand Forks. Not only did we get very generous discounts on booze, but we didn’t have to whip out cash or a credit card for it. We could pay on account and it would come out of our paychecks. It was a very shrewd move by the owner of the fine establishment, knowing that the UND students that worked there would simply throw a good chunk of change away in his store buying stuff on account. It was always a head-scratcher when you worked 20 hours a week and got a $60 paycheck. This policy introduced me to liquor and I haven’t looked back.

    I just don’t like beer any longer. If I go out tonight I might have 6-8 drinks over a 6-7 hour time period. With beer, this would equal about six visits to the restroom, not to mention a horrible bloated feeling by the end of the night, and unlike in college there is no sorority lawn to vomit on. At the end of the night with mixed drinks or [insert liquor of choice] on the rocks — I’m feeling like a champion, albeit a mildly drunk one.

    As for Louis C.K., he’s hilarious. If you like him, check out Jay Mohr, Jim Norton, and Jim Jeffries.

  20. jtbourne says:

    Makes me feel good that you still feel comfortable enough to comment man, good on ya.

    As for being over beer – I’m not mad. Liquor on the rocks is great. To me though, it’s better suited to the couch and sports highlights. When I go out with the guys (as a one month resident of Phoenix, that would simply be the “guy” that I know here) beer is more condusive to a good time. Lotsa sips and refills and taste. Have to be awfully carefully with that straight stuff.

    JustJeff, if you’re reading, we’ll be in touch. I’d love to try that beer, and actually, I might write a “Top 10 high alcohol beers in America” article for Esquire, inspired by you. I need a “list” article, and what better article to research? All great writers must suffer… (in the mornings, apparently)…

  21. rm says:

    Bottles of porter. Hard to find good dark microbrew beer in S. Florida. I miss Black Butte Porter (Deschutes Brewery, OR) and Trader Joe’s which usually had a good selection of dark beers in bottles (and cheese to go along with my wine and whines).

  22. Officer Koharski says:

    There is some great microbrews that come in cans, like Butternuts Brewery in upstate NY. They distribute to LI and NYC and they’re really tasty. I almost always go for the bottle but some cans just have the charm. I like Tecate in a can, it makes me a fun redneck feeling.

    See if you can get this next time you’re in the northeast. I put my stamp on it. The IPA is the best. The site is all kinds of adorable, too.
    http://www.butternutsbeerandale.com/

  23. Officer Koharski says:

    I apologize for the horrible grammar in my above post, that’s just shameful. Sorry for wasting space;

    …There ARE…
    and
    …it GIVES me a…

  24. Josh says:

    It’s the internet, guy. Of course I’d come back and comment. Besides that, you’re a Seawolf and I’m a Fighting Sioux (umm…maybe for not too much longer)… need I say more.

  25. JustJeff says:

    Always reading JT… just not always posting.

  26. SDC says:

    The foam grips that Gretzky had on his sticks were called “Jack the Gripper” (never thought that rhyming your product with a historical serial killer was a phenomenal marketing idea), little hollow foam sleeves in the shape of a hockey stick butt-end knob, that you could heat up and slide onto the end of your stick. I think Wayne used them most of his career; I’ve seen him use them from the Titan to Hespeler days. I’m pretty sure they’re long out of business. You used to be able to buy them at Canadian Tire, but I was the only hockey player/obsessed Gretzky fan that I ever saw use them at any level. They sure didn’t destroy my glove palms any less than black tape ever did.
    The product’s nearly impossible to find on the internet, but if you look hard enough you can locate it.

  27. Josh says:

    I actually heard that Minneapolis-based company that made the foam handles went out-of-business in the late 80s/early 90s and Gretz simply bought the remaining stock… which makes a Gretzky game used stick that much more valuable.

  28. JustJeff says:

    So the subject of T.V. programing came up briefly today with Gary Bettman at the first annual Capitals Convention here in Washington D.C.

    I was pretty tipsy as I had found the beer salesman about 20 minutes before this subject was breeched but from what I remember Bettman said the NHL was committed to adding more to its line up on NHL network.

    From more college hockey to probably some AHL hockey (who he mentioned already had some broadcast rights with fox sports or something) and maybe ECHL… but I wouldn’t count on that for a while.

    More info on this stuff will be coming out in the next day or two on some caps blogs if you’re curious..

  29. JustJeff says:

    P.S. there was almost a riot following this during the Bettman Q&A:

    Q: Can we finally put to rest the rumors that you sit in the office and rig the league to let the Penguins win?

    A: Haha, well I wasn’t the one who played Game 7

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