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The Back Nine (Sports Thoughts)



Alright!  A smokie, a G2 and a Snickers for the bag, and we’re ready to play the back nine (mmm, health food).  I’ve still got honors:


On every hockey team I’ve played on up until Bridgeport, there was a talented fat kid.  A kid that everyone thought “man, if he could just lose a few pounds he’d be deadly”, but the guy didn’t see the need to change, or simply couldn’t.   I bet a huge number of you can think of being on a team where some chubby kid just has mad dangles.  Or can knock down a three like whoa.  Or can throw a 90 mile an hour fastball.  I’m not sure why it’s so common, but even in hockey at higher levels, there’s plenty of crazy-talented portly bastards.  What’s the logic behind how many of these athletes exist?


Kicksave! Ohcrap, it went five-hole didn't it?

It’s nice that all goalies are going to pretty much the same style, for shooters.  This is why playing slightly different from everyone else (Brodeur) is such a benefit.  As a shooter these days, guys know where the holes will be, instead of having to look for them.  Butterfly, pads flat, trying to stay big up top, but collapsing to take away the six and seven holes…  So guys just fire it to the high corners (or wherever) almost by instinct, because all goalies are doing the same thing.  Half the time it’s what’s confusing about shooting on a rec league goalie.  Huh, he wasn’t supposed to be standing there…  – so for guys like Marty, being different is a huge advantage.  Hasek built a career on it.


Speaking of rec league, how about the amount of times a guy winds up to take a slapshot, then misses the net and the puck rims around and breaks the other team out?  It’s like a 90% chance when a guy winds up from a tough angle that the other team is about to have a rush going the other way.  Super fun.


Odds on an SAT?

From what I can tell, the color commentators job (as an ex-player), is to verbally complicate the game so as to impress listeners that yes, I once figured out this oh-so-confusing game.  The other day I heard Darren Pang (who I usually like) say something about Kiprusoff’s timing mechanism – d’ya think he’s full of coils, cogs and springs?  Goalie’s try to stop pucks.  The systems coaches use aren’t that complicated.  The game is impressive enough in it’s speed and physicality without acting like players are science majors.  I’ve lived with these idiots my whole life, and trust me, most of them are more likely to complete a triathalon than pass the SAT’s.


Dear Guy-In-The-Bathroom:  Just because you pass me a paper towel after I pee, doesn’t mean you get a dollar.  I would’ve got that paper towel myself.  It was right beside the tap already.  I literally don’t get the concept of your hiring.  What, you’re establishment is fancy after nine P.M.?  Please.


Tastes better than it looks. Stella-ey

I got the hockey bug for the first time in a year or so yesterday.  Like the “huh, maybe I should call my agent” bug.  It’s not gonna happen, but it was still an odd feeling that I thought I’d lost.  Wonder when that’ll go away?


Delirium Tremens is a brand of Belgian strong pale ale produced by Huyghe Brewery in Melle, and you should drink some if you can find it.  It’s delicious.


I’m off to the sunny east coast tomorrow, to get out of this crappy 70 degree weather here in Phoenix.  Long Island, specifically.  What’s in store for me out there?

I'm gonna knock you out, huhh, momma said knock you out


And last but not least, Tiger.  If Tiger doesn’t play in the Masters this year, I’m going to drive my Altima over a fire hydrant and into a tree.  The Masters is my favourite sporting event of the year.  I now have DirecTV hooked up to a 46″ HD TV in a room that can’t be 15 feet wide – it’s going to be like being in the Masters.  If Tiger’s tail-chasery means he can’t play, and I have to watch Mickelson miss the cut while Luke Donald and Boo Weekley battle it out for the green jacket (okay, it’d be cool if Boo was involved, but still), I’m gonna call Mrs. Nordegren-Woods and advise her to FIGURE IT OUT, IT’S OVER so she can’t ruin another PGA weekend for the rest of us by trying to patch up a sham marriage with a complete scuzz.

That is all.









{Anyone from Kelowna able to tell me what course and hole we’re looking back on here?}


I had to come back and add this video – this restaurant is a couple blocks from my place, and I was curious about it.  Check out what it’s alllll about:


USA!  USA!  USA!!  :)


 Not sure why I’m so enamoured with Brees, New Orleans and chanting, but I am.


29 Responses to “The Back Nine (Sports Thoughts)”
  1. JJ Vanderstam says:

    Gonna say Gallagher’s Canyon.

  2. jtbourne says:

    You got the course, yep… It’s my baby.

  3. JJ Vanderstam says:

    Only time I played there she was pretty flooded out, which was too bad. I loved playing the Harvest when I was younger, I know now it isn’t the best track, but it was the best conditioned course I had played at the time, and I thought that was cool. I think I was 13.

  4. Dan n St Paul says:

    #16 = f’ing expensive. pitcher of that at the local pub = $56. not worth the cost when there are 40 other microbrews/imports to choose from at much lower cost.

  5. penaltykiller9 says:

    Re # 16
    the heck with that hifallutin overpriced stuff. Can you still get Simon Fraser’s lager or Uncle Ben’s in B.C.

  6. Simona says:

    #10 – Dustin Byfuglien? That guy skates fast for a fat kid.

    #13 – Color commentary is something I could do without while watching a game. These guys always try to convince me that every single thing that was done on the ice was planned for in advance and that, like you said, there is some major science behind the guy’s thinking. Not buying it.

    #17 – Blizzard warning in effect for NY/tri-state area and full on snow day for public schools and most colleges in NYC. I think we’re up to somewhere around 6 inches of snow now. So uh, you know, prepare accordingly.

    Lastly, this is one of my favorite blogs. Love the writing and insight and occasional Family Guy jokes.

  7. Jimmy says:

    K gotta blow thru the back…
    10) Snickers, smokies n G2. 11) Finland. Blame the Finns. They’re a crafty people. 12) Our rec team has the same problem (see: Edmonton Oilers; Sheldon Souray). Panger et al are paid by the word. They invent words to enhance their paycheques. Case in point – You used the word ‘physicality’. Physicality is only about a year n a half old and is the best new word since ‘google’. 14. Apparently you frequent way classier places than I OR you frequent very suspect establishments and towel-boy doesn’t really work there. 15) It doesn’t. At least not that I’m aware of. 16) I’m Canadian. You offer beer. I’m there. 17) Since you’re in Phoenix, please do me a favour. My old home town has misplaced their hockey club. Could you please pick it up n drop it off in Winnipeg on your way east? You can grab a snow shovel while you’re at it. 18) How do u really feel bout Tigger, Justin? Phil Mickelson: see the10th hole. Snickers, smokies n G2…

  8. airborne moose says:

    have to comment on #10…..(and borrow a perfect example…)
    “The chubby (Terry) Sawchuk was ordered by Detroit general manager Jack Adams to lose weight before the 1951–1952 season, and his personality seemed to change when he dropped more than forty pounds, becoming sullen and withdrawn. ”
    Sounds like being a lil bit chunky was a good thing. I am not bustin your chops on this, just makin an observation. (plus, with a nickname like moose, i might be a touch on the “heavy” side)

  9. penaltykiller9 says:

    Dan n St. Paul,
    56.00 a pitcher Y Calvare!!! Go to a Leafs- habs game go to Mclean’s Pub afterward and get a pitcher of Boreale Rousse for 6.50

  10. Kwisatz says:

    #12) So true. But as a defensemen this gives you the chance to pinch it off and take your own ill advised shot from a bad angle. Seeing as how the forwards in rec league will never drop the puck off to the D it’s your only chance for having a scoring opportunity without getting yelled at for taking it coast to coast.

  11. House says:

    Hey now don’t rip on Pang…he is just a little guy! Now if you want to hear bad listen to a Blues radio broadcast. Kelly Chase thinks the solution to everything is a fight.

    Kerber (play by play guy): Crosby with the shot it deflects four times and goes in. Wow, that hit three players in front and the post and went in.

    Chase: You know if you just challenge that guy, you know get in his face and say “let’s go” that never happens.

    As my grandma used to say…oy vey!

  12. jtbourne says:

    Ha, wow, I had no idea it was so pricey – our rec team takes turns bringing the beer, and the guy last night brought that, Landshark Lager and Hoegaarden. Classy, delicious.

  13. Char says:

    I don’t get watching golf. I mean, I’m sure it’s fun to play – like driving in a NASCAR race would be fun – but to watch? Paint drying. Like NASCAR, come to think of it.

    Speaking of Marty, has anyone noticed that the Devils have lost 10 of their last 14 games?

  14. KForbes says:

    16) That’s the stuff with the Pink Elephant on it right? Always reminded me of that scene in Dumbo where Dumbo gets drunk.

  15. DnSTP says:

    quick google search of Delirium Tremens and a bottle, granted 22oz, runs ya about $12. throw in markup at a pub and one can see it gets pricey.

    latest tasty recommendation is Widmer W’10 Pitch Black IPA .

    Landshark is surprisingly not too bad.

    fun fact of the day: Keystone Light and Coors Light are the same recipe.

  16. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    Jimmy the Thief, (I kid, I kid), I’ll shoot third this time…
    #10 – Always noticed that as well. Now, I am that.
    #11 – Pat Neshek and Marty Brodeur. Yeah, cliched comparison, I know.
    #12 – Kinda like the hot shot down the third base line that gets snagged by the not-looking-at-the-ball-but-it-ended-up-in-glove-anyway guy. Then he proceeds to launch the softball into the adjacent field because he was almost gonna throw the guy out from his knees… I’m that guy too. (Sometimes.)
    #13 – Hey, it could be Madden.
    #14 – Never seen this done. But I do have a bathroom question: Why all the short urinals. Fine for grammar schools, but at a bar? Are there that many little people throwing back on the High Life?
    #15 – As an average to below-average HS athlete, I can tell you this: It never goes away. It may subside for a while, but the whole “I can still do it” thing still surfaces. That’s why there are rec leagues. And that’s why you play in one. (If you do indeed make a comeback, try the Wild. Sure they’re heavy on the offensive talent right now, but you might find a hole to fill.)
    #16 – Guinness Extra Stout. Game. Over.
    #17 – I always laugh at people who are not used to excessive snow get crazy amounts. But that east coast is crazy right now. From a Minnesotan who knows the white blanket: I feel for ya.
    #18 – I could not agree more. I don’t even care if he wins, just make the freakin’ cut and let Sports Center lead with the Where-is-Tiger’s-head-at highlights. Could be the greatest Masters ever. But a Masters minus Tiger would be like a Stanley Cup the size of the World Cup, but gold like the NBA trophy and remade every year like the Lombardi trophy. (Sorry, not sure what happened there.)
    Thanks for the time, Jimmy…

  17. Officer Koharski says:

    What’s in store for you in Long Island is a shitload of snow, I’m in Farmingdale now and we’re at a foot and a half and counting. I’m going to sled like an animal tonight and get banged up.

  18. SDC says:

    is it #1 at Gallaghers?

    we’ve got a talented fat kid on our team now, and it absolutely boggles me how little he cares to adjust himself in the weight category. I guess as long as he keeps scoring he’ll get ice time, but he’s a defensive liability…

    your agent’s only a text message away… make sure Breezy’s on board though.

  19. garett says:

    did we have any “big” guys on our team in utah??

  20. The Franchise says:

    I’m still holding out hope that Tiger shows at Augusta, followed by both Elin and Martha Burk and eventually leading to a tag team match of Tiger-Hootie vs. Elin-Martha. I wouldn’t even know where to open the line on a fight like that. Tiger-Hootie -120? Though that Hootie is getting up there in age, Elin has already shown she can swing a club and Martha….well she just seems like a mean b****.

    As for those rec leaguers who insist on blasting break outs for the other team, just be happy if that guy is able to keep the shot low. I’ll take the frustration as long as I can keep my teeth.

  21. mikey says:

    #10 … we got that kid n he toly motors out there … like fat n still in the top 5 fastest … i dont get it. dude also smokes n eats like a pig … so yea again i dont get it.
    #11 … dont say nething those obvious shots r my bread n butter rite now …. like half of my goals
    #12 … we get assigned herbies when we do that … slapshots by dmen better hit somethin
    #14 … i saw that at a fancy place n thought the dude was some sorta pedophile spyin on lil kids
    #15 … i bet it never goes away

    n finally i wanna eat at that place …. so i can be that fat kid

    n justin … thanks 4 ur help


  22. MikeB says:

    Nobody has made the Kyle Wellwood is fat joke yet?

    Then I’ll make it. Great hands though.

  23. John says:

    just occurred to me that you are fast becoming the Andy Rooney of the sports world.

    +1 on the fat kid with skills. Particularly perplexing in hockey as it is such a calorie-draining sport, and you’d think that anyone who plays a lot, and plays hard, wouldn’t have an ounce of fat. Nature works in mysterious ways.

    “bathroom attendants” are indeed a pain in the butt, a form of extortion, plain and simple. I wonder what prompts a bar/restaurant owner to stick one of these guys in the men’s room nowadays. I did some bartending in the late 80′s/early 90′s in NYC clubs, and I must say that bathroom attendants had somewhat of a purpose back then, the most obvious being that of providing “loosies”(loose cigarettes) to those who only smoke when they drank. And surely there was a squirt of fresh cologne available for those guys who were inches away from closing a deal with some chick on the dancefloor.

    But today? Who the hell smokes? And if you do, you can’t do it in clubs. And re the squirt of cologne….okay but does anyone still wear cologne? I only ask cause I’m an old (and married) bastard now and completely out of touch with the latest mating rituals.

    last but not least, a buddy sent me a link that belongs on this blog if anywhere. Click on a few of the interviews, funny stuff:

  24. Goody says:

    #10 – If I can’t think of a fat kid being on any of my teams, should I worry that I was the fat kid? No, I don’t have any hands so… It’s all about the hands and positioning. Look at Andrew Brunette – not saying he’s fat, but he is slow as molasses. It is literally painful to watch him skate, yet he’s working on his 14th season in the NHL. 927 career games, 228 goal, 415 assists.

    #12 – Slapshots from the point. I don’t know why people take those in rec-league. They so rarely work, why bother. Shoot a low, hard wrister and pray if it doesn’t get tipped or otherwise score that the goalie will at least leave a juicy rebound.

    #16 – Delirium Tremens, tasty stuff. Expensive, yes but look at size of the bottle and the ABV. I’m guessing 8 to 10%. So, when compared to a 5% 12 oz beer, it all works out about the same.

    #17 with a bit of a hangover from #16 – If while in the northeast you have the opportunity, check out the beers from the Ommegang brewery out of Cooperstown, NY. They brew in the Belgian tradition. If you liked the Delirium Tremens, I’m guessing you’ll like some of their brews.

  25. rm says:

    Hey Justin,

    If you were totally enamoured with Drew Brees, you would have put some of these photos ( on your blog :) . It probably would have made some of your XX readers happy :) .

    Most color commentators I can do without, but I think the Sharks and Penguins TV broadcasting duos are okay.

    Safe travels to NY.

  26. Deirdre says:

    Between Cactus Jacks and the Heart Attack I’ve got to figure out a reason to visit Arizona. The things I missed!

    As for color commentary, I do like the ex-players in general but sometimes they are just sad. I love listening to the Sharks duo – Dan and Jamie (Baker). Honestly Dan does both color and play-by-play. He has research on every game – he can pull some of the most random stats off the top of his head (So Jamie, did you know that this is the 7th time in the history of these two franchises that the first goal was scored by someone born in Saskatchewan? or the like).

    Jamie started out really rough…”um yeah, um yeah, um yeah, that’s what happened” kinda rough, but he’s really stepped it up. The two bicker like an old married couple, we drink every time Jamie mentions “the goal”, and they make a game you can’t see as fascinating as watching it live.

  27. rm says:

    Oops bad link above (Justin or moderator can you remove it?), bad copy/pasting by this darn PC (I’m a Mac, not a PC!)

    Anyway, if you are totally enamoured with Drew Brees, you might like these pics and videos.

  28. Tom Curran says:

    Ahhh #1 at Gallaghers……………is it May yet?

  29. Richie says:

    On a combination of #11 & #12, the other goalie in our group is a tad flabby (and lazy/quits when it doesn’t go his way) yet somehow still seems make plenty of saves. He’s almost always out of position and guys seem to hit him with the puck because they shot where a hole SHOULD be….it’s probably be more irritating if he showed up more. Guy skipped hockey to “re-decorate his room”. And no that’s not a euphemism and he’s got a girlfriend. Add lucky to the surpringly good fat kid and you get a giant douche.

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