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St. Patty's Pontifications



Happy St. Patricks Day!  As an Irish/Ukranian/CompleteMutt, today I claim the one that lets me join the festivities as an insider. 

How insane is St. Patty’s Day?  It’s the only day of the year where we blatantly celebrate drinking.  Sure, we drink on other holidays, but today is the day.  There are no other well-known holidays where we celebrate entire ethnic groups within the country.  It’s not like there’s a St. Rossi’s day where we all scarf an excess of cannoli’s.  But the Irish are nationally loved for their specialty (the bottle), and frankly… everyone’s okay with it.  Enjoy your St Patty’s Day!

Now let’s begin the randomness.

Nobody in sports writing is better than Bill Simmons.

It’s over.  He’s mastered the ability to smoothly phrase what the sports-loving average Joe says in the stands, while peppering it with wit that’s tough to find.

It seems at some point, life forces men to hang out with their “boys” a bit less.  It’s tough to justify a three beer lunch to your wife when you’re trying to save money for retirement and you had to pick up your kid from school on the way home.  Pff.  Women.

Reading Simmons makes you feel like you’re having that same conversation you would with the guys, but safely from your house.  Plus, when you get the vibe that Simmons is being a dick (which isn’t infrequent), you don’t have to fake interest like you might in person.  I do predict him getting too big for his britches at some point and saying something across the line, thus getting in some hot water.  He already walks a pretty thin line, but I love it.

Next:  Isn’t it time to give “that guy” in commercials his due?  I have no idea his name, but I know he’s hilariously subtle in more commercials than I can name.  I can’t really remember the products he’s been pushing either, all I know is I laugh at every commercial this guy is in.  Obviously not Dustin Pedroia, but the other guy.

The wink after “it’s called integrity” is key.

Moving along:  A smart hockey friend of mine that plays in the American League recently sent me this text, and he might be right: “Ovechkin is the best to ever play the game.  No question.  No debate.” 

I wanted the Canadian Crosby to just do it the right way like a good Canuck would, show him the way this game is supposed to be played, and he has.  The problem is, Ovechkin is so good, normal rules don’t apply.  It’s like playing one on five basketball on a Fisher Price hoop against seven year olds.  When you have that much of an advantage, it doesn’t matter what your opponent does.  He’s just that good.  I’m still gonna dunk, and Ovi is still going to take a slapbomb off some goalies collar bone, the crossbar and the mesh for a powerplay goal.

At a difficult economic time in the US, with a good product and a strong need for attendance, wouldn’t this be the worst possible time to implement fight-removal rules in the NHL?  Not that we should appeal to the lowest common denominator, but have you ever asked a non-hockey player why they like to watch?  Why they don’t watch boxing (or UFC), I’ll never know.

Regardless, the NHL will gladly take their money.  It’s a part of the game (for reasons that would warrant their own column, had the topic not been over-written), so let’s deal with that when we start turning away fans at the ticket windows.

Old school reference:  I kinda like Jim Carrey.  I  feel like Liar Liar is underrated in the all-time funny movie department.  Not top five maybe, but worthy of having in the collection.  I hadn’t thought of it in awhile until I saw the classic bit on Family Guy the other day:

Speaking of Family Guy, is the gay guy funny enough for everyone yet?  I can barely handle watching him or Herbert (shown here)without laughing (largely because the Isles/Sound Tigers Andrew McDonald does Herbert better than Herbert).  Check the hilarious homo here:

Anyways, enjoy today, and I dunno, maybe run a water through your liver at some point!  Just a little suggestion.       – Justin O’Burne (as the last name was only four generations back!)


7 Responses to “St. Patty's Pontifications”
  1. ann says:

    Great work as always, Justin.

    Working on St. Patty’s Day sucks – especially when your younger brother is out partying it up to celebrate his St.-Patty’s-Day-birthday and texting you from the bar.

    I agree with your buddy – Ovechkin is amazing and, as far as I’m concerned, the complete package. I think it could be a little early to say the best ever – but he’s on his way.

    Oh and that Pedroia commercial? HILARIOUS. I laugh at it every time I see it – which has been a lot during the World Baseball Classic games. (Yes, someone is actually watching them.)

    Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. Travelchic59 says:

    I love St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one day half the office is out at the Parade (just a couple of blocks from me in Midtown) pretending to be on client calls. LOL!

    And I, too, have been watching the World Baseball Classic. For some reason, I am fascinated by it. This year I have even been paying attention to Spring training. Not sure what the lure is. I think I just long for Spring and the warmer weather.

  3. Neil says:

    Malkin is gonna put up more points and Crosby is gonna make better passes, but I think Ovechkin is currently the best all-around player (not to mention the only guy who frequently scores with wrist shots and snap shots from two feet inside the blueline). He levels guys, shoots, passes, shows up at the rookie camp to send a message, and I would say he plays every shift like it is his last but that has become less true lately –,148633

    Just my opinion… Ovechkin in his prime is a bigger, faster, and presumably better hockey player than Gretz was, but considering that Gretz put up 2+ points per game for over a decade on two different teams, I dunno… not a lot of 200 point seasons these days, and guys were getting 100-140 points pretty often, but imho, Gretz dominated the league in a way Ovechkin never will and he did it with my physical frame.

  4. jtbourne says:

    I actually had a conversation with Stan Fischler (the hockey Maven since about 1940) regarding comparing players between era’s. All you can do is compare them to their competition, because imagining Ovechkin in Gretzky’s era isn’t fair – he’d have scored 300 points in a season (I actually believe that, especially in the 70′s). Gear, training, everything evolves, so who know’s who would’ve been what and when.

    But I also think Ovechkin is like Lebron. In hockey, all we have to measure performance is G, A, Pts and PIM’s (which nobody’s sure if they’re good or not). There are way more unmeasurables in hockey to gauge someones contributions. So Gretzky’s contributions were largely offensive statistics; he was the best ever at that (better than Ovechkin for sure, craftier and smarter. Ovi relies a lot on sheer heat, speed and power). But Ovechkin brings more to the table in other areas. I think today he brings as much or more to a team than Gretzky did at the same age.

    When Charlie sent me that text, I agree: If we put every player ever on the ice in their prime, Ovechkin would be the best. The game evolves.

  5. Neil says:

    Yeah that’s a good point, the game has changed to the point that guys like Gretzky can’t really exist anymore, it’s not a fair comparison. I gotta figure that Gretzky in his prime in the league today would not be a top 10 guy… but at the same time, what the hell do I know.

    Do you think Ovechkin is higher above the general talent pool now then Gretzky was above his?

  6. jtbourne says:

    No, I don’t think Ovi is higher above his general talent pool than Gretzky was. In fact, Gretzky ws probably higher above his… some of those guys in the early days when he was like 20 weren’t ECHL worthy today.

  7. Neil says:

    Haha yeah I guess that significantly complicates things doesn’t it? I’ve heard stories of guys playing in the 70s that literally couldn’t generate speed skating backwards to save their life. The talent pool is sooooo tight compared to anything like that, guys I haven’t even heard of leave the NHL and become top scorers on Euro and Russian teams. How do you think Gretzky (in his prime) would be if he played the 09-10 season with Getzlaf and Perry?

    I think I have to concede: you can’t compare them without taking into account the huge difference in environment, and if you do, AO is miles better.

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