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Aimless, Arbitrary, and Awesome


On a daily basis, I scribble down random thoughts I have and dumb things I do.  Periodically I print a few. This, is a.d.d. at its finest:


A buddy came up with a great way to avoid misleading player stats in hockey, and now it seems so obvious.  Why is points-per-game a stat, when it should be points-per-minute?  Wouldn’t it be easier to dig up diamonds in the rough if you could prove that some kid who scores every tenth game is twice as productive as someone scoring every fourth game, simply because he gets a fraction of the playing time?  Seems like a practical stat, no? 

(Fact: using this simple theory, Sidney Crosby is still nine times as productive as Taylor Pyatt.  In other ground-breaking news, people like ice cream in the summer.)


Today, I remembered to answer a business call in my most professional voice while driving.  Unfortunately, I didn’t remember that I was pumping “Hot Steppa” in the car.  There’s a chance it detracted from my credibility.


An expression I recently heard and liked:  “If at first you dont succeed, try doing it the way your wife told you”. 

no she didn't.

no she didn't.

An expression I recently saw and loved: 








I just hate Carlos Mencia so much.  I just watched six hour-long DVD’s on the history of comedy, the pioneers, the classics, the gems.  The fact that he gets mentioned at all on a DVD with so many great names rattles me.  Who does he think he is, acting like he’s doggedly fighting to raise minority awareness or something.  Ha! to that.  He exploits them for a living.  He makes Mexican jokes that appeal to the slower class, and aren’t that clever.  He’s basically Larry the Cable guy without the likability.


An old joke from the “Make ‘em Laugh – The Business of Comedy” box set that I still love is about the trials and tribulations of Nelson Mandela, who endured 27 years of jail time and torture, to finally get freed to his home and his wife.  Six months later, divorce.  Chris Rock, fake-quoting Mandela:  “I can take beatings, abuse, torture and misery, but I just CAN’T. TAKE. ANY MORE OF THIS WOMAN!”. 


How important is having a solid pillow?  To phrase it like Seinfeld, who arrre these people who want the squishy, supportless pillow?  They must exist, since hotels strictly cater to these people who clealy enjoy resting their head on a napkin and six feathers. I hope you’re comfortable, because you’re RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US.


Michael Vick got re-instated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, I assume because he believes that everyone deserves a second chance, except dogs that suck at fighting.  Those we drown permanently.


What is it about awful pants that’s satisfying the jones for booze in John Daly?  Maybe just feeling like an extremist again?  I hope this new image overhaul is panning out for him, cause I know it’s been a huge pain having to adjust the contrast on my TV everytime him and his pants make a cameo.


What was so immovable when they built the Houston Astros new stadium that they had to build an uphill slope in centerfield?  An indian burial ground?  Used PED needles from the 90′s?  Maybe hockey teams should look at designing some completely arbitrary features like this.  Maybe a random ramp at one of the blue-lines so guys can do freestyle skiing moves mid breakaway.  Canada would dominate that sport.


Has anyone heard an interview with the classic band “Spinal Tap”?  Can we get them a radio show or something?


Jimmy Fallon is money in the late night spot, but it makes me not want to watch when he has to do those awful “commercials” where he holds a Sprint phone up and talks about how and why he loves it for a minute or two.  They have to realize this is a major turn off soon. Embarrassing for Fallon, no?


I had no idea Hawerchuk was the first to jump on the Lemieux-Gretter ’87 Canada Cup goal pile until I saw a random clip yesterday.  I’m gonna ask him some question about that when he’s at our fantasy camp like “why were you an entire zone behind at the time”?



That cleans my idea locker out a bit.  What are your thoughts?

Aw, Sidney. You're A Good Boy.


I figured it out Canada.  I know why hockey isn’t being embraced by the rest of the world (read: the United States).  Personality.  Thank God Ovechkin showed up, he’s given our game a chance.  The problem started with great ambassadors to the game like Gretzky.  Sure, the Gretzky trade to L.A. was probably the single biggest influence in bringing the game to Americans, but it wasn’t his playing or his personality that damped enthusiasm.  It was his level of class.  

It didn’t do harm in his era, because there was still a volume of loud mouth entertainers playing at the same time (Tiger Williams used to ride his stick.  Actually.  That happened).  The  problem became that kids grew up idolizing Wayne and in turn were speaking with respect about their opponent and modestly about their own contributions. I respect Gretzky’s public persona, and wish we could sell that game to the US without a little unnecessary flair, but I’m not sure it’s possible.  They love that stuff. 

Kids wanted to be Gretter.  And our parents wanted the same.  Whaaattt a wonnnderful example he set.  Cordial, polite and professional, he simply achieved the highest goal:  Win.  Facts and polite smiles at every turn.  Other leagues have their biggest stars saying the most obscene things and creating sub-plots fit for theatre (Slapshot reference: how about the implied storyline that never develops any farther then “He’s been living in semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec, Andre “The Poodle” Lessard…”).  These sub-plots are everywhere in hockey, but they exist behind closed doors.  Frankly, the media isn’t savvy enough to dig them up.  I think the guys covering the NFL wiretap the room or something.

But take Sidney Crosby, Gretzky’s protege.  What a player.  Whether you think he’s the best, or a baby, or whatever, you can’t deny that he’s good.  But he’s the last thing the NHL needed.  A superstar saying the right thing.  Sean Avery wasn’t a fair representation of the NHL (though he was of himself), but, man.  ESPN couldn’t get enough of this guy.  I literally didn’t know Mats Sundin played for the Canucks until I got home on the weekend.  But I knew how many pinstripes were on the suit Avery was wearing at his internship for Vogue.  I knew his dating history, his slightly effeminate manner for an agitator, and could have diagnosed him with a psychological condition. 

If Mike Comrie would say”I could care less that we lost, I’m going to Hannah Montana, er, Hillary Duffs birthday party tonight”, like he’s actually thinking, people might follow our game a bit closer.  Everyone in America cannot wait to hear what Terrell Owens says after he finishes a game with 1 catch for 8 yards.  It’s a soap opera.

(I enjoy both the hat, and that the clip helps my case at the start, in the middle, and to finish)

And thats whats lacking in our game.  We don’t need constant rule fixes, highlighted pucks or outdoor games (but those are great, keep those going).  The teams and the league need to stop worrying so much about bulletin board material.  You know, those apparently motivating comments like “The Islanders defence sucks” before you play the Islanders.  You know what?  The Islanders defence does suck.  Just because they know that you think it, doesn’t mean they can stop anything. 

This black-balling of flair from the game may be the NHL’s biggest turn-off, including Gary Bettman.  Coaches love to warn their team about the evils of disrespecting your opponent in the media and how it’s going to give them fuel.  It’s just not true.  Plus, you can respect your opponent and still say something interesting and relevant into the microphone can’t you?  Hockey definitely leads major sports in regurgitated answers.  Phrases like “gut check” are nauseasting.  I used to think it was because hockey players aren’t that smart (they aren’t), but I reeeeeaaalllly don’t think basketball or football players finished with higher GPA’s.  But it’s just not necessary to be so wary of what we say.  Never once in my career have a I thought “I can’t believe Steve Defenceman doesn’t think our team can score.  I’m gonna score so many more goals now to prove him wrong”.  I was already trying to score. 

Please, coaches, Gary Bettman, team captains… loosen up.  Let the fans see a little of that passion,  and a few of those storylines that stay buried.  I promise it will be more fun if they notice that right from the drop of the puck #17 has been clipping #22 in the mouth with his elbow everytime they line up for a face off.  I promise if will be more fun if more people notice your game.  Enough Sidney.  You’re a good boy.  You’re a good boy.

     Okay, maybe we could use a liiiittle censorship. 

I haven’t seen an NHL highlight in the US since that clip.  Loosen up boys.