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How Technology Is Pushing Celebrities Into An Era of Transition

 

Here’s a reminder and my column links, then I’m gonna launch into a theory I have.  Should be fun today:

Reminder:

If you see or hear any extreme quotes (great/awful/exciting/dull), feel free to fire them over in the comment section or to my email or via carrier pigeon or whatever.  I’ll try to keep our Best and Worst Quote-Giver Standings in the right sidebar relatively well updated.  BizNasty is starting the slow, inevitable pull-away (thanks to last nights quote about Chris Thorburn: “He can smoke a cigar in the shower his nose is so big.”  Now THAT’S good stuff.)

Columns:

Tuesday’s Puck Daddy: The vulgar world between whistles

Wednesday’s Hockey Primetime: Making the step from college to pro

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Today’s theory is an extension of Bruce Arthur’s lastest column on Brett Favre: Great American Entertainer.

Basically, Arthur’s column is a walk-through on the ‘ol gunslinger (or as columnist Jason Whitlock has started calling him, “the ‘ol dongslinger), and how he’s gone from being everything a hero quarterback should be, to some low-level narcissist who constantly provides a high-level of entertainment.

From Arthur:

In the process, he went from being the epitome of what we were told quarterbacks were supposed to be — square-jawed, durable, charming, a little reckless, heroic at times, a Marlboro man with a golden arm — to a selfish, drama-loving diva.

In the piece, Arthur mentions how this has become the age of implosion for famous sports figures.  He points to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, maybe Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, and now it looks like you can add Brett Favre to that list.  And just for kicks, let’s all read this awesome parenthetical paragraph he tacked on before we continue:

(By the way, between Favre’s alleged dong shots and Tiger Woods’ marriage-dissolving text messages, Derek Jeter should offer a seminar. No, really. He should rent a nice hall, and print up flyers or send out a promotional email or something, and explain to fellow sports stars how you can live in a high-profile city, have sex with almost anybody in the world, never once be caught up in scandal or public disapproval of any kind, and stay a hero. He could charge $1-million a minute.)

LIterally, he could charge one million a minute.  Tiger would attend for hours. 

After that preamble, here’s my theory:

Only football jersey I have is his Packers one.

This is a transition period for professional athletes and other stars in general, because of technology.  As a group, they will be in more public scandals in a five-to-eight-year span (of which we’re in now) than they ever were before, and ever will be after.

When our stars of today grew up, their heroes could do nearly anything within the law (and some things outside of it) and get away with it.  There were no cellphones, let alone any that also functioned as picture-and-video cameras.  There was no twitter, no facebook, no voicemails to convert to mp3 files, no sex-tape making and sharing devices, no texting, no recording tools, just…. word-of-mouth and ink, really.

If someone saw or heard a celebrity do something shady they could be talked to, or paid off, or just generally written off as a nut.  What’s that rumour you heard?  Ridiculous.  Then said star would hit a homerun or throw a touchdown and it would all go away.  Hell, it almost all goes away today if the fallen star plays well on the field after we know they did something horrible (Vick!), let alone when all the evidence they had was a few people playing ”the telephone game.”

Since those rumours stayed unproved yammerings, there was no reason to believe anything but the best about those highest on our pedestals.  Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, Joe Montana and Joe Namath, Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky, you name it – rumours may exist about many, but 90% of fans still believe in the purity of their idols.  And they should – innocent until proven guilty, and it’s healthy to believe in your fellow man.  Maybe a touch naive, but overall a positive thing I’d say.

A simpler time, when nobody ever ever did anything wrong ever.

Our stars of today seemed to learn from those stars of yesterday - nobody ever really got in trouble, regardless of what the whispers on the street may have been.  Caution must not have seemed important when fame reared its pretty little head.

Now it’s a whole new ball game. 

Any Olympian of years past was free to rip a bong hit three years from their next Olympic event and maintain a positive public image.  Thanks to everyone having cameras in their jeans these days, Michael Phelps is the butt of hippie pot-smoker jokes that make it seem like he’s both Cheech and Chong.  For him, I doubt that’ll change anytime soon.  It’s just to funny to pass up.

Soon, these stars won’t be so caught off guard by this new era of media and technology.  They must be seeing that things are different now.

And so, they’ll learn.

The next generation of heroes will have new handlers and a new education.  They will see how the shady dealings of today’s celebrities were not aided by technology, but rather undermined by it.  It will leads to a fork in the road, and stars will go one of two ways:

That's veteran, right there.

They’ll either:

(A) develop more clandestine methods, with a more airtight group than Tiger Woods (if possible), and learn from the likes of Derek Jeter  or 

(B) shape up.  You have to be Batman to be a successfully scuzzy celebrity today, and some might find it’s just not worth the effort.

It’s not Babe Ruth days anymore.

So here we are, in our chaotic little transition period.  A time where the “I can do anything I want” celebrities of today are learning that they can’t.  The ride has been fun to follow (while a little unsettling), and we’re not at the fork in the road yet.

But in the coming years, most stars will have to make the choice:  Do they want to be Batman, or respectable? 

I’ll let Arthur close us out:

(You know, not enough people are talking about how impressive it is that the oldest non-kicker in the NFL was able to master sending pictures of his junk, which is something the teenagers are reportedly doing these days. He really is like a kid out there!)

Masters Thoughts From Thursday + Wisconsin/RIT

 

First and foremost, all golfers using yellow golf balls are disqualified (even though I like you, Furyk).  This is Augusta, not a course you can play in jeans while drinking a Bud Diesel.  You might as well be carrying a ball retriever to fish other people’s stray’s out of Rae’s Creek.

Instead of jamming up everyone’s Twitter feed yesterday (which would have been SUPER easy to do, considering that I’m a smart-ass, and was watching the golf alone.  You have no idea how nice it is to have an outlet for my sarcasm.  Without Twitter, just my friends would think I’m a dick.  Now all the world gets to know.  Okay, 600 or so of you.), I just put all my “tweets” into a blog post for today.  Which is twice as awesome, cause I avoid the 140 character limit. 

But first, I’m off to do my taxes.  Sighhh…. 

Hereeee we go!

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(-4) 68 to start for Le Tigre

 Sometimes I forget I’m supposed to be rooting against Tiger, which means I’m probably not.

What it does tell me about myself (and apparently all the patrons in attendance), is that I’m probably more interested in watching greatness than I am into reading gossip magazines.  If Mozart was a sleazy a-hole too, his music would be no less beautiful.

Please don’t read that as “I condone what Tiger did”.  I just happen to like watching Picasso paint. (Also – there’s seems to be a gender divide on those type of thoughts.)

Nice kicks, brah.

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 My boy Freddy Couples bad back kinda killed his style Thursday, huh?  I thought he was rocking a pair of Vans at first, but turns out he’s wearing no socks and spike-less ECCO’s.  Hey, whatever it takes, dude. 

The second I finished that sentence, Freddy rolled in a long curling birdie to go to -3.  You win, buddy.  You win again.

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Favourite text I got yesterday (after Tiger rolled in the birdie on nine):  “Tiger is immortal.”

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A little known fact about yesterday: Shingo Katayama pants and shoes were actually a magic eye.  If you blurred your vision, you could vaguely make out what I think was a cowboy hat.

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Every time I saw David Duval putting, I thought the wind was blowing and filling up his shirt.  Seriously.  It was only later I saw him standing beside someone else, and realized he was filling it up all on his own.

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A Freddy Couples things I like:  Just like me, his mustache looks like it grows in about five times as fast as the rest of his facial hair.  Then there’s the salt n pepper hair, which I’d start rocking at about 30 if I could.  And last - I like his buttery swing…. just a smidge.

Noon o'clock mustache shadow. I feel ya brother.

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College hockey:

"Great play by... uh.. the guy in orange wearing a cage!"

RIT has no namebars.  The intent of which is to show unity amongst the team – that it’s about the name on the front, not the one on the back.  Hey, the Yankees do it.

Difference is, the Yankees aren’t trying to get to the “next level”, like kids who play college hockey.  And the Yankees play 162 times a year, not 40, so it’s a little harder for fans to know who’s who over 20 home games.  The cages don’t help.

All in all, it’s a really, really silly thing their program thinks has a point, but doesn’t. 

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If you’re the underdog – as in RIT – turnovers aren’t good.  D-zone turnovers, then?  Like, more turnovers than a bakery, in your own end?  You lose 8-1.

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The stupid Wisco goal song still hurts.  I’ve been on the wrong end of an eight-goaler there.  Pretty helpless feeling.

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Despite the beatdown from Madtown, I think I enjoyed watching the college style of play more than any NHL game I’ve watched this year.  Totally surprised that I forgot how fun the college game is.

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The Phoenix Coyotes came from behind to beat the Kings last night, leaving LA in a tie with Detroit for fifth.  PHOENIX: STOP BEATING LA AND NASHVILLE NOW, SO YOU CAN DO IT IN PLAYOFFS. 

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I love watching guys go out in a big way.  There’s nothing worse than careers ending on a whimper.  It’s like a bad handshake at the end of a good day with a buddy.  Taints it.

So I do wanna see Modano retire.  If he’s not an offensive threat, he’s not that valuable – this year, he was still that threat.  And man…. watching that game last night, you couldn’t help but have a few tears.

He’s a talented, classy dude that had a great career.  The game will miss him.

 

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I’m a writing fiend today.  Bri’s lappy on lap (somehow I still don’t own a computer), snacks nearby, and the Masters in the background.  Game on.

Heckling Tiger, Huet vs. Niemi, The Frozen Four

G’mornin!

For those of you who prefer my writing in “column form” (y’know, with a coherent thought process, and usually some point to make beyond the “I THINK GUY FIERI BLEACHES HIS HAIR!” blog format), you can check out my latest for USA Today, on Why the Coyotes are nervously watching the Red Wings progress

Cool.

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Today is the Masters Par Three tournament warm-up thingy, which you’d have to be a pathetic, desperate fan of the Masters to watch, so I’ll probably set my DVR and go by some extra bags of Orville Redenbacher’s salt and pepper popcorn.  Which, by the way, is to popcorn what the Masters is to golf. 

Le Tigre

Deadspin makes it’s case for someone to heckle Tiger at the Masters like he rightfully deserves.  At first, I was all nose-in-the-air, gasp, not at the Masters-ey about it.  But man, when you write a convincing article, you write a convincing article.  Check out the link… and as always with Deadspin, if my blog is rated R, theirs is…. whatever’s worse than that. (Read: he doesn’t put asterisks in the word f**k…. how uncouth).

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Duke beat Butler to win the National Championship.  In other news you don’t care about, my cats breath still smells like cat food.

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Looks like Chicago’s going with Niemi for the stretch run here, hey?  He’ll make his fifth straight start tonight versus Dallas.

Huet

I understand that he had back to back shutouts in that stretch, so it’s impossible to not let him run with the ball for a bit.  But I’d be starting Huet.  Here’s my logic:

At this point, it’s hard to make the argument that Niemi is that much better than Huet (or vice versa).  Niemi may be better in future years, but as of the 2009-2010 playoffs, he’s not.

You’ve committed to Huet with a big contract.  He’s earning the big dough, so there’s obviously a reason for that.  At some point in his 277 NHL games (or 16 playoff ones) with Montreal, LA, Chicago (and I think briefly Washington), he’s shown flashes of multi-million dollar brilliance.

The experience I just referenced helps.  He’s 34 years old.  Annnntttttiiii (sp?) Niemi is 26 – prior to this season, he had 3 NHL games under his belt, which brings his total to 38, career.

I’m all for playing whoevers best on any given day, but if you’re having trouble deciding, give the reigns to the guy you put all your chips on before the roulette ball started spinning.

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I slid a “Go RIT!” in at the end of yesterday’s blog, but it was kind of a joke.  I’m glad to see other lesser-known programs going deep, for sure, but at heart, I’m a WCHA loyalist.

Sooo... Geoffrion got good since I left, I hear....

See, when you’re record is like, 14-28 every year, you tend to explain to people that it’s because the league you play in is the best in college hockey (yes, CCHA and Hockey East-ers, you have some argument).  The fact is, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won 36 of the last 58 National Championships, and there are six college conferences.  My second year in college, of the (something like) 58 Div. 1 college programs, the frozen four was ALL WCHA teams.

These are the things I cite to defend myself, and thusly, let me slowly, in all caps, type out my hope and pick for the National Title this year:

WISCONSIN BADGERS

My playoff record against those Badgers is 3-3 — had Pavelski and Robbie Earl not single-handedly earned NHL contracts in the third period of game one my sophomore year, it would be a lot better.  But then…. I guess those guys were on their team, so it is kinda fair…. crap.

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Time to wake up the houseguests!  Enjoy what NHL.com is calling “Super Tuesday” (is that even a thing?)  Who’s Detroit playing?  Can I bet my kid’s yet unearned college fund on them winning tonight?

Best Week Ever – The Sportsgasm

 

ITS MASTERS WEEEEEEEK!

And every other great sports week.  Let’s dive in:

The twenty-team BBHL (Bourne’s Blog fantasy Hockey League) is down to two, and somehow, someway, I’m still alive (didn’t expect to add that to my BWE {best week ever}), did ya?  And that’s with Carey Price as one of my two goalies.  Yeesh. 

I’ll admit, I got muchos lucky in the semi-finals – drew the guy who wasn’t paying attention enough to start the right guys or even have a chat (read: make a bet), but I’ll take it.  Also, if you’re the dude who wasn’t paying attention, you have no chance of being invited back into the league next year (…without heavy bribery).

But whatever, I’m still happy.  On to the finals!

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Le Tigre has a press conference at 11:00 a.m. my time (2 EST) – I’m not going to live blog it, mostly cause I have other stuff I’m supposed to be doing (like, um, my job), but still, expect a tweet barrage.  Expect that all week, really.  I predict Tigs to announce Dr. Drew as his new caddy.

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The funniest thing George Lopez does is call himself a comedian.  Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.  Back to being positive…

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Sick camera angle.

The Detroit Red Wings are only two points out of fifth in the West, just behind the Nashville Predators – If they catch them, Phoenix plays them in round one, which would but about as lucky as Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents (that poor guy just can’t catch a break!). 

 …..Oh god I just checked the schedule… Phoenix plays Nashville on Wednesday.  Who’s Phoenix’s ECHL affiliate?  Can they call those guys up?  Can I sign a one day deal to help them lose?  Can we dress reader “zyllyx”?  Make the Coyotes wear rollerblades?  SOMETHING?!?

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The worst thing to happen to the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup hopes is drawing the Flyers in round one, which as it stands right now, they would.

If it’s Boston or Montreal (Montreal especially), they’ll breeze through that first round.  Philly, unfortunately for the Caps, plays a bit of a physical game, and is suffering from the frustration of earning the awful moniker ”best team that never gets it done” in the East (maybe the league – San Jose has had a couple playoff collapses, but the Flyers have been legit contenders for a decade and never got it done).  It’d suck (for them) to have their dangly skill team to face a group of hungry, aggressive dudes.

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I got the right guy in the picture.... right?

This whole “Henrik Sedin leading the league” thing is pretty awesome.

Nobody in the league has chemistry like him and his brother, as evidenced by his highlight reel.  When you watch Sid or Ovy’s, for the most part, you get the miraculous one man rushes, nifty moves, clever dekes and the lightning shots.

Henrik’s reel is far more impressive from the “utilizing your teammates” standpoint.  He fires behind-the-back no-lookers that end up directly resulting in goals.  Not neat “almosts” or plays that guys go to the bench and say “that woulda been awesome”, but tape to tape, spinning, no look, tap in goals.  They (Daniel and Henrik) almost never have to shoot the puck through a goalie, since they can just dish it around him.

Very impressive stuff.

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THE MASTERRRRRSSSSSSS!

The par three tournament is tomorrow, the press conferences are today, my orgasm is Sunday and the tournament starts Thursday.

For last years list of “Why I Love The Masters“, follow that link – that was puked out stream-of-consciouness style, so I’m sure I could add even more to it. 

Expect Tiger to start slow, but be a threat if he can find a way to make the cut (even when he’s been active, his first round at the Masters is his worst, with a stroke average above 72 on day one).  I’m pumped!  I’ll be live blogging it Sunday from one of those Cover It Live things if you want to watch it with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predictions coming Wednesday.

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What a way to start the baseball season – with a Yankees loss (in Fenway).  Ahhh, spring.  Inhale, exhale that loss…. smells fresh.  Go Mets!

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My buddy Nick gets to my place tonight, so I don’t expect a lot of double blog entries, even though this is the ultimate week for it.  But, like I said, expect the tweet barrage.  You’ll be hearing from me!  (Go RIT!)

A Brief Wander, Followed By A Serious Rant On Agitators

 

ohmigodTigerscomingbackatthemasters

Ahem.  Sorry.  I finger-puked on the keyboard.

He shoots, he scores!

Tiger Woods has confirmed the speculation.  He’s making his return to professional golf at Augusta.

You may have noticed by now that I kinda sorta enjoy that golf tournament.  When he wrapped his Escalade around… well, pretty much everything (animated graphic here), I became immediately panicked about the undisputed best weekend in sports.

But today, proper order has been restored to the world.

What’s that you say?  The Masters, NHL playoffs, NBA playoffs, college hockey playoffs, March Madness finals and the start of the baseball season?  Hmm.  Thank youuu, April. 

I’ll be live blogging the weekend on one of those “Cover It Live” things, and anybody who wants to watch “with” me and entertain each other (that guy spends more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff), I welcome your company.

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I’ve become more fluent in the language of internettia since I started working on the damn thing for a living.  After watching a TIME video on tech trends, I decided it was time I add all the “share” buttons to the top of this blog.

Basically, they were explaining to simpletons like me how the reader is becoming the distributor.  Good writing, entertaining stories and all things viral are passed about by people like you recommending stuff through Digg, Twitter, and any of the million other options you have for sharing.

So, on those days I write something of significance (not that OMG TIGER WOODS IS COMING BACK isn’t), please share share share!  You can also grab my RSS thinger, follow me on Twitter, or just come to my site and read stuff the old fashioned way.  Whatever tickles your pickle.

{Also, thanks to Kyle and Fiona for their recent donations to the blog.}

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Alright, I’m on to hockey, calm down.

BREAKING DOWN AGITATORS

We’ve all accepted that agitators are a part of hockey.  They always have been.  But let’s call a spade a spade today, because frankly, it’s fun to do.

They’re phonies.

A legit NHLer that doesn't need to play so douchey.

Their style of play is a cop out for effective hockey.  When they aren’t performing well, they always have the fail-safe option of flapping their gums in the direction of their opponent, and suddenly everyone thinks they’re “in the game”. 

Even their coach might say “Look at that guy, he’s the only one who cares tonight.”

Really?

O-VER  RATE-ED clap-clap-clapclapclap. 

For some reason, the fans love them, yet they have zero positive effect on their teams chances of winning, unless they’re actually playing the quality hockey that so many of them are capable of.  Zero percent, because for every time their antics help a team win, it’s balanced by them costing their team a game.

In this sport, what does “rattling” your opponent do?  Fire him up?  — It’s hockey, not golf.  I understand head games when you’re playing a guy who has to stand over a four foot million dollar putt, but getting someone more involved and revved up in a physical game?  All these idiots do is wake sleeping beasts.

There are times when they draw penalties, sure.  But to do that, you need to sneak in a few spears and trips, which means they end up taking a few along the way themselves.  These guys hear “poser” and “clown” and “phony” on repeat, because their peers know what they are.  They’re doing whatever they need to do to draw a paycheck, but it’s not in a respectable way.  It’s indecent proposal on skates – would you intentionally injure people for a million dollars?  Apparently, yes.

Name me a completely clean agitator that’s get devoid of a “questionable” play in their career.  Cooke?  Burrows? Hartnell?  Downie?  Carcillo?  Avery?  Somewhere along the line they all take it too far. (Honest question: I rarely see the Wild play, but Clutterbuck is getting a bit of a reputation for being effective.  Is he both an “agitator” and still without incident?  Maybe he’s the rule’s exception.)

Thanks for the pixels, person I stole this from.

In playing that role, you know that’s the case.  You know at some point you “might” hurt someone.   Your coach knows that’s probably going to happen too, so he lives with his fingers crossed that it just doesn’t cost the team a penalty.

How many times can you watch a forward make a just-a-split-second-later-than-necessary attempted hit, miss the guy and make a ruckus on the glass, and still rise to your feet and applaud?

The difference between those worthy of our respect is just so unmistakable: If Jerome Iginla feels someone did something that needs answering, he drops the gloves from his Hall-of-Fame 50-goal scoring hands and fights.  If Vincent Lecavalier needs to get his team going, he’ll do the same.

But when Sean Avery goes to fill his role, he skates by the opposing bench, taunts someone, hacks someones laces, agrees to fight then leaves his gloves on to draw a penalty.  There’s no honor there.  But enjoy your celebrity, dude.

These guys have always been in the game, from my Dad’s day to mine.  They aren’t going anywhere, and I’m not proposing they do.  I’m just proposing we open our eyes and stop cheering for them.

I’ll Take Potpourri For A Thousand, Alex

 

Not that my blog is particularly focused in the first place, but I’m due to unload a whole crapload of half-baked thoughts.  Some may be on the same page as you, some may be a complete waste of seconds of your life, but hey – I’m pretty sure it was the variable interval schedule of rewards that got the rats coming back the most in the Skinner box, so it only makes sense.  Start hitting the lever, my pretties…. 

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My BlackBerry only allows me to send 160 characters in a text.  Hey phone, you’re not Twitter.  My archaic, older machines used to let me go long and send it in two parts, but my new one won’t?  ….At least I don’t have to use AT&T like iPhonies, I guess….

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The NHL Network did interviews with Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller post-Olympics, and largely focused on the final goal.  I realize Ryan Miller’s head is shaped like an ice cream cone, but did we really have to sit him down and give him those few extra licks?  The guy was all over him, like the last goal was a Miller meltdown.  Hockey plays kinda happen quickly there, Tom Brokaw.

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Crosby turned down the chance to do the Top Ten on Letterman, as he has before.  My guess for “why?” is because there’s nothing more patronizing than reciting jokes about hockey written by people who have zero idea about the sport to begin with.  Okay, team, we need ten jokes involving sticks, ice and gold.  Let the hilarity begin.

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I used to chat with my mom after a close playoff game I was in, and she’d say that at times she was near a complete and utter emotional meltdown …yet I never was.  It occurred to me after the Canada/US final that Mom is right – when you care about the result of a game, it’s far easier (stress-wise) to be playing than watching.

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Let’s bring this picture into focus:  Nobody is ever allowed to say “eye-hand” in reference to “hand-eye” coordination again, okay?  Good talk.

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Commentators always give goalies shit for looking behind them like they’re shaky, which they might be.  But if it’s your goalie, aren’t you glad he’s doing it?  If he isn’t certain he has full possession, isn’t it kinda like crossing the street…. no harm in checking?  If you aren’t sure, damn straight have a glance, and sooner than later.  I don’t need a puck limping across my goal line, thanks.

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I have a petty grudge against American Olympian Ryan Suter for calling me a “bender” in college a half-dozen times, so I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a retro-active, Canadian “ha-ha” to him (said like Nelson from the Simpsons) on his crushing overtime defeat.  What’s that you say?  He’s rich, in the NHL, and an Olympic silver medalist?  Touché.

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Best backhand(s) in the NHL:  Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Zetterberg.  Come accept your awards.

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I’m stoked about The Marriage Ref, even though it has nothing to do with marriage.  Really, it’s just a topic for three really funny people to BS about.  Consider my DVR set.

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For this years trendy, surprise Stanley Cup champion pick, I predict people predicting San Jose.  Everyone knows you’re not supposed to, based on their past playoff failures.  Thus, it’s a talented team that people shouldn’t pick – the perfect formula for all us talking heads to take as a “shocker that might come true”.  The goal isn’t to be right – hell, being right in the majority might actually be worse than being wrong.  So here comes everyones attempts at “right in the minority”.  See, look what a great hockey mind I am!

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As I’m fairly tall, and somehow I shrink all my shirts up over time, I think I see how old men end up wearing their pants under their nipples.  Shirts miraculously get shorter, so the pants gotta come up to compensate.  I’m like the Hardy Boys, knocking out one mystery at a time.

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In Tiger’s apology speech, everytime he started to tear up, he put it on lock and got it together.  Isn’t that the ultimate testament to the guy’s mental ability?  To just put the kibosh on tears and re-focus?  Impressive.

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And last, if you feel like reading a real column I wrote, you can check out my thoughts on why it’s harder to score towards the end of the season, for USA Today.  I think that’s enough mind-puke for one day.  Happy Tuesday.  Not the biggest day in the sports world.  You may have spend time with your family today.  ….Ugh.

(Olympic Hockey) LIVE BLOG, Tiger Woods Press Conference

 

LIVE BLOG starts a few paragraphs below, skip on down if you don’t care about my thoughts on Olympic hockey.  I don’t blame you if you don’t.  I barely do.

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Resuming a debate from yesterday:  If you were a GM building a team, would you rather have Rick Nash or Ilya Kovalchuk?  Tough call right?  Nash is a handful out there man, I certainly don’t envy d-men trying to stop him.  I feel like he gets 10 chances to Kovalchuk’s one, but Kovalchuk buries his like he’s hiding a dead body.

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So, Canada struggles against the Swiss (who, you would assume, DOMINATE the neutral zone).  I DVR’ed the game and chucked it on again when Bri went to bed to see what I could see. 

I saw Canada looking just fine.  They created a ton of chances, and really, the Swiss didn’t have many of their own (though I would’ve liked to see their first goal, THANKS CNBC for rolling out your newest hockey coverage feature, COMPLETELY ARBITRARY COMMERCIAL BREAKS.  Now seems like a good time, sell the people some detergent.

What that game did do, was make the Canada/US game that much more exciting for me.  The way the tournament format works, those top four spots are crucial, and both teams could still easily grab one.  And while we were floundering against the Swiss (again), it wasn’t like the US was running through Norway (until the end). But then, I know, it’s kinda hard to when you know you can win in autopilot.  Plus, Norway has TORE VIKINGSTAD, so they’ve got that goin’ for them.

But hockey isn’t the big news story of the day.  Tiger is.  And what you don’t need, is some media outlets moralistic view of what Tiger needs to do to make amends for being a slimy scuzzbucket.  What you need is the view of Bourne’s Blog - all the guy is to me is an entertainer, and that’s what he’s going to do again.  So take the stage Tiger, and dance, playboy, dance!

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TIGER WOODS LIVE BLOG PRESS CONFERENCE

Alright, first note – if Tiger says he won’t play in the Masters, the live blog immediately ends so I can shatter the nearest glass and eat the shards.

Tiger’s therapy called for a week off, which is why he’s doing the press conference today.  So yeah, it has nothing to do with taking away eyes from the tournament being sponsored by the same people who just dropped him from their sponsorship list.  Seriously.

And the last note before we get underway, is yes, I realize this is lowest common denominator stuff.  But let me have this.  Sometimes it’s fun to live down to the title “blogger”.

"What's this one's name again? ...Think Tiger, think!"

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8:35: ESPN has the ghost of Rick Reilly chime in on his thoughts about Tiger.  The guy looks like all that rain in Vancouver actually did soak his skin to a wrinkly, pruny mess.  Sor-ee, Rick.

8:55:  Tiger has serious security detail with him.  There’s three dudes with guns, and Elin with a nine iron.

8:56:  As Justin_Stangel tweeted, the official press conference rules are as follows:  No multiple cameras, no questions and no fat chicks.

8:59:  Did you hear that Phil Mickelson called Elin Nordegren? He asked her for some tips on beating Tiger.  (Ahhh, what a gold mine of material.  Thanks Tiggs)

9:00:  Just had this one sent to me:  “The police asked Tiger’s wife how many times she hit him. “I can’t remember,” Elin said, “just put me down for a 5.”

9:03:  This feels 100% like an SNL skit.  LIVE FROM NEW YORK, ITS SATURDAY NIGHT!

9:05:  Oh wow, this is actually really sad.

9:06:  Wait, no it isn’t.  Did he just remind us of his charity work?  Holy crap Tiger, you really missed the mark with the “I’m actually still great” hint.

9:08:  Okay, it’s funny again.  Thanks for this one:” Tiger’s other women aren’t mistresses. They’re provisionals.”

9:10:  It wouldn’t have killed the guy to give this a run-through in the mirror once or twice, hey?  Did he get to see the script before they turned the cameras on for his monologue?

9:11:  Why do I feel like I’m being scolded?  Great point by Josh in comments – he should just put a ball down on a tee and swing.  I’d golf clap and forget this speech ever happened.

9:13:  I’m boggled that people can talk this long without making an actual point.

9:14:  Buddhism!  Yes!  What a twist!  Tiger’s a big fan of rubbing belly’s, apparently.

9:15:  HOW DID HE NOT WEAR RED FOR THE BIGGEST MOMENT OF HIS CAREER?

9:16:  Therrreee’s the orchaestrated tears.  I thought we’d see more of those. 

9:18:  Tiger hugs his old college teammate, who knows he’s crying because now he actually only gets one woman for the rest of his life.  Tiger sobs “I’m just too famous to get … sob… away now.”

9:20: No mention of the Masters, but a mention of Buddhism.  I did NOT see that coming.  Aight, I’m out people.  What’d you think?

Avatar, Figure Skating, Lockouts, Milbury, Tiger

 

I finally got around to seeing Avatar last night, on a Bri-sponsored date.

A must-see.

We did it the right way – IMAX, 3D, a sack of popcorn bigger than the screen, all that good stuff.  And I’ve gotta say….  WOW.  Just wow.  That movie was unbelievable.  I was 90% certain I would leave going “meh”, but I gave it a fair shot, and man, I thought it was just great.  It’s like Planet Earth on acid, splashed with a pretty cool story.  Check it out before you have to watch it on your 18″ RCA at home.

*****

 

I don’t get why male figure skating has to be so flamboyant.  I really don’t.  It’s the same as “why doesn’t Norway have a good hockey team?”

Okay, Weir's an exception, but good god man...

Why all the glitter and jazz hands to distract from one of the most unbelievably difficult events in individual sport?  Triple spins on skates?  And you need SEQUINS to make it impressive?

I understand not wearing something loose, as that would detract from your ability to perform.  But I find all the pomp and flash detract from my attention on what they’re actually able to accomplish.  There’s too much substance buried under all that style. 

But, I guess every sport has a culture.  The American snowboarders are rocking the jeans and plaid look (because the Cobain/grunge/Seattle look needed to be revived…. okay, I actually like the their gear), so I guess the figure skaters can rock bedazzled unitards and sparkles, if that’s what the culture is.  What they do is still ultra-impressive (just look at this pages bottom image for proof).

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In all of ESPN’s holy-crap-there’s-nothing-to-coverness, they’ve been chucking around the possibility of NFL and NBA strikes.  Do you think all those fans would immediately forgive “us” for the hockey lockout if that happened?  Would they come running back?  They would right?  Please pay attention to us.  Please!  I desperately want to make love to a schoolboy.

 

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NBC's star

 So Roenick and Milbury are the newest Pierre McGuire and Milbury.  As in, duo who argues because they’re both so opinionated they both have to be somewhat wrong.  I think the reason we’re seeing more Inflamatory Mike is that he’s starting to get comfortable on-air.  He probably started as a decent GM too *gag*, but now that he thinks he’s safe in his analyst job, he’s starting to say the stupid red flag things that make people go “…pardon?” (like that time when he started saying things like “Do you think we can turn Chara, Luongo, Jokinen and the future Spezza pick into some real Yashiny/Kvasha/Parrish-ish type guys?”).

My first taste of this was when Inflamatory Mike explained in a sentence or two to Clark Gillies that, since he had been with the Islanders for 13 years, and Clark played there for a mere 12, he was as much or more of an Islander.  This was spurred on by a bit of Grandpa’s cough syrup, it’s safe to say, but there were some mighty unhappy ex-Islanders in the room after that.  Since, y’know, Mike said it on the microphone while hosting an event to a bunch of them.

Let’s not launch a Milbury hate parade in the comments section.  We’ve covered he’s not the most popular guy, I just wanted to tell the “Mike’s a true Islander” story.

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Last for today: Tiger speaks tomorrow.  Holy crap.  This means a return to golf.  Before the Masters.  Holy crap.

I sure hope he apologizes to us for cheating on his wife.  Wait… why’s he holding a press conference again?

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Fact:  You can’t do this.

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:

#10)

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?

#11)

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.

#12)

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.

#13)

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.

#14)

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.

#15)

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?

#16)

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.

#17)

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

#18)

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.

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

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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.


Relationships in Sports

Yesterday was awesome.  It was just one of those rare, things-are-going-great days.

On top of that, I dug up a good half-dozen topics, a few of which are column worthy.  Let’s attack the rest in a happy awesome Thursday party edition.

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First, here’s some shit I’d straight up dance alone to.

…it was that or Ice Cube’s “Today was a good day.”  Beggin’ won.

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Nordic women headbutt people for fun.

Nordic women headbutt people for fun.

How about Tiger winning Athlete of the Decade (as voted by the Associated Press) yesterday?  Does that come with a cash prize to split with his soon-to-be ex-wife?  Or does he at least win a new girlfriend or two?  Somebody help a playa out, the guy must be in a serious drought (Ohh, we’re all having fun at his expense.  Check out the Sports Pickle entry after Tiger announced he was taking a leave of absense from golf, titled: ”Elin Woods Taking Indefinite Leave of Absence From Tiger’s Penis“).

He definitely deserves the title “Athlete of the Decade”.  Dude won a dozen majors and conquered everything in his path.  …Eh?  Eh?  You’re readin’ my mail on that, …aaaalright!

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But speaking of Tigeresque men…

CBS Sports writes a must-read article on infidelity in the NFL.  It’s a pretty depressing look at the ho-hum attitudes some guys have about the girls on the side that some of the players admit to having (the article set out to see if the death of Steve McNair at the hands of his mistress had an effect on guys.  It did for a bit, but then that one chick was soooo hot, and they totally forgot). 

Because this is how normal adults act.

Because this is how normal adults act.

I’ve always liked Kris Jenkins of my NY Jets, who I think gives the most likable, reasonable view on the topic: (which, incidentally, is the same one a 13 year old would give) “If you’re going to be married, be married.”  The views that were least valid came from Kurt Warner, strictly because choosing to have seven kids proves you’re utterly devoid of the tiniest sliver of good judgement.

Reggie Bush makes a good point about how so many NFL marriages crumble after players leave the game.  He says guys should do some mandatory counselling to help the transition from being at the compound 40 hours a week, in the spotlight and glorified, to family men.  Which is a really good point, but I think they edited the part where he said “and I dated Kim Kardashian cause-a that fat ass.”

 It’s typical for these NFL players to come from nothing, get rich, and get married.  Unfortunately from there, the article says players seem to immediately place their wives in the role of  their mothers, which de-sexualizes the wife, and hyper-sexualizes other women. 

Anyways.  Worth a read.

*****

Thanks for reading, "tweeps". ...f**k.

Thanks for reading, "tweeps". ...f**k.

Sooo, people use Twitter now, and I don’t sense it’s going away anytime soon.  Since that’s the case, can we contact the good folks running the show and have them take the pre-teen factor out of the site?  Do I really have to call a post/entry a “tweet”?  I’m still not over this.

People occasionally make really good points, or link to wonderful articles through Twitter.  I reeeeally don’t feel like it’s necessary for the site to embarrass it’s users with all the pretty-blue-bird-tweety aspect.

 So stop putting the “tw” in front of normal words.  I follow the New York Times sports section, TIME magazine and NHL news sources, yet I’m supposed to refer to these respected people as my “tweeple”.  Rot in hell and die, Twitter.

*****

Yayyy, fun Thursday edition!

Hockey Quick Hits

 

(Yes, that’s Dustin Byfuglien and TWISTA playing NHL 2K9 in the preview picture.  Twista hardly looks stoned.)

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this earlier, because I have the memory of a goldfish, but I was supposed to plug THIS.  My brother is auctioning off an autographed Bryan Trottier Hall of Fame stick for charity.  Bryan gave it to Jeff to help raise money for Kelowna Sledge Hockey.  Go place a bid, you Isles-loving bastards!

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Look, I’m all-Isles over here, and not trying to sabotage my own team, but… HEY. REST OF THE LEAGUE.  Tavares is lurking backdoor on the powerplay for tap-ins.  Might wanna address that in your pre-game discussions.

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Sickkk jersey.

Sickkk jersey.

The first heavily circulated Tiger joke, as I tweeted yesterday: “What’s the difference between Santa Claus and Tiger Woods?     Santa stops at three ho’s.”  Ba-doom-boom-ching!

*****

As Bill Simmons explained, sports hate and real hate are different.  Sports hating a player has nothing to do with needing a reason or an explanation, sometime you…. you  just… god I HATE that Bob Barker Milan Lucic.  Who do you inexplicably sports hate?

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Head to head fantasy hockey is like the card game “war”.  This is how I’ve justified performing worse than Ashley Simpson on SNL.  Sometime you play your ace against a two (y’know, put up 30 points in a week your opponent has like, 12), and it feels like a total waste.  Sometimes you play a queen against a king.  The draft is really just the “deal”.  Looking forward to contrarian comments from other league members (whom I sports hate.  Like, all of them.)

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If you billet junior hockey players in hopes of saving a nickel on the money the team gives you for boarding a kid, you’re pure evil, and should let the kid move out today.

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Beer of the completelyarbitrarylengthoftime: Yardhouse Pale Ale.  Maybe I was just in the mood for one, but man, I thought it was great.

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Lumpy.

Lumpy.

The only thing more frustrating than Dustin Byfuglien is the spelling of his last name.  I do like that there’s a “fugli” in there, because he is.  And the hint of “alien” at the end would explain his general on-ice appearance.  I figure it’s a mish-mash word, like Butt-f****ing-ugly-alien or something.  I sports hate him.

*****

Don’t you get the impression that Toews reputation for being Serious Steve makes the Blackhawks that much more of a legitimate playoff threat?  He can keep 20-Cent and The Butt-fugly One focused on the right goal, you know?

*****kings uni

Do the Kings have the most underrated jerseys in the league?  Those whites are sick.  Other than the original six (we all get it, they rule), who has the leagues most underrated jersey in your opinion?  All votes for the Panthers will earn you permanent site dismissal.

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And last, I’d like to thank Handsy Kopitar for snapping his 214 game goal-less drought last night.  He morphed into a crappy fantasy pick-up faster than Kirstie Alley circa Cheers.

(Thanks to Jeff from Illinois for helping keep the blog in business with a donation.  Happy Thursday, all!)

Friday Free-For-All

 

So, Steven Seagal: Lawman is a real show, huh?  I’m getting a kick out of TV just mailing it in right now.

I long for natural selection.

I long for natural selection.

They’re like, eff it, people just want to stare at their TV and call other people idiots anyways (whether it’s CNN or MTV), so make “Jersey Shore” a show.  And yes, let’s do more seasons of The City and Hills.  MTV, you’re just so good at sucking, any new suggestions?  Bully Beatdown? Tough Love?  It all sounds great.  Get ‘em made.  People will hate it, then watch anyways.  Why?  Because there’s nothing but crap on any channel, dipshit.”

*****

 

soooothing....

soooothing....

Readers from earlier this year know I’m a sucker for golf majors.  Like, during The Masters, I have a no-leaving-the-house rule on the weekend. If Tiger somehow botched my weekend with his whole debacle, he’s got bigger problems than a shattered marriage and tarnished public image.  I’m flying to Windemere to finish the job his wife started with that nine-iron.

On another Tiger note – if you’re the girl, are you crazy to let that phone message out, knowing what it’ll do to his wife and family?  Or are you crazy to not accept the money?  Do you have zero obligation to not chuck him under the front wheels of the bus at that point?  I guess bangin’ a married guy sort of eliminates any chance you’re concerned about his wife, huh?

*****

Looking for reviews on Bud Lights “Golden Wheat”.

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Okay guys, it’s time to talk. 

Say something about it, I dare you...

Say something about it, I dare you...

Bad news….  Most of us are over the mustache thing. 

Sucks right?  They were such a gold mine of humour for so many years.  But too many people are in on the joke now.  And like mullets, some people still rock them despite our culture’s obvious penchant for verbally abusing the owner, so those people can still be the butt-end of a few cookie-duster barbs.  But for the most part… it’s over.  Someone tell George Parros (and I suggest you do it nicely).

(Sidebar – we all agree he rocks the ‘stache just so he can get somebody to talk shit, and thus give himself more chances to justify his role on the team as a fighter, right?)

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So I got thinking, in the wake of Tiger sleeping with more people than Ambien… who are our holy saints now?

Here’s the best of what we got left.  Top three.

Wanna see me comb my hair, really fast?

Wanna see me comb my hair, really fast?

Third Place: Albert Pujols (as Deadspin pointed out)

It’s amazing that his name hasn’t come up in any steroid allegations for two reasons.  One, he’s built like from-ten-years-ago never-that-popular cartoon character Johnny Bravo.  And two, during the steroid era, all he’s done is hit the stuffing out of the ball, every year, consistently and politely, while winning MVP awards.  But it’s baseball, so I’m less inclined to care (Go Mets!).

Second Place: Lebron James

The homie’s still only 25, but for a man with stature like his, the slate is pretty damn sparkly.

First Place: Sid “I’m taking over Tigers ‘most boring athlete’ title” Crosby

If you found out Sid was up to some dirt, you’d be floored, wouldn’t you?  Anything beyond a speeding ticket from the guy and I’d be completely befuddled.  The carefully cultivated image, the boring-but-proper interviews…. he’s Tiger, minus the mystique.  He really does seem straight up bland.  By the way, is he still living at Lemieux’s, does anyone know?  That’s officially well past acceptable if he is.  Hey, wait a second… maybe Brendan Burke will have some support soon!

[*Note - Blog has been up for two hours, and I've already been dominated by two reader suggestions.  Joe Mauer and Peyton Manning should definitely be on that list.  Or a longer one, at worst.]

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Frrrrrriiiiiiiiiidddddddaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!  And I’m ready to admit it’s almost Christmas.  And almost my birthday.  And still 70 degrees here.  All of which, you may have noticed, are great things.  So have a wonderful weekend, peeps.  Lookin’ forward to the comments!

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{RANDOM LIST: TOP FIVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES

5. A Christmas Carol
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas
3. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
2. It’s a Wonderful Life
1. Christmas Vacation}

Timing, Tiger and Tomatoes

 

Breakaways are pretty rare.  In practice, if you beat the goalie on a deke, he sort of gives up and slides out of the net.  There’s no desperate swing/dive reaction, because, whatever.  It’s practice.  And most of the time, Tendy’s not even gonna go down. He’s going through the motions out there, with that “starter” spot pretty well locked up.

the more you knowSo it’s hard to know just how effective your moves are.  Thus, when you’d get a breakaway in the olden days, it was panic central.  Holy-crap, holy-crap, holy-crap-time.

The shootout era has changed this.  It’s given guys more opportunities to take uncontested breakaways on goalies that are actually trying.  Guys are getting a better feel for what’s effective, what timing and what pacing works, all that good stuff. 

So here’s what I learned thanks to shootouts: the speed of attack is key.  Mostly, that the goalie can’t vary his speed as easy as the shooter can.

So, starting out top speed will get the tender backing up quick, then you can slow it right down, let him back up damn-near under the crossbar, and shoot.  For deke’s, the opposite.  Start slow, and pick up speed so the goalie is still at the top of his crease.

Thanks for the help on breakaways, whoever introduced the shootout!

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I love the “do athletes deserve privacy” question that keeps coming up as a result of the Tiger Woods case. 

Yyyyyes.  Yes they do.

I don’t get it.  People say stuff like “if you take all that money, and you’re in the spotlight, you’re willingly sacrificing your privacy for a public life”.  Why?

So you’re really really good at hockey as a kid, dominating everyone, and an NHL team wants to sign you.  They offer you millions of dollars.  You’re supposed to pass up being a millionaire because you don’t want people to know when you fight with your wife?  “Sorry, Blackhawks, I appreciate the millions of dollars you offered, but I’d rather not have my picture taken.  Like, ever”.  Athletes need to choose between being successful at their sport and not being TMZStalked now?

In Tiger’s case, maybe you can argue that by doing advertisements for stuff, he’s sacrificed some right to his own privacy, but honestly, I’m not seeing that either (but it’s still super-petty to hock razors as a f**king billionaire).

{Tangent Brackets: I said this in a comment below, but thought it was worth running in the body of the blog:

The “Hey… It’s Tiger” is funny in so many ways I’m not sure where to start.  ….it’s like the phrase the police would try to get you to say to officially incriminate you in a drug bust “…so you’re, willing to sell me this COCAINE for MONEY. What’s the powdery white stuff called again?” is equal to “Hi, it’s TIGER”.}

"I'm Josh Elliot" --- "And I've got a porn name"

"I'm Josh Elliot" --- "And I've got a porn name"

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Hannah Storm wore straight-up camo today. 

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If you get up and pour a bowl Special K Red Berries, and don’t actually get any red berries, do you think it forecasts your day?  Like, lets say you were eating Lucky Charms.  You pour a bowl.  ZERO marshmallows.  The odds of that are near impossible.  Do you let that convince you that that day is going to suck?

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tomatoesAnd last – the slightly more expensive “on the vine” tomatoes at the grocery store.  What’s the etiquette on just picking the ones I need, like, right off the vine?  You pay by weight, and I don’t need to donate 18 cents to stems do I? 

I needed two tomatoes for a salad yesterday.  Some guy is watching me pick my tomatoes off-the-vine at the on-the-vine section.  There was an audible “pff”.  Like, disappointed in me.  F**k him, right?

*****

 (Language warning for those of you who take life to seriously)


Report: Most College Males Admit To Regularly Getting Stoked

Friday at The Masters

 

Before I launch into today’s golf coverage, I just want to make quick mention about another big sports day coming up: April 14th. 

NHL draft lottery day, where enduring a season of misery has earned the Islanders the scant 48% chance of securing John Tavares.  Apparently Hedman’s no slouch, but that organization can hardly afford anything less than the best.  After all, how else will Kansas City win the cup in 2012?  (Cool it Isles fans, I’m just playin’, I’m just playin’…)

And as mentioned in yesterday’s comments, that Bruin’s/Canadiens game yesterday was dynamite.  Bill Simmons, the sports writer who broke up with the Bruins years ago citing lockout related differences, has vowed to take them back for playoffs.  I think he’ll like his new girlfriend.

Friday at the Masters:

1.  Danny Lee, the 18 year old Japa Chi Kor Asian kid that was making his Masters debut, had this to say in his pre-tournament press conference: “The first time I played the course, I didn’t understand why so many players struggled here.  It’s an easy course”.  I’m glad that as Colin Montgomery limps into the sunset of his career, I have a new player to hate on the horizon.  Lee was 11 over par after two days, only 20 shots back.  Musta got some tough bounces.

2.  Serious Leaderboard assessment:

Saturday is “moving day” in golf, where the stage gets set for Sunday, and anyone who plans on contending to win better make their move up the board.  Maybe the biggest name aren’t on the top of the board, but they’ve all got a foot on the bottom rung of the ladder.  Woods (-2), Mickelson (-3) and Garcia (-4) are poised with a host of other big names to fire at some flags and make their move.

The scary thing for those guys, is that it’s not just one player up there around nine under, it’s a handful.  Somebody is going to continue to play well, so players can’t count on somebody faltering, like Woods needed O’Hair to do last week.  At 48, Kenny Perry is a legitimate threat to win, far more dangerous that some of the other names near the top.

If none of the other top guns get hot tomorrow, Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim are a couple names not likely to move the wrong way down the board.  I almost mentioned before the tournament that Kim is a guy who needs to play poorly to not contend.  His B-game is better than most players A.  He made 11 birdies yesterday, a Masters course record, en route to shooting the low round of the day, 65.

I was right yesterday in guessing minus nine would lead heading into the weekend.  I think it’ll be 10 under heading into Sunday, meaning that dangerous group at two under will need to shoot around 67 to get into the mix for Sunday.

Bad weather is the best thing that could happen to Tiger’s chances.  He can deal with it, others can’t.

3.  Less serious assessment:

Phil has made headway into de-stuffing his shirts, but something still doesn’t look right.  The guy is definitely thin enough now to where I shouldn’t be seeing nipple.  Maybe his under-shirt issues go beyond a once-evident brownie batter fetish.

Tiger rocked the baby-blue on black today, and looked better.  I think everyday these guys dress they should picture a highlight being shown in 15 years and avoid anything that would make the kids in 2024 go “really?”.  Because, Tom Kite’s glasses, really

Apparently, straight from the course to racquetball.

I’ve got a few more tidbits on today’s play, but I’m back in Kelowna, and my brother is apparently making seafood wraps and caesar salad.  This, I gotta see.

Everyone enjoy your weekend, and remember the coverage switches to CBS, and gets even better tomorrow.  See ya then.

Getting The Twit-ch

 

Today’s blog is brought to you by Pete’s Party Palace, located at 6492 Fairweather Drive, entirely because it’s an excuse to show one of my thousands of moose pictures from college.

 anchorage-2007-042

Did you know that there is a group of people on the PGA tour that refer to our chubby-go-lucky pal Phil Mickelson as FIGJAM?  Not the coolest nickname in the world, but it’s also a little mysterious, right?  I assume you’re thinking it’s something about his need for a man-zier, but if you were, you’d be wrong. 

It stands for “F–k I’m Good, Just Ask Me”.

In a related story, Phil has apparently been seen grooming his back in preperation to be Tiger’s doormat at the Masters this year.

Yet still, I love Phil.  He’s allllmost entertaining enough to make me watch tournaments that Tiger isn’t in (okay, he is).  I’ve just never seen a sport where second place is so far behind first for such an extended period of time.  I guess Federer was dec. for a while there.  FIGJAM must want to give Tigers other leg a “stress fracture” so he can actually be the big dog he apparently thinks he is.

 

Cool picture Tigs, just keep that hat on.  I think Tiger’s been feeling the recession a bit too, just in not in the pocket book.

Is anything more fun to watch than the Cleveland Cavalawesomes do their mimed displays of pure team chemistry?  I just wrote a draft on team chemistry, and Cleveland is clearly built on it (plus they have that James guy).  I haven’t seen routines like that since touchdown celebrations in the ’90′s.  Do we have a clip for that?  We don’t?  Hmm. Okay, just show Lebron.

That works.

Pardon The Interuption, or PTI as it’s better known, is the best talk sports program on TV today.  Its so good it makes other shows unwatchable.  The chemistry between Kornheiser and Wilbon is so great that they can argue without belittling the other guy, and name-call without sincerity.  Plus, they kinda know what they’re talking about.  Tony Rially is great and Kornheiser waves a Canadian flag at the end.  Sold.

On the topic of TV, I caught a lil highlight package on the NHL network the other day, and saw two plays that excited me to a questionable degree.  Ribeiro goes through his legs, and Kopitar looks bored scoring a one-handed breakaway goal.  A few weeks earlier Ribeiro scored on his own one-handed shootout move. God I love the new NHL.  Here’s the through the legger:

 

Okay, now.  Twitter.  Stupid Twitter.  I’m at the age where I’m fighting against most technology, because even though I know it’s great, I can’t afford it.  And if I could, it’d just change to something cooler the next day.  So I tried to plant my feet on any new social networks, or popular cultural waves, but the current is pretty strong.  I added my Twitter page to my blog (up to two followers), but I’m just not so sure about it.  I don’t even own a phone fancy enough to update it from anywhere other than my couch.

I can’t fathom the attention this stupid site is getting.  CNN reports it as real news, SportsCenter gets its updates from it, and 13 year girls get to let everyone know why Ben and  Tristan were sooo stupid in home room today.

The only reason I want it is because it seems to be at the crest of some new media wave, and I’m occasionally funny.  It seems like an opportunity to entertain.  The problem is, I hate the damn thing.  I don’t mind being alone, lost, and not thought about.  So it’s on my readers.  I’m tempted to take it off.  Do you hate Twitter?  Like it?  Should I buy in?  What’s your stance?

 

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