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World Cup, Toews Signing Bonus



Finally, the good part of the sports year can get started – World Cup baby! 

…..Yeah that was saracastic.

If only the WHOLE GAME was that fun

I watched the entirety of this morning’s South Africa/Mexico match as a preemptive strike for ”you haven’t even watched a game” comments.  I’m well aware they’re coming, since I plan on telling people I don’t like watching it. 

I feel like when people say they don’t like watching a sport, it’s because they don’t understand it (in my experience this is especially true with US football), but I understand soccer just fine.  And I LOVE playing it.  But like baseball, it’s just not that fun for me to sit down and soak in.

I respect the game enough, and I can see why it might be fun to be a fan of (other fans, plus soccer highlights are awesome), but without any personal connection to it, it’s just not for me. 


Is he skating away with next year's Cup hopes? (No, but still)


So, I thought the biggest post-Stanley Cup story to come out was that Jonathan Toews gets a 1.3 million dollar signing bonus for winning the Conn Smythe, which counts against the Hawks salary cap next year (yes, bigger than the “Pronger is gay” story).  As Joe Biden might put it: that extra cap hit is a big f**kin deal.

I wonder how Toews feels knowing that his good play somehow managed to hurt his team for next year.  Gotta be mixed feelings, right?  I’d be rattled that I’d have to feel bad for earning a bonus.  Turns out that offering that incentive in the first place wasn’t very well thought out.


I watched some of an old hockey game last night (an Oilers/Blackhawks fiasco) and I refuse to believe players have less respect now.  I saw a large number of humans get crosschecked in the head, and goalies getting slashed.

I did have to chuckle at the evolution of goaltending though.  The topic is well discussed, but when Roenick scored ON THE ICE glove side and the commentator called it “the perfect shot”, I enjoyed my giggles.  YOU’RE ALLOWED TO GO DOWN, RANFORD!

We'll sweat out our hangovers together.


As we wrap up a few of the final tidbits from the NHL season (the Blackhawks had a parade, yay!), I’m turning my focus to our yearly Fantasy Camp.  The thing is, frankly, awesome.  We get more than our share of “best week of my life’s” and are trying to fill the last available spots.

You can register at, contact me at, or just send me a signed, blank check and I promise I’ll totally call you when I get it.  I go by “Director of Operations”, because it’s our company and I get to pick my name, so there.


Should a guy ever drink out of the straw in his mixed drink at the bar?  Strictly for stirring, right?


Today kind of marks the first day of my free agency as a writer.  While still employed by, who I contribute to next season is completely up in the air.  I’m hoping by the time our fantasy camp is over in mid-August, I’ll have something solid locked down for the 2010-2011 NHL season.  Ideally something that gets me out of the house more, and comes with health insurance.

Have a great summer weekend!  Think the ‘Hawks are?


39 Responses to “World Cup, Toews Signing Bonus”
  1. KForbes says:

    I boggles my mind that Toews is still on his entry level deal.

  2. Mike P. says:

    Since the world cup is the biggest sporting event on planet earth, I am going to try and watch it. A billion people cant be wrong? Plus the same excuses I use for soccer are used for hockey. I don’t understand it, its low scoring..blah..blah.

    Stir only..

  3. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, I’m gonna watch as much as possible, I’m just not invested enough to love it But I do love sports, sooo…. I’ll try. Then again, what’d Bill Maher say the other day…. “Eat shit – a billion flies can’t be wrong.” On global warming

  4. Braden89 says:

    I hear you on the Roenick goal. It shocks me seeing old highlights and the types of goals that went it. I’m blown away when people complain about the way goalies play today, it’s better, deal with it.

  5. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    I watched about 12-seconds of the soccer game today…Still felt like the whole thing.

    Straw? Push the iced down twice and dispose of it. Drinking from it is called Pronger-ing it. I picture it being a Cosmo.

  6. Liviu says:

    (Warning: shameless self-advertising follows this disclaimer)

    I don’t have to tell you what I think of the World Cup. If you have any doubts, check out my blog!

  7. Jarick says:

    You’re totally allowed to drink out of your straw at the bar, so long as your boyfriend doesn’t mind.

    Sorry, I thought I was on the Blackhawks for a second there.

  8. Sherry says:

    I’ve only had limited experience watching soccer – although I did get to see a game, live, at Wembley, England vs Poland, and that was quite the experience (one English chant to the Poles during the game was, “How does it feel to queue for bread?” – ouch. And yes, some hooligans broke a light in the train on our way there – yikes!)

    But I only began to follow it (and by “it” I mean WC soccer ) in ernest, during the last WC. A close friend’s husband is a huge fan and he roots like my dad (and me), loud and deomonstrative, so he kind of got me jacked up about it. And then I found my own things of interest (little scrappy players that tend to be the types I like in other sports, Zinadine Zidane, the sheer novelty of it for me) – which has led to me being pretty excited for this WC.

    I can always get behind the nationalistic pride thing, but god, the rabid support of fans everywhere you go is just something I can easily get caught up in. Plus the drama inherent in the sport is so damn amusing I still can’t get enough of it. I love the up-and-down-the-pitch rythym of the game, the “injuries” and fouls, the 1-on-1 work of the players – just the whole damn spectacle of it. Plus, I can actually watch a soccer match and be sociable while doing it (i.e I will talk to others – when I watch hockey I tend to not want to talk so much) – it’s kind of like baseball in that sense.

    Anyway, probably more than you wanted to know – but man, I am amped for tomorrow’s match with England! We’re even going to watch tonight’s opening concert with Justin’s fave band The Black Eyed Peas. :)

    USA! USA!

  9. Sherry says:

    St Cloud – LMAO.

  10. Sherry says:

    Oh and, it will be fun to watch and see if Maradona goes round the bend…

  11. kitten fister says:

    Where did you get info on the Toews signing bonus, would like to read more bout that?

  12. Char says:

    Now you know how some people feel about golf.

    For the record, my husband, who was born and raised in Northern Ireland, is a soccer fanatic and finds hockey and baseball boring. I like hockey and baseball AND soccer. But not golf.

    Toews’ bonus hurts the Chicago cap? That’s like saying a few extra gallons of oil hurts Louisiana. The Hawks are so far over the cap next year that it’s not even funny – 14 players at $57 million!

  13. Char says:

    Oh, and root against France. If you don’t know why, Google “Thierry Henry handball.”

  14. Sherry says:

    Char – my husband’s family is from Northern Ireland too. Ever gone to a hurling match? That’s a trip.

  15. Sioux in the Cities says:

    Just thought you might enjoy this story about watching the World Cup. Not sure I could do it:

    Also, that parade in Chicago today looked incredible! Wish I could’ve been a part of it.

  16. HockeyPhool says:

    Nice work this season, Justin. Looking forward to more next season.

  17. Goody says:

    I’ll deviate from the mean (note the A in that!) on the straw thing. Stir, bend it over and drink from the rim. When down to the last little bit it’s OK to use the straw to get every last drop of alcoholic goodness because you know if you tip the glass back far enough to get it all, you’ll get an ice shower. That brings up another point – there should still be water in it’s solid state in your glass when you finish your drink. If not, you’re doing it wrong.

  18. Char says:

    I haven’t been to a hurling match, Sherry, but I’d like to. Seen it on TV. Crazy sport – looks like a lot of fun. :-)

  19. Anna S. says:

    You know what? I think the Hawks will take the cap hit, since it means that their captain for the next five years has a special trophy to his name, and gets to join the Triple Gold club as the youngest member. I trust the Hawks braintrust to figure it out. Hopefully the cap is going up next year anyway, so with any sort of luck it won’t have any effect on the projections people have been making all year.

  20. Marienne says:

    I’m going to throw in a dose of support for your comment about watching FIFA WC (or, for that matter, really any broadcast Soccer/Futbol/etc).

    I’ve played soccer, as well as a handful of other league and team sports (some more obscure than others), and have friends who still live and breathe it even now that they’re through university (including a classmate who was snagged by the White Caps). It was one of the “big” sports at my high school, receiving far more attention and acclaim than the rest of the fall seasonal sports, and both our men’s and women’s teams were regional champions.

    It’s not that I don’t understand what’s going on during a game, or even that I don’t enjoy watching if I catch a match in “real life.” For all of that, though, I just can’t generate any interest for it when I’m watching it televised. It’s fun to play, and there’s a hell of a lot of skill involved on that field at the higher levels, but there’s a degree of disconnect that makes it hard to get too excited. Maybe it’s cultural, because soccer has been slow to emerge in the US as a major televised sport, but my guess is that it’s just a personal preference exacerbated by the degree of background exposure it’s received (i.e. not very much). If nothing else, I suspect you can take heart in the fact that once this year’s world cup is over, you’ve got several years until soccer becomes an epic-level hot topic in the US again (kind of like elite-level swimming and the Summer Olympics, really).

  21. karlooch says:

    This has been a fun blog to read this NHL season. Thanks JB!

  22. bluliner says:

    Drinking w/a straw is fine if you’re comfortable with it. Confidence looks a lot better than dribbling on the front of your shirt.

    What is not OK; ordering a Corona and requesting a shot of grenadine for it…then proclaiming to the bartender that “…it tastes just like a WINE COOLER!!!” Never order a drink that requires whipped creme and never try to act all sexy for the ladies while eating a cherry. Those are total ‘Chrissy Pronger’ moves ;)

    …my college days were spent tending bar/bouncing and I could write a 12 book series on the shit I’ve seen.

  23. Marc says:

    Tell me you ended your bartending career when one day a guy in a “salmon” color collared shirt (popped) ordered 12 jager bombs (for his “bros”) and you just beat the living hell out of him.

  24. Mike says:

    Great season of blogging.
    Despite soccer being the biggest sport (in terms of participation) in the US, it’s just not around us all that much, so it’s hard to get into. WC is a little different because awareness comes up, highlights are on the news, etc. Having lived in the UK and been immersed in it- it’s easy to get caught up in.

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I will sip from the cocktail straw. Sometime when you get a really full drink you need to make some room so you aren’t sloshing over. But after that you have to chuck it. Or chew on it while it’s sticking out of your mouth- the ladies love that.

  25. crushasaurus says:

    I was listening to Mike and Mike In The Morning on ESPN Radio this afternoon, and they are absolutely certain that the USA will beat England tomorrow night.

    Like, certain.

    I’m never listening again.

  26. Karen From Rochester says:

    sigh…hockey season is done. I guess I’m relegated to watching Yankees games now. I cannot get into the soccer thing AT ALL. It’s like chess on grass to me. The only time I watch it is if I can’t sleep. works like a charm! : O ) Great reading the blog this past season Justin. i am hoping you get some good work from this!

  27. mikeB says:

    I’ll watch the World Cup. As much as possible.

    In fact the RSA-MEX game was pretty entertaining, but the FRA-URY game was terribly boring.

    Both contained surprisingly good reffing. And very few dives.

  28. Ben says:

    The antipathy to soccer here is absolutely a cultural thing. You guys have not been brought up on it. It is ingrained into the childhood of almost every kid in Europe and South America (and Africa and Asia these days) because all you need is a ball and a couple of ‘jumpers for goalposts.’ No equpiment needed, just a patch of ground and a couple of friends.

    Likewise, US sports are largely ignored over here. The NFL has a following and the NHL is popular in some parts of Europe for obvious reasons, but neither come close to soccer. Me? I have always loved soccer, but have grown to love hockey in the last 15 years and I’m the only person I know who follows it. The two operate quite nicely side-by-side. Indeed, this last two seasons I’d say hockey has overtaken football in my affections and that is purely down to the players and their attitude.

    I’d also like to address the ‘hooligan’ problem, because it seems no discussion can be had without that word coming up, and it pisses me off slightly. There are 92 professional clubs in England alone. That’s 92. In a country smaller than some American states. Some teams are no more than a couple of miles apart. London alone has five teams in the Premier League. This causes incredible rivalries, with hundreds of thousands of fans travelling every week across the country to watch their team. Last season, in the top division, I cannot think of a newsworthy incidence of violence. There was some nonsense in a cup game between West Ham and Millwall – two East End teams – but it is incredibly rare for there to be serious problems.

    The songs sung are in bad taste, but are often very creative, funny and at least go beyond ‘Flyers suck’. Soccer’s problem is the players – it’s impossible to like most of them and they have become so disconnected to those who go watch them. Much like NFL players I’m guessing.

    Too long; didn’t read? Hockey and soccer can compliment each other and the World Cup has come at the perfect time.

  29. Ben says:

    Ah crap, I’ve just read that back and it reads horribly patronising doesn’t it? Ignore me, I’m just pissed I have to work all weekend

  30. Alan says:

    Thanks JB for all your work here on your blog this past season-have a good summer and wish you success with your fantasy camp and future writing goals!

  31. Alanna says:

    I think that sports preference is partially dictated by your upbringing and partially what you personally gravitate toward. I grew up in a somewhat anti-American household (sorry) being told that football is a stupid game, and as a result I have absolutely no interest in it even though I am now surrounded by it. I grew up with hockey and soccer (Canadian x Irish household) and I’ve grown up into a hockey fan, and soccer bores me to tears.
    Now that I’ve had some time to digest the SCF, I’ve realized that Kane’s reaction to his game winner will be my lasting memory from this series. For a kid that seems to be shaping up into an egotistical, self-absorbed tool, he ran down the ice after that GWG an excited little boy who could not believe that his dream had just come true. No glass slamming, fist pumping, “F*CK YEAH! I’M THE MAN”, just “OhMyGodIDidItWeWon!Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!”.
    Good stuff. Too bad he was right back being a drunk frat boy for the parade and rally yesterday. Dude, it’s not even noon yet. Pace yourself. The crowd was unreal. I wanted to make it into the city for the festivities but with 2 million people heading in for the party the traffic was impossible. Great to see the support.
    Best of luck in finding a permanent gig!

  32. Simone says:

    On the WC, I can’t say I’ll go out of my way to watch it. One sport I found myself watching for the very first time last weekend is rugby. Don’t know why, just stopped the channel surfing on the collegiate rubgy 7s telecast. Amazing stuff. The commentators did a good job explaining a lot of the rules so I was able to follow along for the most part. Liked it so much on Sat, I tuned in on Sun.
    Anyone else watch rugby? Even more kudos to anyone who plays it!

    ..really like how when a player scores it’s called a “try” – gives some fun to saying “good try”, or “well, at least you tried”.. :-)

  33. Peter says:

    So whats the plan for this blog during the summer? Still gonna go with a daily update or something a little more sporadic?

  34. TimmyHate says:

    Simone: Being a born and Raised New Zealander, Rugby is in my blood like hockey is in the blood of a canadian.

    Rugby 7s is great as a starting point – its much faster paced than the full game, and a shorter watch to boot. However if you enjoyed that you should try and watch some of the full games at some stage – less flashy often, but still awesome to watch. The rugby world cup is coming up next year and being held here in New Zealand – this is our 2010 Winter Olympics. If the All Blacks don’t win, I’m skipping the papers for the next month…

    Alanna: I agree, for someone who acts like a douchenozzle (sorry I just love that word) most of the time, his reaction was out of character but…perfect. “OhMyGodIDidIt.MumMumMumDidYouSeeMeIScoredItWeWonWe *tackle hug Neimi*” I also loved the reaction of the player right in front of the net -can’t remember off the top of my head-…he was the last blackhawk on the ice to react…

  35. Fish says:

    @ Ben Soccer is without a doubt the biggest sport in Belgium. I like to play it, but I can’t stand watching it on tv. It’s so friggin’ slow. I respect the athletic ability of the 22 guys running all over that enormous pitch but man,… I’ld rather watch turtles race.

    @TimmyHate Rugby is awesome. Did the team from Tonga always do that little dance or are they just copying the All Blacks Maori dance?

    @Justin, thanks for your blog it rrrreally keeps me reading it. despite/due to the cute kitten photos.

  36. Doogs says:

    There are only two times when you can drink out of the straw that’s included in your mix drink:
    1. Comedic effect
    2. A girl hands you the drink with the “You have to taste this!” face, and she’s using the straw

  37. Richie says:

    Being born and raised in Ireland I can give the cultural view on sports from the opposite side. It seems to me soccer (or football to me) doesn’t get the same attention in the US as it does pretty much everywhere else is the same reason baseball and football and to lesser extent basketball don’t get the attention they do in the US outside of it is this : USA AREN’T THE INVENTOR/BEST TEAM.

    Call me a cynic but Americans love winning too much (sweeping generalisation I know) to pay attention to a sport at which they are at best a plucky underdog.

    And trust me as an Irishman, I know all about being the plucky underdog in international competition!

    @ Char/Sherry Congrats on buying Irish ;) You should try and get into hurling, think of it as hockey on grass. It’s got the skill speed and violence anyhow!

  38. TimmyHate says:


    As long as I can remember they’ve done it – the All Blacks have been doing the Haka (or Maori War Dance) for years…although originally it was a bit of a joke, its become a serious cultural deal lately.

  39. Tony says:

    First and last sips can use the straw, otherwise take them out of glass.

    Thanks for making this season so much fun!

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