Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thoughts on the Vancouver Canucks and the riot.

I was hoping to write a post about how great it was that my hometown team had finally won a Cup 40 years after coming into existence. Seeing as I'm about the same age as the team, it would have been nice.

I've always supported my home town team. In 1994 I worked in a sports card store during our playoff run, and whenever someone asked me who was going to win that night, I'd always jokingly say "Not the Canucks!". It got us all the way to game 7, and we all know what happened after that.

After the lockout of 2004/05, I gave up watching hockey. I still kept tabs on it, but I quickly went from being a guy who knew every player in the league to a guy who didn't miss it at all. In fact, aside from the Olympics, I didn't watch a full game until this season's playoffs.

Surprisingly enough, I found that the game had changed somewhat for the better. No line changes on icings sped things up a lot, and despite the usual idiocy by players like Matt Cooke, the league seemed to be moving in the right direction.

Being a real Canucks fan isn't easy. People here love to hate a player if he isn't perfect. For years the Sedins have been called "The Sisters", and whenever Roberto Luongo gives up a goal it's as if he's personally letting down everyone in the city. Basically the city is full of bandwagon jumpers.

So anyways, we got past Chicago this year (finally), dispatched Nashville and San Jose pretty easily, and won the first 2 games against the Bruins. There was talk of a sweep, people were saying that they should purposely lose one in Boston so they could win it on home ice in game 5. Seemingly these people didn't realize that we barely won the 1st 2 games, that the Sedins were completely nullified, and that Ryan Kesler was playing hurt and without effectiveness.

So sure enough we got bombed in Boston. We scored one goal in 2 games, but all the blame was on the goalie. Hello people, you don't win games when you average half a goal per. It just doesn't happen. Without Luongo's play, the Canucks don't win games 1 and 2 and the series is over in 4.

So back to Vancouver for game 5, and we fluke a goal and Luongo holds the fort and we win another 1-0 game. And again, everything is roses. Ankles healed, the bandwagon jumpers are back aboard, predicting an easy win in game 6. Forgetting that Boston has a better defense, and actually has more than 1 scoring line. Heck, the Canucks didn't even have 1 scoring line. And we lose, and yes in game 6 Luongo let in 2 bad goals. Again though, we only score twice late, and you can't consistently win while barely scoring.

So back home for game 7. I was nervous, couldn't sleep even. I didn't have a good feeling though. And the pest Marchand set up one goal, scored another on a wrap around, then they scored short handed, and really that was it. No comeback was in the offing. The crowd was completely dead, which compared with the level of noise in Boston was shameful. I can truly say I've never seen a worse effort in a game 7 in a final series in any sport, ever. And yeah, people will complain about the officiating, but in reality, we only scored 8 goals in 7 games. The fact that we won 3 of those games was completely because of Roberto Luongo. That we lost the other 4 and only scored 3 goals in those games was down to Boston's great D and of course Tim Thomas. We just weren't good enough.

So, who knows how long until we get back to a final? Could be next year, but that's what we said in 1994. Could be another 17 years.

And we have another riot to pick up after, a horrible pre-planned riot that was going to happen win or lose. The rioters weren't concerned about the result of the game, they wanted to wreak havoc. They wanted to burn stuff. They wanted to steal stuff. Our Police were naive enough to assume that having 150000 people in the downtown core watching the game on big screens was going to end peacefully, despite what happened in 1994. What would have happened at the 2010 Olympics if they hadn't arrested many of the troublemakers early on. It was a sad and horrible night. I hope those guilty and stupid enough to show their faces and brag on social media actually do some time, but I don't have much faith in the system really punishing them. Just the incredible stupidity of so many people is enlightening and very sad at the same time.

On the bright side, a lot of people came out this morning and helped clean things up, thanks to a facebook page and the goodness of their hearts. Real sports fans didn't commit these acts, but real sports fans came out in droves to pick up the pieces, and to try and identify the perpetrators online. You can easily find the facebook groups involved if you so wish.

So I leave with congratulations to the Bruins and their fans. It was at times an ugly series, and the sad fact that 2 players suffered career threatening injuries during it is almost unforgiveable. Hockey needs to change, yet I don't think it will ever change enough to rise above the level of pro wrestling and roller derby in most people's eyes. And that's sad.

And I leave with this great shot of a young fan last night, not understanding why the third goal counted, and our coach who could see the dream disintegrating in front of his eyes.

That look was on a lot of people's faces while watching the riots.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

There are Toronto Blue Jays fans who think that John McDonald should play every day.

No, really. I'm not kidding. They mean have him start, not just come in as a late inning defensive replacement or a pinch runner or something. Really, if he gets to hit, he's no longer a useful member of any team.

Not a major league hitter! ^^^^ Jays story. Read the comments for some good laughs.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Derek Jeter update.

On a sunny and beautiful day in Arlington, Derek went 4 for 6 with 2 home runs, 2 runs, 3 RBI and 1 stolen base. That gives him 6 hits in his last 11 AB's, with 1 double on Saturday added to the 2 dingers on Sunday.

Saturday was a night game, his double was in the 3rd inning and his single in the 7th.

Is Derek Jeter finished? I say no.

Don't get me wrong, I've never been a big fan of the man, but I don't believe he's done.

A glance at his splits this year show a few interesting things.

He's hitting .432 in the first 2 innings. (37 AB's)

He's hitting .440 the first time he faces the SP.

In 10 day games, he's hitting .270  .356  .324, with both his doubles, 4 RBI and 5 BB.

While he is hitting a lot of groundballs, his average on them is .292.

In my opinion, this shows that Jeter has two potential problems. One is that he loses energy early in the game. I doubt that's it. The other and most obvious problem is that his eyesight is giving him problems. He's hitting better in day games, and early in night games. As the natural light diminishes, so does his ability to hit.

Most players have problems at age 32, Jeter's seem to have started last year at age 36. If I was in Yankee management, I'd be sending him to the best eye doctor in town.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

R.I.P. Seve Ballesteros article

Seve was special. He played golf like a matador, with wild swings yet a deft touch when needed. Jabbering in Spanish to his brother the caddie.
I was a left handed golfer, so I was very jealous when a right handed friend of mine scored a set of Sounder irons, because they were the clubs that Seve was playing at the time.
The final putt on the 18th at St.Andrews, the smile, the pure joy of winning.
It was sad when he lost his game, but so much sadder to see him struggle with the cancer.
I remember reading a story where it spoke of how Seve was in a practice bunker with other pros, and they were all hitting great shots close to the hole. The other pros were all using sand wedges, Seve was using his 2 iron. He had that kind of an amazing touch. You every try to hit a greenside bunker shot with a 2 iron? It's not easy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Roger McDowell should be fired.

I don't care if he's a good pitching coach or not, he's a lousy human being.

"The altercation at AT&T Park in San Francisco took place last Saturday during batting practice. Justin Quinn was in the stands with his wife and nine-year-old twin daughters when he noticed McDowell hectoring three men and asking them, "Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?"
After the coach made crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat, Quinn said he shouted, "Hey there are kids out here." According to Quinn, McDowell said kids don't belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, "How much are your teeth worth?"
Quinn said he felt threatened and was unsure whether McDowell intended to hit him.
"My kids are in panic mode ... they're like grabbing onto me," Quinn said Wednesday during a news conference at the office of prominent Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred. "I'm talking to him, trying to calm him down and the kids are screaming."
Some parents who were in the stands with their children began to boo at McDowell and came down to retrieve their kids. Quinn said eventually McDowell walked away.

"I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco," McDowell said in a statement, his only public comment on the matter. "I apologize to everyone for my actions.""

That's got to be the worst apology in history. Roger can go and join up with John Rocker and Rob Dibble (and many others) in the baseball asshole club.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-nine.

Day 29 – Your least favorite horror film of all time:

The Hand
  Jon Lansdale is a comic book artist who loses his right hand in a car accident. The hand was not found at the scene of the accident, but it soon returns by itself to follow Jon around, and murder those who anger him.
Horror is a genre that has a ton of bad and low budget movies, so choosing just one is quite difficult. In this case the star and director should have been able to come up with something pretty good, yet this is really an awful movie. Apparently Michael Caine took the role so that he could put a down payment on a new garage he was building.

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-eight.

Day 28 – Your favorite horror film that no one’s ever heard of:

The Stuff
Weird yummy goo erupts from the earth and is discovered by a couple of miners. They taste it and decide to market it because it tastes so good. The American public literally eats up the new dessert sensation now known as the Stuff but, unfortunately, it takes over the brains of those who eat it, turning them into zombie-like creatures.
Obviously it's not really  a movie that no one has ever heard of, but in a genre like this it's pretty hard to hide any film.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-seven.

Day 27 – Your favorite guilty pleasure:

Reign of Fire

Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey star.

A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting fire to everything, establishing dominance over the planet.

This is really a terrible movie, yet I really enjoyed it. Clearly my brain wasn't functioning at the time, which is the key to enjoying this movie. Don't think, just watch.

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-six.

Day 26 – Your favorite horror film to watch as a child:

Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell

I didn't really see a lot of horror movies until I became a teen and we finally got a VCR. I haunted the horror section at 'Flickers Video', one of the only video stores anywhere near where I lived. That section was my real introduction to horror, but I distinctly remember seeing Devil Dog on TV when I was a lot younger. I definitely need to see this one again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-four. The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-five.

Day 24 – Horror film in which you prefer the edited version over the director’s cut:


Day 25 – A horror film that you used to hate, but now like:


I so rarely go to see movies in a theatre that anything I see tends to be the "Director's" or "Unrated" cut. And if I don't like a movie, it's pretty unlikely I'll ever go back and watch it again.

For your trouble, here's a pretty butterfly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-three.

Day 23 – Your favorite made for TV horror film:

The Night Stalker & The Night Strangler
The Night Stalker started life as a pair of TV movies, before going on to becoming a short-lived but excellent series (and inspiration for The X-Files).
Some of the highlights of it's 20 episode run are as follows:
Voodoo Zombies
Spontaneous Combustion
Devil Worship
Indian Legends
Cajun Boogeymen
Flesh Eating Hindu Demon
Homicidal Robot
Murderous Ape Man
Headless Biker
Ghostly Knight
Helen of Troy
Killer Reptile

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-two.

Day 22 – Your favorite horror themed TV show:

The X-Files

Some of the better horror episodes, courtesy of this site.

Season 1: The Jersey Devil
Season 2: The Host (1st picture)
Season 3: Syzygy
Season 4: Home (2nd picture)
Season 5: Chinga
Season 6: Terms of Endearment
Season 7: Hungry
Season 8: Patience
Season 9: Hellbound

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty-one.

Day 21 – Your favorite medical horror film:

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Sure, it's not a classic horror film. I'll give you that.

But it has an evil monster.

At least one scene of torture.

A bunch of crazy people being drugged into a zombie like state.

And the hero has a sharp object inserted into his brain, and is later murdered.

Plus it's set in a freaking mental hospital, which must be a horrible place to be. 

So yeah, to me this is a horror movie.

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twenty.

Day 20 – Your favorite horror film involving a killer animal:

Jaws 3 in 3-D

I saw this when I was 12, so it's stuck with me ever since. There's nothing quite as exciting as seeing a severed limb float past your face when you're 12.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random musings about golf. Masters 2011.

Yeah, I'm a golf fan as well as a baseball one. I used to play a lot of golf, but my back problems put an end to that. I don't watch it on tv nearly as much as I used to, but the Masters is a can't miss.

I'm willing to bet that 100% of the idiots who insist on calling Tiger Woods 'Eldrick' also believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is the anti-christ. (Tiger officially changed his name YEARS ago people. He is no longer Eldrick).

I watched the BBC's coverage (thank you streamers), and they weren't impressed with Tiger's post-round interview with Bill Macatee. He was awfully surly.

Really one of the best final rounds I've ever seen. And even with Schwartzel finishing at -14, many guys are going to look back and regret some missed opportunites.

Tiger: the 3 putt at 12. Failure to birdie 13. Missing the short eagle at 15. Those 3 alone put him at -13. Had he posted that, it would have been really hard for anyone to catch him. T4 at the Masters doesn't really prove he's "back", as he did the same last year. Tiger can make the top 10 at Augusta in his sleep.

Adam Scott:  Failed to birdie 13 & 15. He made great puts at 15 & 17, but they should have been for birdies.

Jason Day. Missed a short birdie at 14, then failed to birdie 15. He finished strong with birdies on the last 2, but he was unable to overcome the misses and the bogeys on 1 & 7.

Luke Donald. Double bogey on 12, bogey on 17. He also bogeyed 7. Great shot on 18, and then a great chip-in for the birdie, but take away the mistakes, and that might have been a lot more important.

Rory. Poor Rory. Hitting a tee shot like the one on 10 was such a shock to his system that he immediately panicked. He wasn't smart or experienced enough to "take his medicine", as Payne Stewart used to say, and simply play for a 5.  Hitting the wood for the 3rd shot was a terrible choice. He should have laid it up short of the green, and relied on his short  game for an up and down for 5. After making 7, I was amazed that he even had decent birdie opportunities on the next 2 holes. I wasn't surprised that he stick-handled the putts. Missing the short one on the 1st was a bad way to begin.

Watching Schwartzel after he made the putt on 18 was great. The BBC coverage stayed on him as he went to the side of the green to wait for Choi to putt out, and it was fantastic to watch the emotions as he realized what he had just done. Just a great finish.

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day nineteen.

Day 19 – Your favorite horror film involving the powers of Hell or Satanism:

The Omen (Original)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day eighteen.

Day 18 – Your favorite foreign horror film (outside of your country of origin):


A truly difficult film to watch, and unforgettable if you do.
If you haven't seen it, make sure you track down the best version of this, as there are multiple DVD releases, some of which cut out a lot of the "good stuff".

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day seventeen.

Day 17 – Your favorite horror film remake:


Fred Willard?

Willard Scott?

Jerry Willard?

No....WILLARD! Although had Fred Willard played Willard it might have been interesting.
Crispin Glover is one Hellion of an actor.

"Willard! There are rats in the basement!"

Friday, April 8, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day sixteen.

Day 16 – Your favorite childhood themed horror film:


This movie was a surprise. I didn't expect much from it at all, based on who loaned it to me, but it was well done and creepy.

A little Vera Farmiga didn't hurt.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day fifteen.

Day 15 – Your favorite horror film involving serial killers:

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

As much as I love American Psycho, I laugh far too much at it to consider it a horror movie. This on the other hand, is flat out nasty. If it came out that Michael Rooker had become a serial killer prior to this movie, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day fourteen.

Day 14 – Your favorite zombie film:

28 Days Later 
28 Weeks Later

A post-apocalyptic zombie movie and it's amazing sequel. With the great news that 28 Months Later is scheduled for 2013, this franchise has followed George Romero's path while breaking new ground.

And for some reason I really enjoyed Robert Carlyle getting infected.
And yes, I know they're not really zombies, so these aren't really zombie movies. I just don't care.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TSN Top 10 double plays.

TSN Top 10 double plays

These guys come up with the best Top 10's ever.

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day thirteen.

Day 13 – Your favorite horror comedy:

Shaun of the Dead

Really a brilliant movie.  If you liked this, check out the UK TV show called 'Spaced', as it stars and was created by the same people.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day twelve.

Day 12 – Your favorite horror film involving the occult:

The Wicker Man (Original)

A brilliant film with stunning performances by Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward. Please don't waste your time with the Nic Cage remake. It's completely awful.

When called in to investigate an anonymous tip about a missing child, mainland police sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is treated as an outsider, and the ominous Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) has the inside advantage. As the repressed policeman is taunted by the island's sensuous atmosphere, his investigation leads to increasingly disturbing implications.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day eleven.

Day 11 – Your favorite science fiction horror film:

Event Horizon
A very underrated movie, in my opinion. If the reviews made you miss it, give it a chance now and you may be impressed.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The 30 day Horror challenge. Day ten.

Your favorite psychological horror film:

Bad Boy Bubby

This is a seriously fucked up movie. If you haven't seen it, try watching it with headphones on for sound. Reason? They filmed the movie with only the character of Bubby being miked, so everything you hear is essentially as if you were him.
"Bubby has spent his entire life locked in his mother´s disturbingly bleak flat. He is thirty-five years old and has never gone outside, his mother has sex with him and occasionally tortures him and she wears a gas mask when she leaves so Bubby believes the atmosphere outside the flat is poisonous. When his absent alcoholic father returns Bubby struggles to cope and his mother´s lies begin to fall apart. Eventually Bubby has to leave the flat and make his way in the strange world outside but his limited intellect and complete lack of social skills make things hard in this surreal and darkly comic film. There are some very extreme scenes in this and much unpleasantness but there is also optimism and hope. This is original and provocative film making and it is easy to see why it has become a cult classic."
(review from