January 2011 Archives
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The Shame Of It All
January 31, 2011 @ 08:28
Wow. If there was ever a statement on the Toronto Maple Leafs it came yesterday when Hockey Night in Canada released a Players Association poll that exposed the Buds as a major league burial ground.
Forget the Phil Kessel embarrassment, when over 300 NHL players pick Ron Wilson as the coach they'd least like to play for, and the Leafs as the fourth least attractive market to play in, you know there's big trouble.
The problem for Wilson, Brian Burke and the rest of MLSE is that they can't argue with this result. It's not the opinion of one or two players; it's a consensus of nearly half the players in the league.
The Wilson thing I can see. Burke can promote and protect this guy all he wants, but when you coach the youngest team in the league, and it shows absolutely no sign of improvement, you know they aren't being coached well.
When the power-play and penalty-killing teams are stuck where they were when Wilson first became coach, you know it's not entirely a talent deficiency, it's a coaching problem.
When players continuously follow decent efforts with several bad ones, you know there's a motivation problem, and that's often tied to the guy behind bench.
But forget all that, because the thing that really hurts is the destination issue. It wasn't long ago that the Leafs were a team that everybody wanted to play for. When players were either traded or drafted by the Leafs it was a good thing, but now it's a bad thing and several people have to share in the blame.
Wilson, for having a shitty reputation, Burke for hiring the guy, but most of all the blame has to be placed on the shoulders of Larry Tanenbaum and Richard Peddie who have created this situation and culture over the past decade.
It's absolutely shameful but more than that it's unbelievable. I honestly would have thought it impossible.
January 29, 2011 @ 15:44
Word is the Conservatives are poised to call an election for March 29th and the time couldn't be better.
Stephen Harper has done of masterful job of guiding Canada through a world wide recession with a minority government and if doesn't get a majority now, he never will.
And if he doesn't, Harper should probably move on and do something productive for people who actually appreciate what he's done. If the Conservatives don't get a majority, Harper should step down, take a job for ten times the money with a private company, and leave Canadians to figure out exactly what it is they do want.
I'm still mystified at how many people claim to hate this guy but can't give one concrete or tangible reason why. It's that old anti-Con conditioning in Canada that makes a good measure of the electorate look imbecilic.
Yes, this should be Stephen Harper's last kick at the can, and if Canada still refuses to wake up, then Canada deserves the likes of Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton.
It will be another one of those situations where we won't appreciate what we had until it's gone.
It really is time for Canada to get off this minority kick and hand control over to someone who's proved he knows what he's doing. Give the guy four years and if he turns out to be the horrible ogre that many believe him to be, then we can kick his ass out of office.
Stephen Harper deserves a majority, but short of that, he deserves to walk away and go make a few million bucks.... and then the lefties can come up with a few hundred reasons they won't like the next guy.
January 29, 2011 @ 10:20
As actors, NHL hockey players make great bus drivers. If that doesn't make sense, neither did the idea to have the players play-act or pretend they were pissed, upset or hurt during last nights so-called fantasy draft for the NHL all-star game.
I'll give TSN's James Duthie credit; he shut it down after it became painfully apparent that it just wasn't working. I found the actual draft half way amusing, but the attempt to pretend it was something more than it was, was corny.
Beyond that, the only other glaring observation from my perch was the behaviour of Alex Ovechkin. If you could cut the guy any slack, I guess you could say it was a sign of the times, but I found it extremely rude and arrogant for him to be texting after he was picked and took his position on stage.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm so goddamned sick and tired of looking at people with their heads down while hammering away at their Blackberrys or I-Phones I could freakin' scream.
What has happened to our society and where's it going from here?
It's one thing to be connected to your job and find your own space to deal with whatever's making your unit vibrate, but these people who now tap away while they're in mid-conversation with you is way over the top because you just know they're just answering tweets or idle chit chat.
But I'll take a step further. Not only does it piss me off when someone starts tappin' away while talking to you, it bothers me if they're simply sitting at the same table with you. At dinner, or at a coffee shop or outside on the lawn, they don't even have to be in conversation with me, it bothers me if they're just part of a group and they drift away into cyber land.
And that's what bothered me about Ovechkin last night. He's has the honour and the privilege of taking part in the NHL all-star game, but his addiction to his stupid Blackberry makes him look like he could give a shit.
Hey, maybe he doesn't give a shit, but at least have courtesy and respect for the situation for the precious few minutes you're on stage.
The other 35 guys did.
Nobody Likes Me
January 29, 2011 @ 10:18
I think we may have learned something about Phil Kessel last night. Rumour has it; he's a big asshole and that may explain what happened during the NHL All-Star draft last night.
Kessel was the last pick. Dead last. Sure he may have had a big smile on his face and handled it with class at the moment, but it's more interesting to scratch below the surface and look into "why" he was the last pick.
Under the all-star format, Kessel is definitely a guy I want on my team. There's no hitting, no back checking, just run and gun hockey with lots of scoring - and that's Phil Kessel's game.
When you look at all the players that were picked before Kessel, it doesn't make sense.
Kessel is among the league leaders in goals with 19, and when you consider all the chances he gets, if he'd scored on just a fraction of those, he could be right up there with Sid the Kid and Steven Stamkos.
One argument would suggest the players don't really care about winning tomorrow's game, but I don't entirely buy that. I'm sure the prevailing thought is this, if we're gonna play, we might as well win.
And that's what makes me raise an eyebrow to the Kessel thing.
Under an All-Star "no touch" situation Kessel could end up being the game MVP, but nobody touched him with a ten foot pole last night. Even when Patrick Kane finally made the announcement at the end of the night, he didn't sound that enthusiastic about picking Kessel... and remember, they played together during the Olympics on Team USA.
Bill Watters often refers to the problem that Phil Kessel can be in a dressing room because of his selfishness and bad attitude. Other players don't like him.
Last night may have exposed it even more.
Today With Neil Morrison
January 28, 2011 @ 17:51
NHL All-Star game.
January 28, 2011 @ 07:22
I'm starting to take some more nasty heat because I haven't posted much in the past week, but I have a legitimate excuse.
I've been schoolin'.
Corus Entertainment is a forward thinking company, committed to personal and professional development and I love it.
Not only do they offer something called Corus U, which is a series of ongoing and extremely beneficial development courses, they also take advantage of more intense courses that are offered outside the company.
And that's what I've been doing all week. In Kingston.
I've taken a whack of one day courses offered through Corus U but this one at St. Lawrence College stretches over five days and goes from 8:30 till 4:30. That's a lot of learnin' Lucy.
It's called "Leadership for Managers."
By the end of the day you're exhausted, but remarkably fulfilled. I jump at the opportunity to learn and grow, not only because I'm in my mid 50's and attempting to re-invent myself, but also because I love the environment.
Within the walls of a college I always get this exhilarating feeling of optimism. Everything is forward. Everybody there is learning something with their future in mind. The intention is to position yourself for what's ahead.
Obviously I'm referring mainly to the young people who run up and down the halls, but it also applies to mature students and old bastards like me who was forced into reloading.
Over the past week at St. Lawrence not only have I learned tons about managing, change and leadership, I've also learned a lot about myself, and one of the most enlightening aspects of that was that I'm still capable of concentrating, digesting and regurgitating what I've learned.
I'll be honest, I was concerned about that and it's handy because when it reaches the point where what you really love to do is no longer wanted, it's time to learn something new.
Anyway, I guess the point of this posting was to address the several e-mails I've received from people who tend to get downright nasty when I don't write for a few days. I'd like to think they do it because they like what I write, but I'm not sure about that.
But I can offer this, based on some of what I've learned this week.
If you want something out of somebody. Take the high road.
Today With Craig And Matt
January 26, 2011 @ 07:55
Sitting down to pee and Gretzky turns 50.
January 20, 2011 @ 08:33
I imagine when Eric Brazau decided to go to the funeral of Sgt. Ryan Russell with a sign that read "soldiers die, electricians die and people die - no police state" he was looking for a reaction.
And he got one. He was arrested, held for several hours and then released with no charges.
Obviously this will be a juicy story for those who love to jump all over authority whenever they can, but this story isn't about laws or rules or rights.
Apparently Brazau is a career agitator and he went to the funeral because he thought it was over the top and he wanted to test the waters even more after the G-20 debacle.
He wanted to test his ability to protest against the grain, even though he was standing at the funeral of young police officer who had been murdered on the job.
He got his answer.
It wasn't the police who went after Brazau, it was a regular citizen who took exception with Brazau gross disregard for timing. Brazau was knocked to the ground and the result of the ensuring commotion was an arrest for "breach of the peace."
Again, I'm sure there are all kinds of people lickin' their lips over this one. How dare the police arrest this man, how dare they interrupt his right to protest, how dare they hold him for several hours and then not charge him."
And you know what? All those questions might be legitimate, and Brazau's claim that he should have every right to do what he did might be correct also, yes by all means, it's a free country.
But to my mind, all that is overshadowed by an intangible. Basic human decency.
To choose this day, at this event, given the magnitude of the situation tells you all you need to know about Eric Brazau.
He's just a big dick!
No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky
January 20, 2011 @ 07:43
If the worlds cavalcade of religions has anything in common, it's this.
Today With Craig And Matt
January 19, 2011 @ 08:50
Canadian raped in Mexico, my secret revealed and cats.