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The Weiner

May 30, 2007 @ 08:12

Neighbour John is a wonderful man who loves just about everyone and everything.

However, when it comes to Wayne Gretzky he gets rather passionate.

John doesn't like Gretzky. He thinks the "Wiener" was over rated and the beneficiary of a great hockey team and a league that went out of its way to protect him. And like most Leaf fans, he still can't get over the infamous 1993 high stick.

"Nothing sticks to the Wiener" is what John often says. He thinks Gretzky was more involved in Bruce McNall's legal problems, he thinks Gretzky and his wife were more involved with the Tochett gambling ring and he finds it amusing that everyone in Pheonix is getting fired except the coach.

John thinks Gretzky spent too much time behind the net, and scored mostly garbage goals while playing on a team with 13 all-stars.

And none of this has escaped John's oldest son John Jr. who has learned well from his dad, and who loves to debate me about all things hockey.

Tuesday night while watching the Ottawa-Anaheim John Jr. made the declaration he'd never seen Gretzky score a goal with imagination.

"I'm not saying he hasn't Mr. Fred" said John Jr. "But to this day, I haven't seen one."

I assured him that Gretzky has indeed scored many imaginative goals over the years, but my point was drowned out by the father who was sitting the background insisting that Gretzky was a "bum."

The debate went on far too long and went into areas that did nothing to support either argument including who would you rather have on the ice, five Gretzkys or five Orrs - an argument I find pointless because to tell you the truth, I'd rather have five Dougie Gilmours or five Wendel Clarks on the ice at the same time given that scenario.

Neither Gilmour or Clark came to close to Orr or Gretzky as individual players, but five against five, I'll take the hardnosed guys who could also score.

As you can see the argument went on way too long and went into areas that failed to support either side.

In the end, I promised John Jr. that I would look for a Gretzky highlight reel that proved he did in fact score the odd imaginative goal and this is what I came up with.

Category: Neighbour John | Sports

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One Down Three To Go

May 29, 2007 @ 10:10

Last nights game was very encouraging. The Ducks showed the Senators something they haven't seen so far in the playoffs - nastiness.

The line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza appeared to be flustered as they had to deal with the Ducks tenacious checking and physical play.

I know it's early in the series but it looks like Alfy may have met his match in Sammy Pahlsson who refused to give Alfredsson the room he enjoyed against Pittsburgh, Jersey and Buffalo.

I mentioned in yesterday's posting that winning the first two games in Anaheim is key for the Ducks and they can still do it.

As a matter of fact, I'll got this far. Whoever wins tomorrow night will win the Stanley Cup.

Category: Sports

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Quack Quack

May 28, 2007 @ 08:52

I want the Anaheim Ducks to win the Stanley Cup, but I think the Ottawa Senators will win in the end.

If there's one thing going for the Ducks, it's home ice advantage, but I'm afraid if they're going to win the Cup they have to win the first two games.

If they can win the first one outright, and then maybe fluke the second game then they have a chance. But if they hand home ice advantage to the Senators right off the bat, they have no chance.

Like a lot of people I've been badgered over the past week or so by people who think we should all pull for the Senators simply because they're Canadian, but to that I say bullshit.

From what I understand there are more Canadians on the Ducks than there are on the Senators so what's the big deal. And to be honest I don't know what the actual count is, but it doesn't matter anyway because even if the Ducks had no Canadians I'd still want them to beat Ottawa.

It's just one of those things, I don't like the Ottawa Senators and I don't want them to win the Cup.

It's only a hockey series so I can resist the patriotic angle.

Category: Sports

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Rammer Heads For The Tiki Bar

May 25, 2007 @ 07:19

You never like to see a guy get fired, but hey, I have to look at the bright side and Craig Ramsay's firing by the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday means I might have more company at the Tiki Bar this spring.

I made the disclosure last year that I don't frequent just any trailer park; I have my unit parked at a park that's like no other park in trailer park history.

It's such a nice place it attracts the upper end of trailer trash and that's why one of my tin palace neighbours is Craig Ramsay.

Ramsay has a beautiful unit - like a freakin' cottage on wheels - but because of his commitment in recent years as assistant coach of the Lightning, his summer season was rather short.

We didn't see him until the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and he was usually gone by the last week of August.

That could all change now.

Unless Rammer gets a job "pronto" he could be up at the trailer within a couple of weeks and that's welcome new for me. I'm usually bored and lonely through June until everybody starts taking holidays in July.

Last year, Rammer and I bonded pretty well. We introduced him to bocce ball and this opened the door for him to slide into all other aspects of trailer culture.

The most memorable night of the season last year was our progressive party during the long weekend in August.

It's like a traveling dinner party. You go from trailer to trailer sampling all kinds of different foods - and I must say, Ramsay offered one of the highlights - he makes a fabulous pieaya

Later on we made our way up to Tiki Bar and that's where the attached picture was taken.

Again, you never like to see a guy get fired but considering my situation this will allow me and Rammer to bond even more.

Who knows, within the next week or so we could be sitting at the Tiki Bar cheering on the Anaheim Ducks.

And I'd like to thank Jeff Marek and Bill Watters for giving a plug on Leafs Lunch yesterday. They were talking about Craig Ramsay, and my Tiki Bar came up.

Have a listen

Category: Radio | Sports | The Trailer

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Heavily Ignored

May 24, 2007 @ 09:19

It turns out Toronto's rejection of the Ottawa Senators has become a major problem for the CBC.

Ratings for the Stanley Cup playoffs are significantly down in Canada, and CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore blames Toronto fans for not jumping on the Senators bandwagon.

He says Calgary got behind the Edmonton Oilers last year and he'd really like to see the same thing happen between Toronto and Ottawa as the Stanley Cup final begins next week.

The Ottawa-Buffalo series was a dismal failure in Toronto, failing to crack the top 25 shows last week. The Gilmore Girls had more viewers for cryin' out loud.

I think Moore's request will fall on deaf ears. Maybe if Detroit had won the West a few more hockey fans would be interested in this market, but if Ottawa-Buffalo can't draw attract viewers, I don't like the prospects for Ottawa-Anaheim.

Maybe Toronto viewers could strike a deal with the CBC.

We'll agree to watch the Stanley Cup final in larger numbers if they agree to cancel the Royal Canadian Air Farce.

I'd sign up for that.

Category: Sports

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Keep Quiet - FC Zone

May 24, 2007 @ 09:15

Yesterday's posting about Toronto FC season ticket holders produced moderate response, but I found one of the letters to be shocking. It's from a guy named Christian.

"I have TFC season tickets and couldn't believe it when I got an e-mail from MLSE last week asking fans to respect the opposing team and not be so rowdy in the stands!
I thought that was home field advantage.
I'm not a huge soccer fan but I sat in the "supporters" section and the atmosphere at the games was fantastic.
I bet the Leaf players wish they had that kind of noise at the ACC.
Getting ripped off for three friendly games is typical of MLSE. Screw the fans they'll buy tickets any way.
Thing is I have three other friends with season tickets as well. We all say the same thing, we don't like soccer enough to pay inflated ticket prices or get ripped off by the amount of games we're supposed to be getting.
I'll just let my tickets go and not think twice about it. After all this isn't the Leafs we're talking about".

Category: Sports

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May 23, 2007 @ 09:12

NFL fans in the GTA received great news yesterday when it was revealed that CTV had secured Canadian television rights for the next three years.

Until we actually see how CTV handles the feed we won't know the extent of the improvement, but there's no way it could be any worse.

It was brutal to watch an NFL game on Global.

More than anything else they used the NFL as a platform to promote their prime time programming, but what made it even worse was their technical screw-ups.

Coming back from commercials too late was common practice and it just added to the frustration of channel substitution.

You pay your satellite or cable bill expecting to get certain channels from the United States, but we're forced to watch the Canadian feed during corresponding programming.

You'd think Global would have realized some responsibility to the viewer, but instead they took the feed and absolutely murdered it.

Hopefully CTV will keep this in mind as they plan for the fall.

Category: Sports | Television

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Beginning Of The End

May 23, 2007 @ 09:11

I find all the "hoopla" surrounding Toronto FC very amusing.

The club has 14 thousand season ticket holders and BMO stadium has been virtually full for their first three games.

It has led to all kinds of wild optimism about how soccer has finally taken hold in Toronto and the future is nothing but solid and bright.

What a joke. I still maintain, once the novelty wears off, which will be imminent, this team will not play a fourth season in Toronto.

It will crash and burn like every other soccer venture in this city, but this time it will be helped along by MLSE.

Already the MLSE has brought its hockey fan mentality to soccer, screwing season ticket subscribers out of three games they thought they had purchased.

Season ticket holders thought they were getting 16 regular season games and four friendlies against elite competition - instead they're getting 15 and two - and all MLSE did to make up for it was give subscribers free tickets to an exhibition game between Canada's under 20 team and Argentina.

MLSE will learn quickly. Hockey fans may be willing to be pushed around and pissed on, but not soccer fans.

Toronto FC is a novelty right now; a novelty that will lose steam and fade away and be gone before 2010.

Category: Sports

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An ABOer Nightmare

May 22, 2007 @ 09:35

I think we have to face facts fellow ABOers. The Ottawa Senators are going to win the Stanley Cup.

This team is well rested and healthy, definitely the most talented of the surviving teams, and at this point they seem to have overcome that choking problem they had.

Yes, a lot can change between now and the night the Cup is hoisted, but I think even the most fervent Ottawa hater would have to admit that this team is different.

Something has happened along the way to dramatically change the character of this team and point them in the right direction.

Some might argue its coach Bryan Murray, and other might argue its simple maturity, but whatever it is prepare yourself for an extremely ugly sight in the coming weeks; Daniel Alfredsson lifting the Stanley Cup above his head.

As a bitter old prick if there's one request I'd like to make it's this. If the Senators win, it would be nice to have them win on the road so at least those nasty Senator fans can't enjoy the moment.

Category: Sports

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Alfy Trumps Mats

May 22, 2007 @ 09:34

There's no doubt Daniel Alfredsson has come into his own as a dominant NHL player and captain.

It's tough to swallow but there's no denying the obvious, within the next couple of weeks Alfredsson will become the first European captain ever to win a Stanley Cup and he deserves it.

For many reasons over the years we've grown to despite Alfy in Toronto, but from all accounts he's every bit a fine person as he is a hockey player, so from that standpoint you have to feel good for the man.

But if Alfredsson's emergence as big league leader has done anything for Maple Leaf fans, it's exposed the shortcomings of our captain.

Mats Sundin has never had a good playoff in Toronto and time after time when the team has really needed to count on him, he hasn't been there.

Those who continuously want to find excuses for Sundin will use the old argument that he has nobody to play with, but that grows tired. There have been too many excuses for too many years.

News that the Leafs are in the process of negotiating another multi-year contract with this guy is disheartening.

It's time to move on. The Sundin era should be over.

Category: Sports

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