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Fun with maps: US Olympic hockey team

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 6.05.00 PM

 

The US Olympic hockey team doesn’t exactly encompass a lot of the United States.

They have 25 players from only 6 states (5 if you exclude Paul Stastny who chose St. Louis, Missouri as a hometown after his dad played there. He was actually born in Quebec City, Canada):

– 8 from Minnesota
– 6 from New York state
– 3 from Wisconsin
– 3 from Michigan
– 2 from Connecticut
– 2 from New Jersey
– 1 from Missouri

Pretty random (and maybe uninteresting) information… but whatever!

Team Canada 2010 Hockey Roster Just Released!!!

Heals’ Team Canada Picks:
Almost nothing in the hockey world is harder to do than pare the Canadian Olympic Hockey camp down to one team. So why not let this guy take a stab at it?

Above all, Canada should opt for youth. Ideally you sacrifice as little experience as possible, but when all is said and done – let the kids play.

Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury, Martin Broduer, Roberto Luongo (starter) – It’s Bobby Lou’s time to shine. By February he will have hit his stride, and since his NHL club plays in the host city you know that he is champing at the bit to get this job and play out of his skull.

Major Cuts: Steve Mason – could be playing better this year, plenty of good years ahead of him though.

Defense:
Dan Boyle/Chris Pronger – Boyle is having a monster year, Pronger thrives in international play, they makes for a solid top pair.

Dion Phaneuf/Duncan Keith – This pair has the youth Canada should be looking for. Phaneuf brings the physical presence and Keith has the solid all around game.

Drew Doughty/Robyn Regehr – Giving Doughty experience is of paramount importance. He is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL and the future of Canada’s defense corps, pair him with the reliable and consistent Regehr and you have a solid third pair.

Mike Green (extra) – Not quite having the year he did last year, but is still incredibly good. Power play specialist and insurance policy for the Doughty experiment.

Major cuts: Shea Weber – having a rough year, Scott Niedermayer – too old, Jay Bouwmeester – meh.

Forwards:

There will be no love between Staal and Malkin at the Canada-Russia game... oh wait. Staal won't be there. Same goes for the blonde bimbo.
There will be no love between Staal and Malkin at the Canada-Russia game... oh wait. Staal won't be there. Same goes for the blonde bimbo.

Rick Nash/Sidney Crosby/Jerome Iginla – This line has a bit of everything, size, playmaking, physical presence, shooting, defensive ability.

Dany Heatley/Joe Thornton/Partick Marleau – Call me crazier than the whole Tiger Woods incident, but these three are absolutely tearing up the league, so why not put them on a line… together they have 104 points in 87 games, averaging 1.19 points per game. Good?

Patrick Sharp/Ryan Getzlaf/Corey Perry – when players play well together on club teams it should not go overlooked. Getzlaf could be scoring more, but he’s one of the best centres around. He and Perry are a dynamic duo and Sharp’s solid play should allow him to fit in.

Brenden Morrow/Mike Richards/Jonathon Toews – Best shutdown line ever assembled? Three captains, stupid amounts of leadership, penalty killing and scoring prowess.

Steven Stamkos (extra) – Give the kid some experience.

Major Cuts: Vinny Lecavalier – brutal year, Martin St. Louis – no Lecavlier, no point, Eric Staal – just a bad year for a good player,  Shane Doan – on pace for a career lows,  Andy Macdonald – just kidding, he had no chance.

General Silliness

copout also copout n. Slang A failure to fulfill a commitment or responsibility or to face a difficulty squarely.

As used in a sentence: This is a cop out post.

I’m lazy, watching the Leafs game, and am just going to give my opinion on some hilarious sports stories from around the world wide web.

  • The first one, takes us to one of the more depressing cities in America… Cleveland!

Apparently the Browns owner, Randy Lerner, is “sick” with the state of his team. Really? You mean 9 points in the last two games isn’t good enough? Don’t be too discouraged though. That’s pretty good in hockey, and excellent for soccer.

What’s partly so funny about this article though, is that it begins by mentioning that Lerner wants to add a “strong, credible, serious leader” to his team.

However, the next point says that Lerner will meet with a man named “Dawg Pound Mike” (a season ticket holder) who is fed up with the state of the team.

Hopefully this is the “leader” he was talking about, because that would just be hilarious and actually pretty fitting for the Browns to do… Besides, his name certainly sounds strong. Not sure about the credible and serious though.

Anyways…

  • The second story brings us to the world of track and/or field.

Apparently Usain Bolt has adopted a baby cheetah from the Nairobi National Park in Kenya. It’s name is lightning bolt. I don’t care who you are, that’s just plain bad ass.

Basically what that means is, that this guy: elisha6

Got his flu shot before this kid:

is_child_cancer2_071231_mn

Real classy Calgary. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

Ben Johnson hired as Canada’s sprint coach

McGwire

Though Ben Johnson HAS NOT been hired as Canada’s sprint coach, the Cardinals have done the next best thing and hired Mark McGwire as their hitting coach. Though arguments could be made for the merits of this decision, I believe that in the long-run this will be a poor decision for both publicity and pure baseball reasons.

Given McGwire’s history of dealing with the media and the countless accusations around his drug use, this decision will reflect poorly on the Cardinals – and in fact it already has. McGwire has a knack for making the best decisions when confronted with controversy in the media. For example, during his in court testimony, regarding his alleged drug use, he refused to talk about the ‘past’; unfortunately Mark, it turns out that this is the primary tense used in court – so thanks for your contribution to the investigation. Perhaps revising his previous stance somewhat, McGwire was a no-show for the very press conference that appointed him to his new role; maybe he now also refuses to talk about the future.

McGwire being appointed as a hitting coach quite simply reflects poorly on the league and is another example of steroid issues being swept under the rug. However, I am not even convinced that he is hitting coach material. Lets just review the facts.

  1. While on steroids McGwire can hit home runs. Specifically, during his career he averaged one home run for every 10.61 at bats, which is the best ratio of all time. The second best ratio of all time is held by Ryan Howard at 11.32.
  2. McGwire is a career 0.263 hitter.
  3. McGwire averaged 138 Ks per year.

While Ryan Howard is no doubt a great player, I think that even given his post season success we can all agree that he is probably not hitting coach material, primarily because of his low batting average and high Ks. The very characteristics that prevent Howard from being hitting coach material are shared by McGwire, except that McGwire has the added downside of having a serious steroid stigma. To put some of these numbers into perspective, Steve Henderson (hitting coach for Tampa Bay) posted a career 0.280 average and batted as high as 0.306 while Kevin Seitzer (hitting coach for KC) posted a career 0.295 batting average.

Call me a cynic, but I just don’t see this being a strong decision either from a publicity standpoint or a pure baseball standpoint.

Bud’s a Dud.

07_alan_bud_selig

Technology makes life much more simple.

Calculators allow us to do complicated mathematics with ease, while mechanized assembly lines package goods well beyond the capabilities of a human.

Last night, after seeing a human’s fairly limited ability to umpire a baseball game (Here), maybe now its time to really install instant replay in baseball.

Now, this is where most baseball purists would jump down my throat and accuse me of destroying the wholesome nature of the game. They’ll reminisce about their days of playing as a kid in the sandlot, or babble on about how legends like Ruth and DiMaggio are real American heroes.

But, you know what? Cokes don’t cost 10 cents and nobody uses Brylcreem anymore.

Times change. Get over it.

Baseball’s commissioner, Bud Selig grudgingly allowed instant replay to be used on home run calls, and the like, but so far has resisted furthering its use in the game.

Well Bud, I hope you watched last night’s debacle. Because I don’t think there’s a better example of how instant replay could easily reverse a badly blown call. Oh wait. Yes there is: (See Bob Davidson’s missed call in the 1992 World Series – Here)

Maybe, just maybe this is a good time for Mr. Selig to do right by the game, add instant replay, and have that serve as his repentance for blindly ignoring years of rampant steroid use.

But for all those purists still stuck in the past, terrified of ruining baseball, just think about it like this… What would Branch Rickey do?

The Hall of Famer is perhaps the most progressive figure in baseball history. He is revered in baseball circles. He created the minor league farm system, introduced batting helmets, and signed Jackie Robinson, effectively breaking the colour barrier.

I’m gonna go out an a limb and say he’d be just fine with instant replay. You should be too.

The Battle Of Alberta Rages On…

I don’t even know where to start with this.

Last night, in a game between the Flames and Oilers, Jerome Iginla ended up taking Sheldon Souray out with a sketchy looking hit. Dirty Hit on Sheldon Souray by Jerome Iginla

Oilers coach Pat Quinn was none too happy with the hit and made his feeling known after the game. Today, the NHL fined him $10,000 for his comments.

Okay.

I like Pat Quinn, but I think he’s starting to sound a bit like Don Cherry in his old age. After the game, Quinn basically called the hit dirty and said if this were the 60’s, Iginla would have had his head caved with a stick… maybe not the best idea.

Granted, the hit didn’t look all that good, but I think if there’s one thing to be said about the ordeal, it’s that Jerome Iginla is one of the classiest players in the game, and if he says it was an accident (which he did), I’m inclined to believe him.

Although in a related note, Quinn really didn’t say anything that bad. He basically just gave his opinion, however senile it may have been. So for the NHL to fine him $10 grand is pretty God damn outrageous. After all, the government doesn’t fine Don Cherry every time he makes fun of a French Canadian on CBC.

So really, there’s just two losers here. Sheldon Souray, because he was unlucky and got hurt, and Gary Bettman and his cronies who dropped the ball again with another retarded decision.

Odds and Ends

Captainless Leafs

Recently, Leafs GM and all around media whore, Brian Burke gave The Star some insight into what it takes to be a Maple Leafs captain. He said, “First off, a captain’s personal life off the ice and his play on the ice must be beyond reproach.”

Lets see how the leading candidates stack up against that quote so far:

Mike Komisarek – Looks like a “Peewee Defencemen” according to Ron Wilson, has 17 PIM through the first few games. Off the ice? Nothing really. It’s a bit too early in his Toronto stay to have beaten up a hooker, so no problems there.

Francois Beauchemin – 2 points, and a -4. Off the ice? Probably just your standard beer drinking Frenchman.

Tomas Kaberle – 3 points, and -1. Off the ice? He’s so low key that he could be mistaken for an Amish person. But sometimes its guys like this who wind up being involved in a child porn ring, so who knows?

Weak choices so far. Maybe they go with… Matt Stajan?
He has 3 goals, and -1. Off the ice? He’s the team’s union rep, called out the fans for being too quiet, has a comparable tenure to Kaberle.

It’s too early in the season to name one mediocre player better than the other ones though, so I think we should just tell The Star to give it a rest for now.

Jonathon Roy, Superstar!

Patrick Roy’s son pled guilty to an on ice assault which took place in a game in 2008. Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s92LY161Gww&feature=fvw

Apparently he wanted a specific plea bargain that would still allow him to enter the U.S. – why? To pursue his next career as a singer?

What a pussy.

Fabio Cannavaro’s Bee-S

Cannavaro, who captained team Italy to a World Cup a few years back, has claimed that the reason he tested positive for banned substances was because he was receiving treatments for a bee sting.

However, the former physician for Juventus has been convicted of administering banned substances to players, and Cannavaro was caught on video injecting a substance in 2005.

In Italy, is it standard practice to treat common bee stings with a shot of steroids??? If so, how are so many bees finding their way into Italian locker rooms???

Ah whatever… it’s Italy. Who even cares.

Miguel Cabrera’s Wild Night

Miguel Cabrera was juiced the other night.

No, not the Jose Canseco kind of juiced, although that could be entirely possible… Instead, Cabrera was just plain old drunk.

According to tsn.ca (http://tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=294006), the Tigers overpaid slugger was flat-out hammered the other night – right in the middle of a pennant race. Nice work, retard.

Given that this is baseball, I guess nobody should be surprised. After all, David Wells claimed to have pitched his perfect game when he was “half-drunk”.

But, what’s so embarrassing about this incident though, is that fact that Cabrera clearly has no idea that he has a drinking problem.

During BP, Cabrera addressed the media to talk about the fact that he was hammered the night before one of the biggest games of the year. Here’s what he had to say after going 0-4, with 1K and leaving 6 runners on base.

“No, no, no. I was good. I was focused.”

Really? That’s funny, because the night before, you had a 0.26 Blood Alcohol Content when you drove home, got into a domestic disturbance with your wife, and then got bailed out of jail by your team’s General Manager.

Yeah, no problems here. Just Cabrera playing some good, focused, effective baseball.

What will he do for an encore during the sudden death, elimination game tonight? Beat up Jim Leyland with a bat? Do cocaine off Gerald Laird’s jockstrap? Sexually assault Brandon Inge?

Only time will tell…