Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

AN OPEN LETTER TO PITTSBURGH
August 4, 2009

I wrote this sometime during or after the Flyers/Penguins play-offs series. It’s basically just a lot of venting, so bear with me, I didn’t really write it with intent to show it to anyone. And if you live in Pittsburgh/are a Pens fan, I suggest you stop reading. But if you’re a Flyers fan, be my guest.

AN OPEN LETTER

Dear anyone who is, ever was, or will have the unfortunate fate of being a Pittsburgh Penguins fan,

You are all sincerely just a bunch of fucking douche bags. I thought Red Sox fans were bad, but truly, compared to you, they’re lovely. Can I ask, please, what the fuck is going through your head when you go to FLYERS BLOGS to comment on, not the article that was written, but on how much more the Pens are superior to the Flyers? Do you all have that much fucking time on your hands that you Google search for Flyers blogs and then type up fucking ridiculous comments about them? Are there not Penguins blogs you could use to emit your douchebaggery? Surely, some Pens fan had to make a blog to contain all of you assholes in one spot right? Yes? Oh okay, and what do you do there? Let me see for myself. Okay, http://www.thepensblog.bloguin.com/. A well-mannered person like myself (except in situations like these) would expect to find lots of stuff about the Penguins in the play-offs, pictures of you sucking Malkin and Crosby’s dick, videos of you fucking your uncles and sisters, you know, the type of weird shit you people do on the wrong side of the state. Of course not. What do I see? A bunch of photoshopped pictures that even I could make of better quality. I see a nice picture of the Wachovia Center- with sniper gun cross hairs on it. I see another picture of the Wachovia Center- with a plane dropping bombs on it. Not to be outdone by yourselves however, there is a picture of Mike Richards hugging Pierre McGuire from behind in a Christmas sweater. Come on, I thought people of even your intelligence could up with something more clever than that. I over estimated you, Pittsburgh.
From 2000-2006 your “beloved” team was in the bottom half in NHL attendance. Or about how you fucking “true fans” were dead last in the league in 2004, and 25th in 2003. If you would like to know where the Flyers were in those years, try 3rd in the league in ’03 and 4th in ‘04. And Philadelphia’s average attendance actually increased 75 people in 2004 from 2003, but so did Montreal’s, Detroit’s, and Toronto’s by slightly greater numbers. But honestly Penguins “fans”. I know your team only had 58 points in the standings that entire season you worthless sacks of shit failed to show up in the stands. You could blame the poor attendance record on that. Your pathetic average of 11, 877 idiots in attendance could have been for that reason. But, hey! Guess what! The Philadelphia Flyers had their worst season in franchise history in 2007, finishing the regular with a mere 56 points. Would you like to know where they ranked in attendance? 7th. Fucking seventh with 19,282 in the crowd on an average nightly basis. The previous year their average was 19,653 and they finished fourth, so there wasn’t even a notable drop-off. Why? Because Philadelphia is superior to your shit of a city you have out there. I am thoroughly disgusted to share a state with you people. I’m glad I live about 300 miles away from you morons. I don’t know what type of fucking diseases I could catch from you people. It is sickening in every respect that the NHL had to threaten to move your franchise from Pittsburgh to Kansas City or Vegas just to get you to watch a hockey team. The NHL then proceeded to grant you Sidney “Whining Bitch” Crosby and Evgeni “I Look Like My Mom Smoked Too Many Russian Cigars While She Was Pregnant Wih Me” Malkin in the draft. They practically handed you fucking people who are now two of the best players in hockey. And they knew that’s what they would become. Your franchise is a fucking charity case and I hope you can read this, but you probably have Gary Bettman’s dick too far down your collective STD laced throat.
As I was scrolling through some of the comments on that Penguins’ blog, I found not only naïve remarks, but some I just didn’t know what to think of. I’m not a Phillies fan. I didn’t even like Harry Kalas that much. But when I read this: “Just a classless organization from top to bottom. The organist at the Wachovia Center should take a note from Harry Kalas and just die.” I was surprised. I’m just not sure what to make of that. I don’t even know what to say except that it’s sad that someone would resort to saying such a thing. First of all, Harry Kalas has nothing to do with the Penguins or even the Flyers, the team the Pen’s are playing, so why you would bring him into such an argument, is something I’ll never know. Yes, and we are the classless ones. I know that I’m not always the most well-behaved person, case in point: this letter, but really? I guess this is what happens when a fanbase cares about its team once or twice every two decades. They obviously make up for their lost time with disrespect and sheer incompetence. Here’s another raw comment I thought was amazing, “Your city is a filthy crime infested rotted cheesesteak dump. Do the rest of the state a favor and DIE”. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. You silly Penguins fans. Have you ever had a cheesesteak? They are delicious. Are you sad that the best things your city is known for are steel and bridges? The ‘DIE’ comment at the end there is just sort of funny. Something to smile at, which I did, when I read that. Philadelphia is the place 1,435,533 people proudly call home and where I want to live one day. The number of violent crimes (defined by the national government’s website as crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim) reported in Philadelphia in 2007 were 1,475. Keep that in mind when you read these two numbers. Pittsburgh population: 312,179. Pittsburgh’s number of violent crimes in 2007: 1,107. PHILADELPHIA HAS OVER A MILLION MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU AND PITTSBURGH’S VIOLENT CRIME RATE IS ONLY LOWER BY 368. Yes, the capital letters were necessary, too bad your illiterate incest orgy of a town wouldn’t know the difference. Just for the record Pittsburgh’s property crime rate was 4,463 and Philadelphia’s was 4,305. More than triple your population, and Philly still has less people willing to vandalize buildings in their own city. Pittsburgh’s burglary reports in 2007: 1,095. Philadelphia’s? 803. I don’t even know what Larceny theft is, but Pittsburgh had 281 more reported cases of it than Philly did. How stupid Penguins fans are, is strictly just becoming humorous at this point.
Also, I know you are all blinded by love at this point, but Flyers fans are not jealous of Sidney Crosby. I play the “he-is-not-the-best-player-on-his-team,-let-alone-the-next-Wayne-Gretzky” card. If you could please just take his dick out of your ass for one second and be realistic, it would be greatly appreciated. At the moment, Malkin has the most points, assists, and goals in the play-offs. Crosby is second in all of those categories except assists. So if you would like to start making out with Malkin now, you can. Those stats are skewed by the Flyers distinct ineptitude to play defense, but regardless, my AIDS test is flawless and yours isn’t. Crosby not only spends more time whining to the refs than you do lighting puppies on fire (which is more time than I could ever imagine, I suppose), but he doesn’t throw a fair fight. He jumps people after face-offs, and punches people in the balls that are already down on the ice, and being handled by another Pens player. While he is ridiculously offensively talented, I would take Mike Richards every chance you gave me. Stats from the 08-09 regular season: Did you know Richards was +22 in +/-, while Crosbitch was just a +3? Did you know Mike Richards had 13 less penalty minutes? Four game winning goals to Crosby’s three? This is where Mike Richards makes Sidney Crosby his unworthy bitch. Seven short handed goals for Richie. Crosby had 0.0000000000000000. Mike Richards also owns the all-time NHL record for most 2 men short handed goals with 3. You can reread that now. Just to make sure, I’ll say it again: Seven short handed goals for Richie. Crosby had 0.0000000000000000 in 2009. Mike Richards also own the NHL record for most 2 men short handed goals with 3. Alright. Now you want to look at career numbers? Mike Richards and Sidney Crosby both played their first full NHL season in 2006. Richards played 290 regular season games since then, and Sidney Crosby, also 290. I shit you not (but I’m sure that’s something you’re all used to doing on each other by now). Mike Richards career short-handed goals in the regular season, alone: 19. Sidney “The Next One” Crosby: 0. Zero is a great number. It’s also the amount of normal looking people in Pittsburgh, the number of people who want to screw Sidney Crosby outside of your city, the number of times Crosby has shaved…ever, how many people in Pittsburgh who are not the result of rape/incest/excessive drug use, and the number of people who knew what “ice hockey” was before Mario Lemieux was drafted.
And Maxime Tablbot. Really? You said, “They call themselves the most intimidating? That’s pretty pretentious. They try to be intimidating. They’re all dressed in orange T-shirts and they scream a lot. Does that make the Flyers a better team? I don’t think so.” I say you wouldn’t have the balls to say that to a Wachovia Center full of people with no security. Did you not realize your fans were going dress in white T-Shirts (they all brought their best wife-beaters, rest assured) in Pittsburgh for Game 5 two days after you would say this? Have you seen those wash-cloths your fans wave around? What are they called? Terrible towels? To call a swatch of fabric “terrible” is pretentious. To have an NHL PLAYER SURVEY name Flyers fans as the “most intimidating in all of hockey” is not. Do you even know what pretentious means? No, it does not mean ‘fucking amazing”, contrary to popular belief. I don’t blame you though, seeing as you people must’ve burned all of your dictionaries when you found out the definition of ‘greatness’ did not start with ‘Sidney’ and end with ‘Crosby’.
Please now, let me end with pictures of what the off-season looks like for Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, compared to Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin. (And yes, that’s actually them. Google it.)

is better than

BORING
August 3, 2009

If you like cookie cutter english papers on the history of fighting in hockey and why it shouldn’t be banned, this is for you!

On December 12, 2008, Whitby Dunlops player Don Sanderson of the Ontario Hockey Major League prepared for a hockey game as he had done many times before. During a fight against a Brantford Blast player that night, he fell helmetless onto the ice and later died of brain complications from the blow. His tragic death struck the hearts of many and sparked an age-old debate on whether or not the National Hockey League (NHL) should ban fighting. Yes, the practice within the sport is dangerous, however this is the first known death directly related to fisticuffs and ultimately should not be banned. Fighting has been a part of ice hockey since the sport’s rise in popularity in nineteenth century Canada. There are a few theories on how fighting first worked its way into the game. The most popular one is simple in the fact that when hockey was thought to be developed in the 1800s, there was a general lack of official rules and the game encouraged physical play because of one of its most fundamental objectives- trying to steal the puck from another player. Many fans of hockey agree that it is a staple to the game, and a 324 NHL player survey conducted by Sports Illustrated in its June 1st, 2009 issue said that 99.4% players asked did not want fighting banned either. There are often games without altercations, and out of the total of 1,230 games played in the 20008-2009 regular season, there were only 743 fights.
The National Hockey League was first created in 1917 and was played for five years without any formal rules even remotely regulating fighting in the game. In 1922, Rule 56 was introduced. This implemented punishment by a five minute penalty in which the player cannot be on the ice for five minutes and is sent to a bench, opposite that of his teammates, and that is rink-side called the penalty box. Although players have broken their fingers and sustained other minor injuries, that is the extent of most wounds and no one has ever died in the NHL because of a fight. Players do have to suffer repercussions if they decide to engage in a brawl and there are other penalties associated with fighting besides the basic five minutes for fighting such as the instigator penalty for the player who is deemed to be the obvious starter of an altercation and is assessed a ten minute penalty on top of the five minutes for fighting, among others.
Another issue with completely banning fighting in hockey would be missed opportunities for young players to prove themselves at a professional level. Often times, players are called up from the minor leagues to assume the roll as the team’s designated fighter, called the enforcer, because of their inexpensive salaries. They frequently do not play very many minutes since their objective is mainly to give the better players on the team time to rest and to fight, but during that small span they can establish themselves as skilled and talented players. People like Brendan Shanahan and Keith Tkachuk started their careers as enforcers and now have a combined over 1,180 NHL goals.
In addition, the presence of possible fights discourages dirty hits and dangerous stick infractions. Players are less likely to hit or trip someone with their stick if they know that besides a penalty, an enforcer could want to fight them. The same is true if a player checks some into the boards awkwardly, with intent to injure, possibly giving them a concussion or broken bones. In essence, allowing fighting in the NHL is subtraction by addition, not the other way around. Adding altercations, or permitting them to happen, is subtracting, or decreasing, the likelihood of more dirty play in other forms. Seeing a bulky, 275 pound, over 6-foot-5 guy sitting on the opposing team’s bench makes players think twice about what they do on the ice. Alan Blagman has been a zamboni driver for six years at Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Rangers. He says that he has seen more injuries caused by ill intended stick violations, than by fighting.
Many people and sports networks see hockey as a niche sport. A game that maybe does not have as many fans in the United States as football or basketball, but those who do follow it, love and are very knowledgeable about it. Maybe if the NHL eliminated fighting, it would have a better national image and profit from its new fans. However, one could actually argue that more people watch hockey in America because of its risk of a brawl. Bill Clement, a hockey analyst for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (previously for ESPN), and a retired NHL center said, “One aspect of the human make-up seldom changes, and it is our sense of morbid curiosity, fighting sells”.
When talking about banning fighting in the National Hockey League, there are many hats to wear, but only one head. Nobody wants to see a player get injured in a fight, but no one wants star players to be targeted or dirty play to increase. It can be made safer. In the case of Don Sanderson, his life could have been saved if players did not remove their helmets before a fight. There is always room for improvement, and this is no exception. However, the complete removal of fighting in the NHL would cause more harm than good.

Naïve To Believe/Too Naïve To Believe?
April 18, 2009

I don’t need to explain what that picture is of. As long as you see one Bill Guerin celebrating over by Braydon Coburn, and the puck behind the line, I’m pretty sure you know when it was taken. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to read another statically in-depth look at last night’s lamentable (read: unfavorably abrupt) loss. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to write about it anymore after this paragraph. I don’t want to think about Game 2 anymore, and you shouldn’t either. Pretty much, I’ll be reffering to it, but not much more than that. I’m trying to look forward by looking back. Like adding by subtraction. (A.K.A.: Carcillo getting suspended, then putting an energized rookie with a chance to gain play-off experience in his place.)

If I was going to explain the series thus far to some one who hasn’t heard anything about it, but still understands hockey, I would just tell them that the Penguins lead it 2-0, and the next game is in Philadelphia (as is the one after that) at 3:00pm EST on NBC in HD, where available. That’s it, and nothing more. They don’t need to hear about the god-awful effort that was Game 1 or the heartbreaking OT loss that was last night. They only need to recognize that Flyers are back home at the Wach. for the next couple of nights and if the Flyers have any chance at all of moving on to face the ‘ins/’iens they need to win the next two contests at home. Sure, the Flyers could lose tomorrow night, and sure, they could comeback from a 3-0 Pittsburgh hole and move onto the second round, but both of those things are not likely, especially the latter.

All of which, brings me to the title of this very blog post. Some people would tell you it’s not stupid to think the Flyers could dig themselves out of this 2-0 hole and and end up winning the series. Even more people would tell you it’s foolish to believe the Flyers could come back to advance to round two. Which state of mind is right/better? It comes down to the eternal optimist vs. eternal pessimist. I’m not going to go all ‘American Psychological Association’ on you, but I can say the players mind-set and the fans mind-set have to be completely different, in most cases. Almost always, the fan in this situation will take the more negative road, not because they want to believe what they’re saying will happen, but because if they convince themselves of the worst possible outcome, they can’t be disappointed. And after the two games played so far, that doesn’t seem unreasonable. Both were big let-downs, but for two totally different reasons. One was lack of playing the all elusive “60 minutes of hockey”, the other, just lack of outcome.

The players mindset needs to be the positive one, because they still have to play. Both the fans and the players want the team to win.

Game 3 tomorrow.
Go. Flyers.