Friday, February 01, 2002

Boston Globe scoffs at publicly funded stadiums: A Joan Venonoci op/ed (Jan. 31) in the Boston Globe proclaims "WELCOME TO BOSTON, and forget about getting your mitt on that $100 million in public money. It isn't going anywhere near a ballpark. Not this year, and hopefully never."
Scrap-happy SuperBowl medianiks: Media Minded recalls this amusing anecdote, a Raiders player complaining in a SuperBowl film: "You guys show up here a week before the game, come to Media Day, eat all the free food, drink all the free beer, and don't ask a single serious question. You come to the practices, eat all the free food, drink all the free beer, and don't ask a single serious question. Then on the day of the game, you sit in the press box, eat all the free food, drink all the free beer, and when the game's over, you come up to us and say, 'What happened out there today?' "
Don't give up on Steelers: Bob Smizik writes that hope is not lost for Steelers fans - this is only the beginning of a new and better era. "In retrospect, a playoff season should not have been unexpected and a 13-3 season surprising but not astonishing. The team is comparatively young, reasonably solid economically in terms of the salary cap and without significant free-agent problems."
What matters more: While the all-star game goes on, most hockey minds will be wandering elsewhere. Roy MAcGregor explains why. And Bruce Dowbiggin laments how this year's all-star game ended up in such a mess.

Course neither of these pieces are as good as mine.

YoungStar Gam: Aw, what the heck. I'll be going out to a fancy dinner, but will be setting my VCR for the NHL YoungStars game: ESPN at 9 p.m. ET...
The IIHF ruins our fun for the umpteenth time by ruling that San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov is not allowed to play for Russia at the Olympics. Hockey's Future reports that "Nabokov's eligibility has been in doubt ever since the IIHF disallowed his request to don the Russian jersey. Evgeni was a back-up goaltender with Kazakhstan at the 1994 Olympic games in Lillehammer."

"The IIHF's rule stated that players participating with one country when over 18, cannot suit up for another. To Russia's chagrin, that ruling was made after Nabokov's stint with Kazakhstan's Olympic squad."
Capitals sinking, slowly but surely: After a few games of rousing defensive play, the Caps are back on the road to missing the playoffs and maybe even getting a lottery pick in next year's draft. The latest misery? Plucky local centerman Jeff Halpern needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The 25-year-old Halpern injured his knee on Jan. 16 against the Canadiens after going awkwardly into the boards.

My new hockey column published by The American Enterprise: Whoo-hoo. I offered my friend Eli this column, and he ran it without (much) hesitation. "Another NHL No-Star Game." Mark this as my first hockey article in a mainstream publication...

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Ron Francis nite: My friend Matthew just got back from North Carolina, where he attended "Ron Francis night." Ulf Samuelsson turned up! And no one in the stands had half a clue who he was or what was going on.
Lots of stars will give the No-Star Game a miss... With the Olympics around the corner, the NHL's All-Star Game has lost its appeal for Dallas's Mike Modano. He won't go to Los Angeles for the Feb. 2 game if they choose him. And Modano isn't alone. Ottawa's Daniel Afredsson is publicly balking at the trip to L.A., and Detroit's Dominik Hasek and Sergei Fedorov are both rumoured not to be inclined to attend.
Odd to be kudoing: Another blogger puts up a permanent link to PuckHog, catching me off guard: Insolvent Republic Of Blogistan.
I guess the bet is on: Charles Tupper Jr. and I have made our bet. I am not confident enough in Team Canada to place money on them bringing home the gold, but I am reasonably confident in betting against the slovaks bringing home any medal from the hockey at Salt Lake...
Tupper still high as a kite? Charles Tupper Jr wants to bet me that the Slovak hockey team will medal at Salt Lake. I am waiting to hear what the stakes are, but the bet will only go through as long as he calls me by my name...
Legends of the Super Bowl: Super Bowl Sunday is about more than football. It is about legends. Not just Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw, but also “Bloody Sunday” and “The Great Toilet Flush.” Super Bowl Sunday was dubbed “Bloody” because wife-beating reaches an annual high the day of the game. “The Great Toilet Flush” refers to the tendency of sewage systems in major cities to break under the load of half-time toilet-flushing. But while the great players are indeed legendary, a my investigation finds that the other legends are more myth than history.
Secret Service's Super Bowl Sacrifice: Tom Ridge and the Secret Service claim it is necessary for them to protect the Super Bowl. Anyone think it might be because they couldn't get tickets to the game any other way?
Chock up another loser for the No-Star Game: The NHL announced Tuesday that Columbus Blue Jackets center Espen Knutsen has been chosen to join the World squad for Saturday's NHL All-Star game in Los Angeles. He replaces the Dallas Stars' Jere Lehtinen, who was scheduled for knee surgery Tuesday.

Knutsen is the first Blue Jackets player and first Norwegian-born player to be selected for the game. He also will participate in the skills competition Friday night - though what skills he has have yet to be determined.

Espen has an awe-inspiring eight goals and 23 assists in 49 games this season.
Balloon Juice and the Steel City: Commiserations to the black and gold faithful at Balloon Juice, who had this to say on Sunday:
The Steelers lost. My already shallow, empty existence is now even more so. Bill Cowher has a choice- either the special teams coach and Kris Brown goes, or I go. The world is a dark, hollow, cold, awful place.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Screw the Frogs! The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the French Olympic hockey team! Senior Johnny Pohl had a goal and two assists and freshman Justin Johnson made 33 saves as Minnesota defeated the French Olympic Team 6-2 at Mariucci Arena.
Why, Oh Why? Today's award for America's Smartest Reporter goes to Jennifer Pierson, who posted this query on PROFNET: "I'm looking for psychologists who can discuss why people up in northwestern Pennsylvania feel so badly about the Steelers losing Sunday's football game."
Why bring baseball to DC? Andrew Zimbalist congratulates Washington on maybe getting a Major League Baseball team. However,
One might wonder by what logic the country's eighth-largest media market merits a team now, when Major League Baseball is talking about shrinking to 28 teams, and not before -- when the league planned on sticking with 30 franchises. The answer is that contraction is not a reality; it is only a gambit by team owners and one that has no place in a sane economic world. But baseball isn't played in a sane economic world....
The Dark Horse Slovaks: Charles Tupper Jr must be on crack. Sure, there is some talent in the ranks of the Slovak Olympic hockey team, but sheesh, they're unlikely to even make it to the final round!
Well, maybe they do generate jobs... Usually the claims that publicly subsidized sports create jobs are just so much blithering nonsense. But perhaps, in the case of the Salt Lake Olympics, the claims are accurate?

Monday, January 28, 2002

Lamoriello to Robinson: C-Ya! New Jersey Devils coach Larry Robinson got canned today. In related news, GoodOlBoy Kevin Constantine was named the new head coach in his place. It is about time KC made it back to the NHL. We never should have sent him packing from Pittsburgh... (cheers to Grasshoppa for this news)
Post-mortem: So ends my super bowl enthusiasm. The Steelers looked pathetic yesterday and deserved to lose. Kordell Stewart reverted to Martha mode.

At least the Rams-Eagles game was exciting. Although I was too busy to see most of it, I listened to most of the second half on the radio while I was cooking in my kitchen.

Alas, back to hockey!