Sunday, October 30, 2011

An NHL Primer for Distressed NBA Fans! (No Neck Tattoos here!)

I’m a fan of the modern age. I love that Google has made the reference section at the Library, a dusty remnant of times past. (Although, the idea of packs of feral, naughty librarians roaming the streets breathily whispering parts of the Dewey Decimal system into your ear is kind of nice).
But when it comes to being a man, I’m old school. Like any man who’s made the plunge and gotten married, your continued chances of wanton nudity (..hers not yours. My pants are off before the garage door closes) depends on compromise (and scrubbing your balls). Therefore, it’s an inevitability that you’re going to end up on an adult play date with her and her friends at an apple orchard, cheese tasting, scrabble party or any other event devised to really test your limits..
Cheese tasting? Really? Look, I’m just going to say it. I’m a “cheese-ist.” My cheese either comes individually wrapped in “Singles” form or following words like “Macaroni and..” or “…stuffed crust.” 
The idea of a bunch of dudes milling around a ripe brie en croute is essentially torture. I’m almost positive that if a remake of “Marathon Man” were coming down the pike (…who am I kidding? Who wouldn’t want to drill Hugh Jackman’s dingo baby eating teeth) it would take place in a fromagerie with Hitler’s cheese monger wanting to know: “Is it sharp?”
But once again, nudity levels the playing field and you’re stuck listening to some guy ramble on about sheep’s milk Gouda and weepy Havarti. I don’t even want to look the other guys in the eye; it’s too uncomfortable.
It’s like when you’re coming out of the Barnes and Noble bathroom with a look of relief and a “Girls of Japanese Anime” coffee table book and you see a guy from your office.
Anyways, the NHL could get a solid bump from all the NBA strike fuss. Here’s a primer to NBA fans looking to make the plunge and sound like they know what they’re talking about. You’ll notice the absence of neck tattoos and shark tanks.
·         Right - Mentioning Roberto Luongo’s unprotected five hole, and you’ll seem like a guy who may knows something about breaking down goalie play.
·         Wrong – Mentioning Roberto Luongo’s unprotected glory hole, and you’ll only pique the interest of your cousin, who hopes this has something to do with Olive Garden restrooms and his bi-curious leanings.

·         Right – “Flashing the leather” is a way to say a goalie has a quick glove hand.
·         Wrong – Flashing the Leather” has nothing to do with the failed Happy Days spinoff: “Milwaukee: CSI”

·         Right – A player exceeding his usual level of play is said to be: “…putting on a clinic.”
·         Wrong – This isn’t the time to bring up your Thai hooker and her limited understanding of the rhythm method.

·         Right – Referring to a player or coach by his nickname shows that you have a solid understanding of the game. E.g. Matt Cooke = Cookie.
·         Wrong – Referring to a player or coach by the mythical character they resemble shows you really should have just stayed over by the spinach dip. E.g. Barry Trotz = Hobbit.

·         Right – Demonstrating the various hand signals for each penalty call shows an affinity for the more detailed parts of the game.
·         Wrong – Adding a Stephen Sondheim score is probably a bit much.

·         Right – When pushed into a corner, it’s best to just say: “I think they’ll just take it one day at a time...”
·         Wrong – Do NOT follow up on your comment by talking about your bizarre Bonnie Franklin / Schneider fantasy.

·         Right - Someone will invariably bring up Gretzky and say: “…he’s a God in Canada.” Just chuckle and nod accordingly.
·         Wrong – Now is not the time to bring up all the ritual killings you’ve made in his name.

·         Right – The “Neutral Zone” is the area between the two blue lines. The Neutral Zone trap is a defensive system designed to prevent solid breakouts by the offensive team.
·         Wrong – This has nothing to do with the time Charlie had you pinned down with sniper fire and you saw your best friend blown to bits. So, put down the fondu fork and let the caterer go.

·         Right – It is customary for players to forego shaving in the playoffs. This playoff superstition is known as a: “Playoff beard.”
·         Wrong – Just bite down hard on your lip & take another swig of your bourbon before you chime in with your rec. league pre-game tradition of paying a hooker to pretend she’s an “Ambie” (Amish Zombie).

·         Right – The Stanley Cup can be referred to as Lord Stanley’s Cup,  The Silver Chalice and “The Mug”
Wrong – No one else has heard it, so hold back and refrain from calling it, “Hull’s Urinal

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Planking Schmanking! Who's up for Alain Vigneault-ing

You know that uncomfortable game you play when you’re thrust into an awkward situation, like meeting your future in laws or playing prison rules CLUE. (It’s always the sharpened toothbrush in the shower)

You know the one where you tell a stranger something innocuously embarrassing about yourself like, “I wasn’t paying attention today and I put on a black sock and a navy blue sock.” It’s harmless, right?  Well, what happens when that person takes your small admission of something uncomfortable and sees that as the opening they’ve been looking for to unburden themselves of some darker secret? “Oh, I know what you mean, I’ve been stalking Cher for years.

How do you come back to that?  Well, in my incredibly English family we handle all uncomfortable situations the same way. We put out baked goods and change the subject to the weather. This explains our rather, “hard cheese” demeanor and love of mincemeat.

What’s my point, Sally? My point is this. It’s all about the little things.

Whether it's my Dad's annual "angry letter campaign" to the makers of Hunt's Ketchup or my Mom's passive aggressive hinting about what she's getting you for Christmas:

Mom: "Stephen, I saw your 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Parsons at The Bay and he was wearing the sharpest silk shirt."

Me: "Mom, I don't want a silk shirt."

Mom: "Stephen, you're not getting one, but a silk shirt would be such an addition to your collection of ratty T-Shirts. Good Lord, you look like a wayward roadie on most occasions. Did you know Janis' daughter just..."

Me: "Mom, you're losing focus."

Mom: "All I'm saying is that a silk shirt is very smart and all the kids are wearing..."

Me: "Mom, I'm 40."

Mom: "Well, you should stop buying all your clothes from GAP and ..."

Me: "Mom, it's, The Gap, and I don’t.”

Mom: "Regardless, Stephen, their clothes make you look like you're on a Leper's Island."

So, that's how that goes.

Add that “therapist’s wet dream” to our already disturbing ritual of busting out the “Elf on the Shelf” and you’ve got an Easton Ellis novel with less coke and more eggnog. The idea of a tiny person who sneaks in and out of your house every night is both disturbing and, I believe the origin for most of the predator and stalking laws in 48 of the 50 States. I've written my Congressman to see if, Meaghan's Law applies to ceramic figurines.

Anyways, the law of hipster idiocy started with planking, went to owling and right on to Tebowing. Well, the NHL is ready to follow suit…

“MacLean-ing” – Hands folded regally on table, neck turned at a 90 degree angle and a dead eyed “Hinckleyesque” gaze makes this the preferred fad of Kevin Spacey cosplay enthusiasts.

“Kessel-ing” – Hands tucked disturbingly in lap. Reclining at an angle that says, “…I’m seat filling at the daytime Emmys.” This trend is perfect for anyone who loves the feeling of pleather under them and a penchant for turquoise jewelry.

“Crosby-ing” – Your head is facing downward with your eyes closed. Down on all fours, hands out in front of you like you’re a, “muslicorn” (muslim unicorn). This is very in vogue for people who like the idea of praying, but they’re unsure whether the Hamburglar is the kind of new age deity that needs that kind of validation.

“Vigneault-ing”- Standing completely straight, smiling wryly with your arms loosely folded like a jaded Muppet, your head is cocked at an angle that says, “Sure, I know the Washington Generals are against it tonight, but I’ve got a really good feeling. People who love Vigneault-ing are naturally suspicious. Even after presented with all the consumer reports and financial data, they won’t buy their adverbs anywhere but at Lolly’s.

“Subban-ing” – Perhaps the toughest NHL trend to duplicate; mostly because it’s never done the same way twice. One time you can be on one foot with your arms akimbo and head tilted skyward like. The next time, you can be down on your knees, both arms over your head, Pia Zadora style and your neck turned at a ninety degree angle like a hipster demon who will only possesses people ironically. This trend is great for people who march to a different drummer. People who rarely take no for an answer; so, it could be Mark David Chapman or the pinball machine in, The Accused.

Visors, Pronger and Fun with Find and Replace

If there's anything that I could bring forward from being a fifteen year old boy growing up in the 80's it would have to be my ability to hold up my Catherine Bach poster with one hand and my superhuman recall of all things, Fast Times at Ridegmont High.

To this day, I consider, “What do you do with the jackets people leave here?” to be the best opening line with women, ever.

What’s my point, Arnold?  My point is this, sometimes the things we remember as being totally, totally sweet, like summer break or Phoebe Cates getting out of that pool. Sidenote: I don’t usually go in for the whole “controversial satetments” thing, but I firmly believe that Phoebe Cates in Fast Times, was a mere 1/10 of the hotness of Phoebe Cates in Gremlins. Maybe it’s my Canadian sensibilities, or my erotically themed Farley Mowats “fanfic” but seeing Phoebe Cates in a sweater makes me think Linda Barrett’s breasts are hibernating for the weather.   

OK, back to my point. My point is, that just because it was cool, doesn’t’ mean it’s cool now. Earlier this week, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman and cross dressing enthusiast, Chris Pronger took a stick to his eye in a game against the Maple Leafs.
Luckily, Pronger’s OK,  and will return in 3 to 4 weeks wearing a visor. Pronger’s injury has once again opened the can of worms that is the “should they or shouldn’t they” wear a visor argument among fans and media.

Is the visor a good idea? Yes. Does it protect the eye? Will it prevent all eye injuries? No, but at least it’s better than nothing. Look, I’m not going to throw a bunch of the usual, “what about this..” and “what about that..” arguments at you.

It’s simple. These are grown men whose livelihoods depend on clear vision. If they want to jeopardize it, then it’s up to them. Until the players association and the league decide enough is enough we’ll continue to see guys like Manny Malhotra and Matthias Ohlund, taken off the ice with blood streaming from their eyes.

Instead, I’ll let my favourite scene from, Seinfeld and the magic of find and replace make my *argument for me…


GARY BETTMAN : Yeah, they're in Finland now. They'll be back in a few weeks.

DONALD FEHR: I can't believe he got involved with an actress.

DONALD FEHR: So, what's happening with the Visor policy? You come up with anything?

GARY BETTMAN: No, nothing.

DONALD FEHR: Why don't they have Sturm on the ice?

GARY BETTMAN : What do you need Sturm on the ice for?

DONALD FEHR: Because Sturm is now a Florida Panther and he has potential.

GARY BETTMAN : You know why? Because people like to say "Sturm" "Excuse me, do you like Sturm?" "We need more Sturm" "Where is Sturm? No Sturm?"

DONALD FEHR: You know it must be impossible for an NHL GM to trade for
Sturm and not get Sturm. (Angry) "I wanted Sturm not Chouinard"

GARY BETTMAN : "Don't you know the difference between Sturm and Chouinard???

DONALD FEHR: See, this should be the policy. This is the policy.


DONALD FEHR: This. Just talking.

GARY BETTMAN : (dismissing) Yeah, right.

DONALD FEHR: I'm really serious. I think that's a good idea.

GARY BETTMAN : Just talking? Well what's the visor policy about?

DONALD FEHR: It's about nothing.

GARY BETTMAN : No legislation? No fines? No grandfathering?

DONALD FEHR: No, forget the legislation! Forget the fines.

GARY BETTMAN : You've got to have grandfathering.

DONALD FEHR: Who says you gotta have grandfathering? Remember when Malhotra got hit in the eye? We didn’t do anything then.

GARY BETTMAN : And the visor policy is about nothing?

DONALD FEHR: Absolutely nothing.

GARY BETTMAN : So you're saying, I go in to CBC, to the Board of Governors, the media, and tell them I got this idea for a visor policy and it’s about nothing.

DONALD FEHR: We go into CBC, Board of Governors, the media

GARY BETTMAN : "We"? Since when are you a Commissioner?

DONALD FEHR: (Scoffs) Commissioner. We're talking about the NHL.

GARY BETTMAN : You want to go with me to the Board of Governors?

DONALD FEHR: Yeah. I think we really got something here.

GARY BETTMAN : What do we got?


GARY BETTMAN : What idea?

DONALD FEHR: An idea for the Visor Policy.

GARY BETTMAN : I still don't know what the idea is.

DONALD FEHR: It's about nothing.


DONALD FEHR: The NBA, The NFL, Everybody's doing something, about protecting their players, and we'll do nothing.

GARY BETTMAN : So, we go into the Board of Governors, we tell them we've got an idea for a visor Policy and it’s about nothing.


GARY BETTMAN : They say, "What's your Policy?" I say, "Nothing."

DONALD FEHR: There you go.

(A moment passes)

GARY BETTMAN: (Nodding) I think you may have something there.


Dramatic Readings with Bob Cole- The THRILLER Edition

Years from now, when the earth is facing a dystopian future of science versus sorcery, Moks are running schwarma restaurants, and humankind is being divided into “store bought” and “free range,” historians will look back on this particular post and think: “Yep, here’s where it started.”
I like Bob Cole. I like pop music. I've managed to create something, wonderful? 

Here’s the original…

Here's a little something else....  Bob Cole is happening.  He's got a little more to add, right there.

Big thanks to my friend Tom @mackeralsoda for the impressions. He's available for bar mitzvah's and mall openings.
Follow me @SteveintheKT. Everything is happening.

Drop the Mike... Gillis vs. Damone

Let’s just get right to it, shall we? I’m going to start this post like we’re old friends, OK, not exactly “old friends”, because let’s face it, if we were old friends, you’d be at my house right now hiding all the jewelry from wayward drifters I’ve collected over the years, before the police got there.
Wait, that didn’t come out right.  “Wayward drifters” kind of makes me seem creepy; not so much, like “bidding online for Japanese schoolgirl’s underwear creepy”, but more like “eating in the bathroom” creepy. No that’s not going to cut it either. Let’s just do this…
You know that thing in movies, where there are no opening credits, and it just starts with a car chase, wanton nudity or two Asian guys running at each other with guns in both hands a blazin’? Those are always good, right?  OK, much better! Let’s begin…
Anyways, here are three people that have really hard jobs:
1.      Carl, the COBRA commando from Sector 5H who has to constantly explain to, Serpentor that COBRA HQ was blown up by guys codenamed, Snow Job, Barbecue and Gung Ho. Seriously? Gung Ho? The guy’s wearing a denim vest with no shirt and Capri pants! Sidenote: Gay Bar or GI Joe Character is an awesome drinking game.

2.      Stephen Hawking. Sure, you’ve figured out the origins of the universe, possibly discovered time travel, and even used a complex equation to explain the appeal of Angelina Jolie, but you’re always going to be the third most popular guy with a voice synthesizer behind, T-Pain and that Cylon who thinks he’s a gunfighter from Battlestar Galactica.

3.      Mike Gillis.

What’s my point? Well, Milhouse, my point is this: Since Mike Gillis has taken on the task of Canuck’s GM, he’s done a very respectable job of building a Stanley Cup contender through shrewd trading and successful dips into the free agent pool.
I’m not saying he (Gillis) has a perfect record. I mean, I’m convinced there’s some weird Blue Velvet-esque video of Gillis with a nitrous tank and an erotic baker with questionable morality that Mats Sundin has access to, but overall, he’s been a whole lot more Sonny Corleone, and a whole lot less Fredo Corleone.
But have you ever wondered how Mike Gillis stacks up against another wheeler dealer with an advanced degree in hucksterism? Of course, you do. So, let’s go to the tale of the tape between Mike Gillis and Mike Damone from, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Gillis: Realizes he’s made a mistake, releases Peter Schaeffer.
Damone: Realizes he’s made a mistake, still won’t pay for Stacey’s abortion.
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Signed Mats Sundin to a ridiculous 8.6 million dollar contract
Damone: Took a bath on Blue Oyster Cult tickets two months ago. (“Where were you?)
Edge: Damone

Gillis: Uses a complicated mathematical formula based on the tenets of “Moneyball.”
Damone: Uses a five point plan to guarantee success with any woman. “…Led Zeppelin IV”
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Plays a dangerous game with the salary cap by signing Luongo to a long term contract.
Damone: Plays a dangerous game with Jefferson by putting off those Earth Wind and Fire tickets.
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Signs David Backes to an offer sheet; screws over the St. Louis Blues.
Damone: Screwed over Ratner by having sex with Stacey in her poolhouse.
Edge: Damone

Gillis: Takes offense to an unsigned editorial in a local paper calling for Luongo’s trade.
Damone: Takes offense to an unsigned “Prick” spray painted on his Gremlin.
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Scours the waiver wire and European leagues every morning looking for possible players.
Damone: Puts the vibe out to 30 million women. Of course, something is going to happen.
Edge: Damone

Gillis: Can’t believe Brian Burke and Ron Wilson don’t understand the NHL’s tampering rules.
Damone: Can’t believe people have forgotten the magnetism of Robin Zander or the charisma of Rick Nielsen.
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Last year’s loss in the Stanley Cup Final had some fans calling for Gillis to be fired.
Damone: Got busted for scalping Ozzy Ozbourne tickets. Now works at a 7-11.
Edge: Gillis

Gillis: Tie always undone and shirt somewhat disheveled shows Gillis’ frustration.
Damone: Wraps his piano key scarf around his neck in a jaunty manner when things go awry.
Edge: Damone

Follow me on Twitter @SteveintheKT. I’ll always show up at Old Heidelberg with your wallet; just call me.  

"I Got a Rock. A Good Canadian Rock, Right There... 'atta Boy!

There are three things I have learned never to discuss with
  people: Head shots, Europeans and the Great Pumpkin.
Sometimes, I’m just itching for a fight. I’m usually a pretty laid back guy, I mean, I’m willing to accept that Encyclopedia Brown won’t get made into a movie and that my idea to hunt Australians for food probably won’t gain a lot of support.

Sidenote. What is it with Australians? Are they not satisfied with being the Harlem Globetrotters (You can talk amongst yourselves about who the Washington Generals are. ) of Genetic lotteries? Do they have to be so upbeat and chipper all the time? I’m not even sure Australians are real. They’re a myth, like unicorns or underwear models with loose morals. Whenever I hear an Austrlian accent, all I want to do is shush them up with my fingers to their lips in a very Kathleen Turner, Body Heat kind of way and get them to say, “A dingo ate my baby” or “A shrimp on the barby" or something.

And you can try to convince me all you want that man is the smartest animal on the planet, and you can argue about his intellect and his limitless capacity for knowledge all you want but I will always end up victorious in the end. Why? Four little words... "I'll have the Filet-O-Fish. "

What’s my point? My point is this, Sherman, it’s Halloween, so keep your crappy taffy and sunflower seeds to yourself and make with the mini Aero’s and Kit-Kats.

Anyways, here’s some horror movie rewrites I submitted to the NHL Head Office to boost exposure on Halloween.

Gremlins – An old Asian man warns the crew on the NBC set that if you feed Liam McHugh after midnight, you’ll wind up with PJ Stock!
Hostel – Jaded millionaires looking for a thrill pay deranged kidnappers for the right to torture innocent students strapped to chairs with Columbus Blue Jacket game film. Warning: You’ll scream in terror when RJ Umberger plays the point on the power play!
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Garth Snow – In this whimsical classic, Garth and his friends go trick or treating at the NHL entry draft. After every round, you can hear the excited cries of:  “I got an Ovechkin!”  “I got a Crosby!” Except for the perpetually melancholic Garth who concedes, “I got an Okposo.”
Poltergeist – Strange events start to plague the New York Islanders, when they’re bought by Chinese industrialist, Charles Wang. Crowds mysteriously disappear, the goal horn remains spookily silent, and players suddenly vanish from the dressing room, replaced by ghostly shadows that the opposition skates right through. It’s only later that we learn Wang had the stadium built on an Indian graveyard. Actually, more specifically, under Rick DiPietro’s crease.
The Exorcist – A defrocked Catholic priest is kept on the NHL payroll to expel the demons preventing people from attending games in Dallas, Columbus and Phoenix. Yeah, demons.
Twilight – Thousands of goth girls (…and Erik Francis) all over Vancouver, take time away from cutting Sylvia Plath verses into their forearms to their, “Team Roberto” or “Team Corey” T-Shirts.  Schneider is quick to ask Kesler to stand in for him during those brooding, shirtless photo shoots.
The Werewolf – After being bitten by Alex Burrow in a scrum during the playoffs, Mark Recchi turns into a fur covered lycanthrope during a full moon at camp Bruins management quickly wants to know who the idiot was that offered Dave Babych a tryout spot.
The Human Centipede – Having seen the almost telepathic connection that Henrik and Daniel Sedin have with Alex Burrows on the ice a mentally unhinged surgeon takes it one step further and surgically connects Joe Thronton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley together. Not surprisingly, he only needs one heart.
Saw – Mike Milbury, Mike Keenan and Dale Tallon are locked in a room without doors or windows. They have 24 hours to construct a well reasoned and thought out trade that makes long term fiscal sense, or else they will die a slow, tortuous death. The movie lasts exactly 30 blood filled seconds.
The Invisible Man – Ooops, stupid Netflix sent me the wrong, Invisible Man. This is the documentary about Mike Green in the playoffs. Burn!

Canucks vs Capitals Preview! Now with Machiavelli, Oompa Loompas and My Cousin


I have a kid, which means I’m way more familiar with the insides of a Build-A-Bear then I should be. Wait, that sounds disturbing. I mean, it’s not “windowless van in an Ice Capades parking lot” disturbing, but it’s close enough. OK, let’s try this…
I have a kid, and therefore I am immersed in kid’s activities. So, most days, we’re at figure skating recitals, gymnastics, paint it yourself pottery shops, bounce houses and a whole petri dish of kid’s parties. However, I draw the line at, Chuck E. Cheese.  Have you ever been there? It’s like, Lord of the Lies mixed with the smell of crappy pizza and despair.
What I’m trying to say is, you’re drawn into kid’s activities because, as a parent, that’s just your job. It’s not so bad, there’s usually cake, and it keeps you away from Renaissance Fairs.
Renaissance Fairs? Yep, that’s a thing. From what I gather, once a year, empty pastures on the outskirts of town are transformed into a village from the Middle Ages, and it’s descended upon by men and women dressed in costumes from the period. OK, I get it, I do. You’re worn out from the high pressure job of being all that stands between order and chaos as you enforce the “one sauce, per order of chicken nuggets’ down at the local McDonald’s.
You need a release, you need your sanctuary, and since (I’m guessing) your crawlspace is already jam packed with the bodies of “big shot” carnies who wouldn’t make with the extra caramel, putting on a papier macher codpiece is the next best thing.
Just a quick P.S.A. to the “black knight” as he parades around the fairgrounds: (whisper voice) “Icksnay on the Pending-ay, Application-ay to NAMBLA-ay” 
What’s my point? Well my point is this: People, love to be what they’re not. I’m not going to delve into the Jungian analysis of taking on different personas, so I’ll just leave it at this, the nacho cheese dripping down your “armour” isn’t exactly historically accurate.
Whether it’s dressing up in a costume or eating breakfast for dinner,  switching it up from time to time, can be just the tonic needed to make the day to day grind bearable, or at least a wee bit more interesting. Like, what would happen if Bruce Banner got all stressed out and turned into a very, English, passive aggressive Hulk? “Hulk not happy with warmed goat cheese vinaigrette on micro green salad. Hulk. Hulk will write polite, yet terse letter to manager of Olive Garden, and roll eyes at waitress.”
Anyways, the Capitals have brought their high powered show into town tonight, and the Canucks have to stop them; ether on rags notwithstanding.
Look, I’m not a stats guy. I think stats are the calling card of the blasĂ© and simple minded. Yes, I guess they’re helpful as a tool to measure something against something else, but if they were accurate, all the games would be played out on some super computer in an underground bunker.
I also feel that way about the “Ubiquitous Keys, Breakdown, Toe to Toe etc…. of the Game” type articles written by people who see the same game I do. One hundred percent of the time, they’re chocked full of parroting and outright plagiarism of things they’ve read, seen or heard previously. There are several excellent people at TSN, CBC, Team 1040 and The Province who do this for a living, and they actually have access to the players, management and teams whereas we do not. And, as I have always said: “Talk to the owner of the Circus, not the monkey.”
So, instead why don’t’ we try this… I’m going to spin a huge, Price is Right style showcase showdown wheel and get their breakdown of tonight’s game. I call it…
“Randomonium – Capital vs. Canucks”
Tonight’s round table includes:  Italian Political Philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, my cousin Brenda, who gets all her Canucks info from the comments page on and Dave, the jaded Oompa Loompa who sings the songs, but doesn’t mean it.
“OK, guys…. First Question: Do you start Luongo?
Macchiavelli: “At this point one may note that men must be either pampered or annihilated. They avenge light offenses; they cannot avenge severe ones; hence, the harm one does to a man must be such as to obviate any fear of revenge.”
Brenda: “More like Lu-Wrongo! LOLZ!” Am I right? Am I right?
Me: “Wait, what? What does that mean? Are you saying yes to starting to Luongo or no?
Brenda: “+1”
Me: What?
Brenda: Exactly.
Me: OK, Dave what do you think?
Dave:  Thanks, Steve. First it’s great to be here. I believe it was Foster He…
Me: What do you think you’re doing?
Dave:  I’m answering the question. I think Luongo’s start depends on the ch…
Me: No, I mean, you know, you’re an Oompa Loompa, you know, you come out, you go up and down, you bust out a cute little prophetic rhyme; you know, Oompa Loompa.
Dave: Uhhm, no. that’s not really my thing.
Me: Not your thing? What?  You’re an Oompa Loompa!
Dave: Look, I just don’t do that anymore. I’ve got a lot more going for me.
Me: Like what?
Dave: Well, I’m launching a line of yoga wear for cats; I’m starring in a reimagining of, Waiting for Godot and…
Me: OK, I get it… Let’s just move on.
Me: OK, So it’s no secret the Canuck’s have been off to a slow start this season. How important is it to get the first goal tonight against a powerhouse like the Capitals? Niccolo…
Macchiavelli: “It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
Me: What? What does that even mean?
Dave: Steve, if I may.  I believe Niccolo…
Me: Shut it, Dave!  All I want to know is how important is it to score the first freaking goal. Brenda?
Brenda: (Holds up paper with a cat dressed as Darth Vader on it).
Me: OK, you know what forget it. All I wanted was to get some people with divergent viewpoints together to talk hockey and instead I get you guys. 
Dave: Steve, I think I’ve got a little song for you.”
Me: Perfect! Now you have a song! Well, sing it!
Dave: “Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, I’ve got a little puzzle for you. Oompa Loompa Wickity wick, why are you being such a di….
Me: Hey!! OK, forget it. We’ll pick this up next time.

Follow me on twitter @steveinthekt Next time, I use the novels of Judy Blume to explain why the Canucks aren’t developing enough young talent.  

My Dinner-ish with Bruce Arthur

"Inconceivable.... Oh wait, wrong movie."
I recently sat down over dinner (OK, full disclosure, by "dinner" I mean, I ate a bowl of Count Chocula over the sink while I typed this. No idea what Bruce was eating while he typed. I like to think he's a Weetabix, skim milk guy.) with National Post columnist, Bruce Arthur. Bruce is also a regular on The Reporters on TSN, TSN Radio co-host Mondays from 4-7, and he does it all while making smart assed comments on Twitter.

I'd like to think that even though we emailed our questions and answers back and forth, had we actually sat down, it would have unfolded like, My Dinner with Andre without the Gymnopédie No. 1 and turtlenecks. And yes, I called dibs on the Walace Shawn role....

Me: By now, we’re all aware of Canuck's General Manager, Mike Gillis’ very public taking of exception to an editorial written in, The Province calling to trade Roberto Luongo for Vincent LeCavalier.  His (Gillis) main concern was about the lack of accountability taken by the newspaper in not signing the editorial.   What’s your definition of accountability? Was Gillis right, does the media owe a sense of accountability to the Canucks outside of being factual and fair in their assessments? When do you think the media steps over that line?

Bruce: “No offence to Mike Gillis, but he doesn't seem to understand what an editorial is. It's the voice of the paper, presided over by the editorial board, and the editor-in-chief is responsible for it. You don't like it? Call Wayne Moriarty. It's not graffiti on a bathroom wall, or a Twitter account with an egg for an avatar. I think the editorial in question was a little silly, but papers write editorials about silly stuff all the time. Gillis should know by now that this country doesn't have a lot of perspective when it comes to hockey, especially when a team carries expectations around with it. As for going over the line, this wasn't a personal attack, or factually incorrect, or unfair. Just goofy, and it got the whole city talking. Of course, so would portraying Luongo as Dan Cloutier in a photoillustration, but let's hope they don't go there. THAT would be over the line.”

Me:   Let’s turn it around. The Canucks have been the only show in town for so long, and occupy so much of the city’s cultural landscape; what kind of accountability needs to be shown by the Canuck's organization to the fans and media?  Do they need to show any at all outside of winning?

Bruce: “Good question. I'm of the increasingly anachronistic opinion that the team should avoid using its own media over traditional media, which is part self-interest and part a dislike of the kind of state media you get in sports. They have a responsibility to fans, certainly, beyond just winning; I think the recent moves towards depression awareness, and a call for fan civility following the riot, were both part of being a good corporate citizen. They're a part of the fabric of the city, and should remain engaged in it. And of course they should, like every Canadian team charging mind-bogglingly high prices for everything, win.”
Me:. It’s often been said that Vancouver is not a sports town, but it is a Canucks town. Fair assessment? Does that make Vancouver any different than Green Bay or any other city where, “…there can be only one”?  Is it this almost “hive like” mentality or the fact that the Canucks were so lower to the bottom for so long that causes eventual powder kegs like riots and figurative goalie lynchings?

Bruce: “I'd agree with that. It's different from Green Bay because Vancouver's so much bigger; but then, people forget that the Grizzlies drew decent crowds until they started to drive them away. Vancouver, to me, feels a lot like Toronto - the hockey team dominates, and everything else scraps for the rest. There just isn't as much everything else. But hey, YOU try paying for a Vancouver home and then buying tickets to anything else ever.”

Me: Let’s switch gears a bit. You wrote an article about Don Cherry, his apology and how Canada would miss him when he’s gone.  Love him or hate him, we can’t ever deny his imprint on Canada’s culture. What is it that makes him so popular? Who do you think could ever replace Cherry, or do you think once he’s gone it will officially be the end of "blustery, tell it like it is..." media personalities on Hockey Night in Canada.

Bruce:  “Short version: He cannot be replicated. If they plug Mike Milbury into that spot and rename it he'll be a shadow, a pale imitation, an incredible downgrade. Cherry's force of personality is phenomenal; find me another person in the country who stops conversations — and starts them — the way he does. I don't know how they replace him; I've wondered, and it's just hard to imagine. And that's what I mean when I wrote that we would miss him. Hockey Night in Canada has lost or could lose almost anything — the theme, Dick Irvin, Dave Hodge, the Hot Stove, Bob Cole, even Ron MacLean, you name it — and it wouldn't change the tenor of the program as much as removing Cherry”.

Me: You're a great follow on Twitter. During the Stanley Cup final we talked about the Canuck's futility and parents approaching an age where they may not see a championship in their time. Do you ever wake up, your flying V pajamas soaked through, with the thought, "...that could be me."? Do you have a failsafe at the Arthur compound? Cryogenics, brain in a jar, etc... ?

Bruce: “The 1994 final was the most alive I ever felt as a sports fan, but I actually checked in my Canucks fandom several years ago — partly it was being in a business that discourages the notion both overtly and otherwise; partly it was the way my friends defended Todd Bertuzzi on Steve Moore. I still have friends and family who are Canucks fans, and best of luck to them. But I'm a fan of the past, not the present. For those who believe they could go a lifetime without seeing a Stanley Cup, well, look at it this way. The most alive I ever felt as a sports fan was when my team lost on the biggest stage, in heartbreaking fashion. Enjoy what you have. Hell, you're paying enough for it.”