The Pause That RefreshesFlying from NY to LA, as I seem to do way more often than I'd like to, I got a can of Coke with a Rangers logo on it. The Rangers and Coke have a lot in common, in that both were awful in the early Eighties.
Though there are magazines and other such ad paraphernalia on planes, you just don't see the kind of sponsorship that is common on buses, trains, and other conveyances. I think that'd be a fine idea -- I'd look at a few posters if it meant the airlines could afford to feed us again. And when airlines finally start selling ads (which they will), the Philadelphia Flyers should be the first to bite.
There are some great sponsorship packages out there that have yet to be explored. So take a break from following the actual news and have some fun with me while I make up some stuff. I figure this blog could be a nice diversion if you've got nothing to do when your team is off. Or if you are a Blues fan, and have already given up on the season.
On TV, we could have The Tampa Bay Lightning Weather Report, where the forecast calls for two weeks of wins, followed by heavily scattered losses. The Discovery Channel would feature San Jose Shark Week. Like regular Shark Week, this can happen several times per year. And then there's Sesame Street, now brought to us by the letter B, the number 4, and the Washington Capitals.
During the breaks, we'd see commercials for Maple Leaf Syrup. Marketed extensively in Toronto, this syrup features Mats Sundin on the label, sitting there and watching you buy it. That'd be followed closely by an ad for the Los Angeles Burger King, where you can have it very close to your way, but not quite. Year after year. And then an infomercial for the Dallas Star Naming Registry. Watch your fiancé melt in your arms as you explain that she is now the owner of Anna Marie Wijokowski Dallas Star. Actually, no one would own it and the star would still be named whatever scientists called it in the first place because you're crazy if you think you can buy a star.
Why stop at the small screen? This summer's blockbusters could include Nightmare on Peachtree Street: The Slasher Versus the Thrashers. Find out what happens when Freddy invades Atlanta's dreams of winning a Stanley Cup. There'd be a cameo by Jason, who doesn't need wardrobe. And as popular as documentaries now are, we'd see March of the Penguins. That's a documentary that tracks the migratory habits of Pittsburgh Penguin play-off chances in the month of March. There'd be a third movie here, but I can't seem to think of a good film tie-in for that team in Anaheim.
In the live event arena, we'd see the St. Louis Blues Festival. That's where you can listen to the sounds of the best last place blues musicians in America. At the fest, you'd be able to munch New Jersey Devil's Food Cake, which tastes a bit like an aging goalie. And working security would be the Black Panther-Hawks, a militant group with chapters in Chicago and Florida, whose main purpose is to track the subversive activities of Foghorn Leghorn.
But most importantly, we would see sponsorship of the American government, by outfitting the military in Columbus Blue Jackets and providing them with Buffalo Sabres. And let's not forget Canada -- now brought to you by the Montreal Canadiens.
Fight Fight Fight!Watching Terrell Owens apologize (rather watching agent Drew Rosenhaus apologize for Terrell Owens) got me thinking:
Remember when the worst thing Terrell Owens did was sign a touchdown? That may have slighted the other team, but the fans loved it. And who cares about the other team? It's their fault for letting him score the touchdown. No TD, no TO. You want him to shut up, try blocking a pass every now and then.
The field was TO's outlet - and the less of a jerk he got to be on field, the more of a jerk he became off of it. Sure, he was always a jerk. But now he must concentrate all that jerk-ness to when he's not in uniform. (Which will be for the rest of the season).
Same thing happened with baseball. We now have huge suspensions when pitchers bean a player, even if it's called for. After one of your players gets hit, you retaliate. It's part of the game. Or it was. Want a crazy stat? In the past 10 years, more major league pitchers were involved in domestic disputes than any other position on the diamond. I'm not saying it's necessarily related - I'm just saying it's an interesting stat, and, well, it's probably related.
We all have a little touchdown celebration in us, and we are all capable of a fastball in between some opposing shoulder blades. But athletes more so than other people, since they need aggression to succeed at sports. So what happens when we take that away? Though I don't want to give Drew Rosenhaus another excuse, TO was better behaved when we let him antic in the end zone.
Out of the athletes of the four major sports (I mean the ones that are major in America - sorry soccer fans), hockey players commit the fewest violent crimes. For years, I ran Sports Jerk of the Week, a website devoted to uncovering the jerks our kids shouldn't be looking up to. And season after season, hockey was the best behaved.
From January 1st, 2000 until December 31st, 2004, we wrote about hardly any hockey that didn't take place in an arena. On the ice we wrote about Marty McSorley, Gordie Dwyer, Andre Roy, Todd Bertuzzi, Tie Domi, Brad May, and a host of other on-ice goons. Off ice, the worst thing an NHL player did in four years was Eddie Belfour attacking a security guard. Or maybe Donald Brashear attacking a security guard.
In our first month covering the NFL, we saw Rae Carruth indicted for hiring hit-men to murder his pregnant girlfriend and Fred Lane suspended for drugs and weapons (only to be murdered the next day by his bank-robbing wife). And that was just the Carolina Panthers.
Courts, fields, and ice can accommodate showboating and brawling much better than streets can. So next time someone tells you that hockey is too violent, let them know the only real violence in the sport comes from the parents trying to get their kids more playing time in a youth league.
And also tell them that Terrell Owens is a whiny prima donna.
He Shoots, He Scores, He Rinses, He RepeatsHoly crap, thems a lot of goals!
I feel like that's the only way I could describe the Senator's shellacking of the Sabres this week. Like I was an old prospector. There's goals in them thar hills!
10 goals....by only three players. Two guys scoring four times in one game. The Senators never had that happen before. And I know it's happened for other teams but yikes, thems a lot of goals.
I didn't see the game. Like always, I had a show that prevented me from watching live sports. Though I did, unfortunately, catch the Lakers win in overtime. Stupid Lakers.
Anyway, watching SportsCenter at the bar of the Hollywood Improv on mute, I caught Martin Havlat scoring four times. When he got the hat trick I was thinking, "Hey, good for him." After the fourth goal, I had a moment of "Wow, now that's a good game!" Then when they showed Daniel Alfredsson get a hat trick, I thought, "Two hat tricks! That doesn't happen every day!" When I saw that Alfredsson scored a fourth goal, too, my head imploded. The barternder was very mad, and made me clean it up.
The final score was 10-4, as in "ten-four, good buddy" with Buffalo getting the message that their butts were being kicked loud and clear. How annoying must it have been for Dany Heatley, who scored twice with an assist and had the third best game of the night?
"I'm trying coach, I really am. Tomorrow's a new game. I'll get em. I'll try to have more than a few points, I promise!"
Actually, Heatley may have had the fourth best game. Jason Spezza had four of the assists. And just in case four goals wasn't good enough, Alfredsson had two assists, too! On both of Heatley's goals.
The coolest part was that Alfredsson's goals came in a row, with three of them in the third period. It's two bad Heatley couldn't have scored once more. Having a hat trick of hat tricks, now that would be something.
I know this isn't the first time something like this has happened, so we can't entirely blame the scoring on the rule changes. But the changes helped, and I'm all for em. I already believe that hockey is the most exciting sport to watch in person, and this is only making it better.
What stands out about hockey is that it's the only sport where the score could change at any moment but the score still matters. In basketball, the baskets don't count much since there are so many of 'em. In soccer, there are so few goals, but the ball isn't usually within a short distance of the net.
My first three hockey games I went to had a combined total of 32 goals scored. 8-1. 5-4. And of course, 10-4. In baseball I love a good 1-0 pitcher's duel. In football, I like a game decided by a field goal in the fourth quarter. But give me a 10-4 hockey game any day.
Over and out.