Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1/30/08 - Never Forget!

Rudy 9iu11ani’s campaign has crumbled to earth after being struck by the twin engines of Huck and Mittens. As Rudy leaps off the side of the campaign trail and plummets to his political death, we are left with the lingering stench of a hard fought battle he was ultimately destined to lose.

The brutality of this tragedy will one day be seen as a turning point in history, but for now we can look back and reminisce about a more innocent time in all of our lives - a time when we actually thought that a thrice-married cross-dressing homo-hugging adulterous incompetent fascist who is hated by all who were once close to him might be able win the Republican nomination.

Those were the days...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Update Me, Amadeus!

What’s that? Oh… OH! Hey! Is that you? Wow! It’s so weird, running into you like this. But, hey, you look great! Have you been working out? Well, I don’t know, you look fabulous! Are those new shoes? They’re very nice. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been keeping busy, you know how it goes… Yeah, no the orphans aren’t gonna feed themselves, you know? Nah, I’m no hero. It just keeps me sane, what with all this shit going down lately. What have you been up to? Oh boy, you haven’t been reading at all? You really should. I mean, that’s the thing, I just found that I had nothing to add. How many different ways can you express Bush’s douchebaggery? Ah, well, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to just stop calling like that. I didn’t think you’d take it so hard. But you look great, really you do! What’s up, you ask? Well…

  • Last night was Bush’s State of the Union. Do you know that this was the only one I’ve missed since he took office? Yeah. No idea what he said. Well, that’s not true. Let’s see - tax cuts are good, we’re winning in Iraq, Islamofascists, look at the hero sitting next to my wife. Did I get the gist? Probs.
  • Oh, I guess the Washington Post isn’t sure if this is Bush’s final SOTU. Ominous, no?
  • I’m 100% an Obama man now. And even if I were still on the fence, some of the shit that Bill Clinton has been saying and doing lately has me even more convinced. As it is, as time goes on, have you noticed the luster coming off of Clinton’s presidency? Hillary is basically running on the same platform of triangulation and appeasement of the Republicans. Have we not seen how that just does not work? You give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Every single time. Yet here she is constantly trying to compromise with them. How do you compromise with a group that sees in such stark black and white? Aside from that, let’s not forget that it was Bill Clinton who started things like globalization, like media consolidation, and he certainly did nothing to reform campaign financing. I’m not saying that Obama will necessarily fix things, but I’m certain that the same-old same-old cannot.
  • A $600 rebate? Are you fucking kidding me? Will someone please explain in simple terms how this will do anything at all to help the economy? And besides, when we got our bullshit refund checks last time it was because - Oh my god, the size of that surplus scares the hell out of me, we have to give it back to the people, because investing in lottery tickets is way better for the economy than roads or health care. This time it’s - Oh my god, look at the size of that deficit, we have to give people money because people buying cheap hooch on China’s dime is way better than, well, than not buying cheap hooch.
  • The Hives at the NHL all-star game were awesome. Klippa på!
  • By the way, have you heard the new Magnetic Fields album? It's worth a listen.
  • Holy shit, Lost is back this week! Kick ass! Who is on the other end of that phone??
  • And speaking of which, might the writers’ strike be coming to an end? The WGA is making side deals with individual studios. If that strategy works, do you realize what it will represent? It would mean that for like the first time ever, a labor union will have broken a management partnership. How sweet would that be?
  • The best thing to ever happen in Park Slope: reclaiming the bars from the fucking children.
Shit, look at the time. Hey, it was great talking to you, but I gots to split. I’d really like to hang out again, though. Get in touch with my people. Honest, let’s work something out! You’re the best…

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Still Hockeytown After All These Years

I haven't written in almost a month. I guess there are like voting stuff thingees happening or something. So, I'm jumping in here to talk for a spell…

…about hockey.

The boys at Melt Your Face Off be talkin' smack about your Detroit Red Wings, particularly in reference to the Wings' complete and total domination of the 2008 all-star roster.

Before I go any further, I first came across the MYFO blog after their drop-dead hilarious turn writing the NHL Closer for Deadspin last month. So, much respek MYFO. But… this Red Wings hatin' gots ta stop. And it stops now.

Putting aside jealous rivals, what is there to legitimately hate about the Detroit Red Wings? And even the rival jealousy is bullshit because the Wings have won a grand total of 10 Cups to Montreal's 24 and the Leafs' 13. For that matter, the Wings have only won 3 of the last 52. (3 of the last 10, I grant you, but still…) The Wings play a wide-open offense-based puck control game that keeps the puck moving end to end, which is exciting for fans of both teams. Contrast this with Minnesota or New Jersey and The Trap, the basic strategy of which is to do your best on-ice imitation of the U.S. in a World Cup soccer game by not scoring for 60 minutes followed by five more excruciating minutes of not scoring in overtime.

The Wings never field a team of thugs like Philadelphia and their stick-swingin' ways; like Anaheim with headhuntin' Pronger and Scotty Niedermayer (to say nothing of having a roster half of whom "unretire" part way through the season - we're at war, pick a side!!); like Colorado with the unholy trinity of Patrick Roy, Claude Lemieux and Peter Forsberg. [We're choosing to overlook Detroit's misguided and wildly unsuccessful foray into thuggery with the trade deadline pickup of Todd "I'll Break Your Neck" Bertuzzi. He's precisely the exception that proves the rule in that he didn't fit in even a little bit.]

The Red Wings' all-stars this year are Nick Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg. These men were actually voted in by the fans. This is notable for 2 reasons: the Wings have a well-rounded team rolling four lines, not allowing for the stat-padding of a Crosby or Ovechkin who play on teams where they're the only good player to speak of (or at least on the only good line). Secondly, Detroit is in a wild economic tailspin and people aren't going to the games. This means that the home vote is probably way down. Smart people who know their hockey, without just scanning the league leaders or picking the home team straight away, voted for Hank, Dats, and Nick.

Back to MYFO… They are acting as though the Red Wings have inherited a legacy of undeserved winning, or their deep pockets are buying championships ala George Steinbrenner. I'll first refer to not having won all that many championships, but also point out that these particular all-stars were drafted in the 3rd Round (Lidstrom), the 6th Round (Datsyuk), and 7th Round (Zetterberg). They were there for the taking; the Wings were the only team smart enough to take them. Back when the Wings grabbed Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Luc Robitaille, even back to Paul Coffey, sure, maybe it was the pocketbook. But the salary cap era has begun. And yet, the Wings still lead the league year after year. That's not entitlement. That's solid management, solid coaching, and solid scouting.

The drafting isn't just about stars either. It's about the right kind of stars. And that all leads back to The Captain, Steve Yzerman. I don't even think the playa-hatas at MYFO could find a bad word to say about Stevie. We all know his heart, his understated command, his determination to win. The longest serving captain in the history of all North American sports, the Red Wings have been Stevie's team for over two decades, and they remain his team even now that he's retired (with all due respect to Nicklas who carries on in true Yzerman fashion). He taught these Red Wings the values that they now embody. He demonstrated that winning and losing is about what's inside, not about running your mouth. This is a man who led the Wings to their 2002 Stanley Cup on one leg, in the twilight of his career and still managed to be the best player on the ice despite being surrounded by a roster full of all-stars. This is the man who had record-setting seasons stats-wise, and when his coach asked him to take on a more defensive role, he did so – and excelled. His quiet leadership brought the team to where they are today, and you don't hear about our superstars "makin' it rain" or wrapping cars around telephone poles. The Red Wings' proud tradition isn't just about the pride of winning. It's about being a team you can actually be proud of.

So I beg of you - without being intellectually dishonest, what bad can you possibly say about the Detroit Red Wings?