Friday, November 28, 2008

Almost A Done Deal Now- and not a moment too soon

Finally we can move on from the incessant Brian Burke rumors to Toronto, Burke agreed to terms yesterday and not a moment too soon. Burke will become the President and GM of the Leafs and have "complete autonomy". That, "It is what it is", "secondary scoring", "puck moving defenceman", "compete level" and "soccer mom" and all terms that in my opinion can’t stop soon enough. It is buzz phrases like that that just make you want to bang your head against the wall, but I digress...
But back to the complete autonomy. In the deal it is apparent that he wanted and it would appear that he would get the same type of deal that Bryan Colangelo gets for the same position with thee Raptors. Granted I am more comfortable with Colangelo then Burke, I mean clearly "Bryan" with a "Y" carries more respect then one with an "I". Apparently Burke will get up to $3.1M per year if he reaches incentives listed in the contract and have the final say with only Richard Peddie to report to on the MLSE Board. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to put his stamp on the team and purge Europeans and high ticket players.
Now if we can just get Mats Sundin to sign somewhere maybe people can go back to talking about the games and end all the speculation talk for a while.

In a side note Luke Richardson was waived by the Sens and all but ends his long career. If not claimed it is likely he becomes a coach in some capacity with the organization and would be a valuable addition to young defenceman in the system. It also allows for a little more cost flexibility or the team...Is this just the first move? Is something in the works? We will just have to keep an eye on that pipeline.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

NFL Week 12 Picks

Last Week was an 8-7 week so over .500 but not by much need a strong 10+ week soon!
Cleveland to cover but Quinn's injury could pose a bit of an issue
KC has been decent the last 2 weeks and at home may keep it close
Tennessee to stay undefeated and score late to cover
New England because coach Bill is bitter over loosing last time to Miami
Frank Gore to keep his team close in Big D
Tampa because they are playing the Lions
Eagles just because i am praying that there isn't a tie for Donovan's sake
Chicago in hopes special teams are good, the offence may not put up 8 points on their own
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings to run over Jacksonville
Oakland to stay close to Denver even if they have no right to
I trust Matt Ryan more then Delhomme and Carolina
Washington needs a win and needs to play big vs Seattle
Giants because the defence is just good but I'd rather see the Cards win in this one
Indi with San Diego struggling and Manning needing to pad some stats
Green Bay as long and Breese throws for less then 367 yards

Friday, November 21, 2008

History matched and made, 3 TIME CHAMP!!

I hate that it has taken until now but I must take the time to touch on the historical events of the past weekend, and no it isn’t that of learning that there is in fact ties in the NFL (sorry Donovan but come on, you are an NFL QB how do you not know that, ever wonder why the Jets that you played in 2002 were like 8-2-1 or something like that, weren’t sure what the 1 was for??)
Of course I am speaking of NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus in driving into the record books as only the second driver to ever win 3 Championships in a row and being the only crew chief to go for 3 in a row.

Now I am a huge Jimmie Johnson fan and have been from day 1. I do have some 48 Lowes swag, dicast and the like as well. From his rookie season on I have been with him and I am pretty proud of that, there was no wagon jumping, I hitched onto that star early, saw the superstar potential early in the game and have taken that ride. After being a brides maid for the first few years it was frustrating but I guess you have to loose before you can win. I have been lucky that 2 of my favorite teams have enjoyed a long run of success during my time as a fan and that makes for some good watching. Between Jimmie and the Atlanta Braves I have had Championships and playoff runs to enjoy. Too bad the Senators have missed that memo so far, maybe someday.

I have heard that there is some debate on his place in history but based on what he did before winning the championships and then now it is hard to ignore just how good he is and has been. He is like Tom Brady (has he done enough to be great yet? Is it partly his location? Is his significant other just hot or super hot ...great player or greatest player you be the judge).

Congratulation to Jimmie, Chad, the 48 Lowes Team and all the rest of the people associated at Hendrick Motorsports, even Jeff Gordon who may not have won a race this year but at least by being part owner of the 48 will get a piece of that pie.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No Country For Young Man

After attending the second leg of my 5 game pack that I got that includes 3 Senators games and 2 World Junior Games I am starting to see a similar theme. Firstly, not unlike the first game it is still interesting to attend a live sporting event alone. To put it in another way you feel like a Man Without A Country when up in the upper bowl by yourself, on your own Desert Island. At least this time the seats to my left were empty giving me a little extra room. If you have ever been in the 300’s at Scotiabank Place you know it can be a tight fit. On the other side was a very attractive girl that appeared to be with her little sister so at least that took away some of the sting, even if her finger did have a huge rock on it. Clearly this one was taken but at least it was nice to look at between whistles. Going with at least 1 other person gives the ability to talk about something that has just happened on the ice right after it happened, which is part of the fun, whether it be good or bad.

Unfortunately the Islanders and the Bruins games it has been more of the latter. As for the game itself...not the greatest. I am not one of those fans that only equate wins as a good game but a little hope can go a long way. Entertainment is first wins are second, this one was a sloppy affair on both sides but very weak on the Ottawa side. I think the majority of tape to tape passes from the Ottawa D that connected were to the Islanders and not the forwards. The Sens are in uncharted waters right now, struggling for an identity and struggling for points. As a fan it sure is frustrating, hopefully they can pull out of this tailspin and right this ship, if not there could be some big moves abrewing. Trades, demotions, promotions, firing's who knows at this point. Who knows, maybe if things don’t work out with Brian Burke in Toronto maybe he can take over another Bryan Murray team and win a Stanley Cup. Sure it may be a long shot but stranger things have happened.

I hope that the next 2 tickets in the package prove to be better games. The next one is Canada vs Germany and if it doesn’t result in a win there will be a lot of angry Canadians...but if Germany wins you have to figure it would have to be a good game to pull that kind of upset, and it is all about the entertainment factor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Week 11 NFL Picks

8-6 again last week. At least were are staying consistant and at least it is on the right side of the .500 mark.
Lets try our luck again and try to build on it.

Denver to keep it close- Matt Ryan doesn't look like a rookie at all
Miami- the line is big but after last week Oakland looks like Detroit
Baltimore and Joe Flacco to keep it close- Giants are the class of the NFL right now
Indianapolis- Starting to get Manning going, Houston not solid
Green Bay- Just for the Frozen Tundra
Philladelphia- See Oakland reasoning
KC to cover- Thigpen looks like he may not be that bad
Detroit to cover- Jake D's 4 picks isn't convincing
Tampa- Povided Peterson doesn't schred the Bucks
SF- but if Gore does't play all bets are off
Arizona- on Warners arm
Tennessee- 2nd best team in the NFL
San Diego- LT to have a big day
Washington- Dallas is a train wreck, Romo not 100%
Cleveland- Quinn looks solid on his first start, lets see how round 2 goes

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Week 10 NFL Picks

Last week a good week for me going 8-6. Now if I would have trusted myself and picks these games on Proline it could have been a good week.

Denver- Quinn's irst game will result in struggles
Jacksonville- Detroit is Detroit
Tennessee- Grossman is Grossman and Tennessee is a top 2 team
New England - Bills will struggle on the road vs a good Pats Team
New Orleans - Sheer offence
St. Louis- Bulgers arm to cover
Seattle- too many points
Green Bay- Rogers to move the ball well
Baltimore- Falco looks good of late
Carolina- The -3 yards offence last week in first half not good for the Raiders
KC to cover 15.5 is just too much to give
Giants- Top team in teh NFL
Arizona on Kurt Warners Arm

Barack, A Sporting Mans President

When Barack Obama was on Monday Night Football talking about sports it shows that he is knowledgeable on the subject, I am sure that he was given a list of questions prior and he had his people writing for him, but he presented himself as a big sports fan and spoke as well on those subjects as that of the economy or foreign policy. He not only said that he would want to change the BCS College football system and get rid of the polls and ranking but also proposed that an 8 team playoff would be a fair alternative. Good insight. Also he stated that the NCAA Basketball March Madness was one of the most exciting sporting events with its one-and-done set-up. Another good point.
He is a Bears fan but we can excuse him for that I guess, nobody is perfect.

Where does he go in April for the first pitch? Wrigley, not likely? U.S. Cellular Field? He is not just a casual fan of the White Sox, he’s a devout supporter or does his position require him to go to Nationals Park in Washington. We know that he is a bit of a baller and enjoys shooting hoops and is apparently very good. Now, if you are one of the guys in his pick-up game how can you call him for a foul? Not many double dribbles, lane violations, or traveling calls I wouldn’t suspect.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Winds of Change - Obama is President Ellect

On the day following the historic US Election I must deviate from sports for a moment and comment on this topic.

While watching both Sen. McCain and President Elect Obama’s speeches there were a few things I noticed and first and foremost was the almost exact same visual from Season 6 of the Simpsons in the episode titled Sideshow Bob Roberts. If you saw the 2 official headquarter parties where the speeches were delivered you’ll know what I mean, the only difference was the party alliances. Bob is Republican, Mayor Quimby a Democrat. McCain had an invite only party at a hotel. It was quiet and small, almost looked like they were expecting defeat (Not unlike Mayor Quimby). Obama had nearly 1 million people at Grant Park in a lavish open air nearly concert style event (just like Sideshow Bob’s Mayoral victory speech).

Both men handled themselves well and conducted their speeches appropriately. McCain was gracious in defeat and despite a bitter campaign did a good job to support the president elect going forward as an American. Also, not letting Palin speak was probably also a good call for all involved.
Obama didn’t go all Raw! Raw! Raw! He was thankful but serious, he was very even keel and matter of fact, showing that he is prepared for the uphill battle that is in front of him based on the mess that he is inheriting.
I would like to know just how much security was positioned around Grant Park last night.
It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out and in what direction things go.

Other things I learned:

• Networks will call a state with 0% of polls reporting.... must be some kind of new math
• You can do just about anything with a green screen and graphics.
• Even a college degree isn’t enough to comprehend the process of the Electoral College
• They can call an election and presidential winner by 11pm but can’t have a World Series game end before 1am
• Michelle Obama’s dress looked like it was something hit by and SUV and was probably the one gaf of the evening.
• Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw did the best job in coverage. Williams looks like he is at the top of the anchor heap now and may even be getting to the level of the big 3 (Jennings, Brokaw, Rather) that proceeded him.