Monday, November 5, 2007

Back In Business

"Welcome back, To that same old place that you laughed about.
Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they're turned around.
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back."
- Welcome Back Kotter

Yes we're back in business at Sports As Life. So much has happened in the last ten days that, instead of the usual Monday Headlines, I thought I'd do a little bit on each story - or at least all the stories I can remember. So if you were hoping for a Dot, Dot, Dot column today - you're in luck.

... First of all is the Roughrider playoff ticket fiasco. Here's what I know: you have to give season ticket holders, shareholders and flex-pack holders first crack at tickets - there has to be some incentive for buying these things. I imagine season ticket sales are going to increase substantially next year - with more home playoff games seemingly on the horizon people are not going to want to take a chance on missing out again. But here's the rub - there's no way a person should have been allowed to buy up to 6 playoff tickets. That's ridiculous. By limiting each person to 4 tickets the team could have made sure more people had access to tickets. A lower ticket limit would also keep tickets off eBay - as there have been hundreds and hundreds of playoff tickets on there since they went on sale - here are the current listings (hopefully this link will work, eBay links have a tendency to expire).

The eBay problem is tough because there is a market for scalped tickets, so people are going to gouge as much as they can. If the Roughriders want to get serious about electronic ticket scalping they need to revoke the season tickets of anyone caught putting their tickets on eBay. Don't think it can be done? The New England Patriots recently won a court case against online ticket broker StubHub (which is owned by eBay) that forced StubHub to give up the names of everyone buying and selling Patriots tickets - check it out. Obviously you can't do anything about the people that bought the public tickets. But if people are putting their season tickets up for auction - as Tony Kornheiser would say - they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and their season tickets should be revoked

... How about that hit on Boston's Patrice Bergeron? Hockey sure is fun to watch isn't it? Here it is if you haven't seen it, or if you just need a refresher. If there had been an NHL Headshot of the Week last week, this would have been it without a doubt. What I love about this one is that people were blaming Bergeron for turning into the hit - see paragraph 4 - which he clearly does not. Here is Bob McKenzie's follow-up as well. From what I hear Don Cherry was blaming Bergeron as well, at least in part - further cementing my new found belief that for the good of the game Cherry needs to be put out to pasture (initially I was going to write that Cherry should have his tongue cut out - but decided to soften my stance).

Randy Jones' 2 game suspension probably should have been 5 - but he was a first time offender, so what can you do. You know who isn't a first time? The Philadelphia Flyers. This is the third time this season one of their players has delivered a cheapshot to the head of an opposing player. So here's what the punishment should have been - fine the Flyers organization $50,000 - fine General Manager Paul Holmgren $15,000 - and fine head coach John Stevens $5,000.

... Since I thought I should attend one playoff game in Saskatchewan this year, I went to the Regina Rams/Saskatchewan Huskies game on Friday night. I haven't been to a Rams game in many, many years - so maybe I'm behind the times - but when did the fake injury play become so popular. Obviously faking an injury has always been part of football, simply to give your team a bit of a breather. But I've never seen anything like that in my life. In the fourth quarter there was an injured player on the field after almost every play. And while I was in the stands I was characterizing it as "dirty Saskatoon tricks" but as the fourth quarter went on it was the Rams who were always on the carpet. Even the Rams' fans were getting sick of their own players lying on the field writhing in pain one minute, only to spring up and jog off the field the next. The mood of the Rams' fans turned so ugly at one point that people were yelling, "I'm giving my degree back!" (ok, it was just me).

I'm told that this was probably done as payback to the Huskies, who apparently did the same thing the week previous. Isn't that a mature response - but they did it first! And this is Canadian Football, it's not like the clock is running between plays or anything. The last 3 minutes of that football game literally took 35 minutes to actually complete. It was a real sad state of affairs.

... Two more things about the Rams game. First, why on Earth is there a 100% mark-up between advance ticket prices and walk-up ticket prices? Advanced tickets are $10 while tickets bought at the stadium are $20 - that seems like an unnecessarily large mark-up. I'm thinking like $15 at the ticket window. Be that as it may there were still almost 5,000 people there.

And then there's the Rams' mascot - oh Mercy, where to begin? First of all his name is Rampage 50/50... or maybe his name is just Rampage and his number is 50/50 - we were never very clear on that. Because of the tradition of the Rams' 50/50 draw I sort of understand the number - but that's still pretty ridiculous. I'd love to show him to you if you've never seen him, but there are not pictures around - so let's just say that he pretty much looks like this. The real problem is that whoever lives inside Rampage does not understand the nuances of football. He (or maybe she) was trying to incite the crowd into cheering while the Rams were near the goaline trying to score. If you have ever been to one football game in your life you know that you do not make noise while your team has the ball. While the opposing team has the ball make all the noise you want - but when you're team is trying to score, shut your mouth. All the Rams players were trying to get the crowd to be quiet, while Rampage was standing on benches trying to get everyone to make noise. High comedy all around.

... You know why the CFL makes me laugh a good natured laugh - it's because of things like this.

... Firing General Manager Marcel Desjardins is the best personnel move the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made all year.

... Hmmm, what else...

... I think there was a pretty big NFL game this weekend but I didn't really hear anything about it. I don't know when it was or who was playing. The NFL really needs to start doing a better job of promoting those marquee match-ups so people will know when they are.

... Good for those Colorado Rockies - they won 21 of their final 26 games. That's a pretty impressive feat and those last 4 losses in a row really should diminish their streak. Was that really the best team in the National League? They were not even close to being close to competitive against the Red Sox.

... Is there still an NHL team in Toronto? I haven't heard anything about them this year.

...Well I think that's about if for today. I'm hoping to do an mid-season NFL review either tomorrow or Wednesday, so keep an eye out for that.


Trebor said...

Good to see things have come back.. alomst to normality, but being swamped at a government job.... what ??

Good to see opportunists out there. 3 tickets in Sec 103... (is that upper level), $1067. probably not the most expensive imagine 400-500 for single tickets are out there.

I'm not the biggest CFL fan out there and am not going to ever have season tickets. So I cant put myself in people's shoes, but how long have these fans been waiting for a rider playoff game??? Yes they will make some money because there are fans out there without season tickets and didn't log into the rider site by @ 8 hours,0 minutes and 30 seconds so therefore couldnt get tickets. But this is a big thing, a where were you when type thing... I couldn't see myself giving up tickets for the biggest game in years for a quick couple of bucks.

Trevor said...

I agree 100% regarding limiting the ticket sales to 4, I was actually as bold as to say 2 per person but 4 is also reasonable.

For those fans that were disapointed after having waited outside all night and still didn't get tickets...WTF were you thinking, this isn't 1995, everything is done over the internet, nobody waits in line anymore. Besides if they were such big fans that they were willing to stay outside all night in line then they should have season tickets and a Rider share like I do then they could have bought in advance.

After reading that article regarding the voting I am taking back everything I said about that holding call...Not only does naming Luca Congi to the all star team make you a bush league, but having a recount...WTF. Sandro honestly deserved it much more than Luca did. Luca did not have a very good year this year.

While I am on the topic of All Stars, how did James Johnson make the list? With voting like that I wonder how Patrick Thibault was able to stay off the all star list for all those years.

If you think the Rams game was bad watching in person at least you didn't have to listen to Michael Ball on the radio...I was in Kamloops and couldn't go to the game but MB is the biggest Homer ever and is a complete moron. I was wishing that technology would allow me to reach through my computer and punch him in the face.

That injury thing is brutal though...make those guys sit out 3 plays and you won't see that anymore.

I have more to say on the subject but these comments are already long enough so I will let it go.

Luke said...

My first instinct was a ticket limit of 2 as well - but I can just imagine the uproar that would cause. 6 is way too many in any case.

I totally forgot that James Johnson was an All-Star. Those words should never have been used together.

There does seem to be a bit of backlash about the whole Michael Ball calling the Rams game thing. People were complaining on Rod Pedersen's blog today. Quite frankly Ball shouldn't be allowed to do anyting in the public sphere. I don't think anyone has done more with less talent than Ball (actually no talent).

Jeff K said...

Just a few comments.

I also heard some of these comments blaming Bergeron for the injury. That is so classless I don't even know where to begin. I understand that you leave yourself vulnerable when you turn your back on the play, but lets face it, this isn't a league of spidermans. You can't be aware of what the hell is behind you 100% of the time. Is it unreasonable to ask for a bit of sportsmanship? You should be able to have your back turned for a second whitout someone trying to paralyze you. Why is there a rule about hitting from behind? That's right, it is dangerous. Ridiculous

2 game suspension for that hit? I can't wait to hear what the suspension will be for the upcoming NHL fatality that is sure to occur at this pace.

To MLB. They should just call the ALCS the World Series. I am not sure I even see the point of having the NL play the AL. Plus, pitchers batting is stupid. There are so many lineup changes near the end of the NL games I feel like they should put up a flow chart so you can keep track.

Is that all you have to say about Superbowl 41.5? Good vs. Evil? ...and Evil won. Did you see how excited your boy Belichick was? He actually smiled. (by the way, I assume that you are being outrageously sarcastic about the promotion of this game). I would have to say that the Pats won despite 2 of the worst pass interference calls I have ever seen, plus one questionable one. I thought there was a handicap for the colts in that game.

Last, I know it is early, but I think there is something to be said about Gretzky and McTavish being the coaches of the two worst teams in the NHL West. Player's coaches (especially former Oilers) make bad coaches.

Trevor said...

Blaming Bergeron for that hit is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard...Perhaps players should be outfitted with cameras in the back of their helmets and they could use heads up technology(no pun intended) to display the video on the players visor so they could see a hit coming.

The NHL is a terrible mess....You can pretty much guarantee that someone will be paralyzed within the next couple of years due to a malicious hit.

On the subject of players does not work in ANY sport. You can either be the coach or their friend. To see a great example look no further than Danny Barrett. Gretzky should have some sort of PR job where all he does is promote the team and sign autographs. He is undeniably the best player that has ever played but that obviously doesn't translate to coaching. Put a fork in him he's done.

As for Mctavish don't even get me started...the worst thing that ever happened to the Oilers was them making that cup run, otherwise Mctavish and Lowe would be standing in the unemployment line.

The only reason Michael Ball does the Rams games is due to the time constraints that Rod Pedersen has between the Riders and the Pats. RP is a Homer as well but I enjoy his commentary and at least provides some intelligent remarks. Michael Balls play by play commentary is downright embarrassing. He should stick to his morning show(which I do not listen to so couldnt care less) and MC'ing event, which he suprisingly does a really good job at.

In any case enough raging from me today!

Mitch said...

Bergeron did turn into the hit. He made himself vulnerable. Not 'blaming' the guy, but he did put himself in a bad position and you see a lot more of that this year and the last than you ever would in the past. Players have to be conscious of this and smarten up to it.

Two tickets is enough for a playoff game. It works for the NHL, based on the fact that half the people at the game come to watch the game. The CFL crowd, especially in Saskatchewan, go to the game to get banged up. I'm right in there with the best of them but when it comes down to a playoff game, I just wanna be there. Two is enough. Thanks to the Rider though for waiting until the year I leave to get that playoff game.

Trevor said...

Ha Ha...Was just reading some CFL news today and despite the information I was previously given that both Danny Macoacia and Rick Cambell would be fired at seasons end, it appears that Jacques Chapdelaine, who was supposed to be the next Eskimo head coach, has been fired instead.

Also the CFL has also decided to improve the TV's being used in replay booths because the ones they are currently using appearant;ly aren't very good.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Mitch on the Bergeron hit. It's a terrible thing and he should have let up, but anyone saying Bergeron doesn't have eyes on the back of his head, has never played hockey. You don't make that play not knowing a 220lb defencemen is right behind you. It's a small rink in north america. You make that play behind the opposing team's net knowing you're going to get smacked in the mouth.

A stiffer suspension is warranted, but beyond that, Bergeron really could have protected himself better. That's a play you make in Adult Safe League, not the NHL.

Rampage 50/50 is actually a decent looking mascot. I like the big head - small body mascots. He just needs to get rid of the shiny gold pants. And yes, someone who has seen a football game would have been preferred over who is most likely a failed drama student in their 7th, degreeless year at the U of R.


Mitch said...

Yeah or a political science student