Monday, March 24, 2008

Sick of This March Madness Business... Bring On The NHL Playoffs... Or Something

When is the NFL Draft again?

This happens without fail every March. I'm not sure why I get surprised anymore. In the weeks before The Tournament I get Kid on Christmas Eve excited. Then two days after it starts, my bracket lies in smouldering ruins and I lose interest faster than the calculus student with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Last year I got a slight reprieve from the usual self-loathing as I picked 30 of 32 first-round games correctly. My jubilation was short-lived however, and the customary tailspin followed soon after. But what a couple of days it was.

For some reason I thought last year's savant-esqe start would carry over to this year. Boy was I wrong.

Oh sure, I made a couple of nice picks this year - Siena over Vanderbilt and Kansas State over USC. But man does it get ugly after that:

Gonzaga to make the Final Four... they lost their opening game.

Clemson to make the Elite Eight... first-round choke job.

Pitt to make the Elite Eight... they're done.

And Drake to make the Sweet Sixteen... first round loss.

Hate the Drake!!

I know, I know - listening to a person talk about their March Madness bracket is about as appeal ling (appalling?) as someone talking about their Fantasy Football Team or their hockey playoff pool (which we will be doing as well - coming soon, brought to you by Sports As Life) - but I thought I'd try to impart what I've been going through in the last few days.

Even though I have 9 of 16 teams still playing - I don't believe I will be winning the Sports As Life March Madness Pool Party Grand Prize (which is a T-Shirt, by the way). And now I seem to have lost all interest in watching Tournament games, although I'm sure I can talk myself into watching the Final Four games. And yes I know, I've missed some exciting games in the last couple of days.

Major League Baseball's Opening Day can't come soon enough.

Hate the Drake!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together... Mass Hysteria!

First and foremost tonight is a reminder to everyone to sign up for the Sports As Life March Madness Pool Party at - the group name is Sportsaslife and the password is sportsaslife. There will be a prize for the winner and general hi jinx and self-loathing for the rest of us. You have until Thursday at 10 AM Central Time to sign up. Do it now!

Of course the elephant in the room that we haven't dealt with on Sports As Life is the recent goings on in the land of makebelieve that is the CFL.

If you live in Saskatchewan (and if you don't, c'mon - why not? we boast the two most dangerous cities in Canada) you have no option but to know about the recent Saskatchewan Roughrider goings on.

The first - the trade of Kerry Joseph, honestly I don't think is a big deal. You win a Grey Cup and suddenly you're an elite quarterback? Puhleeze. Shipping a mediocre, middle-aged quarterback out East instead of paying him half a million dollars was probably the right move. If it wasn't for that pure evil, soul-sucking energy being and his hollow eyes that Winnipeg had playing quarterback in the Grey Cup, there would be no rings anyway. To wit:

K-Jo, as some zealots prefer to call him, is past his prime and betting on an aging quarterback who relies on his mobility is dangerous. I'm in 100% agreement with this trade except for the moments that I remember that Marcus Crandell is the defacto starter now. Remember he's turning 34 and hasn't played in a meaningful game in at least 5 years (I don't really know, I just made that last part up).

But here's a point that CH has brought up in recent weeks... who are the popular players on this team now? Think of jersey's you see in the stands. Reggie Hunt, Fred Perry, Kerry Joseph... all gone. What are fans to think of this? It is true that sometimes people get too attached to players when it's the team they should be cheering for. But that's an awful lot of popular players to be losing in one off-season. So break out your Matt Dominguez, Eddie Davis, and Chris Szarka jersey's - cause they're all you've got left. And if I ever see someone walking down the street in a James Johnson jersey I'll run them down - I swear I will, don't try to stop me.

The last thing Roughrider-related was the new stadium talk - and wow, that sure died down quickly after the reigning Most Outstanding Player got shipped out of town, didn't it? Apparently this is what passes for news here now - some speculation and hearsay by a couple local media hacks. Am I surprised? Surprise would imply some sort of shock or something out of the ordinary.

So an indoor stadium is what we're clamouring for now? Is that so?

Well let me be the first to give this new stadium it's first nickname... the World's Most Expensive Golf Dome. Or how about The Big Empty? That Stadium They Used to Play Football In? Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time?

Anyone want to sit inside on a beautiful summer night and watch football? Didn't think so. An indoor stadium would save fans from how many cold games a year... 2... 3? And that's all part of the experience of going to a football game in Saskatchewan.

Is a new stadium needed? Maybe.

Taylor Field absolutely has to be upgraded and improved. But if a new stadium is followed through with, it has to be open-air. What is a brand new, multi-hundred million dollar indoor stadium going to be used for in the winter? Occasional soccer game? The odd concert Regina can pry away from Saskatoon? Car dealership extravaganzas?

And where might the money come from for this new pipe-dream? Oh, the government you say? I will agree that there is lots of money to go around in the province right now. But let me counter by saying there are a few hundred things that need funding in this province before a new football stadium.

Our infrastructure is crumbling.

Our health-care system is dangerously close to collapsing in on itself (ok, maybe it's not that bad - but I sure don't want to go to the Emergency Room anytime soon).

Affordable housing is a joke and a thing of the past.

I'd like to think that we have a little bit of common sense in this province and we see to it that some of these more pressing issues are dealt with before we build a novelty that will sit empty and unused for half of the year.

However, if this project does somehow start to move forward you can be that I'll be using this platform and it's (non-existent) influence to come out fully against the indoor stadium. Or at least the use of public money to fund it.
That is all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Around The Rim

There’s lots happening, but between work, weeding planning and house hunting not much time to see much of the sports world.

Chris Paul gets Bowen'd ... I’ve never liked Bowen. If he played for the Raptors though it would be a different story. He’s aggressive and a shut down defensive player, however every once and awhile he goes a bit too far and does something uncalled for. This was the first site that popped up and it was a Spurs fan who posted since the title was Paul punches Bowen, I’m sure there’s more sites up now that have the title correct.

I’ve wanted to post something about the Raptors other than their big trade but have never found the time. I’m still optimistic that when Bosh returns and maybe even Garabajosa (reports is he’s doing light stuff) that the team will hit stride at the right time. However, being a realist..... Toronto is going fishin' after the first round. If they play Cleveland, or Orlando they’ll lose. Maybe if they make it to the 3 seed they have a chance but that idea is quickly fading.

They don’t come out with that drive or emotion to win and find themselves almost always playing comeback. Also to have any chance they better not play on a Friday. Is there some must go to club in Toronto where they hang out on Thursday nights, or is that they are thinking about the night while they should be playing. Prediction - Friday against Denver they lose.

They’ve lost 6 of 8. 7 of those, yes, were without Chris Bosh. However, Indiana and Charlotte aren’t good teams and they have to find a way to win. The team is struggling on defence - guards are destroying them. They don’t have the quickness to guard and they lack an inside presence. Brezec... seems like a good guy and may develop but he’s not there yet. Against L.A they decided to lock down the middle so Kobe couldn’t drive and what happened... LA took a record number of 3’s and walked away with the W. It was a decent plan but didn’t work out.

The other thing that’s always bothered me is TJ Ford.... he’s quick, good skills and can shoot. The problem I find is that he’s a shoot first, pass second guard. The other night, yes, he led the rally against the Warriors, but in the first part of the 4th he took almost all the shots (8 of the first 12 ...) and it’s not as if he was on fire, he finished the night 8-18. Many of the shots were forced as he dribbled the ball and ran around, while the rest of the Raptors might as well have sat down and enjoyed the Ford show.

Maybe I’m being too hard on him but I think Calderon is the better choice for the Raptors on a go forward basis, but until they get someone to compliment Bosh it won’t matter too much. If Barnagni doesn’t show the potential to be a go to guy I think they’re going to have to try a different route.

Oh yeah as I’m sure everyone knows, the Rockets have won 20 straight (Ed. Note: Trebor sent this two days ago - I believe the Rockets have now won 22 straight.) even without Yao and how have they done it.... through this guy, who they now impersonate. I actually thought this guy was dead or retired, he’s gotta be in his 40’s but that wag of the finger ...classic.

more drunk cheerleaders. What else to say about this.

There is also this college tourney, I really don’t know much about it, I‘ll watch the score or something to figure out what’s going on and which #6 seed is going to be upset.

The one thing I do know I learned from this sign . For those who don’t know who she is......

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Be Still Your Beating Hearts

Yes, it is I - the Editor of this sinking ship. I said I'd be back one day, didn't I? Even I didn't think it would take me this long to emerge from the sports-apocalypse that is February. But now I'm rested, re-dyed and ready to work.

But not tonight.

I'd say I'm back with a whimper, rather than a vengeance.

The one snippet of information I wanted to pass on today is about the 1st Annual Sports As Life March Madness Pool Party.

If you're like me, you follow College Basketball for approximately 3 weeks every year - oh, but what a 3 weeks it is! And it kicks off this Sunday - nope it's not Easter, it's Selection Sunday - where the teams for the NCAA Tournament will be decided.

So start thinking about your brackets because Sports As Life is hosting a March Madness Pool Party this year. If you're interested in signing up and filling out a bracket, simply follow this link:

Then click the Bracket Madness link and get yourself signed up.

Once your done with that, join the league named Sportsaslife (the password, quite cleverly, is sportsaslife).

But I swear if someone screws up again this year and accidentally starts a new league because they can't figure out how to join properly - I will hunt you down and get you banned from the Internet. Don't think I won't!

So there you have it - it could not possibly be easier to join up and have a little fun while you sit at work next week cursing George Mason or Oral Roberts. Tell all your friends - come one, come all.

And yes, there will be a prize for the first place finisher in the Sportsaslife league. What is it you ask? Oh, I'll never tell.

Sign up now!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Patented Chris-Check

This week's (bi-monthly?, semi-annual?, randomly timed?) Chris-Check is a combination of its regular hockey theme, as well as the wonderful There's No Accounting For Taste column. As opposed to Trebor though, I try to watch and support scripted television, and rue the days my teste-less living mate stumbles upon the latest in trashy, reality television.

I was scrolling through the Max menu a few weeks ago, and the title M.V.P. on CBC caught my eye. I obviously took for granted that our Nation's Station was showing the classic, M.V.P.: Most Valuable Primate, and switched to this channel as quickly as my stubby fingers would allow. Low and behold, there was no hockey playing monkey to be found. I watched for 5 minutes and noticed there was no skateboarding monkey - this wasn't the far inferior sequel Most Vertical Primate either. In fact there were no actual chimpanzees to be seen anywhere.

I was disappointed, yet curious. I decided to wait for the theme and title. What I was watching was the new weekly original CBC series, MVP - The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives. What kind of name is that? What does MVP have to do with them? Am I a little dim and missing an obvious acronym? Which of these women won their Pee Wee Cupar Tournament C side championship MVP award and has the hat to prove it (do you still have that hat Mitch?)?

The title bugged me, but I decided to give it a chance. So what exactly were these hockeywives secretly doing you ask? The plot of this particular episode included the addition of the team's new coach. The team had just been through a slump, and he was there to make changes. Every player had to get interviewed to keep their jobs, and there were a lot of trade rumours going on. Most of the episode involved the wives dealing with what the press was saying, gossiping about who would leave, and trying to suck up to the coach's wife. According to the episode, the rule in pro hockey is that if your wife befriends the coach's wife you'll never get traded.

Never again will I clamour for NHL trade rumours after seeing how the gossip affects real lives. Some of these hockey wives were too upset to even shop. But these brave souls still got dressed up and put on a charity event anyway. Hair pulling and hijinks ensued, much to no one's amusement. All the debauchery was of course caught on tape by the media, since we all know about the Canadian paparazzi and their tenacity at finding the dirt on Marcus Nilson's girlfriend.

The most annoying of these women berated her goaltender husband for having a bad game, then hit him repeatedly when she found out he got traded. Poor guy... she wasn't even that hot. Not every girlfriend/wife is a bimbo though. The team captain is the "nice guy". His girlfriend is new to the club, and is the excuse for the show having one of the wives openly explain what is happening and how things work. She's nice, and supposed to be the normal girl-next-door type on the show.

Instead she comes across as an ugly cousin.

She is better looking though than the new rookie's girlfriend, who is actually supposed to be the young good looking chick all the wives are jealous of. Only on Canadian TV do they find a troll to play this part. This new 20 year old rookie apparently never had alcohol in junior, and gets taken out for his first night out drinking. Here he ends up cheating on his girlfriend. 75% of the team cheats while on the road. Not their fault though, they're hockey players. They're just having a good time - boys will be boys. It's part of the code that it's allowed. Some of the wives apparently know this and allow it. Other's are devastated when those damn paparazzi catch their husbands in the act.

Isn't that how Mike Ricci's third marriage failed?

If you can handle slow motion montages of hockey players walking through airports, grade D actress/models being catty, and sports cliches, as well as get past the fact that the visitors dressing room in Boston Gardens looks like a walk-in closet with lawn chairs, then this show may be for you.

I'll rent Air Bud: Most Valuable Pup instead.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

There's No Accounting For Taste - Here Come the Newlyweds Edition

Trebor is still watching bad T.V so that you don't have to...

Well the other night while waiting for Big Brother to come on, the fiancee and I watched the last part of Moment of Truth. I’m glad I did, hoping that the show, at that moment started it’s decline to hell.

The next day it was on the news and all over the place that the show broke up a marriage. The quote from the girl (contestant) “ I still want us to be together, but I’m not sure if he feels the same way”. They then had Walberg say… I couldn’t believe she would do that to her husband and would keep going. Then the creator or some dude from the street for all I know “this is meant to be a fun game, it’s not meant to hurt anyone or cause problems”

Really… I always think of this line from Pres. Garfield the truth will set you free... but first it will make you miserable. And in this case not only you but all of your loved ones as well. Though to give the show a bit of a break, I don’t think this was a strong marriage to begin with… she almost seemed trophy wife-ish and I think he knew about most of it.

So what were the questions … I missed the beginning but apparently she had some things to tell her parents and family that weren’t good. The first question I heard: Were you in love with another man on the day of your wedding ??- YES. Ouch, poor guy. The next asked by a surprise guest , her ex-boyfriend. If I wanted to get back together with you, would you leave your husband ??

Never got to hear the answer cause someone buzzed and cancelled the question (it’s a lifeline of sorts). Here’s the thing, it was the sister and she said no one wanted to hear that answer, to which the husband said I wanted to hear it!! Walberg says well, you don’t have to answer that question so we’ll move on; this one could be better or worse ( I wonder which), The ex asks Do you think you should be married to me?

“Well I’m going to be truthful…yes I do” Ouch this poor guy has to sit here on national TV. I’m feeling sorry for this guy, no sorrow for the girl though. Walberg- there’s just 1 more question to get to 100,000……. Since being married have you slept with other men ??

Guess what her answer was…. I think at this time the crowd stopped cheering when she answered right, maybe realizing that this women is awful and deserves tomatoes thrown at her or something. She kept looking surprised too, though the constants know the question before hand ???

So she got to 100,000 and she can risk it, answer 3 more question and get 200,000. The husband is saying keep going, what else is there to tell. I would be encouraging her to keep going as well, cause the next day I’d be signing papers to take half of it. Her family didn’t really seem to be talking to her, so she keeps going.

Do you think you are a good person? Stupid, stupid question. Well, turns out she thinks she is a good person, not a big surprise. However, the detector says she’s lying. So she walks home with …..0 dollars and no sense.

The real article was supposed to be on this show I watched on Sunday. Here Come the Newlyweds. I saw it advertised and as a newly engaged couple I thought we should watch this, maybe learn some things.

The contestants… I don’t know their names, but there’s a couple who dated for 14 years before getting married, one couple 5 months, 1 couple have each been married 3 times prior, 1 arranged marriage and then the couple which I hate… they are like a Ken and Barbie, who suspiciously look alike... brother and sister maybe. They are just all lovey dovey kissing and hugging and smiling all the time… you're shmoopy… no you're shmoopy.

I was a bit disappointed in the show, maybe it will get better but they don’t spend enough time looking at the quirks or relationship stuff. The fist contest was - the guys are blindfolded then each girl goes and kisses each guy. The challenge... can you identify which is your wife’s kiss. I sheepishly looked over hoping that Shannon wasn’t going to ask if I could identify her's. I don’t know if I can. If she asked, then hell yeah I could, but her not around ???Maybe?

Only one couple got it wrong so maybe it’s easy, though I think smell probably would be how the guys got it. They then had a sex therapist come in and this could have been more interesting. She blabbed on for a bit then went to each contestant and asked how many times a week should you be having sex? So no couple got it and the guys were always higher than the girls…surprisingly. The common answer for the ladies was 2. The one guy... the funny man that sounds like Bernie mac, said 50.

“Don’t be afraid to tell her- If you want it 50 times a week let her know, cause if you don’t tell her, you ain’t going to get it.”

That was the only question that this therapist asked. They do clips of the couples talking in private and a group hug and share thing. The arranged couple was cool, he’s like - it’s not like my dad gave her dad 20 goats and I get to keep her for the rest of my life. Our parents know us the best and want what’s best, so it makes sense for them to pick someone out. Good point. I could find myself thinking that’s a good idea, though only 1 date before marriage…. hmmm.

It could work, but who hasn’t met the perfect girl only to find yourself a week later having diner on a sidewalk cafĂ©, when all of a sudden a fork is jammed in your leg after briefly glancing at the blonde girl walking by in the blue halter top and way too tight jeans?

The last competition was blindfolding the guy and having him drive through a parking lot with the wife directing him. At the end they had to parallel park. This did start a debate between us as far as which way I’m supposed to turn the wheel, but again they didn’t really show much, only a couple seconds of every couple. I did learn that riding along with Shannon driving is kinda risky.

The one girl kept saying… so just pull up to the red car. Husband – what red car, I’m blindfolded. She mentioned the car like another 4 or 5 times.

At the end they vote out a couple, but it seems forced and they spend more time on that than they need to. We’ll watch it again... maybe, it comes on here at 10:00 Sunday night, so not favorable but better than sitting down and watching some sitcom.