Tag Archives: vancouver

Bandwagon sports journalists

Sometimes I wonder how particular sports journalists maintain their job for more than a month. Most sports fans emotions about their favourite team ebb and flow with their current effort levels and success rates. But why does it seem like “professional” jounalists get sucked into this same stream of mindless thinking. Shouldn’t professionals be able to evaluate players/teams and realize when they are over-performing or under performing? For example take Mike Brophy of Sportsnet and his articles about the Toronto Maple Leafs less that two weeks apart.

Article 1, Oct. 27 2010: Phil Kessel for MVP, positive about Leaf’s possibilities for year
Article 2, Nov. 3 2010: Toronto is Loserville, that’s about as negative as it gets

Now I understand that Brophy is probably a Leafs fan and that articles about Toronto will get read lots, but where is his credibility? How can he possibly consider himself a hockey expert when 6 days after he was more giddy than a 10 year old boy that uncovered his mom’s Playgirl collection he has thrown himself off that rainbow covered wagon and is high tailing it like Forrest Gump. We can only hope somebody shoots him in his buttocks. Best quote comes from the second article where he writes:

“The funny thing is, the Leafs struggles this season were not exactly unanticipated. Most picked the Leafs to be in a dog-fight to make the playoffs, but when they got off to a great start, winning their first four games and picking up nine out of a possible 10 points in their first five games, expectations (once again) rocketed through the roof.”

Who helped rocket those expectations Mr. Leaf MVP Candidate?

But it’s not just brophy that flip flops like John Kerry in a presidential debate circa 2006 or whenever it was. The Vancouver Canucks’ media over the first couple of weeks of the season had been attempting to further flame the embers of a possible goalie controversy between Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Now, Luongo has been a fixture in the league for more than 10 years and one of the most solid goalies around for the majority of his career. That, coupled with the fact that Luongo is a notorious slow starter should have kept all the medias mouth’s shut while he struggled for a couple of games and Schneider picked up a couple of wins. Now Luongo has reeled off back-to-back wins including a shutout and most people have forgotten how to spell Schneider.

I realize the rationale behind the media talking in such ways – it illicits a response from the general public and there are enough morons out there that will argue against the logical reasoning, hit the panic button, and go hide in their bomb shelters. It’s the same reason Fox News has so much success in the US.


Lebron, Wade, Bosh….who needs them

There was a lot of hype last week with the Lebron James signing in Miami. But really, it was a pretty obvious decision as soon as Bosh signed in Miami….hell it was obvious before Bosh signed there.

Let’s see…..you’re going to pay me millions of dollars, i’m going to play with my friend, and i’m going to live in a city that is right on the water and gets a ton of sunshine all year. Orrrrrrr….I could get a seasons pass to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tough call.

This isn’t the first time superstar athletes have left crappy cities, resulting in a tailspin for the franchise located there to find players willing to play for them. Exhibit B – Edmonton Oilers.

But one that always puzzled me was the Vancouver Grizzlies. Vancouver is constantly talked about as one of the most liveable cities in the world, they have everything at their door step: mountains, oceans, recreation, great food, friendly people. Yet the Grizzlies had one of the toughest tasks getting people to want to play in the city. Sure maybe it had something to do with the fact that the team was the worst piece of shit ever to grace a basketball court, but why wouldn’t a number of superstars want to head up there to play.

Here is my version of the ultimate Vancouver Grizzlies starting lineup:

Centre: Standing 7 feet tall and weighing in at a slim 275 lbs the Grizzlies first draft pick ever, he really set the tone for the franchise…..
Bryant “Big Country” Reeves

Forward: Standing 6′ 10, weighing 230 lbs (yes that is 2 inches shorter and 45 lbs lighter than Big Country), sporting some wicked greased up white guys hair and looking like he should be a banker instead of a ball player……
Pete Chilcutt

Power Forward: Standing 6’11 and weighing in at a svelt 235 lbs, after having a pretty successful run as a professional he decided to milk the Grizzlies out of money…..
Cherokee Parks

Shooting Guard: Standing 6’1 and weighing a hefty 165 lbs this “shooting specialist” held the lowest field goal % for the Grizzlies both years he played for them while being paid $3,000,000 per season……
Brent Price

Point Guard: The franchise player Vancouver always needed because Shareef was never clutch enough to do anything, the Grizzlies had the 2nd pick overall and used it to take him…..and then proceeded to deal him to the Rockets for spare parts before he even played a single game for us (they could have had Lamar Odom who now has numerous championship rings and had publicly stated “I would love to play in Vancouver”)….
Steve Francis

With this kind of talent on your bench it kind of makes you wonder how Vancouver ended up in such a bad situation that they had to move to good ‘ol Memphis (where attendance still sucks and the team hemhorages money I believe).

So suck on that Miami, you may have gotten Lebron, D Wade, and CB4 – but you’ll never be able to assemble the kind of talent that led Vancouver to be the worst franchise ever in the history of sports. And any of you other franchises that are whining about missing out on those free agents, just be thankful that you didn’t have Stu Jackson at the helm of your team sinking them like he did the Grizz.

Concert Review: Mumford & Sons

Last Sunday night I had to head over to my brother’s place for my Mom’s birthday dinner. Now, I love my Mom and love spending time with her but I had been at a keg party the night before and was still feeling a little listless, lazy, and generally sour. But it was okay because I had an early exit strategy, a concert I had bought tickets too a few months before – Mumford & Sons with Guests. But as I sat down for a little greek salad with the fam, I had no clue that in my pocket I held tickets to one of the best concerts/performances I had ever seen.

It’s not like I was an easy sell that night either – hungover, Sunday night, tired, grumpy. So it was a rough start when I lined up with about 200 other people waiting to get in the door at 8 when it opened, thinking well the opener will probably start at 8:30, it is Sunday night after all right? It was an hour later when we finally learned the opening band would go on at 9:30 and Mumford & Sons would take the stage 10:45!!!! Grumble, grumble, grumpy me. But in the back of my mind I knew it would be worth waiting, even though tickets were a ridiculously low $20 each with taxes, fees, and everything else in.

The opening act took the stage at 9:30 and slowly people began to move toward the raised stage as the lead singer attempted to introduce the band but did so in such a garbled manner no one could make sense of it. My friend would later find out from the pianist of the band that they are called The Middle East. They started off rather sleepy, albeit melodic, before getting the crowd full force into it with some of their more upbeat tracks like Hunger. They saved the best for last, closing their set with the hauntingly beautiful Blood which begins soft and works its way up to a fantastic ending using xylophones, whistling, and trumpets along the way. Simply amazing to listen to in person, I look forward to seeing what this band can produce in the future and can’t wait to catch them next time they are in town.

That was just the opener though, the best was yet to come.

Mumford & Sons took the stage to a roar from the jammed dance floor of the club and quickly made people forget it was 10:45 on a Sunday night by starting off their set with the title track from their current album, Sigh No More. Their energy on stage never wavered as they berated and attacked their instruments with such fervor it was impossible to not be engrossed by their celtic rock sound. The unique sound of Markus Mumford’s voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, cello, banjo, and piano is truly uplifting as you listen to their songs that often start slow before building into an all out furour by the last chord. All band members took time to interact with the crowd to give the show a more intimate feel and I would guess that not one person at the club would not have loved to have a beer with these genuine, nice-seeming guys. Everything came to an apex when the band played Roll Away Your Stone and The Middle East reappeared on stage halfway through to make as much noise as possible in conjunction with Mumford & Sons which only enhanced the song. The night wrapped up with an encore of Feel the Tide, which left everyone in the club wanting more and waiting for the next time this amazing band comes to town.

If Mumford & Sons are coming to your town I encourage you to buy as many tickets as you can and take as many friends as you can rustle up, because anyone that misses the chance to see these guys on this tour will be paying a lot more and not seeing them in as intimate a setting next time they are on the road. This band will be worth seeing for many years down the road.