Tag Archives: Hockey

The Fifth Annual Dubsy Awards

heisman guy

Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee, but we’ve had so much success allowing nominations from the general public that we had no choice but to continue that. .

Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use.  Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.

With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the Fifth Amnnual Dubsy awards.

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Your Stanley Cup Champion Chicago BlackHawks: Where We Were Right And Wrong, and What the Future Holds

chicago blackhawks si cover

Back in March, fellow SportsBlogMovement member Ryan Meehan and I did a Blast-Cast about the Chicago BlackHawks in which the premise was the team which wins the President’s Cup (the team with the best regular season record) rarely wins the Stanley Cup.

Yeah, about that…

That’s the big difference between us and the turd flumes at ESPN.  We will actually admit when we gagged on a prediction harder than Jenna Jameson at her first audition.

At the time, Chicago looked like a lock to win the President’s Cup, which they did. But they also took Lord Stanley’s Cup, which we were betting against. So, while Meehan and I are trying to make this month’s house payment pulling double-duty at the plasma center when we aren’t trolling roadsides for recyclable cans, take a look at what we got right, and more importantly, what we got wrong.

What We Got Right:

1) “If the BlackHawks make the Stanley Cup Final, they are going to win, because nobody in the east is really that good.”

What you have to remember is that at the time we did the Blast-Cast back in March, The BlackHawks were leaving the Western Conference in their wake, and the Eastern Conference Standings looked like this:

  1. Montreal
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Carolina
  4. Boston
  5. Ottawa
  6. Toronto
  7. New Jersey
  8. Philadelphia

Boston wasn’t on anybody’s radar until goalie Tuukka Rask got hotter than Al Roker’s underarm fat in a Greek fisherman’s sweater.  Anybody who thought Carolina or Montreal would go deep in this tournament probably had visible spots where their electro-shock patches were attached.  This meant the Penguins band wagon was getting more riders than a rush-hour ox in Calcutta.  That band wagon got more overloaded than Kim Kardashian’s maternity ass-lifter panties once Pittsburgh acquired Jarome Iginla.

The Penguins then went 15-0 in March, storming to the top of the Eastern heap, and for a time looked like they might wrest the President’s Cup out of Chicago’s clutch.  In the playoffs, Pittsburgh struggled with the Islanders and the Senators, then quickly adjourned the Senators. But in the Conference Finals, the Pens got Tuukka-ed.

To make the Maple Leafs look like a play-off team, you either need to set your time machine for 1964 or let them face the Bruins.

To make the Maple Leafs look like a play-off team, you either need to set your time machine for 1964 or let them face the Bruins.

Really, what Boston accomplished in the post-season was to win $50 off Penn and Teller, who dared the Bruins they couldn’t create the illusion of Toronto as a real play-off team. Then, by getting  John Tortorella fired by the Rangers, the Bruins allowed him to get a better job.

To be honest, the Bruins played well against Chicago, especially in the first three games. But then came the last two minutes of Game 6, when their defense disappeared faster than Aaron Hernandez’ alibi.

bruins blew it

2) Why The Wild Couldn’t Beat Them

We never trusted the Wild, but especially not  a Wild team with such a lackluster offense that it couldn’t score in a women’s prison if it had a fist full of keys. Minnesota also didn’t have a defense good enough to carry that lack of offense, and couldn’t win on the road.

3) Why The Red Wings Couldn’t Beat Them

This one is all Meehan, because he was the only person outside of Detroit who thought the Wings could even make the play-offs, let alone win a series and take the BlackHawks to 7 games. I think he guessed this right because he secretly liked all those old commie bastard Red Wings of the 90s.

4) Why the Kings Couldn’t Beat Them

The fact the Kings made it to the Conference Finals is a minor miracle, considering they had the scoring capacity of an Amish mouth-breather at the Playboy mansion. We knew that lack of offense would be deadlier to the Kings than Henry VII was to his wives.

What We Got Wrong:

1) The Los Angeles Kings

The earlier comments about the Kings should make it pretty obvious we gave the Kings as much chance to advance in the playoffs as a Christian Scientist with a severed artery. As a Kings fan, saying that pained me as much as dropping my balls into a deep-fryer, and being wrong about it felt as dipping them in ice cream afterward…not that I’ve tried that, mind you.  However, we still missed on the Kings’ keying off Jonathan Quick to beat Chicago, which also meant the Kings never found an answer to their scoring problems, which made us more wrong about them than the dipshits  who changed Coke and the “Cold Fusion” eggheads combined.

2) The Anaheim Ducks

Here’s a team we both thought was going to roll through the Western Conference playoffs like the Red Army rolled through Prague in 1968.  The Ducks have one of thickest rosters in hockey, with Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and of course veteran winger Teemu Selanne,  even though he is older than the Peter, Paul, and Mary special PBS uses when they are conning aging hippies into buying a coffee mug for $150 by calling it a “donation” to the only TV channel that gets $12 bazillion in taxpayer money.

Let’s face it. If you like Peter, Paul, And Mary, and you’ve read this far, you are an anomaly, or you have a blogger-level drinking problem.  In other words, even if you don’t follow hockey, you more than likely saw winning Anaheim scores on the ESPN score crawl while you were channel-surfing away from the commercials PBS “doesn’t have,” or while you were rolling another “Puff, The Magic Dragon.”

If you follow hockey, then you know why we thought for sure Anaheim would be the team from the West competing for the Stanley Cup; at times they were first in power play percentage, third in goals per game, and swept the regular season series with Chicago.

In other words, buying into the Ducks was a “How fucking much did I spend on for a PBS tote bag?” level mistake.

What do the Anaheim Ducks and the movie Version of the Red Army have in common? They both look impressive, but they can’t beat Detroit.

3) The BlackHawks Themselves

It’s a legitimate criticism to say a team is vulnerable to beating itself.  It was easy to fall in love with the likes of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the star power that shines so bright it hides the ugly facts we thought would keep the BlackHawks from getting out of the West.

The Chicago penalty kill was shakier than Lindsay Lohan on day three at the rehab center, the goaltending had stretches where it was more suspect O.J. Simpson in a slow-moving Bronco, and I kept worrying that the injury bug was going to bite them harder than a hooker with a poorly-repressed gag reflex.

I thought it was a safe bet that one of those things would be the BlackHawks downfall, and while those things certainly reared their ugly heads, they never rose to the heights needed to take this team out of a series.

Where This Leaves Us:

Don’t look now, but not only are the BlackHawks good now, they could be very good for a while.  If there’s a team in American professional sports that has the best chance to achieve the “dynasty” status we love to toss about, it sure as shit isn’t LeBron and the South Beach Douchebags. It is the BlackHawks.

This championship, Chicagos’s second in the last four seasons, could very well be the bellweather of a new era. After the last Cup victory in 2010, the salary cap demons forced a “Willie Nelson meets the IRS” style sell-off of that team.

But this time around,  Chicago has a far more manageable salary cap situation, which offers the possibility of a future glowing brighter than a firefighter at Chernobyl. Like I said before, the BlackHawks have arguably the best core of talent in the NHL, they have a deep and versatile roster, and a first-rate coaching staff. I’m still not sold on the goaltending situation, but Chicago clearly has a renewed emphasis on team defense, and when you add it all up, the sub-total is that this team appears shows all the signs of being a factor in the NHL for a period of time almost as long as the time people will question your sexual preference if you buy a Prius.

chicago blackhawk some ecard

If you doubt that, consider the off-ice factors. the BlackHawks have proven they can scout talent, draft talent, and develop talent better than this commercial can give you the wrong idea.

Not only does the current Chicago club exemplify that, but the pipeline of talent (which includes 2013 Hobey Baker winner Drew LeBlanc) is fuller than Louie Anderson at a Brazilian steakhouse.  On top of that, Chicago has become as desirable an address for free-agents as Argentina was in 1946 for goose-stepping guys named Dieter.  This was a major factor in Chicago’s landing the highly sought-after Finnish goalie Antti Raanta, which backs up my theory that the BlackHawks are as confident as I am in their goaltending situation. I trust the current Chicago goalies about as much as I would count on a dentist who sells miniature ivory statues.

Boil it all down to gravy, and what you get that the color of dominance in the NHL used to be red worn by a bunch of ex-commies in Detroit. Now it may very well be red worn by a bunch of Canadians in Chicago.

Dubsism’s 15 All-Time Hockey Enforcers and Their Fictional Cop Counterparts

hanson brothers chief wiggum

When it comes to hockey, I grew up on the Los Angeles Kings and the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970’s , which means I am a connoisseur of the knuckles-in-your-mouth style of play. There’s an art to sheer bad-assery; the trouble in hockey is that bad-assery is really limited to the realm of the skull-buster. But when it comes to some of my favorite television and movie cops, the art of being a bad-ass has so much more license; but make no mistake, it is bad-assery nevertheless.

So, in honor of the soon-to-be end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,  let’s take a  journey of comparison between 15  all-time hockey knucklemen and their fictional cop counterparts.

15) Derek Boogaard

The story of Derek Boogaaard is one that is at the same time bizarre yet awesome; hilarious yet tragic. Boogaard was born in a Mennonite community in Saskatchewan where he towered over the other kids.  Due to his size and the fact that he was the son of an RCMP officer, he was a frequent target of bullies, until he shit-hammered one of them and a legend was born. All through his rise to the NHL, Boogaard garnered a reputation for winning fights decisively.  In particular, there was an instance while Boogaard played for the Melfort Mustangs in which he charged the opposing bench and proceeded to dismantle several players. Scouts from the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats were so impressed that they signed Boogaard the next day.

Once he got to the NHL, Boogaard became known as “The Mountie” and was literally feared as an enforcer, especially after he caved in fellow enforcer Todd Fedoruk’s face with a hammer-like right hand. Boogaard was so intimidating as a brawler that Georges Laraque, one of Boogaard’s prime knuckle-throwing rivals, atrtributed his retirement to not wanting anymore of Boogaards’ savage beatings.

Sadly, Boogaard met a tragic and premature end by his own hand.

Fictional Cop Counterpart: Officer Andy Kilvinski, The New Centurions

andy kilvinski

While no brute, Andy Kilvinski was no less legendary. He was best known for his unique manner of imparting wisdom into his younger counterparts as though it were a non-Euclidean geometric postulate. Many an L.A.P.D. rookie in his charge were subjected to a finger-wagging lecture beginining with the header “as Kilvinski’s Law dictates…”  What followed was a harsh, yet useful life lesson delivered in a wizened, cynical, and crusty manner heavily salted with gallows humor.

Sadly, Andy Kilvinski also met a tragic and premature end by his own hand.

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The Fargo Force Are My New Favorite Minor-League Hockey Team

fargo force logo

In order to truly understand this, you must have suffered through those god-awful Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials set to the putrid strains of that audial vomit she calls music. Seriously, these ads are so goddamn annoying they make me want to kick the nearest puppy just to spite these people. Don’t get me wrong, nobody should abuse animals, but nothing will turn me off to your cause faster than being all whiny and overly moralistic about it. You could turn me to a me pro-baby cancer stance if you made the commercials against as preachy and condescending as those ASPCA spots.

Enter the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League, who have made a masterpiece of parody with their latest season-ticket campaign. The premise of “minor league hockey players are terribly mistreated, abused and ignored” totally lets the air out of the pompous windbaggery of the “we are better people because we care more than you.

For that sirs, I tip my cap…

How This Isn’t An Out-Take From “Slap Shot” Is Beyond Me

????????????

I can’t explain it, so take a read of the incident from the Western College Hockey blog:

Farmington high school (Minn.) held a 2-1 lead over Chaska high school with just over three minutes remaining in the third period of their game on Thursday night when the truly bizarre happened.

Farmington senior goalie Austin Krause retrieved a puck behind his net, skated to the crease and put the puck in his net. Krause then proceeded to remove his gloves, and while skating off the ice, turned to his bench, flipped them off and gave them a salute before exiting the ice. Here is video of the incident: (video is from a cell phone, and not the highest quality...)

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A High-School Hockey Shout-Out For All My North Dakota Peeps

bhs chs alex hausauer goal

ICYMI…that’s “in case you missed it” for those of you less hip to internet slang than a 45-year old blogger…

This goal by NHL propsect Alec Rauhauser of Bismarck Century High School was not only a classic “What the fuck was that?” moment, it actually made #2 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays on Wednesday. For those of you that are hard-core hockey fans, this goal might look a wee bit familiar.

I don’t know about you, but to me it sure looks like that sick-ass goal Michigan Wolverine Mike Legg hung on Goldy F. Gopher back in the day. Rauhauser is drawing the attention of pro scouts with his line going into this game of 19 goals, 26 assists, 45 total points, and that goal helped Century beat cross-town Bismarck High 5-4 in overtime.

While that goal was pretty sweet, I can’t like it because far too many years ago, I was a BHS guy. But, then again, I’m hoping this kid was just living a dream; getting a chance in a real game to re-enact a moment every kid does in his back yard. I would think for a hockey player, scoring that Legg goal had to be high on the list. In comparison, my “Sandlot” age friends weren’t hockey players; but playing “pitch and catch” in his back yard, I can’t imagine how many times my best friend Doug threw Strike Three in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series…and he probably can’t tell you how many times I dropped Strike Three and had to gun down the runner at first…thus saving his perfect game.

Doug is also the witness to my then-infamous “Century Sucks” chant at a state tournament basketball game. Whether it is the NFL or North Dakota high-school sports, fuck the Patriots.

Go Demons.

The Disparity In Class In America Summed Up In Two Pictures

America is a country capable of incredible acts of class, and is also capable of the exact opposite.

The Highlight: It was pure class the way the St. Louis Blues paid tribute to baseball icon and St. Louis legend Stan “The Man” Musial.

st louis blues stan musial jerseys

The Lowlight: The asswipes at PETA using the Manti Te’o situation to advance their idiotic agenda.

manti teo peta ad

 

Here’s the saddest part. I will be the first to admit I’ve made my fair share of Manti Te’o jokes, but there’s two problems here. First, the longer this story plays out, it is morphing from odd through funny into pathetic, and it isn’t over yet. The second problem is PETA isn’t joking; they really think this is going to help their cause.

 

The 2012 Dubsy Awards

heisman guy

Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.

Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use.  Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.

With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.

Continue reading →

The Dubsism Top Fifteen Sports Stories of 2012

Being that we are at the end of what has proven to be a tumultuous twelve months, why not take a look back at the biggest sports stories of such a year? After all, I’m pretty sure nobody else does these sort of retrospectives…

15) The Los Angeles Kings Win The Stanley Cup

These are NOT your father's Kings.

These are NOT your father’s Kings.

For purposes of full disclosure, I have a bias on this one; I’ve been a Kings’ fan since I had to hold a puck with two hands. But there’s a couple of reasons why this win by the sole surviving original California hockey team (raise your hand if you remember the California Golden Seals) is a big story.

  • The Kings are the first native Los Angeles  team (not relocated from another city) to win a championship (Anaheim is NOT Los Angeles).
  • The Kings became the first NHL team to enter the playoffs as the 8th seed and eliminate the 1st and 2nd seeded teams in their conference.
  • The Kings became the first team to win the Stanley Cup entering the playoffs as a #8 seed.
  • The Los Angeles Kings ended one of the longest championship droughts (45 years) when they hoisted the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

The moral of the story: Don’t look now, but the Golden State is slowly becoming hockey territory. In the last twenty years, California has won more Stanley Cups than Canada has.

14) Johnny Football Becomes Johnny Heisman

johnny manziel heisman winner

The rise of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had all the media hype of other stories you will see on this list, but it had one crucial difference. Johnny Football became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, thus breaking one of the last barriers in the history of the 50-pound trophy awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club.  Manziel literally came from nowhere to the pinnacle of college football in a vote that was never really close.

The moral of the story: Until further notice, the Heisman is an award for quarterbacks and running backs only. If I had a vote, by sticking with the strict definition of the “best player in college football,” my ballot would have been as follows:

  1. Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
  2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
  3. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia

13) The Indianapolis Colts Cut Peyton Manning

manning irsay press conference

The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis came to a rather inglorious, if not completely anti-climactic end on March 7, when team owner Jim Irsay announced at a press conference that the team would release the man who had become the face of the Colts’ franchise.  A 2-14 season during which Manning never saw the field due to a neck injury illustrated the need for a consideration for the future in Indianapolis. Couple that with the economic reality; cutting Manning meant the Colts would save a $28 million roster bonus due on March 8, plus be free-and-clear of the remainder of his contract.  Add it all up, and it means this move surprised nobody, because it allowed the Colts to have money for the next franchise quarterback, #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck.

The moral of the story: Even 4-time MVPs are no longer immune to the economic realities of sports.

12) Augusta National Adds Its First Female Members

darla morre and condoleeza rice

To be honest, I’m an old-school guy who believes that private clubs should be able to pick and choose who they want  as members. That’s why when I first found out that Augusta had caved to a bunch of ball-busting feminists with chin-whiskers and married to sociology professors, my neanderthal heart sank a bit. But when I found out that the women Augusta picked would completely piss-off the “drives a Subaru with a rainbow bumper sticker” crowd, I had renewed faith in all that is right. Who better to do that that the hated George Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, a woman who had the audacity to make a bazillion dollars in the world of corporate finance?

The moral of the story: Social activists, you too need to be careful of what you wish for.

11) The Resurgence of Notre Dame Football

notre dame mascot flag

Notre Dame last saw the top of the college football mountain in 1988. In the quarter-century since, the Irish have remained a media darling while simultaneously spending more time as a doormat than a contender. Since that last title, Notre Dame has appeared in exactly five BCS bowls, and has lost every single one of them by at least 14 points. They are 6-11 in bowl games overall in that time. There was a fifteen-year span between 1993 and 2008 where the Irish lacked a single post-season win.

But now they’ve managed to finish the regular season undefeated and ranked number #1, thanks largely to a  key goal-line stand in overtime against Stanford, Pittsburgh’s inability to make a clutch kick, and a complete meltdown by Oklahoma. After all that, the Irish are set to face defending BCS champ Alabama for the title.

The moral of the story: Despite all the media attention the Irish are gathering, you would be hard-pressed to hear Notre Dame is a ten-point underdog.

10) The Beginning of the End of the National Hockey League

gary bettman does not care about lockout

If you needed a perfect model for how not to run a professional sports league, you need look no further than the NHL.  The latest example of their stupidity came with the latest failure to come to a collective bargaining agreement after two months of talks between team owners and the NHL Player’s Association broke down and the league entered its fourth work stoppage since 1992. I’ve never been the commissioner of anything bigger than a fantasy sports league, but even I know that in order to keep people interested in your sport, you need actually to play some games.  As of now, that hasn’t happened, and with every passing day, it looks more likely that hockey fans will be deprived of an entire season for the third time since 1994.

It’s time to understand that even die-hard hockey fans like myself are ready to wash their hands of this shit.  Idiotus Supremus Gary Bettman and the owners don’t get that they are killing a league over their insistence in making the players’ union pay for their complete lack of business sense. Fellow Sports Blog Movement member Ryan Meehan and I hit on this a while ago, but the keys remain in place.  The owners locked the doors because the players wouldn’t accept a new collective bargaining agreement that requires players to accept salary cuts and limits on free agency, despite the fact the owners were more than happy to give those provisions without any threat. The union wants a better revenue sharing plan that help the league’s struggling franchises.  Face it, the NHL needs to survive in the Winnipegs and the Buffalos of the world, because in North America, hockey is a regional sport with a limited appeal outside of that region.

The moral of the story: If Meehan, the players, and I can figure that out, what does it say for the future of this league that the owners can’t?

9) Lin-sanity

jeremy linside me sign

For 25 days last winter, an Asian Harvard graduate was the biggest story in all of sports. Think about that for a minute…Jeremy Lin had been sleeping on his brother’s couch, had been cut by two NBA teams, and was put into a game on February 4th by Mike D’Antoni, whose New York Knicks were so injury-depleted Lin was the only alternative left on the bench besides the towel guy.  Lin went on to score 25 points and seven assists leading a comeback over the then-New Jersey Nets.  Lin then lead the Knicks to seven straight wins, including one in which he hung 38 on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.  What began with a bang (perhaps literally, judging by the photo above) ended with a knee-injury and a quiet relocation to the Houston Rockets.

The moral of the story: All glory is fleeting.

8 ) Michael Phelps Becomes History’s Most Decorated Olympian 

Michael Phelps

As far as I’m concerned, any guy who won 19 gold medals can do all the bong hits he wants.  While most stoners can’t get past micro-waving a burrito and watching Scooby-Doo at the same time, this guy joined a frightfully short list of elite athletes while giggling stupidly at his own own reflection in a sheet of aluminum foil.

Phelps made the cover a Wheaties box in 2008 after he won eight Olympic gold medals in Beijing. but then came history’s most publicized bong toke. Phelps received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming and Kellogg’s said they would not renew their endorsement of the Olympian. which goes to show what dumb-asses they both are. USA Swimming finally re-instated Phelps and he went on to win nine more medals in London this past summer, his 19 medals surpassing the 18 won by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

The moral of the story: Somebody ought to start a cereal called Weed-ies.

7) The NFL’s Replacement Referee Debacle 

replacement refs

We all know what a debacle the NFL’s use of replacement referees was.  The biggest indicator of what dipshits sports commissioners in this country are is that they make me sympathetic to scumbag unions.

The moral of the story: This is just one reason people will look back at 2012 as the beginning of the downfall of the Kommissar Goodell regime.

6) Lance Armstrong Stripped of  Cycling Titles

lance armstrong hero cheater

While it isn’t an excuse, there is a shitload of truth in that quote in the above graphic.  There’s a huge double-standard about cheating in this country; it is OK when your guy does it. And nobody was more of “America’s Guy” then Lance Armstrong was when was routinely humiliating the French in the Tour de France. That’s really the only reason anybody in America gave a damn about cycling; it was an exercise in hating the perfectly hateable French.

Back in August, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that it was stripping Lance Armstrong of his record-seven Tour de France titles and barred him for life from the sport after concluding he used banned substances.  On October 22, the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling’s governing body, said that it had officially stripped Armstrong of his seven titles and banned him from cycling for life.

But then comes the part where the hypocrisy comes in again.

“He deserves to be forgotten,” UCI President Pat McQuaid said of Armstrong.

Give me a fucking break. Cycling is the dirtiest of the “dirty” sports when it comes to performance enhancing drugs; what’s going on in baseball might as well be the drug problem in pee-wee T-ball compared to cycling.  All the UCI and USADA did was to catch the best cheater in sport filled with cheaters whose lifeblood literally is cheating.

The moral of the story: There’s nothing wrong with anything that sticks it to the French.

5) Speaking of Hypocrisy, Let’s Talk About The NCAA

sandusky lanza

Question: Do you know what the Jerry Sandusky and Sandy Hook Elementary School situations have in common, besides the fact they both involve monsters whose own self-absorbed impulses were brought to bear on many innocent people? They are both examples of how we in America love to pontificate about horrible things, yet do nothing about them.

In the wake of both of these terrible stories, you didn’t hear one credible person come out and say stupid shit like “I’m glad this happened. We need more events like this to learn our lessons.” Anybody who would have said anything like this would have been stamped USDA Prime Whacko and their words would have been filed in the appropriate plastic-bag lined receptacle. But no matter how many times you let a train run over a coin, it still has two sides, and there were far too many people ready to get on the other side of the bombastic coin  from the stamped Whackos.

These were the people who took such a brave stand by table-pounding the obvious “we need to protect our children” reaction. There are lessons to be learned, and there are things as a society we need to do; the trouble is that we as society have completely missed the point.

The NCAA serves as the perfect microcosm of American society, and the ridiculous, pointless, and self-serving crap the NCAA does is a perfect reflection of the society in which it exists.  It’s numb-handed response to the Sandusky scandal at Penn State proves that.

After former FBI Director Louis Freeh released his report , the NCAA got into the fashionable “shitting on Penn State” and did it in a completely meaningless way. While Penn State may have received some of the harshest penalties in NCAA history, they were ultimately without real teeth. If you doubt that, let’s break them down:

  • A 4-year bowl ban: Normally that would hurt, but at the end of the 2011 season, this team could only qualify for a low-rent bowl where they got smoked by a Houston team whose coach was on his way to making Texas A&M the Belle of the SEC Newbies ball.  Nobody saw the miracle incoming head coach Bill O’Brien pulled off; he literally made a team intended to be kicked off the B1G island and made it the second-best team in the conference.
  • Loss of 20 scholarships: This does kill bench depth, but lets be honest…you can still win with only three punters on the depth chart. 65 scholarships is still plenty to field a winning team; NFL teams only have 53 roster spots. The only part that could sting is that Penn State can only sign 15 recruits per year rather than the usual 25.
  • $60 Million Fine: Penn State has an endowment of nearly $2 billion and has an athletic department that generates cash in gorgon-like quantities. $60 million to them is the change you keep in your car’s cup holder for toll booths.
  • Loss of shared conference bowl revenue for four years: This is estimated to be around $13 million per year. See above.
Faber College's Dean Wormer: The perfect successor to NCAA President Mark Emmert

Faber College’s Dean Wormer: The perfect successor to NCAA President Mark Emmert

  • Five years probation: That might as well be  Dean Wormer’s “double secret probation” from “Animal House” since the NCAA really has no interest in handing out real punishments.
  • Players were allowed to transfer without penalty: The team still won eight games.
  • Vacating of all wins from 1998-2011: Record book hocus-pocus. This was only done to screw Joe Paterno, who was already dead by the time this move was made. Utterly pointless.

In other words, the NCAA didn’t do anything substantive after the Sandusky situation just like we won’t solve the problem after Sandy Hook.

The moral of the story: I can’t wait for NCAA President Mark Emmert to weigh in on gun control.

4) The Ongoing Tim Tebow Saga

tim tebow practice

Where do I start start with this? Here’s a guy who sold more jerseys than anybody before he even took a single NFL snap.  Here’s a guy who stays in the headlines despite the fact he’s only taken 50 snaps this season as a New York Jet. Here’s a guy who everybody keeps saying isn’t an NFL quarterback, and yet right now we are talking about where is the next place he “isn’t” going to be an NFL quarterback.

The moral of the story: I’ll buy lunch for the first person who can explain Tebow-mania to me in 50 words or less.

3) The “Bounty-Gate” Debacle

saints bounty

Too bad NFL Commissioner Kommissar Goodell doesn’t have a paper towel good enough to clean up the mess he made.

Think about it for a moment. How many times have you seen a guy over-estimate his power, do something completely stupid because of that over-estimation, then need somebody to come in and clean up the mess. I guess former commissioner Paul Tagliabue is the one who had the big roll of paper towels.

To make a long story short, “Bountygate” blew up in Goodell’s face when he mistakenly assumed the players he suspended would simply roll over and take his brand of “justice.” But when Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were reinstated by a three-members appeals panel. which included former NFL head Paul Tagliabue. The panel overturned a ruling that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his powers to suspend the players for their alleged roles in a pay-to-injure agreement.

What it all boils down to is that in the end, Goodell managed to emasculate himself, and required Tagliabue to get him out of the mess he made for himself. In other words, the commissioner did not have the final say; the former commissioner did.  I don’t know of too many executive-level managers who stay employed after they need to be bailed out, especially when Tagliabue was only intended to review Goodell’s decision to impose suspensions on four New Orleans Saints players and instead found the action so flawed he had to vacate those suspensions.

The moral of the story: This is another reason people will look back at 2012 as the beginning of the downfall of the Kommissar Goodell regime.

2) Miguel Cabrera Becomes Baseball’s First Triple Crown Winner in 45 Years

miguel cabrera triple crown

Miguel Cabrera became the first player to win baseball’s Triple Crown since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, and just the 15th player ever. This puts Cabrera on a list with baseball royalty which includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig. Cabrera led  the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.

The moral of the story: Dude can hit.

1) The Los Angeles Dodgers Are The First Sports Franchise to Sell For $2 Billion

DN03-DODGERS-5AH

The Los Angeles Dodgers were sold to a group that includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for a final sale price of just over $2 billion. That represents the highest price any sports team has ever sold for — by a wide margin.

Television money for live sports is skyrocketing, and it’s driving up the values of sports teams not just in the United States, but around the world as well.  People keep trying to tell me baseball is dead, and a baseball team just sold for a staggering amount of money. If one were to pay that $2 billion in cash, you would need sixteen standard shipping pallets stacked four feet square with $100 dollar bills. And the prices are only going up.

Want to buy a European soccer team? Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, so you’d better bring your wallet. Manchester United was the first team to break the the billion-dollar barrier, and that was a decade ago. Now, buying a top team in the English Premier League will easily cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion.  If you still want a big-time European soccer club, but want to save your pennies, you might be able to get Real Madrid for just under $2 billion.  Even the Jacksonville Jaguars, arguably the least-valuable franchise in the NFL, just sold recently for $770 million.

The moral of the story: Television money is exploding sports as we know it.

Guest Column: Six Important Facts About The National Hockey League And Its Stupid Lockout

Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism’s own J-Dub and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.

As you may have noticed, the National Hockey League is currently not available for our viewing pleasure. This is largely because NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has a fundamental misunderstanding of what the business of sports is all about. After reading this piece, you will have more of an understanding of this business than Bettman does. Then again, you could pop a pimple and understand more than Bettman does.

Whether or not you like the NHL isn’t as important as the fact the current lockout the league is going through has some profound impacts, and not all of them are exclusively related to hockey.  Follow us through the following six points, and you will see why what is happening in the NHL is bad for sports in general and those who depend on it either directly or indirectly.

Then, you can apply to be the next NHL Commissioner. After all, nobody can fuck it up any worse.

1) The NHL (When in Business) Helps Other Sports Entities

This gets a bit convoluted, but if you follow along, this will make sense.  Stay with us on this; believe it or not, this can be explained.

A large portion of Canadians are hockey fans, and a large portion number of NHL fans happen to be Canadians. That need no be as confusing as it sounds, if you bear in mind that hockey is the de facto national sport of our neighbors to the north.  The NHL is popular all across Canada; the same cannot be said of the U.S.  We can pretty much guarantee you that if you live in the Mountain Time Zone and happen to be a huge hockey fan, there is an astronomically high probability you don’t have any friends. Not to get all 9th-grade algebra class on you, but the ratio of Canadians to hockey fans to complete drunks is best expressed in a Venn diagram.

So, why the hell does that matter? Right now, it is an incredibly safe bet a great number of Canadians couldn’t care less about any American sports media outlets, such as ESPN or the NBC Sports Network because the NHL is nowhere to be seen.  What that means is every other sport is losing exposure to a market of close to 30 million people.  While that might not sweat the NFL very much, that hurts smaller leagues who need all the exposure they can get, especially those like the NBA and Major League Soccer which both have franchises in Canada.  Outside of those Canadian markets which have franchises, exposure across Canada gets more limited than Mel Gibson’s future career options.

In other words, picture what would happen to the exposure to European soccer in the U.S. if the English Premier League suffered a work stoppage.  Most Americans would have nothing to ignore for two hours on ESPN before College GameDay on Saturday mornings.

There’s another reason the NHL matters in Canada to other sports leagues. The NHL keeps Canadians watching American sports leagues which have fucked Canada so often we are amazed we don’t owe the Great White North some serious back-owed child support.  American sports leagues have all got vested interests in Canada, and more than one has had a colossal failure north of the border.  From a business perspective, the Montreal Expos were a complete disaster and the Vancouver Grizzlies only lasted five years. So, without the NHL, what’s left?  A Toronto baseball team which hasn’t won anything in twenty years, a Toronto basketball team which will never win anything, and one shitty Buffalo Bills’ game in Toronto every year.  No wonder the Canadians are pissed off at us.

But wait; it gets better. When you take this back full-circle to the NHL, one really has to point out that the NHL is now, and has always been an American league. While every alcoholic hockey fan in Canada is now firing a Molson bottle through their monitor, stop to consider that once the NHL stabilized in the 1940’s (there was a nearly thirty-year period in which the number of franchises and their locations fluctuated almost yearly), out of the “original” six franchises, four were in the U.S. When the league’s first expansion occurred in 1967, all six new franchises were in the U.S.

In the “expansion” era, the first franchise to be added in Canada was the Vancouver Canucks in 1971.  As it stands today, the league consists of 30 teams, and only 7 of them are in Canada; and it has been almost 20 years since a Canadian team hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup.

To make a long story short, Canadians can’t be happy with how Americans are fucking up their game, a sentiment which carries over to other sports, which is why the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will always have a larger following than whichever shitty NFL franchise eventually ends up in Toronto.

2) The NHL Was Doing Quite Well Before This Idiotic Lockout

Speaking of Winnipeg, the “City of Opportunity” is the “canary in the coal mine” for the health of the NHL In other words, when the NHL does well in Winnipeg, the NHL does well in general. Conversely, a league that can’t succeed in the heart of Canada playing the de facto  national sport doesn’t deserve to survive.

For lack of a better comparison, Winnipeg should be to the NHL as Green Bay is to the NFL.  Green Bay has no business having a NFL franchise because it is a little town which comes nowhere near the market requirements to support a franchise; the entire population of Green Bay would fit inside Michigan Stadium.  However, the NFL uses a model that allows team to remain in places where they are popular where the market may not support a franchise. Without the NFL’s current model, there would be no Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, and others.

The NHL needs to figure out how make something similar work, and now is the time.  At the conclusion of the 2011-2012 NHL season, the National Hockey League was getting about as much play in the American sports market as it’s ever going to get. Television ratings were through the roof, and with the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup, all of a sudden we were starting to see celebrities at hockey games in the bigger markets.  Even with the talk of the impending cancellation of this season, the casual sports fan was paying attention to the NHL.  In a way, even the non-believers were still believing hockey would come back as opposed to ten years ago when they didn’t even care because they were all pre-occupied passing out in the hallways of their college dormitory after a full night of date-raping each other.

This means instead of having a pseudo-suicidal lockout,  Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners should have been figuring out how to make franchises viable in places not only like Winnipeg , but other places in “hockey territory. ”  Refer back to Point #1 for a minute. Nobody in the leadership ranks of the NHL wants to admit this, but hockey is a territorial sport, and it has limited appeal outside of that territory.  That fact alone makes it all the more crucial WITHIN that territory, and that’s the big deal here.

What exactly is “hockey territory?’ Essentially, it anywhere that has a) real winters, b) a reasonable market for professional sports, c) anyplace where hockey is the “national sport,” and/or c) a city with a large population transplanted from “a” or “c.”  In other words, this means Canada, the northeastern third of the U.S., and about four cities outside of that.

The key to all this is that once somebody figures out how to make the NHL viable in some of the smaller markets in “hockey territory,” many of the problems this league has will disappear overnight.  Naturally, given how the leadership of the NHL has handled itself up to this point, if the individual who pulls that off comes from that group, then you are invited to come over for a sizzling, freshly-killed unicorn steak from the J-Dub/Meehan unicorn ranch, because let’s be honest…we are starting to get really fucking hungry over here, and we all tired of Thanksgiving leftovers by this point.

By focusing on the areas where hockey has popularity, the league can move franchises to cities where they would actually generate interest.  If they have too many franchises, they can always contract a few.  This is the part where we would apologize to all the Columbus Blue Jackets season ticket holders, but there’s only like 16 of them, and they are far more pissed that the NHL just butt-fucked them out of an All-Star game they had worked hours to get.

The bottom line is that the NHL is better off by dominating in smaller markets if need be than operating in an era of indifference in larger ones.  There will always be the franchises that make more money than others; that happens in any league regardless of what any baseball purist may tell you.  By putting the product in markets where it will generate interest, the NHL can begin to demand better money for national broadcasting rights.  It won’t happen is because the NHL is run by a bunch of dumb-fucks who believe they can market a winter sport in places like Miami and Phoenix; this is the same bunch of mental midgets who don’ t understand by having this lockout, they are losing the golden opportunity to do this.  Gary Bettman deservedly gets the blame for a lot of this as his sorry ass is the name at the top of the stationery.

3) The NHL Offers An Economic Impact At The Local Level

Whether you’re a hockey fan or not, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the NHL creates thousands of employment opportunities year after year.  Directly, there’s the hundreds of jobs created by an NHL team, from the front office and marketing people all the way down to the guy who washes the jockstraps. Indirectly, there’s the arena parking attendants, the beer and peanut vendors, and several others whose jobs really rely on the presence of the NHL.

Let’s take a look at the impact the lockout has on various people connected to the NHL:

An NHL Owner:

Although it may seem difficult to believe, these shitheads have their servants buy their groceries at the same stores that we do.   Sure, they make more money than any of us will likely see in a lifetime, and  in America today we love to demonize rich people for no other fucking reason then they happen to be rich.  But J-Dub made a great point about this in our piece on the recent election; the guy who signs your check is not on food stamps.

This is exactly why there is as much importance in being a rich guy at the top of the food chain as there is in being a poor guy at the bottom.  Go take a look at what places look like where there are no rich people; they are absolute shit-ponds like Somalia, the Phillipines, and a Wal-Mart after 9 p.m.  Rich people are the ones who foot the bill for business by putting their livelihoods on the line, so they should be rewarded accordingly.  As far as the NHL goes, without the owners, there is no league.

Having said that, when there is no revenue coming in you can only imagine how much money they are losing.  Let’s take a brief moment and explain that, because it is too easy to simply dismiss the problem here with the “ahhh, but they are a bunch millionaires” sort of class envy.

The class of wealth in which you find the type of guy who owns an NHL franchise never really needs to take stock of how much cash they have on hand because unlike you and us, they are investors and businessmen first, and consumers second.  They always have a plan for next year, so if there is no next year (which essentially where this lockout is headed), they know they need to have either a lot of money to whether the storm, or to have other  revenue-generating investments.  If they don’t, you can bet their net worth is going to drop like Ol’ Dirty Bastard at his final recording session.

Naturally, that begs the question why would these guys deliberately stage this work stoppage.  Because nobody ever said rich and smart went hand-in-hand. We can’t forget that it is the owners who got the league into this mess by spending huge amounts of money without having appreciable national television contracts in the U.S.

In other words, hating these guys just because they are rich misses the point. Hate them because they are stupider than Forrest Gump sticking his dick in a pencil-sharpener.

An NHL General Manager:

As a guy entrusted to run an NHL team, you face a day-to-day battle to make sure everything is in place.  The owners know there are precious few decent and/or honest people with talent in whom one can trust to safeguard an enormous financial investment, which is when they find one, they are handsomely rewarded. Naturally, many who do not meet these criteria are also handsomely rewarded, which takes us right back to the stupidity of the owners.

In other words, being an NHL general manager means working for a guy who keeps sticking his dick into pencil sharpeners, and when you tell him to pull his dick out of the pencil sharpener, rather than following your advice, he starts an argument with you about how many times to crank the handle

An NHL Coach:

Before New York Rangers’ head coach John Tortarella’s outburst about the Pittsburgh Penguins getting special treatment from the league due to their superstar-laden line-up, it never really  occurred to us how hard it is to be an NHL coach.

Think about it for a minute.  You have to manage a bunch of grown men, who are primarily either Canadian, or Northern/Eastern European; two groups of people who even if they weren’t pucksters are prone to drink to the point of brain damage EVERY night. The minute you try to address that issue, even after the state troopers just peeled one of them of a roadside tree, all they do is get on Twitter and bitch to the media about what a self-righteous asshole you are.

The best part is these Budweiser-sponges on skates get away with this shit because the casual sports fan probably couldn’t name five current NHL coaches, and they think Barry Melrose and Don Cherry are the be-all, end-all of NHL knowledge.  How’s that for fucked up?

But wait, there’s more.  Not only do they have to deal with all that, but they get to do it under the constant, yet inconsistent leadership eye of Assholius Supremus Gary Bettman.  Given that, why would anybody want to be an NHL coach? Because it’s just slightly better than making a living breaking into cars.

Remember when Ray Lewis said that if last year’s NFL lockout lasted into the regular season, there would be a rise in crime because people would start stabbing each other if they didn’t have football to watch?  To that end, it’s probably not a very good thing to have a bunch of unemployed hockey coaches running around.

Stop and think about it for a minute…what would happen if all these people in dangerous and/or shitty professions suddenly were no longer able to channel their energy in some constructive form?  Before you start listening to those right-wing nutcases bitch about (insert rapper they don’t like here) making a living in a manner they don’t like.

Well, when you think about it, hockey coaches top that list, even if you don’t realize it.  Hockey is the only sport where you can see a players committing full-on felony aggravated assault while their coach is right behind them screaming “KICK HIS FUCKING ASS!” There’s a certain breed of lunatic who becomes a hockey coach, and we’d be willing to bet none of them are the type of guy who takes up knitting when they have nothing to do.  Get the point?

An NHL Bench Player:

Bench players in basketball, baseball,l and hockey have pretty sweet jobs, so it’s difficult to feel too sorry for them, but this shit going on in the NHL affects them as well.   Bench players across the sporting world get to see the whole country and every once in a while some third-world crapper your league think give a shit about your sport.  Basically,  your job is to stay somewhat ready for the day (which may never come) that due to injury and/or suckitude  your number gets called.

This goes right back to the “Now what will they do?” question we posed in the previous segment.  Do you know what most hockey coaches were before they became coaches? Bench players.  This means the training ground for coaches is a world where guys drink their weight in beer, pass out every night, and occasionally piss themselves or on others.

In other words, today’s unemployed puckster center could end up being tomorrow’s coach; two groups of people which could easily spawn tomorrow’s most colorful serial killer.

You just can’t be too careful about these things.

An Arena Beer Vendor:

As two guys who drink quite a bit, we are the first to admit that most sporting events require the need to wet one’s whistle, and the men and women who allow that to happen are the most important people in the whole fucking building.  If we take the time to pour some cheap-shit bourbon into empty hot sauce bottles, then it is only fair to buy a shitload of those nine-dollar beers as a chaser.

The arena beer guy doesn’t necessarily make a lot of money, but since it is usually base wage +  commission job, as long as booze hounds like provide the volume, he’s at least got a shot to not end up faking car accident injuries for a living.

Just in terms of margin, if you pack an arena with J-Dub level drinkers (many people don’t know he is the one who taught Kitty Dukakis to love hand sanitizer on the rocks) and pump them full of suds at nine bucks a shot from a keg that dropped off of the truck onto the interstate and reloaded onto that same truck and sold to the arena for twenty bucks, the cash is just waiting to rain from the sky in “build a fucking cash Ark” proportions.

Dramatic re-enactment of Kitty Dukakis on a Saturday night (before she got shipped off to Trembling Hills Dry-Out Farm)

Double down on that with that tubularized mélange of beaks and rectums known as the hot dog, which costs four cents to make and once in an arena sells at T-bone prices, and that at some point even “last name ends in ‘-han’ level drinkers (Lohan, Meehan…you get the point…)” need to eat something they can vomit on to their shirt later, and it becomes obvious  what a river of cash arena concessions can generate.

Then there’s the mortar which sticks those drunken bricks together…laziness.  Who the fuck is surprised that the very same Americans who invented the drive-thru would be the same ones to bring you food and drink which is walked up to your very chair?

Let’s face, it is the American need to be constantly drunk and fatted up is the foundation upon which the job security of these concessionaires is built.  If those people lose faith in the system, we might actually have to wait until there is a stoppage in play, get out of our seats, and (hold on, folks we’re about to experience some turbulence) actually go up to the concession stand and purchase that which will be lodging in our arteries ourselves.

Since the league is locked out now, these vendors may simply think that being a vendor is just not stable enough income to rely on every year (due to circumstances they will likely never understand) and when the league finally can put a product back on the ice after this situation is resolved in the summer of 2046, we won’t even have anybody to bring us our poison…sweet, delicious, poison.

Who the fuck are we kidding? We both will have been dead for decades by the time that finally goes down.

The Guy Who Washes The Jockstraps:

Here’s another example that exemplifies that all the links in the chain are important, whether or not they are at the top or bottom.  Without the guy who washes the jockstraps, we would also have nobody to label them. This means we would have a league full of unsanitary undergarments being passed around the locker room like a roll of athletic tape.

In a world where the percentage of the general public who doesn’t have sexually transmitted diseases finds itself dangerously close to the percentage of the general public who is unemployed, making sure the right guy gets the right crotch-pouch is not only part of the job – it’s a safety measure.  You don’t have to live inside of Colin Farrell’s medicine cabinet to know that the Center for Disease Control is one of the biggest failures in American history, right along with the war on drugs and Kitty Dukakis’ Vitalis-soaked liver (damn you, J-Dub).

Not only are these guys vital to the community health, but if we don’t keep these guys employed, there is no doubt that within about 72 hours North America would be knee-deep in Kardashian-quality genital infections.

4) Basketball Doesn’t Pop Out Of The Box With Excitement 

Seriously, the NBA season just started, and nobody gives a fuck. Tune in SportsCemter tomorrow, and all the NBA talk you are going to get is going to be some tired old wheeze about “What’s wrong with the Lakers?” – that is when they aren’t full-on fellating LeBron James.

Other than the sports themselves, this is where hockey and basketball differ greatly. They are both winter sports. They are often times played in the same arena. But the NHL knows how to be exciting early in the season; it DOES pop out of the box. In comparison, the early-season NBA just sort of lies there like an overly-roofied sorority girl.

Unlike the NBA, very few NHL players take games off which is impressive when you consider a) the brutal nature of the game and b) the liver-numbing amount of drinking which the hockey culture floats on. Couple that with the fact it all happens on ice skates, and it gets even more impressive. There was no better ankle-breaking device invented than the ice skate, and mastering them is an accomplishment unto itself, let alone playing a fast-paced and violent game while on them. If you would have put ice skates on Sean Kemp, he wouldn’t have been able to find his dick, let alone create a bazillion illegitimate kids (have fun trying to jackhammer that visual out of your head).

On top of all that,  NBA players have almost no pressure from a developed minor league system.  Every player in the NHL knows that the minute he stops producing, there are a ass load of guys toiling in shit holes like Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Moline, Illinois who would kill for the chance to play in bigger shit holes like Ottawa or Columbus, Ohio.

Now, we will admit there is the NBA’s D-League, which while having franchises  in exciting metropolises like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Erie, Pennsylvania, it simply does not produce enough quality players to make NBA players feel like their jobs might be in jeopardy once they start to suck.   Guys in the NBA couldn’t name one D-League player unless they are related to him, which we might also be able to pin on Shawn Kemp.

This is why even good NBA teams have roster full of shit heaps like Dexter Pittman, Boris Diaw, and Jodie Meeks on their rosters. If you want to doubt that, ask yourself this question: If the NBA had a solid system of feeder leagues, then why would wastes like Antawn Jamison and the fuckwipe formerly known as Ron Artest still be Los Angeles Lakers?  Not to mention, just who the fuck is Jodie Meeks anyway?

5) Gary Bettman and the NHL Owners Have No Business Savvy

Mentioning the name Mitt Romney invariably brings up the election we just got past. Regardless of what you think about what just happened, the point here is that back in 2005, Romney and his multi-billion dollar empire made a bid to buy the entire league.  From Deadspin:

It was March 2005, and the NHL’s owners didn’t know what to do. It had been six months since they’d locked out the players’ union, trying to force concessions, but the players were still refusing to bear the brunt of spending cuts. Two weeks earlier, the league had finally canceled the already-delayed season. No money was coming in, and none would be. For the first time since the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919, no Stanley Cup would be awarded.

Now commissioner Gary Bettman told the owners that their meeting would have a visitor, from outside, who had something to say to them. The visitor came in with a number and a proposal: For $3.5 billion, he said, he was willing to purchase every single team in the league. His company, Bain Capital, wanted to buy the entire NHL.

Since its founding in 1984, Bain Capital had been swooping down on struggling businesses, buying them out with cheap debt, and using austere management to make them profitable—for the private equity firm and for Mitt Romney, the former partner whose 10-year retirement agreement would continue to pay out profits through 2009. What the businesses were hardly mattered. Bain’s holdings have included AMC Theaters, The Weather Channel, Toys “R” Us, Burlington Coat Factory, and Burger King, companies with nothing in common beyond the potential profits Bain saw in running them its own way.

And now, Bain saw a chance to buy low on professional hockey. The Toronto Star reported that on March 1, 2005, Bain Capital managing partner (and Boston Celtics co-owner) Steve Pagliuca, accompanied by Bob Caporale of Game Plan LLC (which specializes in facilitating sales of sports franchises), made a presentation at an owners meeting in New York. They had been invited specifically by Bettman. Bill Daly, the NHL’s chief legal officer, said afterward that “when someone’s offering over $3 billion, we felt we had an obligation to the board to have them, at least, hear it from the proposed purchaser.”

So, why didn’t this happen?

The Deadspin article will lead you to believe that the $3.5 billion offer Bain made was too far below the $4.9 billion Bettman and the owners thought the league was worth. While that may be true, what’s also true is that Bettman and the owner don’t understand their business model is fatally flawed. For starters, the NHL is spending big cash on salaries while not having a commensurate television revenue.  Sure, they have a $2  billion deal with NBC, but that is small change compared to what the NFL is getting.  What is comes down to is that Bettman and the NHL have an over-inflated view of the value of the NHL, and Bettman has a delusional view of the future of the league.

“Over-inflated” might be a bit of an understatement when you consider that the difference between $3.5 and $4.9 billion dollars  makes it  unfathomable to think that such a difference in estimates was made in error.   But this is Gary Bettman, who can fuck things up worse than your mother suddenly appearing in your Sofia Vergara-based wet dream.  That alone makes it not all that hard to believe he was off almost a billion and a half dollars.  This genius couldn’t count his balls and get the same number twice.

You would think that there would be a baseline of mental competency to be the commissioner of a major sports league, but Bettman is only one of the four faces we would carve into Mount Commissioner Dipshit.

6) A rejuvenated NHL would piss off Alan Parkins, and nothing would make us happier than that

One of the great things about blogs is that they give anybody an outlet for what ever they want. Alan Parkins represents everything that can be terrible about that. About three years ago, we started to notice a lot of comments on our blogs from a man in Florida by the name of Alan Parkins, also known as “Tophatal.”  At first, while his comments were difficult to understand, we appreciated him stopping by our sites site to discuss various topics in sports.

We knew a long time ago he had no love for hockey, but we have never been ones to discourage differing opinions; Hell, that’s the whole reason why we have a Comments section.  However, it is one thing to have an opposing viewpoint, but it’s quite another to be a complete blog-dick.  At first, his comments were easily dismissed as the ramblings of a lunatic. But then he took it upon himself to hijack the Comments sections of blogs he frequents, including ours. After a while, we grew tired of his constantly changing the subject and posting pictures of scantily clad women on our websites. We really grew thin of his bullshit when he questioned our sexuality when we told him to stop.

He would post some of the most insane responses to our articles and when he was wrapping up his free thought children that would have been better off aborted, he would bait us into responding by asking us questions that were about something completely different and were severely off topic.  What was confusing about this is the guy would post pictures that could get us fired from work if the wrong person happened to be walking by while we were checking our comments for approval, but then he would censor his language with the context of the comment.   If a guy is going to attach random pictures of what’s essentially softcore pornogrpahy to an article about football, we’re all going to laugh at him hysterically when he prints things like “What in the G****mn world is going on here?”

So, what the hell does this have to do with hockey? About a year ago, Parkins started arguing with Cal from First Order Historians on one of their  hockey related threads.  Based on nothing but his own opinion, Parkins started spewing a bunch of his usual bullshit about how hockey was pretty much dead and would never be a part of the sports culture again.

Again, it’s one thing to have your opinion, but Parkins showed what complete asswipe he is when his opinion was destroyed by inarguable facts, he simply played the “Well if I don’t watch it, it’s not important” card.

That’s why we hope the NHL comes back bigger and better than ever.  Every time there’s an NHL story out here, we hope it is like a red-hot puck being slapped straight up Parkins’ ass.  Every single goddamn time.

What Parkins’ too fucking stupid to realize is that we all know he is just a troll.  Know how we know that, dipshit? If you are so dis-interested by hockey, then why did you spend so fucking much arguing about it? If hockey sucks like you say it does, then why do you care?  Are you that bored? I suppose, you can only surf for so much porn…

One more thing, Al…and this is coming straight from J-Dub…I know exactly what kind of cowardly fuckface you really are. I know you will try to play the race card and say we are beating on you because you are black. From one black man to another, don’t you dare try that shit.  If you do, I will make sure everybody can see the kind of ridiculous, hate-filled crap you’ve spewed.  Also Al,  if you want to try to call this some sort of cyber-bullying, most of the people’s blogs whom you’ve infected with your crap are too nice to say anything to you, but we’ve grown tired of you. There’s been a lot of people who have been more than patient with your pointless rhetoric for long enough, and we were trying to politely give you a hint that we no longer wanted you around.  Since that didn’t work, we are left with no other choice than to spell it out for you.  You represent everything that give bloggers a bad name, and you would do us all a tremendous favor if you took your own life in the most gruesome manner possible.

That’s what this all really comes down to…Hockey is a blast to watch, and it will be even better to watch knowing it will completely piss off Alan Parkins.   We are more than happy to defend one of the “big four” sports in America; it’s one of the “big four” for a reason.

Stay tuned to Dubsism,  First Order Historians, and East End Philadelphia for more up to the minute advice on how to be undeniably awesome.

-J-Dub and Meehan

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