Archive for June, 2011

You’re Doing It Wrong.

Before I start in on what happened last night on Monday Night RAW, I want to make it clear that I commend CM Punk on the delivery and intensity of a great promo last night.

Admittedly, I didn’t watch it live; I heard the buzz and then watched the entire clip on my PVR.  It was definitely unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary, there is no denying that.  But I definitely do have a few qualms with the whole thing, and very little of it has anything to do with CM Punk.

My biggest issue by far is with what went up on WWE.com after the promo:

Raw’s abrupt conclusion Monday night was not due to technical difficulties. The decision to suddenly end the broadcast in that manner was made by WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, who gave this quote to WWE.com:

“CM Punk was suspended indefinitely for his unprofessional conduct as soon as Raw went off the air.”

With his WWE contract expiring on July 17, one can only assume that this suspension effectively terminates CM Punk’s tenure with WWE.

I mean, really?  Before this went up, and if it hadn’t gone up at all, people would still be debating and unsure as to whether or not it was actually a shoot, or a worked shoot.  It’s that last sentence, specifically four words: ‘one can only assume…’.  Could they have made it any more obvious that the entire thing was a work?  In my opinion it’s a slap in the face of Punk, who did a fantastic job of creating buzz and controversy.

Secondly, I really have to question just how much of what Punk said was un-scripted, or unexpected by management.  While Punk said some pretty aggressive things, I think there’s something to be said for the fact that he was spewing out all of the standard things that smarks have been saying for years.    And what I think is being said by that is that Punk didn’t believe or agree with anything coming out of his own mouth, didn’t come up with any of it himself, and ran most of it by the people he was going to attack, beforehand (probably not Hogan…).

People usually don’t usually just choose to deliberately bury themselves in their business of choice, and I find it hard to believe that Punk would have gone out there with those things to say, without warning or seeking the approval of the people he was besmurching.

It took away from the delivery a little bit for me that everything Punk was saying, was things we’ve all heard before, just never on WWE TV.  I think if he had really wanted to convince people it was a shoot, he should have thrown some stuff in there that we’ve never heard before, in an attempt to make us think this is really backstage stuff, not dirt sheet standards.

As I said, Punk’s promo was great.  It was entertaining, he delivered it well, it was convincing, but in my opinion it missed the mark, albeit only slightly.  What WWE.com did with it after the fact was just what nudged it off the cliff.

Missed it?  Take a look and let me know what YOU think:

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Welcome Back!

Photo courtesy of The Winnipeg Free Press

The photo says it all.  Our Winnipeg Jets have finally – finally! – returned home, as we always knew they would.

Friday, June 24 was the day, with thousands gathered at the MTS Centre for a NHL Entry Draft Party, where we watched with bated breath as Mark Chipman took the podium to announce not only our first draft pick, but the much-anticipated team name of our new NHL franchise.

The entire building was buzzing all night long leading up to his announcement, and it was truly awe-inspiring to hear the thousands of shhh!‘s turn into complete silence every single time Chipman opened his mouth.

I didn’t expect Chipman to call too much attention his announcement, even though for Winnipeggers it was a monumental one, and he certainly didn’t. While on TV I’m sure it seemed like just a passing mention of the “Winnipeg Jets” but at it’s first official mention, the MTS Centre completely uncorked. At probably a little over half its capacity, the cheers were deafening. I can only imagine the noise that will be made at our home opener.

It still seems a little bit surreal to think that not only do we have an NHL team again, but now they have a name as well, and a familiar one at that. All that’s left is to unveil the logo and sweaters, and from what I’ve heard the revamped desgined is pretty impressive.

It was an awesome experience to be a part of the huge announcement; it finally feels like we’re ready to go. I even managed to make it into a Winnipeg Free Press article that was published the next day, which you can take a look at here.

Below is a video I took from inside the MTS Centre, as Chipman took the stage and said our team’s name for the very first time. Insanity!! Mark your calendars!

October 9, 2011:
Winnipeg Jets vs. Montreal Canadiens

No-Touch Icing: Do It.

Last night was one of the very few times I’ve actually cringed, and been afraid for someone’s well-being while watching an NHL game. And ironically, that was the worst-looking hit of the night, and the guy sprang back up, while one of the more innocent looking hits caused a rather severe injury. But I digress.

I am talking, of course, about Vancouver’s Alex Edler running Boston’s Rich Peverley into the boards, as the two raced down the ice on an icing call. On a close icing call like this, the men involved in the sprint down the ice are going at incredibly fast speeds, and even a non-hockey fan watching the two kamikaze players race towards the end-boards could tell you that it is not going to end well.

It looks like Peverley’s left arm being up was what saved him, because I have to believe that, were it not, he would have suffered multiple serious facial and injuries and a concussion to boot.

The real story here, though, is not Edler, or even Peverley; but the Canucks goaltender, Roberto Luongo. As Edler raced down the ice, with Peverley in front of him, Luongo’s arm was up almost as soon as the two came over the blue line. Edler knew that it was going to be an icing call, but still chose to run Peverley hard into the boards.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through these morons’ heads when they decide to do something as disgusting as that. You can bet your ass that if Peverley suffered a brain injury, was paralyzed, or killed, Edler would be in front of a media scrum the next day, crying about how he never meant to hurt the guy, a-la Todd Bertuzzi. So then why the hell would you do it in the first place?

The only solution to this problem is to institute no-touch icing. Hitting is a big part of ice hockey, and it makes the game thrilling and exciting to watch, but not the type of hits that you see on icing calls. The ones that are just uncomfortable to watch.

No one is a bigger advocate of no-touch icing than Don Cherry; to see the hit, and what ‘Grapes’ had to say about it, click here.

Tim Thomas Flattens Daniel Sedin

"S'cuse me, just gonna get this here, THANK you..."


"Where the next Sedin at!?"


Penalty. Plain and simple.

Kerry Fraser’s article on TSN.ca describes the basics of Rule #69, which is all about goaltender interference. Basically what he says is that people are up in arms because Tim Thomas basically said “You can’t hit me, but I can sure as hell hit you!” and that does seem slightly unfair and one-sided, but unfortunately that is the reality of Rule #69. It absolutely is one-sided protection of goaltenders, and is meant to be that way.

In that case; change the rule, because what Thomas did was ridiculous. A two-minute minor for Unsportsmanlike would have sufficed, and in all honesty he was probably expecting to be penalized. When you’re up 8-1 near the end of the third, you can take a few liberties, especially if it allows you to get inside the heads of your opponents. But Thomas was just spanking Daniel Sedin, and anybody could tell you that what he did was completely unnecessary, not to mention a bit of a cheap shot.

If there is a rule stating players can’t touch the goaltenders, it only makes sense to have it go both ways. There is never a situation where the goalie should play the body and not the puck, and if you watch the replay of the incident (below), Thomas actually did almost get scored on, because his eyes were on Sedin and not the puck, which just barely managed to stay out of the net after clipping Thomas’ skate.

But the series is far from over, and I think tonight Thomas is going to find out that if he wants to dish it out, he’d better be prepared to take it.

No, Jets, No?

Well, everybody and their dog seems to be weighing in on the discussion and debate of what exactly Winnipeg’s new NHL team will be called, and also whether or not True North will decide to keep the original name of the Jets. 

In my opinion, ‘Jets’ is off the table; completely.  When the Drive to 13,000 campaign was first announced this past Tuesday, there wasn’t a widespread opinion that Winnipeg would reach that number of season ticket sales. It certainly wasn’t expected to be as successful as it was, not only selling all 13,000 seats, but doing so in a flash, and essentially doing it twice (over 8,000 on the waiting list, and if you figure each one would buy an average of two seats…).

So you would think that True North would have wanted to do everything in its power to make sure those tickets flew off the table, and announcing the return of the Winnipeg Jets would have definitely increased sales even higher than they were.

The other factor is that True North is saying they have not yet decided on a team name, but are working on it.  Do you really think that if ‘Jets’ was even an option, that they would be discussing it?  I don’t imagine that True North has got ‘Jets’ on one hand and ‘Voyageurs’ on the other and are trying to decide between the two.  ‘Jets’ is the overwhelming favourite, and I have to believe that if it were even a possibility, there would be no question.

So what will the team be callled then?  So many names have been tossed around, some good, some embarrassingly awful.  At first I didn’t want to see anything other than the Jets either, but have gradually become okay with the possibility.  It’s a new chapter of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, and I think a fresh start with a young team like the Trashers is rather suitable for choosing a new name.

If True North decides to go with something new, all I can say is I truly hope I don’t hear any “Go Jets Go!” chants at the games… The name game right now is about more than just a label for our NHL team; it’s about deciding whether or not to revive a legacy and a franchise, or to bury it for good.  And if the latter is chosen, Winnipeg needs to accept that, and embrace the new franchise, not call out our ex’s name while we’re with our new love.

I’m truly excited to hear the announcement of the franchise team name when it comes down (and it should be soon), and even more so to see the logo design, and buy up a ton of merchandise to decorate myself with.  The NHL is back in Winnipeg, and that should be the focus of our excitement, not whether or not True North will revive the moniker of the Winnipeg Jets.  And I daresay that the folks whose enthusiasm rides on whether or not the Jets will fly again, aren’t the type of “fans” I would want to be sitting next to anyways.