Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saving The NHL

With not a whole lot going on in hockey right now, I figured I'd recycle something that I wrote a few years ago.  So here is my plan to save the NHL--slightly revised since it was originally written and very, very much tongue-in-cheek.

Saving the NHL can be done very simply and it would take only a few years to get things back on track.  (I'm thinking ten years, tops, but it could happen much, much sooner.)  The first thing that has to be done is to get Oprah interested in the game. She can then declare to the world how wonderful hockey is. (I can see this happening now that the Hawks won the Cup.)  This will get every suburban soccer-mom on board and hockey will become the fastest growing sport in North America. Within two years, teams will be looking to build new arenas just so they can fit all of the new fans. Of course, she will have to have Bettman as a guest on her show.  {shudder}  (Oprah and Bettman together on TV--the stuff nightmares are made of.)

The year after the new arenas are built, Oprah--that champion of all downtrodden African-Americans--will have a change of heart. She will declare hockey to be a racist sport because of the relative lack of African-American players in the NHL. This will cause the suburban soccer-moms to rethink their love of the sport--after all, if Oprah thinks it’s bad, it must be--and abandon it. Their husbands and children will no longer be allowed to have anything to do with hockey--my gosh! Oprah said it’s bad (remember how she affected the sales of beef!)--and the arenas will become empty. Teams will go bankrupt and shut their doors.  And Bettman would be ousted--preferably, driven out of town after being tarred and feathered.

The only people left watching hockey will be TRUE hockey fanatics! The original six teams--Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Black Hawks--will be stronger than ever and the cities that have the second six teams to come into the league (or wherever they moved to) will re-embrace the game.  At most, teams in 20 cities will be able to keep it together and survive. No one will have to explain the game--as NBC does--and no one will have to defend checking, hard hitting, or fighting anymore. All will be right with the world once again.  And all non-bandwagon fans will rejoice!

Nice, simple, doable.  What more can you want?  I do realize this can't happen, of course--Oprah announced the end of her show, so we just don't have the time span needed for this to take place.  But it  is a nice thought.  How great would it be to only have 20 teams, again?  And in places where people actually understand and love hockey!  Ah, dreams...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Draft

For all who were engrossed by the draft the last couple of days, I say "Good for you."  However, I thought it was about as snooze-worthy as the World Cup.  Too many times in the past, I have watched/paid attention to the draft and been horrified by the attitudes of the draftees.  While the kids usually don't show their true colors too much on the day they are drafted, way too often, down the road, they are shown to have attitudes that are disgusting.  I can't stand athletes who think their shit doesn't stink and who believe the world owes them everything because they can hit a ball, skate, run, etc, etc, etc.  I live and die for hockey, as much as--if not more--than the next person, but I DO realize it is only a game.  And I wish some of these players realize what a privileged life they actually enjoy--and be grateful for it.  (I am talking across every sport now--not just hockey.)  And now I will stop this latest rant, as no one cares, anyway--I just need to vent at times.  :D

I was rather intrigued by the Wings fourth pick, however.  Of course, I got very interested because he is a Finn, first and foremost.  But, his name, Teemu Pulkkinen, jumped out at me very, very much.  As a young girl, we had neighbors with the last name of Pulkkinen--and the daughter was a friend of mine.  I am not sure how common of a name Pulkkinen is in Finland, but it would be interesting to know if he is related to those I know.  (As an aside, there are Filppulas 'back home', also--and I don't believe they are related to Baby Boy.  But then, Finland is such a small country that I'm sure there IS a connection somehow.)  Considering how high he was supposed to be drafted, it will be interesting to see how well he does.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

And Now Hockey...

There are very few places where I can go, things I can read, shows I can watch, that don't have a political bend or agenda.  Hockey has, for the most part, been one of the only activities I can enjoy without being bombarded with politics.  And this is politics from EVERY spectrum--the stuff I agree with and the stuff I loathe.  Until now.

The Stanley Cup will be in the Chicago gay pride parade this weekend.  And there are two reasons--in my opinion--for this.  First, it is the Blackhawk organization's way of 'apologizing' to the gay community for someone writing 'he's gay' under Pronger's name on their whiteboard.  This, of course, was an embarrassment for the team and ownership.  The parade appearance is a way of 'showing' that there is no homophobia in the organization.  And secondly, this is just another group jumping on the 'gay is okay' bandwagon.  Let's face it, we hear this message day in and day out--and have for a few years now.  I don't see this entire thing as showing just how tolerant the Blackhawks are, just shows that they know how to try and appease those who yell the loudest.

I am not just opposed to the Cup being in the gay pride parade.  I would be just as upset, and find it just as disagreeable, if it made an appearance at a pro-life rally, or a pro-choice event.  The Cup has no business being at a defense of marriage march OR a same-sex marriage march.  I don't want to see the Cup at the Democrat OR Republican national conventions.  Can't we have SOMETHING that has nothing to do with politics or political agendas?  Can't we all come together and enjoy an event, no matter where we fall on the political spectrum?  I was hoping that hockey could be the one place where we ONLY fight and disagree over which team is the best.  I guess I was just being naive.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Tattoos and The Winged Wheel

As long as I keep this blog, I might as well post something.  While I don't have much to say about hockey, I will try to have some reference to it in my posts.

Ever since I first saw a tattoo, I wanted one.  I don't remember who had the first one I saw, or what it was, I only know I thought it was really cool.  I would imagine the person/s who had tattoos when I was younger were either vets or bikers--neither group good role models for a small town girl as I was.  Of course, I instinctively knew not to mention my love of tattoos--that would have gone over like a fart in church with The Mother.  But I thought 'some day.'

As a young married, we lived a couple of blocks from a tattoo artist.  This would have been a great opportunity for me to indulge, but I didn't.  While more people were getting tattoos at the time, the majority were still vets or 'people of a lower class' or 'outlaws.'  I do think the fact that most people who had tattoos were 'dangerous' was part of the appeal they had for me--I always wanted to be a 'bad girl' but never achieved it.  And at this time, I still worried about what The Mother would say--I still didn't  know that I could live my own life and not have to answer to her.

Finally, after The Youngest graduated, I decided on my first tattoo.  I actually have her to thank for this--she got one first and that gave me the nerve to get one.   I must say, though, that it was very much to my advantage to wait as long as I did to get my first tattoo.  I had enough time to think about it and decided on something that had a great deal of meaning for me and that I won't tire of at any time.  (It is a Star of David surrounding a cross.)  If I would have gotten one when I was younger, I have no idea what I would be stuck with--maybe the Pink Panther, for all I know.

I waited about six years before getting another tat--and then I got three in a short amount of time.  (One is a Trinity knot, one is the symbol for infinity, and one is ten dots in the shape of a star.)  Again, I put a lot of thought into what I wanted.  Each one of my tattoos has a significant meaning for me and I won't tire of them no matter how old I get.  All of my tats are on my lower arms, so the only time they aren't seen is if I wear long sleeves.  (The star is on the back of my hand, so only gloves cover that one.)  I figured, if I get some ink, I might as well let the world know it's there.  ;)

It has been said that getting tattoos is addicting.  I don't think that--but HAVING tattoos is addicting for me.  The 'getting' part is not fun.  The pain is quite extensive.  When the artist draws the tat, it feels as if he is using a scalpel and slicing at your flesh.  The shading/coloring doesn't hurt nearly as much, but that is quite a relative thing--after the outlining is done, I don't think ANYTHING could hurt as much.  Yet, I have done this four times--and I'm considering a fifth.

Here is where the hockey bit comes in.  I have toyed with the idea of getting a winged wheel tattoo.  I would LOVE to have one.  I don't believe I will get one, though.  And the only problem is the color.  Fact:  If someone is going to have a reaction to an ink, it probably will be a RED ink.  I have sensitive skin, so I really hesitate to put myself in the position of possibly having a reaction.  And I have seen a winged wheel that was JUST the outline in black--sorry, but it looked very sad.  So, if I ever get a fifth tat, I don't think it will be anything associated with the Red Wings.  I mean really, how can you NOT have the color red in a Red Wing tattoo?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And He's Back...

As anyone who glances at Red Wing news knows, Bertuzzi was signed for a two-year stint in Detroit.  Is there anyone that can cause more division among fans than this guy?  I don't know what news could come that would generate more comments than this.  Fans really like him or really hate him--very little black and white here.  And then there's me...

I am one of the few who actually is very neutral about Bertuzzi.  He has his good games and he has his bad--but what it all boils down to is 'average.'  I can't say much more than that.  Maybe the security will help him step up his game--and if he can possibly get his legal woes taken care of, he might be able to do very good things the next two seasons.  Again, as always, time will tell.

Of course, the biggest (only?) reason people hate Bert is BECAUSE of what caused his legal troubles.  I don't think anyone would argue that what he did was wrong and utterly despicable.  And this will follow him for the rest of his life.  But, he made a mistake and it's time to let it go a little.  There should be a settlement and Bert should be allowed to get back to living--that burden of his should lessen.  I would imagine he goes to sleep thinking about what happened and wakes up with it as his first thought--he suffers.  (And some would say, "as he should.")  However, there has to be a time when he can put it aside.  Even MURDERERS can get paroled.  Hopefully, this will get taken care of sooner rather than later, but I doubt it.  Does ANYTHING get done in a timely manner when lawyers are involved?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's Try Another Finn

Every time I shut down the computer because of a thunder storm, news happens.  Last night's big news was the signing of Ilari Filppula by the Wings.  Yes, my Baby Boy's big brother is coming to the States.  This could very well be an interesting situation.

Okay, I see the family resemblance, but he will NEVER take the place of my Baby Boy in my heart.  ;)  And that's fine--all I want is for him to play well.  Time will tell...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I'm still not completely sure I'm going to continue with this blog.  I don't feel as if I have any new or insightful things to say--at least not anything that can't be found elsewhere.  But, until I decide, I should keep this up to date.

So, the Blackhawks won the Cup.  Whoop-de-fricking-do.  Although I knew it would happen some day--as it did with The Boy--Kane is getting his name on the Cup.  Three of the past four years an absolute travesty has been done with Pronger, The Boy, and now Kane having their names inscribed on the Stanley Cup.  I could just cry.  But I am most upset about Kane because he is such an embarrassment--the epitome of a spoiled brat athlete.  I'm STILL not over the fact that he got less than a slap on the wrist for his 'antics' last summer.  I just cannot stand how the privileged get away with shit like that.  But I guess that's the way it is...

I didn't watch much hockey after the Wings were eliminated.  Don't get me wrong, if there was a game on, I usually had the TV tuned in, I just didn't pay much attention or listen.  That doesn't mean I was totally ignorant of what went on, however.  And I have opinions...

I'm so happy we will/should be done with hearing about Hossa and his not being able to win the Cup.  Several people have opined that he will be looking for a new team now that he finally has what he's wanted.  Interesting.  And it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he DOESN'T play out his contract with Chicago.  So far, he hasn't shown any desire to be loyal to a team, so time will tell.

I couldn't decide if I was more annoyed or amused by Kopecky.  He kept coming off like he thought he was some big shot.  Does he really think so much of himself?  I actually didn't think he was THAT good during the playoffs, was he?  It will be interesting to see whether he will follow Hossa when he leaves Chicago--if he's still around the entire time Hossa is.  I think Kopecky will just fade away in the next few years, never to be heard from again.

The player that I was most confused by was Leino.  While he was with the Wings, I was one of his biggest supporters--especially when he would give interviews and come off as a bit of an asshole.  Now I'm wondering if I was wrong about him.  His interviews as the playoffs went on didn't do him any favors, that's for sure.  He really came off as whiny and carrying a grudge against the Red Wing organization.  I hope I'm wrong and he still is being misunderstood--because of English being his second language and Finns aren't always easy to understand, etc--but I'm beginning to wonder if it really is so.  (I have relatives in Finland who I communicate with and THEIR English isn't as good as Leino's, but we still understand each other.)  I'm afraid I gave Leino the benefit of the doubt when maybe I shouldn't have.  It will be interesting to see how he plays next year, but I have a feeling he won't be universally loved in Philly by the end of the season.

I really wonder if there is going to be that big of an OMG thing happening with the Hawks in terms of players they will/won't be signing.  About this time last year, everyone was so sure the Penguins would be decimated because of the salary cap, but that doesn't seem to have been the case.  Sure, they didn't get as far into the playoffs as they had the two years previous, but they weren't at the bottom of the heap, either.  Any Penguin hater was so sure--and I was among them--that they would crash and burn this year, but it didn't happen.  So, I won't be surprised--despite the fact that quite a few players will have to go--if the Hawks make things extremely uncomfortable for the Wings this next season.  I think they will be able to work something out and the Wings and Hawks will spend the entire season fighting over the number one spot in the division, if not the conference.

Next year's Wings won't be much different than last year's.  Lebda and Williams will be gone--thank goodness--but there doesn't seem to be any new faces coming in.  With all the players healthy--from my lips to God's ears--the team should be good.  And I can't wait for the season to start.  Is this summer ever going to end?

Friday, June 4, 2010


I am already done with this hockey season--actually, I have been done for quite a while.  I accept that the Hawks will probably win the Cup and that Kane's name will be on it.  And I know that I will live.  After all, I lived through Pronger and the Piece of Shit getting their names on it, so I will get through this, too.  I managed to avoid seeing pictures or video of the Piece of Shit raising the Cup last year--well, for the most part--and I will avoid seeing Kane do the same.  All of my efforts and thoughts these days are going towards next season.  And I'm very okay with that.