Monday, August 30, 2010

My Ears Are Hurting Already

We are just weeks away from the start of the season and I already dread having to listen to announcers completely and totally butcher Finnish names.*  Now, I'm not saying I do a great job on pronunciation when it comes to some languages--frankly, I don't think I have EVER pronounced a French word or name properly--but I don't get paid like announcers do.  I must say that most announcers are doing quite a good job with 'Filppula,' but they still don't have a clue about 'Valtteri.'  Obviously, the reason this bothers me so much is because I am Finn and don't have to think twice about how to pronounce these names--well, at least MOST of the time.  I really have a hard time with 'Teemu Selanne.'  Still, it amazes me that Finnish names are so difficult for most people, because the rules aren't all that difficult.

I don't, by any means, want to imply that Finnish is an easy language--far from it.  But, the extremely simplified rules to pronouncing words/names are quite easy to follow.  And here goes:

--Every letter in the Finnish language is always pronounced the same way--every single time.
--Every letter is pronounced in all words--no silent letters.
--The first syllable of a word is the one that is stressed--with secondary stress on the third/fourth syllable in longer words.

Of course, there are some exceptions, but if these rules are followed, the chance of pronouncing a word properly--or very close--is quite good.  I wish that the hockey announcers would learn--and use--these rules.  But, if they don't want to learn the rules, they can always go here and LISTEN to the proper way to pronounce the names.

*I will, to a certain extent, excuse the mispronunciation of Finnish names by non-Finns.  However, there is NEVER an excuse to pronounce the word 'sauna' wrong.  NEVER!  I WILL turn mean if I hear this pronounced incorrectly.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Like the majority of hockey fans--at least those of us in the USA--I get most of my hockey news on the interwebs.  Gone are the days when I was able to go to the nearest newsstand and buy at least TWO hockey publications per week.  But at this time of year--as long as I'm somewhere that actually CARRIES hockey mags--I'm able to get a bunch of magazines that will preview the coming season.  And I read every one of them--for better or for worse.  This week, I'm reading The Hockey News yearbook. 

It amuses me to read the lists of 'what team will end the season where'--especially the way these mags have been SO wrong in the past.  Obviously, these lists are done 'by committee' and I'm sure personal opinions come into play when picks are made.  After all, these ARE just human beings doing the lists, so personal favorites would HAVE to be part of the decision making process.  And for the most part, that is why the different mags will come up with different results.  And this year, The Hockey News has decided that the Vancouver Canucks will win the Stanley Cup.  AND that Detroit will be third in the west.  AND that Pittsburgh is quite strong--and will place second in the east.  AND that Chicago might have lost a lot, but is still an elite team that will be in the mix for defending their title.  Whatever.  As I said, I read these mostly for amusement--and then I read them halfway through the season and again at the end of the season, just so I can laugh at how wrong the predictions were.

The one thing from all of these magazines that DOES bother me, however, are their 'Top {insert number here}' lists.  The Hockey News has their Top 50 players and, of course, I take exception with the position of some of the players.  As a Red Wing fan, I can't believe that Datsyuk is a #4.  Or Lidstrom is #17.  Or Zetterberg is #22.  AND that they are the only Wings to make the list.  But, I AM biased.  ;)

Of course, #1 and #2 are Crosby and Ovechkin.  Everyone can be grateful that I am not a GM, because I would never have either one of these guys on my team.  I WILL admit that they are talented, but I couldn't be a GM because I look at players too emotionally and not as to how well they play.  Crosby wouldn't be on my team because--well, he's CROSBY!  We all know the reasons to hate him.  And I really don't like Ovechkin.  And the reason?  I think Ovechkin is the complete stereotypical, over-the-top athlete that people point to when they say why they hate sports.  While some people say he is good for the sport because he adds excitement--much like some feel about Sean Avery--I am very old-fashioned and enjoy the low-key, humble, typical hockey player.  Something Ovechkin would NEVER be accused of being.  But enough of this.

I know that The Hockey News got input from "GMs, pro scouts and analysts," but I still don't understand why some of these players made the list.  I guess I don't know HOW they picked some of these players as the best "right here and right now" with comments about them such as this: 

"his scoring totals and plus-minus took a serious dip last season"

"he a disaster in his own end and his playoff performance has been seriously lacking"

"...reputation has taken a beating...largely due to his inability at key moments"

" the team "had to put out an APB on him during the playoffs...and he sometimes has tunnel vision when it comes to offensive play...has the skill to become an elite NHL goal-scorer" but "does he have the will to do it?"

"you just wish he'd get a little more...involved"

The Hockey News measured the "on-ice contributions" of the players in order to decide who made this list.  "...future potential and, to a lesser extent, past performance" were factors in rating the "best players going into the 2010-11 season."  If past performance isn't going to be the BIGGEST factor in deciding the best players, how did they factor in on-ice contributions?  It just isn't computing for me.  But again, these are JUST human beings making the list, so bias will DEFINITELY be present.

Of course, I have no suggestion as to how these lists SHOULD be made.  You could always put all of the info into a computer and have a list made in a simple, logical manner, but we ALL know that statistics aren't the only factors in deciding great players.  And the longer I watch hockey, I see this more and more clearly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

X-Files, et al

More proof that the off-season is too long and much too boring...

I believe in conspiracies.*  I don't always know the 'why' of a conspiracy, I just know they exist.  I am convinced that if we knew the things our government hides from us, then Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Rubicon would be considered documentaries and not fiction.  (I would add Men in Black to the list, but I'm afraid someone would call the men in the white jackets to come take me away.)  And now I have a new conspiracy to add to my list.

Many Red Wing fans--myself included--got peeved when Modano waited so long to decide on whether he would sign with Detroit, or not.  After the word came out that he WAS coming to the Wings, some things were said that made me believe there was a reason he waited--namely, there was an agreement between him and the organization to keep quiet for a month.  I really believe he told Holland the day after was wined and dined, that he would sign on for at least one more year.  But, for one reason or another, he was asked to NOT say a word about it till August.  And I think I have a couple of examples that back my opinion.  First, he was so adamant that there would be no news until after 5 August, but he 'broke' the story himself a couple of days early.  Okay, so that's a bad example.  I guess what really did it for me was reading (I don't know WHERE) that he was already leaking the news to different people at least two weeks earlier--and everyone who was told was sworn to secrecy.  This is enough to prove to me that there was a conspiracy.  And if you don't agree, BITE ME!  I'm bored and need to come up with SOMETHING to write about.  :D

*Sue me--I lived through Watergate, so I believe in conspiracies!  :D

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pissing Off Women

I'm not 100% sure why so many women got pissed off when they saw the newest jerseys the NHL is offering for sale, but I, for one, don't like them because they are ugly.  Period.  I've never quite understood the bejeweled clothing--except for my 'The Bitch Is Back' T-shirt*--so these jerseys would never be on my 'must have' list.  When I have ever made a purchase from, I've always gone straight to the 'men's' section, so I probably would never even have SEEN these if it wasn't for all the talk today.

I read a lot of comments from women about how much these types of clothes denigrate and insult women. A lot of women think that all these items show a lack of understanding of what women really want.  Not every woman--okay, very FEW women--want clothes like this.  And I think that's where the biggest problem is:  this is more of a male 'fantasy' about what women want than what we actually DO want.  When I went to the 'women's' section at, I was quite horrified by the majority of clothes they had to offer for women.  Frankly, most of what was there should be marketed only for those young women who haven't reached their 14th birthdays--you know, the tween-aged, Twilight-loving, middle schoolers who are into glittery stuff.  But most intelligent, mature (NOT old, mature) women by-pass stuff like this.  (Unless they want to find their pictures on People of Walmart--but I digress.)

Would this have been such a big deal if it wasn't the off-season and not much is happening in the hockey world?  Probably not.  Of course, there will always be someone who is offended by any slight--real or perceived--so this might not have flown under the radar.  But I think this will blow over quite quickly.  One thing that might NOT die down so fast--or will be remembered later--are some of the comments men made during this.  There were men who just cannot believe that any woman could possibly be offended by the implication of these jerseys:  that women are air-headed puck bunnies that like all things bright and shiny and form fitting.  And the fact that there is not even an attempt to understand how offensive this is, is what upsets a lot of women.  Just as quite a few people don't understand why I--a stay-at-home--cannot abide someone asking me if I "work or just stay at home," and why anyone would find this offensive and demeaning.  Oh, well.  But, as I said, this too shall pass.

Hopefully, this has shown the NHL that there are women who are unhappy about the selections we have to choose from when it comes to team clothing made for us.  And, hopefully, someone in marketing will see this as an opportunity to get some stuff that can be sold to those of us who never even dreamed of owning a Bedazzler!  One can only hope...

*And considering I bought the shirt in the Elton John store in Las Vegas, it HAD to have sparkles on it.  :D

Monday, August 2, 2010

Can't It PLEASE Be October Already?

It really hit me as to how much I miss hockey--and how boring life is without it.  When I was grocery shopping tonight, I had to stop myself from squealing like a little girl when I saw Golden Grahams on the shelf.  When finding a box of Golden Grahams is the most excitement you have had in your life for some time, then it is more than time for hockey to begin again.


I want to be absolutely giddy over all of the dire news that has been coming out of Chicago this summer.  I want to laugh, cheer, and celebrate their loss of players and salary problems.  I want to shout from the rooftops that they will not be contenders this season--that this past year was a small bump in the road and they won't be successful for another long, long time.  I want to, but I can't.  My pessimism won't let me.  I'm just too worried that the players they WILL have will rally and prove every one of the doom-and-gloomers wrong--that they will actually be a team to be reckoned with.  Of course, time will tell, but until then, I will worry.