Friday, October 19, 2012

Come Out and Play: A Lockout Will Keep Em' Separated

Today, the NHL announced that it will cancel games through November 1st and as a fan of the NHL, I really wonder what the hell are they thinking?  The NHL last season had one of its best if not the best season based on revenue in its history.  Instead of building on this new found fame, Gary Bettman and the owners decided it would be best to lockout the players for the fourth time in Bettman's reign.  Now I have found myself pissed off at Gary Bettman, but as I continue to reflect on the situation, you have to realize that his sole movitation in this process is to please the owners.  He has no commitment to the fans, and he has no reason to tell the players to come out and play like Offspring did in the early 90's.

Gary Bettman said, that the last offer was the best that the NHL could give the players.  Really, Bettman, the problem with that statement is that the owners really are not giving up anything.  Basically, they made a silly decision in 2004, giving the players 57% of the revenue, and now they want to renig.  This is not euchre though and the NHLPA is not that stupid.  Bettman comes out with this 50-50 split and just assumes that the players will cave in, and now that the players don't, he can only sit there and pout.  It has become really childish at this point.

Its really hard to say how much longer this will go on, but the NHL and the NHLPA do not have anymore talks scheduled right now.  I would not be totally surprised if the season was cancelled.  Either way, the NHL will still get 200 million dollars from NBC as part of the TV contract.  I just wish that they would throw the fans a little bit of a bone, and apologize for whats going on.  Gary Bettman would never do that because for one he looks like Gargamel from the Smurfs and two he is the worst commission of the major sports in the USA.  He is banking on the fact that hockey fans will just come crawling back, no respect.

Because Alexander the Great looks better in a Russian jersey.
You know its too bad that the fans just cannot get rid of the commissioner, Gary Bettman.  Like I said before, he has been in charge for the 4 lockouts in the last 20 years.  He gets booed every single time he brings out the Stanley Cup.  He is worst then a dictator that you cannot get rid of, because the owners love him.  Maybe if he was a little more open to negotiating and not running away when he does not get what he wants, maybe we would be playing hockey right now.  Seasons in the Sun is not a fan of Bettman if you cannot tell, hahaha.

The other problem that needs to be explained is that the players in the NHL can go to Europe and be paid very well to play hockey.  You usually do not see this in other sports during a lockout, its not like NBA players going to Italy to play basketball, its Russian hockey players going back to Russia which is a hockey powerhouse to play their sport.  I think sometimes being in the US we forget how much Russia loves its hockey.  I assure you the Russians will pay Alex Ovechkin much more in a lockout then the Italians will pay Kobe Bryant in an NBA lockout.

Another problem, preventing a quick come and out play NHL hockey is the fact that the NHL has burned many bridges with ESPN and therefore ESPN is not really covering the lockout that much here in the states.  This all started when the NHL asked for too much from ESPN, so the NHL ended up on VS., and at the time no one had VS.  VS. has since been bought out and re-branded into the NBC Sports Network.  ESPN has even gone as far to spite the NHL by showing KHL games.  The KHL is the Russian professional hockey league.

If you remember when the NFL went into its lockout, there was 24/7 coverage on ESPN.  The coverage was so much that it created a public outcry for the lockout to end.  The lockout ended much faster then the NHL lockout this year has, and it keeps going.  You have to wonder maybe if the NHL did not burn the bridges with ESPN, that it might help the NHL get the players and the owners back to the table, talking.  The NFL was able to end their lockout quite quickly and get their seasons back on track, but that is not what is going on in the NHL.  Oh, the drama.

In conclusion, at some point cooler heads have to prevail, right?  How many more games have to be lost for both sides to realize, you know what, we might be in the wrong?  I just know it seems like Gary Bettman is shutting the door down on the talks before they really get started.  They are putting the players in a hard place because Bettman is acting like this is the best deal, when that is really questionable.  I hope they start playing soon because I really do not want to watch a Tigers vs. Cardinals World Series instead.  Detroit Sucks, Detroit Sucks, Detroit Sucks. hahahaha, what a closing lol.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rick Nash: The Eulogy

Rick Nash - For Sale
Sadly, the cornerstone of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash was traded to the New York Rangers a couple of days ago.  I have spent the last two or three days reflecting on what I wanted to write, and trying to be optimistic in a situation that makes me really depressed.  He has been hands down, the best player on the team since I started really rooting for the Blue Jackets.  Some people have said that he has not done enough, I think that is funny, really.  It is rather hard to do much when you have to carry not only the flag but the entire team on your back.

As I was reflecting and thinking about how this eulogy for Rick Nash, far and away my favorite player on the Blue Jackets, there was one quote that kept coming to mind:
"There's still hope in one. Life as we once knew it is dead, pick up the pieces, saying goodbye has never been so hard." - Inhale/Exhale, a song called Redemption.
Inhale/Exhale's album featuring Redemption
Now I am sure I have taken this quote wildly out of context but for what I am trying to convey to said reader here is we have to believe that somehow this ship that is the Columbus Blue Jackets will go on.  Nash was the face of the franchise and that is over, its time for someone else to step up and take over.  Whomever that someone is, has some pretty big shoe, or skates is probably the better word, to fill.  Let's face it, given the opportunity one on one, Rick Nash is pretty dam good.

I think the biggest question for the Columbus Blue Jackets will be who will be the next captain?  This is another question I have been kicking around in my head for a couple of days.  I am going to be honest, I am not sure if anyone on the current roster is ready to be a captain in the NHL.  I think the best approach for the team would be to have 3 assistant captains, as opposed to 2 assistants and 1 true captain.  I believe if by mid-season someone has really stepped up, then make them the captain.  Nash's void creates much uncertainty for me on this topic.

I have also been fearing that this might be the beginning of the end of the franchise.  Let's be realistic with ourselves for one moment, this is the 12th season and the Columbus Blue Jackets have no playoff wins to show for.  They have only been to the playoffs one time.  The Hartford Whalers had been to, and won playoff series in the 1980s and early 1990s but they were still shipped away to Carolina.  I have to be honest with you when I think of the Columbus Blue Jackets future, I get really nervous.

Since we brought up the Hartford Whalers let's talk more about how this situation with Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets could possibly mirror the Hartford situation.  In the 12th year of the Hartford Whalers, 1991, traded Ron Francis, at the time one of the best players on the team was traded to the Pen-goons, and the same year the Pen-goons won the cup.  In the 12th year of the Columbus Blue Jackets, traded Jeff Carter, at the time of the best players on the team,  he went to the Kings, and in the same season, the Kings won the cup.

One trade that is all you have? Nah, the Hartford Whalers also traded away fan favorite and goal scorer, Kevin Dineen.  Oh, wait Rick Nash is a also a fan favorite and a goal scorer.  By the time Dineen was actually traded back to the Hartford Whalers, it was too late.  Dineen would score the final goal in Whalers history.  Will Rick Nash be sent to a similar fate?  We should mention that Dineen's final season was spent with no other then the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Also, in this eulogy and rant and rave or whatever you want to call it, it would be remiss if we did not talk about the GM Mr. Howson.  Howson as we all know, when we write his eulogy, hopefully coming soon, we will remember him as the man that threw Rick Nash, the franchise, under the bus.  Howson has done many many curious things in his career as the GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and there is no way in this life or the next that I will be able to understand them.  I just hope that at some point in his life, he apologizes to Rick Nash for the way this has all been handled.

To fully understand how bad Howson is for the NHL and the Columbus Blue Jackets, this is part of the press conference when he announces the Nash trade:
"We were not going to get a deal done until we got proper value. And that happened to occur today." - Howson
"The components of this deal were available at the deadline and again at the draft.  Was this true? - Darren Dreger, TSN
"I'd have to check my notes." - Howson
Are you serious Howson? I'll have to check my notes is best response you can come up with to a yes/no question.  All 3 of the players that the Rangers sent to the Blue Jackets were all on the Rangers' roster since last year.  The Rangers had the draft pick that was in the trade before, and after the draft.  No offense to Howson because I am sure he is a smart guy, I mean he is running an NHL team, but you look like an idiot when you say these kind of things.  Be honest, if you did not throw Nash under the bus you might not of had to trade him.

Unfortunately, that is not what happened, the only thing we can do, is carry what's left of the flag this season.  Hopefully, the team will play better then last year.  They have better defense-men than the past 5 or 6 years combined.  I think we need to wish Rick Nash well, because he is a great player and deserves a real shot at the cup.  I am not sure when the Columbus Blue Jackets will have a real shot, but I think we need to just keep hoping, like a Chicago Cubs fan, that one day, one day, my friends, it will be our turn to skate around with the Cup.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quick-ly Turning Heads in L.A.

For the first time in the 45 year history of the L.A. Kings, they have won Lord Stanley's cup.  A city dominated by filmmakers and the Lakers alike, but for one night hockey reigned supreme.  This Kings team did something even "The Great One" could not do in L.A., and they were led by their young goaltender, Jonathan Quick.

Jonathan Quick, who has only been in the NHL for 4 seasons, has quickly rose up the ladder of brilliant goal tenders.  This year was by far his best season in the NHL.  He led the league with 10 shutouts over the regular season.  His 1.95 goals against average was only second in the league.  Finally, he had a .929% save percentage that ranked fifth in the league this year.

You might wonder how a goalie, someone that does not score goals could be the most important player on his team.  Think about this, your goalie is out there for the entire game, other players are out there taking 1 to 2 minute shifts and then skating off.  On average, forwards and centers only play 20 to 25 minutes in a game, and defense-men 25 to 30 minutes.  So, at best some of your other favorite players might only be on the ice for 30% to 50% of the game.  The goalie might be the most important position in all of sports.

Jonathan Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs was definitely the most important player for the Kings.  He was not only playing a high level in the regular season but he seemed to step it up in the playoffs.  He led the league in the playoffs with a 1.41 goals against average, that was down .5 from the regular season.  He also led the league with a . 946% save percentage which was also an improvement.  Combine his 16 wins with 3 more shut-outs and you have a bullet proof resume for a Conn Smythe winner.

Not only was this an important win for the LA Kings and Jonathan Quick, this was a great win for hockey in California.  The sport is rapidly growing in the So. Cal. area, and this will only help more people become aware of the game.  Quick is only the 3rd American to win the Conn Smythe, this win for LA could pave the way for more kids from America and from California to get interested in hockey.  In fact, it was only a couple of years ago, when the NHL finally had someone drafted in the first round from California.

This is definitely a big win for hockey in LA.  Its not something that will over-take the Lakers in a single day or a single year.  It will remind a non-traditional hockey city of how it once came together, sort of like when America came together when the US National Team beat the Russian.  Casual fans will be able to look back and feel like they were a part of history.  They witness the first Stanley Cup in L.A., and how quickly their heads were turned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Return of the Big Red Machine

The science people say things at rest like to stay at rest, and the things in motion like to stay in motion.  Before the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s became the Big Red Machine of Major League Baseball there was another Big Red Machine from a place that most Americans feared in the 1960s, mother Russia.  If I was to write this article say 50 years ago, I would probably be arrest and tried for treason.  This Big Red Machine, ruled the world of hockey from the 1950s to the early 1990s, the question is, are they retooled and headed back to unstoppable?

If you are not familiar with the success, no success is not the word, domination of what was the C.C.C.P. men's hockey team, you are not familiar with world hockey at all.  This article might better explain to you why the American's upset at Lake Placid in 1980 was the biggest hockey, no the biggest upset of all time, in any sport.  While, Russia did not invent hockey, they took hockey to a level that had not been seen before in world competition.

The reign of the Big Red Machine began with their first goal medal in the Olympic Games of 1954.  They had won the World Championships of 1952 but there is nothing like getting the first goal medal for your country.  They would take bronze in 1960 but that would be the lowest medal they would receive for the next 34 years, with the failure at Lillehammer in 1994.  Outside of the silver at Lake Placid in 1980, the Russians won gold every Winter Olympics up until 1994 (In 1992, they become the Unified Team after the fall of communism).

The Big Red Machine was not only an Olympic Dynasty, they own 22 World Championships from 1954 to 1990.  They only lost 6 times in the Olympics from 1954 to 1992.  Their record overall was 738-110-65, which is rather unbelievable.  Like all great things, things had to come to an end at some point, the end of the Big Red Machine can be tied to the end of communism, and the freeing of Russian states such as the Ukraine.

Like I said earlier, the team now referred to as Russia in 1994 did not medal at the Olympics, they also did not medal at the World Championships.  The frustration for Russia would continue as they did not medal in the World Championship again until 2002.  This included an embarrassing 11th place showing when the World Championships were held in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The Olympic team also failed to capture the gold, settling for a silver in 1998, and a bronze in 2002.  They have failed to medal in the last two Winter Games in 2006, and 2010.

Things are starting to look up though for the Russian team.  In 2008, and 2009, they won the World Championships.  Just within the last week they won the 2012 World Championship, going 10-0 and just destroying the Slovakian in the final.  They had so much offense that the Slovakian were holding on for dear life.  This returned their IIHF international ranking back to number one.  Probably returning the ranking to #1 for the first time since the early 1990s.  They are starting to play like the Big Red Machine of the C.C.C.P.

The Russians have a wealth of young talent, much of it plays in the KHL (Russian Professional Hockey) but the big names are in the NHL.  They have Malkin from the Pen-goons which we have talked about in great length, in the blog entitled Mr. Malkin's Penguins.  They also have Alexander the Great, #8, one of the greatest offensive players in the NHL.  They also have Pavel Datsyuk from the Red Wongs.  As much as it pains my very bones to say it, he is a great player.

So, they have the leading points getter in the NHL in Malkin, they have one of the greatest set of hands in hockey, Datsyuk, and they have one of the most electric players in Alexander the Great; how can you compete with this?  If they are on their game, there is no beating the Russians.  Watch because the next Winter Olympics are in Sochi, that's mother Russia if you did not know.  This could be the beginning to getting the Big Red Machine rolling again.  Watch out Canada! hahaha.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hockeytown, U.S.A.

And what playoff are the Sacramento Kings in?
It's somewhat funny to me how these non-traditional hockey markets react when there team is in the playoffs.  The stadiums are finally full for the first time all season, and people in said area act like they have been a fan all along.  Now granted every team has its hardcore following, and I definitely do not want to take anything away from them, but some one needs to tell the local media in certain cities to wake up.

In Los Angeles and Miami, two very non-traditional hockey towns have had a little problem with their graphics during news telecasts.  First, in Miami, the Florida Panthers logo was replaced in one story by the logo for Florida International University.  Now luckily for the news station, Florida International's mascot is also a Panther so it did not look so far out of place.  Now on the other hand, a news station in Los Angeles showing a graphic for all their teams in the respective playoffs put a Sacramento Kings logo in place of the LA Kings logo.  Nice going graphics teams.
FIU beats New Jersey in NHL Playoffs haha

I guess I should be happy that the media is at least covering hockey in the two respective cities.  Given the fact that both teams in Miami and LA, have and are still having terrific years.  Let's be honest LA has not been this hyped about the LA Kings since "The Great One" showed up.  The Kings have been playing terrific hockey, and the addition of Jeff Carter has really helped them on the scoring side.  In Miami, they hired our beloved Kevin Dineen and he took them to the playoffs for the first time since the 1990s.  They also got their first playoff wins since the 1990s.

Wins in the playoffs have also been hard to come by for the LA Kings.  Though this year with the emergence of Jonathan Quick, a goalie playing out of his mind, the Kings have to be feeling extremely well about their chances to win the cup.  Quick has had a career year, basically coming out of no-where like his opponent Mike Smith in the Western Conference Finals.  They say that hot goal-tending is a key to the playoffs, and that has not been truer then in the Western Conference this year.

Over in the Eastern Conference, a team given little hope to win their conference, the Florida Panthers, like Quick just seemed to come out of nowhere.  The Panthers won the Southeastern Conference ahead of the heavily favored Washington Capitals.   The team is not full of star players but instead of NHL journeymen that have won Stanley Cups before.  John Madden, Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky were all on the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup team.  After the fire sale in Chicago, it appears the Panthers made out quite well.
The Miracle on Ice, USA defeats the Russians

I believe there are two really good stories going on in Miami and LA, especially for hockey.  I also believe that sometimes it is hard for Americans to get behind hockey.  We are a proud people and we do not like to finish second or third or fourth.  Globally, we have never really dominated hockey like say basketball, or American Football.  I truely believe that if somehow, the US hockey team started to dominate the world, that there might be an increased surge in hockey.

I know this time of year is hard for people in traditional hockey cities, like Quebec City or Hartford because they know if they had their team back, it would be absolute bedlam.  I think they can take solace in the fact that yeah, we do not have a team but at least we are still relevant to the hockey conservation.  Hartford has to be excited that their man, Kevin Dineen, took the Panthers franchise over and took them back to hockey's promise land.

So, in the effort of fairness, I leave you tonight with NBC 4's apology to the LA Kings for leaving them out of the picture.

P.S. Notice when he says, "over my shoulder," he points over the wrong shoulder with his sharpie.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Seasons in the Sun's Favorite Sports Movies

We thought it would be fun to discuss some of our favorite sports movies, since both my teams (Blackhawks and Bulls) playoff runs have not gone as planned this year.  We will go sport by sport, giving you some insight to our favorite.  We will also list some honorable mentions for each sport, so if we forget your favorite movie or did not think it was the best, don't take it personally.  If you do not agree with us on something make a ridiculous comment after you read this amazing piece of American Literature.


Field of Dreams - There is really no stopping this movie, an epic tail about one man's journey to find himself.  Some people might describe it as a mid-life crisis because he did plow into his major crop to build a baseball diamond in the middle of Iowa.  There are so many great quotes from the movie, I could really go on and on about them.  I really think that people get too busy with things in their lives, and some times forget their dreams but Ray, really did something unthinkable, and got unbelievable support from his wife.  It is a great story, that reminds us of what was once good and could be again.

Honorable Mentions: Rookie of the Year, The Sandlot, The Natural, and Eight Men Out.


Rudy - Even though we cannot stand Notre Dame, Rudy has to be one of the best if not best football movies ever made.  It follows the real life story about a man that did not have the grades to make it to Notre Dame, but through hard, bitter work he realizes his dream, and his fathers dream of going to Notre Dame.  He kills himself every day in practice for the Notre Dame football team, trying to make it to dress just one time for his father.  He goes through absolute hell, and finally gets to play in the last game of his senior year.  He was the only player in Notre Dame history to be carried off the field.  Another really good story, about believing in your dream, and going for it against all odds.

Honorable Mentions: The Blindside, We Are Marshall, Necessary Roughness, and The Program.


Finding Forrester - This might be an underdog winner, with people's minds set on Hoosiers or something else but I've always found Finding Forrester to be a great movie.  The story is about a kid in the inter-city, who through playing Basketball earns a scholarship to a New York City prep school.  He befriends an author (Sean Connery) whom has isolated himself from the rest of the world.  Through the help of Sean Connery's character the kid writes a great essay for a teacher that does really like the fact that he is only at the prep school to play basketball.  The kid is on his last chance at the school when Sean Connery's character goes to the prep school and reads the kid's essay to declare it is actually the kid's work.  Its a really great movie about overcoming societies' obstacles, and friendship.

Honorable Mentions: White Men Can't Jump, and The Air Up There.


Slapshot - The story of a failing minor league hockey team that is about to be sold and moved to Florida when they embrace goon-ery to start winning.  This movie is hilarious because they had no chance winning until they got 3 free agents with glasses that just go around the ice fighting their opponents.  Once the team starts winning, the people of the city rally behind them.  The owner of the team is so out of touch with the team that she has never seen them play.  It really reminds us, the real reason we watch hockey, for the fights, duh, hahaha.

Honorable Mentions: The Mighty Ducks, Miracle, and Sudden Death.


Caddyshack - Probably the best movie about golf or about sports in general.  There is nothing like a groundskeeper that is infatuated with killing a gopher.  What makes the movie better is everything that he does to kill the gopher some how backfires into his face, like the coyote and the road-runner.  The story is also follows the caddy named Danny who wins the club tournament for caddys to earn a scholarship.  Danny is then forced to play in a match between Judge Elihu Smails and Al Czervik to save the scholarship.  The match come down to the final hole and Danny is forced to make a putt to win the match.  When the putt looks like it has missed short, a huge explosion caused by the groundskeeper trying to kill the gopher shakes the earth and the ball falls into the hole.  Danny and Al win the match and everyone is happy!

Honorable Mentions: Happy Gilmore and The Legend of Bagger Vance.

Now you might be asking where are movies like Rocky or Hoosiers, to be really honest I never really got into those movies.  I am not a really big boxing fan so the Rocky movies never really interested me.  Hoosiers probably would mean more to me if I was from Indiana.  Again, if you have any movies you think I misses or if you just flat out hate my favorite movies, you can comment on them right below this entry.  If you have never seen any of the movies I have listed here, I would give them a shot.  Have a great night.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Think I'm in Love.

Its been a tough couple of weeks since I found out my former crush Amy Wambach, of the US women's soccer team, had a girlfriend.  Honestly, I was crushed, I felt like the song by Weezer, "Pink Triangle."  The song is pretty much about how he is in love with a lesbian, and that pretty much sums up how I felt until today.  Until I saw this Ice Girl for the Nashville Predators bare hand a catfish and skate off the ice.

I was instantly in love, seriously how many women in America can handle a catfish like that?  Plus, not to mention the fact that she was on ice skates.  To add to the degree of difficulty, she does it bare handed.  Now, I know what some of you are thinking, you are a Blackhawks fan and the Predators are in the same division.  That will be ok, they always say that you need to make sacrifices in any relationship.

Via the Nashville Predators Ice Girls page on their website, her name is Jenna and she is from Northern Minnesota.  She is a newcomer to the Predators Ice Girls, this is her first year.  Her real job, in accordance to the website, is in Sales and Marketing. She is tall for a woman, at 5'9, so no complaints there.  It says that she likes ice fishing, she definitely has the skills to get the gills (sorry that was bad).

Here is a video from Game 3 of Jenna owning the catfish:

I just hope she is not married or has one of those jealous bf or gfs, because I cannot take anymore heartbreak this year (hahaha).  It's really too bad that the Ice Girls for the Columbus Blue Jackets are not this cute, then they would have no problems getting people to come to the games with such a terrible team.  Not to mention if the Predators could beat the Coyotes, it would take some of the sting out of the Coyotes win over the Blackhawks.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hockey Drinking Game

We have talked to many people and it seems that they just do not watch hockey.  We have tried to explain why it is better than other sports but with limited success.  As a result of all this time spent, we have decided to make a hockey drinking game.  Let's face it, people like to drink, it could be water, Capri Sun or alcohol.  You can play this game with whatever beverage you want, but it is recommended that if you are of legal drinking age you should play with a couple of beers.  It would also be recommended if you want to par take in this game that you have a designated driver, or just stay at a friend's house.

The Rules:

Socials - If you are unfamiliar with Socials, it means that everyone drinks.

  1. Any time play is stopped for an injury.
  2. Any reference to Crosby when the Pen-goons are not playing.
  3. Any time the puck goes out of play.  (Into the safety netting, or the crowd)
  4. Any play/goal that is under review.
  5. Any time the goal is knocked off the pegs.
  6. Any time there are no carry-over penalties from the period before.
    1. A carry-over penalty is a penalty that is not over at the end of a period.  Penalties are not carried over from game to game.
One Drink for the Following Events:
  1. Any time your team ices the puck.
  2. Any time your goalie freezes the puck.
  3. Any time your team is off-sides.
To The Face - A phrase that means finish your beer:
A picture of a line brawl.
  1. Any time a player on your team is thrown out of the game.
  2. Any time a player on the opposing team scores a hat trick. (3 goals by the same person)
  3. Any time a player on the opposing team scores a Gordie Howe hat trick (an assist, a goal and a fight).
  4. Any time the opposing team wins and items excluding towels, beverages are thrown on the ice.  (ex. squid in Detroit, rats in Florida)
To The Face Socials - A combination of a Social and To The Face, everyone finishes their beer.
  1. During a Line Brawl. A line brawl is when there are multiple fights on the ice at one time.
Goals - Drinks for when the opposing team scores.
  1. Beginner's Game - One drink for every goal scored.
  2. Advanced Game - First goal is one drink, Second goal is two drinks and so on.
  3. Extra drink for a goal when the goalie's water bottle is knocked off the goal, or if the camera inside the net is destroyed by the goal.
Penalties - Drinks for penalties on your team. 
A full penalty of St. Louis Blues.
  1. A 2 minute penalty = 2 drinks.
  2. A 4 minute penalty = 4 drinks
  3. A 5 minute penalty = 5 drinks
  4. A 10 minute penalty = 10 drinks
Multiple Penalties on the same player or team.
  1. Beginner's Game - All penalty time will be added up and said player will take drinks for the full amount of penalty time.  Player can pause for a couple of seconds between different penalties.
  2. Advanced Game - The same as the Beginner's Game except there is no pausing drinks for different penalties.
  3. All parties involved will count in a timely fashion for person drinking said number of beers.
Miscellaneous Rules:
  1. Finishing one's beer does not stop said player from finishing said drinks.  All drinks will be carried over to the next beer.
  2. In the event you run out of beer, the game will be over.  Any unfinished drinks shall not be forgiven, unless all the players agree otherwise.  If no agreement, all drinks will be carried over to the next game. 

Cheating - Cheating will not be tolerated in this game.  If said player is found to be cheating or have broken a rule.  Each of the other parties involved in the game will get to slap the cheater in the face.  Game will not restart until all parties have slapped the cheater in the face.

The Friendship Rule - In the event that a said player passes out, or is puking in the bathroom, the game will be paused.  The game will remain paused until player stops puking and is deemed ok by all parties playing.  If player passes out, said player shall be carried to bed and tucked in.  The game can only restart once said player is ok or in bed.

  1. If all parties are rooting for the same team, all arguments will be won by the person that is most sober.
  2. If all parties are not rooting for the same teams, all arguments shall be won by the fan of the losing team at that point in the hockey game.
  3. In the event that, the most sober or fan of the losing team is completely wrong and just arguing for the sake of arguing, that player will be slapped in the face as if he/she was cheating.
If you have other rules you would like to add they must be agreed upon before the game starts.  It also must be agreed upon before the game starts if you are playing the beginner's or advanced game.

This game was founded in the interest of having fun and friendship.  If a player becomes out of control, other parties can cut that person off.  This game was also made for entertainment purposes if you actually play the game, please be safe.  There is no reason to act crazy and hurt yourself and/or others just because you are drunk or on a sugar buzz.  Capri Sun can be substituted for alcohol if kids wish to play the game with the adults.  In any event I hope you have fun, and watch some hockey please!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seasons in the Sun 2nd Round NHL Preview

If the 1st round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was not awesome enough, they are going to play another round.  The second round features many new faces, but some familiar foes.  The round will only feature one team from the original six, the New York Rangers.  The second round should be a blast though, so many close series.  Season in the Sun hopes to improve on our 4-4 record from the first round.

No messing around here though, let's get into some analysis about the teams, and the match-ups that we will be seeing in the next round.  If you are not familiar with the NHL playoff rules, all the series are 7 games in all rounds.  Also, what they do is that the bracket is always reloaded so that the highest seed team will play the lowest seed team.  What does that mean?  Well, you know March Madness, teams play in a bracket format when you could have a lower seed play a lower seed in the second round.  In the NHL, both lower seeds would be separated to play higher seeds, so you see the difference?

Let's start off in the Western Conference:

St. Louis Blues (2) vs Los Angeles Kings (8) - Can the Kings pull off another miracle upset?  Its going to be much harder, the Blues are playing very good hockey.  The Blues also have a coach, Hitchcock, that won a Stanley Cup when he was with the Dallas Stars.  He has really turned this franchise around, and they are playing at a very high level.  Both teams have great goal-tending, as we touched on this topic in the first round, Quick for the Kings, and Elliott or Halak for the Blues.  We here at Seasons in the Sun sadly think that it is time to start buying into the Blues.  The Blackhawks were also a #2 seed when they won the cup in 2010.  If the Blues win the Cup they would continue the trend of a Central Division team winning the Cup every two years.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Blues in 6.

Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs Nashville Predators (4) - Another series will great goal-tending, you have Mike Smith on Phoenix, and Rinne on the Predators.  It will make it really hard for the offenses to get going in this series.  This should be a very tight, and very close series; very low scoring as well.  Both teams have been in the playoffs, the last couple of years and have tasted defeat with younger players.  Both Weber for Nashville and Doan for Phoenix are getting toward the end of their careers in the NHL, and both will be gunning for the Cup.  Both are very skilled, and great team leaders.  This is the best Nashville team that they have had since the franchise started, the same can be said for the Coyotes since they moved from Winnipeg.  Season in the Sun likes the Predators in 7.

Eastern Conference:

New York Rangers (1) vs Washington Capitals (7) - This will be a hard series to handicap because like the last series, the Rangers look better on paper and should win the series.  The Washington Capitals are coming off a big upset, will we see an emotional letdown?  We think the same question could be asked of the New York Rangers.  The Rangers were one game away from having the best record in the NHL this year.  The Rangers style though has kept opponents in the game, which leaves them vulnerable to upsets and defeat.  We would like to think that the Capitals are better than Ottawa, and they have Alexander the Great.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Rangers in 7.

Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs New Jersey Devils (6) - The Flyers are coming off a 6 game series with the Pen-goons and the Devils are coming off a 7 game series against the Panthers.  The question has to be did the Flyers pick up any rust being off almost a week longer than the Devils.  We really like the Flyers right now at Seasons in the Sun.  Giroux has really stepped up his game, and his leadership for the Flyers this year.  The Devils while they are a great team, we just do not feel like they are on the Flyers level right now.  The Devils will have to cool off the NHL's hottest power-play in the playoffs.  I think the task is too much for the Devils.  Seasons in the Sun likes the Flyers in 5.

Well there you have it, hopefully it will go better than the .500 mark that we set in the first round.  Last Saturday, Seasons in the Sun watched 10 hours straight of NHL playoff hockey and it was great.  The day was capped off by a Toews aka Captain Serious goal in OT against the Coyotes.  I have been watching so much hockey that I am afraid that if the TSA is watching or tapping into my cable they might think that I am a Canadian immigrant living in the US.  Hahaha, that was a joke, have a great one!

NHL 1st Round Analysis

I might be a prisoner of the moment but I would have to believe looking back on the 1st Round of the NHL playoffs this year might have been the best ever.  There were so many overtime games.  There was so much chippy play, and players were actually fighting in the playoffs.  There was the Penguins - Flyers series in the 1st round.  A bunch of game 7's in the last couple days, that were very exciting.  How could you seriously go wrong with what went down?

So let's do some analysis based on the picks and how the first round went down.  Starting with the Western Conference:

Los Angeles Kings (8) vs Vancouver Canucks (1) - In what had to be the most surprising series in the first round, the Kings handled the President's Trophy winners in 5 games.  Seasons in the Sun was quoted as saying, "The Canucks should easily win this series in 5 or 6 games," boy were we wrong.  The Kings' goalie, J. Quick, was the difference in this series, he played lights out.  On the other hand, Luongo, played terrible for the Canucks and was benched in favor of the back-up goalie.  It went so bad for Luongo in Vancouver, that he is apparently asking for a trade, unbelievable.  Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 1

San Jose Sharks (7) vs St. Louis Blues (2) - In another series that ended in 5 games, the St. Louis Blues showed that their regular season play was equal to the task in the playoffs.  Seasons in the Sun could not pick the Blues because of a conflict of interest (a classy way of saying we hate the blues hahaha).  The Blues goalie Halak was hurt in this series, and will be ruled out of the first two games of the 2nd round.  That was a little matter as Elliott, the back-up for the Blues, came in and put the Sharks in a net they could not swim away from.
This is just another failure for the Sharks, whom have the talent to get to the cup final, but just have not made it there.  Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 2

Chicago Blackhawks (6) vs Phoenix Coyotes (3) - In a very testy series, that would be the only series to go more than 5 games in the Western Conference first round, the Phoenix Coyotes got the better of the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2.  The series was dealt a black eye when Raffi Torres knocked out Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks leading score on the season, in Game 3.  Mike Smith, the Phoenix goalie, played brilliant, shutting down the Blackhawks offense.  The world knows how we feel about the Blackhawks, and let's just say that this series really left a very bitter and bad taste in our mouths. Seasons in the Sun - 0 - 3

Detroit Red Wongs (5) vs Nashville Predators (4) - Thank God for the Nashville Predators ending the Red Wongs' season in 5 games.  Season in the Sun said, "It was Nashville's time," and it was, only losing one game in the series.  The series was testy early, but the Red Wongs did not really answer the bell when it came to be physical.  They have a pretty old team, and the younger players did not step up their game as the Red Wong fans would have liked.  Great Job Nashville! Seasons in the Sun - 1 - 3

Eastern Conference:

Ottawa Senators (8) vs New York Rangers (1) - Seasons in the Sun, brought up the idea in the preview that this might be a trap series for the New York Rangers, and it was very close to that.  The Rangers prevailed in 7 games, which leads us to believe that the Rangers might have over looked the Senators a little bit.  The Senators probably the worst team in the playoffs really gave the Rangers all they could handle.  Ottawa might have given the Rangers' opponent in the second round a blueprint to beat them.  Seasons in the Sun - 2 - 3

Washington Capitals (7) vs Boston Bruins (2) - There will be a new Stanley Cup Winner this year as the Boston Bruins were downed by the Capitals in game 7 in OT.  This might have been the best series to watch, really good physical play, and up/down the ice action that was hard to beat.  This was a slightly less upset than the Kings - Canucks, media was really not giving the Caps much of a chance.  Too bad we did not pick this upset, hahaha.  Seasons in the Sun - 2 - 4

New Jersey Devils (6) vs Florida Panthers (3) - It went to double OT in the 7th game but the Devils beat the Florida Panthers 3-2.  We were not that high on the Florida Panthers when the series started but they played very well, hats off to them.  New Jersey should also be given a pat on the back for winning the last two games in OT to advance to the second round.  Its really too bad that both teams could not move on because they were very equal teams.  Seasons in the Sun - 3 - 4

Philadelphia Flyers (5) vs Pittsburgh Pen-goons (4) - In what was the most testy series in the 1st round the Flyers beat down the Pen-goons in 6 games.  It was a very high scoring series, and the goalies, well, they did not show up.  Fleury for the Pen-goons had another playoff flop, he let in so many soft goals that it was hard for the Pen-goons to keep up.  The Flyers power play was unbelievable at 53%, in the regular season you're lucky if you are at 25% to 30%.  Giroux, was an animal for the Flyers, and really set the tone for them.  Thank you Flyers for destroying the Pen-goons.  Seasons in the Sun - 4 - 4

Our first round wrap up would not be complete without a section on 1st Round Conspiracy Theories.  You know everyone loves a good conspiracy theory or a good conspiracy thriller like The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.  There is really nothing like Harrison Ford running around trying to be like he is in Die Hard, and at the same time trying to prove that he did not murder his wife.  There are no murders here but these are the conspiracies that caught our eye from the first round:

Is there really parity in the NHL or is it all set up?  The NHL has been going around preaching about how awesome the parity has been in the sport but did it systematically eliminate the last four cup winners all in the first round?  You might think that this is not fishy, but they eliminated them in the order that they won the cup.  In 2008, the Red Wongs won the cup, they were eliminated on April 20th by Nashville.  Next, was the 2009 winner, the Pen-goons eliminated on April 22nd by the Flyers.  Thirdly, the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated on April 23rd by the Coyotes.  Toews and the Blackhawks raised the Cup in 2010.  Finally, the Boston Bruins were upset by the Capitals on April 25th.  This is too weird not to think something is not up.

The second conspiracy has to do with Coyotes - Blackhawks series, and it is what we at Seasons in the Sun have dubbed, "The Red Wong Conspiracy."  This has to do with the fact that the NHL does not want the Blackhawks to win anything.  Why would the NHL want the Coyotes to win? Duh, they own the Coyotes.  Coyotes attendance has been at the bottom of the league, and the only way the league can break even is if the Coyotes get to the playoffs.  Well, they have been in the playoffs the last couple of seasons, and that has done little for attendance.  The NHL finally decided that it needed the Coyotes to win a playoff series so maybe someone would buy the team from them.

That's not all though let's talk about some of the plays in the Coyotes - Blackhawks series that bring up questionable officiating.  For example, Smith, the goalie was run into by Shaw of the Blackhawks, Smith missed two periods, Shaw was thrown out of the game when the play happened and suspended 3 games.  Next play, Marian Hossa was knocked out by Raffi Torres, no penalty was called on the play.  Torres as compared to Hossa has almost 50 less points on the season.  Luckily, some justice was given when Torres was suspended 25 games.  There are 4 officials on the ice during an NHL game, how can they not see this? Who was the only player thrown out for the Hossa hit?  Bollig, a Blackhawks player for going after Torres.  Finally, Hayes in game 6 with about 10 minutes left was thrown out of the game after he checked a Phoenix player into the boards and gave him a bloody nose.  You see a theme? Only Blackhawks players were getting thrown out of the games.

We would like to thank you for reading Seasons in the Sun NHL 1st Round Wrap Up, coming soon will be the 2nd round preview.  As always thanks for reading, and have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Seasons in the Sun's Best Sports Video Game Moments

Crosby laying in pain on the ice (NHL '12)
We at Seasons in the Sun, we not only love sports but we love video games.  The best part of sports video games is that things that are completely impossible can come true.  Unrealistic stats, like throwing for 700 or 800 yards a game.  Teams with no business winning anything, coming away with the title.  So, from what we can remember, these are the best of the best video game moments:

R.J. Umberger destroys Cindy "Crybaby" Crosby - NHL '12 - You know those hits where one player does not see what is about to happen, that is what happened here.  Umberger came out of no where, and destroyed Crosby, Crosby literally went flying (remember this is a game).  Once Crosby finally came down, he slid to the blue line and was rolling around in pain.  Crosby left the game and did not return.  If this would have happened in real life, Umberger would have been thrown out of the game, suspended, fined and probably given the death penalty.

Troy State wins the National Title - College Football '05 or '06 (PS2) - It took three years in Dynasty Mode but finally I got enough decent players to win the title.  This was before games started the BCS model, Troy State would have had no chance whats so ever to get into the game.  Troy State went 9-3 the first year, and I got crushed against NC State.  The second year, I was undefeated but was left out of the title game, classic.  They say third time is the charm, and it was.  Troy State has since changed their name to just Troy University.

Hartford Whalers win the Stanley Cup over the Detroit Red Wongs - NHL '96 - You guys know about the love that I have for the Hartford Whalers, and we took them to the promise land in a magical season.  I did not pick to play the Red Wongs, it just happened that way.  The only sad thing about this was that Kevin Dineen, the greatest Whaler of all time was on the Flyers when the game was made.  Nothing like seeing the Whale celebrate winning the cup, even if it was a video game.  Maybe one day, this dream can become a reality.

Buffalo Bulls 22 - Iowa 21 - College Football '07 - In what was the greatest upset of all time, besides Troy State winning the National Title.  Buffalo is one of the worst football teams in the game, and they went into Iowa City praying for a miracle.  The team was so bad the only way I could move the ball against the Iowa defense was subbing in the fastest player on the team for the QB, and running the ball.  The game came down to the last play in the 4th quarter, Iowa was up 21 - 14, Buffalo would score a touchdown as time expired to make it 21-20 Iowa.  There was no way I was going to OT, so I went for 2 and it was good.  The upset was complete 22-21, Buffalo wins.

Chicago Blackhawks 17 - Detroit Red Wongs 0 - NHL '96 - This was easily my biggest shut out of all time.  The game was on 5 minute periods, luckily after playing the game for about 15 to 20 years, you can figure out all the glitches in the game.  In NHL '96, you can score from pretty much anywhere on the ice.  I have scored from the opposite goal line before, its frickin' crazy.  This was equally great because I got to just pound the Red Wongs into the Ice, running up the score? Definitely.

Columbus Blue Jackets win the Stanley Cup - NHL '12 - Erasing what was the worst season in the real NHL for 2011 - 2012, the Blue Jackets swept the Montreal Canadians to win the cup.  Rick Nash was given the cup by Gary Bettman at Nationwide Arena, the fans were going nuts.  The Blue Jackets were the #5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and made it all the way to the cup.  NHL '12 does a great job with the end of the game, showing players passing around the cup, and then getting down on the ice for the infamous team photo.

Ohio State University 154 - Penn University 0 - College Football '07 - This game just turned into how many points could I score.  I was kicking onside kickoffs, going for two on every touchdown, and running the hail mary offense.  The Hail Mary Offense is defined by throwing a Hail Mary on every play. Penn like Buffalo is one of the worst teams on the game.  The game was actually play @ Penn, though the home crowd did not help much.  This was an example of running up the score, and showing no remorse for anyone.

As you can see from some of these moments, they just are not possible.  Come on, the chances of Troy winning a BCS title, or the Blue Jackets winning the Stanley Cup, just does not seem very likely.  If you did not notice, I love to run up the score, its more of a challenge then anything once you figure out what works and what does not.  Some of the older games have many glitches, and the programmers today have become much better about limiting the glitches.  So if you have any ridiculous sports video game accomplishments, put them in the comments below.  Thanks for reading Seasons in the Sun.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Raffi Torres Done for 25 games.

Bye, Bye, Torres!
Raffi Torres learned today that he will be suspended for 25 games for the hit on Marian Hossa.  Torres has already been fined $2,500 and suspended this year for hits on other players.  He was able to escape suspension for his hit last year on Brent Seabrook in the playoffs.  The question now is will he change?  Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Pen-goons, was a goon much like Torres, and after getting "the book thrown at him," he has played a very clean 2011-2012 season. Cooke's turnaround has been rumored to be fueled by his wife's anger about the way he was playing.  And they say that husbands never listen to their wives, child please.

Torres will forfeit about $21,500 per game that he sits out.  This was the 3rd time this season that he has been suspended by the NHL for dirty play.  The suspension will carry over to next year.  It is the opinion of the Season in the Sun staff, that if Hossa misses more then 25 games, the suspension should be lengthened to the amount of games that Hossa misses.  It probably would not happen, but it would be nice justice if it did.

As we described in the blog a couple days on the Hossa hit, Torres violated rules 42.1 and 48.1 with regards to charging and hits to the head.  Shanahan agreed with us about the violations of those two rules, and he also added that he violated the rule for interference.  Interference occurs when a player hits another player that does not have the puck.  Also, interference can be called if a player interference with the goalie's opportunity to stop the puck from going into the net.  Clearly, Torres violated all three rules on the hit, and will now sit out.

Torres: A History of Cheap Shots:

Torres hit on Hossa - 25 game suspension.

Torres hit on Brent Seabrook - No suspension.

Torres hit on Jan Hejda - $2,500 fine.

Torres hit on Nate Prosser - Two game suspension.

Torres hit on Max Pacioretty - Sorry it's in French (hahaha)

Torres hit on Milan Michalek - from 2006 when Torres played for the Oilers

Torres hit on Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid makes Torres pay.

Do you want more or is this enough to see that Torres has a history of leaving his feet, charging, playing dirty?  I think we need more!

You didn't think I could find more did you? - Torres dirty hit on Jordan Eberle (4 game suspension).

Well there are 7 videos to show you that Torres' hit on Hossa was not an anomaly.  Torres is a very dirty player, and he continues to target opponents' heads.  He clearly has no respect for his opponents, and we at Seasons in the Sun, thank Shanahan for the 25 game suspension, but we wonder if it is enough to get through to Torres.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Torres' Dirty Hit on Hossa

We here at Season in the Sun, believe that before we make any comments on what happened in the Chicago - Phoenix game last night, that you formulate your own opinion before we state ours.

As you can see from the video this was, in our opinion, a very dirty hit by Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa.  This is not the first time that Raffi Torres has targeted a star player on the Chicago Blackhawks.  Last year Raffi Torres laid out Brent Seabrook.  Torres has a history of dirty play, not just against the Blackhawks.  He has been suspended and fined, but it does not seem any of this is getting through to him. Ignorance is clearly bliss.
"First off, I hope he is alright. As far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play, just trying to finish my hit out there," said Torres. "The last thing I'll say is a I hope he's alright."
Torres was not penalized on the play, because somehow all 4 officials on the ice, did not see it happen.  The only player to be penalized was Brandon Bollig of the Blackhawks for sticking up for his teammate.  After doing some reseach, we at Seasons in the Sun believe that the hit broke two NHL rules 42.1 and 48.1.  Clearly, Torres does not think he did anything wrong, even though he knocked out Hossa and watched Hossa leave on a stretcher.

NHL Rule 42.1
"42.1 - Charging - A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner. Charging shall mean the action of a player who, as a result of distance travelled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner.  A "charge" may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice."
Torres is in violation of this rule because his skates left the ice, and in the words of the rule, he jumped into the opponent to violently check Hossa.  The rule even covers the area of ice where the hit happened, open ice, so that there might not be any loop-holes in the rule.

NHL Rule 48.1
"48.1 - Illegal Hits to the Head - A hit resulting in contact with the opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principle point of contact is not permitted.  However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put themselves in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered."
Torres, in our opinion, is in violation of this rule because he hit Hossa with his shoulder in the head, specifically the jaw.  As you can see from the video, the head area was the only place on the body that Torres hit Hossa making it, "the principle point of contact."  As you can also see from the video, Torres has all sorts of time to pull up, skate away, and avoid Hossa.  By the time that Hossa was hit by Torres, he did not even have the puck.

Blackhawks players, fans and the coaching staff are baffled by the fact that there was no penalty called on the play, and the fact that none of the officials saw what happened.
"We've got four guys out there.  When there's a guy getting carried off on a stretcher, you might think that there might be something wrong with what happened." - Toews, Blackhawk's Captain.
Toews would go on to say that he would not be surprised if Torres did it again because he was not penalized at all.  Seasons in the Sun would not be surprised either because this is not the first time Torres has done this to the Blackhawks.

This just goes back to the other point that we were trying to make about the NHL and the lack of discipline. The way that these playoffs have been going, you need to suspend guys to curb this fighting and dirty play.  It is completely out of control, and now you have someone that got seriously hurt.  The NHL needs to step in and say that this dirty play needs to stop.  They need to make a statement with Torres' suspension to say hey look guys, we are not messing around anymore.