Monday, November 8, 2010

Salmagundi

GREAT MEN

Doc Seaman is going to be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame today. We didn't realize it, but there is apparently a lot of consternation about this inductment. Some feel Doc isn't a worthy member of the Hall.

If you are of this opinion, we think you should shoot yourself in the head. It's not like you're using it, anyways.

We've read several articles about the event, from Slam Sports (?), ESPN, Legends of Hockey, and even NHL.com. All are good articles, and well worth the read. They all make the case that Doc is an ideal candidate to go into the Hall of Fame.

We can't get that heated up about the debate, because we can only see the one side of it. People who bring NHL franchises to cities, make money with them, enrich the community with them, and can even get the franchise to win a Stanley Cup are Hall worthy. Certainly as Hall worthy as Harley Hotchkiss.

Was Doc's case helped by what he did outside of hockey? Yeah. We have no problem with that. Doc Seaman was a Nazi sub-hunter. He flew 82 missions over North Africa, trying to kill the Nazi's who were torpedoing anything that floated in the Mediterranean. He was shot down in the air once, his crewmate killed, and Doc literally had to tie his wounded leg to the rudder of his plane just so he would be able to land it. You may think something like this, you know, being a war hero, shouldn't matter when it comes to considering his worthiness for the Hall, but you would be embarrassingly wrong. People tend to smile on people who kill Nazi's.

When Doc got back to the good side of the Atlantic, he was a pioneer in the oil & gas industry, which means he had big brass balls. To make money in that business requires a lot of risk, and we don't wish poverty on people who take big swings. We like rich people, we want to be counted among them someday. It's become fashionable in these times to heap scorn on people who make money in industry, which may be behind some of the comments that Doc 'bought his way in' to the Hall. People who make these comments are intellectually small people. If the evidence of Doc 'buying his way into the Hall' is that he spent a lot of money on charitable endeavors, off the top of our head, The Calgary Flames*, then yeah, guilty as charged we guess. There are a lot of sick kids out there who wish Doc wasn't the only one who tried to buy his way in.

One of the reason Doc was involved in bringing the Flames to Calgary was that Doc thought that Canadian hockey was falling behind Soviet hockey. Doc thought the answer to this was to strengthen the grassroots, and one of the ways to do that was to bring professional hockey to Canadian cities like Calgary. We are trying to keep this short, so let's just highlight that fact: Doc Seaman, war hero, Nazi hunter, hated the Soviets so much that he bought a hockey team, out of spite, so he could strengthen Canadian hockey to the point where it would no longer have to live in fear of Soviet ballet hockey. If that isn't Hall worthy, what is?

HERITAGE CLASSIC

Eric Francis is back at it again.

For someone who likes to walk around with the reputation of being an edgy guy, he sure does seem to do a lot of articles providing cover for the Calgary Flames upper-management.

Anyways, at least he is talking about this story, of price gouges and bad seats, when every other local paper, and even the radio (although we didn't really listen last week so we don't know) seem to not be talking about. (actually Ken King went on the radio to talk about it -Ed.)

We're not season ticket holders, so we learned about this from people who are, and the grumblings across the internet. People are pissed.

Why? Because the prices on the tickets to the Classic are many multiples higher than one would pay at a Flames game in the Saddledome, and for the money you pay, you don't exactly get great seats. For instance, many second level season ticket holders will end up with seats with no back at McMahon. These are things one can get pissed about. Not much one can do about it, but one can certainly scream against the fates the gods have delivered you.

It's the NHL's game, they allocate the tickets to the Flames. If they gave the Flames shitty tickets, the Flames are stuck with shitty tickets. Which means you have to make the choice of paying their prices to see the game from shitty seats (I, AZR, am in a computer lab right now, and there are plenty of open seats around me, and some guy walked in and just sat next to me. If you do this, you probably also skip using open urinals so you can take a piss next to a dude as well).

This bullshit about the Flames just breaking even is just that, bullshit. If it was true, they would A) fire Ken King, and B) show us the income statement. But they recognize that the optics on this are terrible, that they are charging what they are charging for what they are charging. They just didn't care, which is why they are going with the 'take it or leave it' attitude. The email they (the Flames) sent out apparently had the words 'no good deed goes unpunished' in it. Get that, people who pay Ken Kings salary? You need to shut the hell up and stop bitching.

Look, the Flames can charge what they want for the tickets. Power to them. But for them to act like they are doing the people a big favour is not great marketing. It appears, by the way the tickets were rolled out, that they knew in advance they would be pissing a lot of people off with their plans, and instead of changing them to make them more customer friendly, or even informing the customers, they simply waited, expecting to bully people into buying them buy giving them this arbitrary Nov 15 deadline.

The bloom is certainly coming off the rose, we guess, but that is also kind of unfair. An outdoor game like this is in a Canadian city is about one thing: clocking dollars. For season ticket holders to act shocked! shocked! that they are being charged premium dollars for a premium event is a little stupid. Did you think they would be the same price as a regular game? We understand the anger over seat location, that is an actual legitimate beef. Seats at McMahon without a back suck, period, and a lot of people who have good seats at the Dome are going to be sitting in these shitty, expensive seats. But again, let's be real: nobody is going to this game for the actual hockey. People are going to this event so they can say they went to this event. So does it matter where you sit?

(By the way, Ken King trying to calm people down by saying that all the seats in the stadium are terrible...where do they teach you that in marketing school?)

THE FLAMES

For some reason, the Flames remind me of the Vikings. Both teams had expectations on their shoulders, fair or not, and both teams brought back largely the same crews who failed to get the job done a year before. The star players on both team have some disconnect with the head coach, and the head coach seems to have some disconnect with the star player.

Brett Favre, the aging superstar, is Brad Childress is trying to curtail his playing style. Brett Favre is fighting back and refusing to play the system. Yesterday, the gun slinger won a game for the Vikes with a deep ball in overtime. To us, at least, it's clear that the Vikes are going to have to let Brett gamble if they are to try to make it back to the playoffs.

Which brings us to Brent and Jarome. Four game losing streaks spell DOOM. After 3 of those games saw Jarome getting less and less icetime, the fourth loss saw Jarome get damn near twenty minutes of ice and some say his best game as a Flame this year. We think the quicker Brent let's go of his dream of Jarome being a Selke winner and let's the guy do what he is paid for (which isn't backcheck) then things will go smoother.

In Brents defence, however, Jarome needs to be better at getting the puck into the opposition zone. Would it kill the guy to dump and chase? Would it kill the team do that? Because someone needs to tell these cats that the 'gain the zone and do an immediate curl into the corner' doesn't even work on video game hockey anymore, let alone in the NHL.

If we were Brent, we would kill his system. It isn't working because the players aren't buying in. Don't tell me that it could work. It isn't working. So how about we actually go back to a system that has worked in hockey for ever. Dump the buck in, send more men in than they send back to get the puck, win the puck battle, get it back to point, establish possession, and let's go from there.

Earth to Brent: Your puck moving defencemen can pass the puck up through the neutral zone all they want, the forwards can't accept a pass without it bouncing off their sticks. If they can't take the pass, then they can't generate the speed you want them to have when they go enter the oppositions zone. Because they are entering the zone disjointed, they curl, which means they stop skating, which means they are at a higher risk to lose the puck. And if they somehow manage to hold onto the puck after the curl and get it deep, then the team starts to cycle, cycle, cycle forever. The point of cycling isn't to control the puck, it's to create room for you to get a shot off!

So that system should be scrapped, in our opinion, for dump and chase.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

4 comments:

  1. Ha! I just saw Boyd got waived.

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  2. The letter I got from Ken King entitled "Apologies" made a big show about how there were 11,000 seats that had bad site lines. That isn't stopping them from selling these seats for discounted prices. I also fail to see how my kick ass seats in the dome get me section U at McMahon. There are maybe 150 seats at the dome that are the equivalent to mine and yet there are THREE FREAKING SECTIONS ON EACH SIDE of MCMAHON that are better than the ones that were assigned to me.

    It's a joke.

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  3. "Yesterday, the gun slinger ONE a game for the Vikes with a deep ball in overtime."

    "... WON a game..."

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  4. I had a little trouble with my take on the Heritage for two reasons: One, the fans are getting screwed, but Two: they (Flames,NHL)
    are allowed to screw you. The free-marketteer (obviously a 3 musquoteer play) in me prevents me from going guns blazing at the organization. This was a chance for them to make a lot of cash, and because the uniqueness of the event it was the only game in town (ie they had a monopoly) so they were going to charge whatever they wanted for whatever they wanted.

    They are acting rationally as far as that goes. Of course, actions have consequences, and screwing the fans will corrode the fanbase, it just will.

    But I do feel for people like you, RT, that have good tickets, real good tickets, and are getting the shaft treatment because the organization smells a money pile. The Flames like to say they are all about community, but then they do a thing like this, and it makes them look...not as they appear.

    And this 'we arent making money' shit is such a pile of garbage that it's insulting for them to even trot it out as an excuse.

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