Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dome Beers NFL Picks Week 4

Kirkwood's ass bailed. Bailed! Because we like the guy we wont talk about how we send these things out Wednesday, and he bailed Friday evening. But we will say that we are disappointed with his decision (it's called using the T.V. as a babysitter, dude), as we know all the Domebeer-aholics are, too. Hopefully he reverses his decision.

But we don't have a replacement panelist for this week. We are working on getting someone for next week, obviously. If you have forgotten, the panel includes AZR, P-Sizzle (Pat Steinberg), and J R Smoove (Jared Ramsden).

Anyways, now that the unpleasantness has been dealt with, let's get on to the picks.

 NFL WEEK 4

Panthers V Saints (-13.5)

AZR: Saints. Drew abuses the Panthers secondary like it was Jason Smith's wife.
P-Sizzle: Ugh, Carolina is terrible.  At home, the Saints easily cover.
J R Smoove: This one could get ugly fast. Saints should bounce back at home against a woeful Panthers squad.

49ers V Falcons (-6.5)

AZR: Falcons. This could be the end of Singletary's coaching career.
P-Sizzle: Loved Atlanta last week, very efficient…but I think San Fran picks up their first win, so they'll cover.
J R Smoove: 49ers have been brutal and will be 0-4 after this one. However, I like them to keep this one close. Falcons win, 49ers cover.

Lions V Packers (-14.5)

AZR: Lions cover. That's a lot of points in a rivalry game.
P-Sizzle: With GB's suspect O-line, I think Suh does some damage for Detroit…15 is too much, the Lions cover here.
J R Smoove: Huge line. And Detroit let me down last week, but I'm going to pick them to cover again. Just too many points.

Broncos V Titans (-7.5)

AZR: Going with the Broncos and their airshow.
P-Sizzle: Tennessee wins by 10 here.
J R Smoove: I like the Titans at home here. Broncos tough to get a read on.

Godzilla V King Kong

AZR: The Big 'Zilla!
P-Sizzle: Godzilla breathes fire. Case closed.
J R Smoove: Godzilla owns!

Ravens V Steelers (-0.5)

AZR: Steelers. When Ray Lewis won't talk shit before a game, you know the Ravens is scared.
P-Sizzle: Steelers ravaged Joe Flacco last year…and they look good. Pittsburgh wins at home.
J R Smoove: Best game of the week. Give me the Ravens, Steelers miss Big Ben this week.

Bengals (-3.5) V Browns

AZR: Bengals. Browns play like their namesake, which is shit.
P-Sizzle: Carson Palmer finally looks like a QB here…I'll take the Bengals to win, mostly cause I need Palmer to sack up for my fantasy team.
J R Smoove: Browns. I smell an upset here. Why, I don't know. Just a gut feeling. These two teams always seem to have wild and crazy games. 

Jets (-3.5) V Bills

AZR: The line might as well be -29.5. Pick Jets.
P-Sizzle: Revis won't play. Jets still win by 10 or more.
J R Smoove: Only 4.5 points? Really? Fat chance (insert Rex Ryan joke here) the Bills score as much as they did last week. Jets in a romp.

Seahawks (-1.5) V Rams

AZR: Call me stupid, but I'll buy into the shit-hawks this week.
P-Sizzle: A divisional matchup, and I'll take the Rams at home…they've shown some nice flashes offensively.
J R Smoove: Ugly game, however both teams won last week, go figure. Give me the Rams at home, still don't trust Seattle on the road.

Blonde V Brunette

AZR: Blonde. Like on one of the sights goalies.
P-Sizzle: I like both…but also have a thing for redheads. Julianne Moore…wow.
J R Smoove: Brunettes, blondes just don't do it like they used to.

Colts (-8.5) V Jaguars

AZR: Jags always play the Colts tough. With that said, pick Colts.
P-Sizzle: The Jags just can't get it together. Indy on the road to cover.
J R Smoove: If the Jags can't stop the Eagle offense, good luck against the Colts. Manning and Co win this one easy.

Texans (-3.5) V Raiders

AZR: The highest paid DB in the league VS the best WR in the league. Call me crazy, but we are picking the Raiders.
P-Sizzle: Even though they're on the road, Houston bounces back from that frustrating Dallas game…high scoring, but Texans win by at least 4.
J R Smoove: Raiders failed in epic fashion last week, even though they covered. Now they face an angry Texans team. Houston wins and covers.

Redskins V Eagles (-5.5)

AZR: Eagles. Mike Vick kills another dog when he goes against the Haynesworth led defence.
P-Sizzle: The McNabb Bowl goes to…the Eagles. The Eagles are just better, and the 'Skins have crumpled when it matters thus far.
J R Smoove: More Vick please! Eagles win this one, but I think the Skins keep this NFC East rivalry close.

Cardinals V Chargers (-8.5)

AZR: Cardinals barely beat the Raiders. Pick Chargers.
P-Sizzle: That's too big a number for an inconsistent Chargers team. Cardinals cover.
J R Smoove: I am a biased Chargers fan, but they should be 3-0, minus special team let-downs. The bounce back at home in a big way and cover this one.

Harley V Hayabusa

AZR: Harley. Shit's bad ass, plus it comes with a seat. My ass needs the comfort.
P-Sizzle: Hayabusa no question. I have a childhood dream to race MotoGP. I just came out less insane than I hoped, nixing that dream.
J R Smoove: Not a bike guy, but gimme a Hayabusa!

Bears V Giants (-3.5)

AZR: I can't understand the Giant hype. Pick the Bears.
P-Sizzle: Great Sunday nighter…but the Giants put it together here with a balanced attack, something the Pack didn't have Monday vs. the Bears.
J R Smoove: Interesting game. Giants seem to be self-destructing though, and Cutler seems to be for real. Give me the Bears to win and cover.

Patriots (-1.5) V Dolphins

AZR: Patriots win by a field goal, at least.
P-Sizzle: Don't like New England's D, and I like what Miami is doing with a nice, efficient offence. Miami covers.
J R Smoove: Pats leaky defense is a problem. They can keep this close, but I like the Dolphins at home in this one.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award


It's Friday, and that means just one thing: She watch Channel Zero.

Umm, what? Oh yeah, yeah, you are right. It is also that time of the week when we present the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award (the RTPIC)!

Lots of good nominees this week, so let's just jump right in.

Our first nominee this week happens to be everyone's favourite: Viva La Revolucion! Yes, politically motivated bloodshed and violence is once again featured, this time in Ecuador. Ecuador has a jacked up and fractured political culture, owing mainly to the fact that it was colonized by the Spanish way back when. You know, the mixing of the blood, the rise of a caste like system, the tensions that causes; all the good stuff that usually occurs in Spanish colonized locations. Because society is fragmented, politics tends to be zero-sum in Ecuador. Whatever party is in power tends to be vindictive to the party (and the supporters of the party) that has just been deposed. And the judiciary of the country...activist to it's core. Look it up for yourself and you will see the Supreme Court of Ecuador tends to decide more elections then the voters do. Again, because of the fragmentation.

So you have the backstory: Ecuador is, to borrow Thomas Carlyle's famous phrase, a quackocrocy. President Correa is then the head quack, and what a quack he is. Correa refused to pay back the bondholders of Ecuador's debt, which is evil, in the most evil sense of the word. That's why Correa recently, like last week, tried to hold the world hostage by demanding 3 billion dollars not to drill for oil in the Amazon. After not paying back bondholders, he discovered it was now impossible for Ecuador to get a loan (bankers tend to look down on thieves, even democratically elected ones). Correa doesn't have the money to drill for oil in the Amazon, because the country is broke and nobody with a brain will lend it money. So he is desperate, and looking for money.

In his desperation for cash, and because serious people don't deal with quacks, he has had to turn to trimming down the bloated budgets he has been approving to find cash. One problem though: after years of letting the public union grow and get fat, they tend to get a little pissed off when you tell them the party is over. And that is exactly what happened this week. Correa tried to cut the budget of the police. The police responded by trying to cut off the head of Correa.

The irony here is great: A President elected on eat-the-rich can't get a loan from the rich he intended to eat, so he must eat-the-poor who were only moments ago his main constituency. The poor, placated for years, decides to eat it's champion before he can eat them. There is a lesson in there, somewhere.

Our second nominee is Rick Sanchez, CNN anchor, drunk murderer, and now, rabid Jew hater. CNN, you will remember, had to already fire a high ranking executive earlier this year because she sympathized with terrorists, so this type of behaviour doesn't seem out of place in that organization. Anyways, Rick went off on right wing firebrand John Stewart, for the crime of being a Jew in the media. Arrest Mr. Stewart right away! Oh wait, this isn't Nazi Germany? Ok, nevermind.

CNN, the most trusted name in news delivered by small minded racists.

Our third nominee of the week is Anthony Rodriguez, a mild mannered Chicago jeweler. Anthony Rodriguez was just looking for a good breakfast from his favourite eatery, just some a good plate of eggs. And while he did indeed find his plate of eggs, he also found that it came with a side of prophylactic. Yes, you read that right. Eggs and condoms. Which is odd, because usually the only time you see condoms and eggs together is in menstruation soup.

EWWWWWWWWWWW!

This weeks winner of the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award: Cito Gaston's Moustache.



Cito retired. Made us sad. Not as sad as when he kept using Kevin Millar as his 3 hitter last year, which was completely retarded and probably is what caused the mutiny at the end of last year that cost him his job. But sad nonetheless.

This was a fun year to watch the Blue Jays (much funnier than watching the Cubs), and Cito was a big part of it. Teaching Jose Bautista how to hit was pretty cool, but his real impact was the maturation that occurred in some of the youngish players the Jays have. Aaron Hill may be a headcase, but Cito did manage to turn the attitudes of Lind, Snider, and Escobar around, for which he deserves mountains of farm fresh kudos.

But let's be honest, what are we gonna miss the most? Is it Cito's steady hand at the till of Good Ship Blue Jay? No. Will it be his utter contempt and disgust at having to actually play rookies? Nope. Will it be his barely concealed bitterness at being kept out of baseball for 10 years? Fuck no.

It will be his moustache. Cito has one of the most epic moustaches in sport. Where are the Blue Jays going to get a moustache like that to manage the team next year? Nobody has one as badass as that, save Bobby Valentines fake one. And for the love of God, do not hire Bobby Valentine.

Some of you may not know, but Cito Gaston's Moustache is actually a cousin once removed of Lanny McDonald's Moustache. And the two share more than blood. They share a story.

Back in 1981-82, Lanny McDonald's Moustache was toiling away for the Colorado Rockies, obscure and unmissed by the hockey world at large. For Lanny McDonald's Moustache, dark times brought on dark thoughts. Yes, Lanny McDonald's Moustache was thinking about...shaving!

Suicide may be painless, but it is still unadvised. When Cito Gauston's Moustache heard through the Hollywood grape-vine that Lanny McDonalds Moustache was feeling a little down, he immediately leapt into action. Hitching a ride on Madonna's private plane, Cito's Moustache would arrive in Denver just in time. Lanny McDonald's Moustache was covered in shaving cream when he got the call from Cito to pick him up at the airport.

Lanny McDonald's Moustache being the character guy that he is, he simply couldn't end it all and leave his cousin at the airport. Resolving to shave after picking Cito up, he washed off the cream and put the razor down. After a stache to stache talk, Lanny McDonald's Moustache would never pick up a razor again.

Cito Gauston's Moustache wasn't done, however. With the knowledge that he had about Lanny McDonald's Moustache's feelings toward the city of Denver, Cito's Moustache knew he couldn't be left alone in Colorado. Cito's Moustache's influence was used on the Rockie's organization, and before the year was out Lanny McDonald's Moustache would find himself playing in front of the hometown fans of the Calgary Flames.

The rest, as they say, is history.

For being a key player behind the scenes during the Lanny McDonald's Moustache trade negotiations (and for, you know, winning back to back World Series) Cito Gauston's Moustache wins this weeks Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Check The O.R.

Listen. We had another post to 'post' but then Ken King called into the FAN960 and monkey wrenched our whole operation.

Fuck, you know what? We have to go even further back for ya'll to grasp some of our points, so let's do that. Because before we talk about Ken King, you should know exactly where we is coming from (ghetto slang!).

You know the cat we have write the Harvey stories? The guy that goes by DeathHammer? In real real life, Ken King credited him with inventing the Flames 'Retro Night'. Gave him free tickets and everything. Other people in the brain trust, most recently when the Flames held the NHL imposed 'One Day Ticket Sale', have sent invective laden emails into Mr. Kings office, and have always received a response that tackled whatever grievance was had with a logical and reasoned argument. They did not receive 'form' response emails. Now, to be fair, the response email was always from Rollie Cyr, but we can chalk that up to corporate policy. Whatever the case, Ken King and his office have a lot of dap in the bank with us.

But Ken King calling into the FAN960 to talk about what Mike Peca had to talk about is something we gotta talk about.

Mike Peca had some words for Dome Beers punching bag Jay Bouwmeester. If you're a reader of this site, you can probably guess where we come out on what Peca said. We mean, he hit everything, and did it very succinctly. He said JBlow was soft (amorphous adjective alert!), easy to play against (by which he meant he doesn't hit and turns the puck over), not great offensively (wasn't JBlow a PP quarterback?), and overpaid. And all in about 30 seconds!

While you may not like the tone of what Peca said, you can't deny that on any of the points mentioned debate has not arisen where it pertains to JBlow. These points are not out of the pale of polite society hockey talk. Even JBlow's defenders will admit that a great deal of this man's promise exists only in our dreams as potential. Some of what Peca had to say is indeed flat out wrong (for example: to the best of our knowledge, JBlow isn't the PP quarterback, or even featured on the first team PP.), and some of what he had to say had the harsh taste of truth to it.

Flash forward a day, and we now have Ken King calling in to the local sports radio show to defend the maiden honour of JBlow. Which gives Dome Beers something to talk about.

Mr. King had some very pointed things to say about Mr. Peca. He questioned the man's journalistic integrity, and basically implied that the man had some sort of grudge with JBlow. He did this while claiming not to want to get in a 'diss war' with Mr. Peca.

On these two points: One, when Mr. Peca on the panel claimed that JBlow was a bust he didn't do it out of nowhere, as Mr. King implied. Mr. Peca claimed that JBlow was brought in to help the PP, and the PP did not in fact get better, ergo JBlow sucks. While all it would take is a quick look here to see that JBlow wasn't played very much on the PP, the fact remains that Mr. Peca did in fact qualify his argument. It was a bad argument to make, and the maker of it employed bad logic, but the statement was qualified. We bring this seemingly little point up because it shows that Mr. Peca was at least trying to act like a member of the media. He wasn't going drive-by with his bombs. And as for whether JBlow was easy for Peca to play against...that's nothing we can really comment on (unless, of course, someone wants to crunch the numbers so we can find out if JBlow shut Peca down or not). Two, if you don't want to get into a 'diss war' with someone, then don't be throwing out little cat swipes. Passive aggressive makes you look pretty ugly.

Look, to get to the truth of it, we were bothered that King tried to imply Peca had no right to express his opinion. We have expressed our admiration for Mr. King, but this sudden display of the brown shirt shouldn't be tolerated. Peca isn't a journalist? What the fuck is a journalist? The Press has a job. It's famously embodied in the expression 'Speak Truth To Power'. Peca calling a big time free agent acquisition by a Canadian team a bust on Canadian television is pretty much what he should be doing as 'journalist'. Ken Kings swipe about whether Peca needs to decide whether he is a former hockey player offering opinion or a journalist is a joke. Earth to King: In the year 2010, pundits are journalists. Journalists are pundits. We can discuss the merits (or lack of) of this situation, but that's the situation. What, is Mike Peca suppose to leave his hockey career at the home before he goes into the TSN studio to give his opinions on hockey?

Before Ken King called into the local sports show, Boomer and Kerr were talking about what Ken said, and wouldn't you know it, they offered some opinion. And the opinion was actually one that could be characterized as falling into the Peca camp. Three seconds later Ken King is on the line. Was Ken King calling in to bully the local guys? Is this why they don't criticize the team when it, oh we don't know, loses 9 games in a row? Because Ken King has spies listening?

And of all the guys to defend. We do not understand the love story some of the fans in this city have with Jay. Have you ever heard of a FREE AGENT coming in with so much fanfare and busting so badly that doesn't get booed off the ice? And people in this city are booking tickets to Toronto to fight Peca? Why?

JBlow has never gotten into a fight, at least one that we can recall, with the Flames. Everybody who comes to the Flames has to fight someone. But not JBlow? JBlow has never crushed a member of the Coilers or the Casucks. Why not? Look, it used to be that a player actually had to do something to earn the respect and admiration of a fanbase. 'Doing something' consists of scoring a lot of goals, or fighting, or hitting a member of a hated hockey club. Something noticeable. Could you imagine how high the roof would fly off the Dome if JBlow blew up Hall? Because we all want to cheer for him. But, in all honesty, he hasn't given the fans anything to cheer for, and we cannot understand why some fans in this city pretend that he has.

Yes, we know that if someone gets on national TV and rips a player on your team, then someone in the administration has to respond. But respond to TSN. Why are you calling the local Calgary show? Why? The beef is with Mike Peca and TSN. Don't give us fake hustle. Don't try to act tough with the local radio guys who have nothing to do with the story. If you want to be the big man and be big bluster, do it to Mike Peca and TSN. Because otherwise it looks...fake.
...

Still with us? Good. What we had wanted to talk about was two things: James Cameron and the NFL results.

The results first, because you may not all be into the politrick talk.

AZR: 8-8
Steinberg: 6-10
Ramsden: 5-11
Kirkwood: 7-9

So we all need to step our games up, Ramsden.
...

Fuck, we aren't feeling our Cameron rant right now, so we will be quick.

If you think developing the oilsands is a bad idea, you're a fucking idiot, period point blank. The cheaper you make energy, the cheaper you make basic goods, the cheaper you make it to live a basic life, the more poverty you alleviate. Cheap energy means cheap food, and when you live on a dollar a day, that means something. People like Cameron like to run around and act like they are some caring social conscience, and it's just a plain old fraud. If we were to adopt the ideas that Cameron has, all that would happen is that poor 3rd worlders would starve to death.

Think about that. The people who are going around and advocating little children policies shroud themselves in this veil of morality and they often do so on behalf of 'the little people; the common folk; the masses', and all the policies that they advocate are detrimental to those constituencies. It's insane that we give hucksters like this the time of day, yet the unelected Premier of Alberta is holding meetings with this Cameron schmuck? Why? Because he has a bank account and a microphone? These are the qualifications necessary to gain the credibility to pronounce?

Let us repeat: James Cameron is a fucking idiot. Why is Stelmach allowing a fucking idiot to hold court? It's because he has really bad people advising him. Here is a chance for Stelmach to tell the stereo type 'hollywood liberal' where he can stick his protest, and actually gain some favour with the voters, and Ed's handlers are so fucking stupid that they miss the chance. How can his advisors miss that softball? And as so called professionals!
...

Remember the Boomer tweet in the summer about some player getting traded? He was talking about Dawes. So he was right, sorta, kinda, belatedly.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Title This Post

Domebeer-aholics, we know this a faux pas, but we will let you in anyways. We have nothing that burning to talk about.

So, in that vein, let's meander.

KOTALIK

We found it a little odd when we opened up the paper the other day to discover that we are all now suppose to be participating in the rehabilitation of one Ales Kotalik.

Domebeer-aholics, help us out here, because we do not understand why articles like this get penned at all. Why are the ink stained scribes trying to gin up sympathy for a guy who should not be on this team?

Ladies and gentlemen, the Calgary Flames need to cut 3 - 4 million dollars worth of cap space from the budget, largely because Darryl Sutter caught a case of the retards around trade deadline day and traded Olli Jokinen for Ales Kotalik, and then doubled down on that miscarriage of a move by re-signing Jokinen. The fans in this city have their particular favourite overpaid player that they like to pick on (Sarich, Staios, Stajan...shoot anyone not named Bourque or Gio) but if you are looking to why the Flames are 3 million over the cap, it's that Jokinen Kotalik move.

And the newspaper is penning pieces on the type of person Ales Kotalik is? Why? Allow us to be blunt: Why the fuck should we care about Ales Kotalik? Why?

Ales Kotalik was a little down last year, gang. Yeah, we know, tough, heartbreaking stuff. It's just the worst tragedy in the world to see a human soul suffer. Ales got traded last year, guys, and it really shook his confidence. Is your tummy hurting? Ours are. Can you believe, honestly, can you believe that the people who run the New York Rangers would have the gall to expect that a guy they were paying THREE MILLION DOLLARS would, we don't know, maybe score a fucking goal once in a while? Could you believe they would have the audacity to make Ales Kotalik a healthy scratch when he started to pout about not getting ice time because he wasn't scoring, or hitting, or back checking, or being what they like to jokingly call 'a hockey player'?

This whole 'woe is me' act is just to much. Ales Kotalik had a few ok seasons in Buffalo. He had one 62 point campaign, and the rest come in around 40. After a cup of coffee with Edmonton (the Oilers didn't want him, for Christ's sake) he signs a 9 million dollars contract with the New York Rangers. Because players who sign for 3 million dollars have expectations on them, and Ales Kotalik is soft, he immediately began the pout act and did his best to pull a Kurt Russel. It worked, and we know have this expensive diva on our team.

But let's go through that once again. Kotalik played well enough in Buffalo that he and his agent thought they could make some wealth. Power to Ales, we have no problem with that. So Buffalo trades him because they know him, and because they know him, decide he isn't worth spending millions of dollars on. Edmonton gets a look at him, and even though they had so much cap space that they could have signed him to a 3 year, 9 million dollar pact to wash the toilets, they let him go. Both these team let Kotalik go because he was going to ask for too much money in free agency. Free agency day comes and Kotalik signs with the club that offers him the most money, the New York Rangers. Again, power to Ales. He got that contract, so it could be said that he earned that money. But let's be clear: Ales was on his 3rd team at that point because he was chasing a contract.

What we don't understand is this argument put out there by some media types that people like us, fans, should ignore what a player makes. Why? A 50 point player at 1 million dollars isn't the same as a 50 point player at 8 million. Valuations matter. We understand a lot of hockey players are straight off the farm, never learned to read types, but that's why they hire lawyers and agents. If Ales Kotalik doesn't like to play with pressure, then he shouldn't have gone fishing for a 9 million dollar contract. If Ales Kotalik doesn't like expectations, then he should go play rec league. In the NHL, you are paid to help a team win, period. You aren't paid because, to quote Coach, "You know, he's a very caring individual . . . but he's a very proud person and he takes things to heart."

Ugh. Let's share a little story about 'taking things to heart'. A few years ago in the financial world, the sky fell. The DOW was thousands of points below 10K, the S&P was down in the 600's. During this period a peculiar phenomenon took place: Very wealthy money managers were killing themselves. Why were wealthy, cultured, comfortable, safe people killing themselves? Because they were men of honour, and the code of honour stipulates there is consequences for mistakes. In honour codes from Europe to Japan to Arabia, when a man fails miserable at something they have pledged to do, there is only one course of action: suicide. It's suicide, because a man of honour cannot live with the stain of shame. These money managers had made their reputations as savvy investors. When they lost the majority of the money entrusted to them by their clients, it wasn't a professional pain they felt, it was personal. They felt so ashamed at losing their clients money, their clients dreams and futures, that they literally couldn't look at themselves, even though they still had money and wealth and a future, in the mirror anymore. They felt so obligated to perform that when they didn't, they chose to die rather than continue on living.

That's 'taking things to heart'. What Ales Kotalik did was to wallow in his own self pity, something he started in New York and continued here. And excuse us if we have no time for it. Are we asking Ales Kotalik to take up a warrior code ethos, samurai up, and kill himself if he takes a step backwards in the middle of battle? Of course not. But we are asking for him to display the elan of the warrior: Head up or no head at all. No fucking pouting.

And sure, you can point to some of the comments in the article, and the fact that he even showed up to camp, as signs that he hasn't given up, hasn't quit, still has pride in himself. All we will point to is that all it took was for him to be put on waivers.

LTIR

For all the ranting and raving, Ales Kotalik is a very big guy. If the team could figure the princess out and actually get the guy forechecking, he could probably be a useful player. But he simply makes too much money, and on a team where everybody makes a little too much money, it just isn't tenable. We don't think it is that crazy to suggest that most of the fanbase wouldn't shed a tear if Kotalik and Staios were to go away. With the injury situation being what it is, though, we don't think that is the greatest move.

Because the centres are injured, Kotalik should probably stick around, unless you want Brett Sutter or Tim Jackman skating in your top 9. Sutter's fetish for 'leadership' probably keeps Staios in town. Cap relief will probably come in the form of Langkow being put on the LTIR (the 90 day DL). This has bad voodoo written all over it.

If Langkow is put on the LTIR, then we get his cap relief, which is cool, but we don't get to bring him back unless we can clear his cap off the books in the current year. If the guy isn't out for the whole year, then all the Flames are doing know is delaying the inevitable. We will admit that it could work: Maybe Staios goes insane, puts up 5 goals in 15 games, and gets himself traded. Maybe Kotalik goes all world and we can get a draft pick for him. But for 4.5 million in cap relief, they would both have to have outstanding starts to the campaign, and the risk manager in us doesn't see that happening.

Unless Reggie gets traded, the only way we see the cap relief coming is if Kotalik and Staios are sent to the minors. And because of the injuries, they won't be at the start of the year. Imagine all the scenarios that could play out: The Flames start out slow, Langkows back in December, and is now seen as the saviour. The team has to spend a week talking about how their play has cost Staios and Kotalik their jobs, and how they need to step up now. If the team gets better with Langkow back, then no problem. If it doesn't, then this city will turn on him and the team and it will get ugly. Similarly, if the team gets out to a fast start and Langkow is back for December, the fans will go 'why do we need this guy', and get pissed that a useful part needs to get jettisoned to bring him back. The players will have to talk about it for the next news cycle. If the team flounders after that, again it will get real ugly.

And then there is this: If Langkow is on the LTIR, it isn't Langkows decision to come off it. He could only rejoin the team if the team clears the cap space. If it doesn't, then Langkow stays on the LTIR, from what we can understand, whether he likes it or not. He could be the healthiest he has ever been in his life, and if the team won't clear the 4.5 million in cap space for him to return, then he doesn't return. We would like to believe the players union would file a grievance, but after watching them get rolled in the Ilya debacle, do you expect the players union to show any teeth? And it's not like we are out of line to question whether or not the Flames plan to use the LTIR as cap relief for the whole year, whether Langkow is healthy or not. It isn't out of line, because they have done it before.

WHAT IS THE GOAL

What makes the whole scenario even more convoluted is the fact that the Flames are in the proverbial no-mans land of being a middle of the road hockey team. They are not tanking and rebuilding, but they are not seriously challenging for a Stanley Cup either (a playoff berth, maybe). If they were trying to tank it this year, it would be easy to find cap relief; because they are trying to win a playoff spot, they will need to find cap relief to allow their better players to play.

Having Corey Sarich and Steve Staios as your 5 and 6 defencemen isn't bad. It actually goes to show that we have a pretty solid blue line. Removing those two for Pardy and Kronwall would mean we lose more games. Ales Kotalik had his best seasons on the third line in Buffalo. He is better on our third line then Brett Sutter is. Swapping those two would mean we would lose more games. But these depth deleting moves are the type that are going to need to be done if we are to get cap compliant so an actual top 6 guy in Langkow can rejoin the fold.

Is one Langkow worth two players?

STAMPS

Did Henry Burris spend the whole week drinking? Did Huff? Out-played and out-coached at home. Embarrassing. It's all well and good to take a game off (wait, you are getting a paycheque to play? Then no it isn't.) but for the love of satan can't you do it on a road game?

NFL

Something we wanted to point out. There was an article written today about the 49ers and their coach, Mike Singletary. Lord knows people are allowed opinions, but there was a line in this article that we really didn't like. The line was this: It's fair to ask: In a league dominated by master strategists, have the 49ers gone as far as they can go with a coach who disdains intricate strategy and who hired Jimmy Raye as his offensive coordinator?

What we have a problem with about that statement is that Mike Singletary wanted to hire Mike Martz to be his OC. This is known. Singletary was told by the owners of the team that he couldn't keep Mike Martz on as his OC, so he was forced to go in another direction. But do you think a guy who 'disdains intricate strategy' would want to hire Mike Martz in the first place?

Could it be that Singletary is saddled with a complete spare at quarterback, who is protected by a shitty O-line? Could it be that his running back is serviceable but not world class? Could it be, maybe, just maybe, the GM?

Of course not. Talent doesn't win games in the NFL, whoever you hire to be your OC does. Alex Smith can't throw a pass that doesn't look like a wounded duck? Mike Singletary doesn't know how to coach.

MISC

Glen Sather keeping his job is tangible proof that Santa Clause is real. What else could it be?

Barb Higgins, if you are trying to get with the fashionable cause celeb that is the enviro hippie movement, that's all well and good. Just don't cover every park in the city with your green signs. It distorts the message. Similarly, Nenshi going with purple signs doesn't do him any favours. Either he is trying to show he is young and hip (read inexperienced, raw, and mistake prone), or he is hat tipping the colour of royalty (Caesars purple). Not a good look.

We are not telling you how to vote, but we will make this observation: People who probably would vote for Barb Higgins would probably vote for Nenshi too, and vice versa. These two candidates split their votes with each other. If Barb harbours realistic notions of winning the election, she needs to get Nenshi to drop out. The last poll we say showed Ric Mc at 40%+, Higgins at 30%, Nenshi at 10% (we are being generous with Nenshi's numbers, he polled at 8%). Of course, the fact that she hasn't speaks to her and her campaign managers abilities, and they don't speak kindly.

Finally, mucho gracias to the Pat, Jared, and Doug for helping me with the NFL panel. People we met in real real life over the weekend really liked it.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.