Friday, October 7, 2011

Paul Brandt Is Completely Bored By This Whole 'World Junior Ice Hockey Championship' Thang

The 2012 World Junior Championships. Chances are you have heard of this tournament. It is being played in Calgary and some other city, we can't remember it's name. It's not important, anyways.

What is important is that people are very excited about the tournament. They are so excited that every single ticket for the thing sold out in a nanosecond, literally; The crush for tickets crashed the servers of the 2012 World Junior Championships as soon as they were made available.

Did we also mention this happened almost a full year before the tournament was to be held?

That the people are excited for this event then is in no doubt. It's hard not to be excited: the Canadian kids let the nation down at the last tournament, losing to the Russians. The chance for redemption on home soil is such a tempting prospect, you would have to have no pulse at all not to be excited.

Enter Dome Beers favourite Paul Brandt; Country music superstar, man of God, local boy made good, member of the undead.

Wha? Yes, it's sad, but true. Paul Brandt is suffering from an acute case of Jay Bouwmeester syndrome: No heart.

For you see, Paul Brandt was tapped to write the anthem to the 2012 World Junior Championships. Which would seem to be a big deal, especially for a local boy hockey fan, from a small town with big dreams. Really and truly. And indeed, on the surface, it appears it's all good.

From the Edmonton (we have no idea what this is, either) Journal: “I am absolutely honoured and amazed to get the opportunity to do something like this,” Brandt said over the phone from his studio outside of Calgary. “I joke about living the Canadian dream, but it really feels like that. With everything going on in my life right now, with two kids and a new album, a box set and a tour coming, and the television show Build It Forward, it’s been really busy, but really full and good. And then you get asked to do something like this. It’s pretty exciting.”

Hold on, Canadian man. We (I) believe you. Or we would, except that it seems that Paul Brandts excitement for the whole thang ends at the point of having to write the song.

From the Calgary Herald: Alberta country singer Paul Brandt wants your help to write the anthem for the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship to be held in the province this winter.

Yes, Paul Brandt is so excited that he was tapped as the man to spearhead an anthem for the 2012 World Junior Championships, he can't be bothered to write any of the lyrics for it. It's a beautiful thing, that's the truth.

Now cry if you want, but here is the best part of the story (again, from Calgary Herald):
'Disclaimer: Entrants agree that by submitting their ideas, they waive their rights to be co-writers on the song. Paul Brandt is held harmless from claims against him by entrants. All submissions become the property of the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal.'

Yes, Paul Brandt would like you write his song, but he doesn't want to give you any credit for it. Full claim to a songs hockey royalties; That's worth fighting for.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crazy Calgary Prediction Time

Alright, the season is starting. Hurray.

The top Eight In the West will be:

1) Vancouver (fuck it makes me feel dirty writing that) (Goal Differential last year: +77)
2) San Jose (+35)
3) Chicago (+33)
4) Detroit (+20)
5) Los Angeles (+21)
6) Nashville (+25)
7) Calgary (+13) (That's the homer pick. Deal with it.)
8) Anaheim Phoenix Anaheim (+4)

Dropping out (from last years top 8): Phoenix.

Phoenix drops out due to their reliance on a goaltender Feaster once traded Brad Richards for. The Flames, by the grace of the deity, gets in. Why do we think that?

Well, we are fans of the team at the end of the day. Beyond that reason, we like to squint. Squinting real hard, we see the defence not suck more than it did last year. This is a gamble: the defence can easily suck more than it did last year, especially because we are of the mindset that Hannan is like Regehr, except smaller, slower, less positionally sound, and is less aggressive (ie he doesn't check). And Butler is a question mark. And Babchuck may get 5 on 5 minutes.

Similarly, the Flames scored a lot of goals last year, but expecting the over 30 crew to match those totals may be as delusional as expecting them to surpass them. It would most certainly be prudent to anticipate the offense being less potent this year. But fuck that shit. Prudence is for the Sedin sisters. Jarome Iginla, 50 goals.

The forward depth, which the Godfather makes some good points today about the stuff like 'it's kinda stupid to be paying forwards who will play 10 minutes or less 3 million dollars', may turn out to be a plus. Maybe Hagman gets hot and forces some players to watch their place on the depth chart. The competition for minutes on the wings may turn out to be a driver that increases the general level of play from that position. Hey, we told ya'll we were squinting.

Hey, did we ever mention that we hate the centres on this team? Well, besides Backlund. Olli Jokinen is a bust. How people in this town cheer for that cat without developing an ulcer is something we will never understand. Brenda Morrison is Brenda Morrison, which is to say he will play on one knee, and if someone checks him he will complain loudly about it to the world, and his teammates will not do anything about it. Matt Stajan is Matt Stajan. We hope Matt Stajan scores 100 goals this year, so we can ship his ass out at the trade deadline.

Actually, we can cheer for Horak as well. If for no other reason than the fact we hope he plays so well it makes spending 1.25 million on a one knee Morrison look as stupid to the rest of the folks as it does to us.

But here is the real reason the Flames will make the playoffs: David Moss will score 70 points.

Holy shit, DB is high.

Just hold on a second. One of these years, David Moss will stay healthy and play 82. Why not this year? So lets say he plays 82. Last time he did that, he had 194 shots on goal. He also had a TOI/G of 13:36.

This year, the Mosster is starting the season on the big line. His minutes will go up. His other stats, because of his increased minutes, should go up as well. He shoots 10%. Lets say he gets his 200 shots, scores 20 goals. If he plays with the big boys, is it insane to think he could, by virtue of the second assist, not accrue 50 helpers? Well, yeah, it is kinda insane. But if he sticks between Tangs and Elvis the whole season, who knows, maybe.

And so that's our Crazy Prediction for the Flames this year. Break out season for Moss, who is playing for his next contract, and who has a wife we are assuming enjoys shopping. Oh, crazy prediction number two is that Kipper doesn't sink the team this year.

So, squinting real hard, real hard, as of today, when everyone starts undefeated, we could see the Flames make the playoffs.

We could easily see them not making them, mind you. We would probably prefer that outcome for the admittedly selfish reason that missing them for a third time may impel Murray Edwards to shake up the front office, but we are misanthropic assholes.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

P.S. For Rubbertrout, who thinks that Muggsy Bouges in the backcourt was just as awesome as we do.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occupy The Saddledome

Sitting in a darkened room, at home, in front of the television, a despondent Matt Stajan stares with vacant, empty eyes into nothingness. A dark thought crosses his mind: I am staring into what my career has become.

In his hand, Stajan holds a tall glass of milskey. He drinks in deep the concoction of pure machismo that Darryl Sutter, the man who brought him into this city of broken dreams, had showed him how to make. It puts hair on your chest, he could hear echo from somewhere in his memory. It puts hair on your chest. It makes you a man.

Stajan hurls the glass across the room. It doesn't fucking work! he wants to scream, but he can't. His wife is upstairs, and he dares not disturb the sleep of the font of his tranquility. He finds he is as he has always been since arriving in this city: frustrated.

The flickering images on his TV screen briefly rip Stajan away from his own personalized hell, and then, most cruelly, hurl him back down into the abyss. Stajan's gaze had fallen on the TV as it was replaying highlights from the Calgary Flames pre-season. He looks to see his own image on the screen, but, like a modern day Ulysses, he will continue to search. He sees Roman Horak.

It's not fair! This is the only thought that races around the now frenzied mind of Matt Stajan. It's not right, and it's not equitable. It. Is. Not. Fair. And to Matt Stajan, this fact is an obvious one, should be obvious to everyone. He is the one with a multi-year contract. He is the former Maple Leaf centre. He is Matt Stajan. Matts Sundin knows his name, not Roman Horak's.

To Matt Stajan, in that moment, it became crystal clear. Like the fog lifting from a Potemkin village, or the lifting of a veil of obfuscation, Stajan has an understanding. It's not his fault he has fallen out of favour. How could it be? It's the systems fault. Stajan needs to fight the power; not just for him, but for all hockey players who have been victimized by the merciless monster that stomps across the earth under the moniker of Expectation. 

A flip of the television screen reveals inspiration. He sees the children in New York playing, and he is hopeful; a template has been provided for him, provided by the fates themselves it would seem, like mana falling down to the desert dwelling Hebrews. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy The Saddledome.

For the first time in a long time, Matt Stajan smiles. And then he begins to scribble.

Proposed list of demands for the Occupy The Saddledome Movement.

 Demand One: Free & Equitable Ice Time

The practice of allocating ice time based on performance is inherently racist, and is meant to divide the team along class lines. This process needs to end, and be replaced with one where all the players, regardless of such dehumanizing capitalist concepts like 'skill', 'ability', and 'talent', are allotted the same, universal amount of ice time. Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

Demand Two: No Checking, Hitting, Or Fighting Of Any Kind

True brothers in the Players Association should not be forced into conflict by their coaching class overlords. Forcing comrades to hit and fight each other, to invade and claim territory on the ice that is by rights the oppositions, is an inhumane abuse of power on behalf of the coaches that kills the dignity and class of the human spirit. Furthermore, it may be illegal, or will be, once the revolution occurs. Peace! Land! Bread!

Demand Three: End Of The Depth Chart

Segregating players, in writing, on a board, in a locker room, where all can see, is something that is hard to imagine occurs in 2011, but in point of fact such naked discrimination is allowed to occur. While there has been nary a peep about such a blatant attempt by the coaching class to sow discord and disunity in the players society by the observers, that does not change the facts on the ground about what is happening. The coaching class's attempts to follow on Caesars military strategies, divide and conquer, serves no purpose other than to alienate the player brothers from their unity of purpose. No war but class war!

Demand Four: Election Of Coaches

The owner class continually insults the player-comrades by appointing, without consultation, the coach overlords who heap abuse after abuse on the backs of the player-comrades. They do so because their constituency is the owner class, and not the working class. All power to the Soviets!

Demand Five: Open Ballots For The Election Of Team Captains And Assistants

The divisive practice of the coach class choosing who will represent the player-comrades must end, and be replaced with an open ballot system. The player-comrades will choose amongst themselves who will represent them. Power to the people!

Demand Six: Do Away With Statistic Tracking Agencies

A tool of the coaching class, these agencies only seek to divide and cement the fake class based divisions our oppressors have put us in. Without these agencies, the 'Depth Chart' itself would find itself in mortal danger, brother.  Ni dieu, Ni maitre!

Demand Seven: End Of Position Based Locker Allocation

'Ownership' over a particular locker stall, based on time played with the franchise, or position played, is a hold over from when men walked this earth in chains at the behest of a master. No more. The revolution will not be over until we abolish private locker ownership! Workers of the world, unite!

A satisfied Matt Stajan exhales. He has a good start; Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live. The revolution is never over, and neither is the work of the revolutionary.

But for know, it is time for bed.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fake Steve Maich Interview

It was the buzz of the media industry: Sportsnet was going forward with it's plans to launch a national, full colour sports themed magazine. Viewed as a Sports Illustrated for the Frozen North, the plan was to offer Canadians content geared toward them, to tell their stories. As the sports magazine market is dominated by publishers south of the border, the magazine would be a welcome change, and breath some fresh air into the Canadian sports media landscape.

Having recently finished, and in the motions of  launching, the inaugural issue of the groundbreaking magazine, we invited Steve Maich, publisher, editor, and the visionary behind Sportsnet Magazine, to come in and share his thoughts on the Canadian sports media landscape, launching a magazine, marketing, and life in general.

Dome Beers: Welcome, Steve. You are the editor and publisher of Sportsnet Magazine, a new magazine that will be launching this October. You must be very nervous and very excited.

Steve Maich: I am. It took a lot of hard work from a lot of very talented people, but we finally got this baby off the ground. The magazine is full of beautiful pictures and prose, and will really help tell stories that the Canadian sports fan is interested in.

DB: Very cool. But of course, you know the big question the critics will have is, why launch a magazine in 2011?

SM: Well, really, why not? With production budgets getting cut across the magazine industry, and advertising budgets drying up due to the prolonged recession, plus with the migration of many of the industries top writers to online sport platforms, it seemed like the perfect time to launch a national magazine.

DB: That certainly seems to make sense.

SM: Doesn't it? The magazine format allows us to do things we couldn't otherwise do, as well. For an example, we all live in this busy, 24/7 world, where we are all connected and bombarded with the latest and most up to date news available. By choosing to deliver content in a magazine, we can alleviate the stress that having timely and updated news available at your fingertips at any time can bring. Also, there are pictures. You won't find that on the internet!

DB: So you see your magazine as product that can add value to the Canadian sports fan?

SM: Very much so. One of the sayings we have around the office is to 'not be boring'. We have a promise to our readers that we will not bore them. By offering our customers access to stories that will not be updated for weeks, and are often written weeks in advance on the date of publication, we think we live up to the promise of not boring them. After all, who wants to read an opinion that has gone stale by the time the magazine is delivered? Canadian sports fans, that's who.

DB: The other aspect of launching a magazine, of course, is the business one. This magazine give Rogers yet another platform from which they can sell advertising space. Are you excited about that?

SM: Very excited, not just for the opportunity, but for what we did with it. We felt that because we are marketing Sportsnet Magazine as being for the hip and trendy, we should seek out advertising partners who would help reinforce that look and feel.

DB: Any you want to talk about?

SM: Well, we are very proud to have partnered with Johannes Gutenberg, who has bought a full page advertisement in the magazine to showcase his brand new product, movable type. Also, the Wright Brothers are on board, and will be showcasing their new development, the 'airplane', in a special full colour advertisement that will appear on the back of the front cover. And finally, Sears will be debuting a page from their 1925 catalogue exclusively in our magazine.

DB: Very cool. Staying on the advertisement track for another moment, how do you see Sportsnet marketing the new magazine?

SM: Well, we are going to be very aggressively pushed across all the media platforms that are used today: shortwave radio, telegraph wire, carrier pigeon, the silent movie theatre, and thanks to our status as part of the Rogers corporation, we are going to be all over the pager systems as well. We also have plans to heavily advertise on the side of horse buggies, which we feel will help us get our message out, and make people aware that there is a new magazine out that they can purchase. Our plan is to saturate all the relevant media platforms with our message, and hopefully people will head down to Main Street and pick up a copy from the local newsboy.

DB: Sounds like you have a very detailed plan for the roll out.

SM: Well, we do. But it doesn't just stop at advertising at every Pony Express station in the nation, which we also do. No, this is a special magazine, and we are acknowledging that in our marketing. In fact, I will be driving across Canada in a very special coloured black Ford Model T myself to promote the magazine as well.

DB: That is some audacious stuff. Now, Steve, our readers are curious as to the content of the magazine. Can you give us a preview of any of the stories or features that will be in the magazine?

SM: Well, I can't give away the whole store, you understand, but sure, why not, let's talk about some of the features. One of the stories we are very excited about is one on how using laminated wood for the stick construction process is really improving the quality of the game by allowing the players to shoot harder and with greater control. We are also looking at the state of goalie equipment today, and whether or not a goalie should be required to wear a mask or not (Planteing The Seed, page 15).

DB: All stories, of course, that are finding themselves in the news.

SM: And that is very much the point. What is a magazine? It is the newest and hippest idea for a media platform in today's contemporary culture, of course. So we feel a burden to fill the magazine with only the newest and hippest stories. For example, in the inaugural issue we have a story about the new hockey statistics, and whether or not we should, as a sports nation, embrace them. I mean, we all know about goals and assists, and how those measure a players worth. But should we also be looking at the newfangled 'plus/minus' statistic as well, for context? It's a very interesting and edgy story, and one we feel is right at home in our new magazine.

DB: Well, it is nice to hear that someone out there is pushing the boundaries, both on the technological front, and on the content front. We very much appreciate you coming in here, Steve, and wish you and your magazine a lot of success. 

SM: Thank you very much. Oh, one last thing before I go?

DB: Certainly, the floor is yours.

SM: Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias, err, Ken King, should be fired.