Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dispatches From Planet Hoth

What the hell happened this weekend? It hasn't snowed as much all winter in Edmonton as it has over the past two days. I actually couldn't get my car out of the underground garage yesterday. And I thought it smelled bad on the outside.

I won't comment on March Madness, as Abboud is doing a bang-up job, and everything that needs to be said is being said in the open threads he is throwing up.

So what else to talk about? Well, the Oilers stole a point from the Red Wings last night, when they really had no business doing so. Thanks to Sir Dwayne: The Unsound Mound of Rebounds, the Oilers gave up a 2-1 lead in the 2nd, and were behind 3-2 until late in the game. Thankfully, the Oilers got a fluky goal late in the 3rd--while shorthanded--and were able to get at least one point. That leaves them in 6th place in the West as of right now, one back of Colorado and three back of Calgary.

How the hell the Oilers have stuck around is beyond me, as they have played relatively uninspired hockey since before the Olympic break. The addition of Sergei Samsonov at the trade deadline has paid off, but the addition of Roloson--at least to me--has been an unmitigated disaster. At least Lowe was wise enough to pick up a goalie he wouldn't need be stuck with after the offseason. At the very worst, Roloson can be ignored after June. Of course by mid-April the Oilers may have failed to make the playoffs, which means that Roloson will be haunting my sleep for at least the next four weeks. Super.

Chuck Klosterman has a new article up on ESPN, which I totally missed seeing until this morning. It's fantastic, Klosterman's best since joining the "Worldwide Leader In Sports." Then again, I may be biased, as Klosterman writes about me in the story:

Have you ever played golf with someone who sliced a drive and threw his club into a tree? If so, I suspect you did not find yourself thinking, "Man, I really respect Andy. He really wants this."

The gist of the article is that you should respect me, as you would respect Michael Jordan if he did the same thing. So this is a heads-up to anyone who ever competes against me, and gets their ass whupped: don't hate the player, baby. Hate yourself.

There is some sort of "poison pill" debate going on in the NFL right now. I don't really care at all, except in this regard: if you were Steve Hutchinson, wouldn't you be embarrassed to make more money than Walter Jones? I sure as hell wouldn't want to walk into the same camp as Jones knowing that he knows I make more than him. It would be like knowing that a buddy of yours knew that you had slept with his wife. Guaranteed drama.

(Speaking of Drama, I must have been the only guy at the V for Vendetta viewing on Thursday night who has ever seen Entourage. I was so excited to see Kevin Dillon in the trailer for Poseidon that I actually yelled out, "Johnny Drama!" in a theatre of about 200 people. The response was absolute silence. Even the two guys I was with looked at me like I was on smack. Cretins.)

Last night marked the return of the WWE's Saturday Night's Main Event to NBC after 13 years. The highlight was seeing Shawn Michaels get "screwed" by Vince and Shane McMahon. In clear reference, even homage, to the Montreal Screw Job, Michaels was defeated when Shane put him in a sharpshooter and Vince demanded that the bell be rung and Shane declared the winner. Anyone who knows wrestling knows that this is how Bret Hart was defeated at Survivor Series in 1997. Hart will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at Wrestlemania Weekend this year, and the angle on Main Event last night was surely another way for McMahon--and Michaels--to heal the wounds from which Hart, his family, and the business have never fully recovered. I will be watching Wrestlemania 22 this year, that is for sure. I watched the Survivor Series in 1997, and it is truly one of the most memorable moments of my life. I don't want to miss what may be a historic night in sports entertainment. is reporting that the WWE has worked out a "huge storyline" involving Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin for Wrestlemania 22, but the link doesn't take you to an actual story. Typical fare for wrestling pages, really. They often act more as adverstising sites than as effective content sites. It should also be noted that the WWE has a headline up about former Demolition manager "Slick" returning to the WWE. Again, I can't read the actual story.


At 12:38 AM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Good to see Drama making good after toiling all of those years on "Viking Quest". Although, I'm sure Turtle will bust his chops about being credited below Kurt Russell.

At 3:34 AM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

With regards to the Oil, I have of felt that, with the exception of goaltending, they have been the great underachievers. I feel they have as much and more going for them than any other team in the West.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how not having shootouts in the playoffs will affect certain teams? The Stars have benifiitted from 10 shootout wins this season. In the old NHL those games would have resulted in a tie, garnering only one point, not two. This a.) would pull them back to within striking distance of the Kings and b.) raises some questions as to how well they may fare in a protracted overtime game. In other words, have the Stars developed a defensive "sit back" style of play in overtime that allows them to reach the shootout, knowing that they have the better chance to win in such a contest? If so, will they bring this mentality to the playoffs, thereby leaving themselves susceptible to overtime losses due to passive play?

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Alex said...

I'm willing to give Rollie the Goalie a few more games to get his act together, since he's still adjusting to a new team and all, but right now I can't help but feel like a fool for talking myself into being cautiously optimistic about the trade. On the other hand, most goalies are nutcases, so Roloson could just be being bothered by something like "my new mask isn't painted yet", and will go back to being his old self as soon as that's remedied.

To avoid being redunant, I'll like to the BoA thread where some of my initial comments can be found, and my trade deadline post, where a bit more commentary can be found. Kudos to The Puck Stops Here for being critical of this move right out of the gate.

With regards to the Oil underachieving, I don't get to see them much living out East, but I have to wonder how much of it is MacT's fault. From what I see, some of his coaching moves (such as his Keenan-esque tendency to pull goalies) could be hurting his team's confidence.

Great point about the shootouts, Nate. As for the Dallas Stars, I don't think it's so much a case of them playing for a shootout as it is a case that their style of play tends to lead to defensive struggles, and close games, which then leads to overtime/shootout situations.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Alex said...

One other point I should have made about the Stars.

They seem to be playing a very similar, if not identical style to the one they did prior to the lockout, so that's another reason why I don't think they're playing to make a shootout.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

Your understanding of the 'poison pill' the Vikings planted into Hutchinson's offer sheet is incorrect. It doesn't guarantee that Steve H. will make more money than Walter Jones; what it states is that, should Steve H. not be the highest paid offensive lineman on his team, all US$49M of his contract will be guaranteed -- i.e. they have to pay him no matter what.

Now Minnesota doesn't have to worry about that clause. Steve H. will be the highest paid offensive lineman for the Vikings next year, and so long as they don't sign anyone else for more money (very unlikely under the circumstances) he will remain that way.

But in Seattle, Walter Jones does make more money than Hutchinson would make, even under this new deal. Therefore, if the poison pill provision in the offer sheet is an integral term, in matching the offer Seattle would be guaranteeing Steve H. all $49 million. No renegotiating to make it under the cap; no way to restructure or otherwise reduce the amount if he becomes less effective later on; they're stuck with it.

Which is why they have an arbitration hearing today to decide if the poison pill term is in fact integral to the offer sheet. If it isn't, Seattle will match the other terms of Minnesota's offer and keep Hutchinson. If it is, look for Steve to be wearing purple instead of blue next season.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Even if I was playing in Minny, I would be embarrassed to make more than Walter Jones. Course, not as embarrassed as I would be to be playing in Minny, but still.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

I'm going to say this one more time, very slowly:

Under the deal that Hutchinson signed with Minnesota, Walter Jones will still make more money next year, and the year after, than Steve H. will.

Should Steve H. be embarrassed playing in Minnesota? Yes. Should he be embarrassed making more money than Walter Jones? No, because Walter Jones still makes more money than Steve does.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I would still be embarrassed if I was Hutchinson, because I would never think I deserved as much money as Walter Jones.

You are such an easy mark, Kevvie.

I love you.

Let's get drunk watching hockey tonight. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that the Canucks fucking suck.


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