Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I used to love it...

I used to love hockey, but right now i'm disgusted. I'm outraged. Furious. Mad. Angry. Just plain pissed. Why? Because the 'suits' of the hockey world have committed two atrocities less than 48 hours

The first one is not connected to the joke of the organized sports world which we call the National Hockey League (NHL). Instead, it is related to the USA Hockey, the organization which sponsors/runs the Men's and Women's National teams and Olympic teams, as well as various Jr. Teams. In his infinite wisdom, Ben Smith, the new women's coach, has chosen to cut, that's right cut, Cammi Granato from the National Team which will compete in the '06 Olympics this February. I learned about this from ESPN (the same ESPN that, in it's own disgusting move, disowned the NHL) Columnist John Buccigross. Here are some particularly eye-catching quotations from his column:

Buccigross: Granato deserved better ending

Ben Smith, head coach of the U.S. women's national team, cut the face of women's hockey from the team last week in cold and merciless fashion.

"Like all players, if they choose to try to play forever, their numbers liable to come up," Smith said last week during a conference call.

When I spoke with Granato, she was obviously hurt and didn't want to say too much.
"I had a good camp. I felt like I was really going. Moving well, shooting well, and confident in me and our team," Granato said. "I was never told I was on a bubble to make the team."

If this decision stands, it means Cammi Granato will not be on the U.S. Olympic team and her international hockey career has come to an abrupt and unjust end.

"I'd like to think I have enough self-awareness to know when my time as a player is done," Granato said...

"This says to me that women's hockey means nothing to USA Hockey," Merz (Granato's former teammate) said. "What kind of example does Ben Smith give to the younger girls on the team? If Cammi is treated this way, what does this mean for me in the future?"

This might not mean much to Joe Smoe who doesn't care about hockey or the Olympics, but to anybody who has any interest in hockey, Olympics or female athleticism, this is devastating. Just what did Cammi do for Women's Hockey and for her country? Here's Bucci's breakdown:

• Granato scored the first goal in U.S. women's Olympic history.
• In 2002, she carried the Olympic torch with Picabo Street and handed it to Mike Eruzione, who lit the flame with his 1980 teammates.
• In 1998, Granato not only carried the flag for the U.S. Olympic team at the closing ceremonies in Nagano but also led her team to the gold medal, totaling four goals and four assists in six games.
• After the Olympics, Granato was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as a radio color commentator, making her the only female broadcaster in the NHL and only the second in league history.

I find this entire thing to be just sickening. Maybe she's not going to be the powerhouse she was 8 years ago in Nagano, but that doesn't matter. You don't Wayne Gretzkyzkey from the Canadian Olympic team. Why? Because he's Wayne 'The Great One.' You don't cut Michael Jordan from the USA Olympic Basketball team. Why because he's Michael friggin Jordan! And you do not cut the FACE OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY from the Olympic team.

I hope for the sake of USA Hockey that this disgusting wrong is righted before February 2006!

In other pissy hockey news:

From the press release:

After over a year of having absolutely ZERO NHL hockey due to a sad and preventable lockout, it has come to my attention that the likelihood of my seeing any in the near future is rather slim. Not because I don't carry ESPN (no, my cable provider has ESPN but they are abandoners who left the NHL thus perpetuating their becoming ENBA, the Basketball Network), but because OLN is NOT COVERED in basic cable, like ESPN or ESPN2.

The new cable deal, which is supposed to showcase the NHL and help their renaissance, while also turning OLN into a competitive sports network capable of keeping up with ESPN, is a complete joke.

Fans in New York City are worried about being blacked out for all, yes all, New York Ranger games, OLN is not carried by CableVision, the provider in NYC, and MSG will have no rights to NHL games because they are owned by CableVision. This, though, has no effect on my viewing potential.

What does, though, is the lack of a clause which would make OLN a basic cable channel, like an ESPN or an ESPN2. This means that A) I will NOT be able to view ANY NHL games until January, when NBC begins covering NHL games (which I shall discuss shortly) and B) At least 25 million homes who carry ONLY basic cable--which means they would have had access to NHL on ESPN--will NOT be watching NHL hockey.

So the new cable deal, which was marketed as expansionsion pack' that would allow the NHL to be carried more often and more broadly, will, instead, restrict as many as 25 million viewers, carry nearly as many games (58 games per season) as ESPN and ESPN 2 did, and be blacked out in NYC.

Aside from that, OLN has apparently allowed NBC to carry NHL games, very similar to the old days when FOX carried games on Saturday afternoons starting in January, while ESPN carried most of the broadcast rights. Why was a clause not included that NBC would carry regular season games BEFORE JANUARY. Come on people, this is something that should have been covered in Marketing 101--which, apparently, the NHL execs did NOT take in college: The more exposure your product gets, the better chance you have of selling it.

If the NHL Execs want to sell NHL Hockey they've got to do a better job of exposing it! And, might I add, once somebody buys into it and becomes a fan, maybe--just maybe--it would be nice to treat them well, something that the NHL has historically SUCKED at.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Can't We Keep Him?

With the first year of Bush's second term winding down, there is already huge discussion about 'replacements' within the republican party. The more I read about these people, the more disgusted I am, and the more I wish that Bush could just stay an extra term.

The majority of the candidates discussed in this morning's Washington Times are senators (Frist, Hagel and McSkunk from Arizona). Why do we go through this every election cycle? A bunch of so called 'insiders' run for the presidency, and never win. Why not save the people of America some trouble by NOT running, and save some dough for the candidates in the process.

Most of these insiders are beginning to part ways with the Bush administration. Here's the story:
GOP hopefuls for '08 breaking from Bush
By Bill SammonTHE WASHINGTON TIMESAugust 26, 2005

Republican senators with White House ambitions have begun to break with President Bush on a variety of issues to prove their independence from the second-term president.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee staked out his own ground on the issue of stem-cell research. Sen. George Allen of Virginia publicly disagreed with Mr. Bush's refusal to meet a second time with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska compared the war in Iraq to the Vietnam War, an analogy that is anathema to Mr. Bush. Sen. John McCain of Arizona has long disagreed with the president's tax cuts and confidence in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

"As the incumbent president gets into his second term, a lot of people who lust after his job are trying to differentiate themselves -- not so much from him as from each other," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

"They're trying to define themselves in the public mind in a way that will give them a leg up in the next election," he said. "George Bush doesn't have to run again, so there's less fear of disagreeing with him."

Yet none of these senators has positioned himself as more conservative than the president, a move that might appeal to disaffected sectors of the Republican base.

"It's a real dilemma for these Republican senators," said Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh. "They're trying to differentiate themselves from Bush on certain issues. And yet the Republican activists who dominate the nominating process are sticking with Bush on those issues."

Analysts from both parties said Republicans would do well to tap into the biggest sources of discontent among conservative Republicans -- lax immigration laws and excessive federal spending. Although no candidate has taken a prominent stance against the expansion of government under Mr. Bush, a dark horse is strongly challenging the administration on immigration.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, adamantly opposes Mr. Bush's plan to grant legal status to millions of Mexicans who illegally entered the U.S. Although Mr. Tancredo's White House prospects are considered remote, his candidacy could pull the Republican field rightward in the way former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean pulled the Democratic field leftward in last year's primaries.

"Given how far out front he is on immigration, Tancredo could force the entire field to take a tougher stance," Mrs. Marsh said.

Mr. Keene said: "I don't think he's a serious candidate for the nomination, but he may be more serious in his ability to affect the outcome of things than some of the others."

After criticizing the president's immigration policy in 2002, Mr. Tancredo said he was told by Bush adviser Karl Rove "never to darken the doorstep of the White House."

By contrast, the Republican senators who are considered White House contenders have been careful to preserve their overall working relationships with Mr. Bush, even as they disagree with him on individual issues.

The possible exception is Mr. Hagel, who in recent weeks significantly has sharpened his criticism of Mr. Bush's Iraq policy.

"Hagel's mistake is that he's attempting to stake out his ground on foreign and defense policy, whereas most people are going to agree with Bush on these issues," Mr. Keene said. "It may be a political tin ear. Or it may be a desire to get on the tube and get press, because he certainly does that."

Frist, my early favorite, has completely lost any support he would have had from me by challenging Bush's stem-cell policy, which I sometimes think isn't harsh enough. Hagel is a load mouth and McCaine is just obnoxious.

When are these presidential hopefuls going to learn that the vast majority of Bush supporters are CONSERVATIVE on EVERY ISSUE and would like to see the party drift slightly further to the right. We don't want to 'liberal-up' our views. It's annoying and it needs to stop.

I'm starting to think that we're going to have to pick the lesser of evils for president in 2008, unless, of course, a 'dark-horse' candidate suddenly springs forth and steals the spot light. We shall see I suppose.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Good Grief!

I think I've seen just about everything now! I just finished reading an article in the Washington Times about high-tech washers and dryers. Here's some selections from the story:

Dormitory suds go digital
By Marguerite HigginsTHE WASHINGTON

College students, who traditionally don't mind a little slovenliness, are getting high-tech help with their laundry. An online laundry system, spreading on campuses nationwide, has been installed in nine of the residence halls with laundry facilities at American University in Northwest Washington. The system, connected to all of the university's 283 new washers and dryers, enables students to check via the Internet whether and when an appliance is available.

"It's nice because students can pull up the status of the laundry room and better schedule their time," says Julie Weber, executive director for housing and dining programs. The laundry system, called, tracks the use of the washers and dryers, informing students when a washer is done with a load or how much time is left in a washing or drying cycle.

E-suds tells the 3,300 students in American University's dorms when their laundry loads are done through a text message to a cell phone or a personal digital assistant (PDA) or through e-mail.

So far, the reaction from American University students, who started classes Friday, has been "ecstatic," Mrs. Weber says. "It was one of the services that got the biggest response during orientation this summer."

"What we've heard from students is it saves them a lot of time, especially for students who live in big dorms and don't want to wait around for their laundry to get done," says marketing manager Nicole Panas.

Who in the world would ever have thought that LAUNDRY could become so upgraded? While I will admit that it would be quite nice to check the internet to see if the four washers/dryers in the BASEMENT of Turner Hall are available without dragging everything downstairs, and it would be nice to know via cell phone/PDA if my clothes are done, isn't this, to some extent, taking the 'lazy American' thing a little far? I mean even though it is inconvenient, and it is, is it really that much trouble? I'm just not sure that it is.

Crazy times, crazy times.


  • Robert C. Byrd will be visiting Shepherd University on September 16 at 4pm. I have already made proper provisions to take that day OFF so that I can go and hear him speak on the Constitution. Like him or not, he knows the Constitution better than most, and it should be interesting to hear him speak. In the mean time, however, I will be searching the internet for a 'Republican and Proud' (or some similar slogan) T-shirt. Ben, a friend of mine here at SU, is also planning to go in his 'Republican and Proud' T-shirt. Should be interesting.
  • The scariest thing about non-believers is that they WANT to believe in God. Yesterday Dr. Bergman was explaining how he believes that looking at the planets in the sky is the single most beautiful thing that any human is able to see. He went on to explain that he can remember one time when he was coming to Shepherd very early in the morning to grade papers when he saw a line of bright and brilliant lights. He said that, at first, he thought they were helicopters just over the tree line. So he stopped and turned off his car. When he noticed that there was no noise coming from the 'helicopters,' it dawned on him that it was a line of planets (4 or 5 maybe?) "marching through the night sky." He then proclaimed, "If I didn't already know better, I may have actually bought in to that bullshit Intelligent Design garbage." He wants to believe, I know he does!
  • Thirdly and finally, it should be known by all that Sara Evans is a remarkable singer/song writer and I have been lucky enough to stumble upon a copy of her last CD. I just can't get enough of it. That's how good it is!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Typical Liberal

I thought with the beginning of school I would have a little more time to post. If, however, the past three days have been an indicator of just how this semester is going to be, I probably won't have time to scratch my butt, let alone to write a post.

Thus far my classes have been far from great. My American History prof. is the most boring individual I think I have ever met, my education instructor is a 'touchy-feely' weirdo, my World Lit. prof is far from entertaining, and my Geography teacher is a typical liberal, which I will discuss in greater depth shortly.

I don't for one minute, though, want to make it sound all bad. My Economics professor is hilarious and seems well read in the riveting subject of Economics. He explains nearly everything in relation to 'pizza,' 'beer,' bourbon, or some combination there of. Even so I think I'm going to enjoy the class.

My Intro to Psyc professor, Dr. Joe Merz, is similar to another 'Joe' we've all heard of: Joe Pesci. He is roughly 5'4" tall, skinny and looks quite similar to Pesci. He has a New York accent, and the attitude to go with it. He has a dislike for the administration of this University and calls himself 'primarily conservative.' I thoroughly like him and expect to leave his class with a wealth of knowledge.

So with that introduction out of the way, I'd like to comment briefly (or not so briefly) on the wonderful professor of Geography.

He entered the classroom and announced in no uncertain terms that, "as paraphrased from a speech by Howard Dean, chair of the DNC, 'Evolution is based on Science, Science is based on Scientific Method, Scientific Method is based on Fact and therefore we can conclude that Evolution is based on fact. Intelligent design is based faith and crack-pot religious theories.' I," continued the idiot, "happen to agree with Mr. Dean and I shall instruct this course as such. This theory is held as absolute by the university, therefore if you have a problem with the way I instruct the course, take it to the Dean or President and they will tell you as I am about to tell you: if you want to hear that pish-posh, see you clergyman on Sunday morning because I don't give a shit."

Aside from the fact that Dean's thinking is incorrect (the scientific method is NOT based on fact, instead on educated guesses or assumptions), this professor, I think, is confused as to what it means to be a liberal as he later labeled himself.

Today I had a conversation with the girl who sits beside me in that class and is in her second consecutive semester of this course (she failed the first semester). We concluded the following:

A) This professor clearly considers himself to be, as do most modern democrats, a 'progressive.' This term is a fancy way of saying "liberal" without the negative connotation that has come to be associated with "liberal." 'Progessives' are supposed to stand for education, civil/human rights, etc. etc. They are supposed to be the pillars of understanding throughout the world.

B) This professor clearly is not a progressive. He, as most evolutionists, has turned a theory into religious doctrine which is now thought as absolute truth and is, under no circumstance, to be questioned.

C) This professor clearly is not a progressive. He, as most modern liberals who hide behind the term 'progressive,' is nothing more than a defender of leftists beliefs, unwilling to listen to/respect anyone whose opinion differs from that of his own.

D) This professor clearly is not a progressive. He is, instead, a leftist. He is your typical, confused man who, at one time, probably was a defender of a persons right to think thoughts not accepted by academia. Now, though, he has come to squash anything not directly in line with his thinking.

These leftists are becoming bigger and bigger problems and must be stopped. I will do my best to shut my mouth and pass the class with, hopefully, an 'A.' However, I do not know if this will be possible. We shall see.

TODAY'S MORAL: Don't be a leftist. It's just that simple.