Tagged: vancouver

Carnell Knowledge : Super Bowl 46 Edition

Super Bowl Edition of ‘Carnell Knowledge’. Is that a pun? It’s what I call the NFL picks during the regular season.  A listener once came up with that title so credit to Cat in Connecticut.

Sports is international. On Thursday night during the Queen’s-RMC hockey broadcast we found out from Queen’s Athletics there was a listener online in New Zealand of all places. Where it would’ve been Friday morning with the time difference. Like me watching the Australian Open at 3:30am. Which since I’m on midnight shift isn’t that unique.

Done this blog post for the last couple of years. Just me doing a Super Bowl pick by myself would be boring. So get others to give some as well.

Before we start, a video from Gillette Stadium in the cheap seats when a certain Ravens kicker missed a field goal in the AFC Championship. They are slightly excited. Gives a good idea what it’s like during an NFL playoff game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC5EG-RQVxM

Before we go to the picks I will go back to the January 16th blog post. I wrote what the Super Bowl storylines might be before the NFC and AFC championship games were played. Decided to mention something about Tom Brady.

https://saltwatermusic.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/early-superbowl-storylines/

“And your little known fact, Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995. As a catcher. Witness to ‘The Catch’ and could’ve been a catcher. Maybe someone else will pick up on that if there is a 49ers-Pats Super Bowl.”

Well, San Francisco didn’t make it. But according to Google, Tom Brady and the word “Expos” appear in over 300 news articles earlier this week. Many linking to this Globe and Mail story.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/football/tom-brady-a-montreal-expo-what-might-have-been/article2321800/

Amusing when I predicted a story almost 3 weeks ago. Super Bowl week tends to do that since most players have their talking points for any questions that arise. No one wants to give Bulletin Board material so the media is stuck. Luckily the Colts and Peyton Manning soap opera has given them plenty to talk about.

Onto the picks.

First up 2 people who have helped out each year. Andrew Bucholtz who runs Yahoo Canada’s CFL blog ’55 Yard Line’. Queen’s Alumni who worked at the Queen’s Journal.

https://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBucholtz

“I’ve got Giants 24, Patriots 21.”

Jody Vance, from Breakfast Television in Vancouver. Also helps out with Sportsnet, like the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament last week. She picked Giants over Patriots in a newspaper column in 2007 before they played in that Super Bowl. This time she’s going with the Patriots.

https://twitter.com/#!/jodyvance

Julie Stewart-Binks, sports anchor at CTV Regina. Former intermission reporter at CFRC.  Might’ve seen her on TVCogeco during Frontenac games as well.

https://twitter.com/#!/JSB_CTV

“24-20 Patriots”

Matt Bisson from CHED Edmonton and former play by play of Golden Gaels Football at CFRC.

https://twitter.com/#!/Matt_Bisson

“My heart says New England, but my head says the Giants momentum is too strong, and they will lift the trophy.”

Chris Lund. Writer-at-large. Work for theScore, write for Hardball Times, founded AlwaysOUA. Interned at The Hockey News.

https://twitter.com/#!/THEChrisLund

“I like NYG. Say 30-22.”

Jaime Stein, who is leaving his position as the CFL’s Manager of Digital Media. Former sports host/play by play here at CFRC.

https://twitter.com/#!/jaimestein

“I’ll go with New England.”

Jaime wrote a blog about his time with the CFL, worth checking out.

http://jaimestein.wordpress.com/

Steve Maich, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Sportsnet Magazine. Who I didn’t know was a CFRC Alumni until we were chatting on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/#!/stevemaich

“Giants 24, Patriots 20”

You can read a few articles from past issues of Sportsnet Magazine here. Long form articles on Gordie Howe, the decline of the Montreal Canadiens and the late Sarah Burke. Picked up a few issues and worth a read if you are a sports fan. Especially if you are at work during a slow time and it’s 4am. Which is probably nobody reading this except me.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/magazine/news/archive/

Next two from a couple of women who aren’t football fans. Nancy Slater, Midday announcer on Classic Rock FM96 in Kingston. She’s on the air from 10am-3pm. Nancy plays some Open Mics around town and put up a few songs on YouTube you can check out.

https://twitter.com/#!/SlaterFM96

http://www.youtube.com/user/nanunt13

“I like cheering for the underdogs, so I’ll go with the Giants. Fingers crossed for the upset.”

BJ Stewart, producer from The Weather Network’s morning show. Tweets during the show and posts on Facebook as well. One of the multi-taskers. She likes hockey, not into football. Still got a pick, which was I believe mostly based on their uniforms. Whatever works.

https://twitter.com/#!/@TWN_AM_SHOW

https://www.facebook.com/pages/TWN-AM-SHOW/108169452608807

“Go Patriots! 🙂 ”

Natalie Thomas from The Weather Network, who beat me last year in NHL Playoff Picks here on the blog. However we did both pick Boston to beat Vancouver. On the sports side she played US College Basketball for Appalachain State. And recently playing basketball got her 1st technical foul ever….. for calling a timeout when the team didn’t have one. Still counts as a technical. [EDIT: Forgot to mention her team still won the game when her sister scored, so it’s not a Chris Webber situation]

https://twitter.com/#!/NatalieTWN

http://nataliethomas.ca/

“I am taking the Giants solely because I am in NYC all next week. So if there’s a Super Bowl champions parade…I’ll get to be there for it!”

Out to St. John’s, Newfoundland with Kevin Kelly. Senior Editor of The Newfoundland Herald, Host ‘On The Scene’ on OZ FM’s Jigs & Reels. And a Habs fan but I don’t hold that against him.

https://twitter.com/#!/KKellyNFHerald

“Patriots 21-17.”

From East Coast to West Coast with Amar, a video editor in Vancouver. Who realized there wasn’t a great choice either way as a Canucks fan. He mentioned last year Stanley Cup Final which would’ve leaned him towards NY. Until I said “I know you are picking the home of the 1994 Stanley Cup, New York”. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

https://twitter.com/#!/AmarTime

http://www.youtube.com/amarvision

“I’m picking Mr. Gisele’s team then.”

One of the more well known CFRC Alumni Chris Cuthbert helped out too. Chris started out doing play-by-play for Queen’s Football as a university student. Today he’s at TSN/CTV doing CFL and NHL games. Called the last few Grey Cups. Also part of a sports blog that started a few months ago.

http://www.goldengoalsportsblog.com/

https://twitter.com/#!/CCtsn

“Not my area of expertise but I’ll take Brady and the Patriots. #revenge”

For me, this one can go either way after looking at the games they played 2 weeks ago. Patriots had a bad performance from Brady where he himself said “I sucked”. Giants’ offense had a stretch of 11 possessions with 10 punts against the 49ers.  Yet, both of those teams are in Indy.

One of the stranger facts from this season. My team the Redskins who finished 5-11 beat the New York Giants, TWICE. Patriots played Washington this year and New England won. If they couldn’t beat Rex Grossman I can’t pick them to beat Tom Brady.

Patriots 32-24

Not everyone will be watching the game, while Jody will be watching the game another of BT Vancouver gang will be busy. Dawn Chubai is doing a concert on Sunday afternoon. Jazz singer before getting into television, where she’s on BT Vancouver.  Never hurts to give a plug.

http://yfrog.com/user/dawn_chubai/photos

https://twitter.com/#!/dawn_chubai

Jazz Vespers, Dawn Chubai Quartet: St. Andrew Wesley Church at 4:00pm

Back to the opposite coast as my friend Toni Marie Wiseman doesn’t like football either, but the Super Bowl is on NTV so that means she gets off work early. If it’s like past years she should be doing some news updates during the time they air the long NBC pre-game show. No 6pm news in St. John’s this Sunday.

https://twitter.com/#!/FayeGrim

Like others in this blog she’s more busy than me. ‘NTV news anchor, entertainment reporter, and senior weather host. I’m also a new mom.’

Kickoff for the game is 6:30pm EST on NBC and CTV.  Or you might watch it through ‘other means’ as Brady was quoted; “Last year, I was rehabbing my foot in Costa Rica watching the game on an illegal Super Bowl website and now I’m actually playing in the game, so it’s pretty cool”.

I’ll be watching the game on TV, first time I’ll see it from start to finish in 3 years.  With my weird work hours the last three I’ve woken up and watched the 2nd half.  Which honestly has worked well.  This time I thought I’ll see the entire thing.  Not the pre-game shows.  Even I draw the line with those. Longest is NFL Network’s 8 1/2 hour one.  I wish that was a typo.

Enjoy the game if you are watching it.

Sportsnet Magazine Review

Thought I’d do a review of the first issue of the Sportsnet Magazine. Hadn’t seen a review so started writing one. As I was putting it together the Toronto Sports Media blog put out one.

http://torontosportsmedia.com/sports-and-toronto/sportsnet-magazine-worth-a-read/11551

Ended up touching on almost everything in the magazine in quick detail. So check out that one as well.

If you read the blog you know I used to watch Sportsnet back in 2000-2005 era and slowly went away. On Twitter too you see I watch SportsCentre for the most part now.

Scott Moore came back to Rogers and things have gotten better. Believe it or not I had an interaction with Scott. This is going to take some time to explain. Since the magazine believes in ‘long form’ reporting, this kinds of fits.

Back in 2000-era, Sportsnet.ca had a Fan Forum. Message board that fans used, and also on air people would post too. Was years ago so it wasn’t like there was a 1000 messages a day.

I recall Jamie Campbell, Brad Fay and Jody Vance among others posting. One thread had viewers asking for advice and such about broadcasting. Scott Moore stopped by as well and responded from time to time. Once even gave out his email address too. As someone who was taking TV Broadcasting in college at the time I thought ‘I will file that away for future use’.

Cut to 2002 and I’m living in Toronto. Job posting came up for a Graphics/Font Operator at Sportsnet. Usual process of applying through the website. Rogers had just come into the picture. I thought why not try that email address I have of his and try and contact him directly. Website applications always seem so ‘clinical’ to me. You enter your information and you never have an interaction with anyone.

Now chance of someone responding to a ‘cold call’ might not be high. To his credit he responded even more than I thought. Today I don’t think this would work. Try and imagine how many emails he would get in 2011 compared to 2002.

Exchanged a few emails with him and even set up an interview time for the following week at Sportsnet. I would say cold calling doesn’t work 9 times out of 10. First day in Toronto I called up a production company to ask where to send a resume. Person answering said it was another phone number in the company. As I started to ask for that number she hung up on me….. nothing says “Welcome to Toronto” like that.

Somehow my email was the 1 time out of 10 it worked, to a certain extent. The bad news was Scott had to cancel the interview 3 days before it happened. Job had been filled internally by someone from CFMT/OMNI. He apologized and I understood how that happens with big companies during a switchover. Left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

Although was a big red flag to me about how the switch to Rogers was going. They went from CTV to a holding pattern while CRTC approval waited then to Rogers. If Scott didn’t know about an internal candidate going for a job that was posted on an external job site I though that was a bit weird. Especially since if he knew he would’ve been more guarded about giving a job interview, let alone schedule one with me. I looked at it like he also had the rug pulled out from under him. That was July/August 2002, following July he left the company.  Did I see a small sample of what was going on at the time? Possibly.

Friend of the blog, Jody Vance had a column about the 2000 Trade Deadline day which he was involved in. I remember this very well. In my 1st year of taking TV Brodcasting at Alongquin College in Ottawa. So I would be paying attention more than most about TV coverage. CTV Sportsnet beat TSN in the ratings that day. Which was a huge upset. Even sports radio in Ottawa talked about it the next morning, that TSN had lost to another channel.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Vance/2009/03/02/8591921-sun.html

After Scott left Sportsnet, in my opinion, it started a slow slide. Best emphasised by having their anchors go without ties. Except, pretty much keeping the exact same format to Sportsnet Connected intact. Rather pointless. Anyone not watching TSN SportsCentre because Jay Onrait is wearing a tie? No.

In 2010 Moore came back to Rogers after a stint at CBC Sports. Which I thought was a good sign. From my personal dealing that one week with him and the feelings of others I’ve heard from. Here I was, a guy out of the blue who emails him and we almost had a job interview. Most probably would’ve hit DELETE.

That tangent took much longer to explain than I thought.

Back to current day, we have Sportsnet Magazine. ‘Rogers’ has been dropped from the Sportsnet name and a re-branding has been done. Radio, TV, print and the website. All except the Sportsnet iPhone/iPod touch app, as of today. Haven’t had an update yet so I’m thinking they will start from scratch with a rebuild on the app. Funny that between TSN, Sportsnet, CBC and The Score the latter is the one whose App I use the most and is most popular. During my Bruins run to the Cup when I wanted to check a score during the playoffs I went to Score Mobile.

I wasn’t sure about the magazine when I first heard about it. Memories of the first attempt at a Sportsnet Magazine that was an insert in Maclean’s. Strangely I am one of the only ones to remember it. I tried searching for articles about that first try and wasn’t much. I found this headline but to read the article I had to pay for it.

“Rogers keen on new ‘zine ; Media giant to add sports publication; Stable of writers already assembled” : Toronto Star, Chris Zelkovich, Nov 29, 2002

Don’t remember how long it was around for. Glad I didn’t imagine it and found proof though. You might remember a Sports Illustrated Canada. Which was a regular S.I. issue just with some added Canadian pages.

When it comes to the new magazine, it was well worth the money and on the whole quite good. Now there are growing pains with any first thing. I guest hosted an hour on CFRC in Feb. 2007.  Tribute to Ryan’s Fancy as Dermot O’Reilly had passed away. A pre-cursor to ‘Salt Water Music’ which began that May. Was a last minute decision to try the tribute show so I was short on time at the end. To fill the hour I played ‘Freebird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Had nothing to do with the rest of the show but if you have 10 minutes of airtime to fill, ‘Freebird’ does the trick. Does show how any first attempt at a project has some kinks to work out.

Going through each article or page would take up too much time. Especially when the new issue will be out on Thursday. 114 pages in total. Quick thoughts on the first issue.

Many have said the bi-weekly schedule is bound to hurt in some areas. That is true in any weekly magazine or daily newspaper as well. I was at work the night of the earthquake in Japan earlier this year. Local paper came in and it wasn’t in it. Quake occured past the deadline. So any print media is affected by the ‘deadline problem’. I will say it wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it might be in the magazine.

One place they were stuck was the MLB Playoff Preview. To their credit they faced it head on. Mentioned the Wild Card race going down to the wire “good for the fans, not so good for magazine editors with Monday night deadlines”. The issue ended up coming out right after that crazy night with the Red Sox/Rays.

Key might be to just avoid having a cover that could date quickly. On Twitter I mentioned that this type of schedule would’ve led to a cover in June before Game 6 of the Finals saying ‘Canucks about to win the Cup’.  As a Bruins fan I have to tease Vancouver fans a bit.

Mark Spector’s piece on the Canucks is very well done. Pointing out how the diving of some of their players hurt their team in the Finals. And even gets two of the Canucks to admit that hurt them. Vancouver’s power play was great all season so that’s how they would get back at opponents by scoring on those opportunties. But having Lapierre and Burrows exaggerate bit them in the ass. Refs saw that and started keeping their whistle in their pockets. Coach Vigneault still denies the diving which he probably has to do. Players can tell the truth.

Kevin Bieska “There were a few instances of embellishment yes. It’s not emblematic of our team to dive around and embellish. But maybe at that point, we were frustrated.”

Henrik Sedin “I think we’ve grown as a team, and it needs to change. If I’m a referee, and I see guys do that kind of stuff…. I won’t say that anyone is a diver on our team. But we’ve got to stick to the game plan, and we can’t be thinking about what the referees are doing. That’s maybe what got away from us a little bit. But,” he adds, “that was in games where the game got out of hand.”

That’s the kind of stuff that is well worth buying a magazine to read.

With Rogers owning the Jays, going to get a bit of hyperbole about them. Keith Pelley wrote a column about the launch, “and we are learning to celebrate our heroes as we did with the Olympians, and as we did this season with Jose Bautista and our newest homegrown sensation, Brett Lawrie”. Whoa nelly, calm down. A team barely at .500 is not comparable to Olympians who won medals.

Stephen Brunt writes the last page of the magazine. Always enjoy Stephen’s writing and work on FAN590. Oh wait, Sportsnet Radio 590 THE FAN. TSN Radio just did the same thing by renaming sports radio stations in Montreal and Winnipeg this week.

Since Brunt spends part of the year in Newfoundland so he gets bonus points for that. Fellow fan of Hey Rosetta! too. In fact he was someone who helped a CBC live concert recording of the band done at Woody Point, Newfoundland a couple of years back. During this recording of ‘Epitaph’ I think you can hear Brunt’s laugh at the end. I’ve played it a few times on the radio show so I’ve heard the track many times.

http://dawn.cbcr3.com/blogs/0/1/newsletter/audio/Hey-Rosetta-Epitaph-CBC-Radio-3-Concert.mp3

Brunt’s first column is about how important hockey is in Canada. For a 1st issue I guess you have to mention hockey. Well written, although the importance of an Olympic Medal is blown out of proportion in general by the media. 1998 and 2004 Canada didn’t get a medal and there wasn’t a national depression. Stephen thinks it’s deeper than soccer is in England. I listened to a BBC call in show after each World Cup game England was involved in. They were more crazy than any hockey callers I’ve heard. After a draw a fan honestly said ‘I think they should just fly home and save us the embarrassment’. Even Leaf fans after losing 3 games of a playoff series wouldn’t say that. And soccer hooligans in England are common. They take their sports too seriously. Even in the US, a San Francisco Giants fan almost beaten to death by a Dodgers fan.  Pre-season game between 49ers-Raiders ended in a stabbing in a parking lot. Riots in Montreal and Vancouver are thankfully the exception to the rule in this country. Never heard of Flames/Oilers fan almost killing each other.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/magazine/2011/10/05/brunt_backpage_magazine/

Editor in Chief is Steve Maich who I found has a Twitter account. He replied and said he is a CFRC Alumni. Small world. I should ask him what he did at the station back in the day.  Another one to add to the long list of people from ‘the small but mighty CFRC’ as one host calls us. CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, TSN’s Chris Cuthbert, musician Matthew Barber. And people I’ve worked with Yahoo Sports blogger Neate Sager, CHED’s Matthew Bisson, Fort McMurray Oil Barrons play by play Tyler King, FOX Soccer Channel’s Julie Stewart Binks. Quite a lot for a small station.

http://twitter.com/#!/stevemaich

Derek Boogaard story is very in depth and worth reading. Others have talked about it more than I can. They also cover baseball and basketball so it’s not just hockey. NHL preview is just on the Canadian teams, as a Bruins fan I would’ve liked Canada + the Original Six myself. Although if you do that then other fans would complain. “Where is the preview of the Florida Panthers?” OK, I’m being silly with that one. You ever seen someone wearing a Panthers jersey in Canada? Be like seeing someone wearing a Kansas City Royals T-Shirt.

On the cover they have a small picture of a cheerleader in the corner. Which made me laugh since I can’t figure out why that was included. It’s so small I missed it when I bought the magazine.

I thought ‘Why bother when it’s so small?’ Even moreso when this is the article inside with the cheerleader.

‘Are You Smart Enough to Cheer’ and says what questions they are asked.  As for the one pictured, she’s Doug Flutie’s daughter. Would hope she’d find those questions easy. When it comes to a cover might as well go all out with cheerleaders, as evidenced by this mockup Sportsnet had done. ‘NFL preview issue’ with a line of them. That would jump out in the sports section.

http://www.designedgecanada.com/news/2011/20110819631.shtml

My sister likes sports and from reading SBNation and other blogs you see how many female fans there are who are really dedicated to their teams. As linked earlier in this piece, Jody Vance wrote a weekly column for a few years in a Toronto newspaper. This is where the print media can improve a lot, including the magazine.

No columns or big stories in the magazine written by women. Which is not a Rogers thing by any means. Canadian print media seems to be behind the times in general on that. Lot of sports anchors and reporters across the country are women. Why that hasnt’t translated to the written word is a debate for another time. Not to say there isn’t progress. Sportsnet Magazine has Shannon Proudfoot and Kristina Rutherford as staff writers. One writes the NHL previews of the Senators. Glad to see that.

Bob McCown’s Prime Time Sports was the one show I did watch on Sportsnet even when I switched to SportsCentre. Or I listen to the PTS podcasts. Bob does write for the magazine. Not a column, he answers emails from readers. Which could be interesting if he sticks with it. I was a regular reader of Fadoo.ca which was a website he launched, that lasted about a year.  So I will see how long Bob sticks with the writing for the magazine.

In conclusion, I would recommend Sportsnet magazine. Lot of content I didn’t even touch on so it takes a few days to read everything. One small thing they do is they posted tweets about the magazine on the bottom of a few pages. Positive and negative. So they can laugh at themselves. Which goes a long way. You don’t want to read something that is too stuffy.

After some critiques, it is time for a plug for a different part of Rogers Media. It makes sense.

October 17th Jody starts as one of the hosts of Breakfast Television on CITY-TV in Vancouver. So those in BC or with satellite can tune in starting at 5:30am-9am local time Monday to Friday. 8:30 EST. I’ve work midnights for 3 years so for the 99% of readers who think, ‘Wow, 5:30 is early’ I can say ‘No, it’s not. Try waking up at 9-10pm’.  And I worked all of the Thanksgiving long weekend which explains where I found time to write this massive post.

http://www.btvancouver.ca/

And I’m going to grab a quote from a press release. Since who it is from will come full circle to how this long post began.

http://www.broadcastermagazine.com/news/jody-vance-joins-breakfast-television-vancouver-as-co-host/1000610337/

“I have worked with Jody over the years and am thrilled to welcome her back to our family,” said Scott Moore, President of Broadcasting, Rogers Media Television. “She knows the city, she’s a journalist, a mom, a sports enthusiast, a cook and a pop culture junkie, and we’re confident that Vancouverites will enjoy starting their day with the new Breakfast Television team.”

Tried thinking of a way to wrap this up. Nothing came to mind, so thanks for reading almost 2800 words. 🙂

Boston, Kingston and Vancouver

Time for a long post to catch up. Dropkick Murphys, a band from Boston had a gig in Vancouver last week. Came out to ‘We Are The Champions’. Ooooh, that’s gotta hurt. Bruins Stanley Cup Champions and on a visit to Toronto all the T-Shirts in my size were sold out at the Eaton Centre. Not that bad for me considering I’ll get it eventually. Does show how many Boston fans there are.

2 weeks Vancouver went from Stanley Cup hopeful to ‘most hated team in the NHL’. Huh? Booed like crazy at the NHL Draft in Minnesota. Which seems strange until you realize the Wild are in the Canucks division. Even friend of the blog Jody Vance noticed it on Twitter:

“Really bugs me that canucks got boo’d at the draft #notusedtobeingmosthatedinnhl”

To paraphrase a line from The Dark Knight, ‘you either become a Stanley Cup hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain’. After 40 years of the franchise being around, “hated” is a sign you’ve made it. Some fans hate the Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Flyers, etc. Anyone hate the Minnesota Wild or Columbus Blue Jackets?

Not isolated opinion since I’ve seen Canucks blogs discussing dealing with the ‘haters’ who have popped up. I said before the series on Twitter I don’t have any hate for that team. Even I will admit they tried and test my patience.

Biting a guy’s finger. Lame.

Trying to sell broadcast rights for the parade during the Finals before getting shot down by the league. Annoying.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/12/report-nhl-shoots-down-vancouver-selling-broadcast-rights-to-potential-stanley-cup-parade/

[Canuck Fans saying: A story broken by the Boston Globe] Bit shady a Boston paper got that info of all media outlets, however they still tried to sell it. Thanks Colin Campbell for that inside info [Canuck fans: I knew it] ….. I’m kidding. I think.

Constant complaining about the refs, which I heard on sports radio from Vancouver. Hilarious. Because the Canucks had 33 powerplays compared to Boston’s 27. They were saying things like “Those crooked refs make Andy Van Hellemond look like a saint.” Oops, hope I don’t get sued.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Ex-NHL-ref-Van-Hellemond-intends-to-sue-papers-o;_ylt=AqkJN0fd_j1GZcN2N_xW.797vLYF?urn=nhl-wp8499

Rome’s hit on Horton, which possibly changed the series. I blamed the NHL not him. He doesn’t have a history of dirty hits so the Horton one is a byproduct of the horribly vague rules. Which they finally are changing.

Still, people who now ‘Hate the Canucks’?

Sure, Oilers/Flames/Avs/Wild fans would be a part of that but they were like that before. Part could be the “Canada’s team” stuff. ‘Seeking Stanley’ crew and the media in BC get a pass. What else are they going to say? They look around and they are the only Canadian city left standing. I said earlier Jim Hughson was obviously for the Canucks, and I didn’t fault him for that. Made sense.

I found non-Canuck fans were irritated in other parts of the country. I detailed my feeling in an earlier blog post about how in the NHL there never has been ONE team for Canada. I forgot about one thing.

1982-90 there was at least 1 Canadian team in every final. So that idea of cheering for a team just because their Canadian doesn’t register to me personally. Maybe for younger fans it does. Across Canada there always are stories about Leaf vs Habs from decades past for instance. Heck, one of the most famous NFB shorts “The Sweater” sums up the rivalry between Canadian cities. If you haven’t seen it, leave this blog for now and watch. It’s 10 minutes….. you can come back later.

http://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater/

Shows the divide not only between hockey fanbases, but regions and cultures. Do most hockey fans on the East Coast feel a strong connection to an NHL team in BC? No. We’re all Canadians but it is such a large country we feel more connected to our region. I’ve lived in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Visited Nova Scotia and Quebec a few times too. Was no PEI bridge when I lived in NB for those wondering why no trip there. That still leaves all the Western Provinces and the Territories that I’ve never seen, except on TV.

Imagine Toronto today celebrating a Habs win. Or Montreal rioting over a Leafs Cup……. well that could happen in Montreal’s case. They riot over a Round 1 win so they might be upset enough if Toronto won a Stanley Cup to smash things. 🙂

That’s one bad part Vancouver has to deal with. Being the butt of jokes for years. Any Habs fans I know I can always tease about the rioting. Like Kryptonite. ‘Oh, you had to mention the idiots who riot’, Canuck fans won’t like it either.

Strange to be in a town that can identify a bit with the Vancouver riot. Although Kingston’s Homecoming problems doesn’t look so bad compared to Vancouver’s rioting. It still is a good comparison. Main thing is you can’t pin it down on just one thing. Too complicated.

Homecoming is where recently was the year where a car was flipped over, people jumped up and down on it then set it on fire. Town been feeling the pinch of extra police on that weekend ever since. Difference for Kingston was that it’s an annual event. So everyone here knew 12 months later it would have to be dealt with again. A bit more political will when you are positive something will happen.

Maybe that was a part of Vancouver’s problem. A Stanley Cup Final is a big “IF” when you are thinking policing and security. Olympics, G20 were both things governments could plan months or years in advance. Stanley Cup you can’t even be sure a week ahead of time when it might end. Game 5, 6 or 7?

Kingston didn’t have the talk of ‘anarchists’. Just the power of a drunken mob. No sign of masks or molotov cocktails. Those people did exist in Vancouver, how many of them is the question. That’s a bit harder to figure out. Watching the coverage all night the ones who must’ve had a plan with wearing a mask was the first hour or so. Then the idiots took over.

One thing I will remember was a looter with a makeshift mask, a sweatshirt tied around his nose/mouth. Why that sticks out was because he was yelling at someone trying to get his attention, possibly a friend. His friend couldn’t hear him. So what does the guy do, while a CTV camera is pointed at him? Pulls it down to yell at his buddy, then pulls it back up again. Showing his face for all to see on national TV. If he was an ‘anarchist’ he was a really dumb one.

Same thing as the Homecoming problem is over a few days some in the media were saying, ‘Those people aren’t from Queen’s or from Kingston’ or ‘They are not Canucks fans or they’re not from Vancouver’. Sadly some of them are. Not all of them by any means, but they did exist in the mayhem. Can’t stick your head in the sand.

Front page of The Kingston Whig Standard the Monday after showed a guy jumping on the car. He ended up being identified as a local high school student from Kingston. Vancouver had a picture of someone trying to light a police car on fire, later also identified as a high school student. In his case, a member of Team Canada’s Under 21 Water Polo team. Power of a mob on some people.

That said, each one does have people from outside the area who don’t care what happens either way. My sister was at University of Guelph when the worst Homecoming happened. She said the Monday morning in her class some guys mentioned they drove to Kingston just for that street party. That’s a 3 1/2 hour drive. That has been common for the Aberdeen street party. It attracts people from a number of schools in Ontario. Before they’ve set up Facebook groups to plan trips that weekend. Can be sure they don’t care about what happens to this town on that Saturday. Sure a number of similar stories in Vancouver. They knew Game 7 was happening so if things go wrong, they don’t care much.

You could say, in a way it doesn’t really matter why it happened. Majority view it as a ‘Queen’s/Kingston problem’ even though it was more than that, and people will just remember it as ‘Vancouver Rioted’.

I’ll write another post later on Boston winning. With the riot/homecoming stuff I knew it would go down that road.

For Canuck fans, remember my team blew a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers last season. Including being up 3-0 in Game 7. A lot can change in a year. Can be a thin line between success and failure. Boston/Vancouver both had a Game 7 overtime in the first round we barely squeaked out against a hated rival.

But today I will end the blog post with nothing but video of the good times in Vancouver from the Finals. Games 1 through 6 from CBC Vancouver’s coverage. Jody, Shane Foxman and Karen Larsen with the local CBC post game show. Which got more than 700,000 viewers during the finals! And that was only shown in BC, or on satellite if you get that channel.

To put that in perspectivce, if a nationally televised Canadian show cracks a million people ‘nationwide’ you are considered a big hit. On the sports side Blue Jays games are seen by around 500K this season to show how big that 700K number was.

Here are the good times in the Finals for British Columbia.

Game 1 



Game 2



Game 3



Game 4



Game 5



Game 6


That's it for now.

Bruins Win

Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. Getting used to it. Quick post from iPod at work. Got a short vacation next starting Monday so busy getting details worked out. After that I’ll have a longer blog post.

Congrats to fellow Bruins fans, been a long time. Now I have to figure out what merchandise to get. Website has crazy thing like a garden knome with the Cup and dressed in Bruins gear. If you garden a lot I guess that makes sense.

Last year I made a smart purchase. After blowing a 3-0 lead vs Philly I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Thought that be a good time to get a jersey. Demand would be low after something like that. Got a Bobby Orr throwback for 50 bucks on eBay. Never worn CCM jersey with tags still on it. So a year later I get to wear that in downtown Kingston after a Cup win. 🙂

Sorry to friends in Vancouver. More for the riot than the loss. And one of the rioters ends up being a member of Canada’s under 18 Water Polo team. Pictured trying to set a car on fire. He turned himself in.

He was about to get a full scholarship to Calgary this fall. Natalie Thomas, who like me picked Boston to beat Vancouver, got a sports scholarship. She must be shaking her head at this.

We had the Queen’s homecoming mess a while back where a car was flipped and set on fire. Thinking it was all ‘anarchists’ in BC is silly. I recall front page of paper in Kingston was a guy jumping on the car. Was a local high school kid too, like this idiot in Vancouver. You’d be amazed how stupid some people can get during these things. Working midnights downtown on weekends, I see it 1st hand.

This Friday a rerun of the program. Following Friday live in studio for Canada Day. Might do something easy like a Hey Rosetta retrospective. They are playing in Toronto that day with Weezer, Broken Social Scene and The Tragically Hip.

Wednesday I see Peter Gabriel in Toronto. That will be a good night.

Paralympic-esque Blog Wrap Up

Wrapping up the Paralympics. A week late but work took up a lot of time. 12 day stretch with 1 night off. Takes a toll.

A rundown of all the medals from the games. The official website is not the easiest to figure out. Thank you Wikipedia. Medals along with dates that they happened.

Big winner was Lauren Woolstencroft with 5 Gold Medals in skiing. She works as an engineer with BC Hyrdo so quite an impressive feat to win that many in your home province.

Brian McKeever rebounded from the Olympics to win 3 Golds. Viviane Forest, Colette Bourgonje and Karolina Wisniewska rounded out the multiple medallists. Josh Dueck won a silver as well in alpine.

The Wheelchair Curling won Gold. Team consisted of Jim Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet and Bruno Yizek.

Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 20km free, visually impaired March 15
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, standing March 15
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s giant slalom, standing March 17
Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 10km classic, visually impaired March 18
Gold Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s downhill, visually impaired March 18
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s downhill, standing March 18
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s Super-G, standing March 19
Gold Lauren Woolstencroft: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, standing March 20
Gold Jim Armstrong, Darryl Neighbour, Ina Forrest, Sonja Gaudet, Bruno Yizek: Wheelchair curling March 20
Gold Brian McKeever: Cross-country skiing Men’s 1km sprint, visually impaired March 21

Silver Colette Bourgonje: Cross-country skiing Women’s 10km free, sitting March 14
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, visually impaired March 14
Silver Josh Dueck: Alpine skiing Men’s slalom, sitting March 14
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s Super-G, visually impaired March 19
Silver Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, visually impaired March 20

Bronze Karolina Wisniewska: Alpine skiing Women’s slalom, standing March 15
Bronze Viviane Forest: Alpine skiing Women’s giant slalom, visually impaired March 16
Bronze Colette Bourgonje: Cross-country skiing Women’s 5km classic, sitting March 18
Bronze Karolina Wisniewska: Alpine skiing Women’s Super combined, standing March 20

Sledge Hockey team showed there is equality. They can overlook a team in the playoffs and lose like any other team. Lost to Japan in which one of the players even said afterwards that they might’ve been looking to the next game. Didn’t feel so bad for that result. The Japanese goalie went to Algonquin College in Ottawa the same time I did. So a fellow Alumni won a Silver medal. Good for him.

Mitsuru Nagase has played for 15 years and finished 5th in three straight Paralympics. A silver and beating Canada in Vancouver along the way might make up for those years.

Glad to see the Closing Ceremony was put on CTV.  Wish the coverage on the channels had been better.  Almost everything being taped and at weird times didn’t help.  Ratings for Sledge Hockey was bigger than they expected so I think CTV/Rogers underestimated how much Canadians wanted to watch.  A chance to see Canadians win medals on home soil is big for many people.  Coverage was better than past year with CBC.  However that wasn’t that hard to do seeing as those were in foreign countries.  With all the resources they had it was a missed opportunity.

Congratulations to all the people involved in the Paralympics.  They had no control over TV coverage and hopefully this will help things get better the next time around.

Paralympic-esque Blog Day 4-6

Congratulations to more medallists from the Paralympics.

Lauren Woolstencroft with two Gold Medals. Women’s Slalom and Giant Slalom standing. One is impressive so two is quite an accomplishment.

Brian McKeever didn’t let a bad decision to keep him off the Olympic team get to him. He won a Gold Medal in Cross Country 20km Free, Visually Impaired. His brother Robin was his guide. The guides also get a medal.

Viviane Forest added another medal to go along with her silver earlier in the week. A bronze in Women’s Giant Slalom – Visually Impaired.

Karolina Wisniewska won a bronze in the Slalom – Standing as well.

Hard to watch the coverage as it jumps around. But worth watching if you can track it down. At work overnight and we had it on. Got into watching Wheelchair Curling highlights. Saw parts of Sledge Hockey too. A Korean fan in the crowd wearing a Winnipeg Jets jersey. A unique combination.

CTV came to their senses on one thing though. They will be showing the closing ceremonies live across the network and on RDS in Quebec. Sunday night at 7 pm local time, so 10pm for those of us in the eastern time zone. Sledge Hockey final at Noon local/3pm EST.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 12

Olympics = Money.

This can be taken many ways. For some the Olympics is about the endless ads and sponsors. Others the money it cost to stage the games and the debt a city can go into. These days the tax money that ‘own the podium’ has used comes to mind also.

But that equation came to my mind when Vancouver got the games. Was glad to see them get the games. Then the question came to mind. Hmmm, can I afford to go to the games? No. Short and to the point.

I know people who traveled to Vancouver during the Olympics, even some at the last minute. But Vancouver’s reputation as one of if not the most expensive city in Canada came to mind first for me. Which has come to pass in small ways at first. Like a parking lot going from $10-15 a day the week before the Olympics to over 90 bucks. That was Day 1.

One of those things where it’s different if you have a job or a career. Chris Rock had a great bit about that in his last HBO special. My version is a tad different. For those not familiar with the radio show, CFRC is volunteer work for me. Rewarding and enjoyable. Being part of Queen’s radio broadcasts as they made a run to the Vanier Cup was great. Hosting Salt Water Music is great on a weekly basis. So the radio stuff is separate from job vs career.

A career, you can save up money and vacation time and possibly make the trip. When you work a job, not so much. A career you can extra time off and they’ll welcome you back. A job, you will be replaced quite quickly.

If the Olympics are close to where you live that’s a different story. However flying halfway across the country? That takes some planning. Also with almost all of my family on the East Coast you think about the full trip since you don’t know anyone in B.C. to stay with. I know some people in BC but not enough to crash at their place.

Getting time off from work, flying out there, getting a place to stay, tickets to games if you can get them, food, traveling around, flying back and paying for all of this…… whew. Not happening. If I had a Scrooge McDuck vault in my backyard that had so much money I could swim in then that’s a different story.

Since Vancouver got the games I knew “I’ll be watching on TV”. Not a question of “if”. But that puts me in the boat of 99% of Canadians who can’t afford to go. That’s where the Olympics have gotten out of touch. In your home country and not even thinking of going to see it because it’s for people in another tax bracket. That’s too bad.

A lot of Vancouver restaurants and bars are doing what I thought might happen. Price gouging. Even a bit more than I thought. Not only raising prices but some have started adding an automatic gratuity on top of the bill. So bad service or good service, too bad. You have to pay up to a 20% tip either way. These links have a list of the ones doing that and ones that aren’t. Two people came up with the idea. Mark Prince who founded CoffeeGeek a local coffee website from Vancouver. And Rick Green who has the BC Brews blog.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/

http://bcbrews.wordpress.com/

Started writing the post on the weekend so funny how Mark’s words match to mine from a few days ago. My thoughts of Vancouver being expensive in the best of times. Along with worry about what places would do this month have come to pass. Here is from Mark’s post.


I have already been asked several times why I’m doing this – and the answer’s pretty simple for me. Vancouver’s already an expensive town. Cocktails are routinely $12 at a lot of places, mains are $25-$45 even at middle of the road restaurants. We have massive added on taxes (about to get higher with impending HST), and our servers in town are somehow trained to believe anything less than 15% tip is a slap in the face and an insult.

Jacking up prices, making “gratuities” compulsory – they all send a very bad message about this city. Tourists from around the world are visiting Vancouver for the first time, and if we send them home with memories of $7 “dollar pizza” slices, $12 for a plastic cup of Molson Canadian, and $35 prices for a $15 steak, you’re embarrassing us all. Tossing on a 20% compulsory tip at the end of the overpriced bill just adds insult to injury.

And, I might add, you’re damaging Vancouver’s reputation, long term.

Gouging list

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-16-2010_12-20am

Good Businesses list along with some bad ones

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-16-2010_12-20am

Real Reason for Olympic Auto-Gratuity

Another article on Spiffle specifically about restaurants in Vancouver and how management also dips into the “tip pool”. Except Revenue Canada in the last few years ramped up investigating servers and their tips.  But don’t with management.  So they get extra income without reporting it.  Things you learn during the Olympics.

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-19-2010_07-20pm

Latest update as of 6am est Wednesday morning with the good and the bad.

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-18-2010_12-15am

Thanks to the guys for starting out the idea and all those who contributed to the list. Great use of the internet to call out the bad places and praise the good ones. Which I’ll do at the end of this post.

Olympics have become out of reach for the average person. Honest examples from Bob McCown from the FAN 590 in Toronto.

http://www.fadoo.ca/blog/display/random-thoughts-from-vancouver-1510

If you watch CTV/Rogers coverage you would be led to believe that Hockey House is a great place. Wrong.

“Hockey House is pretty impressive, but very elitist. If you think you’ll be rubbing shoulders with famous hockey types when you get in…think again. The IIHF has their own space and “the common folk” can’t get in. Hockey Canada…same thing. Plenty of celebs are around, but you probably won’t even know who they are there. Too bad since this was a good idea gone bad.”

Only VANOC could mess up something called “Hockey House”. Bob had someone come up to him saying he had gotten a ticket to Canada-US hockey game. How much? $2300. I think staying at home was for the best. Credit to Bob also for pointing out where he’s staying. Rogers put him in a place that must’ve cost an arm and a leg. Bob was honest about that fact and even gave a picture of his view. Lot of complaints about how it’s an Olympics for the high rollers. Completely true. As of today McCown is the only media person to actually say how good they have it.

“Staying in a penthouse condo just a block from Robson Street (the epicentre of 24 hour lunacy) with a 270 degree view of English Bay, Stanley Park and the mountains. Trust me…this does not suck!”

Think Brian Williams is at a regular hotel room? No way.

Just found another person writing about the cost. ‘Vancouver Olympics Fancy Price Tag’ from Meena Mann.

http://aircheckerradioindustry.blogspot.com/2010/02/vancouver-olympic-games-just-like-any.html


The Olympic merchandise, the accommodations, eating out, and not to forget the event tickets can all add up to over $350/per day/per person.

The real drain to my bank account comes when I go out for lunch, dinner or even just a simple drink; the restaurants have definitely increased their prices for the Games. For instance, the first time I really felt the sting was when I had ordered one glass of house red at La Bocca. Upon receiving my bill my eyes popped out and my jaw fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe it, but that one glass of house red, which wasn’t even that great, cost me $16.67. Yup, that’s right. One glass of –house- is close to what the average 1/2liter would cost you. Hell, I’ve even seen wine bottles for less than that.

Another place which I found that has a high priced menu is Citta. It is located right across from La Bocca. Citta is a great pub environment, but the prices for drinks are way too high. I had ordered a bottle of wine, split between my roommate and me-just for the record. The bottle was no more than $25 but we had paid $56.00. I think that was one of their cheaper bottles as well.

Vancouver not really helping their reputations over the last 2 weeks. Not surprising to me, but still disappointing.

To close the list of GOOD businesses in Vancouver that aren’t being greedy bastards. I could use stronger words but I better not. Got to be semi-professional even on a blog. Each business has where it’s located and the source of the information. If you see something like @robertcarnell that is a Twitter account. Kudos to these places. I might not ever get out to Vancouver but at least this list can help some people. Either now or keep it for a future trip.

Long time listeners of the radio show might remember I haven’t been back to Newfoundland since 1999. That is also my last vacation of any length.  I realize 11 years is a long time when I write it down but don’t really think about it much.  So the list of good places in Vancouver to leave on a bright note.

Subeez Cafe, 891 Homer, Yaletown Great prices, no auto gratuity (one of the few Yaletown busineses to have #2010niceprices!). (source: @Network_Guy)

Sammy J. Peppers, Granville Island – prices stable, NO auto gratuity charged. (source: @hfguiere)

Ouisi Bistro, 3014 Granville Street – no price raises, great specials during Olympics, no auto gratuity. (source: me visiting).

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander in Gastown, prices stable, specials in effect, no auto gratuity, no cover charge. (source: @CAMRA_YVR)

On the Edge Pub, 303 Columbia Street (Gastown), Great prices (eg – $5.35 for 18oz of Phillips Blue Buck), no auto gratuity. (source: @ilford)

Black Frog Eatery, 108 Cambie Street, Gastown – No price increases, no auto gratuity, great beer prices in effect (as usual). (source: @loxyisme)

Pacific Culinary Institute, Granville Island – a favourite “secret” haunt of Vancouver locals, all prices etc as per normal even though Gastown is Olympics Crazy! (source: @SurreyMarket)

Irish Heather, Gastown no price increases, no cover, no auto gratuity – business as usual at this hopping Gastown favourite (source: @StephenLambie)

Salt Tasting Room, Blood Alley, Gastown – no increased prices, specials as per usual, no autogratuity. (source – personal visit)

Main Street Eateries on S. Main – word from a Main Street Restaurateur is that most, if not all Main St. eateries having prices as usual, no auto gratuities – Go Main Street dining! (source: @LatitudeonMain)

Urban Thai Bistro – Yaletown – featuring “as usual” happy hour, dishes under $5, no auto gratuity. Yay! (Source: @urbandiner)

Phat Sandwiches – Yaletown – nominal price increases, but Vancouver loyalty cards for locals to give a price break during Olympics. (was formely on negative list based on incorrect information via twitter). (Source: Global News Hour)

Au Petit Chavignol – nice discounts on weekends on fondues, wines during Olympics. (source: @petitchauvignol)

Incendio Pizza in Gastown – prices “as per usual” during Olympics, no autograt. (source: @IncendioPizza, @SBonnerABV)

Milestone’s in Yaletown – prices kept stable, $8 breakfast is available everyday. (source: @tellytelly

The Whip – 7th near Main has maintained their prices, service during Olympics. (source: @cbjerrisgaard)

The Diamond in Gastown has prices more or less stable. (source – me visiting)

Irashai Grill in Coal Harbour has promised to keep prices neutral during Olympics! (source: @Irashai)

Campagnolo on Main Street – reported to have no price increases, same service as always during Olympics. (source: @campagnolomain)

Refuel Restaurant and Bar keeping prices stable for some awesome food and drink. (source: same as previous)

Amarcord Ristorante of Yaletown – prices stable, no autogratuity for Yaletown! Yay! (direct from Restaurateur)

Provence Marinaside – removed – auto gratuity, realised it was bad policy – go Provence!

Corner Suite Bistro Deluxe, Thurlow at Alberni – no automatic gratuity, “launch” pricing in effect (they just opened), great service, killer deep bartending staff. (source: me, visiting).