Monday, December 30, 2013

Lots of reasons for NFL teams failures

From where I sit it looks like there's plenty of blame to go around for non-playoff teams in the NFL...


Sure, the refs blew a late call of illegal formation for the Chargers against the Chiefs. Yes, Kyle Orton threw a late interception to seal an Eagles win. But neither of those can cover up the fact that a single play doesn't change a mediocre season. The Steelers can blame the refs all they want, but any team that starts 2-6 is going to be in trouble to make the playoffs with nobody to blame but themselves. As for Dallas, again, blame can be placed on Tony Romo, and he does deserve his share, but how about a defence that was incapable of holding a lead. Meanwhile, other teams have found an easy way to place the blame for a failed year. Fire the coach. Washington, Cleveland and Minnesota have all ditched their coaches and the season hasn't been over for 24 hours. Now, the real season begins and it doesn't much matter if you are the best team at home, or the best on the road, all that matters is winning the rest of your games.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Silva is done in the octagon

From where I sit it looks like the career of Anderson Silva is over...

Please note...the content of the video is not for everyone...

It's never how a sports fan wants to see a champion exit the sport, however, injury is always a risk, in any sport. Yes, I firmly believe that professional athletes are over-paid. Yet, given the risks they take I can't blame them for wanting to make as much as they can. Further to that, we have progressed from Roman times when the loser could end up dead. Never-the-less, it's still sad to see a legend end his career with an injury. I doubt that Silva will ever be able to get back in the ring to fight again. He's 38 now, even with a quick recovery he will be well past 39 before he's anywhere near fighting condition. In fact, at this point the bigger concern shouldn't be if Silva will walk to the ring again...but whether he will be able to walk normally at all.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Changes needed to NFL replays and a horrid owner in England

From where I sit it looks like there could be an asterisk next to Peyton Manning's touchdown record...


At least that's according to Wade Phillips. I have 2 thoughts on this: First, this is a great argument for the NFL to use a 'War Room' like the NHL does. Every replay review should be looked at by more than one or 2 people. The decision should be a corporate one, not just the referee. He's tired and under pressure. There needs to be a way to make certain the call is right. Every time. Second, who the hell cares? It's not like this is a one off...or that it had some sort of impact on the outcome of the game. Manning's march to the record began against Baltimore in week 1. This seems more like Phillips trying to get his name in the papers, than making a legitimate point.

There always seems to be someone complaining about the state of the ownership of their favourite team...and Cardiff City has a legitimate beef...


In Edmonton the chief complaint is Daryl Katz is too hands off and obsessed with the 1980's Oilers. Jerry Jones is the polar opposite in Dallas. At least both of them care about the team and fans. Vincent Tan is just a jerk. He's not just treating the fans like garbage, but insulting them. To change jersey colours and team name after over a century is awful. And with the team hovering around the relegation zone get ready for more angry fans. And I don't blame them.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Does anyone but Canada care about the World Juniors?

From where I sit it looks like the World Juniors is facing another tournament with bad attendance...


Only 1,800 people bothered to show up for the Canadians opening game. To put that in perspective Sam Reinhart played in front of 2,100 in his last home game in Cranbrook with the Kootenay Ice. As for brother Griffen Reinhart and Oil Kings teammate Curtis Lazar, there were almost 7,000 fan in Edmonton. I will grant there were 4,200 at the Russia-Norway game, but even that's not great. There needs to be a better effort from the IIHF to find places where people will show up. How about ticket prices? Well, the cheap seats are 120 Krona, with the top ticket at 320 Krona. That's 15 to 50 dollars Canadian. I took my daughter to the Canada-Finland game in Edmonton 2 years ago. We paid 180$ for a pair in the cheap seats. These kids have flown halfway around the world to play for their country, and nobody in the host city seems to care enough to show up.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The NBA gets it all wrong

From where I sit it looks like it's a great day to relax, celebrate, spend time with family...


Please note, I did not include basketball on that list. I'm always proud the NHL has today off. In fact, there's no games on the 24th, 25th or 26th. Good. There shouldn't be. I know the league would love to have games on TV, just like the NBA. However, as someone who has worked more than one Christmas Day, those people should be at home. No, I don't just mean the millionaire players, but the workers. I've been stadium staff, it's not a fun job. Those guys should be at home too. Just like the media. Spend time with your family. Enjoy it. Please. Time is always fleeting, don't miss a chance to say I love you.

Merry Christmas.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eakins deserves credit for rallying his players

From where I sit it looks like Dallas Eakins ripped a strip off a fan...and it looks like it worked, for now...


Honestly, I agree with him. Sure, the fan has the right to express his displeasure any way he wants, but to throw away his jersey is insulting. Yes, these guys are millionaires getting paid to play a game. But they are still human. Imagine if you had a job like that. If every time you made an error a red light went on and 17,000 people stood and screamed at you (Jaques Plante). Had people coming up to you in the mall giving you crap for a poorly done presentation. Or just yelled at you from across the street, “Hey! You suck!” As for Eakins calling the guy out, why not? He's got as much right to express himself as the guy who threw the jersey. This is a young team. They are getting better. I find it amazing that Oilers fans are quick to point out the 5 banners at the roof of Rexall, but forget what happened to the team leading up to Cup wins.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Babcock snaps on HBO cameras

From where I sit it looks like the Red Wings aren't too impressed with HBO...


For all the 24/7 series is mildly interesting, honestly, I don't care what the players are doing between games. The locker room stuff provides some insight, even when the cameras get thrown out of the room. I know these guys are human. I know they go out and have a couple drinks. Or stay home and play video games. And even if they don't, I don't care. At the same time, it was fun watching the film crew get tossed. It's about winning, not about getting the perfect shot for TV. Obviously, Mike Babcock wasn't given creative control over the series. But, he has control over his team. And that's what makes the Wings a great team season after season. Whether the cameras are in the room or not.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another hockey brawl...from the women

From where I sit it looks like the best rivalry in hockey belongs to the women...

Two 'brawls' have highlighted the warm-up tour before the Sochi Olympics. For all those were not line-brawls in a conventional sense, it's the closest women's hockey can get. In a game where body checking is a penalty, these were basically pier six brawls. It was fun to watch and a great way to promote the women's game. Women's hockey is woefully underfunded. So, anything to generate interest and sell tickets is positive. Right now women's hockey is overlooked 3 years out of 4. And when the spotlight shines on the game it's mostly about how badly Canada and the US outplay everyone else. This is creating interest and excitement. Even if wasn't a real brawl.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The NHL refuses to protect it's players

From where I sit it looks like the NHL is asking for trouble...

According to the league, Schenn turned when he saw Wilson coming and that added to the severity of the hit. I'm sorry, but that's a load of crap. For starters, that's blaming the victim. Sure, Schenn saw Wilson coming. So what? That doesn't mean Wilson gets a free shot. And even if Schenn doesn't turn it's still a devastating hit in a dangerous position. It's also taking the responsibility away from Wilson, and by extension all other hitters. I'm afraid we are not far away from seeing a player end up in a wheelchair from a 'clean'/legal hit. There was no reason not to suspend Wilson for that hit. It was dangerous. It was reckless. It was stupid. And the NHL is being just as dumb.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The FCC wants to remove local blackouts

From where I sit it looks like blacked-out games could be a thing of the past...


Sadly, the NFL plans to fight the FCC ruling, or place a different one of their own. I don't really understand why the league would want to black out any games. Let's face it, the Blackhawks refused to televise any home games for years and it almost killed the franchise. With ticket prices at an all time high, I can't understand why any team would try to take their name out of the media. Just because I can't afford to take my daughter to a game, means I can't even watch my team play? It's stupid. It's pushing fans away from your product, not encouraging them to come. It's a cliche, but out of sight, out of mind is quite true. If your fans can't stay home and watch for free, what makes you think they will spend money for a poor product?

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More dangerous hits and a soccer team pouts

From where I sit it looks like it's going to be another busy week for Brendan Shanahan...


After giving Shawn Tornton a well deserved 15 games off for his idiotic attack, there's at least 2 more heading for review. And both need to be long suspensions. Clearly the message isn't getting received. Or the punishment isn't severe enough. It shouldn't matter if the player is a first time offender. It shouldn't matter if it wasn't intentional. If a player is going into the boards in a dangerous position, the guy who made the hit should be gone for 5 games. If there's an injury; 7-10 games. A hit to the head should be 5 games. More with an accompanying injury. Stop worrying about fights. Those are at least willing combatants. Fans enjoy fights. Nobody likes watching a player get carried off because some jackass ran him into a wall or elbowed him in the head or tried to hammer his head through the ice.

Speaking of the U-17 soccer team from Brazil...

I understand losing sucks. I'm from Vancouver, I live in Edmonton. My teams lose on a very regular basis. And, as a fan of the beautiful game, I'm well aware teams from Brazil have very little experience with defeat. But honestly, I would hope they could show some sportsmanship. Or at least have their coach giving them hell for quitting. Sure, they were down to 9 men. Yes, they were mad at the ref. But, that doesn't preclude the fact that they were there representing their country. The players were trying to make a point...and they did...they are a bunch of whiney, spoiled brats who can't accept the fact they lost.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plenty of blame for the Cowboys and a payout for a Seahawks win

From where I sit it looks like Tony Romo is once again getting the blame for the Cowboys failure to win...


Yes, he does deserve his share of the blame. Two late interceptions fall primarily on the shoulders of the quarterback. However, last I checked Romo doesn't play defence...and watching the 2nd half on Sunday, it doesn't look like any of the Cowboys were playing defence. Five touchdowns on five straight Green Bay possessions. And Romo had a touchdown in the middle of that. The blame must eventually fall at the top. Jerry Jones is simply too blind to accept that the team he has assembled isn't good enough. There are issues all the way through the Cowboys front office and coaching staff. But it all beings with Jones.

Just a secondary thought on the Seahawks dismantling of the Giants...

This is great for Jet Chevrolet in Federal Way. Even with $7000 insurance they have to be feeling stressed. And amazingly thrilled. The entire Puget Sound is talking about their dealership. They are getting the kind of coverage and advertising normally reserved for the fantasies of marketing gurus. Just wish I had gone shopping...

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Burke starts changes in Calgary

From where I sit it looks like it didn't take long for Brian Burke to start changes in Calgary...


Quite frankly the Flames needed to get rid of Jay Feaster. He never really had the confidence of ownership, and the Ryan O'Reilly debacle made the team look stupid. As soon as Burke was hired, Feaster must have seen the writing on the wall. This leaves Flames fans with reason to hope...and reason to worry. Yes, there will be more truculence. And Burke's teams become competitive. Eventually. The Ducks were the only franchise where Burke was actually there to enjoy the spoils. Everywhere else, the team reached relevance after Burke was fired. Burke has made it clear he won't have a lot of patience for a long rebuild. So, we can expect some big trades. The question is will Burke manage to acquire the Sedins like he did in Vancouver? Or trade away Seguin and Dougie Hamilton for Phil Kessel? One way or the other it will be entertaining to watch.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another black eye for the Panthers

From where I sit it looks like the Panthers need a better rink crew...


That's hilarious. And pathetic. Not just because it makes the team and league look silly. It's that the rink workers don't know how to change a pane of glass. I kind of hope someone employed to look after the arena would be properly trained. The Panthers should be embarrassed. The crew should be fired. They managed to highlight how poorly the league is doing in Florida on the same day Gary Bettman claimed everything is great. Not only was the glass not properly replaced, but the people effected weren't given new seats. However, they could have moved to any other spot in the building anyway. So, not only did it draw attention to the rink crew's incompetence, but to how few people are actually at the game. Yes, the NHL gets a ton of money from expansion fees...but they get a bunch from relocation too.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The CFL gets it wrong and F1 gets stupid

From where I sit it looks like the CFL is ready for their expansion draft...


At least I think they are. Thanks to some needlessly antiquated rules, I have no idea whether the protected lists have been submitted or, even what's on them. Apparently, all the teams have given their lists, but we the public aren't allowed to see them. Why not? According to the league, there's concern that players could be upset if they discover they were left unprotected, thus creating a rift between the team and player. Does that mean the players don't know who's protected either? So, the only way anyone will find out who got picked is after the draft is made? I think the players will find it much more upsetting to get a phone call out of the dark saying, “You're going to Ottawa.” Instead of a limited list of players, everyone is up in the air. But, then again this is the CFL. Just when they get all their ducks in a row, they turn around and shoot them.

Meanwhile, formula 1 is looking to spice things up for their last race of the being utterly stupid...


The top flight of motor racing is going to offer double points for the last race of the 2014 calendar. The FIA claims they want to focus attention on the championship until the end of the season. What makes this plan so idiotic is that it wouldn't have made any difference in the 4 of the past 5 championships. Only in 2011 would there have been a change at the top, but that race highlighted Sebastian Vettle's skill through his recovery drive from dead last to get the necessary points to win over Fernando Alonso. It was thrilling stuff. And it wasn't decided by some random and arbitrary decision to award double points on the last race. It was racing pure and simple. That's what makes Formula 1 so great. If a driver and team is that good, its up to everyone else to catch up. Not some jackass in an office in Paris trying to keep his job.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The NFL puts on a fantastic show

From where I sit it looks like the NFL dropped the ball...and still had an amazing Sunday...


I want to get the complaining done first...what idiot decided I shouldn't be allowed to watch the end of the Ravens-Vikings game? There's four seconds left and a video review is underway for a potential game winning touchdown...aaannnnnnd let's take you out to San Francisco where the 49ers and Seahawks are nearly ready to start. It wasn't even for the kick-off. They went to commercial. If you can't show me the end of a game, please don't show me the beginning of it. Someone should channel their inner Dave Hodge.


Apart from that it was a memorable day of football...


Even if I missed the official ruling, Baltimore and Minnesota scored four touchdowns in 90 seconds trading the lead each time! Detroit and Philadelphia played in a full-on blizzard. And put on a great show. LeSean McCoy set a team record with 217 rushing yards. Jeremy Ross had 2 touchdowns and 243 yards, just on punt and kick returns. All in 6 to 8 inches of snow. The Patriots scored two touchdowns in 30 seconds to edge the Browns. Sure, there was an bad call thrown in there, but none-the-less still impressive. Matt Prater hit an NFL record 64-yard field goal in Denver. The Niners and Seahawks spent 60 minutes trying to kill each other. Drew Brees hit the 50,000 yard mark. Nobody stayed to watch the Redskins lose. And the NFL set a record for number of touchdowns in a single day (90). It was all almost too much to take in...and that's what the NFL Network is for!

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baylor wins big...but called for taunting

From where I sit it looks like the NCAA has sent a clear message about taunting...


It was glossed over at the time because the penalty had no impact on the outcome. However, Ahmad Dixon got called for taunting and cost his team a touchdown. Sure, Baylor scored on the next play, but it's the first time I've seen it called. Some quick digging showed at least one other occasion where the call has been made (LSU-Florida, Oct 2011). Neither of those changed the result, but someday it will. And to be honest I'm fine with that. Celebrating is one thing, celebrating while the play is still on, is another. The NFL is taking a look at the same rule. I think the CFL should too. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some creativity after a touchdown...but do that with your teammates, not in someone's face. And not while the play is still on. As Leon Lett about that.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thank you Nelson Mandela

From where I sit it looks like world lost one of our greatest sportsmen...

It's amazing how one person could have such an impact on the world of sports and yet do so much more outside. Any effort to fully evaluate Mandela and his accomplishments would take up the better part of a week of writing. The documentary the 16th Man and the movie Invictus go only a small way to showing his impact on the world of rugby. His presentation of the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar is a small embodiment of the hope and change Mandela brought to South Africa. Prior to that I was witness to South Africa's first appearance in international competition since their ban was lifted. The 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria saw the South Africans welcomed back with a standing ovation. It still brings tears to my eyes. Thank you Nelson Mandela for making the world a better place.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

the NFL changes timezones and Markham's rink gets a setback

From where I sit it looks like the NFL is trying to make London an expansion destination...


How else can the kick-off time be explained? To be honest it's really the only league that has the ability to make a European team or two work. The NHL and NBA have such hectic schedules that integrating a team overseas is almost impossible. However, the NFL could do it. With a full division it's plausible, but a stand alone team in London is ridiculous. Those players would be at a major disadvantage on every road trip...but pick up a massive boost with every home game. All thanks to the time change. What does that have to do with the kick-off at 9:30 est? It's 2:30 pm in London. Perfect time for a kick-off for any kind of football.

Meanwhile, thoughts of another Toronto-area NHL team may be in jeopardy...


That is a big setback to the Markham Arena.  To be honest, I agree with council wanting more private funding.  This isn't a situation like Edmonton.  There is no team.  There isn't even a promise of a team.  Yes, Winnipeg built a new rink before the NHL returned, but they already had the minor-league Moose.  This is a rink being built for nobody.  There may be a chance of an NHL team, someday.  But, Quebec is the most likely next destination for the NHL in Canada.  Besides, it's bad enough with one team in Toronto, two would be insufferable.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rogers puts it's name on another venue

From where I sit it looks like Edmonton has a new name for it's new rink...


And apparently nobody likes it. It's bland. It's drab. It lacks local flavour. People are surprised by this? Really? I don't know what was expected. Northlands Coliseum 2?  I agree it's a boring name, but every stadium has a boring name now. Long gone are the days of the Forum and Maple Leaf Gardens, replaced by the Bell Centre and Air Canada Centre. It's not Taylor Field in Regina anymore, it's Mosaic Stadium. Sadly, this is the reality every sports fan has to face. It's a money generating source for the team involved.  Nobody in Edmonton will care what the new arena is called if the Oilers are winning. Yes, there already are a number of Rogers named sports venues in Canada.  Let's be thankful a Canadian company is keeping it's money in Canada.  Up until last year the Carolina Hurricanes played in the RBC Center.  The line between sport and business was crossed a long time ago. Please, stop acting surprised.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Friendly advice for Nate Robinson

From where I sit it looks like Nate Robinson needs to shut up...


I don't blame him for being frustrated. There are many players who feel they don't get the calls they deserve. And they don't whine about it. Want to get the calls? Try being a friend to the referee. You are way more likely to get a call in your favour from someone who respects you, than someone who thinks you are a spoiled brat. Every player has calls he or she disagrees every sport. Sometimes the calls go your way and sometimes they don't. Sometimes the ref has an off game. But whatever you happens, don't complain about it...or you will never get a call. Have a friendly chat with the people calling the game. Not condescending. Friendly. Be a nice guy and you might get some breaks with the calls. Or, continue being a jerk and give me something to write about.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

An unforgettable end to the Iron Bowl

From where I sit it looks like Nick Saban made a huge mistake...

I have one big question: what the hell was Saban thinking? A 57 yard field goal attempt from a freshman who had barely kicked all season. I will give Adam Griffith credit, he came up just short of the goalposts and the back of the endzone. However, he still didn't make the kick. I'm also wondering how much faith Saban has in either his defence or his offence if he feels his best option is a long, long fieldgoal instead of overtime. Even if they take a knee and go to overtime and the offence does nothing, it's still a 45 yard attempt. And judging by his initial kick Griffith could have made that. But no, Saban put his faith in a back-up kicker and we got an ending that rivals some of the best college football has ever seen.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.