Pucked in the Head rises from the dead, groans uncomfortably and attempts to bite your brain to death before you deliver the all-important head shot takedown. The NHL watched carefully, strategizing the zombification of the World Cup of Hockey. Sports poet Russell Arbuthnot sits in the big chair, but Jason Kurylo still manages to dominate the discussion.
Bonus: Spot the attempts to include NFL football references! Enjoy.
• Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
• What kind of name is Arbuthnot?
• The World Cup of Hockey
• Advertising on jerseys?
• U-23 Teams? European Also-Rans? WT the actual F?
Zane Jones’s moustache scored once and added an assist to drive the Vancouver Giants to a 5–4 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night. The ginger duster was all over the place at the Pacific Coliseum, laying hits, creating open ice and sweeping into the dirty areas of the rink.
During an early second-period Giants power play, Jones’s lip foliage took a cross-ice pass in the left face-off circle. Rather than one-timing a snap shot on Rebels goaltender Taz Burman, the soup strainer extraordinaire took the puck to the backhand to cut around a sprawled d-man, made a power move to the lip of the crease. From there, Mr Tickler buzzed a shot into a razor-thin bit of open net, going top shelf where grandpa keeps the moustache wax. The entire sequence was made even more impressive by the fact that the tastefully trimmed mouth brow was dragging along a 210-pound Zane Jones under it the entire time. That lip luggage may have been named third star in the building Friday, but ask just about any of the six thousand-plus fans in attendance, and they’ll almost certainly name Old Bullet Proof number one.
The bro-merang’s big game meant a lot to the Giants, who won for just the second time in the last ten tries.
“I haven’t seen a nose bug like that since Lanny McDonald,” said Red Deer GM and head coach Brent Sutter in an exclusive interview I totally made up in my head during the drive home from the rink. “Seriously, I still have burns on my neck from all those battles on the boards against that mustachioed bastard. Back in the day I preferred getting speared by Ken Linseman to rubbing up against that bloody caterpillar.”
All kidding aside, this was a great game — it had everything junior hockey is meant to be. Loads of goals, momentum swings, a handful of fights and high energy action from the get-go to the final buzzer. On the strength of some lengthy periods of uptempo forechecking and hard work down low, the Giants were able to come back from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 deficits. Not to take anything away from Alec Baer’s late tying goal or from Ty Ronning’s power play winner with under a minute to go, Jones and his vaunted lip sweater were the main reasons the G-men walked away with these two points.
According to this post at Footy Headlines the Seattle Sounders are taking a proactive approach with their 2015 kit. Rather than allowing opposing teams’ supporter groups to come up with Sounder-bashing wordplay, they’re on the offensive with self-mockery that’s positively aces.
Either that, or their design team doesn’t know jack about the most basic rules of English punctuation. I mean, sure, Seattle is purty, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with this. It’s harassment, pure and simple.
Seriously, you green SOBs, say it with me: “commas save lives”. Take a class, or something. You’re just making it too easy for the rest of us.
Welcome once again to Whitecaps Wednesday – and the 3rd installment of Pucked in the Head’s “March to March” series. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that the Whitecaps have managed to pull five victories from their first nine games.
Now mired in their busiest stretch of games (but not the most frenzied – we’ll see that in Part 4), we take a look into the third month of the season and forecast the results of their five May matches.
Buckle up quick, as their month kicks off with an away fixture in Portland, the first of two Cascadia matches in a three-week stretch.
There’s this tennis player, see, and she’s playing at the Australian Open this week. She made the final four in the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year, truly a breakout season for the 20-year-old. She even made the final at Wimbledon, where she had previously become the first Canadian to win the junior singles title. Nowadays, she’s ranked number seven in the world, so she’s pretty good at this tennis thing.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could talk about how she overcame a rough first half of her third round match to dominate the #36-ranked French right-hander Caroline Garcia in the second set? We could discuss her steely on-court focus. Let’s break down her solid form on return. Or extoll the fact that she’s parlayed a strong all-around game into five consecutive Grand Slam fourth-round appearances.
Sadly, we can’t. Eugenie Bouchard also happens to be an attractive blonde with a gigawatt smile and a sense of humour. She’s on magazine covers and she tweets about fashion, so Ian Cohen just had to ask her to do a pirouette after her R2 win the other day. The justifiable shit storm to follow has both Channel 7 and Tennis Australia scrambling to deny association with Cohen — if neither the broadcaster nor the athletic body own this guy, why the hell was he doing on-court presentation in the first place? Tourism Australia is livid — they issued a press release stating “It’s completely inappropriate for a Bruce to ask a Shiela to twirl on a tennis court; the correct form is to shout ‘show us your teats’ at the beach.”
It could have been worse guys
Bouchard, for her part, is handling this whole thing better than most, suggesting she’s got that pretty little head of hers screwed on right. When the post-match questions on Friday turned to issues of ‘Twirl-gate’, she sighed, smiled and said, “I was waiting for this.” She followed up by voicing calmly what so many others have been screaming the past few days: “It’s funny…. I’m fine with being asked to twirl, if they ask the guys to… flex their muscles and stuff.”
Last year, after becoming the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semi in singles play, Bouchard was asked who her dream date would be. Sam Smith, herself a former pro tennis player — and one might observe, a woman — said “I’m sorry but they asked me to say this” — should have refused to ask. Even the preamble was awkwardly sexist. “You’ve got a lot of fans here, most of them male, and they want to know.”
I’d love for someone to come at a male pro athlete post-game, as he’s sweaty and revelling in a win: “Russell Wilson, you’ve just won the Super Bowl — who would you like to snog?”
Is Genie a good-looking woman? You’re darn tootin’ she is. But I’ve shot tennis tournaments before — they’re all Greek gods, every single one of them. Does that make it okay for crotchety old dudes to plant creepy questions about ‘dream dates’, or make borderline crude suggestions that she dance for the nice people? Absolutely fucking not. Bouchard would be justified to go full primal scream on the next idiot who goes that way in a post-match interview.
Mariners fans entered Game 162 of the 2014 campaign with as much excitement as we’ve had in a long time. Felix on the mound, a beautiful fall day, and the Ms in striking distance of their first playoff appearance in… well, a while. [Editor’s note: Please forgive John’s lack of specificity on this one. He resides in a country where they still use quarts, miles, pounds and Republican Senator Thad Cochran.]
Sadly, despite beating the Angels of Anaheim/California/etc., 4-1, the Mariners were eliminated when the Oakland Athletics won their game that same day. And so another Mariners season ended without a trip to the postseason. The Mariners finished 87-75, one lousy win short of that that bloody Wild Card spot.
Yet for the first time in… a while [ahem]… there was a real sense of optimism at Safeco Field. With a league-low ERA of 3.17, Mariners pitching was generally outstanding, both in the rotation and out of the bullpen. The offense, again, was the weakest link, with later-season moves for Austin Jackson and Kendrys Morales proving to be insufficient to move the needle quite far enough. Still, being relevant on the last day of the season was a welcome change from the previous several years.
With attendance up, and some excitement building about beisbol (to be put on hold by many during NFL season, as the Seahawks mount an amazing run toward a second Super Bowl appearance in as many years), it was on to the Hot Stove League, aka the off-season. What did Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik have up his sleeve?
I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for today. Can you believe it’s finally here? I know I can’t. And I bet you missed me. But don’t fret, I’ve missed you too.
And now with formalities aside, part two of Pucked In The Head’s March to March series sees the Whitecaps enter the second month of the 2015 MLS season with a 2-1-1 record. April starts off with a tough contest for the boys in the blue and white, followed by two more games within a week.
What will be the result, you ask? Read on, find out and curse my divinations in the comment section.
The 17th Initiative is a way of teaching my daughter about the powers of volunteerism and giving. Each month in 2015, on or around the 17th, we will connect with a charity or community organization of some sort. We encourage you, the reader, to do the same. Time, materials, money — whatever you can contribute, to whatever cause you believe in — use #17thInitiative if you want to share your good deeds on social media.
After meeting some of the good folks at the Now That’s Ugly Society, my daughter and I donated a few bucks to the Children’s Wish Foundation this month. We were hoping to raise a little bit more than $50, but we’re not here to focus on negatives. Fifty is better than zero, right? Besides, you can’t put a dollar value on the awareness you raise by talking about a cause. Children’s Wish is awesome. (You can still bump this figure up, if you’re keen, by throwing a few bones here.)
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be involved in a couple of projects:
Assemble a “Comfort Bag” for the Lookout Society, an organization that provides housing and support services for members of BC’s homeless population. My daughter and I will gather some of the items from the Winter Donations Wish List posted on the Lookout website (and shared below), pop it in a dollar store tote bag and donate it to Russell Housing Centre in New West. We encourage y’all to do the same!
The 17th Initiative will continue throughout 2015, so please feel free to comment or contact us with suggestions for ways to engage in the community as we move forward. If you’re already involved in causes or events, please share! Again, use #17thInitiative on Twitter and Facebook (or even Instagram, I guess, but I’m not on there myself).
Bobbleheads are weirder than a kissing cousin convention, but their creepy kitsch is almost universally appealing. For years, figures bore little resemblance to the target athlete, but of late, the sculpts are getting better every season. No matter how lifelike they are, though, who doesn’t get a kick out of an oversized head waggling away on a teensy, tiny body? I mean, just look at Kelly Ripa’s numbers. (Seriously, how does she keep that blonde balloon afloat? There’s gotta be wirework involved, or a complex system of pulleys and gears…)
At the Vancouver Giants game on Friday night, 1,000 fans will walk away with a bobblehead of former team captain Jonathon Blum.
The Giants are just two points behind the slumping Tri-City Americans, who are coming off a 7-1 loss at the hands of the class of the WHL Kelowna Rockets. The Amerks have won just thrice in their last dozen games, while the Giants have garnered points in twelve of their last fifteen.
In the 2015 MLS SUUUUUUUPERDraft, the Vancouver Whitecaps selected, I kid you not, a guy from Hicksville and a Banjo for him to play with. The Caps came into the draft looking to shore up their depth in a couple of key areas, and appear to have ticked all their boxes by selecting Tim Parker from Hicksville, NY via St John’s University, and Kay Banjo from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.