Tag Archives: Kurylo

‘Twirlgate’, seriously?

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.

Eugenie Bouchard rips a crosscourt forehand winner against third round opponent Caroline Garcia. Photo cribbed from an AskJeeves search.
Eugenie Bouchard rips a crosscourt forehand winner against third round opponent Caroline Garcia. Photo cribbed from an AskJeeves search.

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.”

The 17th Initiative — Month Two: The Lookout Society

Angus here wants your blood.
Angus asks you to donate a Comfort Bag to the Lookout Society.

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.)

Little Kira has been diagnosed with leukemia — consider making a blood donation in her honour as she fights the good fight!
Little Kira has been diagnosed with leukemia — consider making a blood donation in her honour as she fights the good fight!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be involved in a couple of projects:

  1. Donate blood in support of Princess Kira, a two-year-old recently diagnosed with leukemia. There’s a all-day blood drive on Superbowl Sunday at Blacklock Elementary in Langley, or you can book through Canadian Blood Services anytime and make your appointment “in Support of Kira” (Partners for Life #INSU806630, if you want to associate future donations with this drive as well).
  2. 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).

For those who wish to give items other than cash, the Lookout Society has a donation suggestion list.
For those who wish to give items other than cash, the Lookout Society has a donation suggestion list.
Month 2 - Lookout
The Lookout Society provides housing, assistance and support services to members of the roughly 3,700 homeless people in the Vancouver area.

 

 

You know you wanna bobble Jon Blum’s head

You be the judge.
You be the judge. Does Jon Blum’s bobblehead resemble the real deal?

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…)

The Kelly Ripa bobblehead dol... wait, that's just Kelly Ripa.
The Kelly Ripa bobblehead dol… wait, that’s just Kelly Ripa.

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.

Continue reading You know you wanna bobble Jon Blum’s head

Weird goals

Matt Ustaski, pinball wizard
Matt Ustaski of the Wisconsin Badgers scored what is likely the strangest goal of his collegiate career on Friday, potting one from 190 feet. Sure, teams score empty netters all the time, but the Matt O’Connor was still on the ice for the Boston Terriers at the time. The BU keeper skated out to start a counter-attack as the Badgers made a defensive change, but his pass careened off of defenseman Brien Diffley and into his own net.

It was very nearly UW’s biggest win of the year — they’ve only won twice in fourteen games — as Ustaski’s goal gave the Badgers a 3-1 lead with less than three minutes to play against the #2 ranked Terriers. It wasn’t to be, however. BU would score twice with O’Connor on the bench, including the tying goal with 2.2 seconds left, and would eventually win via the dreaded shootout.

Continue reading Weird goals

Whitecaps FC fans licking their lips for first kick

First kick is still months away, but the Whitecaps still managed to steal some ink away from the return of Roberto Luongo this week. The 2015 MLS schedule was released (along with the signing of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard to the LA Galaxy), giving local soccer fans a case of the tweets. Thankfully, they’re much more pleasant than the trots, which have plagued TFC fans since Jermain “Bloody Big Deal” Defoe was linked to no fewer than four Premier League teams over the Christmas break.

But I digress. This is about the Whitecaps, their newly minted contract with Uruguayan striker Octavio Rivero, and the 2015 MLS schedule. The PDF file is below for your perusal, and doesn’t yet include Canadian Championships or Champions League matches — that’s right, baby, the Caps are reppin’ CONCACAF this year! — but let us give you a few dates to circle on the ol’ calendar right here and now.

Continue reading Whitecaps FC fans licking their lips for first kick

Torts + Gillis > Iron Mike?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Canucks fan who misses the regime of Coach John Tortorella and President/GM Mike Gillis. Around these parts, they’re nearly as reviled as Coach Mike Keenan and…  Acting GM Mike Keenan.

There are loads of similarities. But who was worse? The answer doesn’t come as easily as you might think.

Three of the most hated men in Vancouver hockey. Photos cribbed from an AskJeeves search.
Three of the most hated men in Vancouver hockey. Photos cribbed from the interweb..

Continue reading Torts + Gillis > Iron Mike?

Woke up to some Head on Xmas morning

Vancouver sports fans have a few things to unwrap under the tree this year, indeed. The Vancouver Whitecaps, Canucks and Giants are all giving in the spirit of the season. To start, this is for you, ladies…

Octavio Rivero may not win the Golden Boot next season, but he should look good on the end of those Mauro Rosales crosses. Photo cribbed from the interweb.
La Cabeza  may not win the Golden Boot next season, but he should look good on the end of those Mauro Rosales crosses. The ladies tell me he looks especially good after scoring. Wait, what? Photo cribbed from the interweb.

Continue reading Woke up to some Head on Xmas morning

Camilo out for the season — boo hoo, amirite?

There’s no love lost for Camilo round these parts. The man broke his contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps prior to last season, sparking a year-long search for a decent goal scorer. Sure, the Caps made the playoffs, and did so in dramatic fashion, but they sorely missed the diminutive Brazilian in the striker position.

How Whitecaps fans spent the 2014 season: openly hating the man, but equally desperate to see some consistent goal-scoring. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
How Whitecaps fans spent the 2014 season: openly hating the man, but behind the whatevs we were eager to see some consistent goal-scoring. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The blue and white saw offensive production drop by a full eleven goals without Camilo. In 2013, the Caps were the only teamwith a positive goal differential to miss the post-season; a year later, they were still in the black (thanks to a wonderful improvement on the back end) but had the lowest GD of any playoff team.

Would number 7 have stepped in the way of the LA Galaxy in their quest for a storybook ending to Landon Donovan’s career had he stayed? Unlikely: the Whitecaps may have gotten shut out in both away games versus the Galaxy this season, but they didn’t fare much better last year with Camilo in the lineup. It’s also not his fault that Coach Robbo elected not to offer Kenny Miller a contract extension in favour of giving the young horses in the stable a chance to run.

What if and if only aside, it was that very lack of scoring finish — I’m looking at you, Darren Mattocks — and a bizarre bit of refereeing that ultimately did the Caps in.

Continue reading Camilo out for the season — boo hoo, amirite?

The 17th Initiative — Month One: Now That’s Ugly

Help PITH raise a modest $250 for the Children's Wish Foundation by January 17, 2015.
Help PITH raise a modest $250 for the Children’s Wish Foundation by January 17, 2015.

Despite what the news tells you, good humans far outnumber the bad. Indeed, for the most part, people are pretty generous. There are good works all around us. Case in point: the folks at the Now That’s Ugly Society, who have spun a modest ugly sweater bash each December into a full-blown movement in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation. But more on them in a moment.

Like most parents, I want to inspire in my daughter a desire to share. Whether it’s ideas, cookies, emotions, toys, information… All of these things ought to be passed around and celebrated. If that can be done with a minimum of screeching “IT’S MIIIIIINE!” that would be just awesome.

The folks from the Now That's Ugly Society fundraise for the Make a Wish Foundation, and have loads of fun along the way. Check 'em out at http://nowthatsugly.com/.
The folks from the Now That’s Ugly Society fundraise for the Make a Wish Foundation, and have loads of fun along the way. Check ‘em out at http://nowthatsugly.com/.

I’ve been thinking about this since before she was born, and right now is a prime time to expose her to the powers of kindness, generosity and volunteerism. Now That’s Ugly is just the latest amazing project to catch my eye — to wit: I saw a story on the CBC, and was hugely inspired. I even said so on Twitter:

So many kinds of awesome, right? Only, rather than cramming everything into the holiday season — when loads of people are giving and doing good works — I thought we could branch out into the rest of the year. I put numbers in a hat — well, okay, the Ugly Christmas toque you see above — and out came 17.  And so, the 17th Initiative was born.

I've never claimed to be good at this logo designing thing.
I’ve never claimed to be good at this logo designing thing.

Once a month, starting on January 17th, 2015, we’ll do a small act of kindness in the community, and we’ll invite you along to join us.

17 January 2015 — We’ve set a modest goal of raising $250 for the Children’s Wish Foundation, through the good folks at Now That’s Ugly. Please consider tossing a couple of twonies at this amazing organization that helps seriously ill children build hope and joy in the face of tragedy and loss. We challenge all hockey bloggers, guest posters and readers to donate a minimum of $5, either to this fundraiser or to a children’s charity of your choice.

Milla and I will be doing these things whether folks join us or not, but wouldn’t it be nicer if we could all give together? Please use the hashtag #17thInitiative in your social media-ing.

Five straight for the Vancouver Giants

The Vancouver Giants won their season-high fifth straight game Friday night, turning in what Brendan Batchelor lauded as a high point in his stint as the team’s play-by-play man:

Mason Geertsen scored his third of the year on a power play to open the scoring in a 6-3 win over the Victoria Royals. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
Mason Geertsen scored his third of the year on a power play to open the scoring in a 6-3 win over the Victoria Royals. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

From Mason Geertsen’s third goal of the season late in the first to Tyler Benson’s third period shorty, the Giants played a solid 60 minutes and were full marks for the 6-3 win. Six different G-Men scored, and Payton Lee made 26 saves in the win.

Look for some colourful Christmas wear on Saturday night, as these same two teams do the second half of the home-and-home on Ugly Sweater Night at the Coliseum. We at Pucked in the Head dare you to have as much fun as these five beauties:

These beautiful Aussies were some of the most vocal ugly sweater wearers at a 2012 Giants game — we at PITH challenge you to outdo them this year! Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
These beautiful Aussies were some of the most vocal ugly sweater wearers at a 2012 Giants game — we at PITH challenge you to outdo them this year! Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Or even these folks:

The folks from the Now That's Ugly Society fundraise for the Make a Wish Foundation, and have loads of fun along the way. Check 'em out at http://nowthatsugly.com/.
The folks from the Now That’s Ugly Society fundraise for the Make a Wish Foundation, and have loads of fun along the way. Check ‘em out at http://nowthatsugly.com/.

It’s a bit of an ironic time for the Giants to go on a tear, as their crosstown NHL brethren in blue and green are in the middle of their longest losing streak of the season. The Canucks still sit high in the standings, however, based upon a strong first quarter. The Giants, on the other hand, languish at the bottom of the Western Conference despite garnering a full ten points in the last five games.

Still, it’s probably not a coincidence that the run comes with a new coach behind the bench. It’ll be interesting to hear at the end of the season just what Claude Noel brought to the room that Troy G Ward didn’t: