Author Topic: J'adore l'hockey  (Read 9619 times)

random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2010, 07:20:21 PM »
Barkley is Barkley . . . he's not primarily an ambassador of goodwill, I agree.  I thought he showed poorer sportsmanship when he unnecessarily fouled some much lighter guy (from the Angolan team?) and knocked him right off the court.

That year, though, the US Olympic team was specifically put together to kick every other team's ass and demonstrate that, screw you, it's our game and we're the best at it.  Some of the players on the team were better sports about it, but that was the line from the top on down.  It wasn't pretty.  It soured a lot of NBA players on the Olympics, too, and now many of them just regard it as having to play extra games for no $$$ and risk getting injured.  For the most part, only the foreign players who can play for their home countries seem really interested -- and it's sometimes costly for them to participate.  (See Yao Ming's career issues, for instance.)

Right now, the NBA is pushing hard to get into other markets before they can develop their own corporate-competitive organizations.  It's not really clear how it would work, though.  You can't have the Lakers flying to Japan and Europe two dozen times a season for regular games, but the playoffs would almost entirely have to be in the US, in the near future, to avoid marketing disasters.  And the seeding would be tough.

Ironically, the highest plus-minus / impact player in the NBA right now is a foreigner (Dirk Nowitzki, a German player).  (LeBron is either two or three right now.  Kobe actually isn't in the top ten, per most statistics authorities, mostly because the Lakers have so many good players.)  

And one of my all-time favorite players is Steve Nash . . . the Canadian superstar.  Endlessly entertaining to watch, that guy.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2010, 09:47:58 PM »
I have to admit, I don't watch basketball at all. My old roommate years ago was a producer for the Raptors. We used to have a nintendo in our place and I'd always kick his ass at EA NBA. He'd get all upset cos' I'd tell him how stupid basketball was and then whoop him at the video game. I recall he once woke me up at three in the morning on a weeknight to play. He later admitted he thought my grogginess would be my ruin, but it was not so. hahaha. I think it's probably a much more fun game to play than watch, like baseball or golf.

And as for the b-ball pros assembled to win, and bringing this back to hockey - the NHLers all stay in the Olympic village yo. But it could be cos the 600 sq. ft. units are nicer than their own homes back in rural Manitoba...

random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2010, 10:51:55 PM »
:lol:

But I don't just mean they went to win.  The league's only half-unspoken attitude was that the goal that year was to make the rest of the world look junky.  Their feeling seemed to be that the US didn't usually really try, and so people didn't realize how awesome we were, and so just this once we were going to put it all together and show everyone how much they suck by comparison.

In some circumstances, there's a certain amount of room for that kind of sentiment, but it was just ugly in that case.  Great team, though -- twelve players, ten of whom have since been voted among the top 50 ever to play basketball.  Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson?  Not to mention Stockton, David Robinson, and Drexler, Barkley and Ewing, Scottie Pippen.  They won every game, by a minimum of 32 points and an average of 44 points.  It was mayhem, and I'm sure it was hard for them to keep perspective.

And if you're a fan of a sport, it's combat, sure, but underneath you know it's not really combat, and getting the greats from different teams that hate each other to come together on one special team, to play together, just this once . . . it's like a Christmas truce between the trenches.  It's the feel-good movie of the season.

But if the Germans and Brits get together on Christmas not to play soccer but to team up and burn Belgium to the ground, it's not as romantic, somehow.

Tripper

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2010, 11:06:43 AM »
I remember Spud Webb when he played for Atlanta (85-91, 95-96).  The man had flubber in his shoes or something because he was 5' 7" and had a vertical leap of over 42".  In 86 he won the Slam Dunk contest, beating his Hawks teammate Dominique Wilkins.  'Nique just stood on the sidelines slackjawed watching him.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2010, 12:03:02 PM »
Letters to the editor:

Quote
Gotta say, one day you're at the world juniors marvelling at that level of fierce competition and talent, and the next you're watching the Leafs and Flyers and thinking you've dropped into a WWE show.

You'll have to explain to me somehow how 17-, 18- and 19-year-olds can compete on a world stage with such a high level of sportsmanship and clean play, but the NHL can deliver such a piece of low-class, Slapshot-style competition as was the case last night.

I mean, really, Dan Carcillo is much more professional wrestler than pro hockey player, complete with the gimmicks and trash talk. He's Sideshow Bob II, and let's face it, the NHL promoted his act at the “Winter Classic” — commentators were seriously suggesting the first fight at this event was some kind of milestone — and Carcillo's figuring out that being a clown will get him more attention than playing hockey ever will. His act won't last long in Philly, but he'll get the most attention he can while he's there.

This, needless to say, is a problem the NHL runs into when its brand of sports entertainment s juxtaposed with the world juniors or, as will be the case next month, the Olympics. By comparison, the NHL looks mechanical, passion-less and full of phony theatrics.

Sad thing is, this is where so many of those fine youngsters who competed in that glorious gold medal game on Tuesday in Saskatoon are headed. Whether they want to or not, they'll be playing in a league that in mid-season too often is part-hockey, part-Gong Show.


http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/

random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2010, 12:09:24 PM »
Heh.  Actually, I'd also like hockey better if the rink were a little bigger.  I'm just weird.


Spud Webb was never 5'7", either.  They used to exaggerate his height -- and sometimes exaggerate his lack of it.  I saw him on TV once saying he was really more like 5'5".  When half the guys on your team are well over 6'6", 5'5" and 5'7" look pretty much the same.  He was an amazing player.  I always root for the players who are more fun to watch.

Tripper

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2010, 12:58:35 PM »
They called Dominique the "Human Highlight film", but it was far more amazing to watch Spud almost climb up someone and dunk the ball.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2010, 12:59:01 PM »
NHL rinks are smaller than Olympic rinks. If you like the bigger rink watch the Olympics. The Olympic rinks also have a sharper curve in the baords in the corners so from above the rink looks more rectangular.

random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2010, 01:09:46 PM »
Huh.  I had no idea.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2010, 01:19:19 PM »
NHL rinks are based on the original geometry of a rink in Montreal where some of the first organized ice hockey was played. The IIHF has it's own standard, for whatever reason.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2010, 10:51:26 AM »

random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2010, 11:25:08 AM »
Maybe he should try the Gong Show next time.

Encino Man

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2010, 12:27:44 PM »
Can you imagine what would've happened to Jose Theodore (in goal) if the guy had scored?

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random axe

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Re: J'adore l'hockey
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2010, 10:39:18 PM »
Eh.  You gotta just live with it.  I've known for a long time that basketball is just as hard to ref -- and that the NBA is not entirely 'clean', nor are referees Vulcans -- but I still watch the NBA.  I've just learned not to get too emotionally involved, and to try to enjoy watching the players do incredible stuff as much as whether or not they actually get the win.

It's still maddening when calls are bad all night or a game clearly gets taken away, but . . . these sports leagues need a lot of referees.  How many people are there going to be out there who can do it and are incorruptible, temper-free saints?  US pro football goes out of its way to attempt to remove all personality from its refs, but in the NBA a lot of the refs are almost celebrities, themselves, and they have distinct personalities.  Like judges.  Sometimes you get a judge who hates you.  It sucks, but it happens.

And of course a rookie can merely pass close by a superstar and get called for a foul every time . . . .


I don't honestly know if AI referees could 'fix' this problem even if they called the games perfectly.  I'm sure fans still wouldn't trust them.  On the other hand, AI refs combined with ubiquitous cameras could give audiences the 'right' view every time in replay, showing exactly where the contact did or didn't occur, where a player's foot was, etc.  That might help some.  Videos can be fixed, and all, but by then there'll be so many different sources for replays that it wouldn't really be plausible in most cases.

Eh.  We'll see.