10 years ago yesterday, I got in to my job in one of the function-test labs at IBM. I had sat down and was getting ready to go grab a drink before settling in to writing down some thoughts about the playoff series that had just ended for the ‘Canes, when one of my co-workers came over and said “Did you hear the news?”
No, I said. What happened?
“Steve Chiasson died last night.”
I sat there gobsmacked. WHAT?!
“Yeah”, she said. “Go read The Penalty Box.”
I went and pulled up the board (at that time the most highly-trafficked Canes board on the Net)–first thing I saw was “Chiasson dead in single-vehicle accident”.
On our lunch break, my co-worker and I tried to find a place near IBM that was showing the press conference–no luck. So we had to settle for posts from other TPB readers filling us in on the presser and what was said, and what little was printed by the N&O about the accident and what was being discussed on 850 the Buzz–then the only sports radio station in town.
Mike Solarte was in tears on his morning show. He knew all the guys on the team, so to him it was like losing a member of the family. He was doing all he could to keep from breaking down sobbing on the air, and he even mentioned that alcohol may have been a factor. In the lab, the mode was very somber; all the other testers came around to offer their condolences. We were crushed and a little numb.
And we got to listen to Adam Gold blasting Chiasson as a worthless drunk because Chaser made the awful decision to duck his teammates (who were trying to call him a cab), steal his keys back, and drive home before anyone could stop him. Gold denies it now, but no ‘Canes fan who heard his nastiness back then (when the Buzz gave the Hurricanes short shrift and only Solarte spoke well of them on a regular basis) will forget it. Any fan that took issue with Gold’s remarks were insulted on-air and hung up on. Anyone that sent him an e-mail received a patronizing reply that amounted to “he deserved what he got”.
It was a nightmare; we were all angry that Chaser had decided to drive while intoxicated, but at the same time we were sad that he was gone and grateful that nobody else was hurt or injured. There are still some that refuse to hear anything good about Steve Chiasson, and continue to deride his memory and cry about the Hurricanes’ Steve Chiasson Award as somehow “glorifying” irresponsible behaviour; the rest of us–and the Hurricanes–choose to remember the whole man and honour his memory while reminding others of the final lessons Steve taught us:
Whether you are celebrating or drowning your sorrows, be responsible: take a cab or have a designated driver, and always wear your seat belt.
Hail, Steve. We miss you.
…cos the AcidQueen don’t wanna hear it.
So many things to talk about today, so let’s get down to it shall we?
ISSUE ONE: The Defence.
Luke DeCock has opened a lovely can of worms with this week’s iteration of The Monday Debate–and I, of course, had to go and chum the waters a bit. I should have probably been a bit more blunt-force, but what would be the fun in that?
Simply put, our defense is fearsome–and not in the happy fun way, either. Joe Corvo is best when used in strict moderation. Joni Pitkanen is a question mark. Josef Melichar should have been left in Sweden. Nicky Wallin should go back to Sweden (his best season was 05-06. Seriously kids. I love the man but he’s done like dinner). Timmy Gleason…eh. When Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen are your likely top pairing? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Am I being too harsh? No. This team should have laid out the coin for Aaron Ward, but no–Uncle Pete has decreed that the nickel-and-diming shall continue, and so we get Yet Another Nickel-and-Dime Defence.
ISSUE TWO: Bomani Jones and the Survey of Doom
You all remember Bomani Jones’ pitiful excuse for an attempt to take a potshot at hockey in the South find Hurricanes fans back during the 2006 ECF. He deliberately went to places like Sammy’s (which has never been a destination for fans–mostly because it’s pretty exclusively NCSU-oriented and also because the owner is just a teensy bit hostile towards us damn carpetbagger Caniacs…nevermind that a lot of State fans are also Hurricanes fans), the fringes of Durham (where of course he just had to toss out the gratuitous bit of sports racism–i.e. “hockey is for white folks”), and the inboxes of a couple buddies of his (one of whom is a NASCAR fan and the other one of whom isn’t even a fan of the Hurricanes).
Bomani decided to, after getting hit with the Ten Ton Hammer by half the Caniac Nation for being such a douche, whine and cry that he was just trying to be funny. Of course you were just trying to be funny, Bomani. Of course you were. And I am the King of Siam. Et Cetera, Et Cetera.
So–why am I bringing all this up? Because Bo decided to bring up a survey of the 500 residents of Hyde County (glove-tap to janeybell for that zinger) that supposedly showed that nobody in NC gives a fig for (or even knows about) the Hurricanes, and then use that as an excuse to show his ass yet again (on the heels of Greg Wyshynski’s mild clowning on the survey in the midst of getting some quotes from Hurricanes’ Media Czar Mike Sundheim)…after which Bo pussed out when questioned in the commentbox about what his “point” was supposed to be.
SUMMATION: Bo doesn’t know dinky-doo. He’s also a whiner–apparently anyone who took issue with him even in the slightest is an “oversensitive fan who missed the point”. Dudeman is a turtler, bigtime; therefore, I shall dub him Claude Avery.
(BTW, for those who have IMed or e-mauled me asking me to call in: I would like to, but I don’t have a phone at my desk nor do I know if I’ll be able to get into the equipment room at work so I can use the phone there. They don’t pay me teh moniez to hammer Bristoleros on the phone, yanno.
My major issue with the survey is that the sample size is pretty damn miniscule. It’s like Jeremy Clarkson asking a question of one audience member on Top Gear and then saying “There you have it, nought percent of the British population own a Prius/like diesels/want speed cameras/whatever”–which he does specifically to poke fun at pollsters. 500 people is not a sufficient sample size to give a good result, unless the base that the sample is drawn from is also very small (e.g. 500 people out of 10,000). Moreover, where was the survey conducted? Do I have to get out the Barbecue Map and show you mooks the sports breakdown of North Carolina or something?
I also have to wonder what the author of that poll was drinking when he came up with it–but that’s a question for another day.
ISSUE THREE: The Schedule
Yay, schedule’s out. Whoopie-ding, Detroit is the last game before the State Fair Road Trip (and of course, somebody’s already engaged in asshattery over it–quelle grande surprise).
Big deal. SlugFans are worse than Wings fans anyway–except that once the SlugFans sober up, they can at least talk hockey in a semi-intelligent manner.
Now that that’s out of the way:
I’m far more interested in the fact that the schedule is finally back to some semblance of normalcy–of course, since division rivals get played 6 times a piece, invariably some mental giant out there is going to start bringing out the “DEE DEE DEE, SE Division only gets a seed cos they play a weak division, durrr.”
The Red Wings win the President’s Trophy damn near every season because they play a weak division, and I don’t hear anyone saying anything about that. So why does the Southeast Division get hailed on? The Sabres won the President’s Trophy with the exact same division record that the Hurricanes had the year they won the Cup–but I don’t hear anything about that except for the random SlugThug calling me “bitter and angry” because s/he’s too drunk or soaked in his/her own personal issues to come up with something actually intelligent to say. So why does the Southeast Division get hailed on?
I keep hoping to have a cogent discourse with somebody on this topic–but so far it’s been about as fruitful as a Wipe Club raid*.
WARNING: Very funny, especially if you’re a WoW player, but there’s lots of profanity thrown about at that link. Don’t listen at work or with the kids around.
So my dear old Radeon 9800 Pro went tits-up last week. It wasn’t that old, really–so why, pray tell, were parts falling off of it? Your guess is as good as mine.
Through the magic of eBay, I now have a new video card…just in time for me to miss the start of the season because of my yob. I can only entertain myself by tormenting NCSU freshmen and high-school students for so long before it gets old, kids. Another UFinishIt.com POS? Gods I hate September.
OK, so Chris The Penalty Killer and Bubba were on 850 the Buzz earlier this week. Bubba opines that Chris looks kinda like Scott “Remo Williams” Walker, but I beg to differ–I’ve met Chris. He looks nothing at all like Remo. Just sayin’.
And the BoG finally got the hint that fans were tired of not being able to see teams from the opposing conference more than once in a blue moon, so the schedule’s going back to the way it used to be…sort of. Guess people will have to find a new excuse when a SE Division team wins the Cup, huh? The only bad thing about this? I have to put up with the assiest members of the Red Wings
Bandwagon Nation at the RBC again, as well as having to deal with the SlugThugs twice a season. But, you kinda gotta take the bad with the good I guess.
And speaking of Bubbalo, not only did the Sabres show their collective
class by suspending Teppo Numminen without pay because the guy has a heart condition and they can’t count on that insurance money to line Golisano’s pockets, but Blue Jays, Bills, and (of ALL people) Maple Leafs season ticket holders got to jump the queue on ticket sales for the Blizzard Bowl err Winter Classic. Dowhatnow? Last I checked, neither T-O-R-O-N-T-O M-A-P-L-E L-E-A-F-S nor T-O-R-O-N-T-O B-L-U-E J-A-Y-S spelled “Pittsburgh Penguins” or “Buffalo Sabres”–so why were the Leafs STHs allowed to buy tickets ahead of Pens and Sabres STHs? For that matter, why are Blue Jays (or for that matter, Bills) STHs even allowed to be involved in the ticket-buying privileges? It’s not even the same gods-damned sport! Somebody explain it to me, please, because I am wicked confused.
And finally–’Canes training camp continues apace, as 15 players get assigned to Albany. Friday night, the Hurricanes take on the Nashville Predators at the RBC Center. Doors open at 6ish, Puck drops at 7. Get there early and tailgate.
As of this morning, the ‘Canes had been dropped by Triangle media conglomerate Curtis Media–or more correctly, Curtis Media decided not to renew their contract with the ‘Canes. Can’t say I’m surprised–the vibe I’ve always gotten from Curtis was one of “eh, they’re here, have fun” (though Curtis Media station 96Rock really had a blast pimping the team).
As of about noonish or so, the ‘Canes announced a new deal with Triangle media mainstay Capitol Broadcasting Company (owned by Jim Goodmon, who also owns the Durham Bulls AAA beisbol team). This is a good thing–the station that they’re on has a crap coverage area, but it’s still a good thing because it opens the door for Goodmon eventually investing in the team (which will strengthen its place in the Triangle, much to the dismay of the RHWO nutbags).
As of about 1:00 or so, the ‘Canes announced that they’d re-signed radio play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton.
So far, so good.
Chris’ post (and Da Chief’s commentary thereon) struck me as interesting, mostly because with two exceptions I’ve stuck with the same teams my whole life.
I already talked about my childhood love of the Oilers (according to some bitter smacktard in Buffalo, this apparently means that I’m insane–puck ‘em).
All my other teams, though, were from Los Angeles (where I was born and lived until I moved to North Dakota at age 10). Except the Rams. I was an NFL fan without a team after Carroll Rosenbloom died in ’78, because I flat didn’t like Georgia (his widow)–and for a kid who thought Vince Ferragamo was the MAN, that says a lot. I really didn’t like the woman. Still don’t like her, never trusted her, just the mention of her makes my skin crawl and my hair stand on end even after 28 years. So I forsook the Rams and went teamless until I was 12, when Fourth of Four (my dad’s fourth wife) got me hooked on the Redskins. So I’ve been a Redskins fan ever since, and despite their current idiot of an owner–the Redskins are why I tend to get along so well with most Capitals fans, even though I loathe the Capitals.
But beisbol and basketbol (when I bother to watch the NBA, anyway)? Still the Dodgers and Lakers. I barracked for the Twins in 91, because they were playing the hated Braves (who are second only to the Giants on my list of hated MLB teams). I even barracked for those damn Yankees when they played the Braves in the WS–and I loathe the Yankees.
I’ve been a Lakers fan since before Showtime, I was a Lakers fan after Showtime, and I’m still a Lakers fan despite Kobe Bryant (who I hate, frickin’ primadonna) and despite Mitch Kupchak’s foolishness in not getting rid of Kobe to keep Shaq. I hate the Pistons almost as much as I hate the Red Wings. If I were as much an NBA fan as I am a hockey fan, I’d probably hate the Pistons even more. I have nightmares about a Dodgers-Tigers World Series (unlikely as that might be), because the Dodgers getting pwned would be so me (and because I am thoroughly convinced that Detroit hates me, even though I’ve done nothing to that damn city).
But then, the Hurricanes won the Cup (I no longer feel wierd saying that), Shaq beat the crap outta the Pistons, and my beloved Azurri won the World Cup (despite a huge scandal involving half the players on the team) in the same year, so maybe my luck’s changed for the better.
Or it could be the Tramadol talking. Who knows?
Anyway: There is nothing that bugs me worse than revisionism. If you forsake one team for another, be honest with your reason. Don’t act like you’ve been a fan of a team your whole life, when you’re a recent convert. Be honest about why you converted, even if it’s “because they’re on top”.
I may be a raving nutter in the eyes of some Buffalo Bittermen, but at least I’m an honest nutter.
That’s why, back in May, I fired a broadside at 850 The Buzz program director Adam Gold, who bashed the Hurricanes every chance he got for the first five years of their existence in North Carolina (and would hang up on and then proceed to insult anyone who called in to his radio show to take issue with him). Adam denies it on a regular basis–but I trust my memory and the memory of every O.G. Caniac that had to put up with The Buzz and their shabby treatment of the ‘Canes at the start far more than I’d trust the ego of some arrogant little nebbish who can’t handle the truth.
There’s a reason why 850 The Blog doesn’t have me on the ‘Canes blogroll–and it’s not because of the salty talk I use every now and then.
Perhaps somebody with a WordPress blog (especially one hosted on DreamHost) can help me out here. For some reason that I haven’t been able to figure out, when the blog first gets loaded in Firefox, it loads a blank page–but when you reload, everything comes up properly. Not only that, but for reasons I can’t divine some feedreaders can’t parse the RSS feed (and I know damn well that I have it set up right).
I’m stumped. If anyone has insight that doesn’t amount to “setting up an RSS feed isn’t that hard”, drop me a line.
Now, these two stations were the Triangle’s last best hope for good sports talk radio. Even lower-powered and with a smaller radius than 850 The Buzz/620 The Bull, but better than either of them (mostly because their program director isn’t a revisionist who can’t handle the truth). Now they’re gone, and The Mighty Forslund has to find a new home for his weekly ‘Canes radio show–more than likely 850 The Buzz.
More commentary later.