Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Everyone Loves the Big Screen

I know I've been absent. There's been a lot that's happened. Ovechkin getting suspended and skipping the All-Star Game. Another suspension (name escapes me at the moment).

But I saw this video from a jumbotron. For some reason, I always find it funny when people catch themselves on the big screen and start dancing around. I guess I'm used to it since it was part of my job. I mean, I get it. It's exciting. It's fun. It's something that doesn't happen a lot to a lot of people.

What I didn't expect to see was a video of a celebrity getting gitty when she sees herself on the videoboard. FYI: there's no sound in the video.

link to video

That's Rachel McAdams. From Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls, Wedding in Paris, Wedding Crashers...

It's cute that she got so happy to see herself on the big board. Her eyes literally lit up. And she got all bouncy-bouncy. Just thought I'd share.

PS- That's one ticked off Vancouver fan, eh?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Force Is Strong With This One

Do or do not, there is no try.

Or, use fishing line like this KHL All-Star.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Should This Be A Penalty Shot?

Is is possible to have a penalty shot called when the puck is not in the crease and player is not on a breakaway? Is it possible to call a penalty shot when there is really no immediate scoring opportunity?

Okay, so here's the play in question:

Link to video

It is very easy to say the Referees made a horrible, horrible mistake. But did they? There was clearly no immediate scoring chance on the play, but there's a little bit more to Rule 63 (Delay of Game). A penalty shot CAN be awarded if there is insufficent time left in regulation to serve a full minor penalty if the net is dislodged by its own player. The rule is in no way tied to an immediate scoring opportunity or the location of the puck. It just has to meet the qualifications for being a minor delay of game penalty AND have less than 2:00 to go in regulation. The net came off with just 1:24 left in the game.

So the time part is fulfilled. But was that a minor penalty for delay of game? That's the other part needed for a penalty shot here.

I don't think so. Let me quote the rule.


"A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who delays the game by deliberately displacing a goal post from its normal position...."

And here's the part about the penalty shot from 63.5:

"If by reason of insufficient time in the regular playing time or by reason of penalties already imposed, the minor penalty assessed to a player for deliberately displacing his own goal post cannot be served in its entirety within the regular playing time of the game or at anytime in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded against the offending team."

The key word here (that I intentionally avoided using in my descriptions above the quotes) is deliberately. The time has to be right AND a deliberate displacement.

I really do not see that play as a deliberate displacement of the goal post. He ran into it, but he made an effort to stop. He didn't lift up with his hands or hit it with a great deal of force where it was obvious the net was going off. The right call, in my mind, would have been nothing. Whistle the play dead because the net's loose and faceoff in the Islanders' defensive zone. Yes, he did kinda lift up with his shoulder, but still. That doesn't look like it would have been enough to knock the net off. There's not enough evidence to prove it was a deliberate move in my mind.

I know some people are more spirited on how a this play possibly could have been considered a penalty shot situation saying it is "absurb" or "horrible" and "you should be outraged". The puck wasn't in the crease. There wasn't a breakaway. Even the linesman #76 seems confused about the penalty shot as he appears to be gesturing towards the penalty box because of the call against Steit.

The Referee must have thought the net was intentionally displaced.

Bare with me. Ignore what you just watched and assume that a player did deliberately displace their net, even though the puck wasn't in a scoring opportunity whatsoever, in the final two minutes of play in regulation. Erase that video from your mind for a bit. Assume the net was intentionally displaced by random hockey player in the last two minutes. Assuming that's true, then a penalty shot is the correct thing to have happen.

That being said, again, I don't think that net was deliberately displaced in that above video you can now think about again. But the penalty shot seems a little less absurb in light of Rule 63.5. Still wrong, but more understandable. The Ref got one part right, but seemed to misinterperate the other part.

Just wanted to share that little tidbit in the rules. I know I must appear to be an apologist that sides with the officials a lot, but in general: a deep look at the rules tends to back the officials up. However, other times it leaves me yelling at my computer because the rules were ignored in a crucial way. This call leaves me scratching my head about the word "deliberate", but also opened the door for me to do some educating about penalty shots for anyone who didn't know it's not always about scoring chances and puck position.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Suspensions to Repeat Offenders

Link to video

Link to video

Jean-Francois Jacques got three games for targetting the head. Brad Marchand got 5 for an illegal clip.

The Jacques video almost seems ho-hum for Shanahan. There's even an audible lip smack after his initial introduction. But the Marchand video goes from quite pleasent (he starts with an unexpected "Hi!"), then digs in with some fangs.

He seems pretty fired up about that clipping. As he should be. My favorite part of the video is showing the buildup which, as mentioned, literally had the same play on with a legal hit.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

NHL Rescinds Game Misconduct

Link to video

This happened earlier today in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Finals.

Originally, Lucic was ordered off the ice for violating Rule 70, Leaving the Bench (to participate in a fight). After the game, it was rescinded.

Did you count the number of Bruins in the scrum? It was six. That doesn't include Thomas in goal, that's 7. How can one of them NOT be on ice illegally? Actually, it is possible. Fans are crying foul and favoritism towards the Bruins. But there actually is a possibility that everyone out there was legal because of a loophole in the rules.

The NHL issued the following statement:

The Game Misconduct penalty assessed to Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic during NHL Game #598 this afternoon in Boston has been rescinded, National Hockey League Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Terry Gregson announced today.

Lucic was assessed a Game Misconduct 3:54 into the first period for violating National Hockey League Rule 70.1 – Leaving the Bench. However, a video review of the incident revealed that Lucic did not leave the bench to join or start an altercation but rather had entered the ice legally over the boards and was about to step back onto the bench through the door when he changed course and joined a scrum.

"The referees reacted to what they saw," Gregson said. "The only player they saw coming from the bench area from either team was Lucic. But with the benefit of replay, we can see that Lucic had previously entered the ice over the boards legally to join the play and actually was contemplating stepping back onto the bench through the door when the altercation ensued.

"It should be further noted that a review of the video confirmed that all players on both teams involved in the altercation had entered the ice legally for the purpose of joining the play. None entered the ice for the purpose of joining or starting an altercation, which is prohibited by Rule 70."

NHL Rule 70.1 – Leaving the Bench reads: "No player may leave the players' or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation."

Then who was not on the ice legally? If Lucic was on the ice legally, than the skater he replaced was on the ice illegally. Right? Again, there's six Bruins in that scrum.

Note: That fifth arrow is pointing to an official's helmet. I know that. But there's still a Bruin there. Look at the skates.

Something doesn't seem right. That's 6 B's.

Lucic was NOT listed as being on the ice according to the official play-by-play. By the official play-by-play, the Bruins on the ice during the time of the fight were Tim Thomas (G), David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Shawn Thornton, Joe Corvo, and Zdeno Chara.

So who was involved in the scrum?

As best I can tell (because I always have problems with buffering game clips for the first 24 hours), the Bruins in the scrum where Lucic, Chara, Thornton, Horton, Corvo and Krejci. That's six. That's too many. Lucic was not on the play-by-play count. So that's clearly an illegal move on his part.

Or is it?

Hockey is played with 5 skaters per side (duh). But don't forget that hockey lines changes are made on the fly. Players can legally leave the bench as long as the player they are replacing is within 5 feet of coming off. Exceptions apply, but that's basically it. It's Rule 74, Too Many Men on the Ice.

So, hypothetically, there could be 10 men on the ice legally if all 5 skaters were coming off in favor of fresh legs. As long as the five coming off were within 5 feet of the bench, then it is not illegal and 10 men can be on the ice.

If a whistle stops play while a change is happening, all players on the ice could be legal if they were in the middle making a line change.

We've seen a similar situation before. Remember Downie from Tampa Bay? He was involved in the fight in New York after Anisimov of the Rangers "shot" at the Lightning tender.

There was a debate in early December as to whether or not he was legally on the ice. Again, Downie was not listed on the play-by-play. I'm not ever sure he even stepped on the ice, though there were moves that made it obvious he was going to get on the ice legally. He was NOT assessed a game misconduct for leaving the bench and was never penalized further for that. He did receive a game misconduct for something else. Rangers coach John Tortorella even said officials told him they missed the call at the time. But Downie was not given a penalty for leaving the bench because the player he was replacing was within five feet. There is somewhat of a difference between the Lucic one and Downie's because that earlier fight took place after a goal. Still, there is possible precedence this season regarding "leaving the bench to participate in an altercation". Didn't see when Lucic entered the ice, but it could be similar to the Downie situation. Sorta.

I don't know what video the NHL saw, but I will say it is entirely possible that Lucic and the skater he was replacing were both on the ice as part of a legal line change which would account for there being more than five skaters on the ice. I do not know what actions have to happen for the change to be reflected in the official play-by-play. I also don't discredit the on-ice officials who issued the game misconduct for illegally entering the ice to join a fight. Lucic may very well have illegally entered the ice. It is entirely possible. Maybe even probable. I am also aware the NHL VP Colin Campbell's son plays for Boston and the chairman of the NHL Board of Governors is Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Bruins. I know it would be an automatic 10 game suspension plus possible (actually likely) additional penalties for the Boston coach.

But there is a window within the rules that would allow Lucic and 5 additional Bruins to be on the ice, all legally. There is nothing in the rulebook that addresses what to do if a fight breaks out when more than 5 skaters are on the ice legally because of a line change. So to anyone that says it is impossible to have more than 5 skaters in an altercation: that is a false statement. That MAY be what happened in Boston. Again, I remind you that I haven't seen video confirming that is what happened and the video I have posted above has a buffering issue as I write this.

If nothing else, it shows that the rules are fuzzy in the area of legal line changes. Don't get me wrong: it is not right that the Bruins had 6 men on the ice for a fight, even if technically, by rule, they all could be. The rules should be rewritten to prevent this in the future. I would think that if two players are legally on the ice because of the 5-foot rule of substitution and a fight starts, the player who has just entered the ice cannot participate in the altercation.

If there is a whistle to stop play and there are more than five skaters on the ice because of a legal line change, then no player who was not on the ice at the last point when only five skaters were on the ice legally can join in any altercation.

That is just an example off the top of my head that would eliminate this hole in the rulebook. It's a little wordy, but it's a step in the right direction. There is a possibility that a string of line changes means a skater has been on the ice for a few seconds, well after his change, but gets caught up in this rule because there have been at least six men on the ice the whole time since his line change (all legally) because of changes and a whistle blows. So it might need some tinkering.

Maybe a two-second rule.

From the moment your skates touch the ice when you come on for a line change, you cannot participate in a fight for two seconds of the game clock. If you step on and a second later a whistle stops play for a fight, you can't go join.

Actually, I like that rule. Let's see that as a new addition. It would have penalized Lucic if he and the player he was changing with both were on the ice legally and both joined in the fight.

...Now that I'm thinking about it, I really like this change. Reduces the current gray area a lot.

Friday, January 6, 2012

No 2012-2013 Realignment

The NHLPA has rejected the plan to have the NHL realign. The Board of Governors approved the realignment, but it did not seek the NHLPA approval before coming out with the new conference scheme. This is very bad news. The two sides are about to start a legal battle while sports fans and investors may quickly reject the League because of the fatigue from the fights between the NBA and NFL and their respective players' associations.

Okay, so this does a lot of things. First, it means I'll be wearing my Predators shirt to the Nashville game because there will be more opportunities next season to see the Jets as they will remain in the Eastern Conference. I'll wear my Jets shirt to a future game.

Second, it means that the NHL apparently does need NHLPA approval. I covered this at length before.

It seemed at the time of the realignment announcement a month ago that this was possible, but not likely. The Player's Association did not directly say it would veto the move at the time, but reminded the NHL it could. The NHL said they didn't need approval. I guess the NHL was wrong.

During my previous look at this, I examined the Collective Bargaining Agreement and saw arguments for both sides.

This is what I said then back on December 5, 2011:

Bettman said the NHLPA has expressed concerns about the new plan and that he will discuss it with union chief Donald Fehr before implementing it. Bettman said the change doesn’t need union approval, a stance the NHLPA contests.

“Realignment requires an agreement between the league and the NHLPA,” union spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said. “‘We look forward to continuing our discussions with the league regarding this matter.”

Hmmm. A showdown between the NHLPA and the NHL? Maybe. Who's right?

Let's look to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The NHL is probably looking towards Article 16, League Schedule.

16.3 Length of Season. Without the NHLPA's advance written consent, the Regular Season will be scheduled over a period of not less than 184 days. Each Club will play at least one (1) NHL Game during the first three (3) days of the Regular Season and at least one (1) NHL Game during the last three (3) days of the Regular Season. Prior to finalizing the Regular Season schedule, the League shall provide the NHLPA with a draft schedule. The NHLPA shall be given an opportunity to comment on the schedule. This opportunity for the NHLPA to comment shall be provided at a point when the NHL has the ability to adjust the schedule based on the NHLPA's comments and shall include a meeting at the NHL's offices with the Vice President, Scheduling, Research & Operations (or his equivalent) responsible for assembling the schedule and a League attorney. The League will give good faith consideration to specific scheduling requests made by the NHLPA and will provide an explanation if any of the NHLPA's requests will not be accommodated; however, the final decision making authority shall remain with the League.

The League is going to be keeping all of those requirements (notification, a meeting, 184 days, blah blah blah) and will probably quote the last line saying that the final decision making authority shall remain with the League.

The NHLPA will probably look towards Article 22, the Competition Committee.

22.1 The NHL and NHLPA will establish a Player/Club Competition Committee (the "Competition Committee") for the purpose of examining and making recommendations associated with issues affecting the game and the way the game is played. The issues to be considered by the Competition Committee will include: (1) the development, change, and enforcement of Playing Rules; (2) Player equipment regulations and standards; (3) Player dressing room and in-arena facility standards; (4) the scheduling of games played outside a team's home arena and facility standards relating to said games (e.g., "outdoor" games, neutral site games, etc.); and (5) issues relating to schedule, compression and start times for games. By mutual agreement the NHL and NHLPA can expand the issues to be considered by the Competition Committee.

The biggest argument to be made here relate to the scheduleing of games under part (5) and "examining and making recommendations associated with issues affecting the game".

It seems the CBA actually kinda contradicts itself upon these findings. On one hand, the Competition Committee (a group having NHLPA and NHL representatives) is suppose to discuss the schedule while the actual scheduling part of the agreement says the NHL has final say and only need listen to requests from the NHLPA. I am by no means an expert on the CBA and there maybe an article or sub-article that directly addresses this, but I didn't immediately find it. I could be very wrong here.

But, I think the NHLPA is right and realignment needs their consent. A reshuffling of the entire layout of the teams and the shakeup of the playoff format seems to be an issue that affects the game and how it is played. The schedule part in Article 16 seems to be talking about individual schedule changes here and there or "petty changes" to the overall season schedule, not a monumental shift in the entire structure of the scheduling based on realignment.

This could get juicy, but I would imagine two things keep it tame and without public fireworks. First of all, I don't think the NHLPA will greatly protest to this realignment plan anyway, so no need to pull the veto card just to prove they can. Also, I don't think the NHL will intentionally do anything to really tick off the NHLPA since the lockout just happened a few seasons ago. And seeing the NBA and NFL recent struggles will probably lead to much more open discussion than would be needed between the two parties, regardless of who's technically right. The NHL (or any sports league) can't handle the PR nightmare that would happen if there were lockout talks. Fans would give up so much quicker on a pro-sports league now compared to other times because of the NBA and NFL stoppages.

To be fair: Bettman didn't say he was going forward no matter what the players say or anything like that, just that they don't really need the NHLPA's permission. The NHLPA also said they would continue the talks and didn't say they were thinking of fighting the realignment tooth-and-nail. In fact, there appears to be an open dialouge already going on that's benefiting both parties. But there is some areas where the two are not seeing eye to eye. Bettman said so. This may be why we have the teams and conferences have been announced, but the playoff format is not ready yet. That may be the place of disagreement between the two parties. I don't know this to be true, but it's a theory.

Looks like I was right about the NHLPA being right according to the CBA. Maybe not for the reason I cited, but the NHLPA still thinks they are right nonetheless. But looks like I was wrong about the lack of public fireworks. That open dialouge I assumed would happen? Probably didn't. It also looks like there is going to be a tooth-and-nail fight.

This comes tonight from the NHL:

"It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including Players," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format for next season."

"We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s rights. We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate."

There are the fireworks I wasn't planning on. "Unreasonable refused." "Overwhelming majority / Widespread support." "Violation of League's rights." "Legal options." Those are strong words. Especially for a Friday night.

It did get juicy. It looks like they intentionally ticked off the NHLPA with this statement if nothing else. But I hope this blows over quickly. I still think the League, like any major sports league, really can't afford the backlash from fans and investors if lockout talks surface. The NFL and NBA shortened-seasons have strained the market a lot.

We knew, even when the realignment was announced, that the two were not seeing eye to eye. But it really didn't seem to be that big of a deal. Just a disagreement on the proper procedure. After the realignment announcement, nobody really talked about the possibility it would fail. It seemed to surprise everyone this fell through.

NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr issued a statement Friday night:

“As realignment affects players’ terms and conditions of employment, the CBA requires the league to obtain the NHLPA’s consent before implementation,” Fehr said. “Over the last month, we have had several discussions with the league and extensive dialogue with players, most recently on an executive board conference call on Jan. 1. Two substantial player concerns emerged: whether the new structure would result in increased and more onerous travel; and the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions.

“In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team. We were advised it was not possible for the league to do that. We also suggested reaching an agreement on scheduling conditions to somewhat alleviate player travel concerns … but the league did not want to enter into such a dialogue.”

Those are very legit concerns and I find myself siding with the NHLPA. It's not that the NHLPA said the new realignment was bad, but there was a possibly it could be a disaster with the travel schedule alone. The NHL couldn't prove it wouldn't be bad on players regarding travel. I haven't given a lot of thought on the loopsided playoff format, so no comment.

It looks like the NHL screwed up here, not the NHLPA. The players association job is to watch out for the players, and they didn't feel they were given enough information to make an informed decision. Therefore, they felt they didn't have any choice but to say no. Again, it's not that the alignment was going to be bad, but there should have been more investigating to make sure it would be as good in reality as it was on paper when it was announced.

"Daddy, can I have this?"

"Why do you need it?"

"Everyone else likes it. It will be cool. I need it. And I need it now."

"Tell me why you need it."


"No young man. You tell me why you need it and we can discuss it. Maybe you can have it, but we need to talk about it."

"You don't want me to have anything."

"Mister, I'm not saying no. But I'm not saying yes. You need to tell me more information here. I might even agree with you.

"Just let me have it. I don't have time to explain it."

"Then the answer is no."

"I hate you! You never let me do anything!"

"Don't make me put you in timeout."

"[grumble grumble]"

I will be busy most of the weekend, so I probably won't be talking about this much until the beginning of the week. But this is bad news for the League. Make no mistake about it. A legal battle between a league and its players' association is just not what people want to tolerate right now.

Link to video

I was getting so sick of the recent string of bad things in the NHL too. Then this comes out. Someone tossed me a stronger shovel when I already thought I was down!

Something Completely Different

Today, we are going to do something different. Most of this post will not be serious. I don't always have to be so serious. Why so serious?

And if you don't like it, I'll just have to let you deal with my security forces who will keep you from attacking me with hate...

Or I'll put you in the shark tank...

Or let this thing attack you...

Sorry. Wrong picture. Not that thing. That thing is a cute something or another. Antelope-jack? Not really sure. Too bad he was killed and mounted on a wall. And then removed from that wall.

No, I'll let this thing attack you if you get all ticked off that this post is less-than-serious...

Are we clear? This post is going to be a little different, so get used to it. Don't complain. And like it.

Actually, you can not like it all you want. I'm still going to do it. I need a mental break from some of the stories in the NHL these days related to the rules.

There has been a lot of bad news coming out of the hockey these days. Conspiracy theories. There's suspension after suspension. Naughty words. Naughty items on the ice. Fan fights. Illegal merchandise. It's depressing. Well, the most recent item on the ice was funny. But everything else is kinda a downer.

So, I wanted to offer up this post as something completely different. Something fun. Something that doesn't involve anymore controversy or suspension talk. I was inspired by this mural I found on Puck Daddy.

Frank Saracco is a Chicago Blackhawks fan with fond memories of their 2010 Stanley Cup championship victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. To honor that moment, he had a friend create a mural as a birthday gift to his daughter that depicts the two teams — who meet tonight in Philly for the first time since Game 6 of the '10 Final — as cartoon heroes and villains.

That brings a smile to my face. Not for the quality of the work. It's nephew art, as my artist friend from Puppatoons would say. This is the creator of Puppatoons behind me...

Nice person. As long as she's not too hungry for human flesh, we get along great.

I still like the idea of the Blackhawks mural for this guy's kid.

Here's a closer look at things in the mural.

We start our breakdown of characters with the Blackhawks.

Patrick Kane = Road Runner
Jonathan Toews = Superman
Duncan Keith = Toothless
Marian Hossa = Mr. Incredible
Brent Seabrook = Eddie Munster
Antti Niemi = Shrek

In the box:

Adam Burish = Bugs Bunny

On the bench:

Brian Campbell = Lion-O
Dustin Byfuglien = Sulley
Patrick Sharp = Batman*
Niklas Hjalmarsson = Thor
Coach Q = Gepetto
John Torchetti = Perry the Platypus

*I don't like Patrick Sharp...

The Flyers:

On the bench:

Ville Leino = Gargamel
Claude Giroux = Darth Vader*
Matt Carle = Randall
Simon Gagne = Doofenshmirtz
Jeff Carter = Maleficent
Coach Peter Laviolette = Stewie

*Hey! I've met Claude Giroux before!

I want to be just like him when I grow up...

Okay, on the ice:

Chris Pronger = Skeletor
Scott Hartnell = Yosemite Sam
Danny Briere = Wile E. Coyote
Mike Richards = Captain Hook
Michael Leighton = Montgomery Burns
Kimmo Timonen = Lord Farquaad

As mentioned, the event is inspired by the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Saracco said the scoreboard represents the final score and time of the last game of the Finals. Also important: "I know that game was in Philly, but for the sake of the mural it had to be at the UC [United Center] if it was going up in my house. A little artistic liberty."

I would have also taken the liberty to hire a good artist.

Now, I'm not sure who the Count is suppose to be (an off-ice official?). The Penguin is probably Linesman Steve Miller who lost (or "lost") the game-winning puck. Hard to hold onto that puck without fingers.

...Well, I tried to avoid bringing up anything controversal. Oops. Maybe I can get away with it. As long as some official doesn't notice it (by turning around).


Sorry that I still introduced controversy when I was trying to avoid it. I was trying to do something a little bit different for fun in this post. That was fun, wasn't it? I mean, at least I didn't show any more controversal things from hockey. Like the Canadian women celebrating after the Gold Medal in Vancouver.

Or The Great One having his name misspelled on his jersey.

Or when the Carolina Hurricane Ice Girls had mustaches for Mo-Vember.

Or any of the Thrashers taunting stunts.

Or the neon jerseys they tested with the Thrashers.

Or, something serious, like a picture of the "toy" that was tossed during the hat trick in Montreal on Wednesday.

Sorry. I'm so embarrassed to have that on this site.

Not as embarrassed as I was shortly after I had my picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Didn't know that you aren't suppose to touch it until you won it. Not that I ever will, but still. Bad luck.

But I was a noob. I learned. I grew. I think I redeemed myself by presenting the ECHL's championship trophy (the Kelly Cup) some time later.

That was fun. Sorta. Except I was presenting it to the other team that beat us in the Finals on our ice. Gladiators ice.

I went back to my car and cried.

Not that car. That's a small plane-car. I've never been in that.

That I have been in. One of the nice little job responsibilities from working with the Braves baseball team. That and being at the ballpark as the sun rises.

Beautiful sight. I'm very proud to have the Braves as an employer. They've been great to me. Althought, they occassionally had me done some crazy things...

Of course, I sometimes dressed up for fun all on my own at Turner Field.

Or Philips Arena.

I'm a Sport-Trooper as compared to a Stormtrooper.

I have an interesting resume. The Atlanta Braves are just one of the many jobs I've had in my career.

And I got to work for the Thrashers too. In an entertainment capacity.

I liked my co-workers.

But back to baseball for a second. For one to really appreciate Turner Field, home of the Braves, you really have to see it once the sun really goes up.

My friend Mo likes it too.

I forgot to ask my girlfriend about it when she came down for Christmas. We took a tour of the ballpark and got our picture made at the ritz-y hotel we stayed at. Her treat!

She has squinty eyes.

Okay, I have to confess. That's not really my girlfriend up there. That was Taylor Swift photoshopped in on a program that my mom got on her iPad for Christmas. A program she insisted on using non-stop during the holiday season. There's the same scene with me and that werewolf from Twilight and me with Beiber.

Who will eventually look like this.

I have met celebrities before. Ashley Eckstein.

John Smoltz.

And many many more. Clark Howard. A cow. Unicorns...

Won't it be cool to date a celebrity? I think so. Like that redhead girl from Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog? Felicia Day.

She's amazing. Great singing voice. Great personality. Stunningly attractive. What would it take to impress her, I wonder? Puppatoons got to meet her, along with a puppet. In fact, it was Ms. Day's people who called them over for a picture...

So, she's into ghosts.

Got it. I know what I need to do...

That probably won't work. I'm not counting on that for a pick-up stradegy.

Maybe I should stick to attempting to date people in reality... princesses? That probably won't work either. Especially not with that look.

What a interesting picture: A blonde. A brunette. A redhead. And an idiot.

By the way: I love me some Ariel. Definately my favorite princess. She's like a Felicia Day. With a tail.

Too bad none of those nice ladies will be joining me during my trip to Nashville when I go see the Predators take on the Jets in March. I'll have to rely on the company of Loosetoon, the Nashville Predators Ice Girls, and possibly a big slimy catfish.

My biggest problem with the trip is this: what to wear to the game. I see three options. I have one of my Thrashers jerseys. I'd probably go with the sky blue one if I went that route...

I have my Jets t-shirt with the new Jets logo.

Or I have my Predators shirt.

It's a mix of that Preds logo and this guy...

That shirt looks like this.

So I've got that problem. What to wear...

Actually, I have another problem in that I can't get my favorite meal in Nashville.

You know what the best meal in the world is?

No, not a po-boy. Although that is a good sandwich. A fine treat from the French Quarter.

No, not a delicious burrito covered in yummy cheese sauce and wonderful salsa. Coronado has the best, hands down.

It's not a breakfast meal, though I do love me some pancakes covered in syrup with a side of bacon (aka meat candy). It does taste better in Yoda and Stormtrooper form. But still, not the best meal.

Okay, that's not a meal.

Those are my famous marshmallow treats I make for special occassions. Well, four varities of them anyway. Funny thing, I don't even like them all that much. I'm not a huge chocolate fan.

I love me some Hot Now Krispy Kreme donuts! But that's not a meal either. Well, I've actually eaten it as a meal, but it shouldn't be.

We're getting further off topic. How about I just tell you what the best meal is.

The savory meal of Varsity chili dogs with a side of onion rings (the ONLY onions I readily eat) and Coca-Cola.

That is a glorious meal. I'm dead serious. That is my go-to meal of choice. Not available in Nashville.

Only in Atlanta.

Too bad we don't have NHL hockey to go with that meal.


I hope you enjoyed this post. It's a little different from the norm, but still enjoyable.

If you didn't like it, you can talk to my lawyer...

..or I can call security.

Your choice.


To be honest, I just wanted an excuse to post some pictures I found.