Archive for May, 2012

2 Girls, 1 Cup Finals

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Sports, T.V.

The CBC has decided that it wants to appeal to the “casual” hockey fan by adding a new web show called While The Men Watch. It features two women (Jules Mancuso and Lena Sutherland) who will offer their take on hockey. It’s been getting a lot of backlash for being seen as sexist, which is easy to say when they believe things like it’s “more fun to talk about why so many gorgeous players come from Welland Ontario.” But, Julie Bristow of the CBC feels that this “…is meant for both men and women….[it’s] just capturing the conversation”. If that’s the defense of the CBC, that’s fine. We live in a fair society where you are given the benefit of the doubt and I will do just that….with me grading just how accurate the CBC is in their statements.

Here’s how this will work: like many teachers have told me in the past, you start at 100% and work your way down. Therefore, I will be very fair by starting at 100% for the ladies at the beginning of all 3 periods (so, yes, they start at 300%) and deduct marks accordingly. Here’s where I will take away marks:

  • Talk about the physical features of a player  (i.e. how ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’ or ‘good looking’ he is): Minus 5%. You’re supposed to appeal to both men and women in a casual way. I’ve had friends who aren’t vested in hockey sit down and watch the game and the attractiveness of a player has never come up. It’s degrading;
  • Any references to female-oriented shows or movies (i.e. Sex and the City, The Bachelorette/Bachelor, Real Housewives, etc): Minus 5% UNLESS there’s a comedic tie-in (e.g. “He’s annoying the other team more than Courtney got under the skin of Emily to win over Ben!” It’s a damn shame that I can make that comparison, so let’s move on…);
  • Any time they have no idea what’s going on in the game/they can’t explain a reason for something: Minus 5%. If this is supposed to be for a casual fan, the “casual fan” should be getting educated a little. AND, I want the hosts to be addressing the rules of the game. If they have someone answer via Twitter, Email, or other, points will be deducted;
  • If they are not entertaining for more than a period: Minus 25%. Let’s be honest, this is supposed to be entertaining and if you can’t draw me away from the actual commentator for more than 5 minutes, then why should I have more tax dollars go to waste on your salary? Sounds mean, but it’s true.

Pre-game

8:00 PM – Before the game even gets underway, I ordered a pizza and the guy gave me a better deal for less! Jules and Lena, my hopes are now higher than they were before puck drop. Sorry, but this may make me a tougher evaluator.

8:10 PM – Opening sketch is loaded with sex jokes….and I use the word ‘jokes’ while gritting my teeth. I wanna deduct 25% right now.

8:13 PM – Explaining about how the show came to be. They have “Sonny on the Side”, who will explain the game. This feels like they’re gonna be down an easy 40% overall.

8:18 PM – DON’S WEARING A NORMAL JACKET! NOOOOO!!!!! This game is a loss already…

8:19 PM – “Official puck dropper”. I’m feeling educated already! (NOTE: Sitting through this will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do ever…)

8:22 PM – The roster for ladies (and men) will give you the important stats like height, weight and where they’re from! Again, educational!

8:25 PM – “(Brodeur) is a good looking man after you take off all the…Transformer gear.” HAHAHAHHA !!! (Minus 5%)

8:29 PM –Boyfriend of the game: something to look at and something to follow. (So happy that this is ‘unbiased’ for both men and women. Minus 5%).

8:31 PM – THEY’VE GONE TO THE WHITEBOARD FOR BOYFRIEND OF THE GAME!!! Guess this is supposed to be ‘strategy’.

8:35 PM – Watching them on the white board looks like asking a 5 year old draw a dinosaur riding a fire truck with hockey cards. I suck at Pictionary.

8:37 PM – I just had to do the math and realize that for every guy evaluated (Parise, David Clarkson, Drew Doughty, – Minus 15%)

8:39 PM – They created their own language and “Saygooniiiiigh” is a good word to say when a goal is scored! When the history books are rewritten, people who are known for coming up with their own words will go: Shakespeare, Jules, Lena (no sequential order of importance, of course).

8:48 PM – “Would you take a hall pass for one night with your boyfriend of the game if it meant no sex with your man for one month?” A very tough, moral question…..Minus 5%

8:50 PM – NOTE: I wonder if Sonny is questioning if he should go into contract negotiations tomorrow. I don’t know his salary, but he’s underpaid.

8:51 PM – Pizza has arrived! Finally! Something hot and satisfying to have alongside a hockey game.

Period 1 is over – sitting at 70% and if I was really mean, that opening skit should knock it down to 45%. Luckily, I’ve got pizza…but it won’t last long.

9:10 PM – Jules: “We made it through one period!”  Me: “It wasn’t easy for me either.”

9:15 PM – “Does anyone else think that the New Jersey Devils’ logo looks like a sperm? An angry sperm?” I…screw it. Ate too much pizza to argue. Minus 5%.

9:17 PM – Jules: “While you were peeing, I was watching Don Cherry…” I can confirm that I’ve used that line before. Too bad I don’t add points.

9:19 PM – Watching them talk about the fore check is a lot like listening to Rain Man.

9:21 PM – Sonny is trying to explain what a smelling salt is. It apparently smells like salt! (NOTE: No, it does not). Minus 5% I know there’s nowhere in my rules where I can deduct points but this is like the equivalent to hand in an 8 page paper when the rubric says it has to be 10-12 pages or you’ll be deducted marks; you just shake your head and move on.

9:25 PM – Sonny just worked in two plugs for Cheetah energy drinks. I swear, this guy needs a pay raise.

9:27 PM – Clarkson with or without a beard? I know how to solve this: Minus 5%

9:29 PM – Time to play “Would You Rather”. So we’re clear: the CBC, Canada’s PUBLIC NETWORK where we ALL PAY FOR IT, is showing grown-ups play a game that nobody plays past the age of 12. Amazing. I want their agent!…and Minus 5%.

9:37 PM – Sonny is trying to give some insight and told he’s not being brief enough. Minus 5% for rushing the guy who knows what he’s doing and is the most entertaining part of the show so far.

9:41 PM – After sex, you SAYGOONIIIIIIGH! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Minus 5% (just…not…funny).

9:44 PM – “Just call Danus ‘Danish’.” Minus 5% on principle.

OH, THANK GOD! INTERMISSION. The ladies are currently sitting at 65% after that period. I can’t believe that with all the cutbacks that the CBC has made, this is where they decided it was a good idea to invest. It feels like Bre-X all over again. I hope to god Stephen Harper kicks back a couple of bucks to all taxpayers next year after listening to this.

10:08 PM – I have one request: can someone please, PLEASE give Lena lines that are alternative to “And we’re back!”? “Welcome back.” “We’re underway in the third period….” “Thanks for tuning into….”

10:11 PM – Jules’ husband has a Montreal Canadiens mascot dubbed “The Manimal”. Did the CBC look at this and think “AWESOME! Kill 6 minutes with the toy! We need to get them more props!”?

10:13 PM – “Is the window intentionally loose so they don’t break a shoulder?” Jules says no but Sonny says it is but is quickly interrupted because Adam Henrique is cute. He’s also 22, so put away your talons ladies.  Minus 5%

10:17 PM – Parise threw the puck in the net, no goal but LOTS of great banter! Think I’m feeling the effects of eating too much spicy pizza….

10:20 PM – OH! Back to the Hall Pass game! Awesome! We gonna play Origami Fortune Teller next??? Minus 5%

10:24 PM – JERSEY SHORE REFERENCE THANKS TO THE TWITTERVERSE! Gonna deduct 5% for getting the ball rolling, Jules. Minus 5%

10:27 PM – George Stoumboulopoulous is “Canada’s Boyfriend”? Since when??? He’s never given me chocolates or taken me out to a show…

10:28 PM – “Would they ever use metal sticks?” Like, luminum? Nah, that would never work…

10:30 PM – The CBC on-deck employees are trying to slide in and say that a tie game is interesting. Minus 5% for trying to rig the show; this isn’t the NBA!

10:33 PM – Sonny, why did you agree on the Henrique looks like Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp comparison??? WHY?? That just cost you your bonus!

10:34 PM – Oh! Cheetah plug by Sonny. Okay, you’re back up.

10:37 PM – “CAMMON!” is another made-up word by these two scholars of the English language. Step aside, New Oxford Dictionary! I’m taking off 5% because this is entering a Kardashian-esque level of watchability.

10:38 PM – They just gave Brampton a shout out. People of Brampton, you now know how people of Kirkland Lake feel when they’re reminded that Alan Thicke is from there.

10:40 PM – Will this be a GTL win tonight? Not sure but that’ll cost you 5%.

10:42 PM – They’re wishing that this game doesn’t go to overtime. FINALLY! Something we can agree on!

10:45 PM – Oh, great. Overtime. This is just a sick, sick joke.

 That does it. 3 periods is all I signed off for and they scored a 70% in the final frame. I think they’re getting burnt out from watching hockey and I’m getting burnt out from listening to them. In all, they averaged a 68%, however, I’m taking off 25% per period because they weren’t entertaining; giving them a total of 43% overall. FAIL! And to anyone that I’ve ever told talks too much during the game and contributes nothing, I apologize.

Rope-in-a-Dope

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Sports

Boxing. The Sweet Science. The Gentleman’s Sport. One of the oldest sports around, it seems to be slowly dying. And I may be part of the generation that’s helping kill the sport off. I was never raised in a household that appreciated boxing. In fact, my first encounter with boxing that I can remember was watching Broken Arrow and hearing Christian Slater explain what “Rope-a-dope” is. When I asked my Dad to talk about Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, he said they were fighters and left it at that. My next boxing talk was the Tyson/Holyfield ear chomp, but that never drew me into the sport. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the stories and storytellers that come with boxing (loved listening to Bert Randolph Sugar interviews with Bob McCown; enjoyed all the Muhammad Ali movies, including the 30 for 30 documentary on him and Larry Holmes) but never got into the sport. About 5 years ago, I got caught up in the Mixed Martial Arts craze, but even that wore on me. So, when it came to watching the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it. Here’s what I knew going into the fight:

– Floyd Mayweather is cocky, arrogant, and narcissistic, BUT undefeated (if he had tomato can fights or not, still had to beat them);

-Miguel Cotto is….named Miguel Cotto (Seriously, I knew nothing about him going into it).

Saturday night drew more interest for a fight for me than any other for a couple of reasons and they are all Mayweather-related: he’s 35, still smack talking Manny Pacquiao (the man he won’t fight unless Pacquiao goes with a different drug testing policy and gets paid less than Mayweather), will be gone for at least 3 months, and undefeated (face it, being undefeated at 42-0 is the biggest thing going into any fight because of the possibility that it could be gone). Before the main event, there were a couple things that really caught my attention:

–   the undercard that featured 40 year old Sugar Shane Mosley and WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul Alvarez (Alvarez’s a Mexican redhead and his nickname is “El Canelo” which is Spanish for Cinnamon, so this fight was Sugar vs. Cinnamon…every guy who’s been to the Peeler’s is now wondering if they’ve seen a fight before billed “Sugar vs. Cinnamon” );
–   Alvarez won by decision over Mosley, and can REALLY throw punches but just missed landing a couple big shots, he definitely looks like a fighter I’d watch again and he’s young (only 22!);
–   Justin Bieber and 50 Cent walk down wearing Floyd Mayweather’s belts (which appeared to have cleared out his trophy cabinet. I think there was a bowling participation trophy from 2001 being carried out by Triple H);
–   they showed Miguel Cotto’s wife, Melissa Guzman Cotto (…and I have a feeling that she’ll be shown a couple times more. Setting the over/under at 8.5);
–   Michael Buffer! (Good to see he landed on his feet after WCW! Hopefully no more screw-ups…).

The fight begins with a very respectful and deserving dedication to Bert Sugar who recently passed away, and then the commentator’s constantly referring to Mayweather’s leather trunks. When they show the comparisons between the two fighters, one thing really stands out: Mayweather’s got an extra 5 inches of reach on Cotto (...think about it; if you had an extra 5 inches on someone, you’d be boasting about your advantage too). It took until the second round before it clicked as to why Mayweather is regarded as a great fighter: his defense more than his offense. He’s very slick at evading Cotto’s barrage of punches (seriously, Cotto was throwing everything but couldn’t land a major blow). By the fourth, Mayweather is getting offensive and landing some good combos and shots. He’s got a very unique stance where he keeps his left hand low, on the hip, and tries to block more with his shoulder, which also makes him have a great out. Then, the fifth round saw both fighters exchanging some amazing blows (it looks like we’re in for a slugfest!). But there was one thing that kept bothering me about Mayweather: the attitude was always there. In between rounds, he would look at the camera and sometimes shoot it a smile. He’s feeding into his own cockiness (and this makes me want Cotto to REALLY hammer him) but there’s something weird about it: he’s not getting hurt. He’s smiling and looks fine, like Cotto isn’t connecting with anything. The eighth round was the most defining round that really showed how slick Mayweather is. He was dodging punches that were hairs away from knocking him into next week and Mayweather could not be trapped. If he was in the corner or against the ropes, he could walk around the ring like my mom goes around the block (again, I’m new to this to it took me 8 rounds to clue in). Cotto was swinging for the fences like a madman and Mayweather always found a way to get out. Even though Cotto may have been able to take a round or two after this, something really important happened after the ninth: Mayweather didn’t look into the camera and smile during the break (This is it! He HAS TO BE locking in and wanting to end the fight!!). The last couple of rounds were just crazy to watch; Mayweather slip away from Cotto and have Cotto’s punches just miss but saw Mayweather returning shots. Then, in the last round, Mayweather landed an uppercut that really shook Cotto; he knees shook. Up until this point, you would’ve easily convinced anyone that Mayweather was a only a guy looking to score points rather than go for a knockout,  but that one punch had some power behind it and it came out of nowhere. In the end, it went to the judges who all went to Mayweather, keeping his perfect record intact, and leaving this dope roped in for more.