Monthly Archives: September 2012

Take The Checkers

If you have ever watched or listened to almost any form of motorsports in the past few decades you’ve probably heard a voice from Brooklyn describing the action.  Odds are it was the Dean of American Motorsports writers, Chis Economaki.  Economaki passed away Friday at the age of 92. 

To be generous he had a face made for radio and a voice that could curdle milk, but had covered every form of motorsports since the age of 13 for various newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television. 

During the 60’s when NASCAR was a regional personality quirk in the US South, it was Economaki that ABC tapped to cover the races for Wide World of Sports.  The few races that Wide World of Sports broadcast on several weeks’ delay, edited for length and barely covered with more than three cameras usually saw Chris Economaki in the pits.  He covered the Indy 500, Formula 1, Le Mans and even demolition derby races for Wide World of Sports, becoming very much the voice of all motorsports on television.

The television coverage he did to reach the masses, but his real passion was as an ink-stained wretch.  He wrote for, then edited, then owned National Speed Sport News until 2011.

It didn’t matter if it was stock cars, modifieds, midgets, sprints, big cars, drag racing, sports cars, Can-Am, Indy cars, F1, F2, or four guys running junkers around the hay bales, Economaki covered it and loved it.  You can’t ask for a better career than that.

Mason Baveux On The Hockey Strike

He’s a fan, we’re not, so my commentary will be significantly different from his.  Which would explain why we’re letting Mason Baveux comment on the hockey lockout.  Mason?

Thanks for the bloggery keys again lad, as there be something important in the air.  The National Hockey League has locked out the players, what means there ain’t no hockey, at least for the Big Show right now.  For folks like Davey, it might as well mean there’s no mints in Madagascar, so move on, but for the rest of us Canadians, it might as well mean the end of life itself. 

Now this isn’t to say there’s a fungus that makes all the pucks disintegrate, or you could get cancer from hockey tape, so’s it’s banned, nope.  It is what you call a labour issue.  Like any labour issue there be two, maybe seventeen sides to the story. 

The players make a jeezly great amount of money playin the game.  You’ve all heard of some Sweedish guy signin up for 122 zillion dollars over 10 years to play the game, what’s got too many vowels in his name to be able to pronounce it, let alone spell it out without the spellcheck havin a stroke. 

You also know that the teams make enough money to buy small countries outright.  I think Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment own about half of Ecuador and most of Trinidad right now, what they bought during the economic downturn of 2008.  So’s its not like nobody has any cash to spread around.  There’s money in the kitty.

Considering that the guy whose handlin the puck has about a 1 in 10 chance of havin his career shitcanned every time he steps on the ice, I can see why they want them big payday contracts..  They say a career in the Big Show is about six years.  

Don McKenny, what was part of the Uke line in Boston, then in Toronto had his knees turned into some kind of puzzle for the doctors back then, when he caught something on the ice.  Most likely some twat tossed coins on the rink, nice hot coins he’d been holding in his pocket, what melted in a bit and then Dom come a hareing around the blue line, building up some speed with the puck and over he goes, one knee pointing at Detroit, the other at Montreal and one ankle lookin to New York.  Rob Gilbert was another one, what broke his back in the OHA and had spinal fusion surgery in 1960.  Back then the docs knowledge of the back was “Jeeze there’s a lot of bones in there”, so’s it was amazing he could walk, let alone skate. 

Now that explains why the players want the good paydays.  If you’re good enough for the Bigs you have a pretty good chance you won’t make it past 35 as a player, you get the money up front.  

As for the owners, well, they want to maximize their return on their investment to use their terminamology.  In English, that means make even more money, so’s they can buy the rest of Ecuador and put a bid in on Holland.  You can see where my sympathies are.  They sure as shiite aren’t with the owners. 

The owners gotta know that there’s not but a dozen folks batshit crazy enough to sit around and watch them work on the consolidated balance sheet at $100 a seat for the nosebleeds.  The owners don’t do shiite that people will pay to watch and they know it, but they still think they’re all-friggin-mighty important.  That’s like sayin the cashier what puts the float in the till every day at IGA is the single most critical part of the whole process of buyin celery.

But tell 20 or 40 thousand folks that you’re puttin on a hockey game and what they want to do is to go watch hockey.  As well buy a $3 beer for $10 and a $2 hot dog for $12, plus pay a flat hunnert for a seat so high up you need oxygen to stay alive the whole four hours.  And watch the boards change advertising every six seconds and have that goddam “Na Na Hey Hey” song played at them forty two times an hour, loud enough to rip the hairs off the beer guy’s ear lobes.

The owners got sweet FA without the players and they know it.  Without a bunch of butts in seats to watch hockey, the owners are going to have to make obscene amounts of money another way, like maybe gettin a friggin job? 

So what happens if we lose the whole season?  The players will always find a place to play the game and at least make a little money to keep body and soul together, as well as make payments on the Escalade.  The owners will write it all off as a tax loss, so they’s not out much.

Us fans?  We can get us some too.  Junior A, or CHL, or AHL.  Damn fine hockey, perhaps better than some of the NHL teams out there.  More gratitude from the owners for forkin out the greenbacks for their team.  More gratitude from the players for comin out to watch and cheer and buy a beer and a program and a hot dog.

Plus we’d get to watch some good hockey.  And that’s what we really want to do.    Go Marlies!

Kate’s Win-Win

The media pumps are whirring overtime, running hot with steamy stories about Kate Middleton’s topless pictures.  The Duchess of Cambridge has been the subject of much lens-time since she became betrothed, then wed to the Duke of Cambridge, or Will Wales as he’s also know as to his military chums.  So what’s the big deal?

First, let us address Kate’s goods.  Not uncommonly among female humans, she has breasts.  Two of them to be precise about it.

Instead of rolling the muck, we’ll attempt to keep some kind of high tone to the proceedings.  We will use naval architectural terms instead.  Kate’s are in the corvette class, like the HMCS Frederiction (K245).  By contrast, Pamela Anderson another well know celebrity, who has willingly published photos of her breasts, would be described as something in the battleship, HMS Warspite (03) class.  

Second, Kate and William were in France on a private vacation and as celebrities, had ensconced themselves far enough away from prying eyes that there was a reasonable assurance of some kind of privacy from the ever-present photographers.  With that reasonable assurance of privacy, she chose to sunbathe topless.  This is a not uncommon choice for anyone to make on a hot sunny day, on vacation in France, but being a celebrity and constant target of photographers, she ensured that there was an overabundance of assurance that there would be no prying lenses about. 

Unfortunately, someone with a very long lens, almost a telescope, did manage to grab some shots of Kate’s goods.  Said pictures have been published, most pixelated to obscure the pigmented area of the areola, but a few have been unretouched.  To use the words of a pathologist, they are unremarkable. 

Which brings us to the essential question:  Who cares?  It would seem that too many people ‘care’ if that is the term, being coy about publishing, or not publishing, suing, or not suing, banning or not banning the photos. 

The analogy, addressed to our female readers would be this:  If your neighbour across the street were to set up a telescope, or a long lens camera to take photos of your morning ablutions or simply dressing before work, would you call the cops?  The answer is almost certainly, “Hell yeah! Slap that perv in the clink!” as it should be. 

Now, scale back your ability to respond by about half.  As a ‘celebrity’ you know you have a retinue of photographers who attend your every motion outside of the bedchamber, furiously fanning the shutter to get that one shot of you with a piece of carrot stuck in your teeth, or perhaps a glimpse of undergarment while getting out of a car. 

You are swarmed by them daily and in exchange for your ‘celebrity’ you give up even the slightest vestige of assumption of privacy.  Except you are also a human, who does get a piece of carrot stuck in her teeth, needs to adjust their clothing, or even simply stop somewhere appropriate to attend to normal bodily functions.  The photographers don’t give you that latitude.

The savage in me would love to see Kate find a way to stalk that particular photographer who got the topless shots and return the favour:  Publishing blurry, grainy shots of him (or her) picking their nose, coming out of the bathroom, or trying to shoehorn their mouth around an oversize sandwich.  The headlines of “Kate Hits Back at Furtive Foto Fondler” over a blurry snap of the photographer adjusting his package after coming out of a pub would be sweet revenge.  However, that isn’t going to happen, even with the resources she could bring to bear as part of the Royal Family.  They don’t play that way and won’t play that way. 

The more tantalizing response would be for her to announce that, yes, those are my breasts, that’s exactly what they look like.  Even have the photos enlarged and on the stage, if you want to truly press home the point. 

Then the twist: We’re suing the photographer for violating her privacy, to the tune of several million pounds. 

As soon as the case is decided, most likely in her favour, she will then donate the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research in the UK.

A sensible combination of complete disclosure that makes the photos essentially worthless and at the same time giving the media a beating with their own stupid fixations, wrapped in a fine covering of charitable awareness-raising for Breast Cancer research.