29 April 2011

Phun With Phones: Messing with the Sharks

Well, it appears that the whole Sharks front office is busy out trying to round up people that are willing to feign an interest in hockey for tonight's opening game of round 2. So, this time, I had to settle with just leaving a voice mail with the Shark's Director of Hockey Administration.

Hope she calls back soon.

Puck drops in San Jose tonight - let the revenge begin.

12 to 12.

All The Prizes: The man with the golden voice gets them

Ken Kal has always been a personal hero. As a child, I spent many nights listening to him call the games on my shitty little FM radio while I was supposed to be sleeping. There is just about no sweeter sound on earth than to hear that man shout "SCORE."

But this? This is fucking awesome.

If Ken Kal is not your hero, he needs to be. That was beautiful. I've been wanting to do the exact same thing around here in Chicago for a while. Admittedly, however, the answers would probably be less coherent, and there'd be a lot more drooling.

May Bear Jesus bless Ken Kal for joining us in blatantly taunting an entire fanbase to get all riled up for the Western Conference Semifinals Grudge Match II Extravaganza. Bring on the Sharks and their lousy Californian fans. Hopefully that worthless coast finally falls into the sea the second Red Bird One takes off for DTW after Game 2.

12 to 12, bitches.

27 April 2011

Back to Normal: I can see clearly now, the bandwagon's gone.

Da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-no damn more.

It's like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Things are becoming much more right with the world. It started with about a week left in the regular season, when the Wings locked up the Central. It became a bit more bearable to live in this city. But still, I lived under a bit of a cloud. Hell, I was a die-hard-lifelong-unhealthy-obsessive Wings fan living in Bandwagon Central. Not only that, but a rewarded bandwagon. A group of non-fans who haven't watched a collective 60 minutes of hockey in their lives before 2008, suddenly crowing about their shiny new cup.

It wasn't much fun.

Now, I'm sure if I were mature in any sense of the word, or perhaps if I wasn't a terrible sport, this would not have been so bad. But living here before the Great Flash In The Pan of 2010 was kind of fun. It was by no means a "hockey city" - nobody outside of Madison street cared about hockey. Occasionally, however, there would be a few drunk frat boys in Wrigleyville pretending they cared about baseball so they could have an excuse to throw up in public that would chirp about the Wings.

Oh what joy that was. "Detroit sucks," you say? Well my friend, it sure doesn't seem that way on paper. Hell, at the time we had more Cups in the previous 15 years than the measly little bitch team down 94 had in its 83 year history. We had just been to two consecutive Cup Finals, walked away from one with a big shiny trophy, had won the division year after year, after year, after year, after year - et cetera. The ensuing response that I'd heave back at the over confident little children who donned the racist logo on their chest, was just way too fun.

And then, it happened.

Luck just happened to go the Windy City's way. They built a franchise on early draft pick after early draft pick, all culminating in their one little window of opportunity. Then, luck struck again as Larry Aurie finally got pissed off enough about not having his number hanging in the Joe that he decided to send our entire roster - and half of Grand Rapids - in a veritable conga line to the DMC. Thus, the Wings just couldn't swing it in the post-season for a variety of reasons, and the Hawks had a clear path through the West. Again, luck reared its ugly head and gave them the Flyers - for reasons absolutely no one has been able to determine. Chicago was able to overwhelm the Flyers outstanding goaltending (jokes!) and win a damn championship.

  • In a word: Balls.
Since that fateful moment, life just hasn't been as fun for a poor sport like myself. It doesn't matter how much math I threw back at the Bandwagon - all the division championships, conference championships, President's Trophies and Stanley Cups in the world were no retort to the knuckle dragging bandwagoner's response of "uh deeerr, we got da cup."

As tough as it was to admit it, they were right. I was living in enemy territory. Not only that, but it was home to a team that had objectively out performed my beloved Red Wings and was suddenly full of people who proclaimed themselves fans of the sport. I could offer to explain icing to them as much as I wanted - inside, I knew they held the Right Bauer. Every off-suit Ace in the world couldn't help me. I was stuck.

Until last night.

To be totally honest, I really didn't care what was going to happen last night, going into the game. I knew that no matter what happened, it would be hilarious. Either the wheels would finally fall off of the bandwagon, or the currently most-overrated team in the league would complete one of the biggest chokes in playoff history. Both absurdly funny outcomes. Both completely acceptable.

After the result, however, I found that suddenly the clouds parted and the sun came out. Yes, even at one in the morning. Things were back to the way they should be. Life has returned to normal. The planets have returned to alignment. Todd Bertuzzi paused for a moment while kicking a puppy, to smile - ever so slightly.

  • The Blackhawks are no longer the defending champions. They're just golfers with a bunch of time on their hands.
That'll do. To return to the Euchre analogy, it's a new hand and I'm thinking about going alone. Sure, maybe they'll be able to win a trick with their one-and-done year, but I'm staring at a hand full of trump again and loving it. I'm still in enemy territory, but I'm back to being one of the few people in the city that cares about hockey. By the way, of those few, we're pretty much all Wings fans.

By now, you may be thinking to yourself "wow, this guy is a prick. This entire post is bragging that the Hawks barely failed in one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history? Is he really that much of an immature poor-sport that he's spending this much time gloating about a team losing? A team the Wings didn't even play?"

Yeah. Yeah, I am. But damnit, it feels good. The Wings are back on top of the teams on either side of Michigan Ave - and we're going to continue our march to the top of the league. Because of our first-round strengths, we've had a bit of a hiatus here, but now we get to exact our revenge on Todd's Sharks. No amount of diving will save them this year. The Wings are ready, they're getting healthy, and damnit, they're hungry.

Bring on the fucking fishies.

12 to 12 bitches. Bring it on.

19 April 2011

I'll Let Them Fly: An Octopus Protest Song

1952 - The Wings start a tradition of throwing an Octupus on the ice during the playoffs, the 8 tentacles representing the 8 wins it took to win Sport's Greatest Trophy, The Stanley Cup

2011 - Gary Bettman continues his Sherman's-March-To-The-Sea-esque siege on the sport of hockey by trying to destroy the tradition. The NHL clamps down in an effort to ruin all fun had by anyone, everywhere. Soon, the league will attempt to outlaw puppies, rainbows, and the smiles of young babies.

Keep those Octopi flying, Hockeytown.

Hopefully I mitigated that whole "Can't Sing to Save My Life" thing by covering Cake's version, rather than Gloria Gaynor's. Lyrics and MP3 version below.

UPDATE: Click Here to Download the MP3 version

Lyrics - I'll Let Them Fly
At First I was Afraid, I was Petrified
Didn't know what I would do without the Octopi
But that I got real mad, thinking about your many wrongs
So I sat down, and I wrote this protest song

It started way back, in '52
A Hockeytown tradition, like that'd mean anything to you
We've hurled them on the ice, for such a long time
Now suddenly you say that we're subject to a fine?

Or even jail? How absurd
We're not going to take this you greasy little turd
We're from Detroit, yeah, We're from Hockeytown
What? Did you think that we'd just take this sitting down?

Oh no, Not I!
I'll let them fly!
As long as the Wings skate, I'll throw the Octopi
Go ahead and lock me up, or give me a fine
I'll let them fly! Let them fly!

When the Wings score, they'll come in waves
Same when Karen Newman sings "the home of the brave"
The Octopi will come, whether on the road or home
At the Joe, United Center, Jobing, or the Saddledome

It's just like when you said
Al Sobotka could no longer twirl them around his head
But despite your stupid rule, Al kept on swinging
Just like despite your lockout, the Wings kept on winning

So Hockeytown, get out of your chairs
All throughout the playoffs throw cephalopods through the air
Nevermind little Gary, and his stupid little league
It's out tradition, damnit, don't allow it to be under siege

Oh no, Not I!
I'll let them fly!
As long as the Wings skate, I'll throw the Octopi
Go ahead and lock me up, or give me a fine
I'll let them fly! Let them fly!

Oh no, Not I!
I'll let them fly!
As long as the Wings skate, I'll throw the Octopi
Go ahead and lock me up, or give me a fine
I'll let them fly! Let them fly!

18 April 2011

To The Chron-O-John: A message for my future self

Dear Future CaptNorris5,

I'm writing you from the distant past - 2011. By now, I know that by now you are likely very busy taking your flying machine to have it's unicorn blood changed and a new cahootin valve filter made of ivory shavings put in. Either that, or you've crawled out from the gutter you live in to drag yourself to the only remaining public library open in a 1,000 mile radius, just to log on and read this message. Likely the latter. Either way, listen up, because this is important.

The next time you feel like bitching about Johan Franzen during the regular season, do me a favor:
  • Shut the hell up.
Yeah. I know it can be frustrating. It's pretty clear that the Mule just doesn't give a damn about the 82 exhibition games that come before April in the D. When he decides that he does, because some random Uncle is in the audience, or he's bored with coughing up the puck along the perimeter, he puts in 5 goals in one game. But those periods of brilliance are unfortunately few and far between. Sure, if he gave 100% over the entire season, he may come close to that 50 goal scorer that Mickey thinks he's capable of. Sure, if he crashed the net more, and worked a bit harder, his regular season stats could easily double. But you know what?

Stop being so damn greedy.

I'd like to remind you of the 2010-11 season. You know, the one where it started off swimmingly? Where Mike Modano joined his hometown team, poised for a solid cup run? Where we were firing on all cylinders, leading the league through November? Of course, then came along, "Oh what the shit, not again" December - where injury after injury seemed to trip us up, followed by an equally annoying January, February, and March - where nobody really seemed to care about what happened on ice.

Chief among those guilty of that type of apathy, was the Mule himself. After scoring 5 against Ottawa, he decided he met his goal for the year, and began to play more like Jason "you're damn right I'm still giving you shit, even though you aren't on the team anymore" Williams. It was frustrating, to say the least.

But damnit, we're all human. Hell, you have to admit that here in Hockeytown, we're all a bit guilty about not caring about the regular season. The important stuff just doesn't happen until FS-D gives some promising young band of lyrical and musical geniuses the chance to rise to imminent stardom, sure to become the next Beatles.

By the way, have B-Dab broken up? If so, how did the world take it? I assume that since you're reading this, you survived the horrible, violent riots that surely ensued as soon as the news of such a tragedy broke. Though, I'm not sure why you haven't leaped from that overpass you live under, because I just don't know that I would want to live in a world wherein there was no B-Dab. I can only assume the fact that you haven't taken your own life indicates that The Good Luck Joes and the Victorious Secrets are still going strong.

But, I digress.

The point is, the regular season just doesn't matter that much to many of us. Sure, we love watching hockey. We love pretending that we're stressed over the standings, or that a mid-January game against the Blue Jackets means just so damn much. But when you compare those games with the way Hockeytown transforms at the drop of the puck for game #83, it's clear:
  • That shit just doesn't mean shit. Shit.
Not in a place that's enjoyed a pro-sports leading 20 consecutive years in the post season. Not for a fanbase that craves spring-time hockey. Not for a team that focuses on banners.

So can you really fault Mule for maybe phoning it in here and there? Sure, it'd be nice if he was just the dominant machine that we see in the post season all year long, but if given the choice, I'm taking playoff Mule when it counts - during the playoffs.

You were guilty of it, during that historic season. You bitched and moaned, and whined about the Mule's lack of performance. You called him lazy, a head-case. You didn't quite go so far as to write a song about it, but you were close. (By the way, where are you keeping your Grammys these days?). Then, when the puck dropped that fated Wedesday night in April - that shit changed. Playoff Mule returned.

As I write this, we're 2 games in, and Mule's got 2 points. At first glance, that looks like he's going along at his customary point-per-game playoff pace. Nay, nay. No, that shitbird Shane Doan (you remember, the guy that started in Winnipeg, moved to Phoenix, and then got ripped right back to Winnipeg because its a stupid friggin' idea to play hockey in the desert?) took Mule out of much of Game 2. And that, my future self, is the key to me telling you to just shut the fuck up.

As you remember, Mule took a high stick to the face in the last game of the regular season against that team that's very likely back at the bottom of the league in attendance ratings by now. He was looking a bit grisly, but no matter, he was back on the ice. Then, while that siren Karen Newman graced your ears with the heavenly sounds that come from her angelic pipes, you noticed Mule with a pretty epic bruise across the forehead. He looked at least a bit like he got into a head-butting competition with a Buick - and won. But again, no matter. No complaints. Dude was ready to play.

Then, Doan, very fricking purposefully tried to injure our Mule, driving his head into the board. Sure, maybe the hit itself was "legal," but Doan's got a history. Every time he plays the Wings, he knows his shouldn't-be-a-team full of career 4th liners and some overrated Russian, subsidized by their opponents and bought and paid for by fans like us, can't beat the healthy Wings. So he goes out and runs guys. Over and over and over. I can see it be kind of frustrating - being a franchise player with a team that shouldn't even exist - but the dude takes that frustration and tries to turn it into injuries. And so he did, that Saturday. He drove Mule into the boards, with a collision that would have ended lesser men's careers.
  • Not so for Johan.
23 stitches later, he was back on the ice, sans-visor. Nobody could have faulted him for looking at the score, and thinking "you know... I guess I could play without a face... but I think I'll sit this one out. To the DMC!" But instead, like a beast, he was back out, being as effective as ever. Even getting into a bit of a scrap after the aforementioned Douche of the Universe gave him a glove in his brand new monster-face.

Now, maybe I'm writing you a bit prematurely. We're only 2 games in at this point. But it's clear just by the difference we can see in his play - Playoff Mule is back. As long as he keeps this up, I'm more than friggin' happy with 93 skating in the Winged Wheel. He may struggle with motivation when he's facing off against T.J. "Tee Time" Oshie. But in the end, when it matters, the dude plays like a monster.

He's a Red Wing, through and through. Fully recognizing that the regular season, in all its importance, just doesn't mean that much in Hockeytown. He waits, drooling and ready, for April in the D. For playoff fucking hockey. For his chance to raise Lord Stanley's Cup once again.

And if you find yourself, in the future, wanting to fault him for that. Just remember these wise words from the past:
  • Just shut the hell up.
Enjoy the future my friend. I hope you're looking back at this time very fondly, remembering the pure bliss you got to experience in the upcoming June.


Past Captnorris5

14 to 12, bitches. Lets make that "white out" bloody. Send 'em back to Winnipeg.

13 April 2011

Phun with Phones: Coyotes Edition

All in good fun. Let the March to 12 begin.

Time to Shine: The real season is here

As the arguably greatest songwriters of this, or any generation, so eloquently put it:
Spring has sprung
Winter's Done
And Detroit will be the one
To Crown another Champion
This must be
April in the D
-The Good Luck Joes
For so many teams, making the playoffs is a goal. They begin the year and scratch and claw their way up the standings with every intention of squeaking in. For many other teams, winning a division is a big damn thing. If they can work hard for 82 games, facing tough opponents night-in and night-out, somehow putting together enough wins to earn at top 3 seed in the playoffs, they're ecstatic.

  • Those teams are not the Detroit Red Wings.
Folks, we just wrapped up our 82nd exhibition game of the 2011 season. For the Red Wings, this is when the season starts. Not to completely discount the importance of the regular season, but fuck it. It's a good past time. A fun hobby. A neato team building exercise. But, my friends, it ain't no playoffs.

No sir. When Al the Octopus comes out of hibernation (yeah, Octopi hibernate. They're the bears of the ocean) it's a whole new game. Scratch that. "Game" just trivializes it. Lifestyle. Religion. Spiritual Experience.

It's a big deal.

Tonight, the men in the Winged Wheel take the ice for that experience. Those last 82 games? They're out the window. No matter how shaky Jimmy has looked at times, no matter how lethargic some of our players (cough, MULE, cough) have looked, or how little they've seemed to care defensively here and there. All that shit is in the past. It's time for this team to do what this team does.

  • Win.
Time to illustrate exactly why the Red Wings have been the most dominant team of the last 20 years. Time to illustrate why Detroit is the one, and only, Hockeytown, U.S.A. Time to send those desert dogs back to fucking Winnipeg where they belong. Motherfucker, it's the playoffs.

And just to take it full-circle here, I leave you with some more lyrical genius from a hometown hero himself:

It Takes 16 Victories
That's not that many for this team
Been through this before
All we need to do is score
Get up, get ready, 
The Wings just can't be beat.

 -Mickey Redmond & The Lumberjacks, "Red White and You"
16 to 12, bitches.

  •  16 to 12.

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