Friday, April 13, 2007

Blog Chips

Penguins Lay an Egg

The Pittsburgh Penguins played one of the worst games I've ever seen Wednesday night and lost to the Ottawa Senators 6-3. Before I was able to get comfortable on my couch the score was 2-0 and Ottawa had outshot the Pens 16-4. The Senators outhit, outshot, outmuscled, and outskated the Penguins and it showed on the final scoreboard. The damage could have been much worse but Marc-Andre Fleury kept the Pens in it despite several 5 on 3 power plays. Fleury was the only bright spot on the team and even the Penguins most seasoned playoff veteran Mark Recchi had a terrible game. It's difficult to assess what exactly went wrong but the blame can be focused on one person: coach Michel Therrien. This was an Ottawa team that the Pens had just beat yet the Sens knew what level of desperation it took to play a playoff hockey game and the Pens did not. That's the coaches fault. This is a VERY young team and it was Therrien's job to have this team prepared – now I know your thinking how can I say that I'm just a fat slow guy who can't even skate backwards, well… it may be harsh but it's the truth, that's why he's getting paid. This team was completely shell shocked from the opening faceoff. Not only were they not ready for the level of intensity of the playoffs but when things started breaking down they totally lost control and started chasing the puck. They forgot their defensive assignments and Ottawa toyed with them – that's coaching. At the very least, a well prepared team will remember their assignments and stick with the system when all Hell breaks loose and the Pens went completely bonkers. Luckily they got a break, because of a scheduling quirk the team had off 2 days before playing again this Saturday at 3. Hopefully Therrien can get everyone on the same page because if they think the Senators aren't going to play like they did in game 1 it's going to be a very quick series.

Enough is Enough

We touched on the whole Don Imus debacle in our Blue & White Roundtable this week but I wanted to further elaborate. I've never liked Imus he's always come off as a bitter old curmudgeon and Penn State fans already have one of those in our lives and his name is Joe Paterno – one is more than enough.

One cat-kicking old coot is enough for Nittany Lion fans, thank you very much.

But the aftermath of a stupid, racist comment is absolutely shocking to me; do we really need this type of reaction? Imus doesn't even have anything to do with the sports world. This thing has turned into a grandstand and photo op for people like Al Sharpton and the Rutgers basketball team has cashed in as well. Their "press conference" came off like a recruiting video but don't let me, a middle-aged white man from Lilly white central PA tell you here is a fantastic article from Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star. (HT: mgoblue93 – comment on MZone)

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Whitlock was of the ESPN type at one time and even gets a shot in which wins points with me:

It's embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I'm no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

And that about sums it up: Imus is a hack but this has turned into a chance for the vultures to descend and get as much face-time as possible, and it's really sad. I'm sick of opening my web browser and seeing pictures of Imus on the front page of my news site. Let's put this thing to bed already.


Coach said...

personally, I see it as an opportunity for his bosses to get rid of an obsolete (non)shock-jock without having to be the "bad guy" - seriously.

He shouldn't have said what he did - it was classic racist/misogynist banter (which really isn't new for him) - but he said it about college athletes - these kids don't put themselves in the spotlight - they play basketball - they aren't professional athletes, pop artists, actors, or general celebrity seekers. They are student athletes who had an amazing season and run at the national title from a school that is resurfacing onto the national scene - but now what will be remembered is this ugly incident.


Galen said...

There's no need to be humble coach, we encourage arrogant opinions as well.