Thursday, June 12, 2008

Liveblogging the Awards Trainwreck

We decided to eat dinner with the NHL awards tonight, so I'm late to pulling out the laptop, but not to gaping in horror. I'll comment as I'm moved to.

Masterson: Cassie Campbell is an awesome athlete but her hair is terrifying. And Fernando should have gotten that one, I say quite objectively.

The feed from the CBC can't seem to bear to stay on for Craig Simpson. Also, I know Vs. is just running the CBC feed, but it sounds like the audio is coming from someone's TV across the border.

Lady Byng: As a female hockey fan, I'm allowed to say this award is weird, right? "Gentlemanly"? Also, the presenter's rambling anxiousness brings the mortifying awkwardness of this event to a WHOLE new level. Datsyuk looks unhappy to have to come up with more English, and downright spooked by the kid handing him the trophy. But he was a "gentleman," of course.

This "the face" feature is, um, well, um seriously, so hockey players have faces, I see. The cable feed cut out again in understandable pain, it seems.

D offered me a beer. YES! PLEASE!

Ovechkin definitely dressed himself. Everything about how his GIANT RED TIE is strangling his eveningwear is immensely pleasing to me. He looks embarrassed by the inane banter interval he's been dragged into. We all are, Alex, we all are.

Putting awesome female athletes in standard presenter eye-candy-evening-gowns is a disturbing experiment that I hope never to see repeated. Though to be fair, the men all appear to be wearing tuxes stolen from Don Cherry's lost "black" closet. Boudrieau is the only one so far who brought his own tux, so I suppose that's why he won the Jack Adams.

Seriously, Ron Maclean, you should know much, much better than to sniff anything you found in the pocket of your "borrowed" tux before going on. The manic standup persona does not suit you. To be fair, this is a horrible, horrible gig. I hope they paid you well.

D has just pointed out a terrifying program note: following this on Vs. is "Sidney Crosby Revealed."

Like, um, stripping? Pierre Maguire's secret videos? Aren't those admissible?

The look on Gordie Howe's face says, "I'm Gordie Howe. Why are you doing this to me? Well, I better class this place up. Sigh."

It pains me intensely to say this, but that is a fine tux Iginla is rocking. I also like that his message to the kids seems to be "go bother some other NHL players for autographs after the ceremony." Well spoken Jarome, well spoken.

Good eye, D! The kid presenting the Norris was wearing a jersey that said "Lindstrom". Um, wow. Can't you just get a Lidstrom jersey off the rack at the arena, or am I missing something?

True story: I think Brodeur and I have the same person who cuts our hair. Well, he couldn't remember which NJ player's hair he'd cut exactly, but we narrowed it down and it's likely Brodeur. True AND vague!

"CATERING PROVIDED BY BOSTON PIZZA?!" So this event was even WORSE for the attendees than it appeared?

Gordie Howe, I'm so, so sorry. Goodnight.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


From the Globe and Mail today:

At the conclusion of the deciding game of the Stanley Cup final on Wednesday, Sidney Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, huddled with Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports, at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena.

The subject was Hockey Night in Canada's coverage or - from the point of view of Brisson and others - the peculiar coverage of Crosby in the NHL final series.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' 20-year-old captain was largely ignored by Hockey Night host Ron MacLean and commentator Don Cherry, although MacLean did report on Wednesday before Game 6 that Crosby was the leading scorer of the playoffs. And Cherry aired a piece on Coach's Corner, the thrust of which was referees were allowing Crosby to be fouled because he was known as a diver in his rookie season.

I confess I'm a little flummoxed by this. On the one hand, I think everyone is sick of the "Crosby Crosby Crosby" narrative we've been force-fed all season long to the detriment of actual commentary in nationally televised games, but on the other hand, I was thinking that it largely died off after he came back from his injury and things seemed a bit more balanced. And he um, was playing quite well, and was, you know, the Captain of a team in the Stanley Cup Final. So talking about him does seem kinda maybe relevant? I didn't see the CBC coverage in question, since, Horcoff help me, I was stuck in Texas with NBC, VS. and Pierre McGuire (who seemed to goad Peter Sykora into scoring the winning goal in game 5, but more on that later.)

Anyway, because I didn't see it, I wouldn't try to comment in detail, but it both strikes me as odd that Crosby's agent got involved (maybe I'm naive but I doubt it was at Sid's urging) and as typical that Don Cherry would be such a gratuitous (and irrelevant) blowhard jerk.