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Out of the Blue

Most elaborate April Fool's gag of yesterday goes to the New York Mets, who spent the afternoon trying to fool us that they are a contender. Nice try guys, but as the old saying goes, fool me 51 times, shame on you. Fool me 52 times... Okay, I exaggerate, but as I've noted before, this is their best trick, as with all of 22 winning seasons in the books, the Metsies have the best opening day record in baseball history at 34-18 (even more remarkably, they are 34-10 after losing their first eight openers), and they have won 20 of their last 22 home openers. The lesson here? I'm going to enjoy them being in first place while it lasts.

First Place Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Piggy Wiggy Seasons.
Stories: April Fools Day: 10 stories that look like pranks but aren't. Thanks brother19.
CW Premiere Dates Including the New Whose Line Is It Anyway.
Media: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 Trailer.
Epic Backwards Prank In Times Square.
Iron Man 3: Chinese trailer (Taiwanese parody).

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48 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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28. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 17:10 NegaDeath
 
Honestly I'd enjoy hockey less if fighting was taken away entirely. Its only a small part but the energy it can bring to a game is unmatched by any other sport I've watched. Right now I think the balance is decent though it seems like cheap shots are higher now (can't back that up though). The greatest game I ever saw in person was a local minor league game. The two teams had a bitter rivalry, the entire game was fast, hard hitting and very tight scoring. Fans were on the edges of their seats it was so enjoyable. By the end the two teams had had enough of each other and both lines on the ice started a brawl. The audience erupted in cheer when the two goalies looked at each other, nodded and skated towards each other to join in. When they were done the winner helped the loser onto their feet, they shook hands and headed towards their respective benches. Never heard an audience cheer that hard in that building. That was probably a once in a lifetime event for me (in terms of live games) but it'll be a long time before I forget it. That's my nickel anyways (I'd say two cents but we dropped the penny up here)

Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 14:48:
I did chuckle at that. Then again, it's like thinking that the Toronto Maple Leafs will ever win another Stanley cup.

That's...you.....shut up! Its a rebuilding year (decade(century))!
 
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27. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 16:18 PHJF
 
Goon was a pretty entertaining movie.






... that is all. Carry on.
 
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26. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 15:45 Mr. Tact
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:57:
I've advocated for years that the NHL ought to start mandating any new arena be built with a Euro-spec rink, but it'll never happen. Maybe it's for the best - a bunch of 6'4 220lbs guys given that much room to build up a full head of steam to crush each other would probably be bad. At least right now they rarely have the chance to go full speed.
Are there not 6'4", 220 lbs hockey players in Europe?
 
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25. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 15:12 RollinThundr
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 10:58:
Yes, I admit it -- I exaggerated. May the gods forgive me!

But just one drop the gloves and fight it out prior to a game opening face-off is enough for me to ridicule this activity pretty much endlessly. Until the NHL decides to start handing out serious penalties for the fights that do occur, I have no interest in watching it.

I can think of that happening about once in recent memory, a Boston/Dallas game a year or 2 back where there were 4 fights in 4 seconds of the first, but those 2 teams have a history and don't like each other, fighting isn't like it used to be in the 80's and early 90's.

The game is much faster these days without 2 line passes and obstruction calls being made more frequent. NHL'ers work harder than any other professional atheletes and make the least money for their troubles. If anything the sport is better now than it has been especially in the dead puck era of the 90's.
 
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24. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 14:48 Mashiki Amiketo
 
I did chuckle at that. Then again, it's like thinking that the Toronto Maple Leafs will ever win another Stanley cup.  
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 12:57 canuck
 
Honestly, there aren't many fights in hockey. I think Beamer is right, if there weren't any fighting you still wouldn't watch it. Fighting has always been a part of the game, there is less of it than there used to be, but it is a part of it. I've played hockey my whole life and I know a fight or a scrum or anything like that can really change the game. I'm not saying I want fights all the time, but it can change how your team plays in that specific game. Also shows the bond between the players, it's a team game and no one is alone out there, if you're going to go after a player, that player's team-mates have his back.

Hockey is a very difficult game to be good at, you need to be fast, agile, strong, aware. It isn't like football or baseball where you have 10-20 seconds of play and then sometimes minutes of downtime. It is like soccer like Beamer said, where you have continuous play, but you have to be tough like a football player to dish out hits and receive them.

If you don't like the odd fight in hockey, then hockey just isn't for you with or without fighting. My Dad has never liked fighting and he will change the channel when a fight comes on, but he still loves the game.
 
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22. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 12:37 Mr. Tact
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:54:
The NHL is different because it's a different sport. You're allowed to use your hands in football and baseball but not soccer. Why should soccer be different!?
Please tell me you aren't saying fighting is an intrinsic part of hockey. That's what it sounds like to me. If that is what you are saying, then this is a pointless conversation.

Beamer wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:54:
It isn't the fighting stopping you, and if Gary Bettman flipped a switch tomorrow and there was never another fight in hockey, ever, you still wouldn't give a dime or a minute to the sport.

You're wrong. It is the fighting. The fact that I believe fighting is not properly discouraged leads me to purposely ignore hockey. If they fixed that, I would stop ignoring it.
 
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21. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:57 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:52:
Mike Bossy always said replace the goons with finesse players and the game would be so much better and he's right. That's why it was always a treat watching the Europeans play back in the day when there was none of that nonsense and it was really about speed and skill.

Anyway, as a girlfriend of mine put it today, "hashtagwhatthefuckspring?". Jaysus! It's supposed to snow out there later today, sigh, grumble, mumble. Funny thing is, it's like my brother always says - and he's right - there's always a last snowfall or two in April. Meh bleh, bring on the heat!

European hockey is better because the rinks are larger. It gives the players room to do something.

NA rinks are so small that players have no choice but to be in constant contact. It makes the game slow. A player going through the neutral zone is almost certain to get bumped into, whereas in Europe he has room to maneuver or pass.

I've advocated for years that the NHL ought to start mandating any new arena be built with a Euro-spec rink, but it'll never happen. Maybe it's for the best - a bunch of 6'4 220lbs guys given that much room to build up a full head of steam to crush each other would probably be bad. At least right now they rarely have the chance to go full speed.
 
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20. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:54 Beamer
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:39:
Removing fighting is dumbing it down? Look, if you fight in the NBA, NFL, or MLB you get thrown out of the game. Are their "scuffles" where players don't get ejected? Sure. But when it's a real fight someone is getting thrown out -- and probably fined and suspended. Why should the NHL be different?

In almost the same breath you say people don't go for the fights. But changing the rules will turn away the diehard fans. Which is it?

Like I said, I exaggerated. It's likely you can watch a dozen games without seeing a fight. My impression is they aren't doing enough when it does happen. You seem to think they have done it and fighting is way down and cheap shot are up because of it. I honestly don't know which of us is correct.

Making a choice that will make the masses happier, but still be ignored, that will make your loyal fanbase irate is "dumbing down."

The NHL is different because it's a different sport. You're allowed to use your hands in football and baseball but not soccer. Why should soccer be different!?

And I actually never once said anything close to "people don't go for the fights," but anyone that does would be annoyed because there aren't many.
What I said is that you don't not go because of the fights. In other words, you aren't a hockey fan. It isn't the fighting stopping you, and if Gary Bettman flipped a switch tomorrow and there was never another fight in hockey, ever, you still wouldn't give a dime or a minute to the sport.
 
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19. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:52 Cutter
 
Mike Bossy always said replace the goons with finesse players and the game would be so much better and he's right. That's why it was always a treat watching the Europeans play back in the day when there was none of that nonsense and it was really about speed and skill.

Anyway, as a girlfriend of mine put it today, "hashtagwhatthefuckspring?". Jaysus! It's supposed to snow out there later today, sigh, grumble, mumble. Funny thing is, it's like my brother always says - and he's right - there's always a last snowfall or two in April. Meh bleh, bring on the heat!
 
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18. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:39 Mr. Tact
 
Removing fighting is dumbing it down? Look, if you fight in the NBA, NFL, or MLB you get thrown out of the game. Are their "scuffles" where players don't get ejected? Sure. But when it's a real fight someone is getting thrown out -- and probably fined and suspended. Why should the NHL be different?

In almost the same breath you say people don't go for the fights. But changing the rules will turn away the diehard fans. Which is it?

Like I said, I exaggerated. It's likely you can watch a dozen games without seeing a fight. My impression is they aren't doing enough when it does happen. You seem to think they have done it and fighting is way down and cheap shot are up because of it. I honestly don't know which of us is correct.
 
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17. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:34 Beamer
 
Fighting was never a problem, really. Sure, I mean, it got out of hand a few times in the 70s, but in the late 80s and 90s it became something more standardized. The were guys on the team who fought. That was their job. And fighting served a huge purpose of helping momentum of a game and adding energy.

But people cried "think of the children!" and fighting started getting penalized more and more. The desire to change momentum and the desire to add energy didn't die, though, nor did the frustration of a sport that blends the contact of football with the fluidity and constant action of soccer.
So, instead of a fighter going out and finding another fighter and both saying "hey, let's fight," you instead get a guy going out pissed off and angry and taking it out on whoever is nearby.

In Gretzky's days he rarely had to worry. He had people that would fight. If anyone touched him, they'd have to fight. If the other team was frustrated, they had people to fight. These days? Since fighters can't be used in that manner, good players often end up targeted. Less chance for retaliation, and less other ways to handle issues.

I get it, some may say "but they should just swallow these frustrations!" That fundamentally changes the energy and emotion of the game and the players. And it's easy to say football players shouldn't fight, they see each other for 10 second bursts. Hockey players are in each others' faces for much, much longer spans, pushing and shoving and whacking...
 
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16. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:29 mch
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:19:
But, maybe M. Wilbon is as prejudiced against hockey as I appear to be.

Never listen to Wilbon cover hockey. Just...don't. Actually, that could probably be said for ESPN as a whole.
 
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15. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:19 Mr. Tact
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 11:11:
But they did, and they do, and that's why fighting is minimized and cheap shots have risen.

Interesting to hear you say that, because the last couple of times it caught my attention (while watching SportsCenter) my recollection was laughing at the leniency. Certainly the last time it came up on "Pardon the Interruption", Wilbon's attitude/opinion seem to be there was too much fighting and not enough done to limit it. But, maybe M. Wilbon is as prejudiced against hockey as I appear to be.
 
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14. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:11 Beamer
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 10:58:
Yes, I admit it -- I exaggerated. May the gods forgive me!

But just one drop the gloves and fight it out prior to a game opening face-off is enough for me to ridicule this activity pretty much endlessly. Until the NHL decides to start handing out serious penalties for the fights that do occur, I have no interest in watching it.

But they did, and they do, and that's why fighting is minimized and cheap shots have risen.

I highly doubt fighting is what keeps you from watching hockey, considering you can go weeks without whatever team you prefer getting into a fight, let alone one prior to face off.

I doubt most people don't watch hockey due to the fights. Much like I doubt anyone doesn't watch NASCAR because of the accidents. There are other things stopping you. And, given that the fights are probably the safest part of hockey (unlike NASCAR), making major changes to court you, someone that would never watch hockey, at the expense of the people that bleed hockey, is a huge mistake.

Essentially, you're advocating for the dumbing down of hockey. You're asking Bettman to be EA and make huge changes that the diehards hate at the expense of the masses that don't care.
Actually, Bettman = EA sounds pretty fair to both parties.
 
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13. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:03 Mr. Tact
 
I think the idea is it allows for more playoffs. Three division winners, three wild cards. (at some point, not currently)  
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12. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 11:01 Creston
 
I still can't figure out why they put the Astros in the AL. Now each league has 15 teams, and thus every Saturday there are two teams that have nobody to play against except during Intraleague. How the owners agreed to this is baffling.

Creston
 
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11. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 10:59 mch
 
Speaking of the Mets, I just read that they're giving away free tickets for this weekend through some Twitter promotion if you hadn't heard.

Then again, I don't know what Mets tickets normally go for so maybe this isn't a huge deal - I picked up some (crappy) Nats tickets for about $2 a piece last season.
 
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10. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 10:58 Mr. Tact
 
Yes, I admit it -- I exaggerated. May the gods forgive me!

But just one drop the gloves and fight it out prior to a game opening face-off is enough for me to ridicule this activity pretty much endlessly. Until the NHL decides to start handing out serious penalties for the fights that do occur, I have no interest in watching it.
 
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9. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 2, 2013, 10:39 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 10:38:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2013, 09:55:
Hockey? Oh, you mean that boxing on ice. Yeah, I don't care for that either. Seems okay during the Olympics though..

Fighting is a very insignificant part of hockey overall, though obviously it represents some machismo appeal for certain fans. The overall increase in size of players and general thuggery is a bigger complaint IMHO but I don't watch very much anymore due to the constant strikes and expansion issues.

Yup. Size of players has slowed down the game (even as the players themselves are faster), and the heavy penalization of fighting has gotten rid of the older style of sending two players out to slug it out and incorporated a newer style of taking cheap shots on whoever happens to be in the area.
 
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