A Nice Bob Cole Tribute

Here’s the tribute that the Leafs did for Bob Cole tonight. I can’t believe that this is the last Leafs home game he’ll ever call and that in just a couple short months his entire career will be over. So many great memories.

Let’s Talk Dirty In…Finland?

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation came around to it, but at dinner last night Carin mentioned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s fantastic name.

“Whenever I hear it,” she said, “all I can think of is Lets Talk Dirty In Hawaiian.”

This made me very angry, because she’s totally right and how did I not think of it first?

So yeah, there’s either hockey or John Prine ruined for all of us forever. Just try not thinking of one when you hear the other from now on. I dare you.

All The World Juniors Analysis You Need

If there’s a more fun name to say in all of hockey right now than Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, I haven’t heard it.

If Canada had to lose, at least it was to the eventual winner.

I can’t say that anyone who thinks that any of this is “anti-francophone racism” is wrong, but personally I’m not so sure that it’s people going out of their way to be anti-French as much as it’s just that people sometimes tend to suck in general. If you’re the sort that’s inclined to tell a child he should get AIDS and die, there’s likely more wrong with you than a possible distaste for Quebecers. I’ll go ahead and leave this here since I know Carin will just put it in the comments if I don’t. Seems to sum up the whole thing, I think.

Also, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Yup, still fun.

We’re All Getting A Little More Bob Cole

I’m still no fan of the way Rogers has treated Bob Cole, but at least there’s been a wee bit of good news on that front. He’ll be sticking around to call an additional six games, winding things up on the final Saturday night of the season by calling Leafs vs. Canadiens. I still wish he was doing the playoffs, but this is about as close to as it should be as we could have hoped for.

Bob Cole was never going to go out quietly. That wouldn’t be his way.
But as the clock was ticking down on his 50 years as the voice of hockey in Canada, he thought the end was coming a week from Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena.
But then Scott Moore was pushed out as boss of Rogers Sportsnet and Cole’s farewell tour, orchestrated by his employers, was suddenly extended by six games — with the perfect ending for the brilliant broadcaster, the last Saturday of the regular season, Hockey Night In Canada, Toronto at Montreal.
What could be better than that?
“Whenever it ends, it ends,” said Cole in a lengthy telephone interview. “We had it finalized, then it wasn’t finalized.

“I never wanted to make a big deal of any of this. I never wanted a (farewell tour) of any kind. All this attention is kind of crazy to me. It’s not me. I’ve never been one of those guys who knew how many games he’d done or kept any records of those kind of things. I just liked what I did and I loved the games and I still love them and love doing them.
“I never thought about how long I would do this job or when retirement was coming or counted the days to retirement. But I’ve been humbled the last while, the way people have reacted all across Canada.”

He doesn’t want any good-bye parties or pity parties. In fact, he wishes he wasn’t going anywhere at all.
Retirement wasn’t his idea. It was pushed on him, almost taken away, and then there were so many good feelings that it was extended.
“All I do is go to work and I’ve enjoyed every day of it,” said Cole. “I don’t know how I’m going to feel when it’s all over. If I had my way, I’d just keep on working.”

If you have time, read the whole story. I especially enjoyed the part about how he got his start, even though something like it could almost certainly never happen today and that makes me a little sad. I’m not sure who the modern equivalent of Foster Hewitt would be, but no way in hell you’re talking your way anywhere close to the guy let alone spending two hours in his office getting compliments and advice.

Here’s The TV Schedule For The 2019 World Juniors

TSN just put out the broadcast schedule for this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships. I’m going to stick it here for you guys and for me, because I have a terrible memory and I’m sure I’ll be needing to find it over and over again especially with so much going on over the holidays.

And would you look at that. I get a team Canada vs. Switzerland exhibition game on my birthday. That’s pretty alright.

By the way, does it bug anyone else that they call them the 2019 championships even though they start in 2018? That annoys me every year.

Go To Your Home!

This is perhaps the best baseball meltdown I’ve ever seen.

Late in a tied ballgame between the Chicago Dogs and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, umpire Mike Jarboe punched out Metzger on a called third strike. Metzger was so furious that he got in Jarboe’s face, got himself tossed, then returned to the scene of the crime carrying a new house for Jarboe.

That new house, in case you can’t see the video, was a garbage can which he set down by home plate before loudly imploring umpire Jarboe to “Go to your home!”

Glorious!

Bob Cole Is Leaving Hockey Night In Canada Because Television Executives Kind Of Suck

Bob Cole is 85-years old and has been calling hockey games in one place or another for 50 years. He is, for a lot of us, the voice of hockey. The one we grew up with. the one who has always been there. The one with whom we’ve spent more nights than we can possibly count.

Sadly, this year his run comes to an end.

Bob Cole will return to the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast booth for a 50th and final season.
Sportsnet says Cole, 85, is scheduled to call 10 games, starting with the Montreal-Pittsburgh matchup Saturday, Oct. 6. The network says the games will all be in the first half of the 2018-19 season.

“There are so few broadcasters and voices in sport that transcend the way Bob’s has over the last half a century and we are honoured to have him call this last season for Sportsnet on Hockey Night in Canada,” said Scott Moore, president, Sportsnet & NHL Properties, in a release. “Bob is a true professional in this industry and he will pour his heart and soul into these games, focusing on doing the job that he loves and delivering the call to our hockey audiences from coast-to-coast.”

Those are some nice words, but boy oh boy do they ever come off as completely insincere.

First of all, only ten games? You’re not even giving the guy a full season? And they’re all in the first half? A legend like this, assuming he wants to, should be able to go out calling as many games as he’d like up to and including one last Stanley Cup final.

But the main reason that statement rings so hollow is that it comes from the same people who have been trying to drive the guy off for years.

For the first time in almost five decades, the legendary play-by-play announcer won’t be calling any playoff games.

It’s a decision that caught Cole by surprise. And it’s a decision that he still doesn’t quite understand, considering he’s been this country’s broadcaster since 1972.
“I’ve been doing playoffs every year of my life in broadcasting. This is the first time that I’m not involved,” said Cole. “It’s difficult to live with the fact that I’m not working. I surely will miss not working the playoffs. That’s the best way I can say it.”

During what might be his last broadcast — a 4-2 Bruins win against the Senators on April 7 — Cole described a Noel Acciari breakaway goal as a “free break for a cherry.” As the final buzzer sounded, he signed off on Ottawa’s season by saying “and then the roof kind of caved in.”
It was an appropriate line for what then happened to Cole.
A day later, while watching the Masters on TV at his home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Cole received a call from his bosses. At first, he assumed he was getting his marching orders for the playoffs. Instead, he was told he was being grounded.
“The decision sure wasn’t mutual,” said Cole. “It was right out of the blue. Rogers decided to go with other (broadcast) teams and I have to live with that. But it was their decision — not mine.”

Though Rogers did not indicate why Cole isn’t part of the plan this year, the decision isn’t that surprising. After all, Cole’s workload has been cut back more and more over the years.
In 2009, he didn’t call the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1983.
“It’s time for a new generation of play-by-play voice,” Moore said at the time.
And a year ago, he only worked the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“It was the first year I didn’t get to the conference final,” said Cole. “I called the seventh game between Washington and Pittsburgh and was told, ‘That’s it.’ They didn’t need me after that.
“They cut me back quite a bit this year, so I just lived with it and kept going,” said Cole. “But I was never told that once that playoffs start, I wouldn’t be working. I’m not going to be part of it all. That’s kind of tough, but you have to live with it.”
Cole isn’t sure whether he will be back in the booth next season.
“You never know with the way things are going,” he said.
But he also isn’t sure he’s ready to retire. After all, the voice still feels and sounds as good as ever. Plus, he still loves calling the games, whether it’s at the rink or at home in front of his television.
“I’ve been pretty lucky over the years that my voice has continued to serve me,” he said. “I hope that it has served the viewing audience OK. I just love my job. Once someone tells you that you’re not going to be involved in the playoffs, you have to respect that decision. There’s not much you can do about that.
“But I kind of miss it, for sure.”

Maybe something has changed for him in the last five months, I don’t know. When you’re 85, sometimes planning too far ahead is an iffy proposition. But those don’t read like the words of somebody who feels like working ten mostly meaningless games and then being quietly stuffed into the dustbin of history, of that I am sure.

But since that’s what Rogers is intent on doing with him, all the rest of us can do is enjoy him while we can. Hopefully getting him on a few Leafs games before he’s out the door for good isn’t too much to ask.

Thanks for the memories, Bob. The goofs you work for may not appreciate you, but the rest of us certainly do.

Welcome To Seppa-tebby-tebby

I’m not sure why I just opened this file and started writing. I don’t really have much to say, I don’t think. Mostly this is just an excuse to get the word Seppa-tebby-tebby up here somewhere. Seppa-tebby-tebby is September, at least according to my 2-year-old nephew who said it a couple months ago while I was visiting with my sister. I love the way it sounds and I’ve been saying it ever since to people who would understand it, so much so that it’s becoming hard not to use it in conversations with people who won’t. So yes, happy Seppa-tebby-tebby, assuming that Seppa-tebby-tebby is something for you to be happy about.

For me, it’s always been a bit of a bummer. Not a depressing, soul crushing type of bummer like some of the winter months, but a bit of a downer because it signals that the best time of the year is coming to an end. Summer has it’s faults (I’m looking squarely at you, humidex of death), but for my money it’s our best season. It’s hard to beat taking some time to slow down and relax, sit in the sun, swim, enjoy a pleasant evening, catch a baseball or football game or any of a million other fun things. If it could be 25 and sunny all year, I’d be fine with that. So this being the last long weekend of the happy season always makes me…well…slightly unhappy.

Speaking of which, am I the only one who, even though I’ve been out of school for the better part of two decades at this point, still feels a little twinge of sadness for all the poor kids that have to go back when Labour Day comes around? I don’t expect parents to answer that in the affirmative. I’m sure they’re thrilled. But for people like me who don’t have kids of their own, is that weird?

I’m not sure what we’re doing with our long weekend. There could potentially be some family stuff. There will almost certainly be laundry and a wee bit of housework, because there always is. And there will absolutely be us, outside, enjoying some ice cream and corn on the cob. Whatever we get up to, hopefully we’ll make the most of it. And hopefully you do too.

And since I haven’t plugged it in a while, maybe go give me a follow on Twitter if you do that sort of thing. Lately I’ve been making an effort to use it more, for some reason. It can be a truly awful place, but it’s also kinda fun. It’s also a good way to get in touch if you ever feel the need. It might take a bit longer to get an answer now that they’ve gone and broke their shit, but you will eventually get one. So why not come hang out with me? Come hang out with Carin too, while you’re at it. You might even get to be around for one of those historic moments when she actually says something.

Nope, didn’t have a whole lot to say here. I thought maybe I’d be able to get into the Jays shipping Donaldson and Granderson out for basically nothing yesterday, but meh. I’m disappointed to see both of them go, but yeah, meh. Granderson was never going to be around long-term but was having a reasonable year, and while one of the best players in the game like Donaldson should normally net you an absolutely enormous return, that’s not the guy we’re dealing with now. He’s hardly played this season due to injury and last year wasn’t so hot either, so it’s understandable that there might not be a lot coming back in a move. Both are worthwhile risks to take for a contending team, but as a Jays fan watching what looks like another fucking rebuild, I must say I’m underwhelmed.

Am I done now? I think so. I’ll talk to you all soon. Enjoy All In if you’re watching it. I plan on checking it out after the fact. I don’t know what it’s going to mean over the long haul, but it and Ring of Honor selling out Madison Square Garden are pretty big deals for non-WWE wrestling in North America. I’m excited and intrigued to see where this goes in a way that I haven’t been about much in wrestling for a very long time. WWE is still so far above anyone else in the world in terms of exposure and finances that it would be foolish to expect anyone to be playing WCW to them any time soon, but some competition on a fairly major level would damn sure be better than what we’ve had for the last 17 years.

Alright, now I’m really done. Enjoy your long weekend and I’ll talk to you in the soon times.

That Time The Mayor Of Toronto Insulted An Entire Continent

What is it with Toronto and racist politicians? No, not him. Him either. I’m talking about Mel Lastman, because I have just been reminded that today is the anniversary of the time he said he didn’t want to go to Africa because he might get boiled alive.

Yes, that was a thing that the head of our country’s biggest city actually said. And yes, it went over about as well as you’d expect.

Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman apologized profusely and repeatedly at press conference about remarks about his visit to Kenya.
Before leaving for the trip to gain support of African delegates for Toronto’s bid, the mayor, in an attempt to be amusing, said, “What the hell do I want to go to a place like Mombasa?… I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me.” He also said he and his wife are afraid of snakes.
Lastman issued a written apology saying the remarks were off the cuff and never intended to offend anyone, and held a press conference about how sorry he was about his gaffe.

David Kilgour, the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean called the remarks a “display of ignorance” and said they will undoubtably affect Toronto’s Olympic bid.
African votes are crucial to Toronto winning the Olympics and Bruce Kidd, who is part Toronto’s bid team, frankly admits he’s doing damage control. “The mayor said a very, very stupid thing. When he saw it in print, he quickly realized his mistake and has issued a gracious apology.” The bid committee says it doubts the comments will affect the competition.

the bid committee was incorrect. Toronto lost the vote 56-22 to Beijing.

But it’s not all bad. Sure the Mayor was a big dumb idiot, but as far as I’m concerned this ended up being one of those blind squirrel finds nut situations. In part because of this, old Mel probably saved the city, the Province of Ontario and the federal government several billion dollars worth of crippling debt.

And just in case anyone feels like arguing with me, yes, Mel Lastman was often a big dumb idiot.

Pop Goes The Shoulder

I’m not sure we’re quite hitting Brian Roberts clonks himself on the head and winds up with a concussion territory here, but respect to Red Sox pitcher Carson Smith for a solid effort.

“Hurt his arm” turned out to be a kinder, gentler way of saying he dislocated his damn shoulder.

BOSTON — Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he was surprised to hear that reliever Carson Smith feels that fatigue could have contributed to his dislocated pitching shoulder.

The 28-year-old right-hander was injured when he threw his glove during a tantrum in the dugout after leaving Monday night’s 6-5 loss to Oakland. He entered with the Red Sox trailing 5-4 in the eighth, allowed Khris Davis’ leadoff home run, then retired three straight batters.

Thank god I don’t listen to Boston sports talk radio. I don’t know how much arm fatigue vs. be honest with your coaches babble I could handle.

The right answer in that argument, by the way, is that there is no right answer. Nobody is ever going to mistake me for an athlete, but I have had injuries. And the thing with injuries is that sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve overdone it until you’ve overdone it, and the next thing you know, the simplest task, one that you felt totally prepared for, will have you all messed up. That doesn’t mean acting like a damn baby and tossing stuff around when you’re mad is necessarily excusable when you’re supposed to be a grown ass adult, but you also don’t expect that throwing something is going to fuck you up so much when you throw things for a living.