Karma really does exist, my friends.

In around the 80th minute of the latest installment of Arsenal vs. Money United, the Scum's Ruud van I'madivingcheatingcunt Van Nistelrooy provoked our captain, Patrick Vieira, into taking a red card. Now, it's bad enough that the Scum got the usual homer calls from Blind Asshole Referee Steve Bennett (same guy who sent off Jeffers in the Community Shield), but the wanker prick even game United a penalty in extra time.

So, who steps up to take it but Diving Cheating Prick Boy? Now, keep in mind that this was a hard-fought 0-0 up to this point, and that this will most likely have title implications down the road. He ran up, hammered it, and.....

...hit the crossbar. Game over, 0-0, we get a highly valuable point at Old Trafford. It's called karma, cheating fuck.


The good and the bad...

Yesterday started out horribly, as far as my sports teams go. Both Arsenal and Celtic had big Champions League matches, and while they went about it in different ways, both suffered crushing losses. Celtic not only put up a valiant fight, but they actually took the lead against Bayern Munich (IN Munich!) with Alan Thompson's diving header. But, Roy Makaay equalized, and then Magnus Hedman's HORRIBLE misjudgment of an attempted cross cost us the game, as it sailed into the net (Makaay again, and in the 86th, no less). Meanwhile, AT HOME, Arsenal lost 0-3 to a weakened Inter Milan side (missing Christian Vieri and Alvaro Recoba). No valor here...they spread their legs faster than Jenna Jameson when the camera's on. Actually, it was 0-3 by the 41st minute, and as Italian teams are wont to do, simply packed in nine defenders, and occasionally came out to counter (Mohammed Kallon hit the post once, and they had a few other chances...WHEN THEY WEREN'T EVEN TRYING!). Our boy Thierry Henry had a weak-ass penalty saved by Francisco Toldo, and I believe it was Freddie Ljungberg who missed a sitter (which would have made it 2-3, and maybe forced Inter to open things up a little). As if that wasn't bad enough, the next match is against my old favorite Timmy Howard and Manchester United...at Old Trafford. Hopefully, the Gunners will take out their anger at this performance on the filthy, dirty Manks.

However, on the other side of the coin, a 7-3 win over San Diego, coupled with Los Angeles' 0-2 capitulation to Arizona, means my San Francisco Giants are N.L. West champions once again. Now, it's just playing out the string, and waiting for the playoff crapshoot begin (really, once we get to the playoffs, No. 1 has just as much of a chance to win as No. 8...like it's Stanley Cup Playoffs all of a sudden).

Random: The WUSA folded, which is sad, in one way...I'd hate to be an 18-year old star just coming out of college, who now has nowhere to play. On the other hand, even a die-hard soccer fan like me couldn't stomach those games...they just weren't all that entertaining. I watched the very first MLS match (San Jose vs. the Scum, San Jose won when Jeff Causey missed an easy save), which was horrible...but, the product's improved greatly. The WUSA never did, even though it had the distinction of having just about every single one of the world's best female players. The games just weren't aggressive enough for me (along with the absolutely appalling defending, which was probably the league's weakest point). Oh well...as long as MLS survives, I'm a happy guy.



Just read an interesting article in the SF Chronicle (Wish I had signed up for that newsletter, oh...IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, maybe...what a great way to keep up with my team)...about how unless you're the Yankees, teams that coast into the post-season are prone to getting upset in the first round.

*looks at NL West standings*


I (ahem) eagerly await that thrilling Houston Astros - NL Wild Card winner NLCS. Dippy.


Just read in interesting article in the SF Chronicle (Wish I had signed up for that newsletter, oh...IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, maybe...what a great way to keep up with my team)...about how unless you're the Yankees, teams that coast into the post-season are prone to getting upset in the first round.

*looks at NL West standings*


I (ahem) eagerly await that thrilling Houston Astros - NL Wild Card winner NLCS. Dippy.


It's been TEN YEARS already...fuck, I'm old!

As I'm often wont to do, I pulled out my VHS copy of the highlights from the '93 NHL playoffs, which was the last time my Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Besides allowing me to actually feel good about my team for one short hour, it's also a look at one of the most underrated Cup-winning teams of all time.

Seriously, the next jackass pundit that refers to them as "The worst Cup-winning team ever" is going to get stabbed in the throat. Let's review, shall we?

-- Patrick Roy in goal. That alone has to put them over at least one or two other Cup-winning teams...I mean, as much as I've loathed the guy since he turned his back on us and bolted to Colorado, the guy was an absolute game-breaker. Even as good as Theodore was in his first season as our No. 1, we've never had a guy since Roy where it's an absolute shock when he's beaten. That year, especially during the playoffs, the Habs were free to attack the net with abandon, because even if the other team came back on an odd-man rush, chances were that Roy was just going to save it anyway. You just don't see many goalies like that: Mike Richter when he was on, Dominik Hasek once Buffalo FINALLY gave up on Grant Fuhr, Martin Brodeur the last 6 or 7 years...that's about it in recent memory.

-- About the lack of "stars": The silliest argument about the '93 Habs (and the one that makes me want to drive a six-inch spike into the eye of he who utters it) is that they are the worst Cup-winning team because they had no major stars besides Roy. Oh REALLY? Oh, OK, so John LeClair and Eric Desjardins were only stars once they left Montreal, right? Sure, it's THEIR fault that the idiot media didn't consider them as such until the left...riiiiiiiiiiiight. And, IMO, only a moron would argue that Vincent Damphousse, Kirk Muller, and Brian Bellows weren't three of the best offensive stars at the time, and that Mathieu Schneider wasn't one of the top defensemen.

-- The supporting cast: As the Anaheim Mighty Ducks AND New Jersey Devils proved this past season, the supporting cast, the bit players, are sometimes just as (if not more) important than a team's stars. The '93 Habs had a damn good one, as far as I'm concerned. At forward, you had guys like Stephane Lebeau and Denis Savard who could score big goals, Guy Carbonneau to win faceoffs (and score big goals, and play hard defensively), and Mike Keane, who often was one of the best defensive players on the ice (hell, in the LEAGUE). The defense, while not exactly household names, was 7th in the league during the regular season in goals against, and could play the tough, physical hockey that the playoffs demand. I'd MUCH rather have the '93 Desjardins, Schneider, Kevin Haller, J.J. Daigneault, and ESPECIALLY Lyle Odelein then the jerkoffs we've had since (even ol' Breeze-By, Patrice Brisebois, wasn't a total liability...going 10-21-31 in the regular season). The current Habs could also do with guys like Brian Skrudland, Ed Ronan, and Todd Ewen...physical checkers who could throw down when necessary (why the hell did we trade Donald Brashear again?).

-- The stats: For a team that now struggles to get 60-point scorers, those Habs had 5: Damphousse (35-58-97), Muller (37-57-94), Bellows (40-48-88), Lebeau (31-49-80), and, surprisingly, Keane (15-45-60). Also, Savard was 16-34-50 in just 63 games.

-- The regular season record: Sure, they were only 3rd in their division behind Boston and Quebec that year. However, keep in mind that they were 3rd with a record of 48-30-6, for 102 points. That was actually good for 4th in the Wales Conference that year (Pittsburgh won the President's Trophy with 119). And, furthermore, it would have been good enough for SECOND in the Campbell Conference, two points behind the Blackhawks. As mentioned, they had the 7th best defense in terms of goals against, but also the 9th best in goals scored. How's THAT for well-balanced? Now, one point I have to concede about the regular season record was that they DID play in a division with the horrid Hartford Whalers (26-52-6), and the expansion Ottawa Senators (long before they became the Chokers, 10-70-4). However, the Canucks won the Smythe that year with one less point than the Habs had, in a division with the horrid Edmonton Oilers (26-50-8), and the expansion San Jose Sharks (11-71-2). Not only that, but THEY didn't have to share a division with Boston (51-26-7), or Quebec (47-21-10). One last point about this...their record was NOT simply due to Roy, who actually had an off-year by his standards (31-25-5, 3.20, .894, 2 SO)...hell, even Andre "Red-Light" Racicot was comparable that season (17-5-1, 3.39, .881, 1 SO). THEY WON 17 FUCKING GAMES WHEN RED-LIGHT RACICOT WAS IN NET. Please, did THAT get through to you Hab-haters?!

-- The "easy road through the playoffs": In the playoffs, the Canadiens finished with a 16-4 record against Quebec (4-2), Buffalo (4-0), N.Y. Islanders (4-1), and the L.A. Kings (4-1). Now this is just fucking stupid. Remember, this is back in the good old days (before that shitbag Gary Bettman destroyed the sport) where you went 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3, then winner vs. winner in the division, then played the other division winner in the Conference Final. Anyway, Quebec was, the numbers say, the best team they faced that year. Despite the fact they had a "melting down in front of our eyes" Ron Hextall in net, those guys were no joke...see how these names grab you: Mats Sundin (114 pts), Joe Sakic (105), Steve Duchense (best offensive d-man of the year, career high 82 pts), Mike Ricci (78), Owen Nolan (77), Andrei Kovalenko (68), Scott Young (60), Martin Rucinsky (48), and another very good offensive d-man in Alexei Gusarov (30). Lots of offensive firepower, right? Hell, they even swept the first two games in Quebec City...of course, the Habs then promptly took advantage of their suspect defense and goaltending to take the next 4...including two straight on their ice, in a completely hostile situation (remember, this used to be one of the best rivalries in hockey). Buffalo was next...boasting 148-point scorer Pat LaFontaine, 127-point scorer Alexander Mogilny, and the two Chuks (Dale Hawerchuk, Dave Andreychuk) behind them...along with a tough defense corps. These were the guys that kinda went and SWEPT BOSTON IN THE FIRST ROUND...thought I'd point THAT out. However, Montreal then, in turn, swept them. My feeling is that since Hasek won the last two against Boston, he should have gotten the call against us...but, I also think it wouldn't have mattered. Oddly, every game in the series finished 4-3, the last three in OT (I'll get to the OTs next). Next came the Islanders...and a big reason everyone craps on Montreal's achievement that year was because they didn't play Pittsburgh that year. Sure, they won the President's Trophy (and look at all the good THAT has done teams in the playoffs throughout recent history), they had four 100-point scorers (Mario Lemieux 160, Kevin Stevens 111, Rick Tocchet 109, Ron Francis 100...not to mention Jaromir Jagr at 94), a good goalie in Tom Barrasso, and a well-rounded team otherwise. However, if you can't beat a New York Islanders team whose main asset was a playing WAY over his head Glenn Healy (Pierre Turgeon did have 123 points, but he was the victim of that famous Dale Hunter cheap shot in their opening round against Washington, and didn't return until the Montreal series), how can anyone say they would have beaten us? Seriously, the Isles basically only got past the Capitals because that particular Caps team was famous for being playoff chokers [Fun fact about that Caps team: Both Byron Dafoe AND Olaf Kolzig got one game in during the regular season behind the normal tandem of Don Beaupre and Jim Hrivnak], and they happened to be just good enough to take out a far superior Pens team that underestimated them greatly...which is exactly what they would have done against us had they squeaked past the Isles...Not surprisingly, Montreal took care of business against the Isles, where the Pens couldn't. The difference was, in the OT games (again, I'll get to that in a second), the Canadiens came up big, while the Pens choked. Bottom line. Finally, the Cup Final saw us against the L.A. Kings, who despite their mediocre regular-season record, turned out to be a dangerous playoff team. You're talking Luc Robitaille, Jari Kurri, Tony Granato, Rob Blake (people forget he was on this team), Paul Coffey, Tomas Sandstrom, and Wayne Gretzky, who had 65 points IN 45 GAMES during the regular season. They played all-out attacking hockey, and when that didn't work, Kelly Hrudey and their underrated defensemen took care of business. They eliminated superior Flames and Canucks teams, then out-dueled the Maple Leafs in one of the greatest playoff series ever (the Leafs being another thing I'll get to in a second). And, things did look bad when they easily won Game 1 at the Forum, and looked to have Game 2 won. However, another underappreciated facet of the Canadiens took hold...how goddamn well-coached they were. Jacques Demers took a HUGE risk having them measure Marty McSorely's stick, and then an even BIGGER one pulling Roy on that power play. Of course, Apparently Not A Star Yet Desjardins completed his hat trick by scoring there, and then in that OT. Oh, and they swept both games in the LA Forum, then easily took Game 5 to win it. I love how it's a lesser achievement because they never faced the Bruins or Penguins or Maple Leafs, but they did it by DOMINATING THE TEAMS THAT BEAT THOSE OH-SO-GREAT TEAMS. I don't know how much simpler I can put it.

-- Overtime, La Pronlongation: Whatever you want to call it, the Habs won 11 consecutive OT games that year in the playoffs. It's a record that still hasn't been touched (as far as I know), and shows how mentally tough that team was. With OT being so prevalent in the playoffs (especially these days), they stood up to the challenge and won EVERY SINGLE OVERTIME GAME. But no, their win was a fluke...of course it was.

-- The Maple Leafs: I've had arguments with Leaf fans who insist that their team would have gone all the way had they gotten past Los Angeles...coulda, woulda, shoulda. Let's keep in mind that this team, while very good (99 pts in the regular season, Doug Gilmour was playing on another planet, they could muck it up with guys like Wendel Clark and John Cullen [people forget he was on this team]), let's keep in mind that it was a MAJOR, MAJOR UPSET that they got past Detroit in the first round. Thanks to Tim Chevaldae being perhaps the most overrated goaltender in the history of the game, and their choke-artist performance, the Leafs DID get past Detroit. But, why is it that the Leafs are so great for getting past Detroit and a very mediocre St. Louis team... and then losing in 7 in a series they should have won against the team we annhilated in 5, but our win was a fluke, cause of (insert stupid reason here)? I don't understand that.

So, while I can't really say who the worst Cup-winner of all time is here, I am absolutely ADAMANT about the point that it sure as hell wasn't the 93 Canadiens.


Interesting bit of randomness:

Saw this on Soccernet, of all places (England plays Liechtenstein next).

"Liechtenstein has had no standing army since 1866, when an 80-strong battalion marched off to the Franco-Prussian war. They saw no action, lost no men, and the most exciting thing about their tour of duty was a freak blizzard in the mountain pass they were guarding (it was August). In fact they returned with 81 soldiers - they'd made friends with an Austrian corporal on the way home."



For the 3 people who haven't seen it yet:

Check out www.homestarrunner.com.

Go to "sb emails" at the bottom, and then do them in this order: "techno", "comic", "guitar", "spring cleaning". After that, I'm almost certain you'll just go through the rest in order, from the bottom up. Funny, funny shite.


More random

Don't get too attached to the random thoughts...I lost my temp position as of the end of this week. Budget cuts can feel free to apply oral suction to my genital area.

-- Today was the first time I had black cherry soda in ages...4 or 5 years, at least. I highly recommend it.

-- Why are companies so pissed that you can fast-forward past commercials on Tivo? If I tape something on a VCR, then come back and watch it later, I got news for you jerkoff advertising types: I AIN'T WATCHING THE COMMERCIALS! Is the 0.5 seconds your product is on screen while I'm fast-forwarding THAT valuable?

-- There's an Asian guy at work whose cubicle I had to walk by to get a drink. On the outside of it, he has a little printout with his name, and an Americanized version next to it. Man, do I ever HATE that shit. H-A-T-E with every fiber of my soul. If I came from another country, the first time someone tried to Americanize my name, I'd be like: "Listen, you simple-minded isolationist yokel FUCK! It's a big world, and you're just a part of it. Learn to say my fucking name!"

-- If marijuana was legal, my commute would have been a hell of a lot cooler.

-- Know who I hate? People who flush before they take a piss. So, the guy before you didn't flush...so fuckin' what?! The average piss lasts what...30 seconds? You can't live with the smell that long? If there's ever a water shortage, I'm coming to find you so I can drink your blood, you stupid wasteful prick.

-- Awesome sight on the subway today...on the Grand Central to Times Square shuttle, in a subway car PACKED to absolute capacity, this blind guy pushed his way through the car, playing an accordion and just slamming into people. Me, I love shit like that...I love that look of absolute disdain that the commuter zombies give to anything that disrupts the usual routine. And, this guy had the added bonus of not asking for money or anything like that. Free entertainment, that's what it was. That's why I don't consider myself one of the zombie herd...I still have my sense of humor.

-- British soccer commentators have the greatest scoring-play calls in the world..."pass up to Thierry Henry...he's done very well here...OH, THAT'S BRILLIANT! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! WHAT A BLINDING BIT OF MAGIC THAT WAS! SCINTILLATING STUFF FROM HENRY!"......SO much more colorful and fun than "touchdown, 49ers!" or "from way downtown, BANG."

-- I want some of what Trey Anastasio was on when he wrote most of his lyrics.

-- It's amazing where wisdom comes from. When I worked nights at Wal-Mart, all us drones had to take our break at the same time, which we did at the cafe thing up near the registers. They're beeping away (even at 2 AM, the one I worked at is jumping), and this dude (who will NEVER be known as "smart", or even "decently intelligent") hushed us, so we can listen to it...and, in time with the beeping, he's saying: "Dollar, dollar, dollar, dollar...". It's unbelievable, when you think about it. That particular Wal-Mart pulls in like a million dollars a day. A DAY. And, it's not even their biggest moneymaking store! Think of how much money we're talking here! The descendents of ol' Sam Walton can probably buy their very own mid-sized country at this point. "Welcome to Belgium! Always low prices...always!"


Legislators are stupid, and other stuff:

Since my job requires little concious thought (actually, you proofread better when you're not thinking too much about the text at all), my brain is free to wander along many other myriad paths. Normally, the long Commute from Hell sucks them from my memory long before I make it home (sucks not having a computer at work)...however, a thought occured to me today. The guy I buy cheesestakes from (who is very conveniently located RIGHT outside my building) always gives about a zillion napkins with each one. And, since I am nowhere in the time zone of being a messy enough eater to require that many, I discovered a brilliant use for them today...NOTE PAPER! So, a sampling of the thoughts scrawled on napkins today:

-- Isn't it funny how in law books (and other places, too), any international fight we win is a "war"...World WAR one, World WAR two, the Revolutionary WAR, the Civil WAR...but, anything we draw or lose is a "conflict"...the Vietnam Conflict, the Korean Conflict. What kind of shit is that? It's like they're implying: "Well, WE could NEVER actually LOSE a war...we were...umm....we were only playing! That's it! Yeah!". No, you stupid fuckers...it was a war, we lost, get over it.

-- Continuing in that vein, what then would we call our two play-dates with Iraq, where we didn't really draw, and we certainly didn't lose, but we displayed great incompetence in getting the job only 3/4 of the way done? Oh...I remember...it's called a "JOKE".

-- True story: For a law dealing with fees for motorcycle education license plates, guess what type of vehicle wasn't on the list of ones you could put them on (at least until it was amended in 2002)? Did Iowa spray their cornfields with acid or something that year? What the FUCK?!

-- I think people sentenced to death in this country should be stoned with law books. Fuck lethal injection or any other "humane" method...you get the right state's books, and you could kill the poor bastard in one good shot to the head. Now THAT is justice, American-style.

-- Speaking of that, they should be much thinner volumes. Law books could, in my opinion, very easily be re-written in plain enough English that a smarter-than-average 5-year old could understand them. However, that would leave little room for interpretation or dispute...thus leaving much less for judges and lawyers to do. Oh, imagine the tragedy of the hellspawn of Mr. and Mrs. Rich Bitch not having that $250,000 a year job right out of Harvard and Princeton. It's a thought worthy of Shakespeare's most melancholy works, let me tell you. Not only that, legislators wouldn't have to amend them every 20 seconds, thus leaving little for lying thieving scumbags to do. On the flipside, that would also mean I'd probably be out of a job too, but hey...what else is new?

-- Last night's Raw, if you took away anything having to do with Kane, was fun and very watchable. It was especially nice that the show was good, what with the US Open being rained out and all.

-- On THAT note, who would have thought 2 or 3 months ago that the MEN'S draw would be where all the drama and great matches are coming from? Filip Bondy had a great column in the Daily News today about how all the mid-range women's players are just laying down at the feet of Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and Jennifer Capriati. These are the same people who shrivel like salt-covered slugs at the very whispered mention of "Williams". However, despite the fact that there aren't too many "stars" among the men, I'd rather watch "nobodies" like Younes El-Anoyoui and Jiri Novak in a spirited 5-set slugfest than Capriati or Clijsters winning 6-1, 6-2. Oh, and by the way, I'm rooting like HELL for Todd Martin...the guy is such a class act, it would be CRIMINAL if he never won a major. He's been a part of so many fantastic quarterfinals and semifinals...he deserves a Ray Bourque-like exit.


Always late to the party.

Apparently, I am the only person on the internet yet to have a blog. I DO have a livejournal (www.livejournal.com/users/thefallen29), but that's primarily for my backstage look at my brother's band, Frail. This, on the other hand, will hold my ramblings on wrestling, music, sports, and other random crap that comes into my mind.

Without further ado, some random stuff:

-- The Giants just swept Arizona, in their own house. We're 13-3 against the Snakes this season, and now we can basically lay claim to the NL West title. Eat that, bitches. Sidney Ponson pitched a wonderful game against Curt Schilling, who wasn't half bad himself. Schmidt was great the night before, too...and, if Rueter can recover from his string of injuries to get back to "tough lefty" status, I REALLY like our chances in the postseason. Hell, Jerome Williams was lights out the first game of the series...of course, all of this has to be taken with a grain of salt: The D-Backs couldn't hit their way out of a wet paper bag.

-- Football season's almost underway, though I have to say I don't follow it as much as when I was a kid. Actually, for some reason, I can say that about all sports...I used to know batting averages, goals-against averages, quarterback ratings, etc etc etc. Now, I doubt I could list the full rosters of my own favorite teams off the top of my head...I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because I've been burned by sports so often (strikes, lockouts, scandals, etc.), I just can't get AS excited as I used to. Then again, I only went from "Ridiculous sports nerd" to "Will still drop anything to watch sports on TV...well...almost anything".

-- Raw's tonight, and against my better judgment, I'm going to watch. Goddamn, do I miss WCW, if only because it gives me the option to not see a McMahon on Monday or Thursday nights. Actually, I was ALWAYS a WCW/ECW guy...even during the heights of the Attitude era, I was almost never watching, unless I had to (like when I did Monday night ratings on Wrestleline, for example). Even as bad as either could be at times, at least they had the occasional hidden good bit of professional wrestling...so does the WWF, to be fair, but I have always hated their overall approach, their mission statement, if you weeeeeeeell. I'm not as hard to please as some of my ITVR colleagues (though harder to please than others)...all I ask for is one halfway decent match per show (and the lack of anything that makes me embarrassed to be a fan), and I'll watch until the sun goes nova. But, for the WWF, they can't even do that half the time.

-- English soccer's underway, and while it's early, Arsenal is top of the league (and thanks to their 1-0 loss to Southampton, Manchester United isn't). Ha. PLZ DIE, Money United. It pains me to have to root for anyone on that team, but I really hope Timmy Howard has a great season, and hangs on to the No. 1 shirt. Part of it is it's neat to see a guy I watched tend the nets for the Metrostars in the Premier League, but also because he's a hell of a classy guy. The English press should be shot for bringing up the Tourette's thing over and over and over. Pricks. Still, even with T-Ho, I hope they lose every game 1-0.

-- Didn't watch the MTV Awards, for the simple reason that I love music. ::smirk::

More later.

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