23 February, 2006

Quo vadis?

Now that it's all over but the crying (if you're Mike Modano), it's time for the post-mortem.

First question: Why did USA Hockey bring in the disinterested vets?

In every game I watched, the only guys who seemed to give a damn were the young guys--guys like Liles, Cole, DiPietro (bless him, he really tried), Blake--and the older guys who really did have some pride in playing for Team USA (Bret Hedican, I'm talking to you). Nobody else really gave me the impression that they gave a shit out there. I understand that there's a dearth of US-born players in the NHL (right now) that could be considered Olympic-caliber, but still. Bates Battaglia would have been a better choice than Keith freaking Tkachuk or any of the rest of the Nagano holdovers that were named to Team USA, and that's saying something.

Next question: Can some of the blame be placed on the coach?

Yes and no. I don't fault Laviolette for anything except expecting his players to work and for being a little too inflexible. The guys that have played for him before (or that have played for him since December 2003) knew what was expected of them, and they went for it. The rest were pretty much just there for the lasagna, and expected that since there'd be NHL refs they could get away with the same shit that they get away with in the NHL (Chelios, I'm talking to you).

So....what now?

USA Hockey is largely a volunteer organization. They don't have umpty-ump dollars to throw around, so they only get people that actually want to work for them. Laviolette wasn't paid, nor was Waddell--whose job as GM is probably toast thanks to his poor selection decisions. Lavi, I think, will be back--there are enough guys that think highly enough of him (and that'll be around in 2010) that he stands a good chance of returning as coach. Why? Because he cares. He cared enough to shorten his bench in the game against Finland in the hopes that the players he threw out there would get the hint and maybe pull something out. He cared enough to call a time-out before the game got out of hand and attempt to rally his troops. He cares--but without more guys like Erik Cole and Jason Blake and John-Michael Liles that care as much as he does, Team USA's outlook for 2010 isn't very rosy.

So I agree with Mike Modano's comment that there needs to be a change in USA Hockey--but the change that is needed is getting rid of primadonnas like him that think that just because they play in the NHL the rest of the world should roll over and play dead for them.

And as for the Canadian team.....

Well shit. Jes says it all for me.

Go Czechs, Go Swedes.

21 February, 2006

Ah, the wonders of modern technology.

No really, I mean that.

I pulled up my e-mail today, and this lovely bit of solicitation was in it:

After visiting your Web Site (http://acidqueen5426.blogspot.com/ ) TicketsSport would be interested in advertising with you. Our advertisement format is generally 15 words containing 2-3 text links, which we provide. You would be able to place the ad anywhere on your home page. I would send payment in full (either by check or PayPal) shortly after our links are posted on your site.

Please respond by email if you are interested in this business opportunity.

I look forward to hearing back from you

Dan Siwak



I decided to jander over to Danny-boy's site and check it out--and lo and behold, what do I see?

Club-level seats at the RBC Center going for $169 a pop (face value is $65).
Seats in the third level going for $35 a pop (they're $12)
Seats in the lower bowl going for anywhere from $75 to $188 a piece (the most expensive ticket in the lower bowl is $125--and that's if you're sitting right on the glass).

And don't even get me started on the prices they're asking for college ball tickets. $2000 for one seat in Cameron Indoor Stadium?

Can we say "gross violation of Paragraph 14-4 of the North Carolina General Statutes", kids? To wit:

"Any person, firm, or corporation shall be allowed to add a reasonable service fee to the face value of the tickets sold, and the person, firm, or corporation which sells or resells such tickets shall not be permitted to recoup funds greater than the combined face value of the ticket, tax, and the authorized service fee. This service fee may not exceed three dollars ($3.00) for each ticket except that a promoter or operator of the property where the event is to be held and a ticket sales agency may agree in writing on a reasonable service fee greater than three dollars ($3.00) for the first sale of tickets by the ticket sales agent. This service fee may be a pre-established amount per ticket or a percentage of each ticket. The existence of the service fee shall be made known to the public by printing or writing the amount of the fee on the tickets which are printed for the event."

Last I checked, TicketsSport wasn't Ticketmaster--who, by the way, is the authorized seller of tickets for Your Carolina Hurricanes. Thanks for the "opportunity", Danny, but I will not be a party to either lawbreaking or highway robbery--mostly because I have personal objections to dirtbags like you scalpers, and partly because I'm an NC resident and don't feel like getting arrested because of your scumbucketry.

Please take your "opportunity" and stuff it.