Still going to be light on hockey news — I can't bare to look for news.
- S--- you already know: David Rundblad has an entry-level contract. [Belleville News-Democrat]
- Get used to seeing this: Maple Leafs, Blues and Kings walk into a bar ...[Washington Examiner]
- TSN wants to know the best way to build a Cup-winning team. [TSN]
- The Coyotes sign two, including noted douche Ryan Hollweg. [TSN]
- Guy Boucher is the officially the man in Tampa. [TSN]
- To answer this headline — Does a Stanley Cup excuse bad contracts? — yes. Yes it does. [From the Rink]
- A soccer guide, for hockey fans. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Bros ________ bros is the newest craze. First it was ice, then burritos and now we have ponying. When will it end? When bros stop being bros? So ... never. [Bros Ponying Bros]
- Even wondered what the Welcome Sign looks like for every 50 State? Really, you have? Weirdo. [eListmania]
- I'd see this movie. Twice. [Craig's List]
- For sale signs can be funny. [manofest]
The World Cup (that's soccer) begins today. As a fan of a sports that's often marginalized, I get where soccer fans are coming from. That said, I love the World Cup. J-Mill agrees.
The Yanks play the Brits on Saturday. This should get you ready.
Coming up after the jump a special surprise.
Our fearless leader wrote a eulogy of the Chicago Blackhawks for Puck Daddy in hopes that Philly would come through. Gallagher worked hard on this, so we thought we would share. Also, the GT "Tribute" will be up on Puck Daddy later. It's good. But for now, enjoy the eulogy that never was.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, fans (bandwagon and otherwise), we gather here today with heavy hearts to do a duty that none of us choose, that none of us care to do. But a duty we must carry out.
Mourning the dead is not ever for the deceased. Funerals and wakes and, of course, eulogies are for the living. They are ceremonies that are designed to look like they are for the dearly departed and yet, if we are honest with ourselves, they are intended to make us all feel better. To not feel bad about breathing deeply the fresh air or enjoying the beautiful weather. Or the Parade of a Cup down Broad Street
And while the toughest of the duties, the eulogy, often fall to the dead’s closest friend or family member, we feel that no one can give the Blackhawks’ eulogy better than we, the fans who hated them most and therefore watched them the closest.
What sadder eulogy is there than for the departed who committed the gravest final act – the team that killed itself. They deserve our words and our attention, but it’s difficult to get our heads around it when it was so avoidable. These 2010 Chicago Blackhawks… they… they did it to themselves. Committed Indians to the end, they committed suicide and there’s no way to avoid talking about it.
Some of the oldest human dramas, the Greek tragedies, depended on exactly the misfortune that befell the Hawks this year. Flawed Greek characters exhibited hubris, a quality most often defined as extreme haughtiness or arrogance. Hubris indicates a person out of touch with reality and overestimating one’s capabilities and competence. In ancient Greece, supposed heroes with hubris never noticed their fatal flaw until it was too late. They believed in their abilities and superiority to the point of ignoring all incoming threats.
Hubris, thy name is Brian Campbell and your four playoff points. Thy name is Ben Eager and your bad penalties and strange fascination with end of game pucks. Hubris, thy name is Captain Serious Jonathan "Don’t Call Me Camel Toes" Toews with your zero goals, two assists and minus-3 score line in the finals. Maybe you should take a page out of Pronger’s book and have a little more fun with the media and the whole experience. You know, like back when you weren’t a robot and expressed emotion.
Beyond calling on Greek gods to bring them to ruin, the Blackhawks couldn’t help themselves; they called upon the hockey gods themselves to help them commit suicide. Everyone knows that angering the hockey gods by going against their code can end in only one way. And yet, these Hawks dared, DARED! the hockey gods to smite them in multiple ways.
Patrick Kane, mulleted face of the franchise and well known dime-pincher not only threw his privileged, millionaire me-first attitude in the face of the hockey gods last summer by punching out a blue-collar worker (the hockey gods’ chosen people, of course), but he also further tempted their fury by appearing in photos before the Olympics in a limo (also not a conveyance of the hockey gods’ chosen people) with non-blue collar beverages and a non-blue collar shaved chest. And while he did try to curry some favor of the hockey gods during that particular mess by chillaxin’ with some girls that clearly fill in the lower third of the Puck Bunny Bucket, this incident was also a black mark against his team’s chances this year.
And while Kane could not stop taunting the hockey gods this year, the biggest slap in their face was provided by Mr. Toews allow himself to appear in the video game EA Sports NHL10 holding the Cup in its opening sequence. There’s a reason hockey players never touch the Cup unless they’ve won it, and that reason is that angering the hockey gods is never a good idea. Even if it’s just virtual you holding a virtual Cup.
Clearly, this was an offense the hockey gods could not allow to pass.
But beyond the Kanefractions and the misToewskes, the Blackhawks made another grave error in their dealings with the hockey gods this year and his name is Maid Marian Hossa. Clearly Hossa angered the hockey gods at some point due to his days spent in Ottawa and Atlanta, but he brought his curse with him to Pittsburgh when they made the finals and lost. Whatever his earlier transgression, he further snowed off the hockey gods’ goalie when he abandoned the Pens for Detroit for less money and fewer years on his contract because he thought he had a better chance to win with the Red Wings.
The hockey gods must have had a good laugh at his expense that year as they stole seeming Stanley Cup victory from him and handed him defeat when his team lost the last two games of the series and had to watch his former team celebrate in front of him on his new home ice.
Does that now sound familiar, Chicago? Clearly it was your managerial hubris that allowed you to think that all of this angering of the hockey gods would not come back to bite you. And yet it did, didn’t it?
The funny part is that beyond all of that, you should have known that, much like the Cubs every year, this was not your year.
The city of Chicago has been plagued by animals and their curses for as long as they can remember. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow burned down the city. The Billy Goat Curse keeps the MLB championship far from the Friendly Confines. And now they have another animal to blame. The Curse of The Ass will forever keep the Cup out of the Windy City. While some may want to piggyback on the Cubs curse and call it instead the Curse of the Dollar Billy Goat, we must all instead agree that it is yet another animal, another beast whose existence is supposed to make man’s life easier and has somehow now made it harder, that has caused the downfall, the suicide, of this team.
As the longtime owner of the Hawks sits in his hot tub full of acid, fresh from his razorblade massage, Dollar Bill Wirtz, The Ass of Chicago, has watched this Blackhawks season and wanted nothing more than for his team’s fans to suffer as much as he is suffering right now.
"Spending money freely on quality free agents? Hogwash!"
"Re-signing young draftees to long-term contracts worth millions and millions? Poppycock!"
"Games on TV? For FREE? Great Oden’s raven!"
But most importantly, the man who once held Chicago’s hockey fans hostage had but only one wish: Hockey gods, prove me right. Prove that what is best in life is to crush your fans’ excitement, to see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women about how much money you’re paying for crappy beer in a half-full stadium watching an AHL-caliber team lose to a visitor.
Chicago’s ultimate animal, the beast of burden, the Chicago Ass, he is the one above all who cursed this team. He wanted to see them exhibit their hubris, to tempt the hockey gods, to bring false hope to their fans, the very fans who turned on him and his overpriced beer in his overpriced stadium. It was the Curse of the Ass, Bill Wirtz, who ultimately drove this Blackhawks hockey team to kill itself.
In the end, like many suicides, it is we the living who must put the pieces back together. To retrace the steps of the departed and see the mistakes made, the signs misread. The path that led to their own self destruction.
For you, Blackhawks, we can do only one thing. We can go on with our own lives having learned from your experiences. To avoid the pitfalls and obvious traps. To not ever sign Marian Hossa. For you, unfortunately, it is too late to learn the lesson. For you we can make only one wish: that you sleep well and that your path never crosses the man we call Dollar Bill.
PCS has the weekend shift. gametimelinks(at)gmail.com