Late Night Sports Thoughts

Greetings from Berlin. For those who haven’t been here, add it to the list of places you have to visit. While my hunt for Sergeir Berezin has been unsuccessful, my first visit to Germany has been quite amazing. To see the history here and appreciate all that has gone here in the last 70 years is truly a life experience.

Back to sports. This Howard Berger thing has really got me quite upset. I listened to his interview on with Hogan and Roscoe Toth and it was so predictable. It was so pathetic. Does he think that anyone with a brain on the outside actually has any sympathy for the guy? Does he actually think that the average listener/fan agrees with him. It’s a total joke. Howard Berger is in my opinion (which says nothing) an embarrassment to anyone who calls themselves a journalist. He isn’t credible, he isn’t reliable he is total fluff. He is worse then the piece of parsley that sits on a plate at a restaurant (at least he parsley is somewhat decent to look at!) Berger is a COX wannabe. The problem is he is a jock sniffer. He grew up a fan and turned this into a job. He then realized that the only way to make it against the competition (once his sources left him) was to be negative. His comments about Wilson were so damn predictable, Wilson’s reaction was accurate, honest and exactly what it should have been. Berger’s take that Wilson is too thin skinned for this market is a crock. This market is nothing…NOTHING. There are no hard questions asked. There is no media scrutiny- NONE. While there may be power in numbers there is quality. We can count the number of good scribes on half of one hand. Good on Wilson for putting this pathetic puke where he belongs. Good luck talking to Wilson again Howie. It’s funny how you say you have learned so much from him, you clearly haven’t learned a friggin thing about the game you cover.

Meanwhile, up the dial the Garrioch thing seems to have faded into the night. Here is another guy how is just a hair, and I mean a small eyelash above Hanky. The only difference is that Garrioch actually gets real time in front of real fans. His paper should be ashamed of running his column. The problem is that his column sells because people flock to it to read the goofy rumours he posts. You know what else flocks to what else simply because it smells right??!! One day, I hope, maybe by the time little TSM is a sports fan the city will be filled with sports media that we can actually be proud of. Ask yourself this question folks… The next time a big sports story breaks in the city, is there one journalist who you would be eager to read their take on what happened??? If Burke out of nowhere pulled off a blockbuster to land the number one pick, if the Jays traded Doc, hired the next great GM etc…. and there was no internet, which newspaper would you run out to buy to see their writer’s take on the event? Which radio station would you listen to? Which if any local tv station would you watch? Right now, there are slim pickings my friends. The problem is that with most of the guys we currently have you know what you are are going to get. Their biases are so blatant that their coverage has become predictable. For now all we have, as young Jonas said the other night to Wilbur is what the Maple Leafs are selling…Hope!

Check out Bob Mckenzie’s blog today and David Shoalts’ piece on the new economy that is facing the NHL in the coming months. Here is all I am going to say, and you regular readers out there remind me of this come July 1 2009. Brian Burke better have become a better master of the cap then he has shown to be with his last team come free agency period this year. No big, long term contracts should be signed this off season…NONE. Until they have a better idea of what the following season may look like there is NO REASON to sign anyone of any significance to any deal beyond a year or 2 at small money. Teams are going to be so screwed long term that good players are going to be thrown overboard when the time is right. Burke has used the word patience, here’s hoping he is able to remain that himself and not do something stupid this summer. Nothing big, nothing long term. Wait this storm out Brian. Your fellow GM’s across the league are going to be taking on a ton of water and cap space if going to be worth way more then ever before. Wait it out. For the sake of this franchise, and your place in it’s history wait it out.

I see Peter Pocklington is facing the law. Funny story for you. While working in Detroit I had the chance to meet Peter Pocklington once. It was during the NHL labor issue in 1995. I was at a Detroit Vipers IHL game and Peter and Glen Sather were sitting in the seats above me at the game. I happened to have a friend who went to college with Pocklington’s daughter and Pocklington, Sather, a friend and I all started chatting during an intermission. After a few beers and several laughs, I said to Pocklington that I had met his daughter at a University of Western Ontario function through my buddy a few months prior. Without batting an eye, Sather looked at me and said “Oh yeah, did you [email protected]#[email protected]#[email protected]# her??” Pocklington turned about 12 shades of red and started screaming at Sather….It was classic. Pocklington was a good sport that night. He bought my buddy and I beers the rest of the night. He told us if we were ever in Edmonton to let him know he would have us to his box and all. I know there are people out there whom he has harmed and hurt. I know there are lots of people out there who don’t like the guy or even hate him. From personal experience, that one night in Auburn Hills Michigan he treated a couple of hockey nuts darn well, it is something I have remembered and I can only wish him well and that he gets a fair shot at trial.

It’s midnight here in Germany. Time to hit the hay. Talk at you in the wee hours of your morning…


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