USA Today’s Kevin Allen has one of the best hockey articles you will read all year. Allen did the unthinkable, and actually sat with the plebes at a Detroit Red Wing game last week on a day off. How many times do we hear from media members, and hell anyone else that the last thing they want to do on an off day is anything related to our work?
“I’m fond of saying after 25 years, there isn’t much I haven’t seen in hockey. But I’ve never seen any of it as close as I was Friday night.
I’m fully aware that Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard is 6-8, and pushing 260 pounds. I’ve watched him play many times and talked to him in the dressing room, but I never understood the challenge of dealing with his mass until Friday. I was 15 feet watching smallish Niklas Kronwall trying to move him away from the net. It was like he was trying to push a refrigerator through the front door.”
That’s just part of this fantastic article. It’s nice to see Allen admit that he is missing from the friendly confines of the multiple press boxes he has been in over the 25 years he has covered the game. It is however, somewhat sad at the same time. Reading a giddy Allen’s accounts of his experiences at the Joe Louis Allen are terrific. However, they are unfortunate given his length of experience in the game. Maybe this is too idealistic but shouldn’t those who cover the game also be fans of the game in general, if not of a specific game? I mean what does it say about those who cover the game if they don’t actually get to enjoy the game? Do we really want our journalists to be so removed?
Although entirely depressing, Michael Grange’s Toronto Raptors article is a must read.
“There is no reason for optimism around the Toronto Raptors right now.
The star player is playing some of his worst basketball of the season at the worst possible time, and worse still, seems determined to share the blame as widely as possible.
The star free agent signing has been a bust and has four years and more than $40-million remaining on a contract for a player in the midst of his worst statistical performance in six seasons at age 31.
Worse still – and there’s a lot of worse to be had here – that’s only part of the problem. ”
Hard to argue with any of that. Granges goes on a pretty good tear through the current state of the Raptors. Of course this was all before the big win tonight.
“Sigh. Where do you start with this? Seriously.
It’s apparent Colangelo and Triano screwed this up from the start. Both are smart, dedicated people, but they chose the wrong guy to give the benefit of the doubt to in the early going, and have been paying for it ever since. The word out of Orlando was that Turkoglu needed to be constantly poked, prodded, pushed and pulled to get him to deliver his best. It’s not clear that’s what’s happened here.
Turkoglu? He should be ashamed of himself. He’s taken the money but at no point has he given the impression he’s determined to prove he’s worth it. ”
Has anyone said this more perfectly???? I don’t know what is going to happen to the Raptors the rest of the way, but it’s ugly. A season that started with such promise sure is looking like a season of hell. With a huge mess coming in the off-season too.
“I’m not a gambling man, but I’d place this bet, with confidence: The Raptors aren’t going to make the playoffs and in fact, will flame out in their final 10 games quite spectacularly. This team is 4-13 in their past 17, and deservedly so. Jay Triano will soon become the first Canadian ex-head coach in the NBA, and Chris Bosh will soon after be a former Raptor.
The question is will Bryan Colangelo have a chance to try and make sense of the shards that remain, and should he? ”
Now, our friend Matt Devlin predicted a much rosier ending for Colangelo’s team. Who will be right? Time will tell.
Two good articles well worth the time to read.
Kevin Allen is here
Grange is here