Christmas in July, Hockey in August
The Olympics may be over, but the global athletic competition hasn't ended, folks. Even though it's August (well, now September by the time you read this), there's actually some pretty sweet professional and meaningful hockey going on right now. And it just might be the last hockey you see for a long time. Well, in actuality, it'll probably be the first hockey you see in a long time.
The World Cup of Hockey rolled on tonight, with the United States losing to Canada 2-1 in its first match of the opening round robin. It's funny, everyone gushes over Olympic hockey, but this is just as good and nobody watches. This contest also only takes place every four years, it's got the world's best talent, and unlike the Olympics, it's got fighting! Hell, even thirty-eight-year-old Mario Lemieux gave some poor American a face wash and a chokeout tonight for Chrissakes...that's right, gentle Super Mario started a rinkwide brawl. Where's the publicity for that? Anyway, that was just a little public service announcement. The 416 people watching around the country know what I'm talkin' about.
But the highlight of the telecast was the unintentional comedy stylings of sidelined American forward Jeremy Roenick. JR sat out the tournament and was fortunate enough to join Gary Thorne and Bill Clement as the third man in the announcing booth. Roenick, who has been under scrutiny lately for his alleged gambling addiction, was absolutely atrocious. This guy's to announcing as Kobe is to getting away with rape. Nah, I'm just kidding, some of my best friends are rapists. After a laughable introduction to the American squad ("Goaltending is a question mark, but I like Robert Esche, GO ROBERT ESCHE, YEEEEAH!"), Roenick's banter with the other two guys truly sounded like a speed freak conversing with a pair of Stephen Wrights.
It all led up to a great television exchange about two minutes into the game (that's all I watched with sound). For the game, Canada wore these "antique gold" jerseys, which were severely unattractive. The announcers decided to comment:
Gary: Canada wearing its antique gold jerseys tonight.
Bill: They look more like green-gold to me, Gary.
JR: (screaming) Yeah guys, they look like PUKE gold to me.
Gary: (disgusted, but without missing a beat) That's awful. Robert Esche in goal for the US facing Maty Brodeur...
Good times. Gary Thorne pretty much shit all over this guy on live television and then pretended it never happened. He scolded, and then he continued his play-by-play. A true professional, that Thorne. Enough hockey. Hockey sucks.
Some quick notes:
--Had my fantasy football draft tonight, like my team. All I know is, Donovan better eat his freakin' Chunky Soup this season.
--With Deion's return to the NFL, SportsCenter just showed the clip of him dumping buckets of ice water on Tim McCarver's head after a big 1992 postseason win with the Braves. Best. Clip. Ever. Show that every day on a loop and you have me at hello.
--The Bush Twins were simply brutal. Sure, the one who didn't go to Yale looks like she gives good head, but what an awful little speech tonight. They make Stephen Hawking look like a solid public speaker.
--The Yankees got spizzanked by the Injuns 22-0 tonight, the worst loss in the storied franchise's history. Let's just move on. I'm still not panicked, maybe this is what we needed. A little pep talk from the Jetes, Torre shakes things up. We'll be fine. I can't say this enough -- the Red Sawx need to win a bunch and get close if they're going to have their annual collapse in September. Hey, look, check your calendars. It starts now.
--Ichiro is unbelievable. This guy is simply unreal, and he will break the single-season hits record this year, which he's well on pace to do. Three months with 50 hits this season -- Pete Rose only had four in his whole career! Hats off to the man.
--The Name of This Band is Talking Heads (aka TNOTBITH) came out on CD after years of strictly vinylness. Get it now. Freakishly awesome, even if you're not a freakishly awesome Talking Heads fan.
--Don't charge at Cheney, he don't mess around. Even if your last name is Frampton, that's no excuse. He'll take you down and your talking guitar.