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Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts About Blogging’ Category

It seems there’s a blogging contractual requirement to discuss the Chara Hit. Since we’re still clinging to the hope of getting passes for the press box in Washington, we’ll weigh in now. We know you know what we’re thinking, Gentle Reader.

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We have recently, for a variety of reasons, become obsessed with the modern everyday food consumed by normal people in Scandinavia. One of the things that has astounded us is the robust frozen pizza industry in countries we assumed didn’t have any interest at all in foodstuffs that weren’t fermented fish with dill sauce. Thanks to some serendipitous research by Katebits, we’ve learned that Sweden really likes a fascinating product called Billys Pan Pizza, which boasts a rather shockingly broad assortment of flavors.

Now, One of our favorite things about doing cultural research of foreign countries on the interwebs is attempting to read websites in languages we don’t understand. So the other evening we were poring through the Billys website, and came across the description for the Billys Capricciosa:

Ett perfekt mellanmål innan hockeyträningen!

That’s Swedish for “Billys Capricciosa should be on every hockey player’s training table”, right?

With that in mind, Schnookie tried to read aloud a little corporate timeline on the website that was boasting when certain flavors and products were introduced. Like, Billys Original was introduced in 1993, and Billys Chicken Taco was introduced in 1997, or whatever. And then she got to something called “Billys People”. Which prompted Pookie to wail, “Billys People is people!!”

The point of all of this is that someday soon, when we get the media access that is due to every hockey blogger, we have a new question in our journalisty arsenal. We will lead our interviews with “Can you swim?”, and if the interviewee is Swedish, we will follow up with, “What’s your favorite Billys Pan Pizza?” Then we’ll nail him with the hard-hitting, “And did you know that Billys People is people?”

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1. …The Flyers. We guess it wasn’t the coaching that was the problem.

2. … Fantasy Hockey. If Pookie picks up Anaheim’s Dan Sexton for her fantasy team, will people start calling him “Big Soxy”?

3. …Diving. The suggestion that a diving penalty should negate any infraction that may have prompted the player to dive in the first place is asinine. Pookie came up with a pretty solid analogy in the discussion about this topic on TWC the other day: “If I t-bone your car at a stop sign and then you pretend to have suffered whiplash and falsely report it to the insurance company, am I suddenly no longer guilty of reckless driving?” Honestly. Since when is causing his team to lose a power play opportunity not considered a fair punishment for a player who dives after being hooked/tripped/held/whatever?

4. … All-Star Superskills. Yeah, we’re thinking about all of the most relevant issues today. Why? Because we’re drunk. Anyway, the NHL gave it two seasons, but we think it’s very safe to say that the “Slam Dunk” contest just isn’t cutting it. Meanwhile, every year everyone loves the accuracy shooting and hardest shot. We believe the NHL would be wise to liven up the Superskills by making every All-Star choose whether he’d prefer to do accuracy shooting or hardest shot. Forget the less exciting events like the puck relay and the incredibly lame “Slam Dunk” contest (we’ll give Alex Ovechkin one thing — if anyone would be capable of making that contest exciting it would be him. He couldn’t. Ergo, the contest is hopeless.), and make the entire event a smorgasbord of people shooting at targets with varying — and fascinating! — levels of skill. Now that is something people would talk about. (We’d keep fastest skater, but after being scarred for life being seeing Zach Parise participate, we’d like to see that event kept to just the guys who are actually fast skaters.)

5. …Blogging About The All-Star Game During An Olympic Year. When you’re compiling a list of the top ASG moments of the last 10 years, is it time to admit your “10 best of the last decade” theme is perhaps getting stretched a little thin? And if you’re spending a hour during dinner discussing how you’d make the ASG superskills better, is it time to admit you’ve had too much to drink?

6. …Our Imagined Feud Between Ryan Getzlaf And Brian Burke. For some reason, every time we watch the Ducks (which is shockingly often, considering how shitty they are this year), we end up spending the entire game shouting all kinds of threats and insults in our Getzi voices at an unseen Brian Burke. It’s generally stuff where Getzi would be reacting to something happening during the game, like saying, “BURKIE! Why didn’t you give me the puck there on that power play? I would have SCORED, Burkie!” or whatnot. So the other night, the Getzi rantings started (started??) spiraling out of control, and the Wino Kokopelli came into play.

Wait, backing up a sec — have we told you about the Wino Kokopelli yet, Gentle Reader? If not, here’s the story. After spending a few years living in the Southwest, Schnookie reached her breaking point with the omnipresent kokopelli motif. That stupid thing is everywhere out there, people. And she’s got no beef with the spirit of the thing, but the aesthetic just annoys her. So about midway through last season, Pookie found a video featuring Getzi giving an hilarious tour of his house (seriously, Getzi seems to be a bit of a nester. He’s very proud of his home decor. And his backyard tiki hut. That’s not a euphemism), and in it, Getzi proudly shows off this monstrosity:

Yeah, that’s a wrought-iron kokopelli wine bottle holder, that he has hanging in his dining room. He says he got it at a “swap meet at the fairgrounds”. (See why we love Getzi so much?) Schnookie was horrified. And mortified. And the wino kokopelli quickly became an essential part of the Getzi legend here at stately IPB Manor.

So back to the other evening where we were riffing on the Getzi/Burkie feud. This was the exchange we had, late in the lackluster game:

Pookie (as Getzi): “Don’t make me send my wino kokopelli after you, Burkie!”
Schnookie (as Getzi), quoting The Cutting Edge: “It’ll take them a month to count the wino kokopelli marks up your back!”
Boomer (as Getzi): “And it’ll take them a month to count the flute marks up your front.”

Well, we can’t top that.

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Gentle Reader, we have a confession to make. This past season, we felt that we left most of our best material as bloggers off IPB, because most of it wasn’t about the Devils. During the dog days of the March swoon, we wailed to our closest friends that we’d let our blog get bogged down with our repetitive complaints about a team that didn’t interest us much, while we were riffing in endless, giggling fashion about things unrelated to the team we were supposed to care most about. We frequently told ourselves, on evenings when we couldn’t think of a thing to say, “If only we could write about [a certain other team we got accused of writing about too much anyway]!” So today we discovered this extravagantly awkward and wooden tour of the Palms hotel by Mike “Beaker” “Beaks” Richards and his nurse shoes.

And the floodgates opened, as we gchatted away while Pookie was at work. As you can see from the transcript below, we were probably smart to keep this all to ourselves all season.

(Now, we have been planning for months to go to Montreal for the Draft, but our plans have been derailed in the last few days thanks to our inability to obtain tickets. We were considering becoming bitter about or jealous of the bloggers at SB Nation who are going to be fully credentialed at the Draft, but, well… If we were the kinds of bloggers who get to go to the Draft, we’d never be able to indulge ourselves with posts like this. And surely the world is a better place for us hitting “publish” on this.)

Schnookie: I’m watching Beaks now.

Pookie: Ooh, I won’t interrupt.

Schnookie: Beaks is such a whore!

His tourguide style was hilarious!

“Hi. I’m Beaks. For $25,000 a night.” *Looks awkward* “You get the master suite jacuzzi.”

Pookie: Yup!

Schnookie: He looked so chunky, though. He looked dumpy. Hippy.

Pookie: I KNOW! I didn’t want to say anything but I was like, “His outfit is NOT flattering.”

Schnookie: No, he looked shaped like Greg Maddux. I think it was the nurse shoes. Poor Beaks.

Pookie: And how about the faux I-don’t-know-what “peace out” at the end?

Schnookie: What the fuck was that???? And he’s a REALLY shitty bowler.

Pookie: I assumed his bowling was affected by his shoulder surgery. That video was filmed like four weeks ago.

Schnookie: Oh, right. Beaks is normally a champion bowler.

I loved that his approach to bowling was as stiff and weak as his line delivery. “Now I am. Going to bowl.” *Stiffly tosses ball with a minimum of bodily movement* Pause *Cracks up* “Not good.”

Pookie: Yeah. The whole thing was….

But hey! It’s Beaks!

Schnookie: I better watch it again.

Pookie: That’s what I said.

Schnookie: The hockey highlights are making me sad. I miss it!

Pookie: I thought the same thing. Sigh.

Schnookie: I love that for $25,000 a night, my five closest friends can sleep in murphy beds in Vegas.

Pookie: I KNOW! And “play hoops with [their] boys”.

Schnookie: I’m sorry he didn’t try to dunk. Paulie: “Me too.”

I would have DIED laughing if they’d made him try sinking a shot.

Pookie: [Busy doing work stuff, being at work and all.]

Schnookie: They probably did. Ten hours later, he’s like, “I just had shoulder surgery! I swear when I’m healthy I can do this!”

Or better yet, he was like, “Oh, I’d love to take a shot! That’ll be a nice bit to add to the clip!” *Goes to throw a two-handed underhand shot* Director: “Cut! Cut! What are you DOING?” Beaks: “I’m not cleared to throw overhand yet.”

Pookie: Don’t make me crack up here!

Schnookie: Paulie, popping up from behind one of the murphy beds: “Also, he learned everything he knows about ballin’ from me.”

Pause.

“Ifyouknowwhatimean”

Pookie: “Like that the hoop is called a ‘net’.”

Schnookie: Beaks: “What he means is that he throws two-handed underhand.”

Paulie: “And that I ball a lot.”

Pookie: DON’T make me laugh!

Schnookie: Beaks: “That’s not a euphemism.”

Paulie: “No. It’s not. What else WOULD it mean?”

Beaks: *SMIRK* “I don’t need a two-handed underhand to win at THAT kind of ballin’.” Pause. “Unless she wants it.”

Loops: “Or he. Unless he wants it.”

Beaks: “You are NOT invited to be one of my ballin’ boys.”

Loops: “Peace out, yo.”

Paulie: “Quit making b-ball sound dirty! It’s pure and good!”

Beaks: “If that’s the case, why aren’t you wearing shorts?”

Paulie: “I never said the Golden Gopher was pure and good.” DUNK!

AAAAND… scene.

Pookie: I… don’t have enough “:”s in the world.

Although now I’m scared of the Golden Gopher.

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Believe it or not, answers to the IPB Blogging Questionnaire are still being accepted! Today we bring you some thoughts on blogging from Tyler from The Triple Deke. Head on over to his blog for all your Detroit Red Wing needs (be sure to ask about ’95 while you’re there — just kidding, Tyler!).
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It was brought to our attention today by Greg Wyshynski over at Puck Daddy that one Derek Felksa, apparently a scientist of hockey fandom, has ranked all 30 fanbases in the NHL, from “worst” to “best”, using an infallibly objective numerical system. Because he’s a man of science, Felksa’s process is unimpeachable, and, since the results have been published, that means they’re replicable as well. We work in the sciences (or rather, Schnookie works with scientists), so we know how these things work. So we can’t argue with a process that looks at hard numbers like “attendance average for the last three seasons”, “observations of fan activity during games” and “observations of fan activity on message boards and blogs”, all quantified on the statistician’s best friend, “a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being outstanding or perfect and 0 being very poor”. The methodology is flawless, and the results unassailably reliable. Numbers don’t lie, Gentle Reader, and the sad news is that the Devils fanbase has now been proven, in cold, hard factual style, the worst in the entire NHL.

It is always shocking to be confronted by statistics like this, but rather than having some kind of hysterical “kill the messenger” response here, we’ve got to man up. So to speak. The fact is, Devils fans suck. Or, as our favorite personalized Rangers sweater we ever saw at a game at the Meadowlands said, Devil’s fans suck. (Schnookie: “That’s not necessarily grammatically incorrect. I mean, imagine the headline: ‘Devil’s fans suck. Car overheats’.” That’s most likely what that guy meant, but we digress.) And the reason why they suck? Us. That’s right, Gentle Reader — it’s all our fault.

Let’s assess our culpability now, shall we? Starting at the beginning, with attendance. This blog stands as a monument to our willful refusal to attend games in person. We actually brag in this space about how we don’t go to games, indulging all our worst impulses by insisting on sitting in front of our TV, wearing pajamas, during every home game rather than supporting our team like real fans. Sure, we talk a big game about how it’s so far to go for games, how Pookie works so distantly south that she’s physically not capable of making it to Newark for 7:00 starts on weeknights, how we just don’t have the energy or werewithal to commit to making a 4-hour round trip for a 3-hour game on any kind of regular basis. But you know what? Attendance is based on ticket sales. We could boost the Devils’ attendance figures (and remember, numbers don’t lie) without ever having to get up off our couch or put on real clothes if we just buy tickets. We don’t have to actually use them, do we?

That leads to the next point, about how expensive Devils tickets are. We aren’t keen on traveling 4 hours round-trip to sit in the nosebleeds, which are the only seats we can afford on any kind of regular basis in the new, pricey Prudential Center. But since we’ve already established that we’re not buying our tickets to use, but rather to pad the attendance stats, that should be neither here nor there. There’s an easy way we can help the team’s rankings, and we’ve been dropping the ball. It’s all our fault.

Dr. Felksa’s second statistical measure is the observed fan activity at games. On the rare occasions that we do live up to our responsibilities as fans and attend games in person, we are clearly behaving underwhelmingly. We do things like “wearing Devils sweaters” and “cheering when the Devils score” and “voicing our displeasure when the play does not go the Devils’ way” and “shouting ‘SUCKS!’ after each name announced in the other team’s starting lineup”. And that’s it. How pathetic. For starters, only sweaters? Where are our Devils hats? And sweatshirts? And tube socks? And tattoos? And facepaint? We might as well be attending the opera for the way we dress. And what’s with the understated cheering? We’re never going to rate above a 1 out of 10 at that rate. Dr. Felksa has accumulated volumes of careful field observation of every fanbase in action, and he’s seen us. We didn’t throw beers on opposing fans, or hurl garbage on the ice after tough losses, or generally elevate our natural levels of douchebaggery to appropriately fervent levels. Seriously, we didn’t even riot after the first round of the playoffs the way the NHL’s best fanbase did! Sure, some people might say that losing in 5 to the Rangers didn’t afford us the opportunity to riot, but a good craftsman never blames her tools. Nor does a good fan blame her team. It’s all our fault.

Finally we get to the observed Devils-fan presence in the blogosphere and on message boards. It’s no secret that we don’t participate on message boards, and consequently have been willfully refusing to rectify the total vacuum of Devils fans there. And as for the world of Devils blogs (we like to call it the “Diablogosphere”, even though it’s just a figment of our imaginations), this rating of just 3 out of 10 falls squarely on us. In fact, we can’t help but take it as a personal failing grade. And yes, it’s true — at this time last year we weren’t just posting every day, we were posting two-a-days. But this summer we’ve only been posting every other day. Thereby causing the composite internet presence of the New Jersey Devils fanbase to plummet. There is only one conclusion a learned man like Dr. Felksa can draw from this: Devils fans are abject failures. If we’d only been posting more frequently, the Devils could surely have surpassed the Panthers’ fanbase on this list. It’s all our fault.

Gentle Reader, we are duly chastened. Fortunately, all is not lost. There is a new season fast approaching, a blank slate, a chance for us to redeem ourselves. This shocking exposure of our fandom foibles is actually a good thing, and we have to thank Dr. Felksa for bringing our shortcomings to our attention now, instead of when it’s too late. We’re in a bad place right now, but there is hope. A little face paint, some flipped police cars, and 10,000 more words a day written on the interwebs should be enough to drag ourselves out of the basement. You have our somber word that we’ll do everything in our power to right the wrongs we’ve done.

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Sometime during this past hockey season we discovered something troubling — IPB isn’t big enough for these two blowhards hockey analysts geniuses egoists bloggers. So we’ve had to branch out, co-founding a group blog, ModFan, with Katebits, Heather B. and Patty (In Dallas). You see, our brilliance in our individual blogs is one thing, but the force of it combined into one blog is far, far greater. We had a responsibility to the hockey to share it with the entire blogosphere. Yes, Gentle Reader, the rumors are true. That frisson of excitement you felt when ModFan went live today was a perfectly normal response, and was to be expected. The marvelousness has been unleashed, and is now available, in full technicolor, for your perusal. And no, hockey blogging will never be the same.

So if you feel so inclined, mosey on over to ModFan!

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