Why hockey rules, and some random thoughts
Baseball has its Rotisserie leagues, the NFL has Fantasy Football. You get a bunch of friends together, draft a team, and spend the season feverishly rooting for players you otherwise couldn't give a fig about. Well, the NHL has done baseball and football one better--they've turned the actual LEAGUE into a fantasy draft. Seems like every big-name player is available on the open market, all you need is a willing GM to add him to the fold. Flyers fans still smarting over the decision to trade Peter Forsberg, the best player of the last 7-8 years, for Eric Lindros? No matter--the Flyers just signed the spleenless Swede. Scott Niedermeyer has traded the Jersey swamps for Disney Land, Chris Pronger was literally traded from St. Lou to the Albertan flats of Edmonton. My Penguins desperate for a top two-way blueliner? Hey, here comes periennial Penguin-killer Sergei Gonchar. Awesome.
The NHL is on to something here. You hear how fans complain that they don't recognize their team from year-to-year, as players move on through free agency? Well, why not take this liquid labor market to its obvious conclusion? Every player gets a one-year contract. After every season, each team gets to keep three players. Everyone else is a free agent. Up for grabs. Talk about an exciting offseason! Instead of the airwaves being clogged by undateable psychos bitching about the Steelers only being 12-2, they'd be hollering for the Pens to sign Markus Naslund, Ilya Kovalchuk, Rob Blake, Martin Brodeur, AND Jaromir Jagr. And a couple gooned-up wingers to boot.
I'm SO looking forward to October 5th, when the NHL finally gets back in the business of dropping pucks. Lemieux, Recchi, Crosby, Gonchar, Malkin (maybe), Tarnstrom...there's talk the Pens are interested in signing a veteran goaltender (Cujo?) as Fleury (or Caron, or Chiodo) aren't quite ready yet. Hey, why not give Patrick Roy a call, he's been sitting about as long as everyone else?
OK, maybe no random thoughts today. Oh, here's one: I always considered myself sort of a liberal, politically speaking. I'd actually say I'm a social liberal but fiscal conservative, but while I nearly vomit when I see the billboard of Sean Hannity on the way to work every day, I'd merely curl my lip in distaste if I saw Michael Moore up there. So, by that standard, I'd say I'm a liberal.
Until I started reading The Huffington Post
. Which I'd say is perhaps a bit liberal in its views. And, for the most part, I want nothing to do with these people. Harry Shearer, yes, I read him closely. But so much of it is awful I read it more for the cringe factor. It isn't even the content that's terrible--the layout is a mess, and if you want to read an entire post you first have to click a link that says "read whole post", which kicks you back to the beginning of the piece and allows you to discover, incredibly, that the paragraph you read before clicking the link was taken out of sequence. OK, so you're starting from scratch, you get to the part you read at the beginning...and there's ANOTHER link for "read whole post". And again you start back at the beginning and have to scroll down an hopefully find where you left off before. I read something the epoyomous Arianna Huffington wrote and after I clicked the third goddam link I found that there was just one sentence that hadn't made it above the virtual fold. Why the hell make it so hard? Especially when I so often find I don't want to keep reading more than a few sentence in the first place.
My favorite HuffPost writer, other than Shearer, is Danielle Crittenden, who is one of their few conservative voices and is married to former Bush speechwriter David Frum. I read everything Crittenden writes, from start to finish, because she may be the least-funny "humorist" on the planet. I think I left a comment after one of her posts and said that she's about as funny as a sprained ankle. She's a treasure. If you ever see a dead horse by the side of the road, and you see a woman beating it with a stick, that's Ms. Crittenden. She's written two novels, I think, so I may have to hit the library and pick them up. It's odd, I don't enjoy watching horrible TV shows or horrible movies for the campiness or, indeed, the cringiness, but I love reading awful writing that is presented as well-intentioned prose. I love reading it almost as much as I love writing it.