Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dustin Brown on Michal Rozsival: Dirty Hit or Incidental Contact?

Dustin Brown Knees Michal Rozsival

I felt a huge adrenaline surge and a level of ecstacy I haven't felt since... when I woke up and found out the Los Angeles Kings had won their Western Conference Final series against the Phoenix Coyotes the night previous. I was proud of a team who had, for the most part, stayed away from cheap shots, dirty hits and diving in these playoffs. In other words, they were winning the right way.

Then I turned on SportsCentre and heard all the chatter about Dustin Brown's knee-on-knee collision with Michal Rozsival literally one play before the end of the game and couldn't help but feel a bit let down because my team had lost some honour by taking out an opponent with a dirty play.

But then I watched the replay of the hit. And watched it again and again. And listened to commentary from a multitude of sources on this incident: TSN, Sportsnet, NBC. And I can't help but have mixed feelings about this whole affair.

Dustin Brown, I will concede, is at fault for two things on this play. There is no doubt that the Kings captain hit Rozsival after the whistle had blown, as the Coyotes were offside at L.A.'s blueline. Brown only hit him a fraction of a second after the referee stopped play, yes, but Brown is fully responsible for his own body and not hitting players late. I will also admit that Dustin Brown left his leg out on the check. It was sticking out at an angle where it could and did do damage to an opponent in a collision. I'm not sure if that was deliberate or if it was just out because of how he was skating towards the Coyotes' forward, but it was out there.

On the other hand, there are a couple points I'd like to make in Dustin Brown's defence. First of all, he did hit Michal Rozsival's arm and shoulder, too, making it seem to me like Brown was aiming high and not at Rozsival's knee. The other is that the Kings' captain didn't move his leg towards the Phoenix forward's knee before or during the collision, so perhaps the contact was incidental. Brown did have his leg way out in a dangerous spot the whole time, but it didn't look like he did anything to target Rozsival's leg.

Do I think Dustin Brown plays on the edge and can cross the line sometimes? Yes? Do I think that elements of the hit on Michal Rozsival were cheap and dirty? Absolutely. Do I think Brown targeted Rozsival's knee deliberately and tried to put him out? No. Do I think Brown should have gotten a penalty or suspension? A minor penalty, maybe, but certainly not a suspension.

Either way, this happened on the very next play...

and the Los Angeles Kings are off to the Stanley Cup Final for the first and only time since 1993. I have loved this team since 1989 and am proud of their accomplishments this post season. What a great underdog story and no amount of bitterness from Shane Doan is going to change the fact that LA was the better team against Phoenix, or Vancouver or St. Louis for that matter.

Go Kings Go! Bring your first Cup home to California this year!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

France and Greece Reject Austerity

I am breathing a breath of fresh air after the French and Greek elections last Sunday. I'm not saying that the results were completely positive, but it is clear that the people of both countries unequivocally rejected austerity and making the middle and lower classes pay so that the rich can hang on to their wealth. I am especially happy that Hollande and the left-wing socialist party won in France.

The news in Greece is more mixed unfortunately. The vote was split between a few parties, who will now try to form a coalition. A lefty block ruling the country wouldn't be bad, but it's scare that the far right is gaining in popularity. The Neo-Nazi party New Dawn scares the bejeezus out of me and it's even more frightening that they got 7% of the vote. How anyone can vote for a nazi party in the modern world is beyond me, even during a severe economic depression.

It's scary, but this whole thing is reminding me of the 1930's, as struggling countries are becoming more nationalist and xenophobic and are electing insane right-wing parties who promise to fight back against the world. They are playing on the fear of people and appealing to the worst instincts of humanity!! This led to World War II last time, which was the only thing that got the world out of the depression: SPENDING on war machines. Let's hope it doesn't come to that again and governments realize that smart spending and tax reform now will end the problem without the need of bloodshed.

Below is more coverage on the French and Greek elections in video format.

French Election Results

Greek Election Results

Friday, May 04, 2012

You Don't Say... May 4, 2012

I'm not saying I listened to the Beastie Boys every second of every day, but their music is important to the history of rock and rap and Adam Yauch (MCA) will be missed. Rest in peace. Hopefully he is continuing the fight for his right to party in heaven now.

Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right (To Party)

I'm not saying that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale had the right to snoop around the Mayor's home on Wednesday night, but Rob Ford needs to chill out and pick on people his own size. Daniel Dale says he was just checking out the property next to Ford's house that the Mayor wants to buy and Ford says Dale was standing on cinder blocks, jumping over his fence and peering into his house. We will never know the whole, unadulterated truth and both men could have acted differently, but it is especially unbecoming of the Mayor of Toronto to be cornering a small, meek man and threatening to hand him his ass on a silver platter. His tantrums and brutish behaviour are getting him international attention. A CBC News video on the story is below.

And here is a link to a BBC story on Toronto's Mayor and his love of bicycles:

The man is managing to make Silvio Berlusconi look good!!

I'm not saying that a lot of money should be spent to save Captain John's floating restaurant on Toronto' waterfront, but it will be a shame to see the iconic ship disappear from the city's landscape. It has been there since 1975, but doesn't seem to fit into the city's vision of the waterfront of tomorrow.

I'm not saying I would spit in his face if I saw him, but I am not really happy having Conrad Black back in the country. Is anybody happy about this? Canada's own Rupert Murdoch-esque disgraced media mogul was given a 1-year temporary residence permit to come back to Canada after serving his sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice. He gave up his Canadian citizenship long ago and would not have been allowed back in the country without the permit, as he now has quite the criminal record.