Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Winter Classic - The Most Overrated Sporting Event In History

I love the sport of hockey.

I love the Chicago Blackhawks.

It's absolutely amazing the turn-around the Blackhawks have made since the death of Williams Wirtz.

Then came this "Winter Classic" idea at Wrigley Field from the NHL and the Hawks.

At first, I was in awe like most everyone else. I thought the idea of outdoor ice hockey at Wrigley Field was a cool idea and would be a grand spectacle for the entire city to share in.

Now that the details and ice have begun to surface....I've changed my mind about the whole event.

This isn't a spectacle for the city....this isn't about the revamping of the Blackhawks....this isn't a "Winter Classic"......what's so classical about the 3rd ever outdoor NHL hockey game in history? I think when you say have to have done it more than the last 2 years. Hell...the first time the NHL tried outdoor hockey....did anyone notice or tune in?? The best team in the NHL this season is the San Jose Sharks.....will they ever host a "Winter Classic?" Of course not.....they can't. The average temp in early Jan. is mid 50's for San way you can keep ice solid in that kind of weather. This is a game that counts in the standings....but does the average fan have a shot at going to this fan friendly event? Nope.

The NHL ran the ticket sales for this's the FAQ sheet on getting tickets for the game from the Blackhawks website (

Question #1: I am a current Blackhawks full season ticketholder. Will I have tickets to the game?

The Blackhawks are proud to be able to offer current season ticketholders -- and new season ticketholders, based on availability -- the right to purchase tickets for the Winter Classic. Season ticketholders will be able to purchase up to the same number of tickets to the Winter Classic as they hold for the rest of the season, subject to any ticket limit set by the NHL.


2008-09 Price
300-Level Tickets:Sections 304-308, 310-314, 321-331, Rows 8-17; Sec. 301-303, 332-334, Rows 13-17
300-Level Tickets:Sections 304-314, 321-331, Rows 1-7; Sec. 301-303, 315-320, 332-334, Rows 8-12
300-Level Tickets:Sections 301-303, 315-320, 332-334, Rows 1-7
Lexus Club Level (200-Level) Tickets:Sections 204-214, 221-231, Rows 1-8
Lexus Club Level (200-Level) Prime:Sections 201-203, 215-220, 232-234, Rows 1-8
100-Level Tickets:Sections 103-104, 108-109, 114-115, 119-120, Rows 3-19; Sections 105-107, 116-118, Rows 12-19
100-Level Prime Tickets:All Sections, Row 2; Sections 101-102, 110-113, 121-122, Rows 2-19; Sections 105-107, 116-118, Rows 2-11
Platinum 100-Level Tickets:All Sections Glass Seats, Row 1

So, it'll at least cost you $660 dollars to have a SHOT at getting Winter Classic tickets. Season ticket holders of the Blackhawks only have a SHOT at getting tickets to this game. The people who have stuck with the Hawks through the dark days of this current century....who have supported the once "worst franchise in professional sports" only have a SHOT at going to his "historic" event.

Single Game Tickets.....NOT SOLD TO THE PUBLIC.

And if you wanna even try getting tickets on stubhub or any other ticket service....hope you have an American Express Black Card. Prices range from 200.00 to 15,000.00 a ticket.

For a league that is trying to reclaim it's image (post-strike) and get new young fans to watch the game and enjoy the game.....this isn't exactly the way you wanna celebrate the game by outpricing it for the average Blackhawk fan to even attend. A stadium full of sponsors and season ticket holders isn't the way to promote your game.

So, when you see sponsor after sponsor flashed on your screen and painted on the ice and boards as well as the ivy on the walls of "historic" Wrigley Field as rich corporate america smiles and waves at you from the stands.....remember all in all.........

It's Just A Fucking Hockey Game.


Why I Think Slammin' Sammy Would Be South Side Sosalicious!!!

Slammin' Sammy wants back in MLB....but will anyone in MLB call Sosa?

That's a question worth looking at if say you're the Chicago White Sox in particular.


But the White Sox should look to Sosa as an option if they do decide to trade Dye in the remaining offseason. The word is the Angels and Sox are peas in a pod this offseason because the Angels got out of the Teixeira sweepstakes and are without a firstbaseman.

SIDE NOTE: How the hell does Mark Teixeira get an 8 yr/180 million dollar contract? Didn't know he was in the same conversation with A-Rod and Manny.

Say the Sox trade Dye...the rumor is they're looking into aquiring Bobby Abreu who's looking for a 3 yr/45 million dollar deal. Why not try a year out with Sosa?

This is Sammy Sosa (40 yrs old) who is the only player in MLB history to hit 60+ home runs in three straight seasons. This is Sammy Sosa, one of only six players in history to hit over 600 home runs in their career. He's a natual right fielder with a career .974 fielding percentage which is a little under Jermaine Dye's career percentage. 2 years ago when few teams gave him a look...the Texas Rangers signed Sosa to a $500,000 minor league deal and got a .252 avg with 21 hr and 92 rbi's that season for half a million dollars.

With the way the Sox have been cutting payroll by getting rid of Javier Vazquez and Nick Swisher's contracts....this would be a perfect opportunity for the Sox to get something for Dye and fill his role with a proven fielder and power hitter in right fielder for cheap. Sammy on the south side would be an interesting story as he plays for his former teammate Ozzie Guillen....but I think when all the options are put on the table for Kenny Williams to make a move for Dye (again....if inclined).....he's gotta take a strong look at Sammy Sosa.

No boombox....just Sosa!!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Top 5 Albums of 2008

First off, I'd like to admit that between getting married and becoming a first time father....I didn't have as much time to keep up with music as much as I would have in the past.

So, as I do every year for all 6 of you to are my top 5 albums of the year 2008.



Maybe it's the fact that Say It Aint So is the first song on Rock Band or maybe my tastes in music are softening a little bit. Weezer like a fungus has grown on me and I appreciate their toetapping sort of rock and roll. The drums are particular my favorite part of their music. Nothing too complicated and it makes for feel good music. THE RED ALBUM is a front to back kind of album, meaning you can listen to it front to back and enjoy it throughout. Favorite tracks include "Pork And Beans" "Heart Songs" and "Everybody Get Dangerous."



I've been a Slipknot fan in the inception of their self titled debut but have always felt that with the help and assistance of Rick Rubin on Vol. III that they've never been the same. Slipknot is supposed to play fast agressive hard to understand music....that's SLIPKNOT!! This album may be a return to the Slipknot of old mixing in elements of Vol. III that were the better parts. Overall the first couple of times it's a tough listen, but it grows on you the more you listen to it.



Every family's favorite rock and roll band finally released a cd after a long hiatus of 8 years. Black Ice is exactly what you've come to expect from AC/DC...high energy rock and roll with alot of sing-a-long chorus type songs. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it.....but as I stated in a previous blog it's just the same ol sound on almost every song. It's a nice family friendly return for the Aussies being that they exclusively sold the cd at Wal-Mart instead of other big box stores. Meaning they sold a shit load of albums...but even if it sounds all the same, even if it's a bunch of 50 year old guys living off 20+ years ago of their better's still AC/DC and the #3 album of the year.



Their 4th album in 8 years....Trivium keep changing their sound from fast agressive screaming type of music to melodic thrash metal and now it's a combo of the two. I like this album because it came out without the hype, without the buildup and without all the "pregame" bullshit that "The Crusade" had. The whole album is a throwback to the "Ascendency" days with some new twists and turns. It's a very challenging album with the tempo changes but it's a very well done piece. This album also goes back to the days of when the whole band recorded songs together as opposed to the "PRO TOOLS" days of now where you can record everything separately and put it all together. I love this album, i love this band.....make no mistake Shogun is a great thrash album.



OK....MAYBE A LITTLE PLAYING FAVORITES RIGHT HERE. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a huge MetallicA fan and this album for me was a big highlight of my year. It's 4 guys who are trying to recreate the past and through 10 tracks of 6-7 minute songs....they got pretty damn close. This is a modern Metallica with old school efforts. This album is what St. Anger should have been....although I still stand that St. Anger is one MetallicA album that I can appreciate. There are songs on here that recall days of Puppets/Justice/and Kill Em All and the entire cd makes you wait for what's coming up next. Each song is strong, balls out agression and keeps you hooked in for more. There is only one song on here that I might have left out..."UNFORGIVEN III. I think MetallicA was looking for a way to close out the whole "Unforgiven" series and they choose this album as a new beginning for the new Metallica. Overall, this is my favorite band and my favorite album of 2008. It's good to know that Metallica are once again doing whatever they can for the fans to enjoy their music once again.



Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Which Bands Deserve A Guitar Hero Game??

In case you haven't heard...Guitar Hero: MetallicA is due to come out in 2009 (see video).

I'm extremely excited about this and probably will spend the 100+ dollars for the whole setup when it comes out. What better way to teach my kid the way of the Mighty Met than have him use a tool he can relate with....Playstation 3.
But this news made me think with the success of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and the excitment building over GH:Metallica.....what other bands deserve a GH game of their own?
Now of course, you need bands with history and a long track list.....meaning Fall Out Boy is out of the question.
You need a band that has had excellent record sales over their Guns And Roses is out. **BTW..did you see the numbers sold on Chinese Democracy....ouch!!**
You also need a band that is not only trendy for early 30 year need one that is trendy with kids 12+ as well.
So, here's 5 bands that I feel deserve a GH game of their own:

Admit it!!! You know Blink 182 music. You know their videos. You know everytime you hear "All The Small Things" sing along. You know that at most sporting event they play "Dammit" on the speaker system.

Did you know though that every major label album they've released went platinum (1,000,000 units sold) and they've had 10 singles in the top 10 on the modern rock charts.
Overall, their music is fun and fast paced. Very little "ballad" types and I personally would enjoy playing "The Rock Show" while making it rain with dollar bills.
Bon Jovi is easily the most requested band at any karaoke. From "Livin On A Prayer" to "Have A Nice Day"...their career spans well over 25 years.

They appeal of course to the 30 somethings who's adolescense was filled with Bon Jovi songs to the younger kids of now who see Jon Bon Jovi in the AFL and even to kids who watch CMT. Jon Bon Jovi is still cool to kids and a game would fit the GH label for sure.

Korn still are the kings of the so called "Nu-Metal" and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. From their debut album in 1994 to now, even handling many lineup changes...they're still around making dark funky metal music.
You know a KoRn video game would do well because even though many that have grown up with KoRn have noticed how much different their music is's still a hit with kids today because of it's dark tones and sense of struggle lyrics.

Plus KoRn have always been the ones to try new things with technology and a video game based around them would be easily promoted through multiple outlets. Sometimes it tough to get a band involved in promotion...this is one I'm sure they'd enjoy.

OK...don't start with the whole:

Pantera is one of those bands that people know and they fit the mold I talked about earlier.

People in their 30's know them as well as young kids.
Record Sales: 5 platinum albums (1 of which is a greatest hits album)
Long track list: "Mouth For War" "Walk" "5 Min Alone" "I'm Broken" "Cowboys From Hell" "Cemetary Gates"...etc.

Pearl Jam...the only surviving band of the "grunge" era where if you wore flannel and has long hair singing about depressing issues of real sold albums!!
Influencial = yes
Record Sales = yes
Track Listing = yes
I'll admit I'm not a big fan of PJ, but I respect how they've lasted through the nu-metal/hip hop/and nu-punk eras of the last 10-15 years in music.
They tour relentlessly and keep making album after album. 60 million sold worldwide and they keep em coming on a consistant basis.
Pearl Jam would probably be the best fit for the next GH game if they decide to continue making games around band's careers.
Anyway you look at it....the concept of making a game around a band and how their career progressed is an outstanding way for younger kids to learn about how bands of today are just as legendary of those in the 60's/70's that their parents insist is when music was music and today's bands are nothing like those of the past.
The debate will continue long past you and me are gone.

Barry Melrose...(like the rock report)....Speak Tha Truth!!!

The one thing I've always respected about Barry Melrose as an NHL analyst is that he never hides from his opinion and feelings. Much like the "Rock Report"....he speaks the truth!!!

Melrose was recently fired from his head coaching position of the Tampa Bay Lightning (remember when they won the Stanley Cup...2003-04) because of the 'nings' stellar 5-7-4 record with Melrose at the helm. The organization called the results "unacceptable" and fired Melrose who hadn't coached in the NHL since 1995 and hoped it would send a message to the players to play better.

Melrose recently was on 590 The Fan in Toronto as stated the following when asked about Tampa winning only one of their last eleven since being let go if if gave him glee or not:

" "I'm not going to lie to you, yeah it does, and any coach who tells you otherwise is a liar," Melrose said, adding, "I hope Tampa Bay doesn't win a game in the next year."

I love it!!!

Unlike a lot of former head coaches/players...Melrose isn't afraid to speak his mind when people ask him questions about former employers. I'm sure if the show would have dived into the issue further he would maybe told some revealing problems with maybe why the Ning have only won a game since him being let go. Maybe some personal problems some of the players might be having accounting to their horrible play, or call out management for having unrealistic goals or such for the team.

But now the story has taken a new twist. According to (CSN of Canada) the Lightning are contemplating filing a charge with the NHL for breach of contract because of Melrose's comments and so forth allowing the Ning to not pay 2.25 million owed to Melrose on his 3 yr deal he signed in June.

Yeah, in today's economy that is a lot of money....but do you honestly think that Barry Melrose wants their money?? I would think HELL NO.

Why would Melrose make such comments if he needed the money from the Ning. That's like me going to the papers about how much I despise working at the Score and that I hope we lose every book to Mike and Mike.

Melrose doesn't need the money....he's been the only REAL (sorry E.J.) hockey analyst that ESPN has ever had and I'm pretty sure they pay him a nice lump sum every year to show up once a day on sportscenter and maybe an appearance on First Take or whatever. Melrose doesn't need their money and shouldn't be afraid from commenting on anything he's asked about.

The comments alone make me think as well that there has to be something else behind his firing. Yeah a 2 game under .500 record isn't anything to write home about, but after finishing with 71 points and tied for the worst point total in the NHL last year.....what's realistic? Finishing in the top 8 in the conference may be a couple of years away rather than now.

The Ning probably will file the charge and win it, but I find it funny that in a day and age of everyone having an opinion (blogs/myspace/facebook/twitter/etc.).....Tampa Bay can't take the opinion of one disgruntled employee. He's not leading a march or's just one mans opinion.....and it's gonna be worth millions!!!!

Respect the mullet......


Side note: Who's got the better mullet??

Sunday, December 7, 2008

On My Friend Fred Huebner......

In case you don't know what happened on Friday, the Score and CBS Radio let go of 16 year veteran broadcaster Fred Huebner. He was not an original member of the station per say, but was there very close to the inception of the Score.
Fred has done everything on-air from hosting to his recent duty of daily sports updates. He was the Bears pre-game host as well as co-host for morning shows with Mike Murphy and the recently departed Mike North.
When I entered the doors of the Score in 2002, I was an intern for the Murph and Fred Morning Show with Matt Abbatacola and Laurence Holmes at the producer role. I never felt more welcome by an on-air personality at the station than by Fred Huebner. Maybe it was that we were both fans of the Chicago White Sox. Maybe it was I saw alot of what I believe I could be in him....a #2 that isn't afraid to share his opinion.
Overall, Fred was one of the good guys at the station. With the locker room mentality of the score with egos running rampant, Fred was always that middle of the road, straight center, nice guy that would do anything for ya. I'm sure some people may disagree with me, but I cherrish the years we worked side by side whether it be on M&F or MNMS and those will be times I will never forget. Celebrating a world series championship together as fans and him introducing me to guiness and soccer as well as some great times in Boston and who can forget Wild Card Weekend (which I'm looking forward to come Jan.).......working with Fred Huebner was indeed a joy. I will miss seeing him at the station on a daily basis, and I know he'll land on his feet.
Thank you Fred.

Remember The Past....

Remember Pearl Harbor

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones....But Sean Avery's Words Lead To Suspensions?? WTF??

For those that have been in a hole about the NHL the past couple of years...(let's face it, that's most of the country)....Sean Avery is a forward currently for the Dallas Stars and is known around the league as an asshole. No censorship here!!!

He is hockey is what is known as an instigator meaning his job is to try to get underneath the skin of his opponents where they hence to do something stupid to cost the game. His mouth has gotten him in trouble before, here's some examples:

1. While a member of the Los Angeles Kings...he was quoted about then Coyotes defenseman Denis Gautheir saying "it's typical of most French guys in our league to wear a visor on their helmet."

2. Also as a member as the Kings, he was accused by Oilers RW Georges Laraque of using a racial slur during a game. Laraque is an african american hockey player still in Edmonton.

3. As a member of the NY Rangers....he was rumored to use Maple Leafs' winger Jason Blake cancer as part of trash talk during a game. Avery sued the source of the rumor for Libel.

This guy is a major throbbing prick....period....not a good guy in the league. Yesterday however the NHL suspended Avery for these comments about his former girlfriend actress Elisha Cuthbert (see below)!!!

The NHL suspended Avery indefinitely for those comments saying that it was "conduct detrimental to the league and to the game of hockey."

I didn't know a league that promotes fighting in games all of a sudden has the right to punish a player for words that are yes....insulting....but not vulgar in any way.

I didn't know a league where if you can nail a guy over the head with a wooden stick gets you a 2 min penalty and no fine all of a sudden has to be the politically correct police.

The funny thing is I would have been fine if THE TEAM handled this.....but the big bad NHL won't stand for a guy (who a major asshole) making "sloppy seconds" references to women....they gotta step in with the iron fist and lay down the law.

How are these words detrimental to the game also?? This is an off-ice issue at best and I'm sure the game will go on with or without Sean Avery. You think people who watch hockey or go to the games are not going to go because Sean Avery thinks that players love his sloppy seconds.

Quite frankly....I'd take sloppy 1000ths for Cuthbert. Are you kidding me? This guy is a hockey player, fashion model and he's enjoying some of the hottest women in the world. This man should have a bust in the hall of fame just for that.

I look at it this way....if the NHL is ok with fighting....why not play him and see if one of the goons around the league wanna take some free shots at this clown. That would be good for the game....right?

All in there a double standard?? Ah....yeah!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


FOXSPORTS.COM is reporting that White Sox pitcher has been traded to the Atlanta Braves as part of a 5 player deal. Vazquez who the Sox traded for in 2005 after winning the world series finished with a career record of 38-36 and never really gave the Sox what they were looking for. However the Sox did sign Vazquez to a 3 yr/34 million dollar in March of 2007 which was strictly based of market value of a 8 yr vet. I always said that Vazquez isn't worth that much money although a work horse that gives you innings and is consistantly in the top 10 in strikeouts.

This is the first major move in what I hope is what Kenny Williams is aiming for this offseason....and that is BUILD FOR THE FUTURE!!!

I understand that in today's game...there is a sense of "Win Now And Do Whatever It Takes." Here's the thing though...the Sox are an aging bunch of old tired talent that rely too much on their past and their name....(cough........Ken Griffey Jr anyone??)

The Sox farm system according to everything I've read isn't exactly booming with propects and talented kids and this move may be the first of a few where Williams starts to build up his minors a little and looks towards 2-3 years down the road instead of trying to beat Min/Clev next year.

Looking at the Sox remaining starters...
1. Mark Buehrle - Heading into his 10th major league season and coming off a nice 15-12 mark with a sub-4 ERA.....he is now the ace again. I said the Sox should have signed Buehrle not to have a consistant left handed starter....not to have another career White Sox player....but for his effect on young Jon Danks. If last year showed us showed how Buehrle and Danks gelled together as not only teammates but as mentor and student.

2. John Danks - 12-9 3.39 era....unbelieveable....and looking forward to more. Put Buehrle at the 1, Danks at the 3......could be a lethal combo come 2009.

3. Gavin Floyd - Anyone missing Freddy Garcia?? 17-8 with a 3.83 era last season.....awesome. Remember he had 2-3 games where he took no hitters into the 6-7th inning. Next year could be a big year for Danks and Floyd financially. If they both put up stellar years, could be a short lived career in Chicago.....Hopefully not.

4. Jose Contreras?? - Started 20 games, DL twice and of course that horrible achielles tendon injury. I don't think we'll ever see the old Jose Jose Jose that we saw in 05-06 ever again. This guy was unhittable at one point in those do we even know if he can ever pitch again?? Isn't he like 50 years old......?? 37 my ass.

5. Clayton Richard - I'll admit I wasn't big on this kid, but the later in the season it got and the more experience he got his belt....he turned out alright. I'd like to see Clayton as a #5 still, not ready for the #4 quite yet. But either way, if he can pitch like he did in New York in his last official start of 08.....Sox could get 10 wins out of this kid next year.

The Sox Needs:
1. Up the middle.......CF NEEDED...APPLY HERE!!!
- The Sox got rid of Swisher Sweets sending his ass to NYY (have fun with the media out there buddy!!!). Does this open the door for Jerry Owens?? First guess is YES....but then again, unproven and needs to be addressed.

2. Second base......Who The Fuck Is Jayson Nix??
- With Juan Uribe a free agent, and the Sox not even considering signing Joe may think the hot corner is the #1 need in the infield. Josh Fields I think was in "competition" for Crede's job in spring training last year...I expect Fields to get the job. As far as's all the real hole is 2B. Jayson Nix hit .125 in the bigs last year before being sent back down to the minors. The Sox have had success signing players from Colorado....Uribe was originally with the Rockies in 2004.

3. BULLPEN BULLPEN BULLPEN.....same thing every year. Good teams don't win unless they have a good bullpen. I hope the Sox keep Jenks and Linebrink together, but they need to fill the holes elsewhere. Wasserman is fun to watch.............until they hit him.

All in all, like the move......hopefully much more to come!!