Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another wonderful day in Bristow

Yesterday we (my nulear family - me, wife Cindy & son Chris) spent a lovely relaxing day at home. We were going to spend it in Mrytle Beach with Cindy's family but Chris started a new part time job recently at Best Buy and had to work today. It was fun seeing him being the one who had to get up early - they opened at 5AM this morning, but I digress. We had a wonderful dinner, I roasted a 9# Turkey and Cindy made all the usual "fixins" - string bean casserole and baked yams and pineapple with marshmellows on top. We relaxed and I planned our annual "holiday bash" which we'll host on Saturda.y December 8th. Now it's back to work - I have to get several things done before next week starts.

The usual football games were fun to watch yesterday - isn't Brett Farve just awesome to watch. The Packers this year certainly are on a roll as are the Colts - well given Michigan, Notre Dame and the craziness in the Big 10 at least the Pro Teams are providin mid-western football fans with a spark, eh? The Packers, Colts, Cowboys and of course, the Patriots are all just so dominant this year. There's leassons to be learned watching them for business and sports - they stick to a system and execute as a team. Oh and while I'm on the subject in the NFL there's no way to run or not run "up" the score. Let me ask you this - when you shell out what will be $200+ bucks for seats, parking, and a bottle of something to drink, do you really want to see the second and third string for 1/2 the game? Well, if you do - "we just disagree" - especially before the last game or two of the season when a team has things "locked. But I digress again.

I'll also watch the Caps-Flyers game today with great interest, as I suspect most Caps fan will. Tarik's blog yesterday was a surprise (that he did a post as well as the contents). I saw lots of banter in the blogsphere, from the malcontents, who still think the answer is to sack George McPhee as well as Craig Patrick in some cases. I think one conclusion is premature and the other is just a dumb statement. The issues to date don't seem to be a lack of enough talented players, IMHO. I look at the recent past - the last 10 games - and don't see the chemistry and discipline there like they were the first three. Putting things in place so the talented players on the team play in a motivated but disciplined manner so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts is the responsibility of the coaching staff, and at the pro level, the experienced players. From Tarik's blog it sure sounds like Boudreau understands that and will drive it home to the younger players on the team. I also think as a former NHL player he'll understand the feelings of the older more experienced guys like Olie and Chris Clark so I'm taking a position of gaurded optimism. I don't expect things overnight but I do expect folks to drive harder through all 20 minutes of all 3 periods. If nothing else the extra laps for various mistakes in practice can only improve stamina in the long run.

Relative to the comments related to Craig Patrick, I think they are ignorant and dumb. I understand that Ted Leonsis is the majority owner but he has partners and one of them is Craig Patrick. I seriously doubt he picked any of his partners lightly, including Patrick. Mr. Patrick grew up in a family with a solid NHL pedigree, some will scream that doesn't mean anything. My response is talk to folks who are rabid Clemson Football fans and see if they don't think their head coach learned anything over the dinner table growing up. There's plenty of other good examples as well. These issues aren't solely anybody's fault; one recurring theme the blogs allude to have merit - the big mistake on the Jagr extension which the Caps are still literally paying for. It's like the Texas Rangers who also had to be breathing a sigh of relief when A-Rod opted out of his "Yankees" contract this year. Welcome to the era of the salary cap - back when the "Jagr Mistake" was made it was early in the current socio-economic world of today's NHL and "shoulda, woulda, coulda" doesn't get anyone anywhere. Let's move on, I'm sure Glen Hanlon will and do well; I'm sure the Caps Ownership, Management and Players will - they live in the real visceral world where you have to do that - we fans here in "cyberspace" need to move on as well. If you're a real geek I say: clear out the buffers; flush the algorithmic filters and start anew.

If 10 to 20 games from now you still want Ted Leonsis to sack McPhee or buy out Craig Patrick; get 10 or 20 friends and buy a bunch of tickets; go to a couple games and scream a chant about it. Remember at my heart, I'm a boy from Philadelphia, growing up even when the Eagles or Phillies had horrible seasons we still had fairly good PAID attendance figures - we just gave both our own teams AND the opponents a hard time verbally. Watching Steve Carlton throw a near perfect game in a really imperfect season was still a better way to spend an evening than sitting at home. One other note on that, when I was growing up and we shouted our discontent in public, we managed to tell people to stick it without that much hardcore profanity. I've never heard that much bad language at the Verizon Center; but several years ago, I stopped taking my then 10/11 yo son to FedEx Field when I was up in the 400 level and a whole section of drunks were really, really vile in the description of what they wanted Norv Turner to do by/to himself. That was my last game with him for a long time because I didn't want to subject my son to that environment. (Please put this in context and remember this isn't coming from a "prude" I'm a Merchant Mariner and there's a reason for the cliche' "swear like a sailor".)

One last set of thoughts and comments about a really class act that was rightfully sacked yesterday. I think it's really ignorant and yes - stupid - to not agree and admit that Hanlon is a driven guy and solid coach. He was an NHL player - actually a goalie - for many years; to compete at the highest level of your sport you have to be a special person both physically and mentally. But to be a goalkeeper in any sport - soccer; lacrosse; or hockey - you have to be so mentally tough and competitive - the description "Type A" has to be understatement. Yes it's true, the last two months have been painful for us fans to watch; but I cannot accept it was because of lack of drive, desire or intensity on Hanlon's part. He and this team are just at a juncture where a new set of eyes and fresh approach are needed. I have no doubt Glen Hanlon will be back at the helm of an NHL club and do well soon. We should wish him well, thank him for three solid years, and we should let the dust on this change settle before we get ahead of ourselves on calling for other wholesale changes.

Now back to work, lunch break is over.

1 comment:

DMG said...

Yes, yes, yes, McPhee has not been the problem. Thank you! He has done a solid job getting talent players given his constraints.