Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From King David, To King Solomon, To King James?

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts lately, it's been a busty few weeks between work and the holidays.

Word on the street is that Lebron James will be a part of Time Magazine's newest "Time 100" edition, which essentially ranks the most influential people in the world. For that article they asked him which person not already on the list he would most like to see added.

His response, Jay Schottenstein...umm, who?

Well, for those of you who don't know, Schottenstein is an Ohio businessman who funded the Artscroll's translation of the Jewish Talmud into English, French and Hebrew (from it's original Aramaic). The Schottenstein Talmud is read by more than two million people worldwide and is one of the most popular editions available.

But how is he connected to Lebron James?

Jewish blogs such as The Jewish Journal and Heeb are going crazy with speculation that James might be considering a move to the tribe. While that kind of conjecture might be a little premature, it's interesting that of all the people Lebron could have chosen to answer with, Schottenstein would be his choice and the translations would be his reason.

Though it stands to reason that having grown up and played his entire career to this point in Ohio would have led the high-profile James to meet with Schottenstein, it's puzzling how he, of all people, has had such an impact on the life of this 6"8 megastar.

Maybe James has been trading brisket recipes with Jordan Farmar, the only Jewish basketball player currently in the league (according to my research anyways).

Hey, if James does decide to convert, let me be the first to wish him a Mazal Tov. I'll bring a bottle of Manischevitz to his bris.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TSN No Edit Theys Headlines

Hidden in this awful, awful mess of a headline is actually an interesting story about how the Rogers Center lost its liquor license for two games this season because of violations from last year. The first game of the punishment is tonight versus the Detroit Tigers where the entire stadium will be dry. One Argos game will also be dry this coming season.

Monday, April 6, 2009

You Think We Have Rivalries In North America...?

From Bogota, Columbia:

A Colombian soccer player was knocked unconscious before a game when he was hit by a rock thrown by a fan of a rival team.

Deportivo Cali defender Juan Guillermo Dominguez was treated for head injuries and released from a hospital Monday, one day after Millonarios supporters threw bottles, bricks and stones at Cali's team bus before a Colombian league match...

...Dominguez said the crowd hurled objects at the bus about 200 metres from the stadium. He was knocked unconscious for five minutes and was taken straight to the hospital with a piece of glass lodged in his eye. (TSN)

Glass lodged in his eye?? Can you imagine how the world would be turned upside down if Tom Brady got stoned upside the head before a game against the Jets!?!

The doctors go on the say Dominguez will be out of action for five days....I'm pretty sure that's how long it takes Vince Carter to recover from a hangnail.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Saga Continues...

In my inbox this morning I received a press release from TSN. This isn't an unusual thing as they normally send out a few of them per week and most of the time they are of little consequence to me, either telling me how great the ratings are, or that a certain game is not to be missed tonight. But this particular email contained one sentence that piqued my attention and was extremely unwelcomed:

TSN2 is home to exclusive NHL playoff action in April.

Those 10 words have the potential to change my life.

This is news I've been dreading for months. Ever since TSN2 began broadcasting last August they have been in a constant state of bicker with Rogers (the largest cable company in Canada) over how to get the channel onto their lineup. With no agreement having been made up to this point I have missed out on countless number of NBA, NHL, golf, tennis and other sporting events - all this, despite paying for the Super Sports Pack which allegedly gives you access to all the games (local games are blacked out and since technically TSN2 is a local channel, those are games I miss.) I have called Rogers to complain on several locations and even been given a quite substantial refund on my money, but this is of little consolation since the games are still being missed.

I've been wondering for a little while now what TSN would do come playoff time. Would they deprive their Rogers viewers of an entire Stanley Cup Playoff series and put some games on TSN2? Last year, before the channel was introduced, if TSN had rights to two games in one night they would put the elite matchup on their flagship station and relegate the other game to its' digital alternative channel, a normally empty feed that went unused most of the week and was available for free for anyone with a digital cable box.

The news today that TSN2 will, in fact, be carrying playoff games will do one of two things...either be the final impetus needed for Rogers and TSN to strike a deal, or it will drive hundreds, if not thousands of Rogers customers to other cable companies that do have deals for TSN2 (Bell, Cogeco, Shaw, Star Choice...etc).

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who got this press release (what kind of publicity would it be if only I got it...?). Jason Kay, the Editor in Chief of The Hockey News has posted this excellent column on this very matter.

Here's an excerpt:

All season, I simmered as TSN2 and Rogers were unable to reach an agreement for the cable provider to carry the new channel. It prevented myself and thousands of other Centre Ice subscribers/Rogers customers from seeing a handful of games we thought we’d paid for, including the early-season re-match between last year's Stanley Cup finalists, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Now comes word TSN2 will be airing post-season games – though likely none involving Canadian teams – and still no pact with Rogers is imminent....

...Admittedly, I have options. Cancel my Rogers service and switch to Bell or Star Choice, an alternative I may consider. It may be an inconvenient solution for people who also have Rogers cell phones, home phones and Internet connections, but a viable one.

I could also get a life, put this into perspective and realize in the grand scope of humanity this is less than a non-issue.

But I’m not always that big a person. Sometimes I’m quite small, I want what I want, what I believe I am due, what I’ve paid for, what the constitution or Charter of Rights ought to guarantee me. I want cable justice!

Damn right! Here's to being small and petty and getting what we want!

Here's the number to call Rogers to complain (1-888 ROGERS-1) and here's the link again to the full article (THN).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breaking: Cutler to Chicago


The Bears payed a huge price for the young QB...

To acquire Cutler, the Bears had to give up quarterback Kyle Orton and first-round picks in 2009 and 2010, a source said.

To complete the trade, the Broncos had to give back an undisclosed draft choice in a later round.

....more will come either later tonight or tomorrow on the issue.

But this is a big deal for Chicago