Wake UP With Bree Williamson

July 31, 2008

SWBree Williamson born in Toronto!
A graduate of the University of Toronto, she has been playing the role of Jessica Buchanan on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live since February 5, 2003. I love her name, Bree, sounds so spread able, cheese like, that’s what I was talking about you know! Well Bree you’re more then welcome to come back to Toronna anytime, and we here at T.O. Sports would love to spread you, I mean inside the magazine, what were you guys thinking!

The Bargain Basement Veterans of Free Agency

July 31, 2008

by Bryan Thiel… Have you ever been to a garage sale late in the day? Chances are the sale’s been going for a few hours, all of the “quality” merchandise is gone, and the bargains have started coming out.

As you walk the driveway, you notice a box full of old records and start rummaging through it, hoping that you’ll find that one treasure that no one else was able to find.
Whatever it is—be it Elvis, ABBA, the BeeGees, or Queen—the moment it hits your hands, you know you’ve found your diamond in the rough, and a record that would sell for some outrageous price on the open market out of a retail outlet is yours for fifty cents.

That’s kind of what August is like for the NHL—by mid-July, a lot of the quality free agents are off the market, leaving teams to scrape around the bottom of the barrel, looking for players to fill out their roster and maybe find a quality character guy, or a player who could put up ten or fifteen goals.

So with August one day away, who are the best of the rest in NHL free agency this season? Well, the obvious answer is Brendan Shanahan, Teemu Selanne, and Mats Sundin. But obvious isn’t fun, so get ready to dig a little deeper and journey through some of the veterans remaining on the NHL free agency list.

Remember, this isn’t so much the “best of the rest” as it’s…well…the rest:

Glen Murray and Mark Parrish

We’re going to start the list off with recently bought-out forward Glen Murray―a former 30-goal scorer who became hindered by a defense-first system (and barring a waiver claim, Parrish will be bought out by Minnesota).

Teams may first shy away from Murray because of his age. At 35, the legs that propel that 6′3″, 215-lb. frame will start to slow, and his hands may not be as soft as they used to be. His numbers from last year (17 goals, 13 assists in 63 games) may not do much to diffuse his downward trend.

But don’t be fooled—Murray has proven to be one of the few big men that hasn’t been hindered by the lockout and the infusion of free-range hockey.

Despite last season’s less-than-stellar showing, Murray scored 24 and 28 goals in the years following the lockout. And if he had played in those extra 19 games he missed with a hip flexor injury last season, Murray could have easily broken the 20-goal barrier for the sixth straight year.

Thirty-five or not, a team in need of a big strong forward who has a nose for the net should eye up Murray, who was more of a cap casualty—making $4.15 million this season—than anything.

Speaking of cap casualties however, the Minnesota Wild seem to be ready to part ways with Mark Parrish, as they’ve waived the veteran forward who still has three years remaining on his contract.

At $2.65 million this season, a player of Parrish’s potential offensive output seemed to be a bargain by today’s standards, but the Wild didn’t think so.

Since signing with the Wild, it seemed that Parrish had trouble finding the net—or that Jacques Lemaire had trouble getting his team out of the neutral zone—as Parrish had two consecutive years with less than 20 goals.

To put that stat in perspective, the only season in the NHL before that which Parrish had fewer than 20 was in 1999 with the New York Islanders.

Parrish is still at a prime age for an NHL player (31), and surely has the ability to put the puck in the net if he can find himself a nice, offensively-minded system to settle  into.

Stephane Yelle

Some teams (specifically the younger, rebuilding teams) don’t need scoring as much as they need responsible, team-oriented, experienced players. This would be where Stephane Yelle comes in.

Yelle will never be a break-the-bank signing (he made $1.25 million last season), but in a lot of ways he’ll never get the recognition he should.

On younger teams, Yelle can teach the value of being responsible for your man, the importance of killing penalties, and the art of blocking shots. Having never been a goal scorer in the NHL, Yelle can also teach players the importance of what they’re doing when they aren’t scoring goals.

That, and he’s got a hard-earned Stanley Cup ring to boot.  If that doesn’t perk up the youngsters eyes and ears, they may want to consider a career as a realtor.

To be completely honest, if the Leafs weren’t already full-up on forwards, I’d push for them to sign Yelle. In fact, I’ve wanted to see him in Toronto for years.

But because he’s 34, and due to the way he plays the game, Yelle may not have a lot of years left in his career.   One has to wonder whether he’d take on a leadership role with a rebuilding team, or if he’d rather take on a lesser role with a winning team.
Either way though, some team is going to get a hell of a player.

Jassen Cullimore

Aside from his Stanley Cup ring, you may only know Jassen Cullimore as one of the players that the Montreal Canadiens were able to acquire from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Sergei Samsonov.

Cullimore isn’t worth much more than last years’ $535,000 salary anymore, but as an extra defenseman on a team looking for experience, you can’t really go wrong. That, and he was a plus-21 on the Florida Panthers last season

Martin Lapointe

Lapointe that played the Boston screwjob perfectly. Following a 27-goal season in 2000-01 with the Detroit Red Wings and two Stanley Cups in the mid-90’s, Lapointe went to Boston and watched his production dissipate while signed to a pricey, four-year contract.

Following a total of six goals last season (spent between Chicago and Ottawa), no one is going to sign Lapointe and expect point production. They’re going to expect a physical presence, some experience, and a two-way presence. He may be worth a training camp invite at this point in time.

Bryan Smolinski and Yanic Perreault

Neither player has blow-away offensive skills, but both can still win faceoffs at any point in the game.

The fact that Smolinski was unable to score in his final nine playoff games last season is a deterrent—although Perreault missed 21 of Chicago’s last 27 games last year due to injury.

If your team is looking for a faceoff specialist to play low-line minutes and there isn’t an NHL-ready player on the roster to fill that role, then these two are worth the consideration.

Needless to say, there are a lot of familiar names on here that may or may not have what it takes to play in NHL for a few more seasons.  There aren’t that many “no-name” free agents out there that I’d be willing to give an opportunity to win a spot on my favorite team, so the best strategy at this point in time is to fill from within.

That is, unless you’re hell-bent on your favorite team signing Jordan Sigalet, Prestin Ryan, or Jari Viuhkola. If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure they’re still taking contract offers.

Farrell Hockey: Passion Meets Performance, a review!

July 31, 2008

By Andrew Castaneda…

It is a rare opportunity in this lifetime to get the opportunity to meet someone you can truly respect, and when those instances do arise, they leave a very tangible mark on you.
Our modern society is obsessed with results, and we live in a time where the ends very much justify the means, regardless of implications. Bearing that in mind, true passion has almost become cliche as everyone who claims to have passion does so to conceal an almost total lack thereof.

Though this article very loosely relates to the NHL, I feel it is a story that truly defines what hockey is about, and more importantly so, exemplifies how determination and ingenuity can positively affect the game we love.

In the sleepy town of Walpole, Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from Boston, tucked far back in an unassuming red brick business park about a 10 minute drive from Gilette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots are the offices of Farrell Sports Concepts.

Subtlety notwithstanding, the building is almost an ironic juxtaposition to the unbridled creativity contained within the walls.

Started by Dan Farrell in 2001, the vision he had was quite simple: build a shoulder pad that reduces weight, increases range of motion, and most importantly, offers more protection for a game that gets faster and more aggressive every year. He accomplished this by going to the pros and major junior players before he even began production to get their input on what makes a good pair of shoulder pads. This, combined with a concept created by Farrell, referred to as Kinetic Energy Compression Chamber Technology where small foam cubes with a hole in the middle accept and disperse impact across the 4 sides of the cube evenly, allowed the company to manufacture what may be the most revolutionary innovation in protective gear for hockey since the introduction of foam.

Now, Farrell Hockey enjoys a strong reputation among major junior players, pro players, university players and trainers all over North America.

I recently had the opportunity to meet Dan Farrell, and get the tour of his facilities before joining him and a few of his Farrell counterparts to catch a few games at the Chowder Cup tournament, an annual showcase of some of the best junior age players in North America.

In meeting Dan, affectionately nicknamed ‘Sniper’ by his friends and players, I was genuinely surprised by how unassuming his appearance is, about 6 feet tall, slight framed with glasses and eyes that let you know that at any given moment he’s working something out in his head. As for his personality, he is the very essence of an extrovert, very animated and vibrant, but most surprisingly without a hint of arrogance or self-satisfaction, regardless of the fact he makes his living doing something many hockey fans could only dream of.

In walking around the offices with him, the walls were adorned with posters of CHL players, mainly of the Lewiston Maineiacs, a team Farrell has had a very strong relationship with due to their proximity to Walpole, their recent standout graduates are David Perron of the St. Louis Blues and Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings. Dan (who is affectionately referred to as Sniper by both his friends and players who meet him) excitedly spoke of the new products and ideas, as well as of the game in general. One cannot help but get caught up in hs energy when he speaks.

Walking around the offices was like walking around any hockey players dreamland, hockey on every wall, a lounge with a big screen TV, leather couches and a pool table, 3 office sized rooms spilling over with gear, a full sized warehouse complete with an area designated strictly for shooting pucks around and also a basketball net, even Sniper’s office is a monument to all things hockey and/or Boston, including pics of one of many New England Patriots players sporting elbow pads Farrell designed, a Good Will Hunting poster, and a stack of DVD’s, some more notable titles that I saw included Slap Shot, Miracle and Mystery, Alaska.

During the tournament, watching Dan bounce around, talking to players and asking them their thoughts on the new sticks and gloves he recently released was almost awe-inspiring, for the simple fact that he IS Farrell, they are wearing his name and ideas which they spent money for, and rather than resting on his laurels, he actively asks people for advice/feedback/comments to further improve his products, I mean in this day and age, where do you see that? It’s like the president of Nike coming up to you and asking if a) you like their shoes and b) if there’s anything you would change about them so they can work on that. The level of interactivity Farrell customers enjoy with Sniper is most likely unparallelled anywhere in business as he makes himself readily available on facebook, myspace, through the companies website, he even has his personal cell phone number listed in his facebook profile so that anyone on his friends list can text him or call him should they feel they need to reach him, seeing as that he doesn’t turn down anyone’s request, it goes to show exactly how available he makes himself.

A further testament to his character occurred during the first game Team Farrell played in the tournament against a team from New Jersey. The fans were just as vocal as the players to say the least and as the game progressed, emotions ran high. In the third, there was even chirping between the two benches, which Dan happily involved himself in to defend his players. Team Farrell won the game and it was a begrudging handshake at the end, but everyone went their separate ways. Out in the lobby while we waited for some of Farrel’s players to come out, the New Jersey team walked by to their bus, Dan made a point to say to all of them that they played an excellent game, but more amazingly so, singled out one player who he had exchanged words with during the game and actually apologized to him for any possibly hurt feelings.

So what is the point to this article really?

It’s not an advertisement, or a pitch or a gimmick, essentially, this is the expression of amazement by a hockey fan that something so unadulterated can still exist in the corporate oversaturation that we call hockey in this day and age.

So, if you own a sports shop, or know anyone who does, have them have a look at Farrell gear, if for no other reason than to support the underdog in the advertising driven realm of sports marketing.

In closing, I must reiterate, that though this article has been about one company, I do not view it as being skewed in any way, shape, or form, rather I feel it is conveying to you, the reader, how a quirky guy with a brilliant hockey mind in Walpole, MA all but reaffirmed my faith in the possibility of passion still being allowed to exist in the increasingly drole world of hockey equipment, and the way I see it, I will have no problem shelving my equipment from larger faceless multi-million dollar corporations in favour of gear designed by a guy who shook my hand and thanked me for wearing his stuff.

Find Farrell online at www.farrellsports.com, also on facebook and myspace.

Guys Dig The Long Ball Too…

July 31, 2008

by Navin Vaswani… Eric Hinske hit the 100th home run of his career the other night against Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays. I found it rather fitting that Hinske reached the milestone in Toronto, where it all began, where it all went so wrong, and where he is lustily booed.

I can’t imagine Hinske gets booed at any other ball parks. Nobody other than the fans in Toronto really give a shit about him. And we don’t boo him because he spurned us, talked ill of the team, or ill of the fans. We boo him because he sucks. We boo him because he’s Shitske.

As I watched Hinske club home run number 100 to deep centre field, and later learned that the Jays were shut out, I reached a new personal low as a fan of the 2008 Jays. I actually wished, just for an instant, that Hinske were still around and wearing Toronto digs.

I apologize fellow Jays fans, for there really is no excuse. A moment of sincere weakness is all I can attribute it to. I feel dirty inside and out, I really do, but Hinske’s got 15 home runs and 47 RsBI. I know, he’s only batting .255, but it’s the power that I want. The power that I miss.

I miss the long ball. The saying goes that “chicks dig the long ball,” but guys like me dig the long ball too, dammit. The Jays have hit only 75 all year, good for second last in the American League. Ironically, the Minnesota Twins are last in the AL with only 73 round trippers, yet they’re playing .557 baseball, and are only a half game out of the Central Division lead. Fuck me. Isn’t life wonderful?

You know, it’s not as if Hinske is ripping shit up with his 15 home runs. It’s a decent amount. A middle of the road amount. But it’s just that those 15 are as many as Scott Rolen and Lyle Overbay combined. With three to spare. And that hurts my soul.

It has been a difficult season for me as a Jays fan. A roller coaster ride. A frustrating experience of watching the team take a few steps forward, and then a few more steps backward. Buoyed by A.J. Burnett’s efforts on Monday night, I was looking forward to Roy Halladay ensuring that the Jays would win this three game set with the Rays.

Didn’t happen. Shut down by Matt Garza, and another sublime effort from Doc wasted in the process. Say what you want about the Rays, and I’ve poo-pooed on them for a long, long time, but they improved to 3-0 against Halladay this season. Based on that statistic alone, I’m beginning to believe they are for real. They’ve got one hell of a lineup, and that Evan Longoria fellow is having a bonerific rookie campaign.

I’ll be the first to admit that Matt Garza has pitched well for Tampa Bay this season - he came into the game with a very respectable 3.83 ERA - but I’m still adding him to my list of pitchers who have no business dominating the Blue Jays, and who have done just that. The list is, most unfortunately, growing rather lengthy. There’s no way Matt fucking Garza should be coming into our house and throwing a complete game, five-hitter, on only 106 pitches.

Gregg Zaun officially wants out of Toronto. Not surprising, since he doesn’t play much. It’s also a little surprising that he doesn’t, you know, play much. Rod Barajas’ on-base percentage has dipped to .298, and that’s pretty brutal. He’s walked only 10 times in 226 at-bats all season.

I know Rowdy Rod is better at throwing out runners, and can hit for more power, but Zaun’s sporting a tidy .349 OBP in 181 at-bats, which is good for third on the team. With Barajas lately really putting the “shit” in “shitting the bed,” Zaun’s right, he should have been playing more.

Anyway, J.P. Ricciardi said the whole issue with Zaun being dealt is that, uhm, nobody wants him. I think that might pose a problem. Yes, a slight problem.

Check out more from Navin on his blog

No Joseph No Problem, Riders down Argos

July 31, 2008

by Nicholas Hall…

The good times just keep rolling on the Saskatchewan prairies, the defending Grey Cup champions are now 5-0 for the first time since 1934 and are once again atop the CFL. Kerry Joseph, the Riders MOP quarterback last season, made his return to Saskatchewan with the Argonauts on Sunday and could do little to slow their momentum.

Early on the Argonauts offense continued rolling from last week. Joseph who finished 21 of 42 for 259 yards, led the Argos to an early 11-0 lead. The Argos seemed to be in control of the game up 18-10 when Dominique Dorsey lost a costly fumble at the Toronto 26-yard line. A couple of plays later Wes Cates ran in his first touchdown of the game to cut the Argos lead to one. From that point on the Riders had all of the momentum. In the fourth quarter the Argos regained the lead on a 41-yard Mike Vanderjagt field goal. The field goal, which was set up by, an undisciplined roughing the kicker penalty came at the 8:35 mark and gave Toronto a slim 22-20 lead.

The Riders led by third string quarterback, Steven Jyles, who took over for the injured Darian Durant in the first quarter, needed to get Saskatchewan in at least field goal range.
Jyles relied on his playmakers to get the job done. Jyles completed two passes for 21 yards to Andy Fantuz to get the Riders into Argos territory. Jyles found Fantuz once again at the Toronto 15, but Fantuz was injured on the play with a broken fibula. Though the damage was done. The Riders transitioned back to their running game to score the go ahead major. Wes Cates appeared to just cross the goal line before the Argos Mike O’Shea forced him back on a critical second and goal play. After an Argos challenge the touchdown was upheld based on the fact there was “no substantial evidence” to overturn the call. Which despite what Mike Toth may go on about on the Fan 590 was the right call. You cannot change the call unless there is conclusive evidence that the decision on the field was incorrect.
And to the Argos credit after the game they didn’t harp on the call. The Argos’ Orlando Steinauer put it best, “We just weren’t clutch tonight.”

With over two minutes to go in the game the Argos much like last week still had a golden opportunity to take the lead back. But unlike Edmonton last week the Riders, perhaps knowing Joseph’s arm strength all too well, weren’t content to sit in a zone and hope for a mistake. The Riders D used a rather aggressive blitzing scheme to pressure Joseph and forced incompletions that ended the Argos threat. The Riders 28-22 win was there fifth win of the season with three different quarterbacks a rather remarkable feat especially considering their starter from last season Kerry Joseph was on the opposing sideline.

Patrice Bergeron Tries to Bounce Back in Beantown

July 30, 2008

by Daniel Sallows… There is a lot to look forward to next season in the NHL, but for me, watching one of the NHL’s great young players return excites me the most.

We all know about the infamous hit on October 27, 2007 by Flyers defenseman Randy Jones that left Bergeron with a broken nose and ‘Grade lll’ concussion, and his battle through the ensuing symptoms.

As of July, Bergeron was totally symptom-free, is back up to his 190-lb. body weight, and has returned to his vigorous six-day-a-week training sessions.

Which is not only good news for the Boston Bruins, but also for anyone who is a fan of the game.

The kid was as talented as they come before he was hurt, already amassing 189 points in just 239 NHL games played.

It remains to be seen how Bergeron will bounce back after the injury, though, as he was quoted as saying; “I shudder whenever I see a player go into the corner for a puck now.”

What will happen if Patrice Bergeron is not the same player he once was?

This is sometimes the case after a serious injury is suffered. After Randy Jones only received a two-game suspension this could be an even bigger slap in the face to the Bruins if Bergeron doesn’t return to his old self.

But if Bergeron can regain the form that saw him score 31 goals and 42 assists as a 20-year old, this Boston team that finished the year 41-29-12 could be a 100-point club.

This incident may just prove the NHL needs to take a good, hard look this summer at protecting its star players. Do you think Wayne Gretzky would have taken that sort of abuse back in the 80s?

In any case, I hope we see No. 37 coming down the wing, and driving 30 or more pucks behind the opposing goaltenders next season.

Heck, I don’t even like the Boston Bruins, but I’d love to see him score 50—even if it came against my beloved Rangers on April 4 next year.

I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s gonna be good to have ya back Patrice. Without you, the league is like peanut butter with no jelly—and on that note, I’m going to make myself a sandwich.

Guess That Latina Singers Ass

July 30, 2008

pWhat can you say…except “Great Ass”. She is one of the most popular and famous Latin music singers in the world. Her English language debut single “Don’t Say Goodbye” was a chart topper, and follows her enormous success in Latin music, as she has sold millions of albums, and had Billboard’s Latin Album of the Year for 2001.

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Toronto Argonauts Robbed By Riders; Still Have Work to Do

July 30, 2008

by Josh Lewis… Last week, it looked like the Toronto Argonauts were turning the corner.

Kerry Joseph had finally shown his MOP form in driving the Argos to a last-second, game-winning touchdown over the Edmonton Eskimos. The defense had been solid, and receivers Tyler Scott and James Robinson came out of nowhere to help lead the double blue to victory.

Then came last Sunday’s 28-22 loss to the defending Grey Cup champ Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Argonauts are back at one game under .500.

But what the score doesn’t tell you is that the Argos played a very strong game last night and should have won. The Boatmen can attribute their loss to two awful calls in the fourth quarter.

The first came when, after two goal line stops by the Argo defensive line, Riders running back Wes Cates tried to go up and over for the touchdown.

Mike O’Shea leaped forward to meet him, and replays showed that O’Shea was clearly past the plain of the goal line when he made contact with Cates.

The ball was hard to see, but there was certainly no clear evidence of it being over the plain. But it was ruled a touchdown anyway, and the Riders went up 27-22.

Then, with less than three minutes remaining, former Argo receiver Michael Palmer fumbled the ball as he was being brought down and Toronto recovered. The play was ruled a fumble on the field, which means conclusive evidence was needed to overturn the decision.

Replays clearly showed that the ball was loose before Palmer’s knee was down. It was clear as day. Yet the ruling was reversed with no video evidence whatsoever.

That ridiculous decision ended any chance the Argos had at getting back in the game. They did get the ball back one last time, but a poor pass by Joseph in the dying seconds gave the win to Saskatchewan.

The good news for the Argos is that they looked solid on most fronts last night. Joseph again looked comfortable behind centre, and he’s beginning to use his legs more, which is a great sign for a Toronto team that has never had much of a running game.

The receiving corps continues to improve, anchored by Arland Bruce and supported by Andre Talbot, who has really stepped up with the loss of Tony Miles and the injury to Bethel Johnson.

Rookies Tyler Scott and James Robinson didn’t do much last night but both showed all kinds of potential in last week’s win over Edmonton. Obed Cetoute and Johnnie Morant have also shown some flashes of ability.

On the running side, Dominique Dorsey was merely average last night and Jamal Robertson hasn’t really done anything since a solid opening game against Winnipeg.

No, running isn’t as important in the CFL as it is south of the border, but you still need an effective back to open up more options for your quarterback.

The D continued to look good but not great. Something has been missing from this unit this season. It’s been solid but hasn’t shown the usual effectiveness we’ve grown accustomed to.

Of course, the absence of Kevin Eiben in the midfield may have contributed to that last night.

Maybe it’s the loss of Rich Stubler as defensive coordinator or the loss of players like Khalil Carter and Jeff Keeping, but the defense doesn’t seem to have that airtight quality to it, so far.

Ryan Dinwiddie and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are next up for the Argos. That game goes Friday night, and it’s a crucial one for the Boatmen if they want to keep a leg up on Winnipeg and stay in the running for first in the East.

Missing NHL Hockey: Beating the August Blues

July 30, 2008

by Bryan Thiel… If you’re like me, you’re getting a little antsy for the start of the 2008-09 NHL season.

If you’re like me, you can’t wait to get your first look at those brand new third jerseys on a fresh sheet of NHL ice this season.

You can’t wait for the first icing call so that Alan Bass and I can start yelling back and forth at each other over the merits of no-touch icing.

And you can’t wait to be the one to choose that major sleeper in your NHL fantasy draft this year.

You want to cheer on your favorites, jeer your adversaries, and just drink in the atmosphere that’s become such a winter tradition in so many cities.

Then you look at the calendar, and it’s not even August. The final month of the offseason is still two days away, and the only meaningful NHL news it seems we’ll receive is Mats Sundin’s decision on when and where (or if) he’ll resume his playing career.

That’s it—what a life.

Side note: It may surprise some of you to hear this, but I don’t even care about Sundin’s decision. I still stand by the fact that he’s old enough to make his own decisions when and how he chooses.

The fact that he waited has been turned into a far bigger deal than it should have been—which just goes to show how much of a fishbowl this guy is exposed to in Toronto.

If he retires, good for him, and I hope he stays retired. If he comes back to Toronto I’ll do cartwheels in the street. If he signs with Montreal? Big deal. Some of you also forget he started his career with the Quebec Nordiques, so is one extra year in Quebec a big deal? Not at all.

Now, some people have jobs that fill in the time between seasons, while some fill the void with other sports like baseball. But how do you fill the void with something hockey-related if you’ve become truly stir crazy come August? Pay attention boys and girls, you may just learn something:

1. Jersey Speculation

Scroll up and down your team’s roster. See all those new free agent acquisitions and rookies with a little dash in the number column?

Well until the NHL introduces punctuation as a valid jersey number (most likely in 2028 when the Montreal Canadiens have effectively retired three-quarters of valid NHL jersey numbers), this means that the players have no numbers.

So why don’t you decide what number they get?

A fun little bonus game would be to speculate what (or how much) a newly acquired free agent would have to give an incumbent to acquire his regular jersey number: A Porsche? A house? Maybe Sean Avery’s little black book…who knows?

2. Road Hockey

It works. Just ask Greg Caggiano and these kids—nothing is better on a hot New York day.

3. Hockey Card Collecting

Ok, this may sound kind of like stamp collecting, but it’s not—it’s stamp collecting with autographs, statistics, jersey swatches, and a hell of a lot more money involved.

If you’re truly feeling the hockey blues this August, why not support the industry a little and try spending all that hard-earned cash on some cardboard—trust me, in my first three years of umpiring I didn’t make a single cent; it all went to Fresher Sports Cards in London Ontario every other Sunday.

If it wasn’t for the lockout, I’d still probably be going—and my girlfriend would be calling up Ken Armer to host an intervention.

4. YouTube

I don’t really need to tell you more except search words. For starters I’d try hockey fights, hockey hits, Sami Kapanen, and mullets (although the results for that last one suck).

5. Experimenting with Customized Jerseys

Admit it, we all want a customized jersey—if we aren’t good enough to play for our favorite team, we may as well pay an extra $55 to $70 to have our name emblazoned upon the back of a jersey (or just have it done in Photoshop).

But while you’re buying your own jersey, why not experiment? See which players wouldn’t be allowed to buy a jersey from the website if they weren’t members of the team (Hint: If you’re a Toronto fan, you have to buy a jersey with Ponikarovsky already on it—you can’t just make one. But either way you’d still have to answer questions about why you’re wearing a Ponikarovsky jersey, so it’s probably best to avoid that situation altogether).

You can also design jerseys with random names on them too like ‘Dickfor’, which can bring about conversations such as this:

Person One: Hey man….what’s on the back of your jersey?

Person Two: Dickfor.

One: Who’s Dickfor?

Two: It’s not a who…it’s a what.

One: Oh. Then what’s a Dickfor?

Two: Dude, you’re married. Shouldn’t you know?

Okay, so it’s not a very long list—in fact, compared to Greg’s list of future “must-reads” it’s nothing.

On the bright side, only 32 more days until August is over.

Top 10 Unsung Actresses

July 30, 2008

by Jamie Uyeyama…  http://smirkingrevenge.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/copia-de-mary_elizabeth_winstead_mustang.jpgAs the king of useless information, I happen to remember certain actresses that most people are completely unaware of. I’m the guy who always has the answer to the question, “What is that girl from again?” Call it what you will, it is one of my assets. It might not be much of an asset, but it is knowledge none the less.

I often wonder what distinguishes a girl that’s a star and someone who is just considered another actress. 90% of actresses out there are attractive so it isn’t just looks that land the roles. There are obviously some women who get acting jobs simply based on talent, although I think it is safe to assume that Jessica Alba wouldn’t be making five movies a year if she looked like Dame Judi Dench. Most working actresses are a lot closer to Alba than Dench.

There are a ton of girls out there who could end up being a lot more than they are now or they could end up being just another actress that gets lost in the shuffle. It could all depend on one big break. Right now they are all Renee Zellwegger before Jerry Maguire (but much more attractive). None of these girls made the Maxim Hot 100 list this year and that has do with them either not getting enough credit or enough opportunity.

These are the Top Ten Unsung Actresses.

Sarah Lancaster

Right now this girl is on pace to be Mike Sillinger. Just a bad suitcase getting traded from sitcom to drama and back again. But she could be so much more. Nobody from Saved By the Bell: The New Class has done anything big in their career so far. She could be the one.

Carly Pope

There is only thing worse for your career than being an indie actress; being a Canadian indie actress. Right now, besides being on a bad WB show, that is what she is known for. Well, that and and my buddy CJ creeping her every day in the class they had together in first year at UBC. No one not named Parker Posey or Sarah Polley gets love as an indie actress. Well, I’m giving Carly Pope some love. CJ saw something about her from three rows back in a lecture hall and I see something too. Throw in the bonus points because she is from Vancouver and she was a no brainer pick.

Shiri Appleby

This girl has romantic comedy written all over her. I always thought that she was going to be the star that emerged from the show Roswell, not Katherine Heigl. Instead, Heigl is a borderline (very border line in my opinion) A list celebrity right now and the biggest thing Appleby has been in is Swimfan.

Bonnie Somerville

There are some people who are destined to always finish second. For one reason or another, Bonnie Somerville is one of those people. She is good enough to hang with the big guns, but she always seems to be on the outside. She is always the best friend, the new girl, or the rebound. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. It’s like being a regular in the Final Four and never cutting down the nets. Hopefully she pulls a Roy Williams and finally gets a taste of the glory.

Larissa Oleynik

Okay, okay… I know she has been a little off the radar for a few years. Okay, completely off the radar. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a second chance. I wouldn’t complain if I saw her in something new.

Maggie Q

This is less of a reflection on her career right now (she was just Mission Impossible 3, Live Free or Die Hard, and Deception with Ewan Macgregor and Hugh Jackman) and more of the straight disrespect of her not being named to Maxim’s Hot 100 list. I know they usually tend to lean towards women who either have a movie coming up or just made a big movie and that is why this boggles my mind. You can’t deny the appeal of the halfer. You just can’t.

Jessica Szohr

What do you know…another halfer? Gossip Girl seems to be the new OC, the show that is supposed to be for teens, but dudes might sneak a peek every now and again because the girls aren’t tough to look at. When you go to the store it’s common to see Blake Lively or Leighton Meester on the cover of a magazine. Jessica Szohr is nowhere to be found. She plays second fiddle to them on the show but she won’t be held down for long. Just look at her.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

There are only a few people on this earth who can pull off both cute and hot at the same time. This girl is one of them. She is up in the same category with Jennifer Love Hewitt. It must be a three name thing.

Jordana Brewster

No one ever accused her of being a good actress. Who cares how you act when you look like this. Get her in more movies or make her a regular on a show. Do it now or regret it for the rest of your lives.

Shannyn Sossamon

When I think of DJ’s I tend to think of two kinds of people: Short hip hop guys and European dudes who have their shirts painted on them. I never think of hot girls. Shannyn Sossamon is a DJ! That doesn’t even sound real. Oh yeah, she’s an actress too. She came out of nowhere and was a leading lady then went right back to nowhere again. Maybe Hollywood couldn’t handle how she didn’t look like anybody else out there. Who knows. She’s cool… she’s beautiful…she’s a friggin’ DJ!

For more you can check out his blog Top Cheddar at www.topcheddar.com

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