Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Countdown: Tom versus Peyton

Four sleeps to go.

Nobody seems surprised that the Colts - undefeated this season, 12 straight home game victories, and Super Bowl champions - are underdogs against the Patriots.

That's because the Patriots are that good.

Sure, their game in Indianapolis will be their toughest of the season, but does the word juggernaut mean anything to you?

"You can't stop the Juggernaut!"

Make no mistake, either, there is no love lost between Tom and Peyton. They really don't like each other. This time, it's personal.

Ain't it always.

The Crosby Count

Oh, Sidney! You pot a goal and assist on three others in a game in which your team scores 4 goals.

That's more like it.

Bring on Colorado!

Games played: 11
Goals: 5
Assists: 12
Total points: 17

LUNCH: I'm on the road, so I had to visit the Queen Mum for pad thai; the best in Canada

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tom versus Peyton

Only five more sleeps until the game of the year.

Are you ready?

It turns out I'm going to be on the road, too, so won't be in front of my nice big flatscreen to watch the Patriots crush the Colts. Guess I'll be trolling the streets of Montreal for a decent sports bar.

LUNCH: Cobb salad

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Have a little lateral

I was thinking the other day about how there aren't any laterals or pitch outs in professional football any more. You'll see them now and then in the CFL, but you really don't see them in the NFL at all.

This morning a buddy told me about this game. With two seconds left in the game, the Trinity Tigers have to score a touchdown on the last play of the game in order to win. The Tigers quarterback takes the snap on their 40.

Just watch.

BREAKFAST: Cheerios, while watching the NFL preview shows

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Crosby Count

Did you see the Canadiens play the Penguins? The Habs were up 3-0 and let the Pens come back on them.

Then we're treated to a whale of a shootout. It took 8 rounds before anyone scored. Some great saves by Dany Sabourin and Carey Price. Price, in particular, looked awesome. He simply would not move first. Crosby and Malkin ended up not knowing what to do with the puck in the shootout because Price simply outwaited them. That kid is the real deal.

Games played: 10
Goals: 4
Assists: 9
Total points: 13

LUNCH: Steak sandwich, nice and rare

Friday, October 26, 2007

"I hurt my poor little finger!"

First, terrible news that Anthony Calvillo has decided to take the rest of the year off to care for his wife, who was just diagnosed with lymphoma. It's a courageous and respectable decision, and the Alouettes are to be commended for allowing him to take a leave of absence.

Practically, it means that Jason Maas will start as quarterback when the Als take the field at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Saturday.

As for Friday nights games, the B.C. Lions surprised nobody by beating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Lions locked first place in the West Division, and Dave Dickenson even took a few snaps, threw a touchdown, the usual.

Even better was that Casey Printers left the game in the first half because HE HURT HIS FINGER.

I swear I could hear him wailing as he walked to the sidelines to have his hangnail looked at. "WAAAAAAH! My finger! WAAAAAAH!"

Of course, as soon as he was off the field, the Ticats scored a touchdown. How to take it to those B.C. Lions who done you wrong, Casey.

Then, with Saskatchewan playing a bunch of second stringers, the Edmonton Eskimos did their best to win a game and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They had the lead - a good lead - heading in to the fourth quarter, but just didn't have enough to wrap it up. So the Eskies are out for the season.

The Crosby Count

This year, so far, Sidney Crosby has only scored goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He nabbed another last night as the Penguins lost 5-2.

What is wrong with the Pittsburgh offense?

Games played: 9
Goals: 3
Assists: 9
Total points: 12

LUNCH: Sausage on a bun, with a bag of chips. The sidewalk special

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Loping like a Leopard

So the new update to Apple's Mac OS X releases tomorrow. Code-named Leopard, it will be installed on all new Mac computers, portable and desktop, and can be purchased as an upgrade for $129 plus tax.

I've watched the video which walks you through the changes, and let me tell you, there are five reasons I can see that make me want the upgrade right now. Ranked in order of their usefulness to me:

1. Time machine
2. Data detectors in Mail
3. Stacks in the dock
4. Spaces on the desktop
5. Quick look previewing

I'm too smart to install this on the first day. I'll wait until bigger brains than I give it a try and work out the kinks. But I'm not waiting too long.

Time machine alone is worth the upgrade.


Well, Jeff Francis must wish his second pitch in the World Series had gone better than that. Having Dustin Pedroia crank the ball out of Fenway just set the Rockies off on the wrong foot.

Poor, Jeff. I hope he gets another chance to pitch in this series.

But I gotta tell you, I don't know that he will. The Red Sox are peaking at just the right time, and the Rockies really suffered from that week off.

Plus, the players on the Red Sox squad are long-time pros who have been here before. Hell, many of them were around when they snatched victory from the jaws of being swept out in the first round.

I'm not sure the Rockies can overcome that confidence, although now the monkey is off their back, I hope they take a game or two, and give Francis a chance to pitch again. He deserves that much.

LUNCH: a bowl of chili to warm the insides on this crisp day

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Crosby Count

The Penguins beat the New York Rangers last night. The score? 1-0.

Seriously? 1-0? With Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Malkin, Gomez, Drury, Shanahan, and Sykora on the ice? All that talent on the ice, and only one goal scored?

C'mon. I mean . . . sheesh.

Games played: 8
Goals: 2
Assists: 8
Total points: 10

LUNCH: Cajun chicken panini with a spinach salad

Sunday, October 21, 2007

CFL weekend roundup

The Argos beat the floundering Alouettes, the Lions beat the Eskimos (and unless the Eskies win their last two games and the Alouettes lose both of theirs, that's it for the green and gold this season; good analysis over at Twelve Men on the Field), and the Stampeders decided to rest Henry Burris, and lost to the Blue Bombers, establishing that maybe they need Burris to win (and, therefore, that it may have been a good idea to rest him and his shoulder).

Then, in the sole CFL Sunday game, Saskatchewan managed to beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which does nothing to establish whether they can win against a real football team with a healthy quarterback.

And did you hear? Lenny Kravitz is the half-time headliner at this year's Grey Cup game in Toronto. (Check out the nice Kravitz photo over at Rouge For the Win.)

So, close

Well, Lewis Hamilton, the fresh-faced sensation of the F1 circuit this year, wasn't able to become the first rookie to win the drivers championship after all. Problems with his McLaren early in the race set him back, and he finished seventh.

He was quoted as saying, "Obviously I am pretty disappointed with the result today, having lead for so much of the season and then not to win the championship. However I have to put the result into perspective, this is only my first year in Formula One and overall it has just been phenomenal. I am still very young and have plenty more years in me to achieve my dream of becoming world champion.”

Finn Kimi Raikkonen locked up the Formula One World Drivers' Championship with a first place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

But Hamilton was able to really make the F1 season exciting. I look forward to watching what he can do next season to set things on fire.

Holy crap

Going into today's NFL game with the New England Patriots in Miami to play the Dolphins, the question wasn't whether the Patriots would win, but how badly they would embarrass the Fins.

Well, at halftime, the Patriots are up 42-7. Tom Brady has already thrown for five touchdowns.

In all of their games so far this season, the Patriots have scored more than 34 points. They've done that today in the first half.

People, 16-0 is possible.

EDIT: Final score: Patriots 49, Dolphins 28; Brady threw for six touchdowns, and only played about half of the second half.

The Crosby Count

I was really expecting more offense from the Pens this year. I'm glad they beat Washington, yeah, but with Crosby, Ovechkin, and Malkin on the ice, I expected the score to be bigger than 2-1.

Oh, well, at least the Kid nabbed an assist.

Games played: 7
Goals: 2
Assists: 7
Total points: 9

LUNCH: Early, yet, but I can tell you I plan on having a big bowl of chili

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Crosby Count

Sid scored the shootout winner in the game against Carolina tonight. Too bad shootout goals don't count in my hockey pool. He did snag a couple of assists, though. Not too shabby!

Games played: 6
Goals: 2
Assists: 6
Total points: 8

LUNCH: chicken salad sandwich with a big dill pickle

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Crosby Count

Okay, I was really excited to get the first pick in our hockey draft this year, because it meant that I could snap up Sidney Crosby, and instantly be in the running to win the draft. Sid the Kid really is that good.

Or, he was last year. And the year before.

But he's been slow to get rolling this season, and in four games with the Penguins so far this year, he's only got four points: 2 goals, 2 assists.

Which, for any other player would be phenomenal. But for Crosby it's mediocre.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to trade the Kid. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm not a moron. I'd like to see Crosby notch a few more points, sure, and I'm also sure that he will. So I've decided to start tracking his output in this blog.

So if you wanna know how Sidney Crosby is doing, check back here for a points update on the league's best player.

After the Penguins loss to the New Jersey Devils tonight, here's where the Kid stands:

Games played: 5
Goals: 2
Assists: 4
Total points: 6

LUNCH: A pita wrap with tuna salad. The pita was a bit dry, but the tuna had just the right amount of mayonnaise

Monday, October 15, 2007

Football round-up

Well, Tom Brady clearly won the battle of the quarterbacks when the Patriots crushed the Cowboys on Sunday. Too bad, Tony Romo.

Tom, don't give up your day job, though, cause an actor you are not, and you proved that in the funny bit about why you are always listed as "probable" on the NFL injury report because of that lingering shoulder injury.

Henry Burris showed why the Stamps need him so bad, and the Eskimos were, for all intents and purposes, officially eliminated from the CFL playoff picture. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Ha!

Finally, over at Twelve Men on the Field, a look at how B.C. Lions president Bob Ackles is trying to save the CFL.

LUNCH: Really average mall Thai food, ginger beef and orange chicken. Mmmm, sweet

Friday, October 12, 2007

Go, Rockies, go

I'm not much for baseball. Love to play it, but I've never had an easy time sitting through an entire game.

Except when I was on a business trip in Arizona, and I got to see some spring training action. Being that close to the players on the small fields is really something, actually.

Anyhow, I've been intrigued by professional baseball this year for a few of reasons. I love that the hapless Mets lost their last, like, 20 games and were knocked out of the playoff race. I love that the regular season results weren't decided without some extra games being played. I love that the arrogant Yankees were swept in the first round.

Most of all, though, I love how Jeff Francis, who was drafted into MLB straight out of UBC, has become such a hero. He led the Colorado Rockies to a game 1 win in the National League Championship series against the Arizona Diamondbacks last night.

There haven't been many Canadian baseball players, let alone Canadian baseball players who have really made a difference.

Justin Morneau, the MVP who plays first base for the Minnesota Twins, has been a rising star for a couple of years, and Matt Stairs had a good season for the Blue Jays this year, but not since Larry Walker has a Canadian baseballer threatened to be the news story of the baseball season.

Jeff Francis, the left-hander from Delta, B.C., has got me watching the baseball this October.

LUNCH: This is the last day for turkey sandwiches. At least, it better be.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Play Memory for prizes!

This is kinda cool, actually.

Future Shop is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (If you've watched any football or hockey in the past week or so you've seen the TV ad, in which the staff member tweaks the front entrance audio. Which reminds me, Future Shop, that you need to BRING BACK THE ROBOT!)

Anyhow, as a way of promoting their 25 years in the electronics retail biz, Future Shop has put up a few web pages that look back. There is a timeline, a list of "fun facts" about how the electronics industry has changed in 25 years, and a video that looks at how the store has changed over the years.

But the coolest thing they've done is created a short game of Memory. Remember the game where you turn all the cards face down, and by turning over two at a time you have to find matches?

The difference here is that you need to match old technology - like the first digital audio player released in North America, with 32 MB of memory (enough for 8 whole songs) - to new technology - like an iPod Touch.

You're given 25 seconds to match twelve items (six pairs), and if you're fast enough, you can enter to win a $2,500 gift card at Future Shop and other daily prize draws.

And let me tell you, having $2,500 to spend on new gadgets and electronics is better than bragging rights over weird Aunt Irma.

LUNCH: I'm still working on that turkey

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thanksgiving Classic football

All CFL today, with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Montreal to play the Alouettes and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Calgary to play the Stampeders.

Montreal walked all over the Ticats. Cavillo never missed hitting his receivers, who walked through the Ticat defense like they were standing still.

I haven't been quiet about what I think about Casey Printers, and while my attitude hasn't changed, it has softened. I saw Printers laser the football and watched him scramble and run, so I understand that he has some measure of talent. More important, though, he has been humbled by his experience so far. His new-found humility gets him a few points in my book.

Just a few. I still hate the guy.

But the Alouettes, who exploded in the first half and looked to blow out the Ticats, fizzled in the second. Even so, the Ticats only ended up with one touchdown. The rest of their 19 points came from field goals. Printers ended his day 15 for 39, with two interceptions.
In Calgary, the Stampeders are clearly missing Henry Burris, as they dropped their third in a row.

Akili Smith started the game for the Stamps, and couldn't generate any offense at all. Ben Sankey came in in the third quarter and at least got some points on the board, including a great last-minute drive (which was pointless because the Riders were too far ahead).

Burris claims that he'll be ready to return for next week's game against the Blue Bombers, but that's an awfully quick return from a dislocated shoulder. Tough call for a coach to make, but I'd give him another week, unless my playoff chances were in jeopardy.

Come to think of it, they might be.

LUNCH: Well, yesterday was turkey day at my house, so today was - wait for it - turkey sandwiches!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why I hate NASCAR

So Jacques Villeneuve has decided he wants to race NASCAR. Fine. Good for him. He's clearly got no hope for a career in music. (He's only sold 233 copies of his debut CD, Private Paradise.)

And the drivers in the NASCAR circuit are whining and complaining about Villeneuve's deciding to debut at Talladega.

"Wah! We don't want the new kid to play with us today! What if he's better than us? Wah!"

I can't stand those pathetic, moronic half-wits. Some of the drivers are threatening to try and crash Villeneuve out simply because he's the new kid.

Well, I hope Jacques drives his ass off, stays nice and humble like a good Canadian, and makes all those NASCAR drivers look like the spoiled idiot brats they are.

LUNCH: Are you kidding me? With turkey in the oven? I'm fasting until that bird is done.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tonight is hockey night. In Canada

There are 14 game in the NHL tonight, which means that every time in the league but two are on the ice. On Hockey Night in Canada on CBC we get Montreal in Toronto, followed by Vancouver at Calgary.

I know the season has been active for a couple of weeks, but it actually feels like hockey season now, don't you think?

LUNCH: More like breakfast, because I was so late getting to it. Bacon, eggs, toast.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Bungie splits from Microsoft

This comes as a surprise, especially given how successful Halo 3 has been.

Bungie Studios, who created Halo, is leaving the embrace of Micorosoft to become an indie studio again. An indie studio that has Microsoft as an equity partner.

The full details can be found at MCV and GameSpot.

This is backwards from what normally happens. Usually, a studio makes a game for a publisher, it sells well, and the publisher acquires the studio. That's how Bungie ended up part of Microsoft in the first place.

BREAKFAST: Nothing. Yet. But steak and eggs, maybe. It's Friday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fantasy hockey draft

The consensus among the learned hockey analysts is that Sidney Crosby will win the scoring title (cause that's a difficult prediction to make), but who rounds out the top 5 scorers for the 2007-2008 season?

Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr, Dany Heatley, Alexander Ovechkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Marian Hossa, and Henrik Zetterberg are certain to be at the top of the heap.

But after Crosby, who would you pick for spots 2 through 5?

LUNCH: a nice slice of pumpkin pie

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On the verge

The NHL season may have officially started with a couple of games in jolly old England, but as far as I'm concerned it all starts tomorrow.

Check out the right column for more links to great hockey blogs out there, but a couple to look at before the puck drops tomorrow are James Mirtle, who makes predictions for the regular season standings, Covered in Oil, consistently the funniest site out there, and Hockey Blog in Canada, with a roundup of media opinion on the Steve Downie incident.

Hockey is all about rivalries, too, and there are fun sites devoted to the battles of Ontario, Alberta, and California.

But the player to watch - again - is Sid the Kid. Long may he reign.

LUNCH: burrito. Just the one.

Holy crap

Tom Brady and the Patriots are still undefeated, after taking down the Bengals 34 to 13. And the Bengals are a better team than their 1-3 record would indicate.

Now I'm excited for Favre and the Packers, and have a passing curiosity with what the Raiders are doing, but at this point, is there any reason not to make the prediction now?

New England Patriots, Super Bowl XLII champions.

LUNCH: burrito with too much salsa