Tuesday, December 18, 2007

is there anybody out there? – a problem with the nhl

Note: this is the second part of a two part post, much like the complimentary songs in the Wall or peanut butter and jelly, this post goes hand in hand with the previous post.

It begins with a sorta surreal moment, watching someone play the theme (?) to Halo 3 on Guitar Hero III. No need to watch the whole thing, in fact, I encourage reading and listening to what will probably be the sample track on the top pop song in the summer of 2017.

There have been some issues raised recently with the NHL. They include:

Not enough fighting.

Too much fighting.

Too much expansion diluting the talent base.

Too much expansion into the US and not being able to find an identity.

Gary Bettman.

Lack of respect among players for each other.

The game is too fast.

Economic..... stuff

...and so forth.

I'm here to present another plausible option.

Since the dawn of time, people have gathered around fires and told fables of gladiators, philosophers, kings and paupers. Today, our fire is the internet, our gladiators; athletes.

What stories can we pass on about hockey players in the 21st century? That they were the first athletes to get lifelong contracts? I'm struggling to think of their legacy, and perhaps I've disabled a few brain cells and am therefore unable to come up with stories. Here's what comes to mind, Hockey story wise.

Nagano 1998, Dominik Hasek leading the Czech's by Canada as Wayne Greztky, at the end of his career, chasing the one accolade that he had yet to achieve, sitting on the bench holding back tears.

Leafs playoff runs, pre-lockout.

The Flames and Oilers incredible playoff runs. Fans that cared. Sorry, but with all due respect, I'm sure some south east teams have ardent fans, and I know they have ardent bloggers, but the game is not entrenched in those markets as it is elsewhere. In fact, even in certain entrenched areas, (Detroit, Chicago) the game is fading. Passing away into obscurity. Why? There are probably a hundred and one reasons.

Why do people watch sports, watch tv, listen to the radio? Answer could lie in the entertainment, drama, information garnered from them.

Games that have meaning, games that have stories; those are the ones worth watching and remembering. There are far too many options in this day and age, far too many other entertainment outlets a person can hook their wagon to. Games, all 82 (84?) of them just aren't interesting. Say what you want about football, but at least there are only 18 (CFL) or 16 (NFL) games that have a chance to be boring. 82 games * 2.5 hours per game is a lot of time. Sometimes less is more.

As it has a solid core, a solid fan base, the game won't die. Hockey will just continue to struggle in purgatory until it learns that it is not alone.

dissonance n: 1 a: lack of agreement; especially : inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs — compare cognitive dissonance b: an instance of such inconsistency or disagreement
2: a mingling of discordant sounds; especially : a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

halo cruel world

Photo taken from my car driving home from work yesterday. Snow and ice bending the tree on the left, but you can probably see that for yourself.

It's been a while, and finally there's something to say. Well, two thoughts, really. Perhaps they warrant two separate posts, but I'm going to bob and weave them into one. Putting things off for another day has lead to posting 5 times (or something like that) so far this year.

Let's start with a musical note, because this post is designed as a multimedia experience. One of the problems I have been encountering with the posting is with all the blogs out there, why would anyone read mine (asides from friends and family of course)?

But you have driven me people, in the sea of mediocrity I believe I may have come up with an original idea. A YouTube video, designed as a soundtrack to accompany my poor literary skillz.

Let me set it up thusly. I have an xbox 360. I play Halo 3, and lose to what sounds like little girls online. I make that assumption based on the fact that they:

1. Kick my ass handily

2. Have decorated their online Halo characters to look as close to the colour pink as possible

3. Sound like little girls. With xbox online you can talk to your friends and opponents and these young kids have voices that sound like little girls.

4. I also lose to little boys, old boys, old women, teenagers; pretty much anyone who picks up a controller online, the only person I can beat is my friend Pat. But I haven't gone online in almost a week, so there's a chance Pat can beat me now. I doubt it; but then again, he does stay up and play video games to the point where his wife finds him asleep in the living room with the controller in his hand. So he plays hard.

I'll ignore the social ramifications of the statements I have just made, apologize for personifying Pat in such a light, but until he beats me, I'm not going to issue a retract. Also, he probably won't read this.

So, where was I? Yes, the Halo 3 soundtrack. Today, I was listening to it at work while working away at a spreadsheet, and one song came on and it felt like it was inspired by Pink Floyd. Now, I'm not saying that Halo 3 is as good as Pink Floyd; I'm just saying that one song on the soundtrack sounds like them. And for your information, the soundtrack to Halo 3 is #98 in ALL music sales on amazon.com. Considering it's the holiday season, that's no small feat.

Any who, the song I'm thinking of is track #15 on disc one (it's a two disc soundtrack, 9 hours of game play and tons of original music) called "The Ark. Edge Closer". Marty O'Donnell is accredited as the composer, and a big hand to him for what he has done.

So we're quite a ways into this, and I haven't introduced the multimedia experience. I've decided that this is going to be two posts now (actually the NHL decided it because the Leafs – Predators game starts in 10 minutes) and I'll write that post as I watch. It's about hockey, and specifically problems that I see with the NHL that I haven't found anyone else write about (read: did a search on "problem with the NHL", not as many hits as one might think).

Stay tuned....

hubris: noun: : exaggerated pride or self-confidence