Stanley Crap playoffs are finally over

Even on a good day, I would likely have a difficult time celebrating a Penguins Stanley Cup win. But this year, yeah, frustrating beyond….

I am not a conspiracy theorist with sports. Full stop.

Professional sports are entertainment – and entertainment is a business. It’s not about the highest level of raw competition for the players, although that’s sometimes a nice outcome it produces and does satisfy one of the key stakeholders in that the players are labor and labor does need some type of motivation and gratification. But, it’s about making money. The owners and the other investors in the league need to make money. Making money can be accomplished in a variety of ways, one of which can be leveraging the outcomes, both good and bad, of the marketable properties, meaning the players and franchises.

It was in the league’s best interest for the Penguins to win. I’m not saying they definitely manipulated the entire season to ensure it but I wouldn’t be surprised if along they there wasn’t a bit of slight of hand to provide advantages.

After all, why would the league chance pissing off 29 other franchises worth of fans and discrediting their brand by promoting a reality show rather than a competitive sport?

They wouldn’t which is why I don’t buy into this massive, high level conspiracies. There’s too much for the NHL or any league to lose by doing it.

However, like I alluded too, there’s all the great underpinning story lines that they might…

Take, for example, the Penguins ownership situation. The current group is lead by a franchise and league legend. Lemieux and his group purchased the team 16 years ago on the brink of imploding riding huge debt resulting in bankruptcy, low attendance and the threat of a move to Kansas City. After taking control of the team and tanking a few seasons to ensure high draft picks that resulted in generational talents becoming part of the new core Lemieux’s ownership group was riding high. They had improved attendance, a new arena and a Stanley Cup to go along with the legend of Sidney Crosby.

It was like the high flying 90s for the franchise all over again. And it seemed as good a time as any to think about cashing in on the investment. Rumors of a sale were floating. And then, the long, slow backslide of the franchise. Several seasons of early exists. Decreased attendance. And a financial situation that wasn’t necessarily enviable both in player contracts and in other debt.

Knowing the current ownership group of the Pens wants to sell badly AND that they have the expectation of pulling a record 750$M for the team it’s in the best interest to help jack up the worth which Forbes estimated as 10th in the league at 535$M.

It’s obvious that it’s in the best interest of the league to provide the outgoing owners with the best possible situation for the franchise. It’s not just about the huge sum of money at stake but also the leverage to select a new ownership group that could stewart the team to further success in Pittsburgh as opposed to having to take less money from a less desirable owner who might not maintain the franchise or worse, move it.

A sweatheart set of moves last offseason seemed to set the stage – Continue reading

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WFHWTF: Week Three

Holy crap. We’re three weeks into this mission already? Time flies when you’re having fun!

I’ve joked life is in 30 minute blocks when working from home while parenting alone. What I learned this week was there really is no substitute for having a couple of them strung into one long nap. Holy crap was that a godsend. You know what else was a godsend? Spicy snack food because there was no breakfast or lunch for several days so habanero almonds and buffalo-style pretzels where quick ways to just satiate cravings between coffee binges. Truth be told though I can’t wait to get back to a “normal” eating schedule.

Of course though, it’s not how I survive but what I learn with Padawan that makes the week so special:

Padawan knows when you’re trying to photograph, or worse, film something and that’s not good. I can’t begin to even try to tell you how many things I tried to capture for my wife and our families and friends that as soon as the camera or my phone came out were “done.” None the less, there’s one time that’s almost a guarentee of a great smile: the first tummy time of the morning. Damn. I’m gonna be sad when they outgrow the experience.

Helicopters! Continue reading

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Murder hitting close to home

Musicians dying prematurely is almost cliche at this point.

Musicians dying in general in 2016 is definitely cliche.

Musicians being killed is even it’s own kind of weird cliche.

Then, there’s Christina Grimmes’ murder this week. One might just dismiss this as being a Florida thing, because of course it happened in Florida. But, it’s more than that.

It’s one step removed from the horrific murder of Dimebag Darrell Abbot when his life was taken while performing on stage.

These kind of incidents are rare only in that they involve a musician and occur while said musician is doing their job. But, murder in-and-of itself is all too common.

It’s a tragedy only in so much that there’s a lot that could be done to prevent such things but not a lot of action actually takes place to safeguard musicians or the public in general. While this isn’t going to be a post about how the answer is NOT more guns but more safeguards for more responsible firearm ownership it is important to remember that guns do in fact kill people. Their sole purpose was to produce death until the recent ammosexual movement and as a tool guns did exactly what they were designed to do by killing once again. This also won’t be a post about mental health and how the social stigma surrounding both treatment and overall wellbeing undermines care in general and how the medical community is held hostage by these stigmas resulting in poor care overall and likely played a role once again. This also won’t be a post about prevention and the reality that we live in a world that likely could require an endless series of checkpoints where our liberties and privacy is secondary to ensuring we are unable to harm anyone and our presence is cataloged taking us into the semblance of a police state to protect us from ourselves (because we don’t take mental health and gun control serious enough).

No, this won’t ben just be a post about how disheartening it is that someone who’s sole interest was sharing their unique gift with the world was cut down because they were sharing their gift with the world. Continue reading

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Don’t be a douche

The entire convicted rapist Brock Turner situation really drives me bonkers. It’s the perfect intersection of white cisgender straight male privilege, sports privilege and the culture of holding top participants to a different social and legal standard, the protectionist attitude of alumnists & brotherhoods, the sad reality that bad parenting does contribute to bad behavior by offspring in a lifelong cycle of douchebaggery, and the culture of rape and revictimization.

To that end, I struggled with how to respond. Do I write an open letter in support of the victim? Or to the shitbag father who both created and defended his egotistical rapist son? Or to society itself on why the outrage cannot end with this rapist or with the unfortunate outcome of this trial?

I don’t even know where to begin as a father trying to explain to padawan when the time comes what these kinds of situations mean to them. There’s so many things they need to know and so many different ways the conversation could go that it makes my head spin.

What I decided was to give some more general statements to them that I hope they can keep in mind as they go through the formative years of their life. Those years when we are all bound to make some bad decision but there are opportunities to mitigate the jail worthy, life altering mistakes.

Quite simply, in modern parlance: Don’t be a douche. Continue reading

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Padawan Playlist: Dadtime Vol.2

So the aural adventure continues and I am going to make the most feeble attempt at catalog the creative listening that happens while I’m working and Padawan is joining me

Truth be told, I don’t preplan or manipulate our listening for the most part. It’s not much different than what would be my normal routine is so as much as this is some insight into what Padawan is growing up with, it’s also somewhat I deeper dive into my own, well, you pick the adjective now…

Bonjour Francaise!

Gojira – Fuck, This band rules and the new songs are, well, um, BRILLIANT. If you can’t appreciate what they are doing you’ve missed out. Lots of bands from Mastodon to Opeth to Amorphis to Cynic (to name but a very few) have approached development in unique and unexpected yet seemingly natural ways and I feel Gojira is along that same lineage of shattering your expectation. Padawan didn’t show much response one way or another… for what it’s worth.

Lonewolf – honestly, had it not been for working on the French metal show I would have yet again overlooked this band. Continue reading

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WFHWTF: Week Two

Well, week two was interesting with Padawan and work clashing quite a bit along the way. Hey, if it were easy every single parent and dual-partner working household would have this shit figured out by now.

For me it’s been a battle in 30 minute increments. OK, maybe a little exaggeration we can call another blog post. But, what I’ve learned is to really become reliant of writing things down, using timers and reminders, and although everything has a schedule being fluid enough to have a cushion of about 30 minutes either way — because you just never know.

However, this is about Padawan and what they are teaching me about our relationship and here’s what I gleaned from this week

Padawan definitely is opinionated. And, exactly like their parents has no problem expressing dislikes and likes alike. You can’t miss satisfaction or dissatisfaction and there really isn’t much in between, it’s that extreme.

They prefer sitting on the porch for their bottle. This is fine, as last early summer this was one of my favorite places for a cup of coffee in the morning when I worked from home on Friday. These days I sip poorly made lukewarm coffee with usually far too much molasses sludge at the bottom but those early feedings on the porch Padawan prefers over just about any other feeding till momma comes home,

They didn’t seem to hate having to listen to French metal for a week straight. Continue reading

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The Stamkos Delima

For the better part of the season one of the most talked about question among my circle of hockey friends was what could or should happen to Steve Stamkos. The hockey world has thrived on rumors of trades and postulated the need or replaceability of Stammer for the Lightening. Personally, I was in the camp of trade him to this point but being posed the question now, in the midst of the Lightening’s somewhat unexpected resurgence was interesting to think about again.

Honestly, I didn’t have the time, or the wherewithall to deal with pulling up the season-by-season numbers, especially not the advanced stats that are required for such an analysis but here was my hot take on the subject in our online chat:

I look at this from three different, and important points of view and then once the different contributors are covered it’s about what the relative worth really is compared to the market:

first, there’s the lightening POV which is either a) pay him likely dollars and term to retain him and put themselves in likely salary cap hell and chance losing some of the young core b) Lightening let him walk outright with only the memories or c) they pull sign-and-trade so they get value from letting him leave (while putting him in a position to have the salary & term he wants without the open market battle for it) and he looks like a hero for not putting the team in a learch

second is his POV. What’s more important? Continue reading

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