Babs Era Begins!

It has been almost one whole week since the Maple Leafs tole the spotlight from the Argos with their announcement of Mike Babcock as the team’s 30th head coach. What a mess that day was…the sports media went crazy and a certain section of LeafsNation smoked a cigarette about 36 seconds after the announcement. For those of you who don’t know me or don’t follow me on social media (and hey, why the hell would you?), I have a bit of an issue with a certain group of LeafsNation. These are the folks that flood social media and the radio shows after a Leafs win with comments about the team’s chances of winning the Stanley Cup. These are the same folks that will call in after a Leafs loss and suggest a million things they would do to fix a sinking ship. This happens no matter what number of game the club is at in a season…could be game #1…game #32 or game #79. I jumped on the Maple Leafs chat about 20 minutes after the news was announced and there were comments about being ‘a Stanley Cup contender right now’ and ‘start putting Babcock’s statue up’ today!

Bab's Results

These folks make me want to put my head through a wall. I cannot imagine living my ‘fandom’ life on such dramatic ups and downs. The Leafs are a horrible team and very little has been done with the product on the ice, and as much as a good coach can make changes, the players are guys who have to execute night in and night out. Last season’s Leafs club was one of the worst in decades. Babcock should make changes…positive changes….but his changes will only go as far as the players execute.

I like the hire, he is one of the best coaches in the game today (Quenneville is pretty damned good in Chicago). His gritty approach to coaching is what I believe is needed to survive in today’s NHL. Babcock is fully invested in a team during the NHL season, not to say previous coaches weren’t, but Babcock is definitely what many folks call a ‘grinder’. Some folks would definitely be unable to handle the daily stress associated with the constant pressure of the Toronto media, Babcock seems as though he would be able to handle it. All this is personal opinion of course, no way to know for sure until either he hoists a Stanley Cup in Toronto or gets chased out-of-town like the last few qualified candidates. Let’s be perfectly clear however, Babs will not hoist the Stanley Cup with the current roster….no way…no how.
Bab's Normal Look

Ontario-born, Saskatchewan raised…a graduate of McGill University in Montreal…Babcock has coached at just about every significant level of hockey in this country, CIS, CHL, AHL and IIHF. Babcock has won a gold medal as Team Canada’s coach at the 2010 Olympics and has won a World Championship with Team Canada in 2004. Add a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008 and Babcock is the only coach (so far) to have achieved the rare ‘Triple Gold Club’ in the hockey world (Olympic Gold, World Championship & Stanley Cup).

There are only two glaring things left that I don’t see on Babcock’s resume…..a Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach and a World Jr. title with Team Canada – both of these are still more than attainable as Babcock is only 52. And of course a Stanley Cup win in Toronto is also not on his resume at this point….cue the insanely rabid section of LeafsNation…….GO BABS GO!


The Oscars…I watch’em!

This blog was originally posted to my Blogspot site on Feb. 26th, 2013….there were a whack of pics originally..none of them copied over….so this one still has the captions in there…sorry

The Oscars were good. Not great, not horrible but good. I prefer the Golden Globes nowadays anyways. I prefer the Oscars over any other award show though. I don’t watch the Grammy’s anymore. I have never watched the Tony’s and the Emmy’s are not something I find interesting. I’m Canadian, and I don’t even touch the Juno’s or Genie’s or Gemini’s. What a waste of time those shows are! Just give me my Golden Globes and the Oscars. Well, I watch the ESPY’s as well, but that’s because I am a sports junkie more than anything.

Last night’s show was fairly tame, but the Oscar’s are not about being edgy. Seth McFarlane was pretty good in my opinion. Fairly dry compared to what he is known for, but that is what the Oscar’s demand. I thought his opening ‘bit’ was pretty good.

Shatner is Shatner and anything Shatner goes is Shatner-rrific in my books. In the end I thought McFarlane was a good host and I would be more than fine to see him back next year.

There were the usual amount of stunning looking women, no one really knocked my socks off though. I wouldn’t stand a chance with any of them, but I’m assuming you get my point. It was a nice change to see the awards, at least the big ones, spread out amongst the big nominee’s. Ang Lee winning Best Director was cool, I was unaware he had won that before. The Life of Pi was uninteresting to me when it was in the theatre’s but I want to see it now after all the talk about it last night.

ARGO winning both the Globe and the Oscar for best movie has made me want to see it.

I wanted to see Lincoln anyway, but after seeing how it was revered last night has only strengthened my desire to see it.

Jennifer Lawrence falling on her way to the stage was a bit humourous, she handled it perfectly. Hopefully she is remembered for her Best Actress win instead of the stumble. I had no desire to see Silver Linings Playbook, but will definitely give it a run now.

The cast of Les Mis doing a live number was pretty powerful, gave me goose bumps actually. My wife really wants to see it, and I will oblige her. I love those guys like Hugh Jackman (and the girls of course!) who can not only act but also do the song and dance stuff. That is talent. Some actors today are all looks and that’s it. They talk to the camera…that’s it. The versatility of guys like Jackman is where it is at in my opinion. I am not one for musicals, but I will sit through Les Mis – no problem, no questions asked.

I thought most of the ‘nobodies’ that won (no offence, but the sound mixers and others…I have no idea who they are) had some great, short powerful speeches. Completely enjoyed them!

The most disappointing part of the show for me was the Bond tribute. Hollywood is celebrating 50 years of 007 and I am a huge Bond fan. There were rumours early on that all the actors who had portrayed Bond were going to appear together for the first time ever on stage. That would have been amazing. But it didn’t happen. The rumour I had heard was that all but Sean Connery had agreed to appear. I don’t know how true that rumour is, but I had my hopes up. In the end, there was just a musical montage of the films set to some of the Bond themes over the years. Then Shirley Bassey came out and performed her theme song from Goldfinger. That was it. Um what? That was horribly boring for me. Bassey was great I thought but the entire tribute was severely lacking in my opinion. Why even bother? Leave it to AMC or a TV Network to put together a kick-ass show, they might do the franchise justice. Anyway, the Oscars failed horribly with the Bond tribute.

In the end, another pretty good year. The standouts for me were Shatner and Seth McFarlane making out with Sally Field. All good, see ya next year! And The Hobbit should have won something people…something!

Cottage Time Is Almost Upon Us!

This post was originally posted on my Blogspot site on March 28th, 2013

Hey kids,

Long time no talk…jerks. So anyway, I have been thinking about the summer. Up here in the Great White North, we go north in the summers….to the lakes….we cottage. And I was up at my cottage just this past weekend and the lake was still frozen…so we played CanJam on it. Look up the game, give it a shot, you’ll be hooked…..I swear. Anyway, the cottage got me to thinking…..yes, I have a higher type of brain function that functions from time to time. Sort of. Ahem. It got me to thinking that not everyone has a luxurious cabin in the woods like me. You’ve seen the pics of the outhouse, so you know I live in the lap of luxury up there. Where was I? Oh right, right, right, right…..if any of you punks are looking for a great place to rent here in Ontario, Canada…. here is a great spot! Check it all out will ya!