Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY


Lisboa, Portugal.
THE STREAK ENDS

From Seth...

"Wednesday night, the Tigers lost.

It was the first loss for Detroit in May.

No, not for just the Tigers, but all of Detroit.

Until last night, the Tigers hadn't dropped a game since an 11-3 fall to Minnesota on Saturday, April 28.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings hadn't lost since Game 3 of their series with San Jose. That was April 30.

And the Pistons? Hot doesn't even begin to describe them. Detroit's basketball franchise hasn't been on the low end of the final tally since April 15, a 91-102 loss to Philadelphia. That includes the last two games of the season, the first round of the playoffs, and two games into the 2nd round.

So it got me thinking: of the cities with a baseball, hockey and basketball team (you can't count football because they don't play often enough and football, baseball and basketball never coincide), what's the longest city-wide winning streak? Between the Wings, Pistons and Tigers we just had 11 games over 9 days. Can you think of better?

And stepping back, can you think of another era when one city so dominated professional sports? New York could never get the Knicks and Rangers going at the same time. I found one in Boston, 1967-1970. You have the Bill Russell Celtics dynasty, the Bobby Orr/Phil Esposito/Gary Cheevers Bruins, and Yaz and the "Impossible Dream" Bosox. Boston came close again with the Larry Bird Celtics, Orr's Bruins and Jim Rice Red Sox of the early '80s. But the Bruins faded when Orr and Cheevers retired in '79, which is right about when those Celtics were getting their ducks in a row for the Bird era. And though the Bruins got Ray Bourque that year, they weren't really on top again until they broke up the Oilers in the early '90s, just missing the 1986 BoSox/Celtics thing.

Other cities with concurrent pro franchises in NHL, MLB and NBA:*

San Francisco and Oakland (Sharks, Giants/A's, Warriors)
New York (Rangers/Isles, Yankees/Mets, Knicks)
Chicago (Blackhawks, Cubs/White Sox, Bulls)
Toronto (Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors)
Minneapolis (Wild/North Stars, Twins, Timberwolves)
Boston (Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics)
L.A. (Kings/Ducks, Dodgers/Angels, Lakers/Clippers)
Philadelphia (Flyers, Phillies, 76ers)
Atlanta (Thrashers/Flames, Braves, Hawks)
Miami (Panthers, Marlins, Heat)
Dallas (Stars, Rangers, Mavericks)
Denver (Avalanche, Rockies, Nuggets)
Phoenix (Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Suns)



*Determining whether a city "owns" a certain team is kind of problematic, and I had to be a little arbitary. Distance is no determining factor: San Jose is further from San Francisco than the Meadowlands is from the heart of Manhatten; in fact, the Pistons' Palace of Auburn Hills and the Rangers' Ballpark in Arlington are both further away from their host cities than the New Jersey Devils are from downtown New York. But I counted the Sharks as a San Fran team and the Jersey teams as separate because, even though they're close together, the cities are considered different metro areas, and the fan-bases are separated. Obviously, some cities have two teams with geographically separated fan-bases (nobody from South Chicago roots for the Cubs), but since they're the same city, I still counted them as such.

The defining idea is which demographic the team plays for. Anaheim teams were put there to draw from Los Angeles, not just USC students. The Nets, however, are supposed to be for Jersey fans -- New Yorkers root for the Knicks. With Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, I let them both count, since the Sharks and Warriors are meant to be the teams for all three cities, while only the baseball teams are separated."
THE LATEST FROM CALLISTA

From Callista...

1. This Saturday (tomorrow), I'll be running the 25k Riverbank Run. For anyone who's free and looking to spend a little time outside enjoying the sunshine that has been promised, a familar face cheering me on is worth 2 packs of go-gel. If anyone's bored, come out with the thousands of other spectators. I hear that a good place to watch if you don't want to be downtown near the finish line is John Ball Park. :) For info about street closings etc, go to www.53riverbankrun.com

2. On Tuesday, I was accepted to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to start a Master's of French studies with an emphasis in International Development! It's a full calendar year program that also involves a two month internship abroad. I'll be heading over there at the end of August to start the Fall semester.


Well between you and James livin' la vida 'Sconi, I have no choice but to visit now!
FRIDAY NIGHT LYRICS

Rush - Prime Mover

Lyrics: Peart & Music: Lee/Lifeson


Basic elemental
Instinct to survive
Stirs the higher passions
Thrill to be alive

Alternating currents in a tidewater surge
Rational resistance to an unwise urge

Anything can happen...

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of the journey is not to arrive

Anything can happen...

Basic temperamental
Filters on our eyes (Filters on our eyes)
Alter our perceptions
Lenses polarize

Alternating currents
Force a show of hands
Rational responses
Force a change of plans

Anything can happen...

From a point on the compass
To magnetic north
The point of the needle moving back and forth

From the point of entry
Until the candle is burned
The point of departure is not to return

Anything can happen...

I set the wheels in motion
Turn up all the machines
Activate the programs
And run behind the scene

I set the clouds in motion
Turn up light and sound
Activate the window
And watch the world go 'round

From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of a journey
Is not to arrive

Anything can happen...

Friday, May 11, 2007

NOT ONE FOR THE KIDS

Normally I try to keep the blog PG-13 and safe for work. James sent me an exception. However, it was such a slap in the face, I had to post it. Just remember kids, it could be worse, you could have been born like this.
BANGALORE MAKIN' UP NEWS GALORE

James finds reason to worry Seth...

"Outsourcing first claimed manufacturing jobs, then hit services such as technical support, airline reservations and tax preparation. Now comes the next frontier: local journalism.

James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the two-year-old Web site pasadenanow.com, acknowledged it sounds strange to have journalists in India cover news in this wealthy city just outside Los Angeles.

But he said it can be done from afar now that weekly Pasadena City Council meetings can be watched over the Internet. And he said the idea makes business sense because of India's lower labor costs."


The best part is that you don't have to pay them Sethian wages to make up the news...

"Projected annual cost: $20,800 for the pair. Not bad wages for an Indian journalist and cheap by U.S. standards, especially if each one produces the expected 15 weekly articles."


Can Seth do 15 weekly articles for $10K and still turn out the blog material on the Tigers, Wings and Wolverines? I don't think so. I'm not sure if he should seriously be afraid. But it's a great sign of these changing times and if living in MI has taught me one thing, it is not to trust globalization if you want to keep your bigboy job forever.
YOU'VE BEEN SERVED

From Frank...

Tondar and Tres:
(I have already outlined most of this to you Tony, but most of this will be news to you Tres)

I will be coming to Nashville in early November, as you can see below. I have a four-day weekend, so it will work out well I believe, especially since I am planning this out with a fair amount of advance time.
I will be arriving early Friday morning, November the 9th. I will be arriving from an overnight flight, but I will try to tough it out through the day (Monster/Rock Star can work wonders). We will throw down on Friday and Sunday night, and Saturday we will play for keeps.
I will return on Monday in the mid-afternoon, at 2:40 PM, so that will allow us to do the Work and the Glory on Sunday night.
Maybe James or Paul will want to come to Nashvegas, or any of your friends from MI and elsewhere.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,
The Logistics Master
JOEY D. NEEDS HELP

It seems Seth has stumbled upon one of our ole frat brothers in crisis on CraigsList...

I've got 4 premium tickets for the totally sold out game Friday, May 18th against the St. Louis Cardinals. To gain entry to this World Series re-match and many other games throughout the season you must trade me a simple medical procedure: a vasectomy. I have 8 kids already and that number is always on the rise, I need help. I can't scalp enough tickets to cover the ones I have, and without a legitimate job I don't get a tax break. I'd like to speak in person. I need certain assurances. I want to be sure that my little italian suasage will be alright, I've heard horror stories. A friend of mine told me that when he went in for his vasectomy the doctor performing the work used liquid stitches to sew up the cut. When he woke up his scrotum was glued to the side of his leg. I must know that my boys will be able to swing like a chimp on a vine. Please feel free to e-mail: theitalian2300@yahoo.com or call 936-444-8944 ask for Clifford. Thank you and God bless my tiny dong.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

PIC OF THE DAY

Shouldn't have eaten the raw chicken. So far so good, but something tells me I will be peeing outta my ass tomorrow :(

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

JUDGING PAVEL

From Seth...

As Detroiters do, people were getting on Datsyuk for past playoff flops, where he'd be kept off the score sheet during postseasons that have been all too short.

Now, I reserved judgement for a reason. First and foremost, in hockey skills, this guy is awesome. He doesn't have the size of Thornton, the speed of Crosby, or the innate hockey sense of Lemieux or Gretzky (he'll be a star, but never a superstar), but he could stickhandle better than any of them, his shot is quick and deadly, and his passes are perfect (often too perfect). He's also a good two-way player at this stage of his career, hampering offensive rushes from behind about as well as anyone out there, and using his quick stick to frustrate opponents. And coming into his prime, Datsyuk still has a ton of upside. Steve Yzerman gushes about him. Second, I saw those playoff series where Datsyuk didn't perform. He couldn't get the puck. They'd converge on him the second he'd come near it. Datsyuk was the recipient of more grab-ass from Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim than any other player. And I think it wore on him that he was spending every series behind pushed around and held to the ice. Essentially, they gave him the star treatment, and the "let 'em play" playoff officiating made that treatment all the more effective (just as Draper managed to neutralize Iginla and Kariya). Of course, we expected him to fight out of that, and he didn't, and it's fair to expect more than that.

I went after him once, when coming out of the lockout he said he was worth Joe Thornton money and would play in Russia if we didn't pony up. I think we've seen pretty clearly that there's only three guys in hockey worth Joe Thornton money: Joe Thornton, Martin Brodeur and Nicklas Lidstrom. Sidney Crosby will be soon. I also think it was pretty clear, after the Wings finally got him signed, that Pavel was doing what his Russian agent (assigned by his Russian team) was telling him to do. Had he engaged the services of an agent more familiar with Detroit sports, things might have been different.

The fears, of course, stem from our love-hate relationship with Fedorov all those years. Fedorov was the consummate me-star -- the guy who'd play to make his millions and thought he could expect, rather than earn, the fans' love. He contrasted too much with Yzerman, the penultimate team player, perhaps in all of NHL history. The contract thing exacerbated that. Working class Detroit sports fans seem to care more than other towns how the players get paid, and signs of hubris from the player during negotiations can permanently distance even a star from fan appreciation. Yzerman negotiated his contracts over a beer at the Pump Handle under the general understanding that the Wing wanted to pay him as much as we could afford, while Fedorov held out all season after winning a cup for a monster contract he didn't deserve. Coming out of the lockout, Zetterberg signed quickly for 4 years at a very reasonable price ($2-$2.5 million). So while we equated Zetterberg and his humble rise to stardom with Stevie Y, Datsyuk's "I'm staying in Russia game" cast him as his countryman Fedorov.

Like Fedorov, Datsyuk's highly skilled. Like Fedorov, he plays defense the right way (with sticks and hits), which is invaluable on the decreasingly rare days that NHL games are officiated as hockey games rather than Wrestlemania. But Datsyuk has Fedorov's skills, not his ability. Datsyuk has okay speed; with Detroit Fedorov was one of the best skaters in the league. Datsyuk has slighty under-average size, while Fedorov was slight above average. Datsyuk has a good slapshot; Fedorov's was great. They're both exceptional passers. They both see the ice very well. Essentially, Fedorov could be a superstar almost on talent alone -- a Vinny Lecavalier, Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros or Petr Forsberg. Pavel's one step below that: a Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Eric Desjardins, Jeremey Roenick, Keith Tkachuck or Mats Sundin -- guys who were exceptional in a certain area and whose talents made them borderline stars, but earned Hall of Fame credentials or not based on effort.

The questions popped up again right before the playoffs when Pavel signed a long-term, fairly lucrative deal (not Joe Thornton money, though) to stay with the Wings. This was right after Brett Hull said he thought Pavel wanted out of Detroit and didn't like Babcock's system. Hulls comments seemed to echo those of Datsyuk's detractors: he's a small finesse player who won't play the boards or make a hit, things Babcock stresses. When he signed the long-term deal -- in case that alone didn't put the lie to Hull's statement -- the sentiment going into the playoffs was that Datsyuk's career year had earned him his contract, and we could expect a Deivi Cruz-like downturn in effort.

Had Pavel been a Fedorov kind of player, then Hull would have been right. Instead, Babcock seems to be the best thing that could happen to Pavel Datsyuk. And if the player is allowing Babcock to develop his play, then simply put, he's obviously not Fedorov.

I was surprised when after Game 3 of this series -- when Pavel scored the game winner with 1:43 to play -- a Detroit player made mention of fans not appreciating him. Two weeks earlier, the comment might have made sense, but after the Calgary series, anyone who had Pavel doubts pretty much had them answered. It was my sense that we always knew he was highly skilled, and after the great season he had, few were really questioning his motivation, save for those who got afraid when the Wings gave him that contract. And any doubts those people might have had were pretty much washed away when 10 minutes into the Calgary series, Datsyuk led both teams in hits. From the starting gun, Datsyuk was throwing his body around like a maniac. He's been a real hockey player -- with much greater intensity than during the regular season. He's been money on the boards -- one of the few Wings you can say that about. And the opportunities he's created for himself are paying off with scoring.

The Pavel Datsyuk-is-underappreciated story is a non-starter. So is the Pavel Datsyuk-is-overrated story and the Pavel Datsyuk-is-an-ego-centric-Russian-fairy story. No, he's not going to be our captain -- Zetterberg could be that guy, once the '90s Wings are gone and the phenoms are in their 30s. But he's a great hockey player -- a star hockey player. He's intense, and Mike Babcock has managed to help him discover a much more physical game that seems to help the young star get more into the game. He could become a Sergei one day, but for now, the whole "I'm staying in Russia" fiasco has been corked. Datsyuk has a long-term contract to work for this organization, and he's showing he appreciates the opportunity. If there are any Detroit fans out there who aren't treating him the way Ken Holland treats him, they're wising up. This guy came to play, and it's finally taking his game to at or near the amount he's getting compensated. In short, he's well worth cheering for.
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

I like to think of myself as a jerk from time to time. But there's no way I am this big of a dick...

From findlaw.com via Seth...

Customer Sues for $65 Million Over Pants

(AP) - WASHINGTON-A missing pair of pants has led to one big suit. A customer got so steamed when a dry cleaner lost his trousers that he sued for $65 million. Two years later, he is still pressing his suit.

...

But Pearson was not satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants. Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, he asked in his lawsuit for $15,000 - the cost of renting a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.

Manning said Pearson somehow thinks he has the right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment.

The bulk of the $65 million demand comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of Washington consumer protection law, which imposes fines of $1,500 per violation, per day. Pearson counted 12 violations over 1,200 days, then multiplied that by three defendants.

Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service." He claims the signs amount to fraud.



At least there is a little hope out there for the Chungs as they have their own defense fund.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

PICS OF THE WEEKEND

Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky

First time together since 1999

The ceremony was beautiful and all the kids were there.

We even got to see a different side of Mistress Angela as her moves put the rest of the house to shame.