Question of the Day: How Much Should Squire Spend #forthekids

Last week, I wrote about surviving survivor.

Unfortunately, Alecia Holden didn’t fair so well this season. Despite busting her ass off around camp, and finding a hidden immunity idol clue, she was kicked out by the the Brawn tribe.

Holden recently gave an interview describing her experience on the show. In the interview Holden went on to say that the two tribe mates responsible for giving her the boot “never gave her a chance” and believes they don’t “respect women”.

Since being eliminated Holden seems to be taking the loss in stride. She’s kept a pretty even keel in the media and just said what everyone who watched the show could already see. And now, shes auctioning off a 15 minute skype call to help raise money to find a cure for JDRF (Type 1 Diabetes). 

Enter Hard No Sports.

Personally, I am not a huge survivor fan. I only started watching a couple years ago and I’m burning out. I don’t think Squire has watched an episode in his life. Gritty however, Gritty loves survivor.

So when Alecia announced she was doing something good, like donating money to charity, Squire saw the perfect opportunity. Help out a charity and give Gritty the interview of his dreams.

squire - tweet- holden

Look how sweet she is. She even liked it. Little old Squire got a like from Holden. It was a big day for the Hard No House.

Now, I don’t know how many people follow us at this point. I’m assuming zero. So, to save you the time, all Squire really does is bitch about how much he has to work and how much money he’s made dipping into the ‘fat cat lifestyle’.

And then, just this morning he was complaining about how the auction had reached $150…….I am getting the vibe that Squire may not really be in it #forthekids after all.

So, today we ask you, how high should the corporate fat cat, Squire, have to go in his pursuit of helping out a charity and helping Gritty get a skype call with the former Survivor contestant, but always beautiful, Alecia Holden?

I think it’s time he puts his money where his mouth is.

-Salt.(@hardnosalt)

 

Live Blog – Mortal Lock Week 1 – Pens & Canes

Today is the day that will answer the question: will I be going to to an EDM/Rap Battle concert next week. Fuck.

Pens are starting Murray. Let’s take that as a sign of confidence. Kid has been really solid in his 6 previous starts. No need to play like a rookie tonight.

I have a grown up things to do at 3:30 so I might be a touch late getting home to start. Let’s hope we have some fun, shall we.

Summary

Well that does it. Lack makes a nice save with 3 seconds left but the game is over. Sid scored twice. I think Phil had some points. Murray shut the door after the 2 early goals.  That was huge. Pittsburgh needs to look at that defense if they want to do anything in the playoffs, assuming they get there. Also please stop taking penalties below the opponents goal line.

Pens win their 4th. I don’t go to EDM/Rap Battle concert. And I won money for the house. It’s a good night. Now we just need a Zaga loss to send Squire to his punishment, and were all set.

First Period.

  • Just got home.  6 Minutes left in the first. Sid scored. Score is 2-1. Fuck.
  • US Open trophy getting some TV time. Bad sign. Let’s not talk golf right now. Thanks.
  • 2 on 0. Sure why not. Thanks for the save Murray. Closed the 7 hole quick. Good god.
  • If Lack can keep bobbling rebounds like they’re hot potatoes that would be great. Also, how many times does Phil have to miss?
  • Cullen is fancy.
  • 2:09 left in the First and Rust takes a boarding call behind the Canes goal line. Right call on the play. Poor play by Rust.
  • 1:04 left in on the PK for the pens. PK looks good. Keep the lanes closed and puck to the outside. Couple of nice passes left a Cane player open to snap a hard shot on Murray. Good save.
  • One of the Golden Rules of hockey: No goals allowed in the final minute of a frame. Pens are 1:05 from getting out of this one.
  • 15 Seconds out. Puck is dumped in and quickly out by Letang. Pens escape the PK unharmed.
  • Penguins out shoot the Canes 22-14 but remain down 2-1. Fuck. Me. 40 miles left though. Here’s hoping.

Missed most of the first obviously. But the Pens out shooting the Canes 22-14 is a good sign. Lack can slow down. Very unlikely Pens stay on pace and put 66ish shots on net. Going to have a find a way through Lack and buckle down on the back end. Have a feeling Pens ran into a hot goalie tonight. Not good.

Second Period.

People bowling on the ice is strange to me.

  • Pens win opening face-off and are offside 9 seconds later.
  • Matta with a dump in on Lack holds for the face-off. Goalies must hate that play in the show this year.
  • Solid save by Murray. Canes looked dangerous coming into the zone on that rush. please stawp.
  • Sid is good at face-offs.
  • Sid is good at sprawling around on the ice taking away the pass on a 2-1. There’s practically 2 periods left. No need to pinch that hard yet.
  • Murray looks to be tracking the puck well tonight. Easily handled a shot from the point and put it into the corner.
  • Phil losses a race to the puck in an offensive zone. Canes clear. The sky is blue.
  • Sherri almost feathered a pass through to Fehr. No luck. Puck goes wide. Pens pressing now. Lack standing tall.
  • Pens keep the pressure up. Canes forced to ice. The commentating crew is immersed in the fact the puck bounced off the dasher and went into the air. Let’s see how many times it comes up tonight.
  • Pens seem happy to leavea a man alone in front of their net on every Carolina rush tonight. Oh look. There was just three of them and only Letang in front. This is an unsettling theme. Puck cleared. Somehow.
  • Three Canes 2 Pens. Pens back check forces Skinner to take a bad angled shot from the outside. Murray handles it easily.
  • Pens pressure again. Lack handles it well. Rebound in the slot wasn’t found by Pens.
  • 12:30 left and we are headed for a commercial.
  • Murray flashes the leather and finds a piece of candy. Kid is making saves to keep the Pens in this.
  • Canes are cycling well here. 2 shifts in a row. Pens are out momentarily but generate nothing dangerous.
  • Pens are line juggling. Always a good sign.
  • 9:45 left and Pens still losing.
  • We’re back. Puck has been outside the dots a lot tonight. Nothing dangerous happening.
  • Murray stops the wrap around and stays square to the puck to swallow up the rebound.

GOAL

  • Phil can thank the Hockey Gods for this one. Great break out pass to Cole.  Cole entered the zone, delayed and cut to the middle. He went for the shot in the middle of the slot, Cane defensemen got a stick on it, Haiglin was there to kick the arrant puck over to a streaking Phil. Phil managed to put it in the net. Lack was on the other side of the net still. Pens tie it up 2-2. #NOEDM.
  • Murray makes another nice save.
  • Stall and Rust are mad at each other. I think that’s about all that’s going to happen. Rust kept the gloves on. A lot of words not so many fists. Both go for 2. Pens commentators are calling for a spear. It’s more of an upwards slash. A lot of swooping motion in that stick. Refs got the 2 minutes right.
  • 4 on 4 now. Pens should have the advantage here. Sure enough Canes are cycling at will in the Pittsburgh zone.
  • Phil all alone in the slot aaaaand misses the net.
  • Pens are keeping up the pressure here. Pens take another penalty in the offensive zone. This is good.
  • Behind the Canes goal line. Again. Good god.
  • 5 left in the second. Canes start 4-3. Rust comes out of the Box aaaaaaand denied by Lack with the blocker on the breakaway.
  • Canes just get set up on the PP with 15 seconds left. Cleared immediately. It wasn’t. Shot straight out. But goes unseen. Back to even strength. Canes go offside.

GOAL

  • Sid on one knee (he loves that) re-directs a perfectly placed slap pass from Cole over the blocker of Lack. Happened quick. Sid did a great job of getting open. Cole did a better job of finding him. Pens up 3-2.
  • Hagelin, definitely did not spell that right before, goes off for embellishing. Canes go off with a trip. Back to 4 on 4 we go. 1:46 left.
  • Hanifin takes a penalty with 7 seconds left in the 2nd.

Second period comes to a close. Pens start 4 on 3. And I think, I think they’re up 3-2. 20 minutes away from #NOEDM.

Third Period.

Squire needed starbucks. Missed the first 2 minutes. Pens are still up 3-2. All is okay. Just gotta get through this period and walk away with not having to go to #EDM.

  • Pens playing much safer and slower here. I’ll take it. Not much happening.
  • Matta has a shot form the point bounce around and almost go in. Pens putting on pressure here. Sid losses the puck by the blue line and out come the Canes.
  • I am now nervous of Rust being below the Canes goal line. Penalty problems are real.
  • Apparently Rust is like a burrowing animal? Thanks?
  • More Pens pressure. Dumoulin takes two shots before the second gets through. Lack swallows it up……like a burrowing animal? #hiremerootsports.  13 left in the third.
  • Pens still keeping the pace of this game to a minimum. Staal seems to be the only Cane that can really press the puck.
  • Pens turnover in the Offensive zone. 2 on 0 below the hashmarks..again. Daley dove back and jumped on the pass across like a…..yup….burrowing animal. Canes go to the PP on a Hagelin hook.
  • Rask with a rocket from the point. No traffic in front for the Canes. Miller tracks it well and holds on with the glove.
  • Quick pass out of the corner to a streaking Nash on the far side. Nash flubbs it and puts it back across Murray. Canes take a penalty immediately after. 4 on 4.
  • Letang is fancy.
  • 3 on 1 for the Canes. Skinner delayed and tried to cut to the middle in the offensive zones. Sid back checks well enough to congest the play and Skinner faces too much pressure to get a shot off.
  • Phil’s arms aren’t long enough to accept a perfect pass from the Pens defense. He chases it down and puts a shot on net from behind the goal line. Rebound is put out of play by Bonino. Pens on the PP now.
  • Canes kill the Pens pp easily. 9:40 left even strength. Hand pass in the neutral zone. Commercial break.
  • Phill and Hagelin cycle it well and put on some pressure.
  • Murray once again looks very much in the zone. Two quick back to back saves. Holds onto the second.
  • Couple of quick stoppages in play. 7:11 left. Not much happening.
  • Hagelin just won a race in the offensive zone. slammed on the breaks and was all alone in front of Lack with no where to go. They just looked at eachother and Hagelin went backhand and it was tipped away but a Canes defensement struggling to get back.

GOAL

  • Bonino streaks in the far side. Phil had the puck below the dot and Lack had to challenge. Even Phil can put it away with that much time. Phil passed, Lack bit, and Bonino tapped it in the open net.
  • Daley goes off for holding. 6 minutes left. Pens up 4-2.
  • Scrum in front of the Pens net. Ref has his harm up. Staal falls on Murray and goes off for goalie interference. 4 on 4 again.
  • Back to back solid saves by Lack and Murray. Canes cycling down low in Pittsburgh zone.
  • Sid breaks out of the zone and gets a pass from the Pens defensemen.  He took a half clapper from about the the hashmarks, just to the left of the face off dot. Lack played it very well. Was out to challenge. Made the save and held on. No hatty for Sid.
  • Canes buzzing but cant get the puck on net. Pens look content to burn this one out.
  • Pens PP is over with 3:45 left. Penalty coming up on Hornqvist because why not? Can’t make it easy. Tripping penalty. ON the Canes goal line this time. The penalties are becoming more and more defensive by the second.
  • Canes cycle. put it on net. Doesn’t get through and the Pens clear. Canes can’t gain the offensive zone. 1:10 left in the PP and 2:30 left in the third.
  • Canes cycle it around, Hard shot from the point, steered aside by Murray. Another shot from the point, doesn’t get through. Another shot, doesn’t get through.
  • 30 seconds left. It’s all but over. NO EDM! THANK GOODNESS!

 

Question of the Day: Does Canada Like Gregg Zaun?

Well, happy St. Patrick’s Day Canada.

You know what America gets? March Madness.

You know Canada gets? Gregg Zaun co-hosting @timandsid. In a #greensuit. Kill me and get him a stylist.

Zaun tweet.png

Tim is in Vancouver to cover the CIS National Basketball Championship. So, Canadians get Gregg Zaun filling in. We here at Hard No Sports think the nation is poorer for it.

If you don’t know who the #manalyst is. Here. Have a look. If you do, have a look anyway.

 

I know this video is old. But the fact he’s on national television today led me to write a letter to the #Manalyst himself.

Dear Mr. #Manalyst,

You just called out a young man who you think weighs about 125 pounds and told him he should be watching his back. Amongst other things,  you then advised that the young man not “puff his chest out and challenge a grown man via twitter and erase the tweets. Go knock on the Jay’s clubhouse door and do it like a man if you feel that strongly. Stop acting like Tommy tough guy while hiding behind the internet”.

Mr. #Manalyst it’s at this time I feel the need to point out a few glaringly obvious facts concerning your verbal letter. While you were addressing Mr. Ventura you were ‘hiding’ behind a T.V. screen. In fact, your chest looks rather ‘puffed’ in the video above. Your suit even looks a little tight around the biceps.  Needed to make sure you looked nice and puffed up as well, bro? Are you not addressing Mr. Ventura from the safety of your studio set inside the Jay’s stadium? I think the Kansas City Royals have a clubhouse as well. Should you not have gone and knocked on their door? A little hypocritical don’t you think, #Mr. Manalyst?

And no Mr. #Manalyst, giving Mr. Ventura your seat and section numbers as you sign off neither makes you look tough nor does it fool anyone with half a brain into thinking you’re willing to get behind your words and fight a current professional athlete. Mr. Ventura is currently making an average of $4.6 million per year. He’s not going to come see you in your section, during a game in which he has to put on a uniform for, to fight you. Mr. Ventura also happened to be a part of the team that won the World Series last year. In case you forgot.

I would like  to thank you for pointing out Mr. Bautista’s numbers Mr. #Manalyst. Myself, as a viewer, was unaware that Mr. Bautista generally allowed his bat to do his talking for him. In fact, I had no idea he generally excels at it.  Thank you for enlightening me, a Canadian viewer. I also don’t think Mr. Bautista needs a babysitter. Do you Mr. #Manalyst?

These were two current professional athletes who happened to not like each other very much at the time. They could sort it out just fine, you know, on the field, where the athletes play. You don’t play anymore, you do realize that don’t you, Mr. #Manalyst?

And finally Mr. #Manalyst, I am acutely aware that I am not a professional athlete. I am also acutely aware I am sitting at a desk, using my keyboard, my fingers, and my brain to articulate an opinion. Not all of us can be athletes Mr. #Manalyst. So we develop other muscles. For instance, the aforementioned muscle, the brain. You should try it some time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. And please, do stop being an asshole on national Canadian television. You make the rest of us look bad.

Yours truly,

Salt.

Here’s Zaun’s career numbers if anybody cares. I’m sure if he gets fired up about this they will become relevant. I just don’t give a shit. He won the World Series once as well. We will certainly be hearing about that.

And here’s a bonus video of Zaun calling kids knuckleheads:

Look at that suit pull at the end of the video. What an asshole.

So nation, today we ask the question, does Canada like Gregg Zaun? I think my stance is pretty clear. But I am more than willing to in the minority on this one. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

-Salt. (@hardnosalt)

Mortal Lock Week 1 – The Punishments

Tomorrow sees both Squire and I staring agony in the face. The punishments for the first week of our Mortal Lock picks has been set. I am afraid dear reader, very afraid.

Squire had to be a big man and took Zaga earlier in the week. At the time Squire didn’t know who Zaga would be playing. Squire was bold enough to take them on the spread. Tomorrow Gonzaga takes on Seaton Hall. If Zaga can’t cover the spread Squire will be heading off to a C list comedy act on Sunday night all by his lonesome. Squire is a pretty sulen and quite man. He doesn’t enjoy crowds or company. The idea he might have to attend this hour and a half event in a theatre full of people just warms my normally cold heart. Oh, and he’ll have to blog about it. So we might all be winners here.

I wasn’t quite as brave. I took the Penguins over the Hurricanes tomorrow night. No spread. No Lines. Just the Pens getting the W. The Hurricanes have been showing signs of life lately and Pittsburgh is without Malkin. Nothing is certain here. I’ll be live blogging the game tomorrow night. That should be interesting. If the Pens lose, Squire has decided I will be attending some sort of EDM Rap Battle at a local night club next week. I will be going alone. The nightclub draws huge numbers from the undergraduate programs in our town. I also don’t like crowds or a lot of people. Also, generally not a fan of EDM, at all. I will also have to blog about my experience. I think I’d rather eat a bowl of salt.

Gritty fucked the whole thing up. It was like trying to watch your parents play Call of Duty. It was almost impressive. Squire and I think he should have to pick another game that takes place before Sunday or just suffer a punishment for his actions. If anyone wants to weigh in on this, or what Gritty’s punishment should be, please, let us know. Or you can just tweet him. Call him a coward. Or a fool. Either one works.

Pray for Salt. Pray for no EDM. Pray for no rap battles. Lord knows I need it.

-Salt (@hardnosalt)

Michelle Fields and The Duck: Why It Should Scare the Shit Out of Us.

If you don’t know, you should know. You need to know.

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 former BREITBART News reporter, Michelle Fields claimed she had been assaulted by Trump’s (aka. the Duck’s) campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski (@CLewandowski) after a press conference in Florida. Fields claimed she was grabbed and violently thrown aside by Lewandowski. Field’s wasn’t just making public announcements. In fact, she was so sure that it happened she filed a police report with the Jupiter Police Department. The Independent Journal cited the police report as stating:

The Jupiter Police Department is currently investigating an alleged battery that occured at 115 Eagle Tree Terrace (Trump National) on March 8, 2016. A police report was filed with Jupiter Police Department on March 11, 2016 at approximately 10:00 AM and the investigation is ongoing. As with any investigation, specific details concerning criminal investigative informatoin is not releasable while the investigation is considered active.

I used the term ‘so sure’ it happened to describe how Fields felt about the incident because of the way the Duck and Lewandoski responded. The Independent Journal posted a video of the Duck’s response to the incident on twitter. He’s quoted as saying:

They said absolutely nothing happened. He [Lewandowski] didn’t hear about it until the next day. So, I wasn’t invovled in it. But the Secret Service was surrounding everybody. They said nothing happened. Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up. I think that’s what happened.

Lewandowski tweeted out:@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I have never touched you. As a matter of fact i have never even met you.

Lewandowski, in some sort of effort to clear his name, tweeted out the following article during the media blitz surrounding him:

The Scrum: Video Emerges to Suggest WaPo Reporter Ben Terris Misidentifies Lewandowski in Fields Incident Bretbart [Link]

The Link is to a BREITBART news article titled, ‘VIDEO SHOWS LEWANDOWSKI REACHING IN MICHELLE FIELDS’S DIRECTION’. It was written by Joel Pollak. The article was originally posted on March 11, 2016. The site attempts to break down the incident with frame-by-frame analysis. It claims someone else, likely a security guard, grabs Fields. Not Lewandowski.  Let’s just take a minute.

Fields, an employee of BREITBART, reported she was assaulted by the Duck’s campaign manager on Tuesday, March 8th. On March 11, just three days later, her employer had published an article discrediting her. Enter Ben Terris.

Ben Terris (@bterris), is a reporter at the Washington Post. Terris recounted the incident in his article Inside Trump’s Inner circle, hist staff are willing to fight for him. Literally:

….Michelle Fields, a young reporter for Trump-friendly Breitbart News, Pressed forward to ask the Republican front-runner a question. I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager.

Erik Wemple, who also works at the Washington Post, responded to the poorly written BREITBART article that claimed Lewandowski hadn’t grabbed Fields with certainty on behalf of Terris:

For his part, Terris isn’t budging. “I saw what I saw”, Said Terris in a brief chat with this blog. During the whole incident, says Terris, he had his “eyes trained on Corey Lewandowski,” because Terrris was there to profile the campaign team with a focus on Lewandowski. Terris took strong issue with Pollak’s assertion that mistaken identity is the “likeliest explanation” based in part on Lewandowski’s denials. “Because he denied it?” asked Terris. “This is Breitbart”.

BRETIBART has been criticized for being pro-Duck. Loyd Grove, of the Daily Beast characterized the website as “Trump Friendly”. Grove continued BREITBART “regularly savages the GOP establishment, the media elite, the Washington consultant class, and the Fox News Channel”. BREITBART itself has stated that BREITBART is a “private company and we [BREITBART] don’t comment on who our investors or backers are”.

I think it’s a safe bet BREITBART received some pretty strict marching orders from these private investors to shut down Field’s story ASAP. BREITBART complied. Welcome to America. Welcome to American Democracy. And welcome to journalism in 2015 where money buys the truth.

There’s also this moment. We can’t see Lewandowski grab Fields. But it sure looks like he’s reaching for something.fields.gif.CROP.original-original.gif

Fields also tweeted this picture of her arm:

Fields arm.png

And there’s this. The audio file. It appears to be from Fields phone and is currently hosted (here). It’s worth a listen. The crucial part of the audio file starts at 0:30:

Fields: Mr. Trump you went after the late [Justice] Scalia for affirmative action, do you — are you still against affirmative action.

Unidentified Voice: Excuse me, thank you.

There’s silence for three seconds and then:

Fields: Jesus.

About 6 seconds later

Fields: Holy Shit.

Terris: Ya, he just like threw you over.

Fields: I can’t believe he just did that. That was so hard. Oh my – was that Corey?

Terris: Ya, like what threat were you?

Ferris: That was insane. You should have felt how hard he grabbed me. Oh my gosh, I’ve never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.

Terris: Can I put that in my story?

Fields: Yeah, go for it – that was really awful. That’s so unprofessional.

Terris: He really just almost threw you on the ground.

Fields: He literally went like this and was grabbing me down. I don’t even want to do what he just did to me. Oh my God, that really spooked me that someone would do that.

Terris: What threat were you?

Fields: Nothing. I was asking about affirmative action.

Terris: And he probably knows you, right?

The audio tape provides insight into Field’s state of mind immediately following the alleged incident. It’s clear she’s in shock and reacting spontaneously. In Canada, there is an exception which allows out of court statements being admitted as evidence if they are considered ‘spontaneous utterances’ made by the victim, or a bystander, if the risk of concoction or distortion can be excluded. If you don’t believe me you can read this case. You won’t. And that’s okay. I don’t blame you. The exception allows statements made in the ‘heat of the moment’ to be included because the court presumes the witness doesn’t have the time or faculties to lie. In the audio tape both Fields and Terris identify Lewandowski. Both Fields and Terris describe a violent altercation between Fields and Lewandowski.

Oh, and this isn’t the first time there has been violence at one of the Duck’s rallies. Oh, and the Duck has been calling for violence at his rallies for quite some time (If you want to skip the politics and just listen to the Duck, let the video load and jump to 3:40). Violence coming from the Duck’s campaign itself should be no surprise. It should be something more akin to seeing  dark clouds on the horizon and then dressing for rain.

Some people are going to freak out and claim Fields planned the whole thing. Which just may be the case. But I doubt it. She was recording because she’s a reporter. That’s her job. I don’t think we can say she was recording for the sole purpose of catching this incident. Her initial reaction is silence and then “Jesus” and “Holy Shit”. That sounds like someone who is in shock. Is there a chance she played it up slightly after she regained her faculties because she knew she was recording? Possibly. Is Fields caught up in the media frenzy and likely pretty overwhelmed at this moment. Yes. Very likely.

But I don’t think we can say the Liberal party is operating at a level where they got a writer at a pro-Duck news corporation to expertly bate and entrap Lewandowski. If they are, they’re operating a whole new level.

So, what we’re left with is a Presidential Candidate, a Campaign Manager, a privately funded and well known pro-Trump Website who employed Fields, all denying that the Campaign Manager grabbed Fields. They want to point the finger at a security guard.

We have the reporter herself, and a third party in Terris, and some rather damning video and audio evidence saying the Campaign Manager grabbed Fields – to the point she was in shock and was bruised. My money is on these guys. In fact, I’d bet the house on it.

Yet, I’d also argue, ultimately it doesn’t matter who grabbed Fields, who was just doing her job by the way. Sure, if Lewandowski used force to stop Fields from asking questions it is more concerning. But if the unnamed security guard used force I’d say it’s still a cause for alarm. A precedent has been set by the Duck’s ducklings: if someone is creating an issue that we don’t want to deal with, physical force is an acceptable way to remove that problem. And that should scare the shit out of us.

Further, what Fields asked or said is irrelevant in this case. It doesn’t matter. The media’s role, the media’s purpose, in the realm of politics was originally intended to press the issue. The incident in question took place at a ‘presser’. The media is  there to rustle feathers. They are there to ask the questions Presidential Nominees don’t want to answer. We as the public rely on them. We need them. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Politicians generally dodge the pointed questions. It’s a dance that has been carried out on the dance-floor of politics for decades. And yet,  candidates and Presidents have always been willing to show up to this dance-floor. It’s implied. It’s part of the gig.

But not the Duck. The Duck, once again, has shown he doesn’t give a shit how the game is played. He does things his way, no matter the cost, and by whatever means necessary. He will reach his end. Even if the means require the physical abuse of a female news reporter.

When Fields was pressing the Duck and his team, traditional politics and journalism gave him three options:

  1. Answer honestly;
  2. Dodge the question; or
  3. Say nothing.

Trump has introduced a fourth option: physically remove the journalist. Physically remove the problem. Trump has decided he doesn’t want to dance. He’ll cause physical harm ensuring you don’t dance with him. This is scary. This is new. And it should cause serious alarm for journalists and the American public alike.

It’s just one facet of what Sheldon Wolin calls ‘Inverted Totalitarianism’. Chris Hedges, author of ‘Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism‘, describes Inverted Totalitarianism as being different:

…..from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state. Our inverted totalitarianism pays outward fealty to the facade of electoral politics, the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, the iconography, traditions and language of American patriotism, but it has effectively seized all of the mechanisms of power to render the citizen impotent.

The Duck has harnessed both. He is a charismatic leader to some. And he has effectively robbed the press of it’s freedom as evidenced through BREITBART. He is a clown singing and dancing with such lunacy that people smart enough to see it can’t look away and people not educated enough, through no fault of their own, think he’s something real. Someone who will offer real solutions.

To her credit Fields quit BREITBART. That takes guts. This woman should be commended for having a spine and sticking by her story. It’s rare today, especially in the media. Further, the editor-at-large at BREITBART,  Ben Shapiro, also quit. Shapiro’s statement regarding his departure stated:

Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion. Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issues. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski.

Good for Shapiro. This is massive. This is what we need more of today.

We now know the Ducks’s crisis management strategy regarding journalists:

Step 1: Forcefully remove the problem, even if that problem is a journalist.

Step 2: Deny all involvement or knowledge of the incident.

Step 3: Use direct or in-direct connections with Media outlets to silence the story. Especially if they employ the problem.

It’s disgusting. It’s wrong. It reeks of an empty husk of a man with nothing but cowardice inside of him. Good luck America.

Let’s hope this precedent, the precedent that physical force is a solution to silence a journalist, is quickly overturned. Else journalists who know just a little too much may be treated like this one day:

-Salt (@hardnosalt).

Salt’s Mortal Lock – Week 1

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See what I did there? I used a title for my Mortal Lock that informed readers what the subject was AND whose pick it was. Blogging at its finest. Squire and Gritty could learn a thing or two.

On Thursday, March 17th the Hurricanes travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. Pittsburgh is in the midst of clinging onto a wildcard spot in the East. Today, Carolina is only 6 points back of the Pens and 5 points back of the 8th seed Wings. If Carolina wants to play an 83rd game this season they need a win Thursday night. Carolina has looked better as of late. However, but I don’t think they’ll have the ability to keep a Penguins team, who finally  looks like they are playing desperation hockey, in check. That’s why I’m taking the Pens.

Also, it’s a Thursday and I don’t have class. So I can watch.

Despite losing Malkin, Pittsburgh wins Thursday I move to 1-1 in the HardNoSports betting arena. I can rest easy this week.

-Salt. (@hardnosalt)

 

Surviving Survivor

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Until three years ago I had never watched an episode of CBS’s Survivor. My roommate was a fanatic and asked if I wanted to join a Survivor fantasy pool. I said yes for a couple reasons. First, it was a good excuse to turn my brain off in the middle of the week and have a beer or two and not stare at text books. Second, I figured I’d man up and see what all the fuss was about.

The pool is still a thing. However, after last week’s episode, I think I’m done.

Survivor is in its 32nd Season and is taking place in Koh Rong, Cambodia. The show generally puts out two seasons per calendar year. The 32nd season premiere saw 8.3 million viewers tune in. I was one of them.

In Survivor tribes enter a ‘remote’ island and square off with one another for a chance to win 1 million dollars. This season sees Survivor revert to a tried and tested formula of three tribes; brains, brawn, and beauty. A lovely lesson to teach viewers – you’re either a model, you’re strong, or you’re smart, but good luck being two of these defining features. Let alone three. I suppose it’s more innocent than their ‘Blood v Water’ concept which sees family members wrestle with the idea of betraying loved ones for a shot at money. But not by much.

Tribes compete in reward challenges and immunity challenges. If a tribe wins a reward challenge they are rewarded. Pretty simple.  Immunity challenges see teams compete in challenges that generally combine some form of physical challenge and puzzle challenge to win an immunity idol. Immunity idols prevent tribes from having to go to the dreaded tribal council. Each episode one tribe must to go to tribal council. It’s the source of the show’s drama. And at each tribal, one member of the tribe must be voted out. This continues until the tribes dissolve into one tribe and eventually 3 cast members are left.

The premise of Survivor is simple. Win. Above all else.

Have an alliance with someone from day one? Blindside them at tribal and live to see another day. It was only your word. You only shook hands with someone and told them you have their back. What’s that worth? Apparently a million dollars.

This season saw Aleica bust her ass off over the first 3 episodes to try and help the tribe. We’re told she spent hours trying to make a fire while everyone else in her tribe laid around and rested. When she knew she was on the outs, she found an immunity idol clue. She thought she was safe until a former professional athlete and a former member of the U.S. army used their speed and strength to wrestle it from her like a couple of 6 year olds on a playground. Fuckin eh man. The lesson we can derive from that? It’s not how hard you work it’s who you know. Who your friends are.

The examples are endless. Morals are compromised again and again in the name of the game. In the name of money.

Last weeks episode sealed the deal for me. The tribes headed into the reward challenge just 5 minutes into the episode. Huh? That’s pretty early. We usually get plotting and planning for a while. Not today.

The reward challenge consisted of going through a small obstacle course, digging under a log in the sand and crawling under it, and digging up three bags of balls in the sand which would be used in a Survivor bowling game.

Koh Rong gets hot. The highest average monthly temperature was 33 degrees Celsius (that’s 91.4 Fahrenheit for you yanks). That’s hot and it’s only the average. I’ve worked labour jobs before where the day is over if the temperature hits 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit). We weren’t told how hot it was on the day of the challenge, but it was hot.  According to the show the tribes spent well over 45 minutes in the sun that day digging for bags. Three of them collapsed due to heat stroke. Which three?

Caleb – 28 year old army vet. Guy is built like a truck. Absolutely shredded.

Debbie – 49 year old Chemist, who according to the episode, weighs about 98 pounds.

Cydney – 23 year old professional body builder.

What do these three have in common? They don’t have a lot of water kicking around inside them. Those three going down to heat stroke/heat exhaustion was completely foreseeable. And it wasn’t so much the fact the show let them go down that was most disturbing (though it certainly was) it’s how they handled it.

The second Debbie’s teammate called the host over for medical the tone of the show flips. The music cuts out. In comes the string section in their ominous beats. And the show begins to reveals itself wholly for what it is. But first, a commercial.

When we come back the host proudly proclaims, with a smile on his face, “We have three different stories happening”. One of those stories is 49 year old Debbie curled up like a ball getting medical attention. The host graciously returns to Debbie and stands over her and asks for the update from the doctor. It’s all sort of eerie and wrong. Debbie is still what she’s always been, a set piece. Like all survivor contestants she’s been manipulated and put through tests and trials designed by TV producers and Network execs hundreds of miles away from the start. But now, her physical state, the helpless skinny middle aged woman who can’t pick her head off the ground, represents it perfectly. She’s helpless. As a viewer you can’t NOT see it. They throw it in your face. And what does the perfectly groomed, well dressed, host do? He doesn’t help her himself, there’s no real concern going on his end. In fact, he’s borderline excited. What great television this will make.

When Caleb goes down it’s a whole new level of heat stroke. The entire crew has scrambled from the bushes now. They’ve come to the aid of their stranded and deserted subjects. The poor guy can’t keep his eyes open, it looks like he’s in and out of consciousness, and no matter what the medical team try they can’t cool him down. They ran a mainline of Saline solution but he had roasted himself completely. There was no coming back. The music is rising and falling like an epic war movie. And then Cydney goes down. It’s a full blown crisis now.

The host jumps back and forth asking for updates on his set pieces. Cydney recovers. Caleb, as I mentioned, isn’t so lucky. He needed some serious attention and was helicoptered off the island, back to civilization. The last thing the host says to Caleb is, “You’re a warrior dude, glad you were out here”. This might be the most real thing said in the history of reality television. Caleb offered a great episode of suspense and chatter. I’m even writing about this shit. Unfortunately for him, it came at his health.

Now, we cut to Caleb’s team reacting to finding out Caleb is out. The string section which spent most of its time on the lower end of the scales ascends to angelic heights. The music is soaring and so is the last contestant to leave Survivor.

It’s just T.V. Salt, why the fuck does it matter?

It matters because Survivor is just one facet of celebrity culture that we obsesses over today. It matters because people in America are willing to compromise themselves, family members, and any shred of morality for a shot at a million dollars. Survivor is a symptom. The sickness is systemic and it has infiltrated almost every facet of North American culture. Survivor plays itself out in the real world almost everyday.

Don’t believe me? Donald Trump is another symptom. He’s just playing Survivor: become president and profit no matter the cost. Sound familiar?  Just as many people seem to be tuning in to Trump’s version of Survivor as well.

Maybe the time will come when I get into Trump. For now, fuck Survivor. I’m out.

-Salt (@hardnosalt).

The Real 10 Commandments of Beer League

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Today, Bardown released the ’10 Commandments of Beer League Hockey’. Their 10 commandments had 3:

  1. Honor thy GM Above All Else;
  2. Thou shalt pay they hockey fees on time; and
  3. Thou shalt not bail on game day.

Did you see what they did there? 1,2,10. Holy fuck. I was going to accuse them of having never played beer league hockey, but based on the way they count, they are exactly the type of guys who play beer league hockey.

I’ve played a lot of hockey in my life. In the grand scheme of things I was bad. Major/Junior and then University if I must qualify myself. Beer league is the reason I quit. The following 10 commandments seem to be the 10 commandments every beer league player adheres to. We’ll call our beer league player Barry.

#1 THOU ART A HERO BARRY, AND THOU ART BETTER THAN THIS LEAGUE638b1f68d9ebe9d284a65a25f6dd0651

This is the golden rule that every middle aged man seems to agree to in beer league. Barry can’t wait to tell you who he played Bantam Hockey with, oh and by the way, he’s in the Show now. Barry just missed his chance. Or he got hurt. Or the scouts just couldn’t see how good Barry was. Or. Or. Or. Meanwhile, the biggest obstacle on the ice is the blue line which Barry seems to trip over, again and again. You’re a real life Gordon Bombay, Barry, minus the skill. Sick dangles.

                                  # 2 THIS IS THE GREATEST LEAGUE ON THE PLANET AND BARRY WILL DIE FOR THE 06ab101330a8325f2ca34683c2060a07.jpgSHIP

You know how you can tell it’s beer league and its NOT the NHL? It’s a Thursday night. It’s 11:15 p.m. The only thing in the stands are the empty seats that are full when the local Junior/Uni team plays. And you are just getting on the ice. It’s beer league. Not game 7 of the Stanely Cup finals. Relax.There’s no need to draw blood, bleed, or run the 45 year old man from behind for an opportunity to get the puck out of your end. It’s. just. beer league. Barry.

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#3 BARRY SHALL TREAT OPPONENTS LEGS LIKE TREES AND THINE STICK LIKE AN AXE

See that picture on the left. I swear beer league players like Barry think doing something equivalent to that picture will magically make the puck leave their opponents stick and land on theirs. I don’t know how else to explain why it happens so much. It’s as if they’ve never held a hockey stick before. Settle down Barry, I need to walk to my car after the game.

download (2)#4 BARRY, THINE HOCKEY STICK IS FREE TO FLY

The only thing worse than the hacks is the high sticks. Again, it’s as if Barry’s hands have never held a hockey stick. I swear the average beer league player’s blade spends more time above the crossbar then it does on the ice. Maybe because 75% of them are ready to grate cheese they think it’s okay? I’m not sure. Stick on the ice Barry.

#5 THOU WILL CHIRP BARRY, AND THOU WILL CHIRP POORLY

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There is an art to chirping. It’s perfected over years of being terrible at it and being on the receiving end of some good ones. Giroux is one of the best. Barry, you’re not Giroux. Yelling, “YOU ARE NOT GOOD!” from the bench is embarrassing. To be honest Barry, you’re just letting everyone in the rink know that you, are in fact, not good. Be nice Barry. You’re all in the same boat out there and it’s fine you don’t know the lingo. It evolves. Just today I saw a Junior player tweet that he had made the ‘Ploffs!’ I had never heard that word before in my life (maybe that’s why I went and burnt out in Uni) and I’m not about to start using it.

#6 SICK DANGLES BARRY, NOW CELEY LIKE IT REALLY MEANT SOMETHING

Barry CeleyBarry, you just scored on a 53-year old man who hasn’t put on goalie skates since he was 21. I think his knees have sand in them. You managed to ‘rip the puck’ from the hashmarks low blocker side. Good work Barry. You got one. It’s amazing you guys are all out here trying to play the game. But you’re not Sid, Toews, or Kane, there’s no need to try and celey like you are. Hand up, maybe a yip or two, but fuck Barry, you don’t need to go for a skate around the offensive zone. Your stick is never something you should try to ride. No one is watching Barry, remember that? The bleachers are blue because no one is sitting in them, not because it was blue t-shirt night. Reel it in Barry.

#7 BARRY WILL FIGHT FOR THINE HONOUR

maxresdefaultLook at this picture. Look at Barry. Look how many there are. Barry isn’t afraid to drop the mitts and show Fred who’s boss. This is Barry’s rink and he’ll go ya to make sure you know that. Meanwhile, Barry has to show up to teach grade 11 gym class with a black eye tomorrow. The stitches on the back of his head are because he slipped and fell in a hockey fight last night. Keep the mitts on Barry. Best case scenario you don’t look like an asshole. Worst case scenario you run into someone who used to fight on skates for a living and is tired of you trying to break his ankles and poke his eyeballs out with your stick.

#8 BARRY, THOU SHALL SHIT ALL OVER YOUR GM

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The only guys crazier than the ones running around without a cage on are the GMs. Barry going to show up tonight? Won’t know for sure until we’re 5 minutes into the first. Barry going to pay his league fees? Maybe, certainly not by the deadline. Barry going to remember his jersey? Probably, because it lives in his bag. Barry going to drink all the beer if he shows up, and no matter how many times he tries, miss the garbage can in the middle of the room? Absolutely. Guess who has to deal with all of Barry’s shit? The GM, and he does it willingly, he volunteers for it. Mind boggling.

#9 THINE LOCKER ROOM IS A PLACE TO VENT ABOUT YOUR SHITTY MARRIAGE

download (1)Ladies, if you want to know how your marriage is doing, pull some NSA shit and mic that locker room. I think it’s a preface for beer leagues: your marriage has to be in shambles and you must vent to no end about it. After about 4 beers and a ‘hard fuckin skate eh Barry’ it’s a full blown counseling session. Maybe I’m bias. I was single at the time and just wanted to burn some calories before I hit the hay. I hadn’t yet made the decision to marry someone. Still haven’t. Maybe this is why they’re all so angry on the ice. Either way, keep your marriage at home Barry.

#10 THOU SHALL NOT SHOWER, NO MATTER THE COST

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Barry, it’s just a shower. You can even wear a bathing suite Barry! Or your briefs! It’s fine. Just for the love of god, shower. You don’t air your gear out Barry, guess what? It fucking stinks. It’s rancid. If you want me to go out for a beer with you after, or grab some food, you gotta shower Barry. Even I can’t inhale that smell and try to stuff down Budweiser and chicken wings at Boston Pizza.

Beer league should be great. It’s a place where people who haven’t had the opportunity to play the game can put on some skates and give it a whirl. But, frustrated middle aged men full of testosterone ruin it by trying to be heroes. You’re not a hero Barry. You’re a middle aged man playing hockey at 11:15 at night. And that’s okay.

Salt.

 

The Mortal Lock

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The Mortal Lock. And so it begins. Fuck me.

Starting this Sunday, March 13th, the team at HardNoSports will begin the tradition of picking individual ‘Mortal Lock’ picks of the week. This means Squire, Gritty, and myself will be locked into, and writing about, picking one game each week. If we are wrong there will be consequences. The Rules are pretty simple:

  1. By Sunday night every week Squire, Gritty, and myself must have declared our Mortal Locks for the week;
  2. By Sunday night, by committee, the @HardNo team must select a punishment which must be carried out and blogged about by each member in the event they are wrong; and
  3. Before each Mortal Lock game takes place we must write about why we chose that game and that team.

That’s it. Seems simple. Seems fair. It won’t be. I promise.

First, Gritty is a sports guru. He lives for this stuff. The guy has spread sheets of players in the CFL (the ‘Canadian Football League’) who played in the NFL. Why? So when Squire tees off about the CFL being a shit league he can pull out a spread sheet and politely ask Squire to choke on it.

Squire is a seasoned basketball and football fanatic. He calls out offensive formations in pubs, by himself, repeatedly. He traveled across state lines to attend March Madness last year.

Me? I just played sports. And not very well if we’re being honest. Lord knows I can’t pick em’ either. For example, this week I took a stab at writing about the Caps and Kings game.I predicted the Caps would win. By the end of the first period they were losing 3-0 and had a total of 6 shots on net. They lost.

Squire has been kind enough to tell me if the Caps and Kings game had been my Mortal Lock I would have been attending a CrossFit class this weekend. Next, I would have been writing about attending a CrossFit class this weekend. Wrong, on so many levels. Which, because I pick sports like the Oilers select draft picks, I will end up doing and writing about. Thus the ‘Fuck me’ at the beginning.

If you have any cruel events or ideas I can put Squire through, in the event he’s wrong, please feel free to share them. There can be no mercy in such dark times. And the internet can be a merciless place.

-Salt.

 

 

GDay – March 9 – 2016 – Caps v Kings

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Tonight the Capitals are in L.A. to take on the Kings in what could be a preview of the 2016 Stanley Cup finals. In fact, every game on the Cap’s three game Western Conference road trip could be a potential preview of the 2016 Stanley Cup finals.

On Monday the Caps went into Anaheim and ended the Duck’s 11 game winning streak. They needed a shoot-out to do it, but the fact is, they did it. Despite an almost identical stat-line, theScore reported head coach Bruce Boudreau post-game saying, “I don’t think skill for skill we can match those guys [the Caps] in the middle of the ice”. The Caps have always had skill. That isn’t news to anyone. The theme for the Caps this year is finding a way to win. The Caps are doing it again and again.  And that is news.

If Holtby lets in 3 with a .889%, the Caps score 7. If the Caps aren’t filling the net, Holtby (or Grubauer for that matter) is there to shut the door and carry them through to OT where they can put that neutral zone skill to work in 3 v 3.

But tonight isn’t about numbers for the Caps. It’s about the big picture. On Monday, as I mentioned, they were in Anaheim, tonight they are in L.A., and Saturday sees them in San Jose. The Ducks, Kings, or Sharks could end up in the Stanley Cup. However, the East goes through the Caps. They’ve earned that this year.

This 3 game swing through the West is a perfect mock  exam for Caps. They travel and play in the Western time zone, with at least 1 day of rest in-between each game, and play against 3 of the top 6 teams in the Western Conference. If they aren’t approaching this road trip as a mini-series with the goal of capturing 5 of 6 points, which I’m sure they are, it’s a wasted exercise.

And that is why I took the Caps tonight. Tonight is not about L.A. and how good they are. Because L.A. is good. It’s all about Washington finally tracking down that coveted trophy that has alluded them for, well, forever. This team is that good. It has it all. But, even according to Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, time is of the essence. That is why this road trip will not be wasted on Washington and they’ll come away with 2 points tonight in what promises to be a hell of a hockey game.

-Salt.

Postgame.

The Salt is real. Washington losses 4-3 in OT.

One of two things happened tonight; either the Capitals were unaware they were in a hockey rink, playing a hockey game, or they had one hell of a night last night.

The Caps mustered 6 shots in the first period. L.A. managed to put 14 on Holtby. The Caps took 2 penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game. L.A. capitalized on the first scoring just 4:52 into the contest. L.A. would add two more before the end of the frame. Washington, the Washington I wrote about, didn’t show up tonight. Not yet anyways.

The second period was scoreless. Both teams managed 7 shots.

In the third the Caps showed up. The Caps that were, before tonight, 49-13-4. It’s intimidating to watch. They command the rink. Washington put 18 shots on net in third scoring on 3 of them. Orlov showed off some fancy stick work cutting through the slot and tying the game with just under 4 minutes left. The Caps looked like they were about to do it. They looked like they were going to find another way to win a game they had no business winning.

3 v 3 is scary. It’s especially scary when you have two teams with this much talent flying up and down the ice. Just over half way through the second frame, Doughty turned around at the Caps blue line opting to regroup rather than force a 1 on 2 situation. 

A Capitals forward took a slow change. Meanwhile, Lucic and Carter came flying off the Kings bench with a full head of steam towards the Cap’s end. Doughty quickly put the puck up the left wing to Lucic and joined the rush. Washington was caught. They had one defensemen back, Ovechkin in the middle of the ice, and thanks to the slow change, a man just coming off the bench. Doughty joined the rush forcing Ovechkin to take him, Carter cut to the outside of the right wing, Lucic feathered a pass through to the wide open Carter and Holtby was left sprawling across to make a save that just couldn’t be made. Not tonight.

Caps show up late. Costs them a point. There is a positive in them for this. They went down 3-0 to the Kings and came back. They willed it. Just wasn’t enough tonight. Caps lose. I lose my first hardnosports bet, of course.

-Salt.