Thursday, June 15, 2006

Randomization, 06/15/06

I forgot. Yesterday was Flag Day. I hope you're not upset that I didn't get you a gift.

Hey I...ohhh I'm still alive! The Men of Oil aren't dead, yet. Fernando Pisani rules.

You have to bury these. Just ask the Buffalo Sabres.

I remember when Pisani scored his first goal of the playoffs back in the first round. I looked at my wife and said "Who the hell is Fernando Pisani?". Now, he's a hero in Edmonton, because he saved his team's season with a two-goal performance in the Oilers' first elimination game of these playoffs. It's the third time in four playoff series that the Hurricanes lost when they had a chance to eliminate an opponent.

It will be Saturday before we find out for sure whether Edmonton can make them pay for this. The Oilers have some momentum now, but the extra day off won't help them maintain that. They played their best game of this series on Wednesday night, but there is still work to do on that putrid power play. They need to do a better job of getting the puck down low, and their puck movement is still too slow and predictable, making it vulnerable to an attacking penalty kill like Carolina's.

For now, the Stanley Cup must stay in the box. Considering how few Game 7s we've had, here's hoping it stays in there a few more days.

Poor Michael Campbell. He's the defending US Open champion.

Did you know that?

After all, all we've heard about this week is Phil trying for a third straight major and Tiger playing for the first time since the death of his father. Now, these are valid and important stories. But has there ever been a defending major tournament champion as completely forgotten about as Campbell?

(Answer: Yes. Two words: Shaun Mickeel. The Heartbreak Kid won a PGA Championship, and then presumably vanished off the face of the Earth.)

Anyway, golf generally sucks, but the majors are usually okay. Especially the US Open, which is known for making even the best golfers in the world look horribly inept. That's something that I'm absolutely in favor of, but it needs to be done in moderation, and the US Open sometimes tows that line, and it can lead to frustration, as it did for John Daly in 1999 (quote from an Associated Press story):

"It's not worth it. This is my last U.S. Open -- ever," Daly said Sunday as he walked to his car after an 83 that left him in last place at 29-over-par among those who made the cut. "I've had it with the USGA and the way they run their tournaments."

"The USGA loves to embarrass guys who play in their tournaments," said Daly, a former PGA and British Open champion. "I don't mind hitting the ball bad, but when I feel like I've hit the ball pretty good for four days and shoot an 81, it's not golf. It's crazy. My hat's off to whoever wins, and it's a major, but ... I don't consider the U.S. Open a major anymore."

Daly couldn't keep his word. He's played the Open since then, but he hasn't done terribly well.

Anyway, I feel badly for Campbell. No one remembers that he was the defending champion. If Phil or Tiger (or, for that matter, Vijay) had won this thing last year, do you think everyone would have so easily forgotten about it? And how do you think the media would have gone about covering the event this year? Do you think they would have dismissed any chances for the defending champ?

Probably not. But that's what makes the media great.

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