A Lesson to Young Journalists: "It Takes Two to Lie. One to Lie and One to Listen"

I'm not a journalist.  Let's make this very clear.  If this isn't the first post you have read here, then you already know that.  So, like you, I just read news articles/watch TV and consume everything.  So, remember, I'm just like you.  We are, like, the same exact person.  More or less.  In the grand scheme of things.  Oh, by the way, don't forget to run the dishwasher later.

That being said, this troubles me.  Well, not so much troubles, just kind of annoys me.

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter for the Arizona Republic and Arizona Central, and one of the main beat writers for the Coyotes in Arizona.  She tweets A LOT about the Coyotes situation.  She is a journalist, so as a citizen you intend for her to give you all of the important details of a story without commentary, etc.  She does a good job of this.  She really does.  She's also a walking contradiction.  Well, on Twitter at least, where it matters.

The Tweet in question.
First, this "tim larsom" character has terrible grammar and doesn't understand punctuation.  Also, his statement doesn't make any damn sense, so it's a wonder why Lisa even responded.

Second, what Lisa says is fine, that is what she is supposed to say.  She's a journalist.  Journalist are meant to be impartial.  Ipso facto.

Until you look at her Twitter profile picture.

That appears to be Jobing.com Arena in the background, home of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Does this say she is a fan.  No, not exactly (but her bias is somewhat obvious).  Maybe she just likes the arena.  Maybe, except Jobing.com hosts maybe three other events each month aside from Coyotes games.  So, yeah, not likely.  Can one even "like" an arena?  I "like" Sprint Center, but I'm not going to have pictures taken outside of it unless it represents something more than a pretty glass building.  Jobing Arena represents the Coyotes because it has nothing else.  Sprint Center represents misinformation and taxes (as of this date) because, well, it was built solely on misinformation and taxes.  The White House represents Democracy and the president, etc.  The Arc de Triomphe represents Napolean's ego and French victories.  The Gateway Arch represents...the wonders of steel...?  It's pretty simple.

Look, we all know today's world is different than it was ten, twenty, thirty, forty plus years ago.  Journalists, TV news broadcasters and presenters, news people, they all have personalities now.  You can talk to them on Facebook and Twitter and they sometimes do dumb shit and everyone flips out.  They are people.  Real human people.  They, of course, in some sense, are also still held up to the high esteem of journalist like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, who earned the trust and respect of the nation because they fought for the real story and asked questions (and possibly because they were old and white).  It is what it is.  Just thought I would point it out.  But, don't mind me.  Move along.  Remember, the dishwasher.

Kansas City Sports Trust is a Thing That Exists, Disproving Myth that KC Has Zero Rich People

Idiot. (via)
So, have you heard about this, have you seen this?

From the Columbia Missourian (bold added by me for super-emphasis):

The MU athletics department received a $30 million donation from the Kansas City Sports Trust, the second largest private donation in MU history.The donation comes in conjunction with the department’s $102 million facilities renovation plan, which the UM System Board of Curators unanimously approved Tuesday. The plan calls for the renovation of Memorial Stadium, as well as renovations for the baseball, golf, softball and tennis complexes. 
The $30 million donation is the second largest private gift the university has ever received, trailing only a $31 million contribution from the Reynolds Foundation to the Missouri School of Journalism, MU spokesman Christian Basi said. It marks the second major gift the athletics department has received from the Kansas City Sports Trust, which contributed $10 million in 2004. 
Mark Foster, a partner of the Kansas City law firm of Stinson, Morrison, Hecker LLP that administers the trust, said the group is made up of anonymous donors who have ties to MU. 
"The trust is designed to benefit the Missouri athletics program," Foster said. "Obviously, the motivation is to assist in transitioning into the SEC." (ed note: lol wut)
Okay, first question: What in the blue hell is the Kansas City Sports Trust?  It's just a bunch of rich guys?  Oh, I do hope they wear monocles and sit around and read the Racing Forum while at the Yale Club.  That would be so 1920s stereotypical of them.  
Second question: Where are these "richers" when it comes to stepping up for KC to get an NBA or NHL team?  For you see, it is our fault (allegedly) the Sprint Center does not house a professional sports franchise.  Is that cause not "Mizzou" enough for them?  Or hell, why not just put some money into Kansas City area sports?  (*looks at rich guys patronizingly)  There's a bunch of them sports around these parts, and you could get your name on something (*winks, rubs fingers together in universal sign for 'money').  
Oh, but please, donate more money for pointless causes at a major university already with odd priorities when it comes to funding.  Education, of course, comes second, and this comes as no surprise, but does the University of Missouri really need $30 million dollars for their athletics department?  Yes, of course they do, because who cares about discontinuing funding for the University of Missouri Press, it's only been around since 1958.
And, hoo boy, don't get me started on the new Missouri Student Center building, which parts of are often shut down to students (STUDENTS!) for large "private" events.  That's friggin' hilarious.
And the list goes on, but it's just too damn windy up here on my soapbox to continue.

The main point, of course, is that if you are going to spend money on sports (which the KC Sports Trust is doing), then why not spend it locally?  Mizzou will get their money.  This doesn't necessarily fall on the shoulders of the KCST to give us what we want, but why not spend that money close to home?  On anything.  Anything at all.  Whatever.    

Here's Mark Foster's Stinson profile if you want to read up on him, or just say 'hi'.

Open-Air Rink Coming to KC Ice Center in the Fall

KC Ice Center in Shawnee is opening a second sheet of ice.  This one appears to be an open-ice rink with a permanent roof (I assume something similar to the Crown Center Ice Terrace, only probably not at all).  Below is a link and an excerpt from a release from the hockey director to those associated with the KC Stars amateur clubs.

I realize this is from late April, but here it is for those of you who do not know.

Kansas City Stars Hockey Director's Spring Update

KCIC is moving forward with a second sheet of ice!!! The new rink will be an open‐air facility with a permanent roof. It is planned to be ready in November. We all know the need for more ice in Kansas City for our sport to grow and prosper. The new rink at KCIC will use modern technology to allow our players to experience the tradition of outdoor hockey. Those of us who have played outdoors or seen the NHL Winter Classic know how much fun it can be to play open air hockey.
One of our goals for many years has been to find a way to provide more ice time for our Stars house level players. We are excited because the new ice sheet will allow us to provide our house teams (Atoms through Bantams) with an extra hour of ice each week from about mid‐November through March, depending on weather. The new rink will be open as long as the outdoor temperatures are below 50 degrees. There will be no increase in fees from last year to our house families for this additional hour of ice. More ice, same price! More details to come as we put together schedules in the fall.

And here is a picture of what it may look like, also from the KC Stars site.
It's no Heinz Field...
With the announcement of the open-air rink coming to the Northland in November also, Kansas City is really starting to jump on the "pond hockey" fad hundreds of years after Canadians made it popular.  Take that, Canada!

But, no, seriously, this is good.  Especially after the epic failure that was Ice Midwest.

Missouri Mavericks Pass the Cup to The LA Kings, or Something Like That

The Missouri Mavericks have a special message for the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.

Via the Mavs YouTube account

This is pretty cool, especially since the Cup visited the IEC earlier this year.  Well, it's cool to me at least.  You should be happy for me.  You should be happy for you for being happy for me.

KCIce: The Best Supergroup Since the Traveling WIlburys

Stick-tap to pucKChaser for uncovering the mystery of the ice rink in the Northland.  It will be managed by a group named KCIce, run by 1980 USA Hockey team member and former KC Blades coach Ken Morrow and NHL21's Paul McGannon.

KCIce's official site

Continue after the jump for the full press release on KC Ice and the new Northland rink.

Press Release Via

* * *

New outdoor Rink to Support Ice Based Sports and
Russell Stover Hockey
 Kansas City, MO, June 14, 2012:  KCIce Management Group announced the development of the new outdoor ice rink at The Village of Burlington Creek.  The rink will help support and grow ice based sports, competition and activities in Kansas City, such as the nationally recognized Tier 1 United States travel hockey program, Russell Stover Hockey.  KCIce, a grass roots organization established by a local group of private and public representatives, work towards promoting and growing ice based sports and the recreational activities generated from new ice facilities.  Ken Morrow, President of KCIce, is a member of the 1980 US Olympic ‘Miracle on Ice’ team and 4-Time Stanley Cup Champion who continually shows his passion for the sport through various outreach programs.  “Our mission is to promote and grow ice based sports,” said Morrow.  “With the addition of the new outdoor rink in The Village of Burlington Creek, we provide a vehicle, generating revenue, to help support Russell Stover Hockey while offering all families an opportunity to experience the joy of ice skating.” 

Russell Stover Hockey is dedicated to the growth and development of top young athletes in the Midwest and across the country.  Russell Stover Hockey provides a challenging environment in which players evolve into well-rounded young men focused on athletic and academic excellence with a commitment to community.

The new rink is the result of a collaborative effort between KCIce and NorthPoint Development.  Paul McGannon, Vice President of KCIce and founder of NHL21, Inc., has a long-standing reputation within the hockey community cultivating Kansas City for the National Hockey League.  “The earlier we get kids interested in skating the greater the opportunity to introduce them to hockey,” said McGannon. 

Kansas City has a growing and evolving ice skating community, but a shortage of ice facilities.  This rink is the first of many facilities to go up in the Kansas City area to further promote ice skating.  “A new outdoor rink can be a fantastic opportunity to introduce future figure skaters and hockey players to the ice,” added McGannon.  “But it’s also about bringing family and the community together.”

NorthPoint Development recently acquired the former Tuileries Plaza earlier this year and is active in reviving the area with more retail stores, restaurants and other attractions.  “We hear only enthusiasm and anticipation whenever we discuss the rink with area businesses and the community”, Nathaniel Hagedorn, President and CEO of NorthPoint Development.  The new rink will have seating around fire pits and provide a cozy environment for spectators and shoppers alike.  During the skating season, November thru February, the rink will provide exciting programs and work with schools, companies and organizations for special events.

The collaboration of the groups will deliver Kansas City’s first outdoor rink in the Northland, located in the heart of The Village of Burlington Creek.  The grand opening is anticipated for November 15, 2012.
 * * *

As always, stick close to all KC hockey blog sites for information, especially those with much more journalistic integrity than this one.

Willie Mitchell is the Happiest Person on this Planet (or Any Other)

Do you know who Willie Mitchell is?  You should.  He's awesome.

He's also the oldest member of the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings at age 35, and he kinda looks like Non from Superman.  He had never won the Stanley Cup until the other day.  And dammit, he is one happy sonofabitch.  Don't take my word for it, though, just look at the pictures of him with the Cup.  You will enjoy it, trust me.

So, skate on over to the new Willie Mitchell Cup Love tumblr and submit your favorite Willie Mitchell photos with the Cup!

Also, submit photos you have found to add to the collection.  It's really easy, and free too!!!

The End of the 2011-12 Hockey Season

My favorite team just won the Stanley Cup.  I know you don't care, but I do.  There is no way to describe this feeling because I still don't quite understand what happened.  Surreal.  I can't comprehend this.  But I'm happy.  Very happy.  And I will probably break down crying tomorrow at work, then get sent home early.  If so, I'll write something more meaningful.  Until then, it's just whatever, man.  Dude, Kings.


All pics via ESPN or Yahoo!

My only (other) wish is that I could celebrate the victory with the fans.  Not necessarily in LA, although that would be awesome, but I want this for Kansas City.  One day.

This is awesome.

Explaining the Game: Non-Traditional Hockey Markets

"Explaining the Game" is a feature in which I transcribe conversations explaining hockey to members of my family, friends, colleagues, etc. who don't understand the sport.  It's for all of you marginal (Kansas City) hockey fans who may have had similar convos in the past.  Hopefully it will help you understand the game a little better using a vernacular familiar to you non-hockey fans.  Or maybe these conversations hit close to home.  Today's topic of discussion: Non-traditional hockey markets

Earlier this season, watching a Kings–Wild game on NBCSN at my mom's house. My mom's special man-friend walks into the room

Him: What's on?

Me: Hockey.

Him: Oh. (awkward pause) Who's playing?

Me: The Kings and the Wild.

Him: (another pause) Does Kansas City still not have a team?

Me: No.

Him: They had one a few years ago, right?

Me: Kind of.  We have the Mavericks out in Independence.  That's kind of like "AA" hockey, though.

Him: Oh.

(long pause)

Him: (squinting at TV) Does that say "LA"?  As in "Los Angeles"?  Ha!  Why do they have a team?

Me: mmmmmmmmmmm (under breath)...go away...

He leaves the room eventually.

The point of this tale being hockey is indeed played in places without traditional winters, so don't act like it's such a crazy thing.

Prior explanations:

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

After what seemed to be fifteen hours of third graders regaling the Glendale City Council with their assessment of "Hop on Pop," it ended.  The council, in a 4-2 vote, agreed to hand over the keys of Jobing.com Arena and the Phoenix Coyotes to former San Jose Sharks owner Greg Jamison, and to squeeze their taxpayers for $325 million to fund the whole mess.  It doesn't matter, though, for you see, the Goldwater Institute, the conservative watchdog group that scuttled the Matthew Hulsizer deal, isn't happy.  Nope, not one bit.
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs looked so weary when giving her address before the official vote.  Her exclamation of "sometimes you don't always get what you want" came straight from the heart, an exhausted heart, and it really hit close to home.  Her 'nay' vote was merely a formality, as she knew it would be, but in the end it didn't matter.  It doesn't matter.  At all.  Because, like Elaine, we know this isn't over.  Not by a long shot.  For one, Greg Jamison has not officially been approved by the NHL (what's the deal with him not disclosing his investors?  Are they freakin' crab people?).  And, obviously, for two, the Goldwater Institute has a lot of influence for a group constantly pissed off at local governments.  They will take this to court, and it will get drawn out.  Again.  And the NHL will continue to be annoyed, again.  But do nothing about it.  And, really, it doesn't matter what happens to the Coyotes.  Not anymore.  They have become an annoyance.  They may relocate, they may not.  Who cares anymore?  Just get something done.  It won't matter in a few years when the team is still losing money and the city is still in the crapper.  It's a hockey team, not oil.  But whatever.  All I know is that I'm not watching anymore public access television for a while.

When does the Mavs season start?

Why the Stanley Cup Final Is Better Than a Wedding

Ah, weddings.  Who can deny the beauty of two people coming together to share the rest of their lives with one another.  Such a great thing humanity has culturally created.  Plus, they are great social events for the family and friends invited to share in the couple's special day...in theory.  Of course, in theory, communism works.  In theory.  But, look at weddings for what they are on the outside, without all of that lovey crap (all except yours, of course); free food, free booze, free party, single chicks with heightened emotional sensitivity, single (and not-single) dudes wading in a pool of their own testosterone...Look, I don't need to recap an entire movie plot for you.  Is this what we've become as a society?

Look, don't get the wrong idea.  This isn't a loosely veiled attempt to bash weddings and dictate a set of crazy beliefs (although, for more wacky, harebrained opinions you can look up my article "The Myth of Counter-Culture, and Why Non-Conformity Will Kill You" in the Paris Review).  A wedding is better than, say, a root canal, because of the obvious, but also because of the potential to find a good bartender (or bartendress) to whip you up something good and strong so you can dance your little heart out to the Cha-Cha Slide or other such crap (more on this later).  Oh, and because of the whole love angle, I guess.

Anyway, the point is weddings are more or less boring unless you are in them, in which case you expend an awful lot of energy to avoid falling down or lighting yourself on fire so the wedding is remembered as the "couple's special day" and not "heh, remember that idiot that fell down/ lit himself on fire."  It's exhausting, and the worst part is you can't watch sports.  It's a part of your weekend where you cannot take the form of a lazy slug.  Look, I know a guy who spent an entire wedding watching a gamecast of a soccer game on his phone while reacting loudly whenever something happened.  The problem is, you can't do this while at a wedding, unless you are a total asshole, in which case you probably aren't reading this anyway because you never learned how to read (I heart you, you wonderful, literate readers of mine! ;)  ).

Wedding receptions are my main source of umbrage today, though.  Sure, wedding receptions can be fun, and you can get drunk, and you can dance without inhibition or care, and you can hit on everything that moves.  They can also be a chance for deranged and/or awkward white people to dance around and make fools of themselves in front of other awkward white people.  Also, you might not get drunk, or the only attractive person there is you – I have this problem all the time anyway – and you really just have to be social out of respect to the also-rans.  Much more on all of this later, though.

When you get down to it, weddings are terrible.  Not the institution of marriage (well, sometimes...) but the whole shebang and hoopla.  This may be an unpopular stance, and to that I say "consider me unpopular."  Don't get me wrong, weddings of close friends or relatives are great, mainly because you don't have to know anyone but the bride or groom, so that gives you free-reign to act like a drunk asshole or socially aggressive creep and no one can call you on it because you are wearing a nice tux or dress, which gives you super powers or something.  But don't let that fool you into thinking you would rather do something else with your Saturday (or whenever), specifically something like watching the Stanley Cup Finals.

Oh, you caught me.  YES, this is about hockey!  Hold on, and you will see my point.  Here are four reasons why watching the Stanley Cup Finals with friends and/or relatives is better than attending a wedding and wedding reception.

1. The Social Aspect

Weddings are social events, no doubt, and if you know a lot of people you can find yourself trying to budget time to talk to everyone you want during the entirety of the wedding event(s).  So, that's good.  If you don't know a lot of people, well, weddings, the reception in particular, can get kind of boring.  Take this for example:  My immediate family are close friends with other families that have had many of their children get married recently.  This means my mom and myself (and whoever else) get placed at a table with individuals we have never met before.  One person actually worked with the father of the groom ten years ago.  What the hell is that?  Sure, don't seat us at a table with people we know who also have to sit with people they don't know.  Anyway, Mama Flub is a great conversationalist, but she ends up by herself when I'm either a.) antisocial or b.) looking for someone I know to talk to.  That means Mama Flub gets stuck with the unenviable task of making conversation with complete strangers.  Now, I know what you are saying: "oh, don't be a putz.  Meeting new people is great," and to that I say:
That, of course, is the bad.  Later, we will get in-depth into that moment when you realize you are the only "single and ready to mingle" person at the dinner.

On the flip-side, while at a bar or wherever watching an SCF game, you can choose to be social if you wish.  If you are around the right kind of people, watching the game can be a blast.  Or, if you are with friends, you are already in good company that isn't going to walk away to slow dance to "I Know This Much Is True" and make goo-goo eyes with their significant other who you hate for a reason that does not bear repeating.

Advantage: Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

2. The Drink Selection

You always run the risk of attending a reception without an open bar.  Instead you get an open bar for an hour, or the always dreaded pay bar.  I have been in too many of those situations.  There is no way I can drink enough in an hour at 6pm to get me through the rest of the night.  Of course, finding a great bartender is sometimes tricky, but if you do, then it's totally worth getting loaded on your own dime.

If you do in fact stumble upon an open bar, well, nothing beats that.  Really, that's free bar privileges and no one can take that away from you.  Drink up and enjoy.  You've earned it.

Watching the SCF has the same advantages and disadvantages of any other night in a bar.  The bartenders typically know what they are doing, and you have to watch your tab.  Also, this means someone has to drive, so you can't get too crazy.  BUT you can watch the Finals while kicking back a few Guinness-es.  Really, that's all that matters.

Advantage: Push, but only in the event of an open bar.  Anything else leans towards watching the SCF in a bar.

3. Attractive People

Women have a thing for well-dressed men, and men have this thing about emotionally-charged women in low-cut dresses.  It's science, people.

Again, little can top a wedding with a wealth of attractive "dressed to impress" twenty-somethings with alcohol in them.  It's not even fair.  Of course, again, watch the first thirty minutes of Wedding Crashers for a full explanation.

The caveat, of course, is when the wedding reception has as many available prospects as a family reunion, or when the ravages of inbreeding rear their ugly head (and I do mean ugly).  This can be a real downer to any single, attractive young adult.

A bar scene can be just as bad for all the same reasons.  But guess what?  It doesn't matter because you are watching the Stanley Cup Freakin' Finals.  Your libido even senses a difference, and becomes sexually-attuned to hockey instead of the opposite sex (or same sex or whatever...You Can Play, etc...).  It's a wonderful thing, really, and a natural function of the body.  Plus, there are literally no side-effects (except you blog more and speak to the opposite sex less, which is odd...).

Advantage: Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

4. Food

It's either chicken, steak, or some kind of fish with a small portion of fixins on the side.  Or a buffet.  Which is fine, except you have to eat it while making conversation with strangers.  Or while trying to keep it down after four Rum and Cokes while doing "The Hustle" (jeez white people are dumb...)

If you are lucky, you are watching the SCF.  Depending on where you are, you are eating bar food.  But, there are many options to consider.
a.) make a big dinner at home with friends and fam before going to watch the game
b.) go to a nice restaurant before settling at a bar
c.) eat food from a street vendor to get the feel of being outside of the arena before a game

You can choose your own adventure, and as an American you should have that freedom, dammit.

Advantage:  Watching the Stanley Cup Finals

In summary: 
Weddings and wedding receptions are fine, except when there are important sporting events on and except when the bride and groom go cheap and/or don't invite a lot of cool people or there isn't an open bar or it's either chicken or salmon.  So, it's no wonder that it's a no-contest when posed with the option of either Going To A Wedding or Watching the Stanley Cup Finals With Friends/Family.  

That being said, I hope the hotel where this wedding reception is tonight has a bar...

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