Musings on an August morn

Jason Gregor
August 07 2009 09:19AM

crosbyparty

It’s Sid the Kid’s birthday today, (he needs a new nickname because he’s outgrown it and it’s stupid) and he’ll be having a parade in Cole Harbour touring with his new best friend, Stanley. Oh the fun they will have shaking hands, kissing babies and trying to avoid the legions of groupies hoping to carry his love child.

Why the hell might Oiler fans care about this - given that the rate their team team is moving it will be a long time before Sam Gagner is bringing Stanley with him on a parade through the streets of London to celebrate his Aug 10th birthday.

It’s still 35 long days until the Oilers officially arrive for training camp. When Steve Tambellini announced Craig MacTavish wasn’t coming back he declared that MacTavish’s dismissal wasn’t just solely on the former coach’s shoulders, but that the players had to realize that they were responsible as well.

I guess Dwayne Roloson, Kyle Brodziak and Ales Kotalik were the key culprits because to date they are the only ones who won’t be returning. I’m not naïve enough to think that Tambellini hasn’t looked at other moves, but right now the only differences heading into camp this year compared to last is no Brodziak, and Nikolai Khabibulin is in while Mathieu Garon and Roloson out.

I wonder if the team and management will be beating the same, “We will compete for the division title” drum that we heard last year. And if not, how come? To hell with humility, if they believe they can compete for the division there is nothing wrong with saying it, but I’m guessing you will hear a much more reserved approach come September.

Right now I don’t see the Oilers any differently than I did a year ago, other than Pat Quinn having their undivided attention, which should make this team a bit better. But right now the Oilers once again look a team that could finish between 7th to 12th. I don’t think anyone could confidently predict an exact spot, although we will before the season starts.

Accountability

The veterans like Moreau, Horcoff, Staios, Pisani, Hemsky, Souray and young Gagner, will be held accountable this year. There is no way that Quinn will give them as much leeway as MacTavish did last year, and that will make them better.

While the vets will be like young kids trying to earn the respect of their teacher, the younger players better be ready to compete.

I don’t buy that just because Quinn is making out the lineup that Dustin Penner, Robert Nilsson, Ladislav Smid and Patrick O’Sullivan will automatically become consistent. While Smid and O’Sullivan aren’t close in the underachieving and uninspired levels of Penner and Nilsson all four have battled consistency.

Penner infuriated Randy Carlyle just as much as he did MacTavish, and Nilsson’s unwillingness to show up every night didn’t materialize under MacTavish. Both players need to look in the mirror and realize that the reflection is their biggest detractor, not the coach. Unless Quinn has some special Zen-master like powers the only way Penner and Nilsson show up consistently is by having the pride to do so.

Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov have improved the past few seasons, but last year both were softer in front of the net than a guy sitting front row at a peeler bar when he sees his sister stroll up on stage. (True story about a guy I went to school with, but that’s for another day).

Sure the Oilers sucked at faceoffs, and their forwards weren’t great at blocking shots, but the two G-men got a free pass far too often when it came to losing battles and position in front of the goal on the PK. (Staios was a major culprit here as well).

Quinn and the coaching staff will have a different system. It will be more up-tempo with an aggressive forechecking style that, if the players have the gonads to play consistently, should prove beneficial.

So here we sit as Sid the Kid celebrates his 22nd birthday drinking Gatorade from Stanley ’s Cup, with a real sense of déjà vu. Oiler fans have seen this movie before, but are hoping that a young Cogliano, or Gagner or maybe a veteran like Hemsky or Horcoff can lead this team offensively, while the team finds a way to keep the puck out of the net.

Are you sick of it? Probably not, because many of you have forgotten what it’s like to feel any differently about the Copper and Blue a month away from the start of the season.

ARE SOME OF YOU REALLY THIS DESPERATE?

paris-hilton

I’m stunned at how many emails I’ve received from fans claiming Nick Zherdev is the answer.

“The Oilers need Zherdev. He has great skill and being from the Ukraine means he’ll feel at home in the winter here. Give him $6 million over two years and we’ll make the playoffs for sure.”  - Tim “Zherdev for $3 million is a steal and Tambellini should sign him ASAP. I’ve watched him play and his skill is top-five in the league. Quinn will make him work hard, trust me.” - Bill from Clareview

I can understand that fans want some new blood, but at least go after a player who has enough heart to pump the blood through his veins more than once every four games.

ANOTHER LEGEND IS GONE

johnhughes

I was a big fan of JR, especially when he played in Chicago , but he never produced as many memories as John Hughes. Hughes wrote, produced and directed some of the most memorable movies in the 1980s.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles was my favourite. I wasn’t a fan of Steve Martin until he teamed up with John Candy in this classic. It’s filled with memorable quotes, “Those aren’t pillows…How about those Bears”…or Martin’s F-bomb tirade at Marathon Car Rental or this scene:

Candy was awesome…”How would he know where we are going”…It still cracks me up.

Hughes was also the mastermind of classics like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, Pretty in Pink, The Great Outdoors and Home Alone. Interesting that Home Alone was his most successful movie of all-time. For my money it didn’t come close to PTA or Bueller, but regardless he was a force in the 80s.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 The Fish
August 07 2009, 09:30AM
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Best Hughes movie was The Great Outdoors. As far as Zherdev is concerned, he can lick my ba!!s.

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#2 Archaeologuy
August 07 2009, 09:33AM
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Watch out Gregor, apparently there are some people here that get really angry when you mention that the team is essentially the same or worse than it was last season (minus the coach).

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#3 Librarian Mike
August 07 2009, 09:34AM
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Indeed, Steve Martin's rant at the rental place is one of the funnier things I've ever seen.

The picture of Crosby's party is probably not far off the mark. I'm sure a typical Friday in Ovechkin's world involves twins, champagne, and black lines over everyone's eyes to protect the innocent. Sid may have the cup, but Ovie has the cool.

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#4 ronaldo
August 07 2009, 09:35AM
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First, that sister stripper story does not need to wait for another day, it should be told now. Second, John Candy was awesome. Loved when he had to eat the grissel of that steak in great outdoors. Finally, as for Sid- how bout Sid "ped-stache" Crosby.

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#5 The Fish
August 07 2009, 09:39AM
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Suck My Wake

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#6 OvenChicken8
August 07 2009, 09:47AM
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ronaldo wrote:

Finally, as for Sid- how bout Sid “ped-stache” Crosby.

No way, you cannot put Crosby's stache in the same category as Todd Harvey's.

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#7 ronaldo
August 07 2009, 09:53AM
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@Ovenchicken8 I don't know. If neither were famous hockey players (ok big stretch on Harvey), which stache would you least like to see behind the wheel of the ice cream truck.

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#8 OvenChicken8
August 07 2009, 09:55AM
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@ ronaldo: Without a doubt Harvey, because his gapped tooth grin would make him seem legit.

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#9 David S
August 07 2009, 09:57AM
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Don't much care for ghey 'staches or the fact that not much is happening in Oiler land (although Jonathan's site has a nice update on Viz's shoulder injury), but I can tell you this for sure - Drew Barrymore is hotter than just about any girl any guy here has ever gone out with.

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#10 ronaldo
August 07 2009, 09:58AM
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@Ovenchicken8 Lol They would probably "work" different neighborehoods anyways.

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#11 Woogie
August 07 2009, 09:58AM
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This year is going to be a bust unless we get a Center who can acutally win faceoffs and can go on the PK. I doubt Peca will want to come back however man do we miss that guy!

Only winning 40% of your draws is pathetic and that's where we are heading.

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#12 Petr Klima
August 07 2009, 10:03AM
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I say we go to LA again and get Dustin Brown. Throw Penner/Nilsson, Grebs and a pick. Money should work and we would get a LW that hits everything in site and puts up points. He is exactly what we need, I would give them pretty much anyone but Hemmer if I had to, to get this guy. Forget Zherdev he will frustrate Oiler fans more than Penner or Nilsson have. Thank God Renney has already said they aren't interested.

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#13 ronaldo
August 07 2009, 10:05AM
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@David S Drew Barrymore? Really? While I'm sure many of us have a face for message boards, I'm also sure some have done better then that. Ahhh moment- my wife is way better looking then her. Less then ahhh moment- so is my girlfriend- zing.

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#14 Downright Fierce
August 07 2009, 10:08AM
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David S wrote:

Drew Barrymore is hotter than just about any girl any guy here has ever gone out with

Where did this come from?

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#15 The Fish
August 07 2009, 10:09AM
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http://ninxmz.org/images/demotivators/they%20see%20me%20rollin.jpg

Sweet Stache

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#16 douggy
August 07 2009, 10:10AM
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zherdev and nilsson are pretty much the same player. they show up once, maybe twice in 82 games. I agree he is not an answer, hell, the guy shouldnt even be considered a possibility.

is anyone as excited about training camp as I am? maybe it's just me...

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#17 David S
August 07 2009, 10:13AM
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Downright Fierce wrote:

Where did this come from?

Just giving Gregor a bit of support - I think he's right in this case.

Ya gotta listen to Gregor's show more often. Him and Fraser going at bit - freaking hilarious radio.

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#18 scorecoff hemmercules
August 07 2009, 10:14AM
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David S wrote:

Drew Barrymore is hotter than just about any girl any guy here has ever gone out with.

Speak for yourself my friend. Barrymore was hot once, but no longer.

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#19 David S
August 07 2009, 10:14AM
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"at it" *facepalm*

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#20 cableguy
August 07 2009, 10:18AM
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Petr Klima wrote:

I say we go to LA again and get Dustin Brown. Throw Penner/Nilsson, Grebs and a pick. Money should work and we would get a LW that hits everything in site and puts up points. He is exactly what we need, I would give them pretty much anyone but Hemmer if I had to, to get this guy. Forget Zherdev he will frustrate Oiler fans more than Penner or Nilsson have. Thank God Renney has already said they aren’t interested.

you think LA is going to take on that much $$$$ AND deal one of there better forwards??

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#21 Librarian Mike
August 07 2009, 10:20AM
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David S wrote:

Drew Barrymore is hotter than just about any girl any guy here has ever gone out with.

You've obviously never met Dirty Gertie...

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#22 Dan the Man
August 07 2009, 10:22AM
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Breakfast Club was Hughes best movie. Christmas Vacation is one I watch just about every Christmas and it always makes me laugh.

Zherdev = FAIL.

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#23 Steve
August 07 2009, 10:24AM
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Not to pump Gregor's tires too much! But the blonde we saw him with last year at oil games and then around town was hotter than Barrymore. Kudos Gregor she was smoking hot!

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#24 Travis Dakin
August 07 2009, 10:25AM
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scorecoff hemmercules wrote:

Speak for yourself my friend. Barrymore was hot once, but no longer.

You crazy? Have you seen the new covergirl comercials?

There is just something exremely sexy about that woman. She isn't the hottest girl in the world but damn she does it for me. Gorgeous face. Meat on her bones. Seems like the girl next door type. I love that.

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#25 The Fish
August 07 2009, 10:26AM
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Steve wrote:

Not to pump Gregor’s tires too much! But the blonde we saw him with last year at oil games and then around town was hotter than Barrymore. Kudos Gregor she was smoking hot!

That heavy set brawd. I didn't think she was that great. She must have tipped the scales at about 210.

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#26 OvenChicken8
August 07 2009, 10:26AM
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@ Petr Klima: As Brownlee has said countless times you can't trade spare parts for something good.

I would be willing to trade Gilbert for Brown as a starting point. Maybe throw in a spare part with it.

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#27 Travis Dakin
August 07 2009, 10:27AM
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Steve wrote:

Not to pump Gregor’s tires too much! But the blonde we saw him with last year at oil games and then around town was hotter than Barrymore. Kudos Gregor she was smoking hot!

Why because she had bleached blonde hair, a tan and sic pounds of make-up? ha girls like that do nothing for me. (side note: I did not actually see this girl, just making and assumption because it seems to me most guys like that fake look)

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#28 scorecoff hemmercules
August 07 2009, 10:28AM
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@ Travis Dakin:

Meh, not my bag I guess. When she was in playboy when I was about 16 that was the tops though.

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#29 Ender the Dragon
August 07 2009, 10:36AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

. . . right now the only differences heading into camp this year compared to last is no Brodziak, and Nikolai Khabibulin is in while Mathieu Garon and Roloson out. I wonder if the team and management will be beating the same, “We will compete for the division title” drum that we heard last year.

Wow. I knew that the team we finished with at the end of the season looked a lot like the team we planned to ice in training camp, but I'd never really made the connection that that's essentially the same team I was convinced was going to be first in the Northwest a year ago. What a difference a year makes. The same team, and now I wonder if we're good enough not to finish last in the Northwest.

Penner, you fat @#%&*#, you better deliver the goods this season.

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#30 roadrunner
August 07 2009, 10:38AM
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Sometimes I think Fraser needs to take Gregor outside, lean him up against the wall and hose the sh** off of Gregor cause sometimes he's awfully full of it...

JR was a good player but sometimes needed to just shut up and play the game. Too much bitching and whining late in his career. Stuck thinking he was still a 100 point man.

Fave John Hughes movie has gotta be The Breakfast Club.."Uhm DIck, does Barry Manilow know you've raided his wardrobe.." Classic line from John Bender (Judd Nelson)

Zherdev here..? uhm no..**sighs and shakes his head in disgust** thats all the Oil needs is another career underachiever, let alone a RW to address a LW spot.

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#31 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 10:43AM
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ronaldo wrote:

First, that sister stripper story does not need to wait for another day, it should be told now.

Ok...I was 21 and we strolled into Rusty's (used to be in the hotel on Argyll and 75th)on a Saturday evening. Honestly it was only my second time at the rippers. We sit down at a table just behind perv row. One classy lassy was just finishing her set when we sat down at our table just behind perv row. We have a pitcher and enjoy the next show. Not bad...Then the third girl comes out...we aren't paying that close attention since the first song she's fully clothed, and she was wearing a hat...Then off comes the hat, and my good buddy, not the brother, gives me a subtle nudge to check it out, I turn around and this guy's 19 year old sister is topless on stage. I only knew the guy for a month, but still I felt for him.

What a dilemma. Do I look or turn away... We both looked and then the brother turned and saw his sis... I think he died a bit inside that day. At first he tried to pretend it wasn't her, but like good friends we asked him if she looked familiar. She had told the family she was working in BC, which technically wasn't a lie I guess.

The best part was when she came to the corner of the stage closest to our table. I'd only met her once before, but my buddy had known her for years. They looked right at each other and for a sec she froze, but to her credit she pushed on. The strangest part was that her brother never left his chair. Granted he didn't toss loonies or stare, but he didn't even leave. When her set was over they had a chat in the back corner of the bar. I felt like I was in a Springer episode. I will tell you that sister jokes were pretty easy after that...I haven't seen the guy in years, nor his sister, but I'll never forget the look on his face when he turned and saw her sliding down the pole. Poor bastard.

David S wrote:

Drew Barrymore is hotter than just about any girl any guy here has ever gone out with.

I know...Can't believe Fraser called her a woofer. She might not do it for a guy, but to call her a woofer shocked me.

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#32 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 10:45AM
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The Fish wrote:

That heavy set brawd. I didn’t think she was that great. She must have tipped the scales at about 210.

No hefty heifers on my resume pal.

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#33 The Fish
August 07 2009, 10:48AM
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@ Jason Gregor: My mistake. Perhaps it was me she was with.

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#34 Travis Dakin
August 07 2009, 10:54AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

No hefty heifers on my resume pal.

Then you sir are not doing your part for the team. It's your duty to take one for the team.

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#35 cableguy
August 07 2009, 10:54AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

No hefty heifers on my resume pal.

coward

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#36 roadrunner
August 07 2009, 10:55AM
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Gregor wrote:

No hefty heifers on my resume pal.

C'mon Gregor, every guy at one point or another has hiested a hefty heifer! Whats the point of being a wingman if you can't take one for the team?....*snickers*

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#37 JRyanMac
August 07 2009, 10:58AM
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Crosby's party actually looks a bit better than the pic from here (Halifax) Him and Talbot circled Halifax in a Navy sea king helicopter with the door open showing off the cup for about a half hour, then landed at the base, met military families and headed over to the IWK Childrens hospital.. (Halifax's Stollery), then off to Cole Harbour for a parade and a Sam Roberts concert..the local paper is thechronicleherald.ca if anyone REALLY cares. I think the party with his friends (pictured above) starts at 5PM with all the Dairy Queen cake and timbits you can eat.

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#38 David S
August 07 2009, 11:00AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

You crazy? Have you seen the new covergirl comercials?

Exaaaactly. Dakin speaks the truth.

After seeing that ad, I upped her to a hard 8.

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#39 roadrunner
August 07 2009, 11:01AM
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Me and a few buddies frequented The Forum when we were in high school and saw one of our classmates in the shower on stage. We see her at school the following week and she buried her head in shame and fled like she just got caught pulling a fire alarm. She didn't come back to school after that day. Never forget her stage name Trista Foxx. The things she could do with 4 ping pong balls...

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#40 JRyanMac
August 07 2009, 11:02AM
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@ David S: The Charlie's Angels race car scene. TOP. SHELF.

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#41 Jason Gregor
August 07 2009, 11:03AM
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roadrunner wrote:

Never forget her stage name Trista Foxx. The things she could do with 4 ping pong balls…

You are old school...Ping pong balls and other stage accessories were banned a while back...

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#42 David S
August 07 2009, 11:04AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I know…Can’t believe Fraser called her a woofer. She might not do it for a guy, but to call her a woofer shocked me.

That was a quality broadcast. I was laughing all the way home. Guy talk on the radio is a rare thing these days. Thanks Jason for not being a hard-core sports geek all the time. Like Jason Strudwick* said, sometimes you just gotta have some fun and be real once in a while.

*BTW - love the fact that Strudwick and your show have a regular thing going on. The NHL needs more of that. Pretty cool that you beat him at baseball too.

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#43 Trent
August 07 2009, 11:06AM
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Damn you Gregor and your logic. Thank goodness you put in the stripper story to make me laugh. This team isn't much different, other than being a year older. Do you think that one year of experience can make us that much better. God I hope so. And who you like in UFC 101 tomorrow?

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#44 roadrunner
August 07 2009, 11:20AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are old school…Ping pong balls and other stage accessories were banned a while back…

Goes to show how long its been since I've been to the 'ballet'and we'll call it "mature-school" for posting sake. Oh the stories this former rugby player could tell about the ballet, roadtrips and locker rooms

...Gregor your story about the hosed down bed on The Team cracked me up so bad, I had water go up my nose while driving! Brought back a memory of a buddy in a similar situation only it was moms bed...'nuff said!!

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#45 The Fish
August 07 2009, 11:26AM
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Strudwick is probably the best "team guy" on the Oil. Funnier than hell too.

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#46 Wanye Gretz
August 07 2009, 11:35AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

That is one of the more epic tales I have heard in a long while. Well played.

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#47 Zamboni Driver
August 07 2009, 11:39AM
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New Crosby nicknames...from the brilliance that are hockey nicknames.

Please choose from:

'Sidder' 'Crosby-y' 'Crosby-er'

or my personal fave.

'Bing'.

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#48 Doug
August 07 2009, 11:45AM
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Just one question guys, what's a peeler bar? They have showers on stage?

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#49 Librarian Mike
August 07 2009, 11:54AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

New Crosby nicknames…from the brilliance that are hockey nicknames. Please choose from: ‘Sidder’ ‘Crosby-y’ ‘Crosby-er’ or my personal fave. ‘Bing’.

I'm sure it's been pointed out at some point, but given his reputation as a whiner it's worth noting that 'Crosby' is an anagram of 'crysob'.

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#50 Hemmertime
August 07 2009, 12:03PM
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I remember being 12-13 years old and Drew Barrymore was in Playboy and did the whole flashing David Letterman thing, ahh to be in lust.

The only time the person could use Ugliest and not be dead wrong is if their talking about the 3 Charlies Angels - then it's just a matter of what flavor you like.

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