Team Botch

I always view my time at the Province as limited, like they’ll come up to me, tap me on the shoulder, and tell me the experiment is over any day now. With my second season as a Province blogger coming to a close, it has caused me to reflect upon my journey to where I am now in my writing career.

If you had told me when I was young that one day I would get one article published in the Province paper, let alone several, I would have called you crazy, spit on your shoes, and attempted to gouge your eyes out a bit. I would also have been extremely proud and happy of that accomplishment (the getting in the paper, not the physically assaulting somebody over a hypothetical future event).

Fast forward to today, and not only do I get to put my articles into the paper, I also get to interview players (when I think up a good question, which happens only occasionally) and basically get a large local platform to express my thoughts on the Canucks. It’s taken a lot of hard work on my end (from building up a gimmick twitter account based around an infamous Bieksa goal, to what it is today), but it’s also been helped by many people along the way. And while there are many people who have helped me on this journey (both people from the writing industry, and those within my personal life, and Bowman, always Bowman), Botchford has been one of the best supporters I’ve ever had.

Now, I don’t know why he’s supported me, or why he’s been helpful. It could just be his nature to help people out, so I can’t say for sure he’s helped me out because he believes in me. But what I do know is that I have never met a more helpful person in all of my time writing.

As shocking as it may be (not really) I am still terrible at asking questions. I get really nervous and will often shrink back from really getting into the middle of things. I still remember covering my first Abbotsford Heat game and being frozen, unable to ask a question to Steve Reinprecht, he of the awful contract. I tried for two straight games to ask one single question, and could not for the life of me do it. Finally, on my last night there, with the Wolves streaming out of the building, I saw Nolan Baumgartner walking down the hall. I ran up to him, asked him if I could ask him a question, then showed him a list of five questions on my phone that he could choose from. Truly a highlight of my journalistic savvy. Go me.

Fast forward to today, and I still don’t ask many questions (there are so many seasoned pros around me that spit out question after question that unless I have a super awesome question, I just let them do the asking. Even then, I like to “vulture” players by hanging out and waiting for them to be alone. As creepy as that sounds.) but the only reason I feel comfortable at all is because I have asked Botch so many questions, and he has been there to answer them.

With my lack of background in journalism, it was basically trial by fire for me. I had no idea on such basic things like when the Canucks held their practices. Or how do I get access to said practices? (I think I sent Botch about 192 texts asking him where I entered the building).

Basically anytime I found myself in an unfamiliar spot (of which there were many) where I didn’t know rules, I asked Botch and he always helped me.

This also goes further than just answering my questions, it has also been him going out of his ways to give me scoops on stories, one of them the biggest of my tiny little career. I have no idea why he gave it to me, but he did, and it was things like that, that helped put me on the map in my first year blogging for The Province.

I have no idea how comfortable Botch would be with me telling stories and such, so I will keep it short and vague, I just wanted to let people realize how helpful Botch has been, and even though he has an online reputation in some parts as being some big ass evil motherfucker, he’s honestly been the nicest guy I’ve come across, in an industry that has many established people that would rather look down on bloggers than help them out.

This is why I will always be a loyal Team Botch member. He had no reason to help me out, yet he did, and I can never thank him enough for that. The Provies, which he has made into must read articles (Honestly, I have had so many people describe them as “must read” and how they don’t go to bed until they’re done. Botch turned The Provies into the most “must read” Canucks post game recaps around. People on twitter talk about their appearances in The Provies. It’s amazing.), were graciously handed over to me for two games this year.

Again, Botch didn’t have to do that, but he put his support behind me and let me fill in for him. It might seem like a small thing, but doing The Provies gained me more recognition and respect from people in the Canucks beat world (people who never said hi to me were suddenly talking to me) then two years of blogging on my own did.

That’s why I always get a kick out of people who go after Botch like he’s some sort of asshole. The thing about Botch is he doesn’t back down. I back down all the time. I don’t like to get into confrontations a lot, even though many times I want to rip a persons head off. Botch just doesn’t take a lot of shit, and when people find him biting back at them, for some reason this just sets them off further. I enjoy living vicariously through Botch sometimes.

So while I am Team Botch 100%, I don’t go out of my way to defend him on twitter or get in people’s grills over their perception of him. One, because Botch doesn’t need me to, and two, I’ve never liked it when people gang up behind “their boy” at the drop of a hat. It just causes more high school reactions on twitter which is already very high schoolish as it is. People can form their own opinions of people, it’s not my job to fight them on it.

I did, however, want to at least once put down my lifelong membership on Team Botch, so people can understand why I am Team Botch. In a world in which I often feel like a lowly basement blogger (through both imagined and real beliefs), Botch was the first person to treat me as just another writer, and that is something I will always be grateful for.

 

 

 

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The murky waters of twitter

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During the Canucks game tonight, a tweet was sent out by a reporter from the Calgary Herald about the hit shown above that landed Daniel Sedin in a hospital.

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This tweet of course caused a lot of angry reactions in Vancouver, due to the insensitive nature of it. As you would expect, the reaction was quick and vicious in response. Think of all of the naughty words you were taught as a child and then add in a couple of more, and that was what was being thrown in the direction of Kristen.

Since this became a big topic, I just wanted to weigh in on it.

1) If you say something stupid on Twitter, you just need to own up to it. “The internet never forgets” is not just a cliche, it is just how things work. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, if you post something online someone will grab a screen cap of it. This is why people will always remember Logan Couture’s twitter account tweeting out this:

LOGANNNNNasfasfas

 

Logan of course said his account was hacked, but for the rest of his career, YouJizz will play a role in it on twitter.

So if you do say something you regret, then yeah, just own up to it. Even if you delete the tweet, quickly tweet an apology then put up a little write up if you want to get more in depth. I understand deleting an offending tweet, because otherwise more people might just see that tweet and react again, but just make sure to explain you know what you did was shortsighted.

Now, Kristen deleted the tweet at first, which was met with more anger, as it was viewed as just trying to ignore what happened. She would later apologize, though:

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The problem, of course, was the delay in response to her initial offending comment. The twitter world is fast to react, so you have to keep up with it or else it will bury you.

2) Therein lies the beauty and the danger of twitter. Now more than ever Twitter delivers your thoughts at a rapid pace. It can be oh so easy to say something on Twitter before you realize if it was a smart thing to do or not. This is also why it can get tricky when you’re seen as a voice of something (whether it be a reporter or whatever), you have to be super careful when tweeting fast due to the fact that Twitter will eat you alive if you say something it deems stupid. There will be times when I watch a hockey game where I have a funny joke but I won’t use it because I feel the timing might be off, due to a think like a player injury or whatnot.

So on one hand I understand Kristen and her attempts to use Twitter to engage her followers and talk about a meaningless game by playing up to her home crowd by calling out the Sedins for being soft. On the other hand, she made a mistake by not waiting to see how Daniel was before making her statement. Although she apologized, Daniel was not moving right after that hit, so it’s hard to think she didn’t see Daniel lying on the ice not moving, before making her comment. I think she saw Daniel go down on a hit by a smaller player and she jumped at the chance to play the “Sedins are soft” narrative”.

And that is the tricky nature of Twitter. I know I will say stupid things at various points, and I know I will say some things that might possibly offend people, but I do my best to make sure I don’t go too far one way or the other. My reputation is on the line if I tweet something really stupid, which is why I make sure to think “Would I be able to back this tweet up if a lot of people called me out on it?”

3) If you see someone say something stupid don’t lower yourself to another level by wishing death upon them. It doesn’t fix anything and it only makes you just as bad or worse as the person who said the initial thing. Call her out for being short sighted, or downright stupid in her opinion, but try and hold back on the death wishes and words that rhyme with bunt.

I know in sports emotions run super high, but at the end of the day it was just a beat writer saying something stupid. All that was effected was her own reputation, that’s enough punishment for her. People in Vancouver will never forget that comment, believe me.

Anyways, I just wanted to weigh in, because I think everyone deserves forgiveness if they actually learn from their mistakes, though they also deserve the hit to their reputation that comes with it.

At the end of the day, all that really matters is that Daniel Sedin is ok, who cares what a random person thought of the hit.

Quick Post Mania Raw Thoughts

Best Raw I’ve seen since post Mania Raw a couple of years ago. I loved it for many reasons.

1 – It gives Orton and Batista something to do instead of just having them fight Bryan in singles or triple threat matches. Keeps them in the main event without having it be boring old Batista and Orton doing their usual shit. I was never a huge fan of Evolution but I respect their spot in WWE history, so it’s neat to see them working together again.

2) Re-uniting Evolution is kind of awesome.

3) STABLE WARS! Re-Evolution vs Bryan’s Shield has so much mileage, it’s not even funny. I can’t express how happy I am that they held off on splitting up the Shield for now.

4) Down the road, the Shield will break up during this war, and will join HHH, and it will be brilliant, and it will have been 3-6 months of seeing The Shield in a kick ass face role

5) Once upon a time The Rock was just starting out as a heel. He generated a ton of heat in The Nation, but eventually became so cool that people started to like him. Just as he was reaching a point where people thought he would be the next big face, BAM, Corporate Rock was born and he became a mega heel.

That is how I view Cesaro. Starts off as a heel, but eventually people just respect him too much to hate him, so he turns face, and then I assume, they will make him a Heyman super heel guy. Now, Swagger played the role of the heel tonight, and you can never quite tell how a Mania crowd will dictate the direction of a show, but I assume Cesaro goes mega heel from here, especially with Heyman as his manager. I just don’t know how that will happen if he feuds with his ex-partner Swagger, who is also a heel…. We shall see.

6) The crowd was amazing. The Bray Wyatt match? Holy lord was that something to behold.

7) Heyman’s promo with Lesnar just showed the brilliance of Heyman. Just had the crowd hating him, but in a good old fashioned heel hating way. He is truly the best in the business right now. It also speaks volumes that he went from being the most hated man in the building earlier in the night, to being one of the loudest cheered men later in the night with Cesaro.

8) Speaking of Cesaro, when he said he’s a Paul Heyman guy (what a pop by the way), I legitimately marked out, complete with fist pumping and some “HOLY SHIT!”‘s thrown in. I had forgotten Heyman had said he was bringing in a new Heyman guy, so this was an insanely nice surprise and a perfect fit. It will also let us all forget about that Ryback Heyman Guy nonsense. Just stick Ryback back into bullying people in the food lines, I was honestly starting to love that. Just have him pour soup on some guy and go about his day.

9) NXT was featured heavily, and I don’t know a lot about them, but I wonder about Paige being given the title. I mean, it’s not like you can hurt the Diva division, but it’s kind of shitty to have her beat AJ like that off of what was just a leg sweep. Everyone else taps to that move, but this pale looking girl gets out of it, sweeps a leg (though I guess Karate Kid shows how deadly that can be….) and she’s the champ?

I certainly hope this ends with them pushing Paige or at the very least, giving a good feud for the belt with someone. AJ was right in her speech, though, she is the Divas division.

10) Some dude named “Adam” was featured with some vignettes. While I appreciate the cheesy throwback intro vignettes being used (HHH is apparently a big fan), I just view Adam as looking like an unfunny version of Russell Brand. Again, I haven’t seen him wrestle, so hopefully he’s good, but from first glance it just looks like another warm body with a quirky gimmick a la Fandango that is just going to end up being thrown in the jobber meat grinder.

11) Bo Dallas got some love, too, with his vignettes. I don’t think Bo will ever amount to much (The WWE will only allow so many small wrestlers to do much) but I think he can carve out a solid niche for himself with his cheesy Bo-Lieve gimmick. Maybe he can have a nice run like The Hurricane? I just don’t seem him doing more than that.

12) Ultimate Warrior made me fast forward his promo. Wrestling is hard to explain to people at the best of times, but Warrior makes it almost impossible to explain to an outsider.

“Who is that guy, why the fuck is he snarling when he breathes in?”

“I….I don’t know….”

I was never a Warrior fan, though.

13) Roman Reigns spearing HHH was immense. What a great payoff for people who have been watching the Authority angle for so long. Much better payoff than the garbage they did with the Big Show finally punching HHH.

14) STABLE WARS! DID I MENTION STABLE WARS??

15) I wish every Raw could be a post-Mania Raw.

16) Seriously, they have set themselves up nicely, booking wise. They have enough going on with Re-Evolution vs Bryan’s Shield to keep Bryan busy until they want to work Lesnar (or Cesaro?) into the title picture.  At the very least, they finally have several fresh angles to work with, and it looks like Bryan’s title run might actually have some originality to it. This is a welcome relief after the WWE ran with the Authority storyline getting the upper hand far far far too long.

17) Best sign of the night:

ambrose

 

18) Paul Heyman just made Cesaro’s next t-shirt with his nickname for Cesaro. #KingofSwing. Seriously, Heyman with Cesaro is so good for him.

Wrestlemania XXX Thoughts

First off, huge props to www.fansided.com , I am using their gifs in this article, so feel free to check out their website so they don’t feel like I jacked their gifs purely for the whopping 200 readers I draw in on my website. I also used sbnation for gifs, which they tagged in the gifs, so you know what, if anyone hates me using their gifs just tell me and I’ll take them down. Kudos to you all for putting them on the internets though.

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This made me laugh because I always find it odd when people shit all over things people like under the guise of “maturity”. “But a grown ass man shouldn’t be enjoying that, this is bullshit!” says the internet. You know what, if you’re a grown ass man who is responsible, takes care of his friends and family, and isn’t doing anything illegal, then do whatever the fuck you want, I say. You love “Say Yes to the Dress” fuck it, go ahead and watch it, I won’t judge. It’s weird how people only want you to enjoy things they deem acceptable.

That being said….

Overall, I thought this was a very good Wrestlemania. There were a lot of awesome spots during the matches that were very memorable and fall easily under the category of “classic Wrestlemania moments”. The matches themselves weren’t that great, no match really stole the show (brawling was the theme of the night), but overall I walked away from Mania 30 feeling very satisfied. It was definitely the best Mania I have seen in years.

1) The opener of the show featured Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock, all getting into the ring at some point, and busting out some catch phrases. The best part of this entire bit was Hulk Hogan calling it the “Silverdome” instead of the “Superdome”, which led to Austin and Rock having a bit of fun with calling it the Silverdome. One of the guys I was watching it with said “Austin never drops a beer, he’s never dropped one in his life” and then a second later of course, Austin drops a beer. You son of a bitch….

rockybeer

Austin and Hogan were a bit stiff on the mic, which is to be expected as they’ve been away a while, while The Rock was much smoother, which again, was to be expected. The Rock probably gives promos when he orders from McDonalds. “Take your french fries, and shine them up real nice….”

Still, it was a great opening to the show and got the crowd pumped for the show. The Rock even drank a bit of beer, which I assume he did because it was his cheat day (The dude is jacked and has zero body fat, I swear).

2) Daniel Bryan beating HHH in the opener of the night was a solid match. Again, it wasn’t a wrestling masterpiece, but it did a good job of pushing Daniel’s injured shoulder storyline, and again helped build up the idea that Bryan was going to have to fight through hell just to get a fair shot at the title.

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3) Stephanie McMahon apparently time traveled back into the early 2000’s, as she was dressed up like her old evil, slutty self,  and was very good working the outside of the rings, giving good reaction shots throughout the match.

4) Say one thing about HHH, but the man sure does his elaborate entrances.

HHH_Intro

I feel like HHH called up The Rock and asked him if he could borrow some props from the set of Hercules that Rock just finished up filming. Or that HHH went through the dumpster behind the set of Game of Thrones.

I was also kind of scared HHH was going to drop the robe to reveal he had nothing on underneath, but thankfully he was clothed. The sledgehammer on the throne was a nice touch, though. Very over the top. but it’s a Wrestlemania, so why not.

4) The ramp to the ring looked like it was about 10 miles long. I was concerned some of the older guys on the card were going to have to take a breather halfway down the ramp.

5) The Shield basically squashed Kane and the NAO in about just under five minutes. If I was a betting man, I’d say the opening segment and match took up more time than they were expecting, so they decided to shave some time off of this match. If you add in that Road Dogg is apparently injured, and that the NAO and Kane have no reason to win this match, as they are all basically semi-retired, it makes sense as to why the Shield mopped them up.

On one hand, it would have been nice to see the Shield put on a big match, but on the other hand, it probably wasn’t going to happen against three aging veterans. Still, the match felt very rushed and didn’t come across that well, but whatever, it is what it is, a squash match.

Apparently after the match Billy Gunn was coughing up blood due to a ruptured blood vessel, and if I was Billy, I would take that as a sign to hang up the boots for good.

How did Billy get injured you ask? With the spot of the match:

The_Shield_vs_Old_Age_Outlaws

 

I can almost see WWE 2k15 programmers scrambling to put this into their game as we speak….

6) Before the main card started, the Usos retained their titles and apparently the Real Americans finally broke up, punctuated by Cesaro’s official face turn when instead of shaking hands with Swagger after the loss, he instead put him in the Cesaro swing.

This had implications for the Battle Royal match. With Cesaro now a singles wrestler in need of a push….Well, you see where I am going with it. Cesaro was the star of this match and had the crowd firmly behind him, as he eventually won the match with a nice homage to Andre the Giant being slammed by Hulk Hogan when he lifted Big Show up and threw him over the top rope:

Andre_The_Giant_Memorial

 

I’ve said in the past, but I will say it again, I am a huge fan of Cesaro. It’s funny to think that the WWE apparently didn’t view him as a potential star, so I am excited to see how wrong they will most likely be. Cesaro is just fun to watch, and he truly looks like the strongest guy in the locker room (“That guy is a man’s man!” was shouted at my Mania viewing tonight), which makes him fun to watch as he pulls of various feats of strength.

The Battle Royal itself is a shitty concept, and I hate the match itself. I also hate the fact that it is so close to the Royal Rumble, it kind of takes some of the shine away from the Rumble. That being said, if they use it to elevate mid carders, than I will be happy to see it stay. In the old days they used to use the IC title to elevate mid card talent….

7) There is a rule in the WWE: If it involves over the top eliminations, Kofi Kingston will always be the star and steal the match. He did it again tonight:

kofi

 

I don’t know how many times I’ve thought to myself “Holy shit, what if Kofi had missed that??” but the dude is flawless in his execution of staying alive spots. He has razor thin edges between success and failure in his big spots, but he always delivers. We spent the entire match waiting for his big spot, since we all knew it was coming.

He will never win a major title (he seems destined as a random high flyer unless management changes their minds), but man, he will always be remembered for spots like these.

I wonder if he meant to land on the steps, or if the plan all along was to fall back and still keep his toes on the stairs…. I’ve always always wondered why people in the Rumble haven’t tried this before, keeping their feet in the air and kind of wiggling their way back to the steps or ring….

8) John Cena beat Bray Wyatt. I have no idea why Cena won this match, it does absolutely nothing for him, and just sets Bray Wyatt back a bit. The in ring storyline was that Bray wanted Cena to beat him by unleashing his inner monster (you may have seen this already when Kane did the exact same thing when he did the “Embrace the Hate” story line with John Cena), but Cena, of course, overcame that and won another match.

Now, this could end up going somewhere down the line that makes this match not matter in the grand scheme of things, but from where I stand now, I just don’t like Cena winning it. And that isn’t coming from a purely “I hate Cena” standpoint or a “I like Bray because his last name is the same as my first name” standpoint. I just truly see no reason to have Cena beat Bray and his family this early on this easily. It just feels like a momentum stopper for no reason other than to keep Cena happy, and to keep pushing the “Cena will overcome EVERYTHING with positivity ! YAY!” garbage.

There was one amazing part of the match, though, and that was Cena’s reaction to Wyatt’s creepy fucking exorcist walk:

Cena_vs_Wyatt_1

 

As I said earlier, there wasn’t a ton of good technical wrestling, but they were really really good at making sure there were a lot of awesome memorable moments throughout the show.

I am interested to see if these two keep feuding or if they both go their separate ways. I would hope Wyatt would keep hunting Cena otherwise this match will feel meaningless, but we shall see. As one of my friends said “At least Cena is doing this in the mid card, and not the main event.” Good point, Brian, good point.

9) So the streak? Yeah, that’s over.

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undertaker

This dude is Brock Lesnar Guy, even he looked shocked!

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The crowd reactions were amazing. I know the people I watched it with were blown away. I didn’t think for a second that Brock Lesnar, a part time, veteran wrestler, would be the guy to break the streak. Once he hit that third F-5, though, part of me went “Wait, there is no way they let Taker kick out of three F5s….will they?” and then boom, Lesnar pinned Undertaker. It was such a shocking moment for everyone I was watching it with.

I thought the streak would never die. It was Undertakers legacy, and for a guy who never demanded the title that often, a guy who was always a leader of the locker room, it felt like “the streak” was the companies gift to him. “Ok, you might not always be in the main event or win, but you’ll always have that streak….” So to see him lose, to Lesnar, I was shocked.

I wanted Lesnar to win, don’t get me wrong. The wall of believability was shattered by thinking an aging Undertaker could beat Brock Lesnar (I know all wrestling uses suspension of belief, but this felt like TOO much suspended belief), but I still didn’t think it would happen.

In hindsight, though, it kind of makes sense.

One, Undertaker loves the business of wrestling way too much to leave that streak intact. He has given everything he has to the wrestling business, so you just know he would want to pass the power of that streak to somebody else. The streak ending does way more for the business then it does staying intact, at this point.

Two, when a wrestler goes out, they go out on their back. Much like those before him, Undertaker (assuming he retires), went out on his shield, and on a loss. What bigger and better stage than “The Streak”?

Three, the streak had honestly lost a lot of its power. It is an accepted part of wrestling lore, now, and it couldn’t get any bigger….except in defeat. People will be talking about this match a lot longer than they will about 90% of his matches he had during the streak. As cliched as it is, it was best for business that Undertaker lose the streak because it is now a huge talking point and a huge storyline for Lesnar

Four, I assume Undertaker was going to pick who he lost to, so I assume he was ok with losing to Lesnar. Losing to a former UFC and WWE champion ain’t too bad of a way to lose a streak.

Five, I kind of wish Punk had been the one to break the streak, I think he could have done a ton with that (and would have been great ammo for him for storylines, especially without having the belt anymore).

Six, I think Undertaker should retire. He has been wrestling for so many years, and tonight it showed. It was an awful match, and Lesnar, god bless him, sold Undertakers punches as best he could, but Taker looked awful in the ring. Lesnar’s over aggressive offence wouldn’t have worked with Taker due to fear of injuries, so they spent the match punching and kicking each other, until they traded finishers and ended the match. I don’t think Taker would have had another great match in him next year, he honestly looks done.

Seven, this sets up an amazing showdown between Bryan and Lesnar in the future. Lesnar, who needed momentum due to kind of shitty booking, can use this win and head into a showdown with Bryan. Those two will put on an awesome match, half of which will be powered by Heyman and Lesnar talking about how their ending of the streak is more impressive than anything Bryan has done. It’s just a great storyline starting point.

After my shock wore off, I was fine with how it went down, but it will be interesting to see how other people reacted to it. The people in attendance honestly looked like it was The Red Wedding happening right in front of them, though.

10) The Divas match was garbage, but it ended with AJ slapping on the best finisher in the business, and using Naomi’s own arm to signal a tap out to win the match. Clever booking and makes AJ look like more of a heel using evil ways to win matches. Love it.

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No Diva has stepped up to earn the title at all (AJ is the best they have), so AJ is kind of screwed right now. There is no Lita to her Trish. I thought maybe the Total Divas storyline stuff would push one of them into winning the title (because the Divas title is just a prop at this point, so I don’t think the WWE would care at all about letting a Total Diva win it in order to help out interest in that show) but I am glad they kept it on AJ.

They just really really need to find an opponent for AJ, or at the very least, a storyline. I would even settle for a simple storyline at this point. Maybe Summer Rae spills mustard on AJ and they hate each other for it? Anything. Just give us something.

11) Daniel Bryan won. Yes, he finally won, and got his Wrestlemania moment.

Now, I am a huge Bryan fan, and I am glad he finally won. It’s just part of me felt that it wasn’t the cleanest way it could have gone down. It just felt like Summerslam was honestly the top of the Yes movement, and all the time since then was just a bunch of garbage that kind of watered down the impact of the Mania moment.

Again, I am probably being too harsh on it, but it just didn’t feel as grand as it should have to me. I am very glad Bryan finally won, and the WWE did their best to shove the idea down our throats that nobody in Authority wanted Bryan to win, but it just didn’t feel as satisfying as I had hoped it would.

Part of that was the fact Bryan slapped on his submission move instead of pinning Batista (I prefer the ol’ 1, 2, 3 pinfall for big moments, only Bret Hart has ever made me enjoy submission finishes to big matches), and part of it was that it just felt like so many months had been wasted telling the same story of how much the authority disliked Bryan.

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Regardless, I am happy Bryan won and I am very excited about his possible future opponents (anyone but Orton or Batista, please). Cesaro? Rollins? Reigns? Lesnar? Sandow? Get a couple of those guys heel and make them wrestle Bryan and it will be amazing.

The biggest spot of the match, though, wasn’t the finish, it was when Bryan was powerbombed through the table and was RKO’d at the same time. It resulted in both Bryan and Orton crashing through the table, with Bryan being taken away on a stretcher, only to Mick Foley his way back into the match, and for Orton TO LAND ON HIS FUCKING BACK RIGHT ON A TV MONITOR.

bb_rkoON HIS FUCKING BACK. Man, Orton is going to be feeling that one tomorrow. Holy shit. Still, an insane spot, and was one I won’t soon forget.

12) Mania after the Raw is always awesome (due to the crowd being full of smart marks), so I can’t wait to see where the Bryan storyline goes. I assume Lesnar will become the new weapon of the authority, but we shall see.

Either way, it was a great Mania, and I think the WWE has set themselves up for a great year. The Bryan being held down stuff is behind us, now it’s time to see what they can come up with for him now that he’s the champ. For once I am not livid after a PPV, that has to be a good sign, right?

 

 

#TeamTank

One of the things that has popped up as the Canucks season has deteriorated has been the idea of the team tanking for a better draft pick. This has led to hashtags like #TeamTank, #TankNation or #TANKYOUGODDAMNSONOFABITCHESTANKSOHELPMEGOD.

Now, there has been some noticeable backlash against #TeamTank, and as I am fully on board with #TeamTank, I just want to give my whole viewpoint of what I mean when I talk about tanking. It’s hard to explain fully on twitter in 140 characters so I thought I would just do it here instead.

When I talk about #TeamTank, I am not suggesting that the players actively play the game of hockey in an attempt to lose the game. I do not think Bieksa should go out on the ice and just pop a goal in his own net, give the middle fingered salute to Eddie Lack, then skate off into the locker room for a beer. Nobody would want to see the game of hockey diminished like that.

When I talk about #TeamTank, I merely mean hoping the Canucks lose and get a better draft pick position. Sure, have them play their best and do what they can to win, but at the end of the day, I would prefer it if the Canucks somehow ended up with a top six pick (through natural means), versus a top twelve pick. It’s no different hoping the Canucks get a high draft pick at this point, then if you actively hoped the Canucks would somehow lose a couple of games to end up with a favorable match up in the playoffs in a playoff bound season. You would never expect a team to throw games, but it wouldn’t prevent you from going “You know what, if the Canucks lost the last two games, they’d end up playing Team A, who they have done much better against.”

That’s all it really amounts to on my end. In a season in which the playoff hopes are already over (unless Hockey Jesus himself comes down and makes every other team ahead of the Canucks lose their games), I honestly don’t care if the Canucks lose their last games or win. I would think it would be nice if they ended up with a higher draft pick, but at the end of the day, I don’t think how the Canucks end this season will have any effect on their start to next season. If they win their last four I have a hard time seeing them coming into training camp next year saying “Last year was shit, but do you guys remember winning those last five games? LET’S DO THIS!”

This is a veteran team. This team has won many times before. This year, for whatever reasons, has been one of their worst years as a group ever. They have the experience and knowledge of what it takes to win, so with injuries being wiped clean, and maybe an addition or two over the summer, however this team ends the season won’t impact how they start off next season.

What makes this team better next season? The players being pissed off about this season. The players being healthier than this season. The players wanting to come out and show they are a playoff team. The last four games of the season, I just can’t see that weighing into things that much.

So yes, I don’t think players will or should tank. Players have pride, players need to earn jobs, it’s just not something that should happen in sports. However, hoping the team improves its fortunes (which is what I view a higher draft pick being) is nothing new to people watching a team. For some reason, some people take it as a personal affront that you would suggest the Canucks lose anything, and get very angry about this. I don’t understand that, but to each their own.

The people who want the Canucks to close out the season on a winning streak? Go for it, cheer away. If you feel the need to claim people who support #TeamTank are bandwagoners, then go for it. I just don’t understand that sentiment, though.

A day in which Stanchion gets super angry over a fake jersey

So I ordered a Team Canada Shea Weber jersey from a website in which I thought was legit, and it turned out it wasn’t. So yes, right off the bat I fully accept that I am an idiot for not doing my due diligence, and not heeding the warning of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Regardless, I still thought at the very least I would get a knock off jersey and attempt to have fun with it, or at the very use it for ball hockey. As it stands, I still don’t have my jersey, a month after ordering it, and I am now on the verge of murdering somebody. I normally applaud myself for being restrained online, but they finally pushed me too far.

My last E-mail to them:

 

OK, so here’s the thing, and I hope you can understand my frustration.

I go to your website, which claimed to be the official Team Canada jersey store (which it’s not, I know that now). But good on you guys for tricking me with your knock off jerseys. Lets just go over the chain of events that occurred, however, to see where my mind frame is at:

1) I try and place my order on the website and I don’t get a confirmation, all I got was an error screen saying it couldn’t put through my transaction. At this point I gave up and thought my attempts at buying a jersey were over.

2) A couple of days later I see you guys charged me for a jersey, even though nothing was confirmed. OK, that kind of sucks, so I contact you to ask if you can cancel the order or give me the status of my jersey.

3) I hear nothing from you, so I have to e-mail you again to find an update on an order that I was initially told didn’t go through. I was very frustrated at this point because this seems like below average customer service, but hey, maybe you’re busy, so I don’t get too bent out of shape.

4) You finally e-mail me back and make no mention of cancelling an order. I understand you want my money so you probably don’t want to give me an option to cancel my order, which again, is shitty customer service, but at this point I’ve realized I am not dealing with a company that cares too much about the customers, so I am just trying to at the very least get my shitty knock off jersey so I can at least pretend I got some value for my money.

5) You tell me the jersey hasn’t shipped yet, and then tell me it should ship in a couple of days.

6) A week passes and I have no jersey so I e-mail again, and you guys tell me it shipped and give me a tracking number.

7) The tracking number does not work. Shocking. So I e-mail you guys, again, and you tell me try a different tracking number (sure, why not), and this one tells me the jersey is in Canada, arrived here, was unable to be delivered DUE TO A WRONG ADDRESS, and was then shipped back to China. Leaving me with no jersey, just shame, eternal shame that I ever used your website.

8) I summon enough energy to want to try and contact you guys again, because I know at this point it’s like hitting my head into a brick wall, and ask what address you have written down for me.

9) You guys respond, and decide “Hey, let’s ignore another question, that seems like fun” and tell me “Sorry! It got sent back. But for $30 you can experience this adventure with us all over again, and we’ll send you your jersey back again!!!!” I assume with a wrong tracking number.

So after ALL of this, please explain to me why I should have to send another $30 to get a jersey that has already caused me enough headaches? It said on the tracking number the jersey couldn’t be delivered due to a wrong address, so if you’re not even willing to update said address or tell me what address you had written down, nor can I even rely upon a tracking number given to me so I can try and at the very least get the jersey from the shipping center, why would I just blindly give you $30 to do this all over again? It makes no sense. What are you doing on your end to ensure the jersey gets to me? It seems like a big bowl of nothing.

I suggest you send me the jersey again, at no extra shipping cost to myself, as that would make sense. I would suggest we confirm my address and try this one more time. I have a feeling you just want all of my money and will not do any of this. I will be speaking to my credit company to file a complaint because at this point, as I have not received what I paid for, nor do I think I am being treated fairly in how I can ever get my jersey. It just seems like a long future full of me handing over $30 after $30 in vain attempts to get the jersey to arrive at my actual house.

-Wyatt Arndt

Creativity

When you’re young and full of awe and wonderment, one of your best friends in life is “creativity”. You hang out together, you go on adventures together, you spend all of your time trying to find new and fun ways to interact with creativity. Then, as you get older, your new friend “responsibility” comes along and tells you that maybe that “creativity” fellow should move out, because the apartment is small and there isn’t enough room for the two of them. That “creativity” fellow is no good for you and is holding you back. In fact, “responsibility” is pretty sure that “creativity” fellow is stealing money from your wallet and drinking milk straight from the carton. Perhaps you should just get a job, make some money, and kick that “creativity” chap straight in the nut sack and tell it to get the hell out. “Responsibility” assures that even though he/she is not nearly as fun as “creativity”, he/she is someone you can rely on and will always have your back.

It’s funny that as a young child lots of creativity is heralded as this amazing thing that should be encouraged. Yet as you get older, somehow too much creativity turns into this monster, and if you’re too creative you’re either labelled rich and eccentric, or poor and immature.

Now, some people move past creativity and enjoy life to the fullest without diving too deep into their creative minds. Some people find a way to balance the two, and even if doing the responsible thing takes precedent most of the time, they still manage to use enough creativity in life to get their fix. There are even a few rare people out there actually manage to make a career out of using their creativity and are living the dream. And some people do the responsible thing, yet are still fighting desperately to involve creativity into their lives every day so they can still feel alive inside, which is where I fall into.

I currently freelance write for the Province (which pays little) and I work in IT (which pays decently, which in Vancouver means barely enough, which everywhere else means I would have owned a house by now). The IT job is where I make my money. I enjoy working with the people there (except one person, you know who you are) and I don’t hate the job at all. It can be a repetitive job, and there can be some less than enjoyable red tape battles, but most office jobs will end up like that. I am lucky that I get paid well in a field I didn’t study (I got a history degree and ended up in IT) and that I can wear whatever I want to work (the biggest perk of IT is nobody really cares what IT wears). The only problem I have at this job is that I am dead inside 95% of the time.

Now, I am sure many people have that same feeling about jobs they get, I know I am not a unique snowflake in any sense of the word. There is a reason the movie Office Space is so popular, it’s because so many people can relate to it.

office

 

Every day I drag myself to my office, I feel like a good little monkey, going to his job, being a nice cog in the machine, and doing my work. Am I a good worker? Sure, I feel that I am. I work hard and get my stuff done on time, which is the level many good employees rise to. Simply being a hard worker is good enough to keep you in high standing in many office jobs. Lazy and don’t get your work done? Those are the people who get fired (eventually, usually less if it’s a union) and make you look good.

But I never truly feel I am using any of my natural or learned skills in my IT job. As I said, I work hard, and I try and solve problems to the best of my ability, but it’s not often I think to myself “thank god I was here today, not many people would have solved THAT problem. Sure glad I got them to turn it off and on again.” Again, I rise to the level of a hard worker, which makes me competent at an office job level, but it never feels like I am using any part of myself in any sort of useful way.

Which is where creativity comes in. A complaint often tossed my way by people in my life is that I have two modes, dead inside, or all out binge mode. Basically, when my interest piques and my creativity kicks in, I turn into a crack addict looking for one more hit. I go all out, put myself fully into a project, and burn myself into the ground if it takes that. When I am doing things that don’t challenge my creativity muscles at all, I go into coma mode and just walk through the paces and generally look very unimpressed with life.

This entire ying yang of my life has now reached a critical level, because now I have a lot more exposure to the creative side of my life with my writing job. In the old days, I would do my boring job, go to school, and do the usual things in life you’re told. Work hard, earn money, be responsible. There is a lot of merit to that approach because as I said earlier, you have to balance creativity and responsibility and know when the time is right to possibly pursue creative ventures more than sticking to straight up responsibility. The problem I have now is that the creative pull is so much more now that I get to write and have an audience and a strong medium to do it on. Of course responsibility is always leering at me from around the corner.

In a perfect world? I would quit my IT job and run after that writing job. I truly feel alive when I write and I am actually proud of my work. Are there hardships involved in writing? Of course there is.

One, you often get a lot more negative feedback than positive feedback, because the internet is gonna internet, and it’s full of assholes who really need you to understand they don’t like what you do. People are quicker to insult than to come online and compliment you for something, it’s just how the world works. As a result, sometimes you can be very disenchanted at the idea of using your creativity because you think to yourself “what’s the point, my stuff is average at best.” Some people are very sure of themselves and think whatever they do is amazing, and that you’re god damn lucky you even got to witness it. I am not such a person, and I to this day still feel grateful when one person chooses to read something I write. The problem with lack of confidence is that those negative opinions can sometimes really get to you, so you have to remain strong in the face of them, as hard as that may be.

Two, writing or creativity can be very hit or miss. Sometimes I will come up with a concept I want to try, and I will just go for it, just to see if I can, to try and challenge myself to see if I can make it into a successful piece. In writing, you can come up with what you think is an amazing angle or idea, work on it for days, weeks, or months, and then you finally release it to the public and you sit back and wait for the reaction. The worst is when something you’ve poured your heart and soul into gets a tepid reaction, yet that Mason Raymond article about a tweet he made gets a thousand more views. That is the give and take in creativity in that sometimes mass appeal (Jay Leno style) will be the road to success, so you have to decide (yay more decisions!) how true to your art form you want to stay, if you’re attempting to leverage that into some sort of paying job.

Don’t kid yourself, some people can be creative just for themselves, but a large percentage of creative people want, nay, need to show their creativity to the world to see what reactions it garners. Most creative people tend to be attention whores at some level (I include myself into this) even if they don’t actively seek the limelight. Regardless, I tend to try and balance the two roads, being both generally accessible, while at the same time doing some pieces just for myself. If even a small group of people enjoy my work on a certain piece, that is enough for me, but just as long as ONE person enjoyed it.

And that right there is the best part of writing for me. Not only does the creative process make me feel alive and make me feel fulfilled, the fact that I can make one person laugh, one person think, one person take something away from something I’ve done, that makes my day. I could fix a million computers and it would mean nothing to someone telling me that an article I wrote made them laugh and laugh.

Case in point, I did a little video project called the Canucks Royal Rumble.

It basically took a video game and simulated what it would look like if the Canucks were wrestlers. It ended up being an hour and seventeen minutes. Yes, it was over an hour. In an age where a five minute video induces eye rolling and stifled yawns, somehow this video was watched by over 6,000 people. Yes, some of them might not have watched the whole thing, but many people responded with “I wasn’t going to watch it all, but I couldn’t stop watching it.” People said it was funny and how much they enjoyed it. I poured everything I had into this video (which is comedic based, which is an even tougher medium) and to see people react to it so positively, blew me away. It’s an absurd project, yet I love it to death, and other people enjoyed it too, which is something I will always be proud of.

And so that’s where I stand right now, a freelancer writing about sports in a world in which the writing industry seemingly has no idea how to prosper. Throw caution to the wind and dive head first into a possible shaky career path I love, or do the responsible thing and stick with the safe job that pays well? That is the question many people struggle with, doing what you love versus doing what you have to do. For every success story I read about a band or an artist plugging away their entire life to finally make a career out of their chosen medium, there are a thousand stories about people throwing their financial security away to chase a dream that never appears. Yet both scenarios involve putting in a ton of hard work, which is why I continue to burn my candle at both ends in possible pursuit of creative based happiness. Working from 9-5 then going home, watching hockey, then writing 11-4 is what often times happens for me.

All I know is that creativity is what makes me feel like me. I feel like Wyatt when I am writing, when I am creating a video, when I am utilizing my talents. When I go to work, I am just another part of the machine.

I have no idea what I am going to do (I will probably continue trying to do both jobs until I burn myself out), but “creativity” is telling me life just isn’t the same without it and how much more fulfilling life could be with it all the time. It’s just that god damn responsibility still has a key to my apartment and won’t let me forget about it.