Saturday, November 27, 2004

CARTOON NIGHT IN CANADA

DOH!

Welcome to the weekly rant about no NHL hockey.

Well, the lockout has allowed me to catch up on all sorts of things, like cartoon watching. Yes, today I have been watching cartoons on TV--- because there's nothing else on! I was watching the Simpsons over on Global- they had something like 2 and a half hours of Simpsons tonight- plus Movie Night in Canada had Tarzan. So there's been lots of cartoons to watch on TV tonight. But no live NHL hockey. I tuned into a live AHL game from Hamilton, so I got a hockey fix tonight in spite of the NHL.

Why am I watching cartoons anyway, you ask?! Well, I was getting nostalgic about the Saturdays that I used to know years ago when I was a kid, when I used to get up early in the morning and watch favorites like Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo. Of course, you can't really do that anymore because the American networks have basically handed over their morning schedules to cable nets like Nick and Disney, and the rest of the time they show news programs like Good Morning America and the Saturday Early Show. I gotta say, the few cartoons they show on Saturdays these days are dismal- most of it from Japan! I'm sorry, I don't see the appeal of any of these shows. Pokemon?! Yecch! The old Hanna-Barbera shows were much better. I understand there's some kind of requirement that the networks show some type of educational TV to kids now. Well, the kids today have to be sleeping in on Saturdays, these shows are terrible!

The real reason I'm nostalgic is because the movie Spider-Man was on TV. I watched that movie this week, and I remembered all those Saturdays watching Spidey's cartoon show on TV. You know, the cartoon Spider-Man was actually a Canadian production with actors like Paul Soles doing the voices. So the show counted as a Canadian show, and it was replayed and replayed and replayed on Saturday mornings in Canada forever--- because it counted towards CRTC Canadian content requirements! So everyone who ever had access to a TV set in Canada over the last 30 years got to see Spider-Man at least 30 million times. Well, there you go, my rant on Saturday morning cartoons. I'm still a big animation fan, but I've developed a more refined taste in cartoons as an adult: I only watch GOOD cartoons. And I can only watch about one Simpsons episode a day. Good grief, that show's on every channel! It's on morning, noon, and night!

THE RAPTORS SOAP OPERA CONTINUES

Well, I've settled on the Raptors as a worthy replacement for hockey. They're keeping my interest, anyway, that's all I say for them. Boy, they are a soap opera over there.

You have Vince Carter donating parks to the kids of Toronto with trade rumors swirling in the air. Then he announces he's not going to dunk anymore, and then he shows up at the arena and dunks all the time! And then comes word there were threats made against Vince and that the police presence has been stepped up at Raptor games. I suppose they're afraid of another Detroit, with fans throwing beer at players and causing another incident. And they still haven't made a deal for Carter. Rats! Geez, get it over with already. I hear that Seattle's another team that might be interested in Carter, but who knows when they're gonna ship Vince out of here.

With all the goons and enforcers locked out of the NHL these days, I've noticed a lot of the other sports have stepped up and picked up the slack. Last week, football players in the Clemson-South Carolina game got into a huge, huge fight. It embarrassed both universities and both teams said they'd refuse bowl invitations because of what happened. Only thing missing was Don Cherry.

In other football news, the Argos had a big parade in downtown Toronto and their Grey Cup victory dominated the news on TV.

MORE HOCKEY TALK

This week the locked-out players started getting their checks from the union. That was about the only news to report. There's no talks on the horizon and I really have little to say this week. I do notice the fans are really crying on the radio about the lack of hockey now that the CFL is finished. None of the other sports - the NFL, the NBA- are any substitute. The fans are going on the air and complaining "basketball just isn't hockey!" Well, boo hoo, you're darned right, it ain't hockey!

MOLSON has been running ads with crying hockey fans moaning about the lack of hockey, with the tag line: "hockey, please come back!"

I can't believe it. You know, I think these gullible fans will come back to the NHL even if this crummy sport kills the whole season and returns with replacement players next season! I can't believe fans will stand for this terrible treatment but I guess Canadians can't help it, they love their beloved hockey too much so they'll put up with all kinds of punishment.

Hockey players in Russia are putting up with all kinds of punishment, apparently. I heard on the radio that the hockey players who sold their souls for the big money just hate it over there- living conditions are terrible and the food is awful, and crime is completely out of control. The ones who went to Sweden and Switzerland aren't making the big dough like those folks in Russia, but still, life is better in those countries; lots to do, plus the arenas they play in are pretty modern.

There was also something in The Hockey News about how hockey's failing in the United States. Well, here's my answer to that: three work stoppages in twelve years. Is it any wonder Americans are turning to NASCAR?! Canadians don't seem to relate because, well, they're willing to put up with all kinds of nonsense.

All I gotta say is: hockey, please come back. Cartoons just don't cut it on Saturday nights.

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