Mailbags - while we still have time! - Macleans.ca
 

Mailbags – while we still have time!


 

As the ash cloud moves toward us, bringing with it the likelihood of flight cancellations and the certainty of death at the hands of the alien hoverfleet concealed within, let’s knock off a couple mailbags this week in between the looting and the panicky ash sex.

Questions?


 
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Mailbags – while we still have time!

  1. Dear Scott:

    Despite the imminent ash apocalypse, I'm still preoccupied by the failure of Toronto sports teams.
    Is it coincidence that when the ash clouds appeared, that the Angels swept the series?
    Why does god hate Toronto sports?

  2. Scott,
    I spent much of the weekend watching playoff hockey. Friday, Saturday and Sunday brought excellent games. My question is simple. Do you think Jason Spezza will regret missing them?

    • Sens fans are so lame. They practically deify Mike Fisher for averaging 35-40pts/season (at a current cap hit of $4.2M/yr) but take every possible opportunity to denigrate the only guy other than Alfie or Michalek on the team that has any kind of offensive chops.

      • I'm not sure what you're saying.

        Fisher getting 25 goals and 28 assists (53 points) at a cap hit of $4.2 million is, certainly, not worthy of deification, but you're not suggesting that Spezza's 23 goals and 34 assists (57 points) at a cap hit of $7 million is significantly better, are you? 'Cause if I were a Sens fan, I'd be taking ever possible opportunity to denigrate Spezza too.

        Also, Michalek? I don't watch the Sens at all, but if Alfredsson, Spezza and Michalek are the only 3 players on the team with "any kind of offensive chops" how do you explain the 3 other Sens who got more points than Michalek this year? By points, Michalek wouldn't even crack the top five scorers on the LEAFS for Pete's sake.

        For my part, if I had Fischer averaging 12 points for every million dollars on the cap, and Spezza averaging 8 points for every million dollars on the cap, I might be denigrating both of them. I'd DEFINITELY be giving Spezza a harder time than Fischer though, so I guess my point is, stop deifying Fisher, for sure, but denigrating Spezza seems entirely appropriate to me.

        All that said, I do wholeheartedly agree that Sens fans are lame.

        • I should add that I know that Spezza was hurt for 20 games at one point, but the math (vis a vis Fisher) still doesn't work for him, even taking that in to account.

          Spezza got 0.95 points per game played, which is indeed much better than Fisher's 0.67 points per game played. HOWEVER, Spezza's cap hit was $116,667 per game played, and Fisher's was only $53,165. So, given the number of games each player actually played in, Spezza's adjusted cap hit per point (adjusted for games played) was $122,807. Fisher's cap hit per point (adjusted for games played) was $79,350. So, even factoring in Spezza's injury, Fisher's 53 points over 79 games for $4.2 million is arguably a better deal than Spezza's 57 points over 60 games for $7 million.

          • The intense love of Fisher and (IMO, irrational) dislike for Spezza goes back a long time. A better sample would be over, say, the past 4 or 5 seasons. Nevertheless, that's not my point. Both players are overpaid, by most objective standards.

            To this point in the PIT-OTT series, Alfredsson has put up 3A, Spezza has put up 3A, and Fisher has put up 1G and 1A. Yet the only guy who's being booed is Spezza… Fisher is a great 3rd line C (who in a career year was tied for 78th in league scoring), but the respect he's accorded in comparison to Spezza is a little out of whack, to say the least.

            Meanwhile the Ottawa Citizen front page was treating us to yet another front page story on Carrie Underwood as of about 20 minutes ago. Awesome!

          • That makes sense to me. I took your first post as more of a "start treating Spezza better" argument, but if your point was more "you're probably treating Spezza about right, but you'd better start treating Fisher worse" I can get on board.

          • Ed R while i wholeheartedly support your boo more Senators (of the hockey playing variety) analysis, what your analysis ignores in only looking at offense, is that Alfie and Fisher hurt the team less than Spezza. Spezza's ill-timed errant passes, lack of defensive skill etc make him not only not good enough offensively but a liability most of the time is on the ice.

          • As imperfect a stat as +/- is, Spezza is a combined +73 over the course of his career. He doesn't pay a lot of attention to defense, granted, but he's hardly a "liability". If he were a net minus to the team, you'd have to figure he wouldn't be on the ice.

            During these playoffs, Spezza, Alfredsson and Fisher are all -2. But, again, only one guy gets booed. No boos for Karlsson, who gave up the puck that led to Malkin's backbreaking goal, no boos for Elliott, who let in a weak wrister from Poni on the first shot of the game, no boos for Alfie, who had a grand total of zero shots last game and was knocked on his rear by Crosby.

            Clearly Spezza is the only player holding the Sens back from dynasty status.

          • Ed, uhm it is not just that +/- is an imperfect stat (although to say is it is imperfect is roughly equivalent to saying an insurance writeoff automobile is used), it does not even address my point. 5t is not just whether the team scores when Spezza's is on the ice, it is that his play is littered with drop passes to… the opposition and neutral zone turnovers which lead to opposition opportunities. A better comparison for this is giveaways and takeaways.

            Give Aways Take Aways Net
            Spezza 58 39 -19
            Alfie 45 76 +21
            Fisher 37 47 +10

            That he is the only one that has net more turnovers is telling. that he has that many more turnovers, with the least time one the ice for the season is doubly telling (Spezza spent 200 less minutes on the ice then Alfie who spent less time on the ice than Fisher).

            and you want to talk about who gets knocked on their arse? any chance that is because Spezza is allergic to the corners? Spezza delivered a whopping 23 hits this season. I won't point out that Fisher has 203, but I would guess that randomly running nto other skaters could account for 23 hits.

            Spezza is a liability.

          • So if we're to mostly disregard offensive talent and utilize net takeaways as the barometer of a player's ability, then surely you must believe players like Crosby are terrible liabilities… Crosby was -34 on the year, Ovechkin was -10. Drew Doughty was *really* awful, at -53. Green was -29, Kovalchuk was -39. The bums! I hope someone alerts LA to this before they go and do something stupid like extend Doughty.

            Everyone always bitches when a drop pass leads to a turnover, but I don't see too many people shaking their heads disapprovingly when it leads to a goal. It's easy to find good checkers to play tough minutes – that's why Philly could get Blair Betts for next to nothing last offseason. It's considerably more difficult to find people with the ability to consistently put the puck in the net.

            Look – I'm not arguing that Spezza doesn't have liabilities. I'm arguing that Sens fans are beyond foolish for fixating on Spezza's specific flaws while simultaneously deifying other players (i.e. Alfie, Fisher) who have their own flaws, and more specifically have not played well over the past 3 games. It's objectively ridiculous.

          • this is probably best left at we disagree re Spezza. (for the record Fisher and Alfie need to be playing a helluva lot better for the Sens to do squat….they have to carry Spezza afterall).

          • pss that was a beautiful pas from Spezza to Crosby that allowed Sid to set up Malkin for the second goal. that one seemed to be quite a momentum killer.

          • Bravo!

            PPM (points per million) should be the new stat on hockey cards.

      • Sens fan? Ouch.

    • The Sens are performing very well, they're missing top players and they're playing against the defending champs, plus the combined decibels of the media's accumulated fawning over Sidney Crosby (aka Golden Boy).

      GO SENS GO!!!!!!

      • I agree. Go Sens, go.

        And don't come back.

        • Spoken like a true Leafs fan. How DARE the nation's capital have a franchise that competes in the NHL, when the provincial capital continues to wait patiently for one…

          • LOL

            At least Leafs Nation is at a more rational point in it's history now, in that no one expects anything. I know plenty of Sens fans who seemed to honestly believe they were going to beat the Pens. DELUSIONAL.

            I also maintain my right to mock Sens fans even during the dismal current state of the Leafs, if for no other reason than the Sens performance in the playoffs against the Leafs historically. I've seen too many seemingly superior Sens teams get destroyed by mediocre Leafs teams in the playoffs to ever respect the Sens. At the very least they're gonna need to win a Cup to start to turn me around. Right now, they're the only Canadian team I have trouble rooting for (unlike some purists who will only root for their team and never anyone else, I will generally root for a Canadian team over and American, even the Habs. However, it's always a struggle for me when it comes to the pathetic Sens).

          • Rational? people flock to pay large sums to watch a team that on a lot of nights look like a solid jr.b team. not sure that is rational.

      • 'media's constant fellating of Sidney Crosby (aka Golden Boy).'

        Fixed that for you….

        • Much more appropriate. The last game, the CBC dusted off Gary Roberts apparently with the only purpose of giving Crosby a two-hour reacharound!

    • That question would probably be best posed to the Leafs…

  3. Dear Scott,
    I was recently fired for no fault of my own. Do you have any career advice on how I can go from such ignomiious failure to landing my dream job?

  4. Dear Scott,

    If Shelly Glover becomes Minister for the Status of Women, will this mean that poofy 80s hair styles will come back into style on Parliament Hill?

    • There are more important characteristics than hair style get serious john. Women of Canada would be lucky to have Shelly as the Min responsible for the Status of Women , she is a great role model for women and men, a real soccer mum ( five children) plays ands coaches soccer.

      • Soccer mom – now that's really important. I have friends who are soccer, hockey and ballet moms – and they aren't cut out for politics.

        Role model? Good grief

      • Yes John, please stop debasing the mailbag thread with humour. This is a place for serious queries only.

    • I think Jason Kenny would look quite fetching in a poofy 80s hair style. In fact, a number of MPs would.

  5. Dear Scott:

    Two questions. First, I found this weird metal box thingy on the roof of my building last week. It has an antenna, a vent, a few lights, and an electrical box. It beeps from time to time. Our building people tell us that it doesn't belong to the building or the landlord. I don't really know what it is, but someone told me it is aliens spying on us from outer space. What's your take on the mystery box?

    Also: what are the odds I'll have to find a cruise ship to take me to Ireland in July?

    • Hrm. That's strange.. it's supposed to prevent you from seeing it. I mean, what good is a mind-control device if people know they're being contr… I've said too much, haven't I?

  6. Dear Scott,

    When will there be a more imaginative scandal – one with male hookers perhaps? Or are, we doomed to sift through the ashes of previous busty hooker scandals?

  7. Scott,

    are we in a new era of recognizing the importance of golf for world leaders?

    The reason I ask is that yesterday, Poland buried its president. Obama was unable to attend due to this ash, but instead of going to the Polish embassy in the US, went….golfing.

    I'd love to give the presidential Ferris Bueller the benefit of the doubt, but it seems he's now gone golfing 32 times, only a year into his presidency. You'll recall Bush was attacked for his golfing while the US burned, doing so a paltry 24 times in 8 years in office.

    Put another way, for every single golf game the evil Bush leisurely enjoyed, our "hope and change" president golfed eight times.

    Yet nary a mention by our intrepid media. A new revolution in golf appreciation? Or the same old continuous water carrying by a media that leaves its accountability sleuthing behind in favour of pom poms when it comes to left leaning darlings?

    • And, Bush spent one-third of his tenure on vacation. Bush gave up golf as asymbolic measure (out of guilt I would think) of not playing golf when the military were at war – sure helped didn't it?

      Obama should have a break don't you think?

      • On the day he was scheduled to go to a funeral for the head of Poland, and hero of the Solidarity movement, where other officials went to the Polish embassy in the US instead?

        Worse than giving the PM of England a box set of CD Hollywood favorites (receiving from the US's most important ally, a momento made from timbers of a slave trading ship) or giving an Ipod containing his speeches to the Queen.

        Skipping the world's most important memorial for a game of golf, goes beyond narcissistic. That the press yawned tells you everything you need to know about the death of the MSM viewing/circulation numbers.

        • Hero of the Solidarity movement? I think you're thinking of another Lech.

  8. Scott:

    Will you be welcoming our new alien overlords, or leading the resistance?

    • How do you know he isn't one of… I've said too much, haven't I?

  9. As the world is about to end, can you give us your bucket list for the last week we have?

  10. I'm thinking that with minimal alien language skills I don't have much hope for government employment post-invasion so I'm trying to think of other ways to capitulate. Perhaps in the hospitality industry? Do you happen to know what kind of beer is preferred by ash cloud aliens? (must be thirsty work hiding in all that volcanic dust)

  11. Scott,

    I just saw my ex-girlfriend on a Dollars for Gold commercial putting all the jewellery I ever bought her into an envelope and sending it away in exchange for a fraction of its actual value at today's gold prices.

    My question is, would buying her new gold jewellery to replace all the stuff she just sold be the kind of romantic gesture that would be certain to win her back?

    • Oh you need a woman's answer on this one. Yes, it would. You should drunk dial and tell her your plans, preferably in the wee hours of the morning…

  12. Dear Scott,

    I'm confused. I excitedly called my wife to plan our forthcoming ash sex. She sounded mildly disgusted at the suggestion, and she accused me of being drunk.

    What gives?
    Sean.

    • she is concerned over where those pumice particles could end up

    • Apparently, she wasn't drunk.

  13. Scott,

    How exactly is this ash cloud going to impact on your master plan of "jet-packs" for all??……..will it go the way of a Tory campaign promise??

    • Tories don't campaign on promises. They achieved their 5 priorities in 2006 and have been riding the coat tails of good governance ever since. Don't you remember 2008 and the everything-is-swell-now-move-along campaign?

      • They achieved their 5 priorities in 2006.

        LOL

  14. Scott:

    It's recently been revealed that the city of St. Louis is experimenting with using pig manure as a binding agent in asphalt (assphalt??), to counter the adverse effects of factory pig farms. Do you see any application for this exciting new technology here in Canada?

  15. I don't know about you Scott but if I attended a meeting featuring busty hookers, cocaine, questionable business contacts then got busted on the drive home my wife would pour volcanic ash on my head and light me on fire.

    How do you think Rahim Jaffer's home life is going this month?

    Also, have you been invited to their home-warming party in Rockcliffe?

    Sincerely
    Tceh

  16. Tomorrow is April 20th. Is it true that MPs and Senators have a secret room where there celebrate 4:20 while monkey butlers pass out Doritos and Cheezies on silver platters?

    • No. MP's aren't allowed in the Senate secret room.

      • And here I thought they were the monkey butlers.

  17. Dear Scott,

    MMA has been in the news lately here in Ontario. Do you think Dalton would approve it sooner if it was "Celebrity MMA"? Example: Michael Buble/Justin Bieber v. Nickleback. Or Guergis/Raitt v. Common Sense (mud-style)? I'd pay for that. You?

    • Buble/Bieber v. McGuinty/Ignatieff would the it. Either way, we win!

  18. Dear Scott:

    Given the eruption theme…how do we submit a request to name the "Hill" in downtown Charlottetown "Mount Helena?

    Here all week, veal, etc…

    M_A_N

    • Perhaps Krakatowa would be more accurate given hot Rafer & Helen have "all blowed up"

    • Day job, etc.

      • You've been a lovely audience. Most of you. Aisle 3, not so much.

        • Please do better than that. I'd like a few weeks off work hauling you before a Human Rights Commission somewhere, and I could use a few extra thousand clams…

  19. Scott,

    Speaking of ash clouds, I've been pushing a grocery cart to the coast, with my son in tow.

    I really should be focussing on how to avoid cannibals and why I didn't bring along a can opener, but instead all I can think about is that I used to be married to Charlize Theron.

    Any advice?

  20. "Panicky ash sex" sounds even funnier if you imagine Sean Connery saying it.

    • Have to assume Moneypenny is involved somehow….and maybe Q.

    • haha!

  21. Yo Feschuk, you got a nickname?

    Sincerely,
    Fluffy

  22. Dear Scott,

    The latest feature article in Macleans is about the “return” of Hitler, and includes a picture of one of his present-day fans sporting his iconic mustache. Are any other dead leaders planning a comeback tour, and if so, what kind of facial hair trends can we expect to see?

  23. Dear Scott,

    While I'm thinking of questions, what should Ottawa name its soon-to-be CFL franchise, Mr. football expert?

    • The Tiger-Cats.

      • The Ottawa Onemoretimes

      • You know, they're seriously considering naming them the Rough Riders again. You can't make this stuff up!

    • The Cabinet Ministers.

      It's the only way to get people to buy tickets.

  24. Dear Scott,

    Can you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull? And, if so, why?

  25. Dear Scott,

    I have read that the main threats from the ash to airplanes are possible engine failure and window etching so you can't see out.

    So I'm not so sure panicky ash sex is a good idea. Although you would no longer need the bag, you might run the risk of severe piston failure, requiring a premature landing.

    Am I missing something?

  26. Dear Scott,

    I'm almost afraid to ask but what is "panicky ash sex"?

    Also, where do babies come from?

  27. Dear Scott,

    In between the lootings and the panicky ash sex, who's got time for a stupid mailbag?

  28. Dear Scott,

    Presuming that the ash cloud disperses and the flight cancellations trail off, I am departing for tenth months or so on the road for a research gig. For the first four months I will be based in the Netherlands, are there any Feschukian travel tips you care to pass along before this extended excursion? Also are there any European Feschukian pilgrimages I should consider for my down time?

    Will miss the mailbag while I am away!

    Best regards.

    Sea_n_mountains

  29. Dear Scott,

    When giving my thanks to all the people who have made it possible for me being able to have panicky ash cloud sex should I include the ash cloud?