Tag Archives: Philadelphia Flyers

Justin Trudeau has nothing for which to apologize

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Justin Trudeau has been the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party since 2013 and Prime Minister since 2015

 

Liberal PC culture is trying to decapitate yet another national head of state. This time the victim is the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you have likely seen the pictures of Trudeau which have surfaced after nearly two decades.

Those pictures show Trudeau attending an ‘Arabian Nights’ theme party at the private school at which he was teaching back in 2001.

In the photos, as part of an old-style sultan/genie-type costume, Trudeau is wearing a robe and turban. He is also sporting dark makeup which covers his entire face as well as his neck and hands.

When the photos surfaced they elicited outrage from the usual suspects who are offended these days by anything which they consider ‘cultural appropriation’, almost always directed at a white person costuming as someone from another race or ethnic background.

Trudeau, whose father, Pierre Trudeau, had been the Canadian Prime Minister during the early 1980’s, was a 29-year-old teacher at the West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the time that the photos were taken.

The revelation of the first photo immediately resulted in Trudeau issuing a public apology. When a couple of subsequent photos and a video also emerged, Trudeau apologized yet again.

Trudeau at the 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ theme party

The following is an excerpt from a Time magazine piece published on September 19, 2019 by Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Madeleine Carlisle and Melissa Chan:

“Speaking to reporters Wednesday night, following TIME’s publication of the photo, Trudeau apologized: “I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better and I didn’t. I’m really sorry.” When asked if he thought the photograph was racist, he said, “Yes it was. I didn’t consider it racist at the time, but now we know better.””

The video which surfaced and was published by the Global News in Canada appeared unrelated to the theme party. However, it also offered no context, nor was it entirely clear as to exactly what the person shown was doing or why they were doing it, if in fact it even was Trudeau.

However, news outlets have exploded with statements such as “stunning” and “racially charged” in their description of the photos and video.

Here is the problem with that apology and the underlying supposition.

Racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

It can also be defined as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

Trudeau neither did or said, nor did he imply, anything back in 2001 which revealed any type of prejudice or discrimination or antagonism. He did not display any behavior indicating that he felt that his white race is superior to any other race.

Trudeau simply wore a theme-appropriate costume and makeup to a party at which many were attending in costume. Bottom line, Justin Trudeau has nothing for which to apologize.

I have seen a few of my fellow conservatives calling for Trudeau to resign in the wake of this revelation. That is nothing short of politically motivated idiocy.

There is no need for conservatives to jump on Trudeau, a publicly proclaimed and evidenced liberal where nearly every political and social position is concerned, simply as an attempt to exploit a “gotcha” moment.

The fact is that conservatives should be supporting Trudeau at this time, as incredible as that may seem. Why? Again, because Trudeau did nothing wrong back in 2001, and because this type of character assassination against anyone of any political persuasion needs to stop.

By apologizing, Trudeau actually did more wrong now than he ever did back then.

Most of us with common sense recognize that many folks these days, especially the snowflake contingent on the political left, are offended far too often and by far too much.

Here in Philadelphia, the local hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers, completely overreacted back in the early spring when they first covered with a black tarp and then removed a statue of beloved franchise iconic singer Kate Smith.

Smith’s rendition of the song “God Bless America” had become a good luck charm for the team during their Stanley Cup-winning years in the mid-1970’s. It grew into a traditional staple, played before big Flyers games ever since.

In 1986, the Flyers erected a statue of Smith based on her performance of the song prior to the clinching game of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals victory. The statue moved with the team from The Spectrum to its new home, and was sitting outside what is now the Wells Fargo Center.

But a story emerged that Smith had performed a few songs some 80 years ago which contained what were perceived by the snowflake crowd as racist lyrics and sentiments.

The NHL principle ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement at the time per a piece at CNN. “As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.

Kate Smith, some 34 years after her death, as well as her song remains beloved by many Flyers fans. But she has been black-balled by the hockey organization.

It will be interesting to see how Justin Trudeau, a true liberal world leader and former media darling who is up for re-election next year, is ultimately treated by the press.

But if early reporting on the photos and the recent liberal track record are any indication, this may be the end of the 47-year-old’s political career.

While I hate to support any liberal politician, there is no other way to respond to this situation than with support for the Canadian P.M.

If liberals want to eat their own, that will usually be just fine with me. However, Justin Trudeau did nothing wrong in 2001. Lighten-up, snowflakes.

Sochi 2014

If you’re anything like me, when you heard that the 2014 Winter Olympics were being held in Sochi, you said to yourself, and may still be saying, “Where in the world is Sochi?”

The easy part of that answer is the one thing that you likely already know, that it’s in Russia. Okay, so the Olympics are being held in Russia, that’s easy enough.

But while we’ve all heard of Russian cities such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and, uh, er…yeah. Go ahead, name another Russian city. Any city or town at all. Exactly. It’s a massive country, the largest in the world, covering 1/8 of the planet’s land-mass, and has been a major American rival for a century, but you’re lucky if you know two cities there.

Sochi is actually ranked 52nd in size as a Russian city with approximately 340,000 citizens. To give you an American comparison, Bakersfield, California is our 52nd-largest city with a population very comparable to that of Sochi.

While you and I may have never heard of it before these Olympics, Sochi is actually very popular in Russia as a tourist resort area, with about 2 million people visiting each summer. It sprawls along 90-miles on the southwest coast at the very edge of the Black Sea, and is one of the few places in all of Russia with a sub-tropical climate as well, featuring sandy beaches and palm trees.

It is about as European as a Russian city can get as well.
Almost 1,000 miles away from Moscow, the Sochi area, divided administratively into Sochi ‘proper’ and a handful of other districts, lies right at what would be considered the border of Europe and Asia.

The tropical, seaside coastal atmosphere doesn’t tell the whole Sochi story, however. You also have the nearby scenic Caucasus Mountains. The wide variety of seasonal sporting opportunities has made it a popular area for sporting activities. The local tennis school, in fact, launched the careers of both Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Maria Sharipova, among others.

As with most of the world outside of the United States, football (soccer) is a major sporting activity. Sochi has been home to a Russian club team for the last couple decades, and is home to the year-round training facility for the Russian national men’s and women’s teams.

In July of 2007, the Sochi area was awarded the Winter Olympics and Paralympics as the first-ever Winter Games to be held in Russia. Despite it’s scenic beauty and the facilities already in place, the area was in no way considered “Olympics-ready”, and Russia had to commit an initial $12 billion investment package to get the infrastructure up to standards.

It is estimated that it has cost a total of nearly $50 billion in a private/government construction of facilities for the Olympic Games. Everything from the electrical/power infrastructure to the airport to the railway had to be upgraded to accommodate the Olympics, and then you have construction of many of the event venues themselves.

An investment of this size by a major world power like Russia means that Sochi will not be a one-off event location. After the Olympics, the investment in infra-structure to bring the area up to such a major standard will pay off in other events as well. Sochi will begin holding the Russian Formula One Grand Prix this year, and host the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi will be the largest ever held in terms of the number of events. There will be 98 separate events held in 15 disciplines across 7 separate sports from skiing to hockey to ice skating. The Opening and Closing ceremonies and some events will be held in the newly constructed Fisht Olympic Stadium, named after the nearby towering Mount Fisht.

There are a variety of star performers to watch at Sochi, perhaps led by the numerous NHL professional players who will participate for each nation in the hockey competition. The American hockey team will include such familiar names as Zach Parise, former Flyer James van Riemsdyk, and Phil Kessel, whose sister Amanda is a key player on the US women’s hockey team. The Canadians, always an Olympic hockey favorite, will include former Flyer Jeff Carter.

If you’re a fan of the our hometown Philadelphia Flyers, a number of the team’s players will be participating, though not our snubbed team captain Claude Giroux, notably left off Team Canada’s roster. Flyers participating include Kimmo Timonen with Finland, Jakub Voracek with the Czechs, Mark Streit with Switzerland, and Andrej Meszaros with Slovakia.

Aside from hockey, key Americans to watch include snowboarders Shaun White and Kelly Clark, figure skaters Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold, skiing stars Bode Miller and Mikaela Shiffrin, speed skaters Heather Richardson, J.R. Celski and Shani Davis, the ice dance team of Meryl Davis & Charlie White, and bobsledders Steven Holcomb and Lolo Jones, the American summer Olympics track star controversially named to the USA women’s bobsled team here.

Hovering in the background, and hopefully remaining there, is the always present fact that the Olympic Games are set on a major worldwide stage. Most of the planet is following on television and the internet. There have been specific threats, particularly by the usual Islamic radicals, of attacks against the Games. Security is tight in Sochi, with Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming a “Ring of Steel” has been provided for the athletes and attendees.

The next two weeks should provide a wide variety of winter sporting entertainment and human interest stories from this summery Russian resort town. Hopefully now we all are a little more familiar with the area and the “home team” American athletes. They will be joined by worldwide stars who will capture our attention as the drama of the Olympic Games unfolds.

Flyers Finish a Philly Sports Miracle

With just over 7 minutes left to play in the decisive 7th game of their NHL playoff series at the TD Garden in Boston, Philadelphia Flyers’ winger Simon Gagne, himself an inspirational comeback story, beat Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask for a power play goal to put Philly on top by a 4-3 score.

That the Flyers were even still playing hockey on May 15th after the predicament in which they found themselves just 10 days earlier was a minor miracle. What they accomplished by holding on to that 4-3 lead for a game and series victory was nothing short of a major Philly sports miracle.

On May 5th, the Bruins defeated the Flyers in Philadelphia by a 4-1 margin to take an overwhelming 3 games to none lead in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup playoff series. Two days later, the Bruins took the Flyers into overtime, needing just a goal to sweep a Philly squad that had been inconsistent all season long out of the post-season.

Boston would not get that overtime goal to win the series. In fact, they would never get any goal to win the series. That night, Gagne returned from a broken foot that had kept him off the ice for the first three losses to score the overtime game-winner for the Flyers, sending the series back to Boston. Most felt it was just a temporary reprieve for Philly, and that the Bruins would put the series away back on their home ice in the 5th game.

Back in Boston, Flyers’ goalies Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton stood tall in the visitors net, combining to shut out the Bruins by a 4-0 margin. The Flyers’ complete dominance had taken the hometown crowd out of the game, and left them disheartened at having missed a chance to witness their team clinch the series on home ice. Still up though by a 3-2 margin in the series, surely the Bruins would regroup to finish off the Flyers back in Philly. And even in a worst-case scenario, the decisive 7th game would be back in Boston where the Bruins couldn’t possibly lose.

In Philly for the 6th game, Leighton would get his first playoff start. The former backup had bailed out the Flyers regular season, but an injury had knocked him out, and Boucher had stepped in to lead the Flyers into post-season action. Boucher had made the big save in the shootout victory in the season’s final game that had allowed the Flyers to get into the playoffs. He had been marvelous in the Flyers opening round upset of the New Jersey Devils. But in that 5th game in Boston he had suffered an injury and had to leave the game. Luckily for the Flyers, Leighton was just returning that night from his own injury.

Leighton showed no nerves and was solid in the Flyers net, and goals by captain Mike Richards and Danny Briere led the home team to a 2-1 victory that evened the series up at 3 games apiece. Only two teams in NHL history and three in major North American professional sports had ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to actually win the series. It had not happened in the NHL playoffs in 35 years. This was the history that Philly would try to make happen back in Boston.

In the penultimate Game 7, the hometown Bruins stormed out behind their boisterous fans at the Garden, pouncing on the Flyers for an early lead and extending that lead out to 3-0. Surely here was the final stake in the Flyers hearts. But these Flyers kept coming, kept playing the game hard, and incredibly worked their way back to a 3-3 tie. It was then that Gagne struck for the goal that silenced the Garden.

The Bruins made one last charge at avoiding their historic meltdown. In the final minute, they stormed the Flyers end of the ice, looking for the equalizer, trying to take the heart out of the Flyers with a stunner and then steal the series back for themselves. But it was not to be for the home team. The visiting Flyers held on for the 4-3 win to complete the miracle comeback from a 3-0 series deficit with a miracle comeback from a 3-0 game deficit on the road.

On May 5th, the Bruins had taken a seemingly insurmountable 3 games to 0 lead with a win at the Wachovia Center. On May 15th, the Flyers finished a Philly sports miracle with the 7th game win at the TD Garden. What a difference 10 days can make, possibly the most inspirational 10 days in the storied history of the Philadelphia Flyers as they made their mark in hockey history.

The Best There Ever Was

At age 36 and still competing at the highest level, he is the best there ever was at his position in professional sports. And this isn’t some easy position either. Take the biggest and baddest NFL lineman, the toughest NBA front court player, or any hard-nosed MLB catcher and put them in his position for just one practice and that player would be running for the bench within seconds. Well, not running, more like skating. Because the sport that we are talking about is professional ice hockey, the position is that of the goaltender, and the player is named Martin Brodeur. He is the goaltender for the New Jersey Devils in the National Hockey League, a position which he has manned for that fortunate team for the past 15 seasons. The lucky local favorites, our own Philadelphia Flyers, have been forced to play in the same division as Brodeur and the Devils for the entirety of his career, and more often than not his presence has been the difference. In those 15 seasons the Devils have won the NHL’s Atlantic Division title 7 times while the Flyers have won 5 division titles. The two teams have finished 1-2 in the division nine times in that span. This is what is termed a legitimate rivalry, folks, and so the Flyers and we fans have gotten to see far more of Marty Brodeur between the pipes than most any other opposition goaltender. Lucky us. While the regular season battles have been epic and usually tight, there is no comparison when it comes to the post-season. Brodeur has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships in his career: his rookie year in the spring of 1995, again in 2000, and most recently in 2003. The Devils also reached the Cup finals in 2001 before losing to Colorado. In that same time span the Flyers have played for Lord Stanley’s Cup only one time, over a decade ago now in the spring of 1997 when they were drubbed in four straight games by the Detroit Red Wings. Before the arrival of Brodeur, the Devils were almost a hockey laughingstock. Born in 1974 as the Kansas City Scouts, they played two seasons in KC before relocating and becoming the Colorado Rockies. It was here in Colorado that the Flyers got their first taste of real competition with the franchise, eliminating the Rockies in a 2-game mini-playoff sweep in 1978. The franchise then finally moved to North Jersey for the 1982-83 season and did not make the playoffs for its first five seasons in New Jersey. The Devils finally began to become a regular playoff team in the early 90’s, and it was then that Martin Brodeur came on the scene. He had been the Devils 1st round draft choice, the 20th player selected overall, back in the 1990 NHL Draft. The Flyers selected Mike Ricci as the 4th overall pick that same year, and a number of future NHL greats went before Brodeur including Jaromir Jagr, Keith Primeau, Owen Nolan, Derian Hatcher and Keith Tkachuk. In 1994, Brodeur won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year and led the underdog club to a dramatic 7th game loss in the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Rangers. The following season the Devils eliminated the Flyers in six games in the conference finals before defeating the Detroit Red Wings for their first-ever Stanley Cup victory. This period launched the great pro career of Martin Brodeur, one that has included those 3 Stanley Cups, 4 Vezina Trophy awards as the NHL’s top goaltender, 4 Jennings Trophy awards for allowing the least goals in the NHL. Brodeur has also starred internationally for his native Canada, leading them to a 2002 Olympic gold medal and a 2004 World Cup championship as the starting goalie. He also shares the distinction with the Flyers’ Ron Hextall in being the only two goalies to score goals themselves in both the regular season and the playoffs. Brodeur is the only goalie in NHL history to score a game-winning goal. And last night, Martin Brodeur became the winningest goaltender in NHL history when he made 30 saves as the Devils defeated the Chicago Black Hawks by a 3-2 score in front of his home fans at the Prudential Center in Newark. I became a hockey fan as a 10-year old at the end of the 1972 season when the Flyers missed the playoffs by allowing a last-second goal in the final game of the season, and have enjoyed almost four decades of the best goaltending in NHL history. I watched the greatest 2-year display of playoff goaltending in the games’ history by the Flyers Bernie Parent, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups and playoff MVP’s in 1974 & 1975. I have seen some of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the game play in the prime of their careers including Parent, Hextall, Ken Dryden, Tony Esposito, Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hasek, Billy Smith, Pelle Lindbergh, Eddie Belfour, Tom Barrasso, and the great Patrick Roy. But for my money none was greater over a sustained period of time than Martin Brodeur. With his 552nd victory and the achievement in becoming the NHL’s all-time winningest goaltender added to all of his other team and individual achievements, and in appreciation of him as a tremendous rival to my own beloved Philadelphia Flyers, it is no stretch at all for me to consider Martin Brodeur as the best there ever was.

No soulful end to the curse

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Philadelphia Soul players celebrate their Arena Bowl championship victory

The indoor Arena Football League played it’s championship game yesterday, and the local boys, the Philadelphia Soul, took the Arena Bowl XXII title by downing something called the San Jose SaberCats by a final score of 59-56.

The Soul are partly owned by famed New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi, the very public face of the franchise, and have another local hero, former Eagles Super Bowl quarterback Ron Jaworski, among their official team hierarchy.

So the club has found a niche in the local sports scene, much as the pro lacrosse Philadelphia Wings and indoor soccer Philadelphia Kixx have found.

For those not from Philly, you may not be aware that we are in the midst of one of the worst major pro sports championship droughts in the history of such things.

No major Philadelphia professional sports team has won a title since the 1983 NBA Philadelphia 76ers, led by Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving and Moses Malone, took that championship from the LA Lakers. That makes it a full quarter-century since Philadelphians have experienced the thrill of a major title, and the ensuing victory parade down Broad Street.

The Phillies last won the World Series in 1980, the Flyers last took the Stanley Cup in 1975, and the Eagles won the NFL championship in 1960 – they have never won a Super Bowl.

We have come close, as each team made it to the championship series multiple times. The Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals in the springs of 1985, 1987, and 1997.

The Sixers made the NBA Finals in 2001. The Phillies were in the World Series in both 1983 and 1993.

The Eagles famously lost a close 2004 Super Bowl to the New England Patriots that was the city’s best shot in recent years.

Still, that makes just seven seasons out of a possible 100 (25 years each for the 4 teams), or 7% for a top ten market to even appear in a championship, and that is beyond woeful.

There were comments after the Soul win that the jinx may now be over, with Soul coach Bret Munsey saying “Now we can win championships in Philly. I hope that takes care of everything.

Uh, don’t think so Bret. Your boys did a nice job. Congratulations to you and game MVP Matt D’Orazio and Bon Jovi and Jaws and everyone in the organization.

But it doesn’t end a thing involving the jinx, or curse, or whatever you want to call this thing, because ‘minor’ pro sports teams have done it before.

In lacrosse, the Philadelphia Barrage won MLL titles three times in four years between 2004-2007, and the Philadelphia Wings won six NLL titles between 1989 and 2001.

In both 1998 and 2005, the Philadelphia Phantoms won AHL Calder Cup titles as the top farm club of the Flyers. The old Philadelphia Stars had won a pair of USFL titles in pro football back in the 80’s.

Perhaps the most famous Philly title since 1983 wasn’t even won by a pro club, that being the Villanova Wildcats winning the NCAA basketball championship in a dramatic upset of Georgetown in the spring of 1985.

In an online poll at Philly.com, local sports fans were asked “Does the Soul’s championship affect the Philly sports jinx?” At the time of this article, over 4600 fans had placed votes, and more than 73% answered “NO, it has to be one of the ‘big four’ professional teams.” The answer is clear, the jinx or curse is alive.

The Soul did a nice job in their league, they should be proud of their accomplishment, and their fans should enjoy the victory. But the fact remains that the curse remains.

One day, a major Philadelphia sports franchise will win a title. Perhaps Donovan McNabb of the Eagles will raise the Super Bowl trophy, or Mike Richards of the Flyers will hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, or Elton Brand will raise the NBA championship trophy, or maybe even Chris Coste will get to leap into Brad Lidge’s arms as the Phils take the World Series.

I was still a teen when Tugger and Schmidty and Charlie Hustle and Lefty won that 1980 World Series. I cheered Clarkie and Bernie and the boys on to a pair of Stanley Cups as a boy, and jumped for joy as Billy Cunningham’s Sixers won that last ’83 title. I have had the sports fan thrill, but it has been a long time.

I was 21-years-old when Mo Cheeks dribbled down the court, jumping for joy at yet another title in Philly as the Sixers captured the 1983 NBA Championship. I thought that it would happen often, because at that point of my life in just the past seven years Philly teams were consistent world title contenders.

Between 1976-1983 the Phils had been to the playoffs six times and won a Series. The Eagles were playoff regulars and had gone to a Super Bowl. The Flyers had been to the Cup finals four times and won twice. The Sixers were regular title contenders and had now won one.

Philly was Title Town in those days. Maybe one day I will live to see it all come around again.