Friday, July 15, 2005



Now cooking at THE CHURCH POTLUCK, 3 recipes for grilled Cornish Game Hens!


As much as I despise Karl Rove, it is beginning to look like he is just a secondary player in the Valerie Plame case. Should he be fired? Yes, because Dubya promised to fire anyone involved in her outing. But is he the big gun? No.

So who is the administration official responsible. Clearly, someone high enough that Bush couldn’t afford to allow the facts to come out before the election. Clearly the Whitehouse is covering up for someone. And the time has come to, as Salon puts it, ask Dubya the question asked of Nixon thirty years ago; “what did you know and when did you know it?” This case is turning into a major obstruction of justice case, which is, after all, what forced Nixon to resign, not the Watergate break in itself.

Salon has a series of excellent articles (the best I’ve seen anywhere) HERE. It would be well worth your while to suffer through the brief ad and view them .


The NHL deal is finally done, and my question is, why bother? This is an agreement that is almost guaranteed to plunge the NHL into the same kind of obscurity enjoyed by indoor soccer, arena football, and major league lacrosse. It screws the teams it needs the most, the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, and Rangers. On a case by case basis:

THE RED WINGS: America’s team. The Wings are to hockey as the Yankees are to baseball, and the Cowboys to football. Love em or hate, nobody is neutral on them. Television ratings across the county rise by 10% when the Wings are on TV. Nobody comes close to selling the amount of licensed merchandise the Wings do. They play in North Americas hockey hotbed, where even the college teams sell out all their games. The NHL NEEDS the Wings to be successful. This contract guarantees they won’t be. With only 16 players under contract, their payroll is at 38 million. The cap is 39 million. Minimum salary is now $450,000. Do the math. The Wings will be forced to buy out a number of stars contracts. Under terms of the new deal, you cannot re-sign these players. Look for Chelios, Yzerman, Hatcher and Joseph to be gone. Unless Nick Lidstrom decides to stay in Sweden and play fewer games for more money. That might save Hatcher.

THE MAPLE LEAFS: Are to Canada as the Wings are to America. Every English speaking Canadian grows up wanting to be a Leaf. TV rating go up if the Leafs are playing. Again, they are also hard up against the cap.

THE RANGERS: Original 6 team in North America’s biggest market. Outside Detroit, this is the market the NHL needs the most if it is to rebound from obscurity. While they are not quite as hard up against the cap as the Wings, Leafs, and Flyers (another crucial market), this cap leaves them no flexibility to improve. And the NHL desperately needs the Rangers to improve.

Worst of all, this cap guarantees many of the sports European stars will stay in Europe, further diluting the talent pool. It also means there is a better than 50/50 chance that the supposed savior, Sidney Crosby, will save Swiss hockey instead. Lucerne has offered him a contract worth at least 4 times what he can make under the NHL $850,000 rookie maximum salary. If it were me, I’d already have passport in hand.

I think this year, as last, I'll don my maize and blue jersey and spend a lot of time watching my Wolverines on Comcast Sports!

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