Monday, June 25, 2012

Faster, higher, stronger, chaster(and other Monday morning musings)

The only way the Canadiens could possibly have done better at the 2012 NHL draft is if they were the Buffalo Sabres, who got centers Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons with the 12th and 14th picks of the first round.  Time will tell how general manager Marc Bergevin and scouting director Trevor Timmins fared relative to the rest of the league, but it bodes well that the Canadiens' first three choices - Alex Galchenyuk, Sebastian Collberg and Dalton Thrower - have been favorably compared to Anze Kopitar, Daniel Alfredsson and Kevin Bieska.  Add that kind of potential to a young core that already includes Carey Price, P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty and blue chip prospects Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, and it's not a complete stretch to hope for a serious championship run within the next 3-5 years...Not to rain on anyone's parade, but sometimes I wish people were half as excited and proud to be Canadian as they are about the loose affiliation they have with the country their grandparents were born in when it wins a soccer game.  That said, people who know more about soccer than I do tell me that when your next opponent is Germany, it's a good idea to celebrate while you still can...Just when you thought the Formula One season couldn't get any more dramatic, yesterday's incident-filled European Grand Prix in Valencia produced an improbable and emotional win for crowd favorite Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher's first podium finish since 2006.  Whether by coincidence or design, F1 is finally generating parity and competition to keep fans interested beyond the halfway point of the calender...It's an encouraging sign for human rights in the Islamic world that Saudi Arabia is sending female athletes to the Olympics for the first time, but I don't like their chances in water polo or the high hurdles if they're still forced to wear the burka.


  1. Hi Ted,

    I was just alerted to your comments about the Italia game on Sunday & the fans reactions on Sunday, as well as your blog post. I was told to go check it out because it was supposed to show me that you are being an arse and that I would be led to make a comment (negative) towards you.

    So I went on twitter, looked up your tweets & then read this blog... the whole time thinking... I'm a first generation Canadian of Italian decent. Proud to be "Italian" but I know that I'm "Canadian" & proud of both.

    I have to say that I agree with you, to celebrate a win right outside the Little Italy cafe's is one thing, but to have a long & continuous celebration is ridiculous, just like the Habs, we should be more accustomed to winning & shouldn't over react to a simple victory against a mediocre team.

    I'm also willing to bet that Mr. Bird is right that they are probably 3rd & 4th Gen Italo-Canadians & they probably don't even speak the language properly.

  2. Why can't you just be happy for people who are happy. Leave the "Angry old man" bit to Jack Todd.

  3. In response to your comment;
    "People who know more about soccer than I do tell me that when your next opponent is Germany, it's a good idea to celebrate while you still can.."
    You're obviously unaware that Italy has beat Germany in 8 of the past 10 semi-finals they've faced them. I look forward to CELEBRATING tomorrow with my fellow Italians.

    And in response to your tactless, racist comments on Twitter regarding cannoli and construction contracts; as a "public figure" you should be ashamed of yourself for making such comments about one of Montreal's largest ethnic groups and for being so blatantly ignorant.

    Many of us Italians - whether we're 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generation immigrants - have dual citizenship and we're as proud to be Canadian as we are to be Italian.

  4. Quite a week for Italians & apparently Ted Bird as well in relation to .. The Italian National Team, Pre Mature celebrations and Italians in general.

    While some people had issues with Ted’s take on the pre mature celebrations causing some back and forth from the fans of the Azzurri it was simply an opinion and touched on some valid points about celebrating in a quarter final round. This morphed into another argument as to why Italian Canadians and others are so passionate about a country they may have never visited or are affiliated only via the vowel at the end of their last name or ancestry. According to Ted, despite attacks on the blog and social media, it was not Italians per say he was bothered by but the overconfidence and arrogance he labeled as hubris. Again, just a matter of another person’s opinion which should be respected.

    Then an interesting incident occurred which Ted has been slyly attempting to brush off or simply brush under the rug. When someone did not agree with his opinion of celebrating a quarter final win by parading the streets of Little Italy Ted’s so tactful and classy response was “relax and have another cannoli”. I don’t think this warrants further analysis, the statement speaks for itself as does the stereotypical undertone of it.

    As someone pointed out, I wonder if Ted would consider telling Francois Gagnon to relax and have a poutine.

    Ted's next strategy was try to make light of it by going out and buying cannoli’s in an obvious attempt to demonstrate it was all simply a one big joke to laugh at. “Everyone loves a cannoli”.

    What really happened was the contempt for Italy only deepened with comments considering their Euro dream to end against Germany and better yet referring to Italy as Ghana in reference to Balotelli’s ancestry. Interesting. as another twitter follower pointed out, didn’t Ted say a Canadian Italian should consider himself Canadian first before parading the streets because he was born and raised in Canada. In the case of Mr. Balotelli, he should be considered Ghanaian first despite being born and raised in Italy. My New York friends call this “piecemeal reasoning”. Almost as cool a term as ‘hubris’.

    In my opinion, the damage is done and one’s true colors come out in these "shoot from the hip" moments like telling an Italian ‘eat a cannoli’ when they don’t agree with his opinion. The type of talk you barely find in elementary schoolyards let alone by a radio personality. Wonder if the same comment would be made to his colleague Tony Marinaro at the office. Likely not.

    This may come as a surprise to Ted but not all Italians fit the mold he has created in his mind. Some of my Italian friends don’t like soccer, others don’t like cannoli’s, some work in an office not construction and many of my friends in Italy are of Senegalese, Lebanese and other ancestry. There is a term often associated with typecasting or stereotyping a group of people …

    On a last note, I will remain anonymous.. some friends have notified me (Italian friends interestingly enough) that the charming joie de vivre Ted can go batsh*t crazy and take it personal at times…

    I can’t allocate much time to this ..just wanted to give my opinion on the matter…I have a job to do and family to raise such as teaching my son that despite his last name he can aspire to more than just eating cannoli’s and working in construction despite what people tell him.

    Enjoy the Canada Day.

  5. For someone who "doesn't have much time to allocate to this," you penned quite the essay. Clearly, I struck a nerve - a dead giveaway that my opinions have an element on truth to them. Thanks for proving my points.

  6. Took me all of 3 minutes (I was wish you were one of my former professors if you considered this 'quite the essay'). Higher education allows for that skill as well as other neat things like having an open mind. As for striking a nerve..of course, most people don't take lightly to stereotyping and simpleton thinking. If you think your opinions (some people call it stereotyping) have some truth it is quite sad: as suggested maybe you can test it out on your colleagues such as Tony Marinaro or Francois Gagnon and see if there is an "element of truth" .. I'm sure their expression will be a dead give away.

    Enjoy the long week-end.

  7. Ah, pomposity - the last refuge of the intellectual midget. It complements the cowardice of your anonymity.