Why We Love the Stanley Cup Bakeoffs: Yesterday Was 2/2/14

Three Stanley Cup first-round playoff series entered last night at 2-1. Two overtimes ensued. Three Stanley Cup first-round playoff series exited last night at 2-2.

Professional sports doesn’t get better than this.

Start with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who just won their first-ever playoff game the other night. They fell behind 3-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, then fought back to a 3-3 tie with 22.5 seconds remaining in regulation.



On to overtime, where burned-out Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury got burned on a very stoppable shot.



Series tied 2-2.

Motor south to Dallas, where the Stars trailed the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in their series. After overcoming a 2-0 deficit, the Stars went ahead 3-2, then clinched the game with this stunner.



Series tied 2-2.

Last, but not least, the Chicago Blackhawks – trailing the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in their series – erased  a 3-2 deficit late in the third period.



Then, at 11:16 of the first overtime, Patrick Kane added this exclamation point.



Series tied 2-2.

God, the hardwatching staff loves this time of year.

(And we love YouTube, which provided all the clips above.)


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Correction o’ the Day (Pablo Picasso Edition)

From Tuesday’s New York Times:


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(Roger Fessaguet obit here.)

But what if Picasso had visited the United States? What would have happened to his newspaper collages that featured French dailies Le Figaro and Le Journal?

Representative samples:






Would those artworks have featured instead the New York Tribune? Or the New York Evening World?

We’ll never know. But fun to think about.


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Why We Love the Stanley Cup Bakeoffs: Yesterday Was 2/1/14

First, let’s stipulate that the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is not only the Greatest Show on Ice, but the Greatest Show on Earth as well.

Eight series. Three time zones. Puck around the clock.

So to yesterday, which featured games in four of the series, three of which stood at 2-0.

And all of which now stand at 2-1.

Begin with the Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues tilt, with the latter team up two games to none.




Announcer: “And Chicago is back in this series.”

Motor west to the Minnesota Wild-Colorado Avalanche game 3, with the former team down 0-2, but not dead yet, thanks to a spectacular overtime goal by Mikael Granlund.



Announcer: “And the Wild are back in the series.”

Finally, the third face-off between the Dallas Stars and the Anaheim (Not So Mighty) Ducks, with the Stars in a two-oh hole.



Us: And the Stars are back in the series.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.


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‘I had not thought death had undone so many’ (R.I.P. David Burke)

(Tip o’ the pixel to T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland)

Yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe knee-buckling obituary pages:


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So many undone by death.

But this is the one that stood out to us:


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David Burke was a serious player in American politics and media. He was also unfailingly gracious and generous – and funny – whenever we encountered him.

Our deepest condolences to his wife Trixie, son Terence, and entire family.


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Why We Love the Stanley Cup Bakeoffs (Columbus Blue Jackets Edition)

The hardwatching staff has no idea why they’re called the Blue Jackets, but last night the Columbus hockey squad won their first Stanley Cup Playoff game ever in dramatic fashion.

After squandering one power play in the first overtime and killing off two Pittsburgh Penguins overtime power plays (the latter of which extended :33 into the second overtime), the Blue Jackets made short work of it.

Game recap:



Let the wild Eastern Conference rumpus begin!


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The Day Little Joe Cook Took Me to (Computer) School

Nice Steve Morse piece in yesterday’s Boston Globe about local blues fixture Little Joe Cook, who died last week at the age of 91.

Little Joe Cook, at 91; his falsetto on ‘Peanuts’ a huge hit

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Standing just under 5-foot-4, Little Joe Cook was short in stature, but he had no shortage of confidence. Performing up to five nights a week at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge during a 27-year run that stretched into his mid-80s, he often asked his audience: “Who is the Man?” Then he shouted in no uncertain terms, “I’m the Man!”

A galvanizing presence in Cambridge’s Central Square, Mr. Cook drew all ages, all races, and all manner of MIT and Harvard students into the gritty Cantab, a club that was a throwback in time, just as he was.

In 1957, he became a classic one-hit wonder in the music business when he wrote and sang the Top-40 hit “Peanuts,” which eventually sold 1 million copies. Mr. Cook, who rode that hit the rest of his career, singing in his high falsetto four sets a night as the Cantab crowds roared their support, died of cancer Tuesday in Oak Knoll Healthcare Center in Framingham. He was 91 and had lived in Framingham.

Another bag of Peanuts:



(Additional Little Joe Cook videos – via the Globe - here.)

Thirty years ago, the hardworking staff had its own encounter with Little Joe. We were working at an ad agency that had CGI (a computer school that’s now ITT Technical Institute) as a client. CGI wanted a radio campaign, so we composed the Bad Job Blues – a lyrical litany of employment woes that might lead one to seek other job opportunities via computer training.

Representative verses:

Well I got me a boss

‘Bout five-foot-three,

He don’t worry ’bout nothin’

He just tries to worry me.

I got the blues.

I got the Bad Job Blues.

There ain’t nothin’ in this world

Worse than the Bad Job Blues.

Then an announcer came on and said go to CGI and etc.

Back then, Little Joe Cook was the bullgoose Boston bluesman, so we hired him to do vocals for the spot. We’re in the studio, and here’s what Little Joe sang:

I got the blues.

I got the Bad Job Blues.

There ain’t nothin’ in this world

Worser than the Bad Job Blues.

Except Little Joe pronounced it woiser.

So, Jesuitically, we said, “It’s worse, Mr. Cook - worser isn’t really a word.”

Little Joe smiled at us and said, “Worser is better.”

And he was right: Our version was worser.

Rest in peace – and thanks – Little Joe Cook.


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Whatever Happened to ‘The Captain Goes Down with the Ship’?

First there was Francesco Schettino, the idiot captain who literally showboated the Costa Concordia onto some rocks, then fell into a lifeboat before the ship sank.

He was the Italian Captain Coward.

Now comes the South Korean shipcarnation.

From Friday’s Boston Globe (via the New York Times wire):

Captain was among first to escape S. Korea ferry as it sank

Passengers were instructed to stay below deck


JINDO, South Korea — The captain was among the first to flee. Only a couple of the 44 life rafts aboard were deployed. The hundreds of passengers were instructed over the intercom to “stay inside and wait” as the ship leaned to one side and began to sink, dragging scores of students on a school trip down with it.

“I repeatedly told people to calm themselves and stay where they were for an hour,” Kang Hae-seong, the communications officer on the South Korean ferry that sank Wednesday, said from his hospital bed. He added that he could not recall taking part in any evacuation drills for the ship, and that when a real emergency came, “I didn’t have time to look at the manual for evacuation.”

Great. Unbook us for that next cruise, yeah?


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Why We Love the Stanley Cup Bakeoffs (Triple Overtime Edition #1)

At 12:34 this morning the hardlyworking staff was standing in front of the kitchen TV and watching the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues skate into the third overtime of their Western Conference first-round faceoff.

Twenty-six seconds later, this happened:



Blues forward Alex Steen beat Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford stick side, as the announcers excitedly noted.

Okay then. And that was just Game 1 of what promises to be a thoroughly smashmouth series.

Fourteen minutes later the hardlyworking etc. was watching the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche in their overtime Western Conference tussle when this happened:



That Paul Stastny goal is a carbon copy of Steen’s pot for St. Louis, yeah?

Let the wild (and Wild) rumpus begin!

(Bruins begin tonight, if you’re keeping score at home.)


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Journalism Is the Second-Worst Job? Hah! Advertisers Are the Least Trusted!

Good news! Journalists are moving up in the professional world!

Via MediaBistro’s FishbowlNY:

Newspaper Reporter Now Only Second Worst Career


Good news, newspaper reporters of the nation, your job is now only the second worst career choice a person could make. CareerCast’s annual survey of the top 200 jobs placed newspaper journalist at 199, barely edging out lumberjack, at 200. In last year’s survey, newspaper journalist was ranked dead last.

(Somewhere, Graham Chapman is smiling.)

Not such good news these days for advertisers, though. From Advertising Age’s The Data Issue:

Survey: Advertisers Rank Below Government at Protecting Personal Data

Gfk Study Finds Just 25% Believe Marketers Can Be Trusted

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Consumers trust marketers and advertisers with their data about as far as they can throw ‘em. More than half of those participating in a recent privacy study said doctors, search engines and banks warrant their trust when it comes to personal data protection. Marketers and advertisers, on the other hand, elicted the least faith from those surveyed; just 25% said the industry is trustworthy with personal information.

So . . .

It’s better to be a journalist than a huckster.

Feel better yet?


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NYT Also Excels at Boston Marathon Bombings Coverage

As you all undoubtedly know by now, the Boston Globe has won a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for its Breaking News Reporting of last year’s Marathon bombings.

Less noticed locally is the New York Times Feature Photography Pulitzer for Josh Haner’s “moving essay on a Boston Marathon bomb blast victim who lost most of both legs and now is painfully rebuilding his life.”

No question the Globe owns this story, as witness this week’s David Abel/Jessica Rinaldi two-part series on the Richard family’s struggles in the wake of losing their eight-year-old son Martin and his seven-year-old sister Jane’s losing most of her left leg (which reporting the estimable Dan Kennedy noted at Media Nation could be the next Pulitzer the Globe wins).

But the Times is still nipping at the Globe’s heels. Exhibit A: Katharine Q. Seelye’s front-page piece on the Norden brothers in yesterday’s edition.

A Year After the Boston Marathon Bombings, Injured Brothers Endure

STONEHAM, Mass. — When two bombs transformed last year’s Boston Marathon into a war zone, the Norden family absorbed a double dose of grief. J. P., 34, and his brother Paul, 32, both strapping construction workers in their prime who were there to cheer on a friend, each lost a leg in the carnage.

Since then, they have slowly, achingly, been rebuilding their MARATHON-master675-v2lives. After lengthy hospital stays and more than 50 surgeries between them, they are walking on prosthetic legs. They talk of starting a roofing business together. Both have moved out of their mother’s house in this working-class suburb just north of Boston and are living with their girlfriends. Paul is engaged.

The Nordens do not want to dwell on what happened at the marathon or be defined by it.

Regardless, the Globe and the Times are being defined by it.

(Then there’s today’s front-page piece in the Times about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s daily prison routine, which is not going over well, but that’s another story . . . )

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