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Comments

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Who controls the HVAC at work?

Keith Russell Three Bears Heating & Air Conditioning (216 comments)

Much of our building is converted warehouse space, so the HVAC is rather patchwork. On any given day, regardless of the season, one part of the building will be too hot, one will be too cold, and one will be just right. You won't know what the conditions will be in your part of the building, however, until you get to the office.

about 7 months ago
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Internet Responds To Racist Article, Gets Author Fired

Keith Russell Re:Few to admit it, but a lot of parents teach thi (1208 comments)

Now let's say that athlete tweets something extremely offensive to thousands of people. Is that sports organization not supposed to punish the athlete for his/her comments? Should brands continue endorsing?

This is exactly what happened to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall. In the days following Osama bin Laden's death, Mendenhall tweeted some misbegotten thoughts that could be interpreted as sympathetic to bin Laden (personally, not as leader of al Qaeda). He tried to explain himself, but just dug the hole deeper, until Champion dropped him as an endorser. The Steelers tend to keep their discipline for stuff like this out of the papers, but it's worth mentioning that Mendenhall hasn't tweeted since last season's training camp started.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

Keith Russell Missing Options out the wazoo (639 comments)

Anarchist reactionary running dog revisionist
Hindu Muslim Catholic
Creation evolutionist
Rational romantic mystic
Cynical idealist
Minimal expressionist
Post-modern neo-symbolist
Armchair rocket scientist
Graffiti existentialist
Deconstruction primitive performance photo-realist
Be-bop or a one drop or a hip-hop lite pop metallist
Gold adult contemporary urban country capitalist

more than 2 years ago
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They Might Be Giants Answers Your Questions

Keith Russell Whatever happened to my Double X bumper sticker? (92 comments)

Don't Let's Start was not perceived as a standout track to us or really anyone in our audience until many months after the album was out. A Pittsburgh radio station started playing it like it was a hit song, and that really turned it into something else.

We keep hearing echoes of WXXP in Pittsburgh, even after all these years. That was the most daring rock playlist in the city in the late '80s, but without all the WTF-ishness of WRCT. We'll never see its like again, though, especially with Clear Channel and CBS dominating the market.

more than 3 years ago
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iMac Gets Thunderbolt I/O, Quad-core

Keith Russell Re:Hopefully this accelerates its adoption (437 comments)

Until 480 Mbps high-speed USB was widespread, Apple had specific use cases for USB and Firewire. USB replaced ADB and RS-232 for devices like keyboards, mice, and modems. Firewire replaced SCSI for devices that needed higher speeds, mostly hard drives, but later digital video.

The original iPod was a Firewire device because USB 2.0 was still a paper spec when the iPod was in development. If you were prototyping a new device built around a 5 GB hard drive, and given the choice of a 400 Mbps Firewire connection or a CPU-dependent 12 Mbps USB 1.1 connection to fill that drive, which would you choose? Creative Nomad players from that same era had both USB 1.1 (sloooowww sync, but PC compatible) and Firewire (fast sync) ports, but they were also much larger than the iPod. They also had more space, and were not lame.

more than 3 years ago
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Zune HD Twitter App Censors Tweets For You!

Keith Russell Re:Option (155 comments)

To avoid the appearance of "marketing trolling", future references to product names will be replaced by more meaningful titles, like "Asparagus Peeler" or "Irving".

Sent from my Tin of Christmas Cookies

about 5 years ago
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Nvidia Fakes Fermi Boards At GPU Tech Conference

Keith Russell Re:Who cares... (212 comments)

The product that we displayed was an actual Fermi board. The demo ran on Fermi silicon.

But the mounting screws weren't actual Fermi mounting screws. How can we ever trust you again!?

more than 5 years ago
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Most Companies Won't Deploy Windows 7 — Survey

Keith Russell The Missing Summary from TFA (429 comments)

By linking directly to the PDF, the submitter bypassed a summary from ScriptLogic's web page that directly contradicts the summary provided by angry tapir and kdawson:

The primary goal of this survey was to assess the impact of the weak economy on IT infrastructure projects and we found that, despite its impact on short-term plans, 41% of organizations plan a wholesale migration to Windows 7 by the end of 2010. This is actually a strong adoption rate when compared to the historical adoption rate of Windows XP in its first year which was cited as 12-14%.

Furthermore, in ScriptLogic's primary market segment it is usual for businesses to upgrade operating systems piecemeal as they purchase new desktop hardware, so the fact that nearly half of organizations surveyed are planning major rollouts during 2009-2010 indicates a high acceptance of Windows 7 among small and medium businesses.

Hat tip: Ed Bott

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Confirms October 22 Release Date For Windows 7

Keith Russell Re:More than enough time... (182 comments)

Um, no, the tabloid you linked to said that. Microsoft only said that they have new keyboards, mice, and webcams that leverage some of Win7's snazzy new features.

And why the hell would Creative get out of the PC audio market because Microsoft makes game consoles? That would be like Chrysler throwing in the towel on automobiles because they couldn't compete with Braun razors.

Oh, BTW, Microsoft did an own-brand sound card back in the early 1990s, and it was an also-ran. They left the market and never came back.

more than 5 years ago
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Achievements and Optimizations

Keith Russell Re:The Maker Achievement (294 comments)

I gotta warn you, though, that the Kwisatz Haderach achievement is a grind and a half!

more than 5 years ago
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Red Hat CEO Questions Relevance of Desktop Linux

Keith Russell Revealing statement (615 comments)

I'd rather think about skating to where the puck is going to be than where it is now.

We've just learned two things about Jim Whitehurst:

  1. Fedora is going to bail his ass out when "cloud computing" goes out of vogue.
  2. On any given night, he is the most knowledgeable hockey fan in the Carolina Hurricanes' luxury boxes.

more than 5 years ago
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Evidence of Firehose Gaming.

Keith Russell Breaking my silence, for a moment (6 comments)

You know, you really shouldn't call attention to yourself like that. (Or maybe an AC supporter of yours is not really doing you any favors.)

For the record, those submissions you found on my firehose are there because I tagged them. That way, I can exclude that tag from my mainpage firehose filter, thus removing your posts from my view, without demoting it from public view.

I haven't moderated in years, and I don't really promote or demote in the firehose either. I like to use it to see what stories are just under the radar, because they're usually closer to the original spirit of Slashdot than what escalates to the main page today.

I never down-mod opinions I disagree with. I'll debate. I'll argue. I've stooped to trading insults on more occasions than I care to admit. I've walked away in disgust for long periods of time. I've used the "foe -6" preference and tag filtering to ignore people I don't want to deal with. But I will not use Slashdot's moderation tools to deny the other side of a debate their right to voice their position. Do unto others...

You can choose to believe this or not, Twitter. You probably won't, and I'll be disappointed, but no more than that. There's no sense in fretting things that are out of my control. I'm far from the only person you've had heated exchanges with over the years. (You should know. You have quite a list there.) There's not much to be done about that signal-to-noise ratio. The best any of us can do is to state our case, and this is mine.

about 6 years ago
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Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar

Keith Russell Re:Awwww... (606 comments)

iTunes converts WMA to AAC for use on the iPod. Apple singled out WMA format when they added that conversion feature, but now they just say "other formats" in their marketing materials. (Haven't read them in a while, since I've been an iPod user since the dark days of MusicMatch Jukebox on Windows.)

about 6 years ago
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Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar

Keith Russell Re:Awwww... (606 comments)

Complaining that iTunes on the iPod doesn't support Microsoft DRM doesn't pass my sniff test. I simply do not believe there is a customer in the world that would sue over that.

  1. Joe Baggadonuts buys a PlaysForSure-compatible media player
  2. Joe accumulates a large collection of PlaysForSure-encrusted songs
  3. Joe's kid breaks the media player
  4. Joe sees that iPod is "compatible" with Windows Media files
  5. Joe buys an iPod
  6. (Joe misses fine print stating that iTunes converts WMA to AAC)
  7. (Joe misses fine print stating that iTunes will not convert DRM-encrusted WMA files)
  8. Joe realizes that none of the songs he bought for his old player work anymore
  9. LAWSUIT!

PJ can be a little paranoid sometimes. God bless her, she's got a good heart, but it occasionally outraces her brain.

Then again, have we seen this yet?

  1. Joe Baggadonuts buys a PlaysForSure-compatible media player
  2. Joe accumulates a large collection of PlaysForSure-encrusted songs
  3. Joe's kid breaks the media player
  4. Joe sees that Zune is also by Microsoft
  5. Joe buys an Zune
  6. (Joe misses fine print stating that Zune doesn't use PlaysForSure DRM scheme)
  7. (Joe misses fine print stating that PlaysForSure licenses can't be converted to Zune Store)
  8. Joe realizes that none of the songs he bought for his old player work anymore
  9. LAWSUIT?

about 6 years ago
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The Player Is and Is Not the Character

Keith Russell Elevators! (152 comments)

That's why those elevator rides take so long in Mass Effect. They added some news blurbs (which sometimes start quests) and conversations to fill the time, but they're mostly to hide long loads. A lot of players have complained about them, but I'll give BioWare credit for finding a way to use that time for plot and character development, not just a progress bar and some hint text.

I hear Dice used the same technique in Mirror's Edge, but without the witty bon mots from Wrex, it just wouldn't be the same.

about 6 years ago

Submissions

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Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Keith Russell writes "Deadspin is reporting on a DoS attack aimed at fellow sports blog The Big Lead. (Not linked for obvious reasons.) The attack appears to have been inspired by ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd:

Today, upset with something The Big Lead had written about him (or someone, or something, imagined or otherwise), Cowherd told his listeners to unleash a DNS [sic] attack on the site.
ESPN Radio has affiliates all over the United States, and is simulcast on Sirius satellite radio. It's not hard to imagine somebody, somewhere, thinking that Cowherd's ill-advised statement was a good idea."
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Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Keith Russell writes "CNN is reporting that production has started on Spaceballs: The Animated Series, which will start a 13-episode run on G4 next year. Brooks himself will provide the voices of "two characters", although they don't mention Yogurt or President Skroob by name. Of course, I'm still holding out for Spaceballs: The Flamethrower."

Journals

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Slashdot has nothing left but hate.

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 7 years ago

How else could you explain kdawson, in the span of two days, promoting two of Twitter's journal entries to the front page, then posting a dupe on the TestDriven.NET controversy, just two hours after Twitter added it to his journal?

Apparently, being the biggest asshole troll on Slashdot makes him front page material.

Goodbye.

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Asking bloggers: "Is civility dead?"

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  about 8 years ago

The Times Online has interviewed Six Apart co-founder Mena Trott about the night she asked a room full of bloggers the question, "Is civility dead?", and the lively debate that ensued. In the interview, she cites her golden rule for blogging:

"If you aren't going to say something directly to someone's face, than don't use online as an opportunity to say it," she says. "It is this sense of bravery that people get when they are anonymous that gives the blogosphere a bad reputation."

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Moving to Vox

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This is the end of the line for my journal here on Slashdot. I'll still be around to harass the rest of you in your journals, but if you want to return the favor, you'll have to go to http://kwrussell.vox.com/. I have some invites. Gimme a holla, I'll hook ya up.

For those who don't say "Oh, crap, not again" when they see [Pens] in the title, I've moved this year's reports to Vox. I'm keeping the rest here, like the junk in that box that gets moved from apartment to house to house, without ever getting unpacked.

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[Hockey] What did I say about Philadelphia?

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Back in May, I wrote this about the Flyers' exit from the first round of the playoffs:

Could Ken Hitchcock's job be in jeopardy after the Flyers stunk the joint up in game 6? Too many good players were making too many half-assed plays in the second period of that game.

Fast forward to this season. The Flyers are still playing lackluster hockey. Part of the problem is their roster, which is still loaded with "old NHL" types. They shook up the lineup a bit yesterday, waiving Nico Dimitrakos, Petr Nedved, and Nolan Baumgartner. All three cleared, with Dimitrakos and Nedved landing with the AHL Phantoms. Three minor leaguers were called up, leaving Baumgartner as the odd man out, with a few weeks of healthy scratches to look forward to.

The other issue I'm seeing is that the team has given up on the coach. Wouldn't be the first time we've seen that. Heck, Jaromir Jagr almost single-handedly got Kevin Constantine fired from the Penguins. But this is the first time I think I've ever seen a team give up on a goaltender before. The Flyers are 1-2-1 in Antero Niittymaki's four starts so far this season. In Robert Esche's two starts, the Flyers are 0-2-0. Small sample size, you say? In those two Esche starts, the Flyers were outscored 13-1. Pittsburgh used the Flyers' skaters as heavy bags, Buffalo used them as turnstiles.

In fact, I think the skaters and Hitchcock are fighting over who gets to throw Esche under the bus, considering that Hitchcock left Esche in for all nine goals in that Sabres debacle. As a result, Esche's numbers are eye-poppingly atrocious: .776 SV%, 6.50 GAA.

Bad starts like this are what get coaches and general managers fired, so if you're an ex-NHL coach or GM, you might want to have your resume handy.

Update: 22 Oct 2006: Well, that didn't take long.

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[Pens] Rink Report: 14 October 2006

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

That may have been the scariest thing I've ever personally witnessed on a hockey rink.

For those who didn't see a clip on SportsCenter, Hurricanes right winger Trevor Letowski was knocked unconscious on a hit by Colby Armstrong. It was late in the first, and the Canes were breaking into the Pens' zone. Letowski lost the handle on the puck at the top of the slot, took a stride, and turned right into Armstrong as he was finishing his check. The impact was jaw to shoulder, and Letowski was out cold on impact. To make matters worse, he opened a nasty gash on his forehead when his head hit the ice. None of the newswire reports made mention of it, but it looked from my point of view in the stands like he was having a seizure on the ice. It turned out to be a concussion, not a neck injury, but it looks like he has a long road to go, so good luck to him.

As for the rest of the game...

At one point in the second, I said to my buddy:

We've secretly replaced the Penguins' regular sticks and gloves with lead, granite, and depleted uranium hockey gear. Let's see if they can tell the difference.

The Pens are good for one of these we-can't-handle-the-puck nights a month, and tonight was it. The fans' usual chorus of "Shooooooot!" was useless because Pittsburgh couldn't maintain any excessively long series of passes without at least one clanking off a stick, zinging off in the wrong direction, or getting lost in the receiver's skates.

For some reason, things always end up getting chippy between the Pens and Canes, even though there isn't really a rivalry between the teams. I recall a game in 2003 in which the Pens got shelled early and often, and decided that, if they weren't going to win, they were at least going to take two major penalties per period. That was an ugly loss by any measure. Then there was Brooks Orpik's dirty hit from behind on Erik Cole in their last meeting of last season. I don't think winning a Stanley Cup, with Cole on the ice for games 6 and 7, has completely satiated their thirst for revenge. (Orpik was an injured scratch tonight anyway.) The hit on Letowski didn't appear to be dirty. It looked more like they just made impact at the worst possible angle. Somehow, I doubt that will make a difference when the teams meet again in Raleigh next month. You can't really call it a rivalry when Carolina gets the best of the Pens so often, but there's definitely bad blood brewing.

Final score, Carolina 5, Pittsburgh 1, Jocelyn Thibault sightings: 1 (After Fleury got a cut over his eye in the second. Thibault was the better goalie in camp, he deserves a start!) 3rd *: Eric Staal (1G). 2nd *: Ray Whitney (2A). 1st *: Scott Walker (2G).

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[Pens] Rink Report, 5 Oct 2006

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I'm going to try to be better at this, win or lose. Last year's 0-bazillion start kinda snuffed out my enthusiasm. No such trouble so far this year.

Before the season started, Mario Lemieux requested that there be no ceremony for the re-retirement of #66. Of course, the Penguins couldn't let the moment go without some acknowledgement of Mario's great career, so they found a nice compromise. They started the pre-game ceremonies by bringing down the lights, and playing a brief video tribute narrated by Sidney Crosby. While the video played, they quietly lowered his new banner from the roof under cover of darkness, then turned the spotlights on it as Crosby's tribute ended and the familiar refrain of Tina Turner's "Simply The Best" began. One last standing ovation for the man in the owner's box, then on with the show. This year's theme was "March of the Penguins", complete with real penguins waddling out from the Zamboni entrance and a half-decent Morgan Freeman impersonator. Not half as corny as last year's "Grandpa" show. Clarks' lead singer Scott Blasey sang the Star-Spangled Banner. He's a great rock vocalist, but when he applies that sound to a national anthem, he sounds half in the bag. Why mess with the good thing they have in Jeff Jimerson? The only reason he's not recognized as the best anthem singer in the NHL is because he's nowhere near as cute as Lauren Hart.

Oh, and they actually played a hockey game. At least Pittsburgh did. Philadelphia apparently saw "@ PIT" on the first line of their schedule, figured they had an extra pre-season game, and only turned the dial up to about 8. The Pens, they were cranked up to 11.

If they were trying to make a statement tonight, boy howdy, did they ever make it: "We may not win every night, but we will not be out-hustled, pushed around, or be slept on this year. We will not be disrespected." This year's free agent signings didn't dazzle the hockey world, but they added feisty and mean to the lineup, and it was on display tonight. Put simply, Broad Street got bullied. The highlight was early in the second, when Colby Armstrong plastered Sami Kapanen with a shoulder check, then pummeled Nolan Baumgartner in the ensuing fight. The game stayed chippy the rest of the way.

All four lines contributed to this win, with the third line of Jarkko Ruutu, Dominic Moore, and Michel Ouellet delivering the greatest impact. Ruutu had 1 goal, 1 assist, and 20 Flyers wanting to cross-check him in the face. Ouellet also had a goal and an assist, and Moore led a penalty killing unit that got entirely too much work tonight. (From this homer's perspective, the Flyers got away with far more than the Pens did.) That imbalance in power-play time led to a ton of shots for Marc-Andre Fleury.

I spent most of the third period thinking, "OK, here's where Fleury gives up one of those momentum-killing soft goals. This PK is going to be the one." And it never happened. Fleury played the most complete game of his career under a barrage of power-play shots.

Robert Esche, not so good. The Ruutu goal was a tough bounce, but Ouellet's goal was an innocent wrister that Esche didn't seem to pick up, and he was just plain beaten by Sidney Crosby and Josef Melichar.

Let me say that again, in case you're having trouble wrapping your brain around the concept: Robert Esche got torched by Josef Melichar.

Esche eventually settled down (17 of 21), but not until he had given up 4 goals on only 11 shots. Antero Niitymaki, even though he was dressed, was too hurt to really play, so Esche knew he had to ride this one out, and better luck tomorrow.

Final score: Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 0, Ken Hitchcock's blood pressure 200/125. 3rd *: Ruutu (1G, 1A). 2nd *: Crosby (1G, 1A). 1st *: Fleury (40 of 40).

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[Football] Here we go, Steel -- WHAT?!

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

First, Ben Roethlisberger kisses a windshield at speed. Now, I'm in mid-bite at Steak'n'Shake, and my dad calls to say that Ben had an emergency appendectomy today.

Note to the Football Gods: SHAUN ALEXANDER IS ON THE COVER OF MADDEN 07! Not Ben Roethlisberger, S-H-A-U-N Alexander!

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[FFL] Presenting your 2006 Pittsburgh Yinzers!

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Starters

  • QB: Jake Delhomme, CAR (keeper): Reliable, poised (when Steve Smith isn't quintuple covered), and I figure Keyshawn should make a better distraction from quintupling Smith than Keary Colbert has been.
  • RB: Edgerrin James, ARI (keeper); Corey Dillon, NE: I have faith that Edge will be the catalyst of the Great Cardinals Revival. Dillon was the best RB that wasn't somebody else's keeper.
  • WR: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (keeper); Joey Galloway, TB: With Arizona's more balanced attack, Larry's touches should be more effective, and folks have been sleeping on Galloway since he landed in Tampa.
  • TE: Heath Miller, PIT: With a year under his belt, he'll be an even better option in The Whiz's offense.
  • K: Jeff Wilkins, STL: Home in a dome. Nuff said.
  • DST: Broncos: A perennial.

Reserves

  • QB: Daunte Culpepper, MIA; Matt Leinart, ARI: I think Daunte will bounce back quite nicely in Miami. Leinart was one part late-round flier, one part future, and one part keeping him away from the USC alumni reunion at /dev/null. (Was Pete Carroll drafting for you?)
  • RB: Corell Buckhalter, PHI; Frank Gore, SF: Gore will get more than his share of opportunities with the legendary Alex Smith at quarterback. Buckhalter's pretty much filling out my roster at this point, given the tradition of unreliability in the Eagles' backfield.
  • WR: Derrick Mason, BAL; Keenan McCardell, SD: I'm hoping Mason and McNair can reignite that old Titans magic for Baltimore (just not when they play the Steelers), and McCardell ain't dead yet.
  • TE: LJ Smith, PHI: Somebody has to catch a touchdown in Philly...
  • K: Matt Stover, BAL: D'oh! My one "forgot to check the bye week" of the draft. Then again, he's a backup kicker.
  • DST: Jaguars: This could be my sleeper. If nothing else, they get to feed on Houston twice a year.

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[NHL] Roenick's complaining about TV coverage...

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Here's the article on TSN.

Oh, boy, where do I start. OK, let's start with Roenick's specific knuckleheadedness, then work our way out to the entirety of sports media.

At its core, Roenick's complaint is that his team, the Phoenix Coyotes, were snubbed entirely by NBC, and only appear on OLN (Do We Get That Channel?) once all season. Sounds like sour grapes, sure, and I don't think he's really going much deeper than that, so I have a simple answer:

You want to be on TV more? Make the playoffs! Then OLN(DWGTC?) will give you wall to wall coverage.

But here's where his argument slingshots into an escape vector. He thinks the 'Yotes should be on TV more because Wayne Gretzky is the owner/coach, and more Americans would watch if they got to see Wayne Gretzky.

Um, JR? Us Americans didn't watch hockey in the '80s to see The Great One standing on the bench, wearing a bad suit, and giving the stink-eye to Kerry Frasier for an entire penalty kill. And even if we were interested in a Gretzky-coached team, so far he's somewhere between Steve Sullivan and Kevin Constantine in the pantheon of Great NHL Coaches. Let him catch up to Barry Melrose, then we'll talk.

But this is one of the great things about giving Jeremy Roenick an open microphone. He doesn't have that cliche-pass filter that every other player has, so we sometimes get the unvarnished truth from him, even when he doesn't know he did it. (Of course, he also shoots himself in the foot at Mario's golf tournaments, but I think it's time to put the Late Great Unpleasantness behind us, eh?)

Percolating under his distress at only having one shot at sharing a network with Ted Nugent is the fact that the NHL has to share a network with Ted Nugent in the first place. In other words, why has the NHL been banished to OLN?

My short, snarky answer: The NHL cancelled a season, so ESPN gave them a timeout for a few seasons.

Of course, ESPN has been working to marginalize hockey for a few years now. When the NHL and OLN announced their deal, ESPN's reporting revealed something interesting:

For the networks that have had hockey, including Fox and ESPN, investing in growing the hockey audience simply didn't pay off when considering how much more they had invested in other sports programming.

In other words, "We gave up on promoting our hockey broadcasts, which pulled the rug out from under the ratings, then used the low ratings as an excuse to chuck 'em over to the fishing channel."

Or how about this little gem?

In the NHL's place, ESPN filled the air with original programming, like "Bowling Night" and "Stump The Schwab." Programs like these drew ratings that were at least comparable to the number of people watching NHL games.

This is a bit disingenuous. They were really airing poker in the NHL's old time slots. In place of a sport where there's no place to banish out-of-shape players, ESPN aired an entirely unathletic card game, which was cheap to produce, easy to over-promote, and only had to draw better ratings than a mid-January Blue Jackets at Predators game to justify it's existence.

Ah, so that's the NHL's problem. It can't feature Jennifer Tilly's cleavage once a week.

And I'm just getting started with this. Right now, it probably looks like I'm reading too much into what is, ultimately, a business decision by ESPN's front office. But Skip Bayless had to open his mouth...

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[World Cup] A commentator at the end of his rope.

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This is actual commentary from ESPN.com's gamecast of the recently completed Switzerland-Ukraine match. I won't give away the final score for anybody who recorded it, but this may serve as a warning: The game was 0-0 during all of this commentary. (Typos are mine, because ESPN uses clipboard-proof Flash for gamecasts.)

87' Neither side are showing any inclination to press forward and score; this is a little embarrassing. It is the second round of the World Cup, for goodness sake - TRY AND SCORE!

98' [Swiss goalkeeper] Zuberbuhler takes his time as a back-pass is rolled to him. No Ukrainian closes him down, so he waits...
98' ...and waits...
99' ...and waits...
99' ...before finally deciding to clear. It is heartbreaking to see football played this way. It truly makes me weep inside.

118' A succession of sideways and backwards passes as the game limps onwards like a lame dog, waiting to be shot.
119' Italy must be quaking in their boots; they face the winner of this match.
120' FULL-TIME, EXTRA-TIME: I've had the misfortune to watch some bad football matches in my time. That was the worst, by some distance. And so an interminable match finally reaches the conclusion we all knew it would - a penalty shoot-out. Finally, we are going to have some action.

Oddly enough, he didn't offer any wrap-up after the game finally ended. He probably couldn't get away from the stadium fast enough.

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[iTunes/Alphabet] Aw, now you got me started

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Yeah, I couldn't pick one per letter. So sue me.

  • (Symbol): '39, Queen
  • (Number): 2112, Rush, 5:15 The Angels Have Gone, David Bowie
  • A: The Analog Kid, Rush, Angel, Massive Attack
  • B: Bitchin' Camaro, The Dead Milkmen, Blue Dress, Depeche Mode.
  • C: Champagne Supernova, Oasis, City Of Blinding Lights, U2
  • D: Dazed And Confused, Led Zeppelin, Driving The Last Spike, Genesis
  • E: Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Pearl Jam, Everybody Hurts, REM
  • F: Forest, System Of A Down
  • G: Go To The Mirror, The Who, The Great Below, Nine Inch Nails
  • H: Halcyon+on+on, Orbital, How To Disappear Completely, Radiohead, Howling, Tomoyasu Hotei, Hurt, Nine Inch Nails
  • I: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2, It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), REM, The Impression That I Get, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • J: Jesus Of Suburbia..., Green Day
  • K: King Of Pain, The Police
  • L: Last Horizon, Brian May, Learning To Fly, Pink Floyd, The Lovely Sweet Banks Of The Moy, The Chieftains
  • M: Mystic Rhythms, Rush
  • N: Natural Science, Rush, Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
  • O: On The Turning Away, Pink Floyd, Over The Hills And Far Away, Led Zeppelin, Overcome, Live
  • P: Prophet's Song, Queen, Pyramid Song, Radiohead
  • Q: Question!, System Of A Down. (The only Q in my library, but at least it's a good one.)
  • R: Red Barchetta, Rush, Red Hill Mining Town, U2, Resist, Rush
  • S: Sally Simpson, The Who, Setting Sun, The Chemical Brothers, Since I Don't Have You, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Since I've Been Loving You, Led Zeppelin
  • T: Time Stand Still, Rush, Too Much Love Will Kill You, Brian May, Transient, Orbital, Ty Cobb, Soundgarden
  • U: Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Us And Them, Pink Floyd
  • V: Vapor Trail, Rush, Vertigo, U2
  • W: Where The Streets Have No Name, U2, Where's My Thing?, Rush, Who Wants To Live Forever, Queen
  • X: Xanadu, Rush (Let's face it, there aren't many X song titles to go around.)
  • Y: YYZ, Rush
  • Z: Zero Chance, Soundgarden (Like Q, the only one, but a good one.)

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NHL: The Stanley Cup Finals

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

First, a recap of the conference finals...

6 Anaheim (1) vs. 8 Edmonton (4) : (Predicted EDM in 6): All hail the timely goaltending change! J.S. Giguere rescued the Ducks from a sweep in Game 4 and held his ground in Game 5, but Edmonton has that Team Of Destiny feeling right now. I wonder, however, if they didn't wish that Anaheim didn't give them more of a challenge, because this has been a long layoff.

2 Carolina (4) vs. 4 Buffalo (3) (Predicted BUF in 7): This series was always close on the ice, but attrition became the deciding factor. An infected cut on McKee's leg turned out to be straw that broke the Sabres' back. Buffalo can hope for the future, though. Ryan Miller exceeded expectations in goal, and Daniel Briere has not only lived up to his potential for the first time, but emerged as a leader. If the Sabres add some depth at defense, they'll be a force to be reckoned with next year.

And now, for the Finals...

2 Carolina vs. 8 Edmonton

Maybe I'm just being a homer, but I can see plenty of parallels between the Oilers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both were written off for dead before the season. Both entered the playoffs as the last seed in their respective conferences, and have used that "hardest road" as a rallying cry. Both teams are trying to live up to legendary legacies. Both teams have played with "whatever it takes" fearlessness to reach the championship. Both have passionate fan bases who bleed their team's colors. The Silver Pompom looks like it has become as much a talisman to Edmonton as the Terrible Towel is to Pittsburgh. Even the chants are the same: "Here we go [Oilers|Steelers], here we go!"

That's not to say that Carolina's fans are slouches. While the Caniacs may not have the numbers in the heart of NASCAR Country, they're all the more crazy for it. And while Edmonton was scorned in pre-season picks, the Hurricanes were considered a mid-level team that would qualify for the playoffs in the 6-8 seed range, acquit themselves well in the first round, and quietly exit. Then the season started, and you couldn't tell who was the biggest breakout story: Erik Cole, Eric Staal, Martin Gerber, Cam Ward? In the New NHL, speed thrills, and nowhere was that more apparent than in Carolina. The trades for Doug Weight and Mark Recchi were big, as Weight added even more fuel to the offense, Recchi gave them some little-guy grit, and both contributed veteran leadership and Cup-winning experience to the locker room.

The biggest question entering Game 1 is how between-series time off will affect each team. Carolina is probably happy that the NHL added a few days after needing all 7 against Buffalo. Meanwhile, Edmonton must feel like they haven't played since the 8th-grade picnic. I have a feeling Game 1 is going to be sloppy, between the Canes' fatigue and the Oilers' loss of edge. I have to think, in the long run, that Edmonton will benefit, since it's easier to get back to game-level energy after a long break than it is to maintain stamina playing every other night.

It will be long, and hard-fought, but I think Edmonton will just out-last the Hurricanes.

Prediction: Edmonton in 6.

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Bad CSS! No cookie for you! [update 2]

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Somehow, you just knew a surprise would pop up when the redesign went live. And it's all because of tradition.

In the original Slashdot styles, pre- and post-CSS, the <i> tag was used on front page articles to distinguish the submitters' text from that of the editors. In terms of HTML semantics, that was a bit odd, since <blockquote> would be more appropriate. Before CSS, however, <blockquote> was strictly a block element. Taco wanted the submission to be inline, hence <i>.

Now, with the redesign, submitters' text are blocks. However, all of the old articles' <i> "blocks" haven't been converted to <blockquote>. Instead, <i> has been redefined by the new stylesheet as a block element with a left border...

div.article div.intro i {
display: block;
padding: 0 0 0 .85em;
margin: .25em 0 .6em 0;
font-style: normal;
border-left: 3px solid #ddd;
}

(All hail Mozilla Web Developer toolbar!)

This has created a rather interesting disconnect between articles, journal entries, and comments. In comments, it looks like the combination of <blockquote> and <i> will give you an article-style "blockquote", with indenting and a left border. It won't, however, italicize the type. For that, you must use <em>. In that way, at least, Slashdot is encouraging modern web standards. If I'm reading the stylesheet right, it looks like <blockquote> alone only indents, and it's the <i> tag that produces the left border.

Because JEs can be submitted as articles now, they follow article formatting rules. That means that <i> == <blockquote>, and <blockquote> == <p>. That is, <blockquote> is ignored.

This means that my NHL picks look like crap right now, since I had been using <blockquote> and <i> as they worked in the old JE stylesheet. Now, it's <em> and <strong> for teh win. A quick find-and-replace should do the trick.

BTW, does anybody know if Firefox can do site-specific user stylesheets? I want font-family: sans-serif back. Tahoma sucks.

Update: I'm not done on fonts yet.

It's just one simple line of CSS, but boy howdy, does it make a mess of things:

font: 82%/150% Tahoma, 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans', Helvetica, Arial, clean, sans-serif;

I'm not too fond of the small size, but I'm used to Ctrl-Plus, Ctrl-Minus, and Ctrl-0 to tweak font sizes by now. Slashdot's not the first site to assume 20-20 vision on big screens, and they won't be the last.

But the font-family tries way too hard to fit in with the host OS' UI elements: Tahoma for Windows, Lucida Grande for Mac OS X, and Lucida Sans for Linux. (Funny, I would have figured Bitstream Vera Sans for Linux.) What's wrong with the user's favorite font, or the OS/browser defaults? It looks like most sizes are defined as percentages or ems, so the layout should scale nicely as long as the user's preferred font doesn't have really strange metrics.

If nothing else, Slashdot should use Verdana instead of Tahoma. Microsoft recommends Verdana for web pages because Tahoma (which is a slightly condensed version of Verdana) doesn't have distinct italic or bold italic forms, so Windows has to fall back on the old "sheared oblique" trick to generate pseudo-italic forms. Hence, <em>-tagged content looks like ass.

Update 2: (Blatantly stolen from somebody else's sig) Save this to $MOZ_PROFILE/chrome/userContent.css:

@-moz-document domain(slashdot.org) {
body {
font: 100%/150% sans-serif ! important;
}
}

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GTA: The San Andreas Inquisition?

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So I hit HuffPo for my daily dose of hysterical left-wing blogging, and I find this story. They linked to Crooks and Liars, who linked to the original entry on Talk To Action.

Long story short... It's a real-time strategy game, based on the Left Behind books, that takes the old Eddie Izzard "Cake or death?" gag to a whole new level. Get this.

The player controls some sort of holy commando, tasked with prosetlyzing as many NYC denizens as possible. Anyone who doesn't convert is to be executed with extreme prejudice. Jews, Muslims, Catholics, gays, anyone who believes in the Constitutional segregation of church and state... they're all fair game for your arsenal of destruction. Or, you can play as the Anti-Christ, out to reap as many True Believers as you can.

The blog's author follows the money to some right-wing fundamentalist types. Never mind the Gospels: Have any of those people ever read past Leviticus?

Here's where the ice-pick-in-my-ear cognitive dissonance comes in: I agree with Jack Thompson.

Just on this game, of course. I haven't gone 'round the bend completely.

JT sees through the hypocricy of it all. How can people who regularly decry the levels of violence in video games possibly support it in this game, just because it's in the name of a vengeful, Old Testament God? He left his old publisher over this game, because they also publish the Left Behind series, and he's incensed that they've supported such rubbish.

Unfortunately, he's found a new publisher.

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NHL: Round 2 Wrap, Round 3 Picks

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Seven of the twelve series played so far have ended in 4 or 5 games; three out of four in the second round alone. Calgary and Anaheim played the only Game 7 of the year so far. Is this the Year Of The Fragile Ego in the National Hockey League? It's as though teams aren't just losing early games, they're running in to brick walls.

To recap Round 2:

1 Ottawa (1) vs. 4 Buffalo (4) (Predicted OTT in 7): They're gonna have a hard time finding a scapegoat 'round Parliament Hill this year. The Cold Pizza line? The defensive breakdowns? Not looking for a veteran goalie after Hasek went down? Emery's performance in Game 4 was the only reason the Sens didn't get swept. I will admit to a little schadenfreude, though, as Ryan Miller makes USA Hockey look a little more foolish with each playoff win. (See also: Sidney Crosby at Worlds)

2 Carolina (4) vs. 3 New Jersey (1) (Predicted NJ in 7): Exhibit #1 in my Brick Wall theory. Those were some awfully soft goals, there, Martin Brodeur. Methinks the Rangers lulled the Devils to sleep after all.

5 San Jose (2) vs. 8 Edmonton (4) (Predicted EDM in 7): Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting Ryan Smyth and his Fearless Kamikaze Hockey Travelling All-Stars! The Oilers are the most entertaining, passionate, hell-bent-for-vulcanized-rubber team in these playoffs. All credit to the Sharks' players for keeping up the good fight after losing in triple-overtime, but two big middle fingers to the Sharks' fans who booed the Canadian national anthem.

6 Anaheim (4) vs. 7 Colorado (0) (Predicted ANA in 6): Combined score: Ducks 16, Avs 4. Dallas fans are wailing, "We lost to these bums?!" To be fair to Colorado, they did run into Ilya "Breezy" Bryzgalov at his peak. ("Breezy" doesn't just come from his last name, either. This guy's too happy-go-lucky to be an NHL goaltender. I mean, he talks to people before games. How weird is that?)

And now, to choose who I'll jinx in the Conference Finals. These are going to be difficult picks because both series match up mirror-image teams.

2 Carolina vs. 4 Buffalo

In the East, it's speed vs. speed. Rookie goalie Cam Ward vs. rookie goalie Ryan Miller. Some are saying that the Canes' depth will be the difference. I'm putting my money on Lindy Ruff's coaching and the Sabres' "too naive to know that we're too young to win" attitude.

Prediction: Buffalo in 7

6 Anaheim vs. 8 Edmonton

The Ducks and Oilers both thrive on physical play, so count on some heavy hitting. I have a feeling that Edmonton will win one game by sheer force of will alone, which will break Anaheim.

Prediction: Oilers in 6

OK, who had Buffalo and Edmonton in September? :-)

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How to drive Em crazy in one simple step!

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Step 1: Post CNN article claiming that Atlanta is among the cities whose drivers are least "likely to change lanes without signaling or swear at other motorists."

Step 2: Wait for it...

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NHL: Round 2 Picks

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

...since Round 1 got blowed up real good. My West picks are just shy of SWAGs at this point, since you rarely have to consider the top 4 seeds getting eliminated in the first round.

East

1 Ottawa vs. 4 Buffalo

For the most part, I still agree with my original pick. I worry that, at some point, the Senators will be trying not to lose again, instead of trying to win. Combine that with the Sabres' grit, and I think this will be a closer series than I first thought.

Prediction: Ottawa in 7

2 Carolina vs. 3 New Jersey

In this series, on the other hand, I'm more sure of my first choice. My reason for thinking this will go all 7, though, has changed. The 'Canes will have a little more momentum on their side, winning four straight after losing the first two to Montreal. And the Jagr-less Rangers didn't pose much of a threat to the Devils, so this will be their first real test.

Prediction: Devils in 7

West

5 San Jose vs. 8 Edmonton

This one should be very interesting. I'm sure the Oilers are studying how Nashville shut down Thornton and Cheechoo. If Edmonton can contain those two and Marleau, they should outlast the Sharks.

Prediction: Oilers in 7

6 Anaheim vs. 7 Colorado

Ilya Bryzgalov put the Ducks on top by being better than both Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Miikka Kiprusoff. Jose Theodore got the Avs through by being less mediocre than Marty Turco. Detecting a trend there?

Prediction: Mighty Ducks Of in 6

If things continue the way I think they will, this could be 2003 all over again: Anaheim scraps their way through a topsy-turvy West on the strength of a hot rookie goaltender, only to run into the New Jersey juggernaut in the Finals. Could it happen again? Dwayne Roloson has looked strong, so don't count Edmonton out. Ottawa is too loaded with talent to dismiss, especially if they get over the conference finals hump. Whether it's Jersey or Ottawa, I don't see anybody out West stopping them.

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NHL: First Round Recap

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

OK, so the refs are calling things a little too tight, and it's looking like the early regular season with all those power plays. But it makes a two-goal lead about as safe as a possum on a freeway.

East

1 Ottawa (4) vs. 8 Tampa (1) (Predicted OTT in 5): Did I nail this, or did I nail this? It didn't help Tampa's chances that Zdeno Chara came back ahead of schedule, and feisty as ever. Expect the Lightning to go goalie shopping this summer.

2 Carolina (4) vs. 7 Montreal (2) (Predicted CAR in 4): That was a scary start for the Hurricanes, dropping the first two at home. Once they got things rolling, though, they were too much for Montreal to handle.

3 New Jersey (4) vs. 6 NY Rangers (0) (Predicted NJD in 6): I figured that the Rangers could find a little extra something after dropping the division. But Jaromir Jagr's shoulder injury was the last straw.

4 Buffalo (4) vs. 5 Philadelphia (2) (Predicted BUF in 6): Right on again. Could Ken Hitchcock's job be in jeopardy after the Flyers stunk the joint up in game 6? Too many good players were making too many half-assed plays in the second period of that game.

West

1 Detroit (2) vs. 8 Edmonton (4) (Predicted DET in 6): Looks like I picked the Wings' collapse one round too late. Maybe they'll be looking for a new goalie this summer, too. Manny Legace, you can't give up 4 in the third period of an elimination game.

2 Dallas (1) vs. 7 Colorado (4) (Predicted DAL in 5): I thought this would be the year Marty Turco turned the corner and established his playoff bona fides. Instead, he was merely good, and the Avs were damn lucky. But for two fluke goals, Dallas would still be playing. The turning point was 18:15 of the third period of Game 3. Dallas had 10 seconds left on a power play, the puck was in Colorado's zone, and Brenden Morrow can-opener'd Brett Clark into the corner boards, two for tripping. Even Avs fans were screaming "Morrow, what the $#^%@ were you thinking?!" One power play goal later, it's tied. The overtime only lasted 69 seconds, and the puck was in the Stars' zone for all but 5 by my count.

3 Calgary (3) vs. 6 Anaheim (4) (Predicted CGY in 7): Uh, oh. Anaheim's got a hot rookie goaltender again. (Although I'm kinda bummed that we won't have the Battle Of Alberta in the second round. That would have been a wild series.)

4 Nashville (1) vs. 5 San Jose (4) (Predicted SJS in 7): When your superstars are held in check, you need those second-line guys to step up. The Sharks had Patrick Marleau, the Preds had nobody.

My Western Conference bracket is a mess, but I'm not alone. I've been tracking my progress along side ESPN's Pool O' Experts: Barry Melrose, John Buccigross, EJ Hradek, Scott Burnside, and David Amber. Nobody picked Colorado, and only Amber picked the Oilers. Of course, nobody from ESPN picked an entire bracket, either. They're playing things round-by-round. Wimps. And should I be scared that my first-round picks were identical to Barry Melrose's?

(Updated with the results of ANA/CGY game 7 and some formatting cleanup.)

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NHL 2006 Bracket

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 7 years ago

That's right, kids. It's time once again for the analytical tomfoolery that is my predictions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead of showing entire records, I've included how the teams played in their last 10 games.

Round 1

East

1 Ottawa Senators (3-5-2) vs. 8 Tampa Bay Lightning (5-4-1)

Regular Season: Ottawa, 4-0

Tampa has been a bit of a let down this year. It would be easy to say that losing Nikolai Khabibulin to free agency hurt the team. Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Brad Richards couldn't repeat last season's performance, however. The defense has been just OK. And both John Grahame and Sean Burke have been inconsistent this year, leaving John Tortorella to wonder which, if either, goalie is the go-to guy for the playoffs.

The Senators aren't exactly at full strength right now, as injuries slowed them down after the Olympic break. But Ray Emery has been strong in relief of Dominik Hasek, and kids like Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and Andrej Meszaros have carried Ottawa well enough that they can get through this round, get the big guns healthy, and make a strong run for the Cup.

Prediction: Senators in 5

2 Carolina Hurricanes (5-3-2) vs. 7 Montreal Canadiens (6-4-0)

Regular Season: Carolina, 4-0

Carolina was strong and consistent all season long. The Habs have needed heroic performances from Cristobal Huet, night in and night out, just to stay alive. Normally, I'd go with a hot goaltender like Huet, but the fact that three of Carolina's wins were by 4 goals or more tells me that Montreal is going to fold.

Prediction: Hurricanes in 4

3 New Jersey Devils (10-0-0) vs. 6 New York Rangers (4-6-0)

Regular Season: 4-4

This is the only divisional match-up in the first round, and it has plenty of back story, so expect this to be a wild series.

First of all, this is the Rangers' first playoff appearance since 1997. For all of their extravagant spending before The Lockout, they had never built a good team. This year, new head coach Tom Renney realized that you don't fit Jaromir Jagr into a system, you build one around him. So Renney did, and Jagr had a tremendous year, finishing second in both total points and goals after leading both categories for most of the season. Add in two legitimate Rookie of the Year candidates in winger Petr Prucha and goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and you have a formula for a division title.

Except for the fact that they're entering the playoffs on a 5-game losing streak. The Rangers entered the final day of the season one point ahead of Philadelphia and New Jersey. By losing to Ottawa, the Rangers lost the division and dropped three seeds. Lundqvist is coming back from an injury, and backup Kevin Weekes hasn't been sharp.

Jersey, on the other hand, couldn't be hotter. They rode an 11-game winning streak to the division title, and Martin Brodeur has been out-of-his-mind brilliant during that run. The last thing any team wants to hear is that they have to face Brodeur on a hot streak in the playoffs.

Prediction: Devils in 6

4 Buffalo Sabres (7-3-0) vs. 5 Philadelphia Flyers (5-4-1)

Regular Season: Sabres, 3-1

This series is full of questions. Is Peter Forsberg's $UNSPECIFIED_LOWER_BODY_INJURY healthy? Is Ryan Miller's lack of playoff experience a liability for Buffalo? Can the Flyers handle Buffalo's scoring depth? Can Robert Esche keep the starting job for Philly? If not, can Antero Niittymaki regain his Olympic MVP form, or has he been overworked? Will any of my questions actually be relevant to the series?

Prediction: Sabres in 6

West

1 Detroit Red Wings (8-1-1) vs. 8 Edmonton Oilers (5-4-1)

Regular Season: 2-2

The Wings clinched the best record in hockey over a week ago, but they didn't let off the gas once they did. That may be a good thing, since they've had a run of strong regular seasons and early playoff exits in recent years. Has playing in a division with league bottom-feeders Chicago, Columbus, and St. Louis softened them? To make matters worse, they're facing an Oilers team that has given them fits this year, pushing three of their four meetings to overtime. I think momentum and the desire to give Steve Yzerman a grand finale will give Detroit the advantage.

Prediction: Red Wings in 6

2 Dallas Stars (4-3-3) vs. 7 Colorado Avalanche (4-5-1)

Regular Season: Stars, 3-1

Dallas and Carolina are two 2-seeds in a pod, going about their business in much the same way: Under the radar.

Colorado and Montreal also have some 7-seed symmetry, in the form of a goaltender trade that sent David Aebischer to Montreal (to back up Huet, as things worked out) for Jose Theodore, who has spent much of the stretch run recovering from a heel injury suffered while shoveling snow during the Olympic break. The Avs have essentially bet the farm that Theodore will carry them through the playoffs. Those of you hoping that the "bet" would lead to a series of Texas Hold'em metaphors from me will be disappointed, though. Colorado won't last that long.

Prediction: Stars in 5

3 Calgary Flames (6-1-3) vs. 6 Anaheim Mighty Ducks (6-4-0)

Regular Season: 2-2

This series feels so much like a 4-5 match-up, that I honestly flipped a coin to come up with a prediction. Neither team has an aspect that jumps off the page.

Prediction: Heads, I mean, Flames in... (heads 6, tails 7) 7

4 Nashville Predators (7-3-0) vs. 5 San Jose Sharks (8-1-1)

Regular Season: 2-2

This 4-5 series has some stories to tell, at least. First of all, the season series was very close, with both of the Sharks' wins coming in overtime, while both Preds' wins were 1-goal games in regulation. And both teams are riding strong stretch runs into the playoffs. Two things will tip the scales in this series.

For San Jose, it's the spontaneous combustion of Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo. Gallons of ink and gigabytes of bandwidth have been wasted on why Thornton "failed" in Boston. His play since being traded to San Jose early in the season has proven one thing: His only failure was in not single-handedly carrying a mismanaged Original Six team on his back. That trade turned the Sharks' season around, Thornton won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer, and Cheechoo won the Rocket Richard Trophy for scoring the most goals.

For Nashville, however, the story is the loss of Tomas Voukoun for the rest of the season, due to blood clots in his abdomen and lower back. Things had been looking up for the Preds all year, with a resurgent Paul Kariya leading the way and, for most of the season, a tight division race with Detroit. Then backup goalie Chris Mason got a phone call during dinner. Voukoun wanted to tell Mason personally that he'd be The Man for the playoffs. So far, Mason has done well, but I don't think Nashville can stop the Sharks' attack.

Prediction: Sharks in 7

Round 2

East

1 Ottawa vs. 4 Buffalo

Nothing like a division match-up in the second round. It ought to be a little nastier, but a rested Ottawa should beat a tired Buffalo.

Prediction: Senators in 6

2 Carolina vs. 3 New Jersey

I stand corrected. The last thing any team wants to hear is that New Jersey is building momentum in the playoffs. I'd give the edge to the Canes, if the Devils weren't entering the playoffs on a roll. But they are.

Prediction: Devils in 7

West

1 Detroit vs. 5 San Jose

Uh-oh. Strange things happen when these two teams meet in the playoffs. Something tells me that Detroit's tendency to fade early will run into San Jose's momentum, and the result will be a lot of people comparing Red Wings hockey to Kansas Jayhawks basketball.

Prediction: Sharks in 7

2 Dallas vs. 3 Calgary

The Stars quietly, efficiently, dispose of another opponent.

Prediction: Stars in 6

Conference Finals

East

1 Ottawa vs. 3 New Jersey

In the past few years, Ottawa has suffered some playoff collapses that have been painful to watch. Let it be said that, this year, it won't be a collapse. Try as they might, however, I don't think they have enough in the tank to beat Jersey.

Prediction: Devils in 7

West

2 Dallas vs. 5 San Jose

This will be a hard-fought battle, but I have to fall back on an old cliché here: Offense gets the glory, defense wins the game.

Prediction: Stars in 7

Stanley Cup Finals

Dallas vs. New Jersey

As much fun as it is to watch a Cinderella reach the finals, there's always a chance that the finals themselves will be a dog, as Cinderella's glass slipper is ground to sand. No such problem here, as we get to watch the result of two steamrollers colliding head-on. Both franchises have a history of building teams that thrive on playoff momentum. Being from the same division as the Devils, I see Martin Brodeur way too often to think that he'll be the one who cracks. Sorry, Marty Turco.

Prediction: Devils in 7

Update: Fixed details on Theodore's injury.

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[NCAA] George Mason? GEORGE MASON?!

Keith Russell Keith Russell writes  |  more than 8 years ago

The Patriots are the luckiest 11 seed in history. A Sweet 16 game against another upset special (Wichita State). Then, an Elite 8 game against a team that spent the Tournament playing down to, then escaping, their competition (UConn). UConn finally ran out of back-breaking threes, and the last mid-major you expected to see in the Final Four is in the Final Four. (OK, maybe not the last mid-major. *couth*Winthrop*cough*.)

And is it too late to change my pick for the final? Villanova was my first choice, but LSU looks so strong right now. Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas are the best frontcourt in the Final Four.

Update: I guess it's my turn on the karma-go-round. During the first round, I was jagging Mantorp for picking Syracuse to win the Atlanta region. Today, I see that only bracket still has points in play. Guess who's? If UCLA beats LSU, Mantorp leapfrogs into first place.

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