And The Final Player Taken in the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Draft Was…


The final player chosen in the 2014-2015 fantasy hockey draft that I joined was… Grant Clitsome.  Yup.  Clitsome.  Now, I’m not repeating his name while snickering like a little boy, but there were more than a few guys at this draft who were.

I’m more of a fan of the names which require a little bit of imagination, like “Pitlick”.  There was Lance Pitlick who played in the NHL from 1994 to 2002, and there is young Tyler Pitlick who is hoping to get his career started with the Edmonton Oilers.

Clitsome, however, is not funny.

It did occur to me, however, that there are some other sports figures who have names worth a snicker to a 10-year-old, and I happen to have a draft post with them in it.

For example, the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL had a defensive pairing of Richard Shmelik and Alexei Zhitnik, or, Shmelik / Zhitnik as the Buffalo announcer would carefully pronounce.

Or, former NBA player, now coach, Pooh Richardson.  (My 7-year-old LOVED that is his name was “Pooh”).

Or the legendary Dick Butkus.

On the evil side, the NHL had Keli Corpse and Miro Satan (pronounced as SHA-tan) playing a couple of seasons ago.

How about Pete LaCock, who played Major League Baseball for 9-seasons from 1972 to 1980.  Born Ralph Pierre LaCock, he preferred to be called Pete.  His father was Peter LaCock, who changed his name to Pater Marshall, and hosted the TV game show “Hollywood Squares” from 1966 to 1981.

Also in baseball, Mariners player Dick Pole, Twins player Rusty Kuntz, or Albert Pujols (pronounced Poo-Holes).  I like the name Dick Trickle.

Other unusual names include Slovenian basketball player Gregor Fucka and NFL player BJ Johnson.

Question: If your last name, or first name for that matter, was one in which you were not 100% comfortable with, would you make the change?

We’re Rooting For Pluto To Be Elevated Back To Planet Status!


It was just eight years ago (2006) when the planet Pluto – discovered in 1930 –  was unceremoniously relegated to dwarf planet status by the International Astronomical Union.

News comes today, that the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysicists is lobbying hard for Pluto to become a planet again based on the fact that by placing the word “dwarf” in front of the “planet” does not mean that Pluto is not a planet.  It is a planet, just a smaller one.

Yes, if Pluto is relegated back to planet status, there are other, newly discovered masses which would qualify for potential planet status, such as Triton or Eris or 50000 Quaoar or 90377 Sedna.

The best line I read on this topic (I will find the source and cite it!) read: “And what does Pluto make of all this? Pluto is a massive clump of rock and ice trapped in a lonely silent orbit through the dark recesses of space several billion miles away from Earth. As such, it could not be reached for comment.”

Welcome back to the solar system, Pluto. We’ve missed you and some of us under the age of 8 have never met you!.

Unfortunately, my daughter will no longer be able to sing The Planet Song;

“Planets, planets, they’re so great.

Did you know that there are 8.

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Lots of planets. Lots of stars.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus too.

Then comes Neptune and we’re through.”

Nowhere To Go But Up: ESPN Ranks The Toronto Maple Leafs the worst sports franchise in North America


ESPN The Magazine has released its “Ultimate Standings” for 2014, ranking sports franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB), The National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) according to a variety of categories and in a couple of them, the Toronto Maple Leafs ranked dead last at 122, and fared poorly in most of the rest of them.  Great.

To come up with these rankings, ESPN took the following steps:

First: Consulting firm Maddock Douglas surveyed 1,002 North American fans to form 25 criteria for what you want most in return for the emotion, money and time you invest in the 122 MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL teams.

Second: Teaming with NetReflector, an opinion research firm, ESPN.com asked fans to rate their home teams in each area and more than 101,000 did.  They grouped grades into the categories listed below.

Third: In order to determine the “Bank for the Buck” calculation, ESPN.com used calculations developed with Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to figure how well teams turn fans’ money into wins.  Then they combined each team’s score across all categories into a weighted average.

The Categories, plus the highest ranked team and the lowest ranked team.

Affordability
Price of tickets, parking and concessions
1. Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
122.  Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)

Coaching:
Strength of on-field leadership
1. San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
122. Florida Panthers (NHL)

Fan Relations
Courtesy by players, coaches and front offices toward fans, and how well a team uses technology to reach them
1. San Antonio Spurs
122. New York Knicks

Ownership
Honesty; loyalty to core players and the community
1. San Antonio Spurs
122. Florida Marlins (MLB)

Players
Effort on the field, likability off it
1. San Antonio Spurs
122. NY Knicks

Stadium experience
Quality of venue; fan-friendliness of environment; frequency of game-day promotions
1. San Francisco Giants (MLB)
122. NY Islanders (NHL)

Bang for the Buck
Wins in the past year, per fan dollars
1. Indiana Pacers (NBA)
122. Toronto Maple Leafs

Title track
Championships won or expected within the lifetime of current fans
1. St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)
122. Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)

A review of the ESPN website revealed that The Leafs fared poorly in every category. They placed last in both bang for the buck and affordability; second-last in title track; in the bottom 10 in fan relations, players and coaching; and 105th and 109th in ownership and stadium experience, respectively.

Possibly because this was done by ESPN and the majority of the respondents came from the US, all Canadian teams fared poorly in their rankings with the exception of the Montreal Canadians who appeared in the top half of the list. Here are the rest of the seven teams’ rankings at 55 out of 122.

The other Canadian teams ranked as follows;

Toronto Raptors – 74

Toronto Blue Jays – 81

Calgary Flames — 89

Ottawa Senators — 92

Winnipeg Jets — 97

Vancouver Canucks — 112

Edmonton Oilers — 115

 

The last 2 teams were the New York Knicks at 121 and the Toronto Maple Leafs at 122.

At least at last there is nowhere to go but up.  At 121, the Knicks could drop.

A Better Way To Teach Children The Alphabet: The Gamers Alphabet. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…


A better way to teach your children the alphabet!

The name of this book is “Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet”, yet I preferred to reverse part of it in the title so that it read “A Gamer’s Alphabet: Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…”  I felt the parent who knows a thing or two about video games would catch on much quicker that this book is a great new way to teach your child(ren) the alphabet while also teaching them a thing or two about the $75 billion dollar industry that is video games (Worldwide figure – only $24 billion in North America).

As well, how many times can we tell our kids that A is for Apple and B is for Banana and C is for Capitulate (meaning to surrender under agreed conditions, AND a SAT word, no less), etc.  We’ve got to expand our children’s knowledge beyond the traditional ABC’s, and here is how!

The author, Chris Barton and artist Joey Spiotto put together a vividly illustrated guide-book packed with lucid definitions that even the most video game challenged reader can understand. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet is the ultimate guide for players, non-players, and aficionados.  It is colourful, informative and an “entertaining visual history and a glossary of gaming”.

The book provides a solid understanding of terms that have made their way into everyday language, from “RPG” (Role Playing Game) to “mod” (Where a modification is made to the hardware or software of a game that the developer of the game had not intended).  Kids learn, and parents learn.

With lessons in modern vernacular and allusions to games every parent remembers, this book intermingles education with nostalgia for a compelling read at any age.

I have a copy and I think you should get one as well.  Pretty pictures.  Great information, and my kids love it (actually I think one of them has it right now…)
 AttackBoss2
Here is some information on the author and on the illustrator;

Chris Barton is the author of the New York Times bestseller Shark Vs. Train and the Sibert Honor-winning book, The Day-Glo Brothers. In addition to those picture books, he is the author of Can I see Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, a young adult nonfiction thriller. His upcoming books for young readers include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, Pioneers & Pirouettes: The Story of the First American Nutcracker, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super Stream of Ideas. Chris lives in Austin, Texas. For more information, check out: www.chrisbarton.info.

Joey “Joe-bot” Spiotto has worked as a concept artist on video games such as “Dead Space” and “The Sims.” He frequently creates for Warner Brothers, Electronic Arts, Telltale Games, Gazillion, and many more. His tee shirts sell on Teefury.com, and his work is shown in the high-profile Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. “Joe-bot” has been featured in The A.V. Club, Paste, Kotaku, and many other prestigious magazines. He lives in Southern California. To read more about Joey, visit: http://jo3bot.com.

It’s Friday! Time For The Urban Daddy’s Must Read Blog: Introducing Casey Palmer!


It’s Friday, which means it is time for the Urban Daddy’s must-read blog of the week.

The last blog I featured was Jason Wormald of Wormald’s Words, a relatively new blog, and while this week’s recommendation is a new blog to me, it is certainly not a new blog in the blogosphere.

Casey Palmer.

I was introduced to Casey’s writing through a Canadian Daddy Blog group on Facebook and I was immediately hooked.  I like Casey’s posts, I like his outlook on life and I like the way he interacts with the other dads in the group but I really like his lists.  :) After seeing one of his lists, I have to run back and adjust or re-do mine.

Please go check out Casey’s blog right now!  Read some posts, leave some comments and get to know Casey.

Casey can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and much more, found through his blog.  Please like, add and follow him on social media and show him some love.

Thanks!

The Urban Daddy.

 

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