Daniel Kligerman

Me, on the web

Archive for Sports

Don Cherry is an Entertainer

In case you missed it, Don Cherry wasted no time in offending three former NHL enforcers during his first appearance of the season. Cherry referred to them using colourful language (for prime-time, kid-watched TV), and said directly that the former players were hypocrites for making their careers as enforcers, and then blaming the fighting for their current mental and physical health issues. The players in question all said how offended they were, and are looking into legal action.

Ultimately, what this comes down to is that Don Cherry is an entertainer, and nothing more. He will say whatever he needs to say to draw attention to himself, because that’s what increases his ratings. Cherry has no motivation to be balanced, or to apologize, or even to be rational: expecting him to be or do any of these things is only causing people much frustration.

That is not to say that Cherry should not be held accountable for making false, potentially slanderous statements–he should. Especially if holding him to account ends up limiting his ability to speak further on this topic, since that is really the only thing that will hit him where it counts.

Ironically, the fact that Cherry is an entertainer parallels the enforcer’s reason for existence in the first place: fighting in hockey only exists because NHL hockey is, above all else, entertainment. Those who argue that fighting adds to the sport itself are kidding themselves; if that was the case, why is Olympic or World Junior hockey so great? So in the end, what we are dealing with here are a bunch of entertainers being offended by another entertainer. Yes, one is wrong and the others are right, but seeing them in that context makes them much less about the sport of hockey, and more of a side show to the side show.

Giant Ankle

On Thursday morning I attempted to play tennis for the first time in years. Actually, I have never really played tennis–squash has been my racquet sport of choice. But tennis is outdoors, which is perfect for the spring, and so I gave it a go.

All was going well, and it was lots of fun, until I attempted what would have undoubtably been a very impressive backhand, and ended up rolling over my ankle and spraining it real nicely. Since then, it has been about three times the size of my other ankle, and all kinds of interesting colours.

I can still walk, so I don’t think anything is broken in there. Yeah, that’s my expert medical opinion, which I’m sure is beyond questioning. Today it’s not quite as gigantic as yesterday, and there’s some tingling sensation when I walk. Weird, huh?

So now you are completely up-to-date on the status of my ankle. I don’t know how you would have survived otherwise.

And yeah, as soon as this thing feels better, I’ll be right back on the tennis court, maybe this time with proper shoes. Take that, huge gross ankle!

50lb of Fat

Last week we bought a new scale that also measures body fat composition.  My numbers were nice and even: weight of 200lb with 25% body fat.  Yes, that’s 50lb of fat!  According to the pamphlet that came with the scale, this is “high” for my age group; 11-14% is “excellent”, 14-19% is “good”, 19-24% is “moderate”, 24-29% is “high” and above 29% is “very high”.

My measurements weren’t too surprising, since I haven’t done any exercise, other than walking the dogs, since the baby was born, and have certainly had enough to eat.  Still, knowing the actual numbers, especially the body fat percentage, makes the fact that I have become quite out of shape nice and tangible.

Soon it’s time to get back to exercising, now that we’ve more or less adjusted to life with baby.  It’s time to start planning a hockey team for the fall, and perhaps dust off the bicycle in the garage.

Cisco Symposium

Cisco holds an annual technical symposium in Toronto, and I attended yesterday’s event. It was full of good technical information, with the expected level of Cisco marketing spin. Especially useful was a session on Quality of Service, which was a scaled down version of a nine-hour presentation given during this year’s Networkers in New Orleans. The presenter is coming out with a Cisco Press book on the subject, and his expertise and enthusiasm for his area was obvious. I came away with some good ideas.

Playing in the annual “Rust Remover” squash tournament this week, with a match per evening. Last night’s opponent dropped out though, so I advanced by default to the next round. Should be a tough one tonight; hopefully the drills will pay off.

Focus

Third period, we’re up 3-2, they’re coming on strong.  Our left-winger makes an ill-advised blind drop-pass, easily picked up their six-foot-five right-winger, and suddenly a three-on-two begins.  I wheel around, take three or four frantic strides to build some speed, and spin around again to face the onslaught.  Skating backwards now, I try to position myself between their centre and right-winger, hoping to be able to take on whichever ends up receiving the pass.  It’s the centre, and the pass is a good one–received crisply with little momentum lost.  I slam on the breaks, put my arms up towards the crest of his jersey, and like trying to grind a speeding train to a halt, I make sure he cannot pass.

As the puck dribbles off his stick, their right-winger beats my defense partner to it, and has time for a quick shot from a good angle.  Our goalie is in position, makes the save, and the shift is  over.

While all this was going on last night, it occured to me that with my focus lately being on hitting the books, other areas have become less central, and have inevitably suffered.  When I was getting out on the ice three or even four times per week, my game surely must have been better.  Certainly it felt that way.  But that’s how things go–as times goes on, you cycle through different priorities, each one taking on the limelight for that period, and gaining the advantage of increased attention.  All other activities continue, but do not improve or advance; they remain in a holding pattern until your attention finds its way back.

I think my network studying is starting to pay off: the above seems just like the behaviour of a class-based weighted fair queue.  How’s that for nerdy?

Howling Wolverines

This summer I’ll be playing hockey with the Howling Wolverines, a team we played against last season. There are a number of players on the team I’ve played with before, and the rest seem like a good bunch. Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to meet them at a team barbeque and scrimmage at the organizer’s home and local rink in Vaughan.

Being up at a new subdivision in the suburbs was a good opportunity to contrast living in a new house farther away with living in an older house, as we do, within the city. When we first started house hunting, we began looking north of the city, but soon decided we preferred to stay within the city’s borders. Both have their advantages, and everyone needs to choose what’s most important to them. For me, spending a couple hours every day in my car is something I am very happy to avoid. And given the neighborhood and house we found, I think we’ve managed to have the best of both worlds.

Howling Wolverines

his summer I’ll be playing hockey with the Howling Wolverines, a team we played against last season.  There are a number of players on the team I’ve played with before, and the rest seem like a good bunch.  Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to meet them at a team barbeque and scrimmage at the organizer’s home and local rink in Vaughan.

Being up at a new subdivision in the suburbs was a good opportunity to contrast living in a new house farther away with living in an older house, as we do, within the city.  When we first started house hunting, we began looking north of the city, but soon decided we preferred to stay within the city’s borders.  Both have their advantages, and everyone needs to choose what’s most important to them.  For me, spending a couple hours every day in my car is something I am very happy to avoid.  And given the neighborhood and house we found, I think we’ve managed to have the best of both worlds.