It all started with one of the most disrespectful incidents I have ever witnessed in hockey and it ended two games later with the Boston Bruins suffering a humiliating defeat.
At the end of Game 5, the Old Ruminator was calling for Bruins forward Shaun Thornton’s suspension, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman felt the disgraceful water bottle squirting incident deserved a slap on the wrist. I was livid with the small fine imposed and I guess the Montreal Canadiens were as well. The NHL’s obvious disdain for the proud tradition of their storied franchise hit a nerve with the Canadiens. Their next two games were their best of the entire season. Don Cherry made some sort of comment at the end of game six about a perfectly legal, but hard hit, on the Bruin’s giant defenceman Zdeno Chara, saying “you don’t wan’t to poke the bear”. But Cherry completely missed the profound implications of the water bottle incident a game earlier. Just like he didn’t get it years ago, as coach of the Boston Bruins, performing antics at the old Montreal Forum. His escapades then, like the water bottle incident now, only served to prod the Canadiens to victory. That’s because, unlike the Bruins, the Canadien’s franchise is not built on goonery and buffoonery, but on speed, skill and the highest respect for sportsmanship. They see incidents like Cherry’s clownish performance as coach and Thornton’s contemptuos and dangerous water squirting, as a personal affront.
While the Boston Bruins felt the whole thing was a “joke”, the proud Montreal Canadians, who have won more Stanley Cups than the Boston Bruins collective IQ, took it as a grevious sign of disrespect. What followed in games 6 and 7 was the worst trouncing the Boston Bruins have suffered in years. The Canadiens were deservedly insulted by the Bruins antics and disgusted that they would treat players from one of the greatest teams in professional sports history in such a disrespectful way. Following game seven, Canadiens’ coach, Michel Therrien, talked about the “lack of respect” shown his team. He said it emphatically, several times. Hockey players, especially Canadiens’ hockey players, know something about respect. They could see that the Bruin’s antics were disrespectful to them and the game and they worked their hearts out. Their efforts should be celebrated by everyone who understands the game of hockey.
Hockey fans can take some comfort in the fact that skill, speed and dedication can still beat goonery and gong-show antics….even in an NHL run by a Commissioner who hates seeing any Canadian team win.
Of course, the whole sorry episode was the latest in a series of ineffectual responses to various on-ice antics by the Boston Bruins which will leave a blotch on the game of hockey for years to come. Milan Lucic’s spearing and nut-busting attacks on opposing players (Detroit and Montreal) went practically unnoticed by Bettman’s NHL. The noble game of hockey is being dragged through the sewer by teams like Boston and Gary Bettman refuses to act. That’s because Bettman completely misunderstand’s the game of hockey. Bettman thinks of hockey as something akin to the WWF and he is slowly dragging the game in that direction. He hasn’t the slightest notion of the role hockey plays in the Canadian psyche and I can only pray that some day soon he will decide to leave or be fired.
Maybe it was the repeated cheap shots to the nuts of opposing players, or the spearing incidents. Whatever the reason, NHL officials FINALLY called a reasonably fair game last night and the result was Milan Lucic and his cowardly compatriots on the Boston Bruins finally got their just deserts with a humiliating elimination from the play-offs at the hands of the Montreal Canadians. Just to put icing on the cake, Milan Lucic behaved like a spoiled brat following the game, cursing and swearing at two Canadien’s players during the traditional post-game hand-shake. Brad Marchand, another dirty little miscreant known for cowardly play was also quoted as a poor loser following the game. The Canadien’s meanwhile, rightfully called a spade a spade and noted that their unbelievably sensational play was motivated by the poor sportsmanship, dirty play and general lack of respect shown by the Bruins.
Good riddance to the Bruins and the blight they are to the great game of hockey. Boston media, apparently having no concept of sportsmanship and the great traditions of hockey have been blindly boosting the disgraceful behavior of the Bruins in this and previous years. They’ve been claiming the dirty and disgraceful conduct of Bruins players (e.g.squirting water in the opposing players faces from water bottles) is all part of “doing what it takes” to win play-off hockey.
The Montreal Canadiens, who are the standard bearers for speedy, highly-skilled, sportsmanlike hockey proved last night that skill can win if NHL officials fairly enforce the rules. Boston still got away with a lot of dirty play in last night’s game, but not as much as usual and the result was not only good for the Canadiens but good for the game of hockey.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has a very difficult decision to make. If he suspends Shaun Thornton for one of the most outrageous examples of poor sportsmanship in hockey history….there’s a chance, just a chance, that his beloved Boston Bruins could be eliminated from the finals. So it’s unlikly that Bettman will do the right thing and suspend the Boston Bruins player.
Tonight’s game between the Bruins and Canadian was yet another example of how the NHL will ensure that the Bruins will win the series due to official penalty calling shenanigans. Early in the game a totally bogus call of Goalie interference was called when a Canadians player was pushed into the Boston goalie. What a joke! The Bruins scored, ensuring the upper hand in a key game in their building.
But the most obvious example of the NHL “fix” occurred when the Bruin’s Shaun Thornton sprayed water from his water bottle into the face of opposing Montreal Canadiens player, P.J Suban, while Suban was streaking up the ice near the Boston Bruins bench where Thornton was seated. That’s right. In the middle of play, while skating up the ice at break neck speed, Thornton actually had the audacity to spray water in the Montreal Canadian’s players face. And then laugh about the incident. What the hell were the officials watching? Another example of favouritism for the Boston Bruins, which has reached outrageous proportions in recent years. Any team could acomplish what the Bruins have, with the favourtism shown by NHL officials. Another outrageous example of disgraceful behaviour which has gone completely unpunished involves the antics of Boston Bruins Milan Lucic. This overgrown clown raked his stick up between the legs of opposing players, risking severe injury to opposing players on two seperate occasions this year. The NHL did NOTHING. In what other sport on earth would league officials condone such unbelievable dirty filthy play? The Boston Bruins represent the basest, lowest form of play and the NHL does nothing.
I’ve been watching hockey since the days of Foster Hewitt and grainy black and white TV and have never, ever, in my life seen such a disgraceful spectacle. Shaun Thornton must be suspended if there is any semblance of sportsmanship left in the NHL, but realistically that little creep Bettman is a slimy little bastard who doesn’t know the first thing about hockey and I doubt he will do anything to hinder his beloved Bruins.
Nabeel Qureshi, describes in excruciating detail his heart-rending struggle to come to terms with Islam in his search for absolute truth. His quest ends with the discovery that Islam is not only based on lies, but is downright dangerous, while life’s ultimate truth is found in Christianity.
This book is a must read for anyone wondering how it is that so many people can continue to believe in a religion which denigrates women, and kills those who question it’s authority. It provides a first-hand account of an intelligent young man’s transition from an self-assured, unquestioning, devout Muslim to someone whose entire life is devoted to Christ.
Qureshi exquisitely describes his loving and attentive parents and family and the profound role of Islam in shaping his persona. He tells the story of his encounter and close friendship with a devout Christian while attending university and his gradual realization that his entire life was based on false assumptions and blind obedience to a religion with highly dubious beginnings. “The earliest historical records show that Mohammed launched offensive military campaigns and used violence…to accomplish his purposes. The peaceful practice of Islam hinges on later, Western interpretations of Mohammed’s teachings, whereas the more violent variations of Islam are deeply rooted in orthodoxy and history”.
There’s some fascinating insights into the complex web of false beliefs that Muslims practice in an attempt to dismiss foundational teachings of Christianity. Qureshi also explains precisely how the Quran is a highly questionable document of uncertain origin; how it has been abridged and changed over the centuries. And how subsequent “quotes” of Mohammed, authored by literally thousands of different, often anonymous sources hundreds of years after Mohammed’s death, form the real foundation of Islamic practice. He describes his painstakingly thorough search for the real Mohammed and his dissapointment at finding a barbarous, suicidal, sadistic man with an untold number of “wives”, one of them no more than 12 years old.
Now, if we can just get the History Channel to do a follow-up documentary.
4 out of 5
A lot of people love Bill O’Reilly’s very popular cable talk show and they, just like the Old Ruminator, likely are influenced to buy one or more of his books. This, in turn, ensures that Bill’s books will be among the NY Times best sellers. Not necessarily because the books themselves have exceptional redeeming value, but because of Bill’s popularity.
Mr. O’Reilly’s latest book, “Killing Jesus” attempts to take a purely historical look at the life and crucifixion of Jesus. While the book does do a decent job of setting the historical context for the political, social and moral culture of Jesus’s time, Mr. O’Reilly doesn’t have a lot to work with. He really has little more than the actual Gospels and some scant secular references to people and activities mentioned in the Gospels. As is his tendency on TV, O’Reilly makes some rather brash claims in his book which he clearly has not fully researched. A screaming example of this, is his claim that the Jesus clearly had several brothers and possibly sisters. This claim relies solely on references to Jesus’ “brothers” in several Gospels. But anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the history of Gospel translations, knows that the original story of the Gospels (likely in the language of Jesus, Aramaic) had no word for “cousins”. The closest approximate translation to “cousin” was “brother”, and that’s why the word is used. It’s pretty clear in several areas of the Gospel that Jesus’s mother, Mary, has no other children, otherwise, why would Jesus, while on the cross, have instructed one of his “non-brother” disciples to care for Mary as his “mother”. You wouldn’t have to tell a brother that, and you wouldn’t tell anyone else to do that if you had any brothers. Why O’Rielly does not make this point is just one example of dozens in which he makes lazy assumptions….pardon the pun.
There are a number of areas of the book that repeat information, almost word for word from earlier chapters, suggesting he hasn’t even taken the time to read the book through himself, before publishing.
All that said, there are some interesting historical and apparent factual details which most readers will appreciate. And the book does seem to offer some new explanations of possible political and personal motivations of some of the key players in Jesus’ life. 3 out of 5