Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How I would reinvent the newspaper for today

Ok. Hi again. I want to take a little bit of time elaborating on my recent blog post, regarding the newspaper. I wasn't very kind to the daily dead tree times, suggesting it was an outdated, boring medium, and well, it is – sort of.

Here's how my daily encounter with the newspaper generally works: I get up, ten minutes later than I probably should, I shower, throw some organic over-priced hair product in my hair, (I'm told its better for the environment, or better for me, or somehow better for something), brush my teeth, rush to make coffee and throw together a lunch. As the coffee is dripping, I go outside to fetch the paper myself, because I don't have a dog. I timidly look at the front page, and nine times out of ten it's about something stupid, by stupid I mean something I don't particularly care about. I'm a pretty happy guy, and mornings can be hard enough; they don't need to be made harder by the front page of the paper proclaiming there has been another fatal car accident five blocks from my house, or another suspected arson of a local church goer's house. These may be the upmost concerns for some folks, but not for me.

So I toss the front three sections on the ground, all of which have similar headlines, and start reading the sports page. I love sports. The only reason I open the newspaper is to read the local sports news. After reading/skimming the sports section, I'm then left with a souvenir newspaper, that I'm told isn't likely to appreciate in value.

If you're like me, then you're always trying to make difficult situations easier, and if you're really like me, you'll understand just how difficult everything is. Fortunately improving the newspaper is a bit like the Winnipeg Jets making a trade: theres nowhere to go but up.

First of all, stop sending me paper. Visa doesn't send me paper bills anymore, neither does the phone company, or the bank. At my request, they e-mail me statements, offers, or anything else deemed worthy of my attention. This is awesome. Why doesn't the newspaper give me the same option? I'm willing to pay the same for the paper. Just stop sending me the paper. No, that's not a trick. In the e-mailed version of the paper, I would have a choice as to what kind of news I want delivered. Do NOT send me: the front page, certain editorials, movie reviews, or information on the latest improvements to some duck pond. I'm not a duck, and even if I was, I probably wouldn't care.

The e-mailed paper would have embedded videos of Paul LaPolice and Claude Noel. Why would I want to read about a post game press conference when I could just watch it? Ditto for the game synopsis. Write a short article about it, and show me the highlights. Have the email linked up to my facebook account, so that I can see what my friends comments are. This would be relevant, as likely if you are on my facebook I've spoken to you more than once.

Now comes the best part: if a sports story breaks halfway through the day, write about it, and email it to me. You don't have to wait until the next morning to tell me. I really would be more awake during the day, anyway.

I would even make a separate ring tone alert for the newspaper e-mails. Now we're talking. You're nothing if you don't have your very own ring tone these days, anyway.

Cut down on paper costs. Give me the news that I want. Give it to me quickly, and don't make me read if a video would do. And would it kill you to start off the news email with “good morning Mike”? Everything else is personalized these days. Why can't my news “paper” be.  

Friday, 14 October 2011

Prepare for lift off?

The Winnipeg Jets are back. Yay for us. I'm a big hockey fan, so needless to say I am very excited about their return. I'm not however, so excited about their start. O'fer 2. Thats zero, zilch, notta, nothing.

In the season opener against Montreal, we didn't seem to have a lot of goal scoring gusto. We never really looked dangerous, didn't record many scoring chances, and when we did have them, we failed to capitalize. Unlike the Capitials, who unfortunately for us, are also in our division, seem to have no problem with that. Anyways, by the third period of that game, we looked totally outmatched.

In Thursday's game I noticed a bit of an improvement but I think its time to get a little worried, especially if your one of those people hoping for some playoff action this spring. The trouble is, the Jets lack a goal scorer, they lack a superstar, someone who is going to deliver at the pivotal moment. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers faced that problem last year, ahem, Steven Jyles, and their record was a sad 4 and 14. 

Lets get real, the Jets scored 3 goals in Chicago, two on deflections from the point in the first five minutes when the Blackhawks were sleeping. After that? They managed one goal, on route to a four three loss. Despite having a ton of chances, we couldn't climb back into the game. During the season opener one could rationalize that we were playing one of the league's best goalies, Carey Price. On Thursday? Not so much, as Ray Emery doesn't exactly strike fear into most goal scorer's eyes.

Upfront we are out-gunned. We had Mark Scheifele lining up against Marion Hossa Thursday night. It doesn't take a Don Cherry to realize that's a losing proposition. On Defence, we seem to be getting beat far too often by opposing forwards when they take the puck wide with speed around our defencemen. I guess thats good for Ondrej Pavelec's development, at the very least.

That said, our team plays with passion, which apparently we are fuelled by. Hopefully this Saturday in Phoenix we can be fuelled by goals, because we are certainly going to need them. Now that the Jets are back, it's time to be concerned with winning, because sooner or later, thats how the Jets are going to be defined, might as well start now.  

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

An Inch

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are an evil organization. I wasn't totally sure before, but I'm 100% convinced now. They have been created to destroy me, one game at a time. Now, I'll admit I'm not exactly the most level-headed of Blue Bomber supporters. I go from lottery winning euphoria to uncontrollable rage to fetal position sadness in the blink of an eye. The blink of an eye. Alex Brink of an eye, Alex Brink of an eye in the end zone. OH WHY didn't Alex Brink get in the end zone. He was on the brink of scoring, the brink of greatness....Oh, Alex Brink you were in the end zone weren't you!

The referees didn't think he was in the end zone, and apparently thats all that really matters. Look, I get it, sometimes people fall short. Ask Hugh Mcfayden, Barry Shenkarow, or Blockbuster, they'll tell you, its not always easy – but ask those people why, and they'll spew out a list of excuses so fast it will make your head spin. It was fear-mongering, it was the mayor at the time, it was that damned internet!

The Bombers may have fell short, but they certainly aren't ones to make excuses. They had every reason to do so, entering the game without their starting quarterback, running back, or defensive lineman. They played the game with a punter who forgot how to kick, and a referee who didn't know what pass interference was, seriously. They were also playing the two time defending league champions who employ hall of fame quarterback Anthony Calvillo.

Losing by what amounts to less than a yard is never good. Losing under those conditions, to that team, is a bit more understandable though; Or at least thats what I keep telling myself. I think i'm on the – brink – of a breakdown.