And Two Minutes for Charging

A tragic accident occurred in Atlanta. A promising young hockey player, just a year or so removed from Rookie of the Year and scoring a bucket of goals in the All Star Game, runs his Ferrari into a wall at 80 mph. It’s not as tragic as it could have been; he’s only got a broken jaw, but his passenger is in critical condition with a fractured skull. They’re lucky to be alive, and with any luck they’ll remain so.

But here come the prosecutors….

Atlanta Thrashers star Dany Heatley was charged Tuesday with reckless driving for veering off a road and slamming his sportscar into a wall at about 80 mph — a crash that left him with a broken jaw and teammate Dan Snyder critically injured with a skull fracture.

Heatley was also charged with serious injury by vehicle, a felony, and three other misdemeanors — driving too fast for conditions, driving on the wrong side of the road and striking a fixed object, according to the police.

Striking a fixed object?

Once again, the legislators in their attempts to do something! about crime have given prosecutors bolts of felonies and swatches of misdemeanors to properly accessorize every ill event. Instead of double jeopardy, we have a larger charge accompanied by an exploded view of its component parts. Common sense would indicate that reckless driving comprises driving too fast, leaving your lane, changing lanes without use of the directional signal, and then striking a fixed object, or maybe just narrowly avoiding a fixed object which is a undoubtedly a lesser charge. But before the myopic eyes of the law, these are all crimes in and of themselves.

Kind of like when an estranged husband shoots his wife and gets murder one, using a gun in the commission of a murder, using bullets in the commission of a felony, disturbing the peace, and failure to pay future child support. Slap enough coats of felony on anything, and it will look guilty.

So in addition to having to live with the emotional consequences of his actions, Heatley’s now eligible for a Gordie Howe length career in the penal hockey league. Prosecutors will say that these tough laws will make kids think twice about believing they’re immortal and driving fast. Because kids have already discounted their own deaths and the crippled and crushed bodies of their friends and have have dismissed the deterent within those threats; a couple years in jail? That’s real to the young.

Criminey, the first person to run for office with the stated goal of eliminating three quarters of our redundant and superfluous laws earns my indentured servitude. I am getting tired of having my personal attorney preceding me everywhere and identifying each and every infraction I might commit and running the complex multiplication necessary to determine my total sentence if I jaywalk and cross outside a designated crosswalk at the same time while walking an unlicensed bike.

Improved Hockey Nicknames, Cheap

In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist Dan O’Neill, who once deservedly got raked over the coals (deservedly so) for getting several St. Louis Blues players’ names wrong when he covered them (probably while intoxicated), pens a laundry list of hockey nicknames and calls it a column.

I have to admit, I’ve always thought most hockey nicknames were kinda boring. Jamal “Jammer” Mayers? Tyson “Nasher” Nash? Tony “Twister” Twist? Come on, where’s the creativity, the poetry?

So ever since I have been a Blues fan, I’ve applied my own nicknames to the players, from afar, of course, since some of those gentlemen are bigger than I am. So hear they are, for your enjoyment:

Last year’s crew:
Player

Nickname

Reason
Eric Boguniecki

Bug-on-the-windshield

He’s a little guy, and sometimes when he throws a check on a bigger player, he looks
like one.
Petr Cajanek

Bionic

Rhymes, almost, with Cajanek.
Dallas Drake

Ducky

A drake’s a male duck. Must I draw a picture?
Reed Low

Beaver

He has a prominent overbite. Don’t tell him I said so.
Steve Martins

Harvard

He went there.
Jamal Mayers

Gunboat

Tough and fast.
Scott Mellanby

Hawk

Mellanby, especially when he’s got his helmet on, looks like the guy from
Buck Rogers
in the 25th Century
.
Keith Tkachuk

Ka-Ching!

He makes a lot of money.
Barret Jackman

Bert

Heavy brows, high forehead, who else could it be?
Alexander Khavonov

Never

Never Khavanov. Come on, it sounds cool.
Chris Pronger

Cap’n Happy

Grant Fuhr started it.
Bryce Salvador

Kermit

He looks kinda like Kermit the Frog.
Brent Johnson

Big

Roman Turek was “Large.”
Old friends:
Scott Young

Walleye

Television cameras often caught him gasping and with an eye on the jumbotron, making
him look like a fish.
Scott Pellerin

Droopy

He looks kinda droopy, even when he smiles.
Tyson Nash

Pinball

His playing style was to crash from one opponent to the next.
Michal Handzus

The Zusinator

The guy was a machine, and he never smiled.
Lubos Bartecko

The Wolf

Lubos is kinda like lupus, which…. ah, screw it, it’s too scholarly to
explain.

Aren’t those much cooler than what the hockey players themselves use? Perhaps the NHLPA can hire me as an official Alternate Collquial Designation Originator or something.

Even the NFL Outlaws Orchestrated Celebrations

As St. Louis “Football” Fans know, the NFL no longer allows players to gather in the end zone like a string of can-can girls to taunt the opposing team with a revue designed to show their potence at scoring touchdowns.

However, that’s not the case for civil rights activists. This week here in St. Louis, a bunch of people gathered outside a bank where they successfully protested forty years ago. The celebration included picketing the bank for old time’s sake.

Of course, to the passersby, it looked like some group was picketing the bank for current grievances, not shouting the old-timers’ equivalent of boo-yeah for previous picketorial success. So anyone who remains influenced by a picket line — which is probably limited to members of the Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Sprinklerfitters union that promotes itself during Cardinals ballgames and to Dick Gephardt– probably wouldn’t go into the bank, which forty years ago capitulated to –I mean, negotiated a comprise with— the protesters. It looked like the bank had done something offensive, insensitive, or anti-proletariat now.

So let this be an object lesson to those who would alter their business practices to suit the agitators in the community. Even if you give up and give in or, infrequently, better your business at the behest of activists, you’re just setting yourself up for triumphant returns and celebrations in the future (if you’re lucky) or repeated shakedowns, I mean bilateral communication of community concerns if you’re not.

When Vezina Winners Attack!

So Dominik Hasek, a goalie who bailed out on the NHL after winning the Stanley Cup last year, goes home and gets a little rough in a roller hockey game, sending a player to the hospital. Big hoary deal. Sure, he tried to fight Patrick Roy, but that’s goalie-on-goalie action.

Jean Sebastian-Giguere, my new hero until such time as he signs with the Red Wings, went after a Calgary forward. He’s got, um, pucks as big as manhole covers, I kid you not.

I guess Giguere’s not a Vezina winner, yet, but I kid you not he’s got a Conn Smythe trophy coming.

(Hasek link from Fark. All other research from my own memory supplemented by Google.)

(P.S. Sorry, folks, but it was only a matter of time until a hockey post broke through. I am still capturing developers at the coffeepot to tell them how I think the St. Louis Blues are going to do next year and what I think the Collective Bargaining Agreement ending after next year will mean for the NHL, so it’s only natural something like it would leak out in the blog.)