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Crown Conversations: Reverse Retro Jerseys Part 2: The Second Part

We are back with the second part of our podcast in which James says a naughty word and we grade Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg’s jerseys.

Ottawa Senators left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) and Los Angeles Kings center Michael Amadio (10) battle for the puck in the third period at Staples Center. The Kings won 3-2. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hope everyone had a lovely (holiday) weekend. We dropped the first part of our discussion on the NHL’s latest cash grab shortly before (American) Thanksgiving, so here we are again with the rest of the teams we didn’t discuss the first time around! On this episode, we chat about whatever it is that the Edmonton Oilers are doing, the forgettableness of both the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators ‘ jerseys are as well as the Philadelphia Flyers ‘ disappointing miss (hello, Bernie Parent anybody?)

James also has a dirty suggestion on what former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt should eat for the rest of his life and then we cover the latest news (up to that point) on the NHL’s potential January 1 start date (which is looking more and more unlikely by the hour).

And finally, we’re trying something new. We’re going to start adding a transcript underneath the audio player to each article. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Do you love Crown Conversations but you’re not sure when the next episode will drop? Never fear, you can keep tabs on our podcast by hitting the subscribe button down below, right there just beneath the audio. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Podcasts. And as always, we’d love to hear from you so if you ever have any questions or comments, leave ‘em below! Shoot us an email at crownconvopodjftc@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter (@crown_podcast) and we’ll be happy to include that, or better yet, include YOU, in any of the next podcast episodes.

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BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

INTRO: The Kings are the Kings! He wins it back… TOFFOLI OH MY GOD SCORES NO WAY OH MY NO WAY WITH NO TIME REMAINING! Doughty passes it back and they score! Grundstrom in game number one has tied it with his first NHL goal! Wagner down the middle… Scores! First career goal Austin Wagner! Here’s Luff looking for his first—scores! Matt Luff first NHL goal and the Kings have the lead! What’s Luff got to do with it? [Musical interlude] Welcome back to Crown Conversations Part 2. We pick up where we left off with me asking James if he hates fun. Enjoy the rest of our podcast and thanks for listening!

ROBYN: Do you just hate fun?

SARAH: [laughs]

JAMES: You know what? I do. If there’s one thing everyone knows about me

[background laughter]

JAMES: it is how straightforward buttoned-up I am at all times

SARAH: Most serious person I know.

JAMES: Clearly

ROBYN: Yes, for sure

JAMES: Clearly. Um…

ROBYN: [laughs]

JAMES: Gosh… Is the Edmonton Oilers like any different than like their anniversary jersey from a few years ago?

ROBYN: It looks like a hoodie

SARAH: Not really. They’re never too much I feel like just didn’t really try very hard.

JAMES: Like I think they they went back to the older like the 80s colors like shades of orange and blue like I kind of like that I’m really glad they didn’t go back to the oil drop of the Dustin Penner years

SARAH: [laughs]

ROBYN: Hey hey hey that is Stanley Cup Champion Dustin Penner to you man

JAMES: Three times

ROBYN: (repeating) Three times

JAMES: (repeating again) Three times… And who knows how many times he took Ambien and then stayed awake on it during a flight

SARAH: [laughs]

JAMES: Um…

ROBYN: Oh good ol’ Pancakes…

JAMES: Yeah… Yeah… No!

ROBYN: Never forget… [Pause] Sarah, you know that story, right?

SARAH: I do, I do

[background laughter]

JAMES: Yeah, now let’s all go talk about his politics

SARAH: Mmm mmmhmmmhhmmm

[background laughter]

ROBYN: No, James, I will kick you off this podcast!

[background laughter]

ROBYN: Ohhh… No, no….

SARAH: Fun fact! Fun fact fun fact! I have one Dustin Penner anecdote and it’s the fact that he has the Jewels from the Crown Twitter blocked and I only found that out whenever I would be logged into the Jewels from the Crown Twitter account and like people would be dunking on him for some stupid thing that he said and I wouldn’t be able to see any of the tweets because he blocked us [laughs]

ROBYN: I think one of your predecessors—it wasn’t Eric but it was somebody who worked with Eric—I think they were running the Twitter account and they were constantly making fun of him

SARAH: Well he deserves it

ROBYN: Yes, he definitely does

JAMES: Oh… [Sighs] I-I-I shouldn’t talk more about Dustin Penner. That is definitely what I should not do.

[background laughter]

JAMES: Um…

ROBYN: Speaking of mailing it in… Nashville! They just… They didn’t even try!

SARAH: I mean…

JAMES: Oh! Oh I… I got… I got what they were going for, they just don’t have a ton of history or good jerseys.

SARAH: [snickers]

ROBYN: Well what were they going for? They don’t… It’s the same logo!

JAMES: They went for the Joel Ward era third jersey where it was the… the grayish silver everywhere and then like the V of like the uh uhh the mustard on the sleeves and they just swapped it. [Pause] Do I need to send you a picture of that one and...?

ROBYN: No, I see it… [Dejectedly] It’s ugly.

JAMES: Yeah!

ROBYN: Why would you harken back to this? They’re terrible!

SARAH: At least they didn’t try to bring back that like terrifying, drawn by a person like having hallucinations logo that they tried to have once… Like…

ROBYN: That would’ve actually been great

JAMES: That was actually designed by the Meth Bear

[background laughter]

ROBYN: They used to have this terrifying blow up animatronic Sabertooth wild logo thingy like that would float around the Bridgestone Arena and apparently scare children

JAMES: Oh, yeah I went to a game there in two thousand… nine? Uh like… I think it had just become 2010 so it was the 09-10 season and it was a game between them and the Hurricanes and both teams were so mediocre and there were cockroaches on the floor and around our seats

ROBYN: Oh no

JAMES: True story. And… That thing comes down from the ceiling and those like other eight people in the arena lost their freakin’ minds

[background laughter]

JAMES: And like that was one of the coolest things was like learning like the fans in Nashville who are fans are very big fans and it’s nice that they get their due across the league now because like every time they announced like the starting player for the Hurricanes that night it just be like, you know, [mimicking announcer voice] “At Center, Eric Staal” [mimicking crowd] “He sucks!”

[background laughter]

JAMES: And like, it was fun! And like like… they just don’t have good jerseys, they don’t have a long run of stuff so I get it… I get why this jersey is what it is…

ROBYN: I guess…

JAMES: There’s only so much you can do with something that is supposed to be a retro jersey…

ROBYN: Alright, that’s fair…

JAMES: Now, Philly, though! That is confusing. Because you just ruined the best shade of orange in professional sports. And… for what? [Disgusted noise]

SARAH: [snickers]

ROBYN: I mean… They had so much potential with Bernie Parent! And they, they just… did nothing! I understand that they haven’t changed their actual logo in 50 years. But, like…

JAMES: I’m fine with it. Keep the logo. But have a better jersey design...

ROBYN: Yeah! I just don’t understand what they were doing with the black and then the orange and then the… [Sighs, changes subject] You know who I’m most disappointed in? The Blues. They could’ve brought back those trumpets… Or, well, I don’t know if they’re trumpets. They could’ve brought back those horns, oh… Music City! Well, it’s not Music City but it’s the Gateway to the Midwest and they’re supposed to be known for their jazz and stuff… But instead they went with their current logo and that weird 80s jersey…

JAMES: 90s. Gretzky wore that jersey.

ROBYN: It’s terrible…

JAMES: You know, after he was traded from the Kings because that’s all we do is fetishize Gretzky’s time with the Kings

ROBYN: But we overlook the fact that he was traded… Traded away!

JAMES: Yeah, to be fair, the window had closed on that team anyways

ROBYN: True

JAMES: Um… He wasn’t the first one traded away. But um… I mean that’s how Luc Robitaille ended up in Sudden Death. That one’s for you, Sarah

SARAH: [laughs] I love it, I love it!

JAMES: [laughs] Um… Yeah…

SARAH: [laughing] Thanks, James…

JAMES: [laughs] Um, yeah... They picked a bad Jersey to throw back to and they reversed the color scheme in it, it doesn’t work in any way. You know, at least the Kings didn’t do the Burger King jersey and try to reanimate that thing

ROBYN: Nooo, but I love the Burger King jersey. It’s so ugly, it’s great

SARAH: I like it but as a one-off. Like, if they wore it for one game like and like I-I definitely like that jersey in a like so bad it’s good kind of way but if they try to make that—like I feel like these jerseys are going to be worn a significant amount of time this just season whenever that happens—so I feel like it would be like an oversaturation of the Burger King jersey and then I’d go back to being annoyed by it…

JAMES: Yes, absolutely

SARAH: But like if they do it for one night then I think that would be really cool

JAMES: Yeah… Well, Ontario did that two years ago, right?

SARAH: Mmmhmm mmhmmm.

JAMES: That was fun

ROBYN: Also, Manchester

JAMES: [Recalling] They did do that! Yeah!

ROBYN: And the Monarchs auctioned off their-their jerseys. I bid on like three of them and I won all three bids

JAMES: Ha haha!

ROBYN: But here’s the funnest fact: because I’m stupid, I uh ended up with no jersey!

[Awkward silence]

JAMES: Uh… Wow…

ROBYN: [Laughs] Okay, here’s… Here’s what it is: I… For some dumb some reason, I had my eBay account set up to go to my old college dorm. They did the Monarchs jerseys like… I don’t know… three? Two or three years after I had graduated from college and I didn’t bother checking after I won the bid—

JAMES: Oh noooo

ROBYN: Yeah. So I think it was about three years because it was when Linden Vey was with the team. So I didn’t bother checking to see that my um that that the address was correct and there was no forwarding address for the… the… the place where I had sent it to, so I’m like welp, I’m out a couple hundred bucks and… There’s a lesson for you kids, when you bid on eBay, make sure your address is up-to-date

SARAH: [chuckles]

JAMES: Oh. Man. I… Feel happy with the amount of time we did not discuss the Jets jersey because it’s just so bad.

SARAH: [chuckles] It’s very forgettable

ROBYN: Can we talk about how bad the Sharks jersey is, though?

JAMES: It’s not great

SARAH: I’m indifferent to it, like… It could’ve been better

ROBYN: Okay, like… Like the Hurricanes don’t have anything to harken back to except the Whalers and neither do the Sharks. The Sharks have largely kept the same logo and color scheme over the last… What are they, almost 30 years old? [Aside] God, I’m old

JAMES: [chuckles]

ROBYN: [wailing] I’M OLD!

JAMES: Aren’t we all? Um...

[background laughter]

ROBYN: but they could’ve done something with the Golden Seals! WHY DIDN’T YOU GO WITH THE GOLDEN SEALS?! There’s so much nostalgia around the Golden Seals, embrace your nostalgia history, people! [Huffs]

SARAH: I mean they could’ve just done a jersey with Joe Thornton’s face

ROBYN: [laughs]

JAMES: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, no…

SARAH: And then they would wear it whenever they’d play the Leafs.

JAMES: HA! HAHA!

SARAH: This is the “I’m Trying to Manifest the Universe That I Want” [laughs]

ROBYN: They also need to… They need to be like Patty Marleau looking at Joe Thornton on the jersey

JAMES: Uh here is my pitch: Uh it is uh… You have kind of like, it’s almost a scene, almost a painting, a still life if you will… of you see like hats or no one’s wearing hats because they’ve already thrown them onto the ice and then you realize like in that Joe Thornton has just scored his fourth goal of the game and from his back at you just see a shark come out from what would be the front side of him… Um... this is, of course, a callback to a very famous Joe Thornton quote, which—by the way, Toronto media, I know you’re listening... the same way Tyler Toffoli is listening... prepare to see so much of Joe Thornton

[background laughter]

JAMES: That man is absolutely opposed to pants or covering himself up when there is media around. I have seen that man so much... It... it… I never saw Patrick marleau not in a suit and I never saw Joe Thornton in anything. [Sighs] Oh gosh, yeah, Joe Thornton is weird, he’s a strange man and... he’s very good at hockey, um... but yeah... The thing is, the shark would have been his weiner in my jersey pitch

ROBYN: [laughs] Oh my god…

SARAH: Thank you for clarifying that, I just wasn’t totally sure where you were trying to go with it

[background laughter]

SARAH: I need someone to draw this immediately

[background laughter]

ROBYN: This is an image that I cannot get out of my head now

JAMES: I mean, hey, he’s the one who said it all those years ago. Um… [laughs]

SARAH: He started it

JAMES: Yeah, he started it [laughs and sighs] Oh, I’m cracking myself up over this, I’m sorry…

ROBYN: Alright, well I think we’ve hit pretty much all 31 teams…

JAMES: Yeah…

SARAH: Yeah…

ROBYN: Yeah...

JAMES: Yeah… Yeah

ROBYN: [Chuckles, then loud] Yeah…. NO!

SARAH: With confidence, with confidence! I’m sure there’s one we forgot because it’s so mediocre that just like none of us could remember it

JAMES: [Realizing] OTTAWA!

ROBYN: OH MY GOD!

[background laughter]

ROBYN: I always forget about Ottawa! With literally everything, I always forget about Ottawa.

JAMES: [laughs] Yup! Yeah uh… it’s red and it’s 2D, great, moving on.

ROBYN: Yeah

SARAH: [chuckles] Yeah, done

[background laughter]

JAMES: Oh gosh…

ROBYN: It’s fine!

JAMES: Again, I’m sorry for having ruined this podcast for you guys

SARAH: I mean, you remembered Ottawa. We sure didn’t

ROBYN: I was like, I know I’m something in the middle of the alphabet I just can’t remember… [Long pause] Ottawa... That’s because it’s so unmemorable

SARAH/JAMES: Yeah

ROBYN: It’s… it’s… Well, it’s like the team… Oh! Speaking of Ottawa… There is a… I think it was… There was something recently that came out about them… Um…. It was an old veteran.... [Long pause] From Rick Vayve? Vive? I don’t know how to say his name. Forgive me for butchering his name, people. Uh, here’s the excerpt that I found: [reading] “Before a relatively early retirement at the age of 33, he tried one last kick at the can to join the expansion Ottawa Senators since he was born in Ottawa and thought he could be the local veteran. But the team management was so dysfunctional, they forgot to ever call him back, so he instead filed his retirement papers, assuming they didn’t want him.”

SARAH: Ottawa!

JAMES: That’s the most Ottawa story I’ve ever heard

ROBYN: So their-their jersey is very much like that story: “ah, crap, let’s throw something together real quick!

JAMES: Yeah… Yeah…

ROBYN: It’s the… It’s the kid who’s waiting until like… an hour before class to finish their project that took six months to do

SARAH: [snickers]

JAMES: This is them scribbling on their homework while it’s being passed up front by everyone else

SARAH: [snickers more]

JAMES: Like, they’ve got everyone behind them in class is like a tucked under their arm as they continue to scribble and then just like shove it forward into the other kids’ hands in front of them yeah. Oh [sighs] Yeah...That… It sucks, it’s forgettable, it’s... it’s Ottawa …

SARAH: Yeah

ROBYN: I’m sorry, Ottawa

JAMES: [laughing] I feel like that’s their tourism: Ottawa… [Facetiously] It sucks, it’s forgettable, it’s Ottawa!

[background laughter]

SARAH: I-I did thing on my podcast last season—

JAMES: [interjecting] brag!

SARAH: —where I challenged other other podcast hosts to name as many Ottawa Senators as they could and it was enlightening how few people could name. It was, it was amazing because everyone was just like I-I don’t know who’s on this team [laughing]. They’re just so forgettable

JAMES: They really are. Like I mean obviously, you know they’re taking to rebuild but yeah… They... They…

ROBYN: But they-they keep… I don’t… [Sighs, long pause] I don’t… I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going on with the hockey team in Ottawa

JAMES: [chuckling] Neither do they!

[background laughter]

ROBYN: Nothing about them makes sense

JAMES: Yeah, that’s the way they like it—keep you guessing!

ROBYN: [laughs]

JAMES: And next year they’ll go to the Eastern Conference Finals and then right back to the bottom of the standings

SARAH: [groaning] Oh gosh, ohh…

ROBYN: But as long as Eugene Melnyk can make a little money...

JAMES: [chuckling] Yup and just torture fans. He’s… He…

ROBYN: Serious question: Is the hockey team the Ottawa Senators actually turning a profit? I want to know, I’m sol curious

JAMES: I think it’s the real estate tied to the team that’s turning a profit cuz he’s got a big development that he’s building near the arena

ROBYN: Yeah but I thought that was tied up in court…

JAMES: I’m sure it is or was or something…

ROBYN: Because it was for delinquent payments… Or something… Something about his real estate development was sketch or something—

JAMES: You don’t say!

ROBYN: I mean that’s what I heard like a year or two ago. I haven’t kept up with it. But all I know is that his-his development project got off to a real rocky start

JAMES: He’s the Frank McCourt of the NHL

ROBYN: [appalled] DO NOT SAY THAT NAME!

SARAH: [laughing at Robyn]

JAMES: Like remember... Like, just for Dodgers fans listening, when we can go back to Dodgers Stadium—

ROBYN: NO!

JAMES: [continuing] —one day, if you go visit all those cool new things that they built behind center field, that all, I believe that goes to Frank McCourt because he owns the parking lot and it’s built on the parking lot

ROBYN: Sad. I hate that he’s getting money

JAMES: Yeah, oh yeah, it sucks. Um, Frank McCourt can eat dog sh*t for the rest of his life. Sorry, I just give us the explicit tag again

SARAH: [laughs]

ROBYN: James, this was a clean podcast! Now I have to mark it unclean

JAMES: [chuckling] Can you bleep it? I can bleep it, I’m sorry

ROBYN: No it’s fine, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it, I’ll just mark it was NSFW

[background laughter]

JAMES: [laughing] Who at work is playing this on speaker in the office?

[more laughter]

ROBYN: Well, you know, people work from home so maybe they’re on like a conference Zoom call and they forget to mute their podcast and here comes James saying dog sh*t, so thanks a lot

[background laughter]

JAMES: [chuckling] Oh Jeffrey (??) wish that’s what happened. Okay.

SARAH: [laughing]

ROBYN: Anyway, back to Evil Frank McCourt

JAMES: [laughs] Well, Evil Eugene Melnyk

SARAH: [chuckles]

ROBYN: He really is the Frank McCourt of the NHL, it’s so sad

JAMES: It-it’s a shame nobody has been able to wrestle the control of that team away from him. Um… Because I’m sure the NHL wants someone else to take over and I don’t… I don’t even know if Eugene Melnyk wants to be the owner of that team so much as he wants just money and power over people

ROBYN: That sounds familiar, hm…

SARAH: [chuckles]

JAMES: Yeah!

ROBYN: Can’t place it… Hm… Anyway…

[Commercial break]

ROBYN: So. NHL news, moving on from Ottawa… They’re still trying to do a January 1st start date but there’s something that came out that um Elliotte Friedman was reporting on… And basically the players, or the NHLPA, and the the owners, or I guess the league, they agreed to ratify the CBA—the new CBA—a year early so it’s like great news but now the NHL has come back to the players and they’re like, “hey I know we said what we said last year but like we don’t really want to pay you actually any money this year and then we want to actually raise your escrow in years for 4 through 6 of this new CBA.” So I don’t know if we’re going to still get that January 1 start date, but Elliotte Friedman was like players were stunned when they heard this news, or when they were… He said there were audible gasps on the-the conference call

JAMES: [Heavy sigh] Yeah I can definitely see that. I mean… This is… [Sighs] This is just such a Gary Bettman move

SARAH: [snickers]

ROBYN: Well because

JAMES: Where everyone everyone feels confident, everyone’s happy and then Bettman realizes, “Wait a minute how am I not exerting my power over others?” and then does it

ROBYN: I mean, to be fair, it’s not entirely his fault. It’s pressure from the owners. Because the owners have lost so much money due to the pandemic, and unfortunately because most of them are based in the US and the country’s handling of the pandemic has been...

JAMES: [interjecting] So good, so good!

ROBYN: shall we say on par of that with developing nations…

SARAH: I think they’ve done it better than us, honestly [chuckles]

ROBYN: Canada has done better than us mostly but they’ve got their own issues. I follow Bruce Arthur on Twitter and he’s like no, Canada’s really not doing a whole lot better than the US, like don’t don’t believe the hype guys…

JAMES: Um… I think... I don’t know... Like, it sucks that this happened. Like one of the things about business in the NHL is that gate ticket sales are crucial to money.

ROBYN: Mmmhmmm

JAMES: Like, most NHL teams, most professional sports teams are going to operate at a loss. Like that’s the simple fact of the matter. Um... So what happens when people who are very good at making money start losing money for something that they’ve wanted? Like it-it... This is just... I mean, kind of what happens, I feel like... [Sighs] It’s [pause] I mean... I don’t know, it sucks

ROBYN: It-it’s hard to be sympathetic in—or at least this is what a lot of people said—it-it’s hard for them to feel sympathetic about millionaires and billionaires quibbling over money and I get it from the players’ perspective and I mostly get it from the owners’ perspective. It’s... They’re all used to making money and all of a sudden that stopped for one reason or another and—well the biggest reason obviously is the pandemic and you cannot have indoor sporting events with people cheering and these becoming Super Spreader events. So I’m like... But still, it’s kind of a-a real crappy situation that is… It’s... Because these are people like you said were used to making money all of a sudden they’re not used to making money and it’s like, “wait a minute even though I’m still rich, what do you mean you want me to pay you?” You’re personally wealthy. This is your company. Can you shell out some money for these employees? But the reality is: One, number one, they didn’t get rich by just giving... paying their employees. I mean… Looking at you, Jeff Bezos. I’m sorry, it had to be said, I won’t say it again. But number two, um... Is it really their responsibility to pay for everybody because of the poor handling of the country’s response to the pandemic? And then number three, it really does go beyond the 20+ players who are on the ice—I mean you have the trainers, you have the coaches, you have um… medical staff, you have the people in the arena... Like... You know, the Stars’ ownership they took a pay cut and even their GM took a pay cut in order to help out the people who are at um American Airlines Center, but how long is that money going to last you know? Am I just rambling and babbling and I don’t—I don’t even think I’m making sense in my own head anymore. I’m sorry, I’m going to stop talking...

SARAH: [laughs at Robyn]

JAMES: No, you... You are making sense because this is a complicated situation for everyone involved and there’s nothing... Covid has not made things easier on people. That’s just the fact. And... This is just a different example of that same point... So, yeah... I’m making it too generic… Yeah…

SARAH: I mean... I mean at the end of the day, again not to get political this podcast, but like welcome to capitalism. Like, none of these people got rich like you said by like giving away their money and so it as much as I think any of us rational people look at these guys with like billions of dollars of net worth and we’re like well you could just give up a little bit of it to keep these people employ employee pay your players whatever, billionaires, there’s a reason there a billionaire because they think that they should have all that money and they’re not going to want to give it to their players or their staffs or their whatever and it’s like a-a-a philosophical issue almost of billionaires exist? There’s no easy solution to it and I think that the players actually have a lot of leverage in whatever happens next because the owners... I just feel like the players are the ones who could really hold this up and say like maybe we just won’t play then, you know?

JAMES: Yeah

SARAH: And at this point, what’s even the kind of left to lose if they just say no we’re not going to play this year because we can’t come to an agreement about us getting our salaries or whatever. Like, this year’s already screwed for so many guys, you know. It’s going to be interesting to see who blinks, basically, on this

ROBYN: It’s usually the players, which is kind of sad... But I mean that’s... If you ever read the book Cap In Hand—it mostly talks about abolishing the salary cap, which… We could do an entire podcast on much later, so we won’t get into that today… But um… It’s interesting because he believes that Donald Fehr is not a good PA union representative

SARAH: No, he’s awful

JAMES: Yeah, he stinks

SARAH: He’s bad

JAMES: Yeah… Yeah

ROBYN: So… Um… [Awkward chuckle] The best one they had was when they first established the union

JAMES: Ted Lindsay!

ROBYN: Yeah, this was pre… pre-Gretzky days… So I think this happening in the ‘70s, I wanna say… Because I think this was right after expansion… I can’t quite remember all the details but um basically, I mean he was he was talking about how that lawyer... who was a former baseball guy... He actually set up the greatest union, one of the strongest unions ever and then all these people came around after that guy and they just have slowly giving away all of the union’s negotiating power and then Donald Fehr is just sucky…

JAMES: Yeah, he-he really does... I-I don’t know if it’s... I mean the NBA players have gotten so much more money that their salary cap has increased so much with the uh television and advertising deals that they got and I don’t know how the NHL gets that… Um… I mean they try…

ROBYN: But I mean… Here-here’s the thing about basketball, though, and it hits on two equally critical things in my opinion. One, its ubiquiti; you can play hoops with just one hoop—like you-you if you can play it with a couple of guys, you can play it by yourself, you can play it in a trash can which is how the Lakers got their start. Um—not-not the Los Angeles Lakers, back when they were the Minnesota Lakers—but anyways... Basically, you can play it indoors, outdoors... You don’t need any special equipment except for a ball and-and the rules can even be kind of whatever flexible, however flexible depending on your your games and whoever is playing. Hockey is... And the second thing for-for that is that... Culturally, it speaks more to more people than hockey because hockey as we all know has a major race problem and so culturally hockey is... Like first of all, hockey you need so much special equipment even if you just got a puck, a stick, and a net that’s just like… That’s more than a basketball costs, you know and then like the cultural thing it’s just for so long it’s been the white people and it’s so hard to break through this barrier, it still turns a lot of people away. It’s like I don’t want to watch a bunch of white dudes like hocking their spit on the ice or whatever like... I just feel like culturally basketball is more aligned closely with celebrity and… and pop culture than hockey

JAMES: But we have Tom Hanks’ child…

ROBYN: [laughs] Yes, Colin Hanks is a very big fan and.. And.. Five for Fighting… I forgot his name…

JAMES: John Ondrasik

ROBYN: Thank you, John Ondrasik, yes. That’s actually where he got his name… His stage name, Five for Fighting, because you get five minutes for fighting… Obviously… But I just feel like, those two facts don’t make hockey as popular and so it’s not going to ever reach the same audiences as basketball. That-that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong

JAMES: I don’t think you’re that wrong... It’s a more expensive sport to play, that’s what it comes down to and it’s harder to get kids in America involved in it, especially in warmer climates where there’s fewer resources for them to play it... Um... in terms of ice time and things like that… [Sighs] I-I… I can’t fix it and I need you to stop asking me to fix it, Robyn

[background laughter]

ROBYN: [laughing] I’m sorry, James. I’ll ask Sarah to start fixing it. Sarah, white girl, you’re up

SARAH: Aw, man. Aw, man

JAMES: I’m hungry

SARAH: [laughing] I’m so busy

[background laughter]

SARAH: I have so much to do, I’ll add it to the list

ROBYN: We’re obviously… We obviously can’t solve the NHL’s problems and um we can we can stand with those and support those that are working to change that, like Black Girl Hockey Club um and the-the um new alliance… Hockey Diversity Alliance thing… Um, so those are things we can get involved with and help to change the race and the culture aspect of it, but in terms of like the Donald Sterling, that’s obviously not our problem. The only problem is… We can kind of get… I said this back in 2004 when the last lockout happened, I was like I don’t feel like anybody in America really cares if there’s a lockout happening, they’re not going to miss hockey

JAMES: [quietly] I-I did…

[background laughter]

JAMES: I mean, I-I… I missed hockey…

ROBYN: What about you, Sarah, did you miss hockey?

SARAH: Um that was the period in my life where I was pretending the sports weren’t for girls. So at that time, I-I didn’t… The most the most context I had for sports at that time was like my mom’s calling me and being like did you see the new boy that the Penguins just drafted and me going, oh tell me more. So I didn’t have particular feelings. There was a whole period of time where my relationship with sports was basically just like just like my parents talkin at me and then I realized that I could like sports, too

ROBYN: Yay, sports are for girls

JAMES: Yeahhh!

ROBYN: Alright, so, aiming for a January 1st start date, let’s hope that happens. Do you think we’ll get that All-Canada division?

JAMES: I hope so

SARAH: I think we have to. I think there’s no way… They’re not going to relocate all the Canadian teams to the United States

ROBYN: [disappointed] Awww

SARAH: Right? Canada seems pretty intent… They just told the Raptors that they have to go… They can’t… The Raptors are temporarily playing in Florida this season because the Canadian government won’t let them and other teams come in and out of Canada for good reason… So I think that that’s the only way it’s going to work, is if… You have to have the Canadian teams all play each other because they can’t... I mean, I feel like the United States would let them back but Canada would be like yeah, no

JAMES: Yeah

[background laughter]

ROBYN: Canada’s like, you cross that border, you’re not coming back

JAMES: I mean... I just want it... Like I... Give me like a weekend series like the old AHL schedule where it’s just like Calgary and Edmonton playing three games in three days

SARAH: Mmmhmmm mmmhmmm

JAMES: Like just get these guys all riled up, get them to hate each other explode by Game 3 into fist and fury, and then say okay, now you guys don’t see each other for a while

ROBYN: That is the rumor that they’re that they’re thinking about doing it like baseball style

JAMES: Oh, I love it. I love it so much. Like, give me multiple days of-of Habs and Leafs, like… Just watch them go after each other. I mean… [Sputtering] Yes! Give me this division! I mean, I have no idea how all the US divisions shake out eventually, I-I… I mean I know they have an idea it’s all going to be geographic and everything, and we’ll see a lot of Kings-Ducks and Kings-Sharks and

SARAH: Mmmhmm mmmhmmm

JAMES: It’ll all be mediocre hockey at the NHL level and we’ll watch it regardless, but yeah... Yes give me that all-Canadian division

ROBYN: I would just like to interject really quick that Steven Stamkos tweeted earlier about the Raptors that “We the South”

JAMES: Haaaa hahaha. Ah, Stammer. That’s a good tweet. Good for you, Stanley Cup Champ

[background laughter]

JAMES: You needed a win

ROBYN: Ah yes, the Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Champions. Oh my god, the people… The old hockey men, the traditionalists… [Contented sigh] Oh, their brains just melted. They’re like “whatever, it’s an asterisk year anyway!” Okay, whatever. Still champions in my book!

JAMES: I mean, more teams than usual had the chance to be that champion. So…

SARAH: Yeah!

ROBYN: And the Oilers didn’t even make it, ahh

JAMES: Neither did the Leafs, thank goodness

ROBYN: Well the Leafs made the playoffs

JAMES: No, they made the play-ins, they lost to Columbus

ROBYN: Ohhh that’s right. Oh, yeah, because the first round was again Tampa and Columbus

JAMES: With the super eight period game

SARAH: [delighted] Yes, yes

ROBYN: Oh, I need more of those eight period games. Inject it into my veins!

JAMES: Ooh, well, that’s pretty time consuming

ROBYN: [laughs]

JAMES: I don’t know if I have that kind of schedule

SARAH: [chuckles]

ROBYN: Well… Maybe not you, maybe Sarah. Sarah, make room for me in your schedule [laughs]

SARAH: We’ll-we’ll-we’ll see what I can do. I mean, the good thing about that game is it started in the middle of the day, so like…

ROBYN: That’s true…

SARAH: I did end up watching most of it just because there was just like… What else was I going to do?

[background laughter]

ROBYN: I know, I think it started at like… Twelve o’clock or something my time and it lasted until six or seven o’clock at night… It was so long… But it was so good, I loved it!

JAMES: It was fun, yeah… [Pause] Speaking of brutal, that’s my hunger pangs

SARAH: [chuckles]

ROBYN: Yeah, mine, too

JAMES: Yeah, food

ROBYN: Yeah, well thank you guys for this nearly two hour podcast

JAMES: Yup, I hope you marked where I-I said what Frank McCourt could eat…

SARAH/ROBYN: [chuckle]

ROBYN: Hour and forty minutes. Okay. Sarah, thank you for putting up with James’ nonsense and mine [laughing]

SARAH: [chuckles] Any time, any time

ROBYN: I don’t know when we will be back with another podcast but I was like hockey content, yay! Let’s talk about the reverse retro jerseys, which, I think we can all agree, or at least we have come to an agreement among the three of us, that the Kings’ jerseys are pretty good

JAMES: Yes

SARAH: Yup

ROBYN: Sarah, James, thank you once again for joining me. Everyone else, have a great day, night, evening, whenever you’re listening to this, and thanks for being a listener

END TRANSCRIPT