Why I’m Joining The Atheltic Kelowna

I kept reading all of the announcements wondering when I’d receive an invite to the prestigious Athletic and then it happened: I stopped waiting. With zero journalism degrees to my name, no official representation in the real world and being turned down a number of times for a local WHL franchise media pass, I took matters into my own hands and did what many could only dream of…

I created the Athletic Kelowna (which is in no way shape or form related to The Athletic).

As you probably can tell, I spelled the headline wrong and because I am a parent of two young children I don’t have any time for your criticism on a simple spelling error. Maybe that’s why the REAL Athletic wasn’t looking for local representation outside of credentialled writers. It makes sense.

Growing up in the Okanagan, I used to read the Daily Courier (local paper), The Province and even the Vancouver Sun on the weekend. I tracked box scores, signed up for hockey pools and clipped out the Family Circus in the funnies (Love that Jeffy and Billy). Those were simpler times. When the Internet was introduced those papers were still around but the years went on and the online offering for news grew more and more.

The introduction of Facebook and eventually Twitter gave so many ACTUAL writers a wider reach to readers like myself and instant access to archives that only the public library would have. I don’t even have a library card. Come to think of it, I’ve only really ever parked there. I have some soul searching to do apparently.

OK, back to my decision. Lebron got one and I hold myself to at least 1/100th of his talent but as a blogger. No one is broadcasting this, it’s on me. Starting on my own and being invited to write for the prestigious Canucks Army has been a wild ride and what better way to step it up a notch than to join a fictional, parody pay to read subscription based website?

Coming up with a platform was tough. What would The Athletic Kelowna be about? Well, the real one is about real sports, real sports stories and the athletes they cover. This was going to be about how I hate bike lanes, how people don’t respect Nickelback and how blogging has evolved to the living room that only gets used for special occasions now that most moms rent out their basements now or even AirBnB. What a concept THAT is!

There was also a few other names I spitballed: The Dad Bod Kelowna (somewhat similar to athletic), The AK (too gun-like), The White Sunglasses Roidrage Review, and The Ogopolo. The last one confused me too much and I’m not much for croquet on a horse or horses for that matter in general.

Sports are my life and unfortunately, I couldn’t make this all work while I lived in the Lower Mainland as I’m sure things potentially could have gone differently. This new venture will elevate local blogger(s) to the secondary news level which is just below real news but not quite unpaid guest work for sites you can create on your lunch break.

But I’m in Kelowna again, putting my spin on the Kelowna Rockets, writing about the Canucks from just up the Coquihalla and enjoying raising my girls in Canada’s best playground: the Okanagan.

The Athletic Kelowna never really was created; I barely get 100 views per article when I DO write, the site would shut down in a week.

I will say that I am disappointed The Athletic doesn’t see me as the future of sports media but my demands are pretty high and I doubt they have a budget for Frappuccinos and Baconators.

For now, just read Always90four and Canucks Army.

What’s On The Infamous Canucks Team iPad?

If you’ve bothered to stay informed with the Canucks through the last quarter of the season you no doubt have heard about the Canucks iPad. It has old Youtube videos, line combination ideas, and plays that never got further than crossing their own blue line. Many listeners of the Pat Cast with Jeff Paterson and Jason Botchford as well as readers of Botchford’s Province articles have heard of the “Chris Pronger videos” the coaches showed Nikita Tryamkin to encourage him to play more aggressive.

It obviously didn’t work and Tryamkin bolted back to the KHL. But what else was on this infamous iPad that caused the Canucks coaches to consistently shake their heads in disappointment as the team plummetted down the standings? Well, you’re in luck!

I was able to pull some strings and get the password to look around in there. It wasn’t that hard to crack though, “Password1234” was my 3rd guess and Huzzah! it worked. So needless to say, I wanted to share what I found. I do have to warn everyone, there is some shockingly terrifying stuff on here that really makes me wonder the direction this team is really headed.

The Pronger Vids

You have to be impressed that the Canucks think so highly of Chris Pronger that they made an app of all his hits and highlights. With the need to find aggression in the lineup and especially through the departed Tryamkin, they probably went too far when they showed him stomping on Ryan Kesler’s leg. It’s conceivable BFG was willing to hit harder and get a bit more aggressive but forcing his skate on someone to cut their leg off was the deal breaker.

First page looks pretty normal otherwise, looks like the Canucks have their own Slack account. Smart to have a working message board there. I did notice that they modified the NOTES app to be exclusively about Jayson Megna. Kind of disturbing if you ask me, but when he was out on the ice in every situation, I suppose having quick access to who plays well with Megna is a good idea?

Special Teams, Deals, and BOE

The biggest shocker for me was seeing that they subscribe to Jyrki21’s “Benning On Empty”. This comic strip is so much bigger than I gave it credit for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hilarious every single week and he really crushes the takes from a unique angle but the fact the Canucks follow him and made an effort to be a tap away from reading, that’s awesome!

A power play app makes sense to have. When they’re in the heat of the action, looking at some quick ideas or successful setups could make the difference between losing and advancing in the playoffs. OK, not THIS team quite yet, but you get the idea. As the Canucks struggles on the man-advantage increase ten-fold this past season, the power play app seems like a welcome addition to the team. It couldn’t make them any worse, that’s for sure!

There was one app I was kind of questioning for awhile and that is the Groupon app. The one I know has deals on food, shopping, hotels, and some questionable items that you probably shouldn’t be looking to get a deal on. What I found was that the NHL has a player transaction app kind of like the EA Sports games where you can sign, trade and scour the market for additions under the Groupon app logo so no one is the wiser.

It wasn’t hidden that well as I only had to swipe right a few times. I’m glad there wasn’t a Tinder app on here, I really don’t know how I would have handled that.

Back To Square One

Makes sense, finishing the season with a PP of 14.1% would be worth deleting that app. It was suggested on Twitter, in the papers and on the airwaves so it makes perfect sense that the Canucks gave up on the man-advantage as well.

So there you have it, the Canucks iPad in a nutshell. Not too glamourous but it should help set some things straight on how this team operates on a day-to-day basis and what goes on during the game.

Imagine what their Apple Watch would look like?

Save that for another day.

Follow me on the twitter: @always90four

Eddie Lack’s BIG Day

After a big win against the Jets on Tuesday night, Eddie Lack was all laughs. He played amazing and helped the Canucks get one win closer to the playoffs. But it isn’t about just hockey for Lack; it’s tacos, mama lack tweets, dreaming of better times with Luongo and avoiding texts from Ryan Miller.

We occasionally get to see inside Eddie Lack’s life through his tweets, the odd interview and the socially awkward CBC features. What if you could see a timeline of a typical Eddie Lack day, maybe TODAY’S day! You’d like that. 

Time to wake up, it’s a day in the life of Eddie Lack!

6:57 am – Alarm goes off, it’s a goal horn. It always reminds me that I’m not perfect and every time I hear that horn, I challenge myself to make the save instead of hearing that horn. WHOA! What if that horn never went off again? Would I have slept in, would I be dead? A permanent shutout. FREAKY!

7:07 am – Empty the tanks, check my phone and see if maybe Roberto wants to plan a summer vacay in Cabo this year. I miss that guy so much, but I’m the big cat now; it feels good. Looks like he’s busy, I’ll check later.

7:08 am – Coach Willie sent me a text “Hey Eddie, great game last night. You really have turned into a star. Want to get lunch with me today at Joeys? I feel like we have tacos too much lately.

HA, ya right coach! I’ll pass.

8:10 am – Eat my froot loops, check the standings and see how far ahead of LA we are


8:12 am – Ryan Miller sends YET AGAIN another text letting me know rehab is going well and he can’t wait to play in the playoffs. “Hey Eddie, things are going well, Millsy’s getting ready to shock the world”

This guy just doesn’t get it.

Gotta get ready for the morning skate, heard the chef has a new taco recipe today, SWEET!

11:11 am – Practice over. Worked in the Millionaires gear, big game tomorrow. Jannik is really taking this best practice player thing to heart now. The guy scored in the shootout, wow. Saw a 4 day old wasted taco in my stall someone clearly is buggin me with. Who does that, why not eat those things? What a waste. 

12:28 pm – Late submissions for my goalie equipment came in. Hmm, might rock these. Green, blue, white and stripes with a logo in the middle? That will really show my wild side.

12:59 pm – Roll by Taco Bell for a light snack. Spicy sauce? yes please.

Starting to get worried, Mama Lack hasn’t called me today. What the heck, she knows I won last night right?

1:16 pm – Mama just called. Life is normal again. Meeting up with Tans to buy a new suit. Mr. Moneybags all of a sudden. Maybe he should worry more about keeping the puck out of our zone and less time on his Versace game.

3:00 pm – Nap time. OH, just got a tweet from @Rammer34, my OVR in NHL 15 just got raised. Good to be me.

4:30 pm – Alarm goes off, gotta stop those pucks. Feels like a taco night tonight. Wonder if Marky is free?

5:10 pm – Catch some action around the league, that Hamburgler guy is killing it out there. Hamburgers, they’re no tacos though.

6:27 pm – Grab some dinner from Chronic Tacos, Marky was busy so looks like more for me. How could anyone eat another food?

8:45 pm – Dumb and Dumber is on Movietime, well, my night is planned. Big day tomorrow. Get to wear my Millionaires gear again. Thankfully, Ottawa isn’t playing us, man they were tough last year.

11:00 pm – Time for some shut eye.

11:02 pm – RYAN, SERIOUSLY!!!! STOP TEXTING ME! Hopefully Kenins runs him next time he’s out there. What an annoying guy.

So a typical day for Eddie Lack. Just to forewarn you, I am not Eddie and I do not know how he actually spends his day. If I had to guess though, this is pretty close. 

Follow me on twitter: @always90four

No Tacos For Eddie Lack Proves Costly For Canucks

I’m not gonna lie, the whole tacos thing once a week is a great tradition. Usually in my house it’s taco tuesdays; Ground beef, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, other stuff, 5 different hot sauces, you get the idea. I can totally relate to Eddie Lack on this and I try to make sure tacos have all the time they need to be enjoyed. It’s when they prove costly that tacos are questioned.

Eddie revealed his secret to his taco fetish in an article with The Province earlier this season: if it’s a Friday and he isn’t starting….it’s taco time. Getting the start against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday sounded like it was originally taco night, a rare Wednesday feast but his work between the pipes took priority. Lack played a pretty solid game stopping a breakaway and making some timely saves. The lone goal that beat him ended up being the game winner.

The Swedish/Mexican phenom has been a lot more consistent as of late compared to the man brought in to help take the Canucks back to relevancy. Lack has handled his return to backup goaltending quite well and he is helping his team mates when he needs to.

Tough to say where coach Willie sees his goaltending situation going in the near future but it wouldn’t be a shock to see a few extra starts go Lack’s way. Will taco night get in the way though? You definitely want to steer clear of taco night/start night as we all know tacos aren’t the most friendly of foods.

Losing takes its toll on teams and we all hope the Canucks can bump the mump…sorry, slump and make goaltending the least talked about thing in Vancouver. Remember, we were good this season….consecutive shutouts good. Let’s do that again, the day after tacos.

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Main photo courtesy of theprovince.com