Thursday, March 10, 2011

The case of Chara v. Pacioretty v. Sanity

Chara v. Pacioretty v. Sanity

Let me start by saying the Chara hit on Pacioretty was absolutely devastating and unfortunate, that is without question. The grey area however comes into play over intent.

Steve Montador, an ex-teammate of Zdeno's, said in an interview yesterday that players hit to hurt, not to injure. He also went on to add that Chara probably knew exactly where he was on the ice, even if he didn't want that result. I'm not hear to argue intent. I think the NHL is starting to get to the point where intent is irrelevant.

David Steckel turned to skate up ice in a game against the Penguins. While doing so, he clipped Sidney Crosby in the face with his shoulder. There is a strong argument to be made that Steckel didn't even see Sid, and not many people would claim there was malice on the play.

So what?

Crosby has yet to get back into the Penguins lineup due to concussion symptoms. If it was determined that Steckel meant to hit Kid Crosby, Steckel would likely have been suspended since the NHL has now outlawed "east/west" hits where a player hits an unsuspecting player from the side. Chara was deemed by the NHL to have done nothing wrong other than hit a player in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn't change the results.

If a player accidentally trips someone it still gets called. Same with a high stick. Same with delay of game. Why not suspensions?

I'm not for suspending players for totally legal checks that result in injury. Its a contact sport, its going to happen. But Chara, at the very least, was reckless. Steckel, although accidental, was not conscious enough of his surroundings and may have hurt a superstar for the year. And in both cases, its debatable if the hits were legal.

I'm also not saying they should throw the book at these guys. Most hockey pundits seem to agree with the NHL's ruling. But a one to three game penalty for each guy would've at least sent the message that players need to be responsible for their actions. The legality and result of the play should be the first factor used to decide if a suspension is in order, the determination on intent should then be used to decide length.

All the above said...hold the freaking phone. Air Canada and Louis Dionne need to calm down. Air Canada is claiming that "Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey." Also, Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne, has requested a police investigation into Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara over the hit that hospitalized Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.

I'm not even really sure how to respond to this. I think both are seeking PR attention and trying to come off as chaste soldiers in the army of goodie-twoshoes. Todd Bertuzzi has yet to face trial for an incident that was clearly intentional and brutal. Good luck get big Z into a court room. And Air Canada can't really think that people who need to travel are going to make moral judgements on their airline of choice's take on head shots in the NHL. Both of you, take a deep breath and stay out of my hockey news.

Apple's Marketing Department: The Smartest People In Any Room

Let me start by saying this won't be a popular article with Steve. Or any Apple fanatics. But I'll try to remain objective. I want an iPad. If they were considerably cheaper, I would probably own an iPad. But (our site's tech guy) Bob and I recently had a conversation about how we couldn't figure out why?

Apple does a few things really well. Appearance is one of them. All of their products are amazingly polished and beautiful superficially. Integration is another. iTunes is a brilliant piece of software for managing everything Apple creates, from the iPad to the MacBook to the iPhone. Their software in general is very very solid. The bundled software with the Mac OS is light years ahead of anything Microsoft can offer. But none of this holds a candle to their ability to create buzz.

Let's call the iPad what it really is, a severely crippled laptop combined with a phone that can't make calls at worst, and an improved Tablet PC at best. There is very little that is innovative about it (other than its size), but Apple's marketing wizards will have you believe they came up with something new and magical.

And it doesn't stop there. New features are added every year so you can buy a new one as often as a new Madden game. This is where they take the cake in their brilliance. The new iPad has slightly upgraded specs, two cameras, is thinner and lighter, and has options (that you can pay extra for) for things like USB and HDMI which are included with even the cheapest of laptops.

This isn't intended to be a total hate-fest, I actually like their products. But the next thing gets me above all else. Price.

The highest end MacBook Pro (without any upgrades) retails for $2,499.00. But don't try to convince people that Toshiba's highest end laptop in their Qosmio line betters it in a majority of key areas for $1,999.00 or that the $1,599.00 Qosmio is comparable (and still better in many ways). And this holds true across the board for laptop manufacturers. One more piece of wisdom. Internally, Macs are identical to PC's. The only major difference is software.

The original iPad, cost $499. The actual product, cost apple about $260 to create. For a grand total of about 100% profit on every one sold. Yet people line up as though they are giving them away.

I wonder how much of these huge profit margins go into marketing? Like I said, I know this sounds like a hate-filled rant, but it really isn't. They are absolutely brilliant. They have made polished hardware combined with excellent software into something of a status symbol. I wish one of them could market our podcast.

I guess I just don't get it. I'm curious to hear from Apple fanatics. Clue me in! What am I missing?

It seems customary to end the blogs with pics of our dogs so here goes.

Sit Lukin, sit. Good dog.

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