Sunday, December 10, 2006


Big Deal. I Am Very Professional.

"Obviously, he has no job and no life."

That's Hall of Fame journalist Jim Matheson posing as Ron Burgundy in the Edmonton Journal this morning. Matheson's commenting on a fan who claims he voted 500 times in two days to see Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick in the NHL All-Star Game. Rather than attack the inherent flaw in the NHL's actual fan balloting system--which is that it assumes popularity and excellence are one and the same--Matheson has decided to attack the fans who are doing his job for him. As Cosh has pointed out, the Fitzpatrick campaign is unduly harsh on Fitzpatrick himself, especially considering most of us couldn't make it through a day of training camp, let alone a day in the show. But Matheson shows no such concern for Fitzpatrick the human being. He seems more concerned with maintaining the integrity of the sacred institution known as the NHL All-Star Game. Matheson complains that Fitzpatrick is injured, while ignoring the fact that other injured players have been gathering votes all season (see Martin Havlat, Brenden Morrow, Mike Modano, Ryan Smyth, Marian Gaborik, Ales Hemsky, Pavol Demitra, and Nikolai Zherdev, amongst others). He also complains that other defencemen deserve to be in the All-Star Game more than Fitzpatrick, choosing to forget that deserving players are left off the roster every year thanks to fan balloting. Most importantly (and this is sad, because he obviously gets paid to do this for a living), Matheson simply doesn't follow the dots: if fans have been asked by the NHL to vote for players they want to see in the All-Star game, you can't blame them when they actually do so.


I'm so bloody sick of SOM, Senile Old Matheson, that it's not even healthy.

I read that shit this morning and I was gonna take another crack at him over at IOF but I this point it's like pointing at the kid that always shits his pants and saying,"Look that kid's shit his pants again."

Matheson is a flat out goddamn dummy. He serves a purpose for the hardcore fan because his constant schilling for the Oilers org affords him a scattered scoop and then we'll get to read about it. But by and large though he's a joke.

The thing that killed me about todays piece was on the one hand he was slamming the net because of the Rory campaign and in the same fucking piece he's talking about the online petition to fire McGeough!!

Bi-polar much??? That's not a slam on anyone that's afflicted by that disease and I apologize to SOM if he is one of those unfortunate souls but I think the truth is that SOM's being chulishily subjective in a business that works best when one's objective.

In closing...I think this guy consistently does a shitty job and he should retire his soapbox and just go back to rimjobbing.

Hey Jim,

I have a full-time job, a beautiful girlfriend, active hobbies AND I have voted for Rory five times a day simply because I can do so whilst voting for Hemmer, Sykora, Smyth, and Roloson five times a day. Oh, and Jim, it takes less time to vote for Rory five times than it probably does for you to take your morning crap and email it to your editor.

Shame that you can't get your goddamn fantasy baseball drafting done in a timely fashion though driz.

In any event, I second what Dennis has to say. The hidden bright side of the Oilers being gutted in the early 90's is that fans weren't subjected to the sad decline of guys like Kurri, Messier, Gretzky et al. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about the media from the glory days - Matty, Terry Jones and Rod Phillips all suck at this point.

Uhhh, guys. Don't you know that he is in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Shame that you can't get your goddamn fantasy baseball drafting done in a timely fashion though driz.

No teasing Tyler... only 8 weeks until pitchers reportA and ten for Hamilton to dry out. Did you see Soria pitched a no-no in the Mexican Winter league? I'm going to bury you math-man.


When I saw that quote, my first thought was that he was talking about Dennis. Or maybe Grabby.

The reality was less fun, but still quite a surprise. Matheson has been an Oilers shill for a long time, like Gene Principe in print, but the shots at "Vote for Rory" seemed suspiciously like shilling for the NHL.

But of course he's completely independent.

Just like Kukla.

The worst thing is that if you watch the video, which i have, you will see that a guy like rory does deserve to be there. He has worked hard through his career and stuck with it. Maybe not an all star in the game but and all star in life. This is the tyoe of guy i want my kid to be like. Work hard, never give up, know you place and do it. I voted for Rory not because it is trendy, because i truly believe he deserves it as a person and would appreciate it more than half of the guys who really don'd want to be there. And as an Oiler fan, i can tell you Pronger is one of those guys who will get lots of votes and could probably care less if he went or not. On a last note, to bad we can't vote on who gets to be a sports writer. Let's Go OILERS, CALGARY SUCKS.

The whole idea is for the fans to have some fun.

hell I voted for Vern Fiddler... hometown guy... and stuck with that name in hockey could have not been too much fun...

Matheson has promoted this site in his column, so I'm not interested in tossing thousands of grenades his way. Plus, I've always really enjoyed his stuff. I just thought this one section of the column was waaay off base.

I think the broader point in all of this is that the league needs to decide if it wants to hold an All-Star game, or a popularity contest. Even though only the starting lineup is picked by fans, someone worthy is getting bumped off. I prefer letting coaches and GMs pick all the players.

I don't understand the part where he says the Vote For Rory campaign is "proof positive that fans voting online is just that -- fans voting." Um, this required a proof? Well, good job then, Euclid.

I think he might be doing the tenured Hall of Fame Sportswriterâ„¢ thing where one uses "fan" as a backhanded pejorative, but it's impossible to be sure.

You're a smelly pirate hooker!

I think Matheson has figured out that guys like me (Journal subsriber since 1978)have found both a source and a voice on the internet and the days of the Journal having some kind of edge or increased credibility are long gone.

Recently the Journal has started asking readers to send Matty questions. They're all softball and I don't read them.

The Journal needs new blood. I'm going to miss Jim Matheson, though. He's going the way of the Slinky.

Hey Andy. First you say "the inherent flaw in the NHL's actual fan balloting that it assumes popularity and excellence are one and the same". Then later, you say that "Matheson simply doesn't follow the dots" because "if fans have been asked by the NHL to vote for players they want to see in the All-Star game, you can't blame them when they actually do so". Aren't you contradicting yourself there? If the NHL wants fans to have some say in picking who they want to see (or in other words, the most popular players), then where's the flaw?

I don't see the contradiction. There's a big difference between blaming the fans for voting as they feel like in a fan-voting system, and calling the fan-voting system itself a load of hooey.

Aren't you contradicting yourself there?

Not really. My point was that the way the All-Stars are chosen is flawed, but that the fans are just operating the way the flawed system tells them to. The entire point of the Vote Rory campaign is to point out the absurdity of the NHL's system by following it to the extreme. Rather than attacking fans for doing so, people should be attacking the fan balloting system.

Matheson is an illiterate who, before the Internet came along, was able to pass off his dotterings as his own work. What we now know is that most of his "work" is cribbed from other sources. This is a quote from an actual former editor of his column: "Oh oh, here comes Matty's shit."

mudcrutch79 said...
Shame that you can't get your goddamn fantasy baseball drafting done in a timely fashion...

Pot? Meet kettle.

Sign in to your blogger challenge hockey pool, yo. There was a waiting list to get in, man...

so I don't see any rules or restrictions about voting posted on the site. If there isn't one someone, I could probably write a little program that just votes for Fitzpatrick every second for the next month or whenever voting closes. Surely someone else has thought of this.
Any thoughts?

Also, where is that link that shows the current vote leaders?

I could probably write a little program that just votes for Fitzpatrick every second for the next month or whenever voting closes.

I'm assuming that's similar to how the guy who voted 500 times in two days did it. As for the updates, I have a link in the main post, and you can find them in the NHL press releases.

Andy, if his program only got 500 votes in two days, he's a pretty piss-poor programmer. :)

Doesn't Matheson know that when you stoop to the level of a troll, it's hard for somebody else watching to tell the difference?

Andy, if his program only got 500 votes in two days, he's a pretty piss-poor programmer. :)

I really have no idea how that stuff works, but I just assumed he could get it to vote as much, or as little, as he wanted. When I first read the Matheson article, my initial reaction was that there was no way the guy just sat there and voted 500 times. It probably took him five minutes at his very well paying computer job.

I too was confused by the language Matheson used. It seemed pretty demeaning. I'm trying to get better at respectfully disagreeing with people through my words on this site, and as such I was cautious about how I even worded a response to his article. Matty just fired off.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

I found this blog through a board that`s promoting Rory`s campaign. In regards to "automatic" voting, such scripts have been proposed on these boards, and an overwhelming majority of us in the Rory campaign are AGAINST them. Anytime someone says they are going to use one, they are met with stong opposition from the rest of the Rory supporters. There are "shortcuts" (going back and re-submitting, not having to re fill in the ballot again) but those at the heart of the campaign are actually sitting down at their computer to get those votes. I`ve probably voted over 2500 times without using any scripts.

Anonymous: sure, because if 50 people each have a script that votes 10 times a second, you'll probably bring down the vote server.

But if Matheson's going to say somebody who voted 250 times a day obviously doesn't have a job... well, I work with 20 people, and for another 250 or so, all of whom could very easily write such a program either off the top of their head or with minimal reading; the hardest part would be deciding which programming language to use so it could all be fit into one line of code.

Matheson may not know that, but I'd bet he would say it wouldn't matter. It's just a stupid, stupid statement to make, and an HoF writer should be above ad hominem attacks anyway. He just couldn't think of anything else that sounded less stupid, that's all - because his criticism sucks, and Andy is right on in his critique.

That's not to say I think Matheson's a big fat stinky doodoohead, because not everybody's right all the time (except me, obviously) but in this case, he's way off the mark.


I'm not in any way advocating that people vote in that way, and if you guys doing all the work are opposed to it, you ain't gonna see me fighting it. I was just speculating as to how it was done.

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