Yep, it's the dog days

Jean Lefebvre
July 31 2009 08:46PM

dogdaysofsummer200748b69

First, a quick rebuttal to a recent reader comment at FlamesNation. The comment reads as follows: “That’s actually the most terrible article I’ve ever read. I come for news and analysis, not this BS.”

Let me just say that I resent that and I believe the criticism is uncalled for. Furthermore, I’d like to make it clear that . . . oh wait a sec, it seems that for a very rare time, that remark wasn’t directed at me. My apologies, the defensiveness is just a force of habit.

OK, on to today’s business. The truth of the matter is that we should all be thankful it’s July 31 (as of this writing, anyway) and that August is almost here. Of course, August isn’t hockey season but at least now we can say training camp starts NEXT month and, well, that’s a start.

It’s not just that we’re getting closer to the time when the boys of winter will be in action again, it’s also that we’ll soon get to the stage where tedious summer topics of discussion will be a thing of the past. Yes, even without the daily drama of the Where’s Mats Going? soap opera that you all loved so much in the Summer of ’08, the late-July activity in the hockey world makes a fan long for a good mid-season debate about Miikka Kiprusoff’s career trending, Robbie Schremp’s potential or even the merits of the left-wing lock.

Witness some of the hockey material that has been populating sports pages, messageboards and blogs:

1) The Boyd Wonder: In Flamesland (but not necessarily Flames Nation) there was all kinds of hand-wringing about the fate of restricted free agent Dustin Boyd until — Hallelujah, Hosanna and Praise the Lord — the club announced they had come to terms with the Human Cabbage Patch Doll. Fans have just cause in being hopeful for Boyd’s future with Calgary, but the angst about his status was completely out of whack for a chap who has collected 38 career points in 132 games. This is precisely what happens when there’s not enough to occupy hockey fans’ minds. That and reminiscing about the good old days of Jason Morgan.

2) The Kyle Wellwood re-signing: This puppy survived for three days in the feature section of TSN.ca’s hockey home page, which goes to show there’s no end to the appetite for news about ex-Leafs with no end of appetite. Sorry, that wisecrack would normally be far too easy, but the shortage of fresh material forces us all to resort to vaudeville.

3) This space for rent: NHL league officials acknowledged that they are open to the possibility of slapping sponsor logos on their game jerseys. This naturally led to apprehension among the fans that their local heroes would soon look like Greg Biffle’s NASCAR ride or some schmuck from the Eisbären Berlin. But how big a deal is this really? How bad would a McDonald’s logo look on a jersey compared to sweater striping that makes unexpected turns or doesn’t go anywhere at all? Or those gawdawful apron-spring thingies sported by several clubs? Or that weird under-arm design on the Sabres jerseys?

4) Sock it to ’em: Need more proof that these are slow times in the hockey world? Recent examination of the 2010 NHL video games has led to the discovery that the Flames are ditching those funny-looking socks with the stripes that refuse to meet at the calf and will go with more traditional socks this coming season.

5) Two words: Jim Balsillie. Or maybe the two words are actually “bankruptcy court.” In any event, the Phoenix Coyotes situation has nauseated many people for months now, as has the seemingly endless string of major announcements that supposedly resolves the whole mess once and for all. The funny thing about this one is that the NHL has apparently settled on Jerry Reinsdorf as the knight in white armour who will save the Coyotes from financial ruin and Hamilton (not necessarily in that order). That may prove to be so, Jerry Moyes appeals and injunctions notwithstanding, but know that Reinsdorf, as owner of MLB’s Chicago White Sox, was one of the “hawks” who during the 1994 work stoppage was adamant the sport would not resume business until a sensible salary system was in place. He and the other hard-liners were so firm on their position that the 1994 season was cancelled (a cruel blow to the Montreal Expos and their fans). Still, the owners never did get the players to cave in and just a couple of years later, Reinsdorf gave slugger Albert Belle a then-outrageous (and still pretty unfathomable) five-year, $55-million contract.

That was going to be it, but we offer one more example of how inane hockey ramblings have become and another reason it’s high time to drop the puck.

6) This article: We offer our sincere apologies. The refund line is forming on the right.

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Lefebvre is in that awkward stage of hockey following -- old enough to fondly remember the Cleveland Barons and too set in his ways to accept charity points and games where there's a winner but apparently no loser. As a long-time ink-stained wretch, he's also a firm believer in the old Bobby Knight quote about journalists: "All of us learn to write in second grade, but most of us go on to better things."
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#1 MattL
July 31 2009, 09:44PM
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I hate those guys who post something just so that their the first one to post something.

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#2 Wanye Gretz
July 31 2009, 09:51PM
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@ MattL:

Or people who hijack a conversation and try and point it in an entirely new direction.

Also, can anyone believe that 50 Cent's G-Unit clothing line has ceased production? Is it the recession or the fact that Young Buck left the crew?

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#3 Lefebvre
July 31 2009, 09:55PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

@ MattL: Or people who hijack a conversation and try and point it in an entirely new direction. Also, can anyone believe that 50 Cent’s G-Unit clothing line has ceased production? Is it the recession or the fact that Young Buck left the crew?

What does this comment string needs is a good photo of farm livestock.

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#4 Kieso
July 31 2009, 09:57PM
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The Edmontn Journal website is reporting that the Heatly deal is officially dead now. I guess we can now move on to other issues.

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#5 Kieso
July 31 2009, 10:03PM
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Hmm.. maybe I should read these articles in a different order next time...there goes my breaking new update...

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#6 Garett
July 31 2009, 10:11PM
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So we are still in on Heatley then? Out on Heatly but still in on Heatley???

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#7 Wanye Gretz
July 31 2009, 10:12PM
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@ Lefebvre:

That was a one time mistake I shan't make again.

Wanye articles: Nonsensical gibberish photos Lefebvre articles: Topical pictures with non urinating animals.

*runs and hides under a pile of coats until Jean forgets about the damn goat picture*

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#8 Kieso
July 31 2009, 10:17PM
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I don't think either one is coming this way...

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#9 Lefebvre
July 31 2009, 10:20PM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

Aw, forget it. It's like the four people in the split-screen image who don't win the statue on Oscar night. All you can do is smile brightly for the cameras, clap enthusiastically and then nod knowingly as if to say: "The better weak-bladdered blue-ribbon goat ... uh, I mean actor ... won."

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#10 West Coast Oil
July 31 2009, 10:23PM
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This is the time I hate.dont want summer to end but cant wait for hockey which means winter..sigh.. Im so torn

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#11 DonDon
July 31 2009, 10:27PM
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So Oiler Nation has learned earlier today from GM Steve Tambellini some breaking news: 1) He took an extremely aggressive stance on July 1 and signed a 36-year goaltender to a four year US $15 million contract (no mention of other significant UFA or RFA signings or trades); 2) the original Dany Heatley deal is finally off the table; 3) it is extremely hard to unload bad player contracts to make room for new players; 4) TC will open with the current roster of players. Those were the answers to some straight questions from Jim Matheson, Terry Jones and other Edmonton sports media. Saving grace? New coaches. Wow!

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#12 Garett
July 31 2009, 10:29PM
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I know, just finding it hard to swallow, just the thought of a 50 goal man got me so pumped, now I could stand for the summer to drag out until training camp, not really looking forward to the start of the season with our roster as it stands.

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#13 Garett
July 31 2009, 10:32PM
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Glad to see we addressed the need for a guy to win draws, kill penalties and score 50 goals! Sure is a lot to put on the shoulders of Liam Reddox! Hey, Mac-T already had him playing 1st line minutes, so we should be golden.

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#14 ScubaSteve
July 31 2009, 10:33PM
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I'm confused, doesn't this writer cover 4H competitions? What's this about dogs now? This ain't no kennel club.

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#15 ScubaSteve
July 31 2009, 10:34PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

I’m confused, doesn’t this writer cover 4H competitions? What’s this about dogs now? This ain’t no kennel club.

Sorry, forgot the ~, this meant to be funny because of the last article the picture of the goat.

See, now you get it because I explained it you

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#16 Garett
July 31 2009, 10:37PM
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But hey, look on the bright side, we have a goalie who has owned the Flames in the past!

*wonders how much of a factor the team in front of him was in his prior games against the Flames...*

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#17 West Coast Oil
July 31 2009, 10:54PM
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Friday night hanging out on a blogging site talking about urinating farm animals. Damn Im cool!!

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#18 Ccubed82
July 31 2009, 11:00PM
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it sounds like Phil Kessel is not wanted in Bean town, how do the Fans think he would fit in with the OIL?

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#19 DanMan
July 31 2009, 11:29PM
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Ccubed82 wrote:

it sounds like Phil Kessel is not wanted in Bean town, how do the Fans think he would fit in with the OIL?

I'm getting tired of the Kessel talk. He is a right winger, and so is Hemsky. Do we want our 2nd line RW making $5 mil cap hit. They could try to move him to LW, but we saw how well that worked with E.Cole

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#20 Dallas
August 01 2009, 12:17AM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

I’m confused, doesn’t this writer cover 4H competitions? What’s this about dogs now? This ain’t no kennel club.

DanMan wrote:

Ccubed82 wrote: it sounds like Phil Kessel is not wanted in Bean town, how do the Fans think he would fit in with the OIL? I’m getting tired of the Kessel talk. He is a right winger, and so is Hemsky. Do we want our 2nd line RW making $5 mil cap hit. They could try to move him to LW, but we saw how well that worked with E.Cole

I do beleive that he can play center as well so would he not look good between say hemsky and penner

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#21 Dallas
August 01 2009, 12:20AM
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And I might add at least he would bury all those chances horcoff had last year

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#22 James
August 01 2009, 12:40AM
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@ Dallas:

I didn't know he could play center too. That changes my thinking a bit.

What would it take Cogs, Gilbert and a pick?

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#23 Dallas
August 01 2009, 12:49AM
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I'm not sure what it would take but I would trade just about anybody but hemsky gagner MPS

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#24 TLP
August 01 2009, 12:58AM
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I'm sorry that one of my posts inspired the comment that contributed to this entire debacle. I'm also sorry that the last week has been so boring that Tambo had to call a press conference to say absolutely nothing.

I'm also also sorry that I am in no way talented or interesting as a writer.

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#25 TLP
August 01 2009, 01:03AM
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Oh and it's not that Kessel is unwanted here in Boston, it's that his contract demands are absurd, especially when giving consideration to the amount of cap space the Bruins still have, which is to say: almost none.

It's honestly very difficult to get a read on what they'll do with him, in talking to a couple of people, but my gut feeling is that they'll force his hand around the time camp starts and he'll sign a one-year deal for what they want.

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#26 Dallas
August 01 2009, 01:06AM
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Center is his natural position he shoots right and I'm not sure what pos Boston uses him in but he was drafted as a centerman

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#27 TLP
August 01 2009, 01:14AM
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He plays the wing in Boston and has never played anything else at the NHL level.

I have lots of Bruins/Kessel facts. He is also the most boring person in the NHL, which is saying a lot.

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#28 Dallas
August 01 2009, 01:14AM
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TLP wrote:

Oh and it’s not that Kessel is unwanted here in Boston, it’s that his contract demands are absurd, especially when giving consideration to the amount of cap space the Bruins still have, which is to say: almost none. It’s honestly very difficult to get a read on what they’ll do with him, in talking to a couple of people, but my gut feeling is that they’ll force his hand around the time camp starts and he’ll sign a one-year deal for what they want.

That's the problem with us trying to get him is that I'm sure he does want alot of money but he is worth it I might add he is going to be a great player and in order for us to get him and sign him for what he wants we would have to send back money that Boston can't afford already. I think that Boston will have to trade him just to a team that can afford him and give up some pretty good prospects.

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#29 TLP
August 01 2009, 01:31AM
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Honestly, I'm not sold on him being worth what his camp is demanding. The Bruins want him to take Krejci money (3 years with a cap hit of 3.75) and they're apparently not close.

The new Bruins guy from my old paper just talked to his agent on Thursday and basically was told they're nowhere near signing with no further specifics given.

Thing with Kess is he doesn't play defense, which Krejci does, or hit anyone ever, and he has never played without Marc Savard (aka the second- or third-best puck distributor in the NHL) running his pivot. Is Kess worth it? Maybe he is. But do you wanna take a $4.5-5 million risk that he is, forcing you to 86 someone that also matters quite a bit to the team? I'm just sayin' Kess minus Savard probably doesn't score 36 goals and, if he signs a contract of that size, they'll quickly find that out since Savvy's a UFA after this season.

They need to trade him while people aren't sure they're completely over a barrel with this kid.

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#30 Bob Cob
August 01 2009, 01:53AM
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This is totally unrelated to the column, but if I Can make a suggestion, keep the two sites, Oilers Nation and Flames Nation seperated completely. I dont care about the Flames, I live in Cowtown and hear enough about the Flaming piles of crap. Jon Lefebve and other bloggers, who write on Flames nation, their material should only appear on Flames nation, and the same goes for all the Oiler nation writers. Enough sharing and acting like we get along, like the Offspring song says "You gotta keep'em seperated". If you like the Flames go to FN, the Oilers, ON. Thats my rant and I am out.

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#31 Rebuttal
August 01 2009, 02:54AM
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@ Bob Cob:

As another Oil fan stuck living in Cowtown, I have to say I disagree with you. While I agree that I don't need ON tarnished with debates over whether or not to resign Todd "can't play defense, but he scored like 17 goals in the first 4 games!" Bertuzzi, articles like this are clearly directed at anyone with a general interest in NW division hockey. I've never found that the JL articles that appear on ON would only be of interest to Flames fans.

Given the lack of non-painful storylines this summer (Heatley isn't even married, as far as I know) you won't hear me complaining when something new appears on the site.

War Willis for his sensible treatment of the Reddox-MacT-1Line nonsense.

I'm out.

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#32 Lefebvre
August 01 2009, 07:41AM
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TLP wrote:

I’m sorry that one of my posts inspired the comment that contributed to this entire debacle. I’m also sorry that the last week has been so boring that Tambo had to call a press conference to say absolutely nothing. I’m also also sorry that I am in no way talented or interesting as a writer.

And I'm sorry if it at all seemed like I was piling on or pouring lemon juice on a paper cut.

And for the record, I enjoy some inspired silliness now and then, even though I personally am much better at the silly part of that equation and never seem to get the hang of the inspired part.

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#33 Reagan
August 01 2009, 09:04AM
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If I could only post pictures here.

*CAN OF SPAM*

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#34 TLP
August 01 2009, 10:30AM
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Lefebvre wrote:

And I’m sorry if it at all seemed like I was piling on or pouring lemon juice on a paper cut.

NAH SON WE COOL

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#35 Hemmertime
August 01 2009, 12:10PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

This is totally unrelated to the column, but if I Can make a suggestion, keep the two sites, Oilers Nation and Flames Nation seperated completely. I dont care about the Flames

Agreed, if I wanted to read anything by Jean Lefebvre I know where to find it. I don't see a need for it to be on ON.

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#36 Hemmertime
August 01 2009, 12:11PM
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and to further clarify, I do not want to read anything by Jean Lefebvre

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#37 James
August 01 2009, 02:13PM
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the gey flamers have no depht on froward s . JAen Leferbve ois an idiot. i hate clagray theyre goalie suc ks ass yoo

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#38 SkinnyD
August 01 2009, 03:39PM
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James wrote:

the gey flamers have no depht on froward s . JAen Leferbve ois an idiot. i hate clagray theyre goalie suc ks ass yoo

*stunned msn smiley face*

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#39 humantorch
August 01 2009, 04:27PM
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James wrote:

the gey flamers have no depht on froward s . JAen Leferbve ois an idiot. i hate clagray theyre goalie suc ks ass yoo

Posting while drunk and/or high is awesome.

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#40 David S
August 01 2009, 06:34PM
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James wrote:

the gey flamers have no depht on froward s . JAen Leferbve ois an idiot. i hate clagray theyre goalie suc ks ass yoo

If this site had the feature, that post would be signature worthy.

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#41 TLP
August 01 2009, 10:28PM
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James wrote:

the gey flamers have no depht on froward s . JAen Leferbve ois an idiot. i hate clagray theyre goalie suc ks ass yoo

This is incredible.

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#42 Subversive
August 04 2009, 12:25PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

This is totally unrelated to the column, but if I Can make a suggestion, keep the two sites, Oilers Nation and Flames Nation seperated completely. I dont care about the Flames, I live in Cowtown and hear enough about the Flaming piles of crap. Jon Lefebve and other bloggers, who write on Flames nation, their material should only appear on Flames nation, and the same goes for all the Oiler nation writers. Enough sharing and acting like we get along, like the Offspring song says “You gotta keep’em seperated”. If you like the Flames go to FN, the Oilers, ON. Thats my rant and I am out.

I completely agree. I see a number of ON posts on FN, and it annoys me.

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