OGDB Final: A nation watches and hopes for gold

Jason Gregor
February 28 2010 11:57AM

Ice Hockey - Men's Semifinal - CAN vs SVK

In case we needed some more incentive for tonight’s game, a win on the ice by Canada will set a new winter Olympic record for most Gold medals in one Olympics: fourteen I guess Own the Podium wasn’t far off after all.

You’ve been captivated the past 15 days by the likes of Alex Bilodeau, Maelle Ricker, Christine Nesbitt, Jon Montgomery, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Ashleigh McIvor, Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Charles Hamelin (twice), Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois-Louis Tremblay, women’s hockey, Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, Denny Morrison, Jasey Jay Anderson, Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.

Or maybe you shed a tear and felt a great sense of Canadian pride watching Joannie Rochette perform so admirably after her mother’s death en route to a bronze medal, so maybe it is fitting that we get to watch OUR game against the United States.

I don’t believe that hockey has dominated these games, because we’ve witnessed so many other great and inspirational efforts, but it is fitting that today Canada has a chance to win gold in the game we love the most, and finish off the 2010 Olympic Games in style.

Tickets for the game are going for more than a Super Bowl ticket right now. Scalpers, and on-line ticket sites are asking, and getting, four thousand dollars for a ticket.

The Americans can pump their chest all they want about football and baseball being their game, but neither of those sports are in the Olympics, and neither captivates an entire nation like hockey does for Canadians.

THERE IS A “G” an “O” and “D” in GOLD

Before we get any further I think it is fitting, being Sunday and all, that we say a few words. Read them out loud and with some feeling.

Our Father who art in Vancouver, hockey be thy name. Thy will be done, the Gold will be won, on the ice for the men as it was for the women. Give us this day, our hockey wives, and forgive us our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us. Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory. For thine is the Getzlaf, the Toews and the holy Crosby, AMEN...

Reader/listener, Derrick, sent this to me and who knows maybe a little divine intervention can’t hurt.

BREAK DOWN GOLD MEDAL

Even though the States have yet to lose in the tournament I still think Canada is the favourite. Ryan Miller has been spectacular for the USA and he’ll need to do it again if they want to win.

Canada is averaging 40.5 SOG in the tourney, and they had 43 on Miller last Sunday, meanwhile the States have fired an average of 31 shots in their five wins. Miller will be busier than Roberto Luongo and he’ll have to be better to stop Canada from grabbing their record-setting 14th gold.

The PPs are a saw off. Canada has scored on 29.1% of their opportunities while the USA is close at 28.5%. But Canada has a big advantage on the PK, with a tournament best 88.4% efficiency compared to only 76.9% for the States.

The most surprising stat is that these are the two most disciplined teams in the tourney. The States have only been shorthanded 13 times in five games, while Canada has had to kill of 19 penalties in their six games. Both teams have been physical, but neither has run into penalty trouble, excluding the 3rd period last Sunday when Canada took three consecutive penalties.

MILLER OVERHYPED?

It would seem the big advantage the US has is in goal with Ryan Miller. Miller has given up five goals in five games, although his GAA is just below one, because he didn’t play the final eleven minutes v. Finland. And is SV% is a sparkling .952.

But outside of the Canada game has he really been tested.

He faced 15 shots v. the Swiss, 11 v. Norway, 43 v. Canada, then 19 in the quarterfinals against the Swiss, before stopping 18 in the semi-final. He has played well, there is no doubt, but when you consider the bad games we’ve seen from Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist (Slovakia), Evgeni Nabokov (Canada) and Mikka Kiprusoff in the semis you wonder if it’s Miller’s time to lay an egg?

I hope he plays great and Canada still wins, because then there will be no excuses from south of the border.

HEROS ARE MADE

A big goal in today’s game will make a player famous for years to come. Paul Henderson wasn’t the best player in 1972, but he scored the two most important goals in that series, and he’s famous because of it.

Who will be a star today?

My money is on Ryan Getzlaf. Some questioned if his ankle would allow him to contribute, but those worries have been erased by a clutch performance from Getzlaf. He, along with Corey Perry and Brendan Morrow, has been Canada’s best line the past two games and I expect that to continue today.

Sidney Crosby has been rather quiet the past few games, so you can never count out the Kid, but I have a feeling Getzlaf’s line will be key in Canada’s win.

I haven’t been this excited for a game in years. Even though it was only eight years ago that these two teams met for gold in Salt Lake, this game just seems more hyped and more important. There’s a lot on the line, and I expect the Red and White to come through.

Canada wins 5-3, we set an Olympic record for most gold medals and we show the world this is still OUR game. GO CANADA.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:02PM
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twitter update:

JeffMarek...

Soooo...what's the first trade to get announced later tonight/this morn? prediction: Aaron Ward (CAROLINA) to OTTAWA... Trade Prediction: Martin Biron to Buffalo.

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#102 Clangger
February 28 2010, 06:03PM
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JackBauer wrote:

Its hard to argue that point though. They were absolutly dominant. They had the best record and a case could be made that yes, they were the best team for the first 6 games of this tournament.

If Canada was in the same position of being undefeated going into the gold medal game, and lost, we would be saying the best team lost too.

I hear what you are saying, but when a team is put together a few days before the games begin, it takes time to mesh. Both teams had the same start,I just feel we got better as time went on. Not sure who said this, but I came across this earlier:"What separates Canada from other hockey powers is its ability to rise up when the game is on the line. Very impressive win." I agree!

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#103 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:04PM
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Anyone else hear anything about Nickelback or Neil Young performing at the closing ceremonies? Anything official?

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#104 Ryan Lambert
February 28 2010, 06:05PM
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Oh hey guys just checkin in since I've gotten bothered on Twitter and email.

Honestly, I'm really glad you guys got the Cinderella finish you deserved. Your scrappy team of journeymen won out over a heavily-favored American side, even if they did need overtime. Congrats on sticking with this team of knockaround guys through thick and thin.

David really can beat Goliath!

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#105 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:13PM
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@Ryan Lambert

Hahaha.... right on cue, lol.

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#106 Crash
February 28 2010, 06:13PM
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JackBauer wrote:

Its hard to argue that point though. They were absolutly dominant. They had the best record and a case could be made that yes, they were the best team for the first 6 games of this tournament.

If Canada was in the same position of being undefeated going into the gold medal game, and lost, we would be saying the best team lost too.

You've got to be kidding me...

Canada actually dominated the preliminary round game almost double the shots on goal and Miller stole the game...

I'll give the US props for being one of the best teams but make no mistake about it...CANADA was the better team

On another note...a friend of mine and myself actually work for an American company based here in Canada...after the US win over Canada a week ago one of our Managers who is an American who is based here came into work asking all of us Canadians if he should sing the Star Spangled Banner on the Monday or should he wait till the end...

We suggested he better wait and then we had a bet...if the US were to win my buddy and I would have to sing the Star Spangled Banner in the lunchroom tomorrow at work...if Canada were to win our Manager would have to sing O' Canada in the lunchroom tomorrow..

Well I've just finished downloading the music and the lyrics for him....tomorrow will be a very enjoyable day at work...

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#107 JackBauer
February 28 2010, 06:22PM
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"You've got to be kidding me...

Canada actually dominated the preliminary round game almost double the shots on goal and Miller stole the game...

I'll give the US props for being one of the best teams but make no mistake about it...CANADA was the better team"

No im not kidding you. Shots on goal doesnt make you a better team. Yes, Canada had the better players, but the US were a damn fine team, and took it to us.

And TLP? How are those sour grapes of defeat?? Typical American fan. Cant take victory well, cant take losing well. AHHAHAHAH

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#108 Harlie
February 28 2010, 06:22PM
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some dilbag on Fox radio on the Team 1260 is calling Babcock chicken scratch for playing the trap with the lead. Babcock even said that it was instinct on the teams part to go into defensive mode.

Calling him a dope and a joke and that us Canadians should be embarrassed about Babcock! If I was TLP I would be embarrassed of this ridiculous mouth breather from Fox who is spoutin off and doesn't know sh!t about hockey.

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#109 Crash
February 28 2010, 06:27PM
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JackBauer wrote:

"You've got to be kidding me...

Canada actually dominated the preliminary round game almost double the shots on goal and Miller stole the game...

I'll give the US props for being one of the best teams but make no mistake about it...CANADA was the better team"

No im not kidding you. Shots on goal doesnt make you a better team. Yes, Canada had the better players, but the US were a damn fine team, and took it to us.

And TLP? How are those sour grapes of defeat?? Typical American fan. Cant take victory well, cant take losing well. AHHAHAHAH

Not a chance in hell the US was the dominant team moreso than Canada...both teams only lost the one game. I already mentioned that the US were one of the better teams but not a chance they were the better team...

In the OT today it looked like the Americans were looking to just hang on and get that game to a shootout...

It was there only hope

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#110 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 06:39PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Dude, I lived in Bruderheim til I was 5. I had relatives there for another 10+ years. We moved to "the country" in '85 near Chipman, smack-dab in the middle of the Lamont-Tofield-Mundare triangle. The name of the rural community... Ross Creek!

Played minor hockey in Bruderheim, Lamont, Tofield, Vegreville, Ardrossan/Strathcona. Lit Josephburg, Waskatenau, Willingdon and God-knows who else up as a 6 year old just for funzies, lol.

My gf is from Smokey Lake.

You wanna talk buttphuk, AB... I've seen just about everything.

Eww, I had a GF from Smokey Lake a while ago. Every time I drove into town to see her family there would be cars tailing me around town to check out "the outsider".

Moral of the story: Nothing good comes from Smokey Lake

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#111 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:41PM
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@Harlie

No doubt! If anything, them sitting back and protecting the lead led to them getting scored on. They had the hammer. They had the nail. But they didn't want to pound it in, and it nearly cost them.

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#112 Travis Dakin
February 28 2010, 06:44PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Dude, I lived in Bruderheim til I was 5. I had relatives there for another 10+ years. We moved to "the country" in '85 near Chipman, smack-dab in the middle of the Lamont-Tofield-Mundare triangle. The name of the rural community... Ross Creek!

Played minor hockey in Bruderheim, Lamont, Tofield, Vegreville, Ardrossan/Strathcona. Lit Josephburg, Waskatenau, Willingdon and God-knows who else up as a 6 year old just for funzies, lol.

My gf is from Smokey Lake.

You wanna talk buttphuk, AB... I've seen just about everything.

Sweet! Did you guys party in Star? What about Hairy Hill? ~That place is awesome~

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#113 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:45PM
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Chaz wrote:

How does that Crow taste TLP? My guess is he'll be too chicken to show his ugly Yank mug around the Oil Nation to admit how terribly wrong he was....that's okay we know where to find him although visiting Flames Nation makes my skin crawl...

Hope Kipper's melt down in the Semi-Finals doesn't lead to a post-Olympic Salo-esque career meltdown!!

~That would be terrible!~

http://flamesnation.ca/2010/2/28/kippers-return#comment-106606

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#114 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:51PM
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@Travis Dakin

Sweet! Did you guys party in Star? What about Hairy Hill? ~That place is awesome~

Ah... I wouldn't say 'I' partied 'in' Star, but definitely 'around' Star.

EDIT: Actually, I've had some rum's in the welding shop there, and I may have been at a 'backyard' party at one of the six houses, too. So ya... I guess I partied in Star. My buddy and I want to open a new bar there and call it the BarStarBar, lol.

But I don't fux with Hairy Hill. I like my ish trimmed/shaved ;-)

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#115 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 06:54PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Eww, I had a GF from Smokey Lake a while ago. Every time I drove into town to see her family there would be cars tailing me around town to check out "the outsider".

Moral of the story: Nothing good comes from Smokey Lake

Well I guess I got me a good one ;-)

She was originally from Waskatenau though, so maybe that's why...

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#116 SirFozz
February 28 2010, 06:57PM
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Ryan Lambert wrote:

Oh hey guys just checkin in since I've gotten bothered on Twitter and email.

Honestly, I'm really glad you guys got the Cinderella finish you deserved. Your scrappy team of journeymen won out over a heavily-favored American side, even if they did need overtime. Congrats on sticking with this team of knockaround guys through thick and thin.

David really can beat Goliath!

Remember when we won gold early today. Ahhhhhh...good times.

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#117 Lofty
February 28 2010, 06:59PM
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The games have been over for 2.5 seconds and Tambo still hasnt made a move? It just keeps getting worse

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#118 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 07:16PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Well I guess I got me a good one ;-)

She was originally from Waskatenau though, so maybe that's why...

Ah, see, there's always an explanation.

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#119 Harlie
February 28 2010, 07:37PM
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@RossCreekNation

I went to a Cabaret in Waskatenau one night. I remember we loaded up my friends car and my other buddies car and the car I was in broke down. The other car circled back and picked us up. We had a few chicks with us so we were actually welcomed at the Cabaret. I think we were all under age at the time to. haha good times!!

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#120 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 07:53PM
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Harlie wrote:

I went to a Cabaret in Waskatenau one night. I remember we loaded up my friends car and my other buddies car and the car I was in broke down. The other car circled back and picked us up. We had a few chicks with us so we were actually welcomed at the Cabaret. I think we were all under age at the time to. haha good times!!

I heard those were often fight-filled. Them and Andrew dances. Now THOSE were some good times! haha

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#121 Colin
February 28 2010, 07:57PM
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Ryan Lambert wrote:

Oh hey guys just checkin in since I've gotten bothered on Twitter and email.

Honestly, I'm really glad you guys got the Cinderella finish you deserved. Your scrappy team of journeymen won out over a heavily-favored American side, even if they did need overtime. Congrats on sticking with this team of knockaround guys through thick and thin.

David really can beat Goliath!

The US is hockey goliath? Heavily Favoured? By Who? Biased American media? Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

When you've only won 3 gold medals at olympic hockey ever(combined mens +women's),and a mere 2 world junior gold medals its a laughable assertion. It's not even open for discussion, it's not even close.

Sorry TLP Canada is hockey Goliath for the time being--as DOUBLE GOLD MEDALS drenched in sweet, sweet american tears(tastes like victory) attest.

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#122 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:01PM
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Colin wrote:

The US is hockey goliath? Heavily Favoured? By Who? Biased American media? Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

When you've only won 3 gold medals at olympic hockey ever(combined mens +women's),and a mere 2 world junior gold medals its a laughable assertion. It's not even open for discussion, it's not even close.

Sorry TLP Canada is hockey Goliath for the time being--as DOUBLE GOLD MEDALS drenched in sweet, sweet american tears(tastes like victory) attest.

Pssst... its called satire.

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#123 SmellOfVictory
February 28 2010, 08:01PM
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Hey guys, TLP is just teasing you, and you're not quite getting it.

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#124 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:02PM
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@Colin

pssssst, I think he was being sarcastic. The point was that it took Hockey Giant Team Canada going into OT before they could beat the US. Something they were SUPPOSED to do.

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#125 David S
February 28 2010, 08:03PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Visnovsky reprimanded for anti-doping violations. Seems like it isnt as bad as it sounds, but man, can Oilers players please stop screwing up.

C'mon man. It was for taking medication to combat a flu, after advice from both the Slovak and Oilers doctors. He didn't know the flu meds were on the banned list.

Its an honest mistake, hardly worth posting something about "doping violations" as if he was caught DUI. How about we lay off the "Oilers players screwing up" until they, you know, screw up.

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#126 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:04PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I heard those were often fight-filled. Them and Andrew dances. Now THOSE were some good times! haha

yeah you pretty much went to those type of things expecting a brawl. We were all from the Fort so we were outsiders the moment we stepped in. But we won them over by how much we liked to drink and swear and laugh and that we had a couple of chicks with us. Without the chicks we would have been dead men walking. lolz

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#127 David S
February 28 2010, 08:04PM
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SHATNER!!!

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#128 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:10PM
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SCTV in da house!

McFly, too!

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#129 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:11PM
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@David S

Hey man, I'm just repeating the headline from the Journal. I said myself that it wasnt as bad as it sounds. And no, I wont lay off the "Oilers players screwing up" until they actually stop. He took a banned substance, he screwed up.

Was it his fault entirely? No, of course not. Ken Lowe should have his A$$ chewed out for telling Vis it was OK to take the meds.

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#130 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:11PM
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Mike McFly!

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#131 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:15PM
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Michael Dudley Do Right

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#132 David S
February 28 2010, 08:17PM
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Those have got to be the hottest mounties ever!

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#133 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:18PM
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Is this a Monty Python skit? Is there a punch-line coming?

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#134 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:20PM
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That is the biggest rack I've ever seen on a maple leaf

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#135 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:21PM
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I'm waitin for the part where Benny Hill comes running out chasing some half naked chicks.

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#136 David S
February 28 2010, 08:22PM
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Trailer Park Boys finale?

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#137 Rigger
February 28 2010, 08:22PM
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Good lord, is this ceremony serious? Who the hell is in charge of this? Is this the best we could come up with?

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#138 David S
February 28 2010, 08:24PM
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These ceremonies are ridiculous in HD.

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#139 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:24PM
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David S wrote:

Trailer Park Boys finale?

Nickelback?

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#140 David S
February 28 2010, 08:26PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Nickelback?

Please god no.

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#141 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:28PM
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@David S

... and there you go. What's next? Avril Lavigne?

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#142 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:30PM
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Have the Hip done anything yet?

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#143 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:31PM
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HA. Lavigne. Gold.

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#144 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:32PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

... and there you go. What's next? Avril Lavigne?

Haha.

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#145 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:33PM
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Simple Plan, anybody?

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#146 Wanyes bastard child
February 28 2010, 08:33PM
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Avril...

*comes in his pants again*

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#147 David S
February 28 2010, 08:34PM
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You know that feeling when you should have stopped about 2 beers ago? That where we are now in this talent showcase.

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#148 Archaeologuy
February 28 2010, 08:35PM
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I hope this ends with Trooper

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#149 RossCreekNation
February 28 2010, 08:35PM
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If I was Sid, I'd hop up on stage and start tonguing her!

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#150 Harlie
February 28 2010, 08:35PM
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@Wanyes bastard child

uggh..I always thought she was nasty...but to each his own.

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