Friday, November 14


Dear Jason Blake,
I know this seems weird to be writing you. We barely know each other. You are a player on my beloved hockey team and I am a humble fan.

I am the semi-awesome Norte of He Score, He Shoot, and in a lot of ways you and I are connected through the magical Blue Leaf. It could also be said that both you and I make our living because of the team, except that I don't make any money for doing this.

Since you and I haven't actually met and I don't know where you live, it seemed like the next logical step to write.

I have to be honest right off the bat and tell you that if someone were to ask me who I wanted off the team, my answer, quick as you please, would be you Jason Blake; Jason Blake. I'm not just saying that to be mean and I hope you don't mind me being honest, but it's true. If I were trying to be mean, I would be more blunt and say something like you are the perfect set up to the oft-used yet seldom funny punch line, for a bag of pucks.

I hope I don't sound cavalier when I use the word mulligan to describe your first year in a Leaf jersey. Quite frankly, all things considered, you played heroically. Let's not even talk about it....So what if you are the only player Mats Sundin wasn't able to make better? That was last year. This is fresh and new, like hot bread or kittens.

But you know that this is shit or get off the pot time right?. With it being only year 2 of your 5 year, "you're gonna pay me what?" contract, your only way out is gonna be by playing well.

It's money walks and shit talks time Jason Blake, and right now you're pissing pennies.

(Did it just get creepy?)

Now listen, I know that sounds harsh, but Momma can't lie to you, baby.

"Maybe it's not meant for me to be here."

I have to admit I was a little surprised to hear you say that the other day. I kind of felt like saying to you "Pardon me, Jason? What? This isn't about us Jason, this is about you."
And I felt a little miffed at your description of the team as here. Here has a name and runs pretty deep for some of us. But I knew you were just tired from the bag skates and the benchings.


I watched the game in Edmonton and I have to admit it was the first time I couldn't describe your play as Berezin-esque. You played angry and made two great passes. I hope I don't sound ungrateful when I say, do it every game and you'll be worth every penny you're paid. And except for the weird slow motion take down of Lubomir Visnovsky, which looked like watching Figure Skating at the Special Olympics, I was excited by how you played.

Getting benched must be awful, especially with you being so eager to make mathematically impossible shots and the willingness with which you seem to put yourself offside to kill the rush.
Accountability isn't just owning up to the Bangles being your pre-game music, it's about proving you aren't expendable.

Now understand Jason Blake, that you play on my team and if someone fucks with you, they may as well be fucking with me. It's biker gang rules when it comes to our team, and it's from my perfect and beautiful Leaf heart that I tell you that you bug me Jason Blake.

I know my letter just did a button hook to the left but it's true, you bug me. It's not just because you resemble the heavy from the Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn vehicle "Foul Play". And it's not just that I know, Jason Blake, that you won't ever score 40 goals again or that maybe even reasonably can't score 40 goals again. I don't blame you for that. You and I are the same age and I have to admit, I chose my footwear on how long I have to be bent over to get them on, I can't imagine how crappy your body feels.
What bugs me about you is that you seem to be willing to be the living embodiment of the economic theory of the law of diminishing returns.

I don't blame you Jason for accepting the contract handed to you. No matter how egregious it is, it will forever be a black mark on the record of JFJ, not yours. And to be fair, the same year you were signed, Daniel Briere was signed to a 6 year deal worth 7.5 a year - and without Googling the information - I believe Jason Smith got something similar, so perhaps, all things considered, the Leafs got off easy. The point is, at this point, at some point, you have to realize that you aren't going to score.
How come I can tell you aren't but you can't?

Jason Blake is an asshole for completely the wrong reasons.
Your Sugar Ray Leonard-ness that you display most nights, when you take those shots, bugs me. Because Jason, a scorer who can't score, fight or pass doesn't belong here. And by here I mean the NHL.
Nobody wants you to succeed more than me, the Fan. I just ask, here humbly and honestly to continue to consider the team first, as you did the other night in Edmonton.

I truly believe the assist is ultimately more awesome than the goal.

Good luck in Vancouver and the rest of the season.

See you March 4th.

Sincerely, Norte.

ps. Could you ask Mikhail Grabovski if he got the muffins I sent.