BRUCE GARRIOCH: The Senators read their clippings all those years we told them they were great. I don't think they have enough respect for their opponents some nights.
TIM BAINES: Maybe what they need is to have no respect for their opponents. Three losses to the New York Islanders? A loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. When they miss the playoffs by a couple of points, these will be pivotal losses.
GARRIOCH: Absolutely. Ridiculous the way they've played. They should be better.
CHRIS STEVENSON: Do you think there's a lot of try out there? Too many fly-bys, bad defensive zone coverage, nobody in front of the net. Don would like to just buy them all a beer and give them a pat on the back and say, "Get 'em next time, guys. It's just not your year." Ron Wilson dropped the hammer in Toronto. Seems to have been effective there.
DON BRENNAN: They're stupid young men if they are not trying. They are going to cost themselves and their families millions of dollars. I'm not stupid enough to believe they are that stupid.
BAINES: So when I tell you you're stupid, you're just not THAT stupid?
STEVENSON: Not stupid, just needing an attitude adjustment.
GARRIOCH: We are all stupid at some point or another.
BRENNAN: I think there's a big difference between not trying and not having the necessary hunger to win, Chris. You can't say they're not trying. But multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts have killed their hunger, I think.
STEVENSON: Same thing, far as I'm concerned. You're giving them an easy way out.
BRENNAN: Not the same thing at all. Saying they're not trying is the ultimate character assassination.
GARRIOCH: They should be hungry after getting as close to the Stanley Cup as they did shouldn't they?
BRENNAN: They should be. But clearly they are not. How can you be hungry when you have a fat-ass contact in your back pocket?
STEVENSON: Oh, I don't know. Pride? Professionalism? A desire to give your employer and your fans something close to their money's worth?
BRENNAN: So they don't have any of that, or as much of it as they should have. That's still not saying they're not trying, Chris.
STEVENSON: I call it trying. You call it hunger. Whatever. It's the difference between finishing checks and fly-bys, winning battles and fishing with your stick.
BRENNAN: Hunger is taking it to a different level. Not trying is not taking it at all.
STEVENSON: Which is pretty much what I saw against Atlanta. If I say "not trying hard enough," is that less offensive to you?
BRENNAN: Don't worry about offending me. Just try to be more accurate with your bold statements. Not trying hard enough is okay. It's the same as saying not hungry enough.
STEVENSON: They got outworked and outhustled by the Thrashers. For me, that's not trying hard enough. How many rebounds did they get to first? That's trying. How many hits on the forecheck? That's trying. Coming back hard to break up plays? That's trying.
BRENNAN: If they weren't trying, Atlanta would have beat them 27-0. They weren't trying hard enough. Or they didn't have the necessary hunger. I'm not excusing them. That's still shameful. I'm just correcting you. All this talk is starting to make me hungry. Anybody been to that Italian place on Fallowfield, between Woodroffe and Greenbank. La Porto a Cassa? Outstanding.
STEVENSON: Now you mentioned food, maybe Frick and Frack will rejoin the conversation. Bruce never met a chicken parm he didn't like...to wear on his tie.
BAINES: Hey, my buddy Ross owns a few Pizza Pizzas. Great guy, great pizza. And by the looks of my re-emerging belly, I'd better cut down on those double cheese, pepperoni pizzas. Time to go back to the extra-lean ground beef, yogurt, salad and egg whites.
BRENNAN: I was gonna say you're starting to get really fat again, Tim.
GARRIOCH: It's Christmas, Tim. You owe it to yourself.
BAINES: Since we've established the Senators aren't playing very well, let's talk about the best Christmas cartoon of all-time. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Charlie Brown's Christmas? I love them all. Gotta give it to Rudolph.
STEVENSON: It's tough to rank the Christmas cartoons, but here goes:
1. Grinch (1966). Best of the bunch for its detail. Boris Karloff's narration and singing is so rich. Max gets best supporting actor just for the look on his face when the Grinch is rocketing down Mount Crumpet and looks back to see where Max has gone and he's on the back of the sleigh. Yipe! Never got into the movie.
2. Charlie Brown (1965). The true meaning of Christmas and the evils of commercialism. I like the way the backgrounds are on a loop while they are walking anywhere and the way Schroeder can change the way his toy piano sounds. Everybody knows somebody like Lucy and has had a tree like that at some point.
3. Rudolph (1964). A classic tale of redemption and celebrating our differences. You have to like any show with a character named Yukon Cornelius.
BRENNAN: Cartoons are for children. We have a Fred Flintstone on this page every day. It's Tim's headshot. If you want to stay more in the Christmas spirit and memories of gifts past (to Tim, love Chris), let's remember our favourite Playboy bunnies. Mine is Terri Welles, the ex-wife of former Triple Crown (Line) member Charlie Simmer. I once came within smelling distance of her while I was working at the Wellesley Hospital in Toronto. Charlie had broken his leg and she was there to visit him. She was getting on the elevator while I was getting off.
BRENNAN: Silence? I see that shut yas the hell up.
STEVENSON: I think it has more to do with the fact this is the longest roundtable discussion we've had and you haven't done much to keep our attention.
BRENNAN: The Grinch excites you more than Terri Welles? That's just not right.