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Rants and Raves
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Three Dog Night The Road to Shamballa ScottJax77

With today being the start of the NFL season, ScottJax77 will take you on the Road to the Super Bowl. So sit back, relax, and get your voice tuned up to sing like Three Dog Night, while I give you my version of their hit song…..Inside this edition of Rants and Raves.

 

The Road to Shamballa begins now!!

While this isn’t the mythical kingdom of Shamballa, and the road it leads to, it is the start of the NFL football season, and the long road to the Super Bowl.

Now that you have Three Dog Night’s song imbedded in your head I am proud, after careful fine tuning and drinking a lot of rum, to introduce my version of their song. So without further ado, here is ScottJax77 song. This is where applauding would be appropriate.

 

“The Road to the Super Bowl“
*Sung to the tune of “The Road to Shamballa” Duh…
*Extra verses added to my song

Wash away my fumbles, wash away my interceptions,
With the rain to the Super Bowl
Wash away the tipped passes, wash away the punts,
With the rain to the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Wash away the penalties, wash away the offsides,
With the rain to the Super Bow
Wash away the stupidly, the ref’s could be kind,
With the rain to the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

How does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl
How does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl


The coaches are helpful, they are so kind
On the Road to the Super Bowl,
The owner is happy, he has a sparkle in his eyes
On the Road to the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

The offense is marching, it is scoring all the time
On the Road to the Super Bowl
The defense is strong, it crushes its opponents
On the Road to the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

I can tell our fans 'bout the vision in their eyes
On the road to the Super Bowl
I can tell my teammates 'bout the vision in our eyes
On the road to the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

How does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl
How does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl
Tell me how, how does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl
Tell me how, how does your light shine
In the halls of the Super Bowl

Ooooh…yeah, Super Bowl
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Ooooh… yeah, Super Bowl
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

 

I hope you enjoyed this.
May your team be the victor is this years Super Bowl.

Sorry, I do not do Weddings or Bar Mitzvah’s.

 

Johnny Monkey Speaks
Category: Humor

 

I am Johnny Monkey. It is a tough job being Johnny Monkey. Johnny Monkey can do anything better than you. Johnny Monkey is a bad ass monkey. I got an email the other day from Carl Lewis. Do you remember Carl Lewis? Johnny Monkey raced Carl Lewis and beat him. Carl Lewis is fast but not as fast as Johnny Monkey. Carl wanted me to remind folks how fast he was...

 

 

  

 

Carl Lewis did beat a horse, but I beat Carl Lewis. Carl Lewis did race an airplane but I was out in front of that race too. Carl Lewis finally gave up and started singing.

 

 

Oh Carl, please don't sing anymore.

 

 

 

 

It is good to be Johnny Monkey.

McCrimmon, Demitra Among Those Killed In Crash of KHL Charter
Category: NHL
Tags: KHL Pavol Demitra Brad McCrimmon

TUNOSHNA, Russia -- A private jet carrying a Russian professional hockey team to its first game of the season crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday, killing 43 people -- including European and former NHL players -- in one of the worst aviation disasters in sports history. Two people survived the accident.

Both Russia and the world of hockey were left stunned by the deaths of so many international stars in one catastrophic event. Of the 45 people on board, 36 were players, coaches and team officials; eight were crew.

Dallas Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins, Slovakian national team captain and ex-NHL player Pavol Demitra, Olympic gold medal-winning goaltender Stefan Liv of Sweden and the team's coach, former Detroit Red Wings assistant and NHL player Brad McCrimmon were among those confirmed dead.

The chartered Yak-42 jet was carrying the team -- Lokomotiv Yaroslavl -- to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minskin its opening game of the Kontinental Hockey League season.

The plane apparently struggled to gain altitude and then hit a signal tower before breaking apart along the Volga River near Yaroslavl, 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. One of the blue-and-white plane's charred engines poked through the surface of the shallow water.

Russian television showed a flaming fragment of the plane in the river as divers worked feverishly to recover bodies.

"This is the darkest day in the history of our sport," said Ren� Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation. "This is not only a Russian tragedy -- the Lokomotiv roster included players and coaches from 10 nations."

One player -- identified as Russian Alexander Galimov -- and one unidentified crew member were hospitalized in "very grave" condition, said Alexander Degyatryov, chief doctor at Yaroslavl's Solovyov Hospital.

"Their state of health is very grave. But there is still some hope," said Degyatryov said.

[+] EnlargeLokomitiv Crash
AP Photo/Misha JaparidzePlayers from Lokomotiv of the KHL were aboard a plane that crashed on the banks of the Volga River, killing at least 43.

Also killed were Czech players Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek and Jan Marek, the Emergency Ministry said.

Ruslan Saclei of Russia, who played for the Red Wings last year and previously played for the Anaheim Ducks, was also among the dead.

"Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas, this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world -- including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr said the union was "deeply saddened" by the deaths of so many former NHLPA members.

"Words cannot express the profound sorrow that this loss has created. Our sincere condolences go out to the friends and families who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy," Fehr said in a statement.

Russian NHL star Alex Ovechkin tweeted: "I'm in shock!!!!!R.I.P ..."

The crash comes on top of an already mournful year for the NHL in which three of the league's enforcers were found dead: Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and recently retired Wade Belak.

The cause of Wednesday's crash was not immediately apparent, but Russian news agencies cited unnamed local officials as saying it may have been due to technical problems. The plane was built in 1993 and belonged to a small Moscow-based Yak Service company.

In recent years, Russia and the other former Soviet republics have had some of the world's worst air traffic safety records. Experts blame the poor safety record on the age of the aircraft, weak government controls, poor pilot training and a cost-cutting mentality.

"It's just stunning and just awful," Demitra's agent, Matt Keator, said of the tragedy.

Keator had visited with Demitra in Russia three weeks ago. He first met the player when the two were with the Blues organization -- Keator as a scout and Demitra as a successful player.

"You couldn't find a more popular teammate," Keator said.

Two former Chicago Blackhawks, Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev, also were among those that died. Karpovtsev and Korolev were assistant coaches with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Karpovtsev, 41, played for the Hawks from 2000-04. He won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994. He joined three Rangers teammates in 1994 as the first Russian players to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Korolev, also 41, was a Hawk from 2001-04. In 12 NHL seasons with St. Louis, the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise, Toronto and Chicago, he scored 119 goals in 795 games.

"We stand together with the entire KHL, NHL and hockey world in mourning today's tragic news concerning the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team," the Hawks said in a statement. "The tragedy affects the Chicago Blackhawks family directly as we mourn the losses of Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev, two players who spent time with our organization and that our fans know well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization."

The Stars confirmed on their website that Skrastins was among those killed.

"The Dallas Stars family is shocked and saddened by the passing of Karlis Skrastins and so many other young lives in a plane crash in Russia today," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. "Karlis was a wonderful father and husband, as well as a good friend. He will be greatly missed."

Swedish Ice Hockey Association chairman Christer Englund told The Associated Press that the 30-year-old Liv, who helped Sweden win gold medals in the Olympics and world championships in 2006, was aboard the flight.

Former New Jersey Devils forward Alexander Vasyunov also was among the dead, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told ESPNNewYork.com. Vasyunov was 23.

"I don't think anybody can prepare for something like this," Lamoriello said. "It's just devastating news. Words can't express my personal feelings.

"I can't say enough about him as a young man. He certainly had talent. His whole career was in front of him."

"We are only beginning to understand the impact of this tragedy affecting the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl club and the international hockey community," the KHL said in a statement. "First and foremost, our condolences go out to the families and friends of the players, coaches and staff lost in today's tragedy.

"We know that there are many in the KHL family who will be grieving with us. As the investigation of this tragedy progresses we will work closely with investigators, government officials, club executives and the Yaroslavl community. We are working to find an appropriate way to honor this club and begin the healing process from the deep loss so many of us feel today.

"We are aware that many of you have questions. This tragedy remains our primary focus. We ask for patience as we find an appropriate way to proceed with the 2011-2012 season."

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel called the crash "a terrible tragedy for the global ice hockey community," pointing out that the team's roster included players and coaches from 10 countries.

"Despite the substantial air travel of professional hockey teams, our sport has been spared from tragic traffic accidents," Fasel said. "But only until now. This is the darkest day in the history of our sport."

Swarms of police and rescue crews rushed to Tunoshna, a ramshackle village with a blue-domed church on the banks of the Volga River 10 miles east of Yaroslavl. One of the plane's engines could be seen poking out of the river and a flotilla of boats combed the water for bodies. Divers struggled to heft the bodies of large, strong athletes in stretchers up the muddy, steep riverbank.

Resident Irina Prakhova saw the plane going down then heard a loud bang.

"It was wobbling in flight, it was clear that something was wrong," said Prakhova. "I saw them pulling bodies to the shore, some still in their seats with seatbelts on."

More than 2,000 mourning fans wearing jerseys and scarves and waving team flags gathered in the evening outside Lokomotiv's stadium in Yaroslavl to pay their respects. Riot police stood guard as fans chanted sport songs in honor of the dead athletes.

Yaroslavl governor Sergei Vakhrukov promised the crowd that the Lokomotiv team would be rebuilt from scratch, prompting anger from some fans at a perceived lack of respect for the dead.

Lokomotiv is a leading force in Russian hockey and finished third in the KHL last year. It was also a three-time Russian League champion in 1997, 2002 and 2003.

McCrimmon, who took over as coach in May, was most recently an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, and played for years in the NHL for Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Calgary, Hartford and Phoenix.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he has known McCrimmon since the 1980s, during his playing career.

"It's shocking. I think everybody in the hockey community is probably in shock and numb, myself included," Holland told ESPN.com.

"He loved hockey. He was a tremendous guy and wonderful family man. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife Maureen and two children."

"We will do our best to ensure that hockey in Yaroslavl does not die, and that it continues to live for the people that were on that plane," said Russian Ice Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretyak.

A cup game between hockey teams Salavat Yulaev and Atlant in the central Russian city of Ufa was called off in mid-match after news of the crash was announced. Russian television showed an empty arena in Ufa as grief-stricken fans abandoned the stadium.

The KHL is an international club league of teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.

Russia was hoping to showcase Yaroslavl as a modern and vibrant city this week at an international forum attended by heads of state, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, so the crash came as a particularly bitter blow.

Many in the Czech Republic also took the news hard.

"Jan Marek, Karel Rachunek, and Josef Vasicek contributed greatly to the best successes of our ice hockey in the recent years, first of all to the golden medals at the world championships in 2005 and 2010," said Tomas Kral, the president of the Czech ice hockey association. "The were excellent players, but also great friends and personalities. That's how we will remember them."

Fans planned to gather Thursday at the Old Town Square in the Czech capital of Prague, where national team players usually celebrate, to commemorate the three Czech players.

In the western Slovak city of Trencin, where Demitra started his career and where he played during the NHL lockout 2004-05 season, hundreds fans gathered outside the ice hockey stadium Wednesday night to light candles in his memory.

Medvedev has announced plans to take aging Soviet-built planes out of service starting next year. The short- and medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and about 100 are still being used by Russian carriers.

In June, another Russian passenger jet, a Tu-134, crashed in the northwestern city of Petrozavodsk, killing 47 people. That crash has been blamed on pilot error.

In past plane crashes involving sports teams, 75 Marshall University football players, coaches, fans and airplane crew died in West Virginia on Nov. 14, 1970, while returning from a game. Thirty-six of the dead were players.

Thirty members of a Uruguayan rugby club were killed in a crash in the Andes in 1972.

The entire 18-member U.S. figure skating team died in a crash on their way to the 1961 world championships in Brussels, and 18 members of the Torino soccer team died near Turin, Italy, in a 1949 crash.

A plane crash in 1950 near the Russian city of Sverdlovsk, now called Yekaterinburg, killed 13 players and officials in the air force's ice hockey squad. A Munich air crash in 1958 cost eight Manchester United players their lives.

ESPN.com hockey writers Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

NFL PREDICTIONS WEEK-1 THURSDAY
Category: NFL
Tags: RACING NFL NCAA NEWS FEATURED

Wow yours truly has had one very hot and busy 2 months with to much OT. I haven't had time to make any posts much less time for anything else. I'm on a well deserved vacation and will be back with NASCAR and NFL blogs. America's fan's favorite and NO 1 sport is finally back in action this week. The NFL season kicks off with the Saints and Packers.

NO 34 @ GB 28 The Saints with Pro Bowl QB Drew Brees head into Lambeau to take on the Packers and Pro Bowl QB Aaron Rodgers. Argueably these are the best two teams in as usual very weak NFC. Both teams have high powered offense's and the Packers defense is very good. With that said I'm taking the Saints to upset the Packers at home. This game is a toss up and could go either way between playoff caliber teams.

Have a great week everybody and I'll be back with the rest of the predictions later in the week.

Special K


 

Week 1 Top 25
Category: NCAA
Tags: College football Alabama BYU Florida St. LSU Maryland Nebraska Notre Dame Oklahoma Ole Miss Oregon South Florida U. Miami USC

Not too much to say. I kept the top 14 in tact. I just wasn’t even mildly surprised by any of it, and I don’t want to penalize Oregon for losing to a team I already had a few spots higher. The Ducks fell behind due to (forced) mistakes, but I don’t think they were that clearly inferior to LSU that they needed to be moved down, especially when you consider the lack of competition the rest of the top 10 faced.

I took Notre Dame out and put Maryland in. I think Notre Dame picked the wrong quarterback, and I wasn’t blown away by South Florida. I considered ranking both Maryland and Miami in preseason, so I felt that the winner of that game made more sense. Any number of unranked teams probably could have beaten Notre Dame on Saturday.

You can see a few teams that I moved down for close wins, but maybe Ole Miss and Minnesota are better than I thought, so I didn’t want to take out BYU or USC. The other games weren’t close enough to seriously consider removing teams.

1 LSU 1
2 Oklahoma 2
3 Alabama 3
4 Oregon 4
5 Florida St. 5
6 Texas A&M 6
7 Va. Tech 7
8 Arkansas 8
9 Stanford 9
10 Nebraska 10

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