I just finished watching the Penguins being swept away by the Bruins - in many ways a remarkable result considering the Pens were heavy favorites going into the playoffs and really gave no hint of a collapse going into this series with Boston. Consider that the Penguins scored exact TWO goals in 4 games. Sydney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin combined for 0 goals & 0 assists. You could sense that as the game went on tonight that the Penguins had given it their best shot and had zilch to show for it that they were in trouble. The Bruins executed on their game plan to perfection. A tremendous team effort - the better team won.
Now we are looking at a Blackhawk - Bruin Stanley Cup Final...wow, that should be fun!
Other notes...for all the grief Pen fans (and xenophobic Canadians) like to heap on Ovechkin, he has never been shutout in a playoff series. I think qualifies as a Pyrrhic Victory for Caps fans....That was the first sweep of the Penguins in 35 years - that's a nice run. Where do the Penguins go from here? Seems like they went all in with trades to win the Cup this year...do they make major changes or ride the same horses?
In the NBA, San Antonio jumps out to an early lead
Tony Parker's amazing shot clock buzzer - beater sealed a victory over the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. As you should know, I am not a big NBA fan, but I thought this was one of the best played games I have ever watched. It had flow, it had tempo, the officials did not ruin it and in the end, you had drama. It was a great game and I was thoroughly entertained. It was even more entertaining to have the Spurs win. I find it hard to believe that the Spurs will be able to sustain this over a 7 game series, but I can hope that we get more games of that quality.
Notes: I was flipping between the hockey and basketball - there was a TV timeout in both games near the end. There was 8:30 left in the hockey and 3:33 left in the basketball. Any doubt about which ended first? It wasn't even close...I really think the powers that be need to find a way to move along the end of basketball games. This is true on all levels - the last 2 minutes of basketball game go on forever. They really need to eliminate the TV break of several minutes and reduce the timeout to 30 seconds. If a coach can't say what he needs to say in 30 seconds, he must not be much of a coach.
It is time for Tiger Fever Again...
The U.S. Open at Merion starts this coming week and we can expect to hear the drums beating for Tiger Woods again. After Tiger's disasterous performance at the Memorial, it will really be fascinating to see how he does in the most demanding golf tournament of them all. The U.S. Open isn't a golf tournament - it is a war of attrition. Brutal conditions and kitchen floor fast greens make for unusual scoring - and champions. I don't really have a feel for anyone special this year. It may be too tedious to watch if Tiger is not on the Leader board.
I did not really have too much to say about the PED situation in baseball...I'm glad they are trying to keep the cheaters out of the game. As the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas, said today, they do not belong in the Hall of Fame - ever. They can hang out with Joe Jackson and Pete Rose (both have better claims to the Hall than the 'Roid Boys).
Here's to drying out this weekend and enjoying some early summer sun. Me & Mrs. Sun celebrate 34 years of marriage on Sunday - she must be a saint!....everyone have a great weekend!
Hello gabbers and it’s a very early Thursday morning as the Boston Bruins have just taken a 3-0 series lead of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In game that was more what we expected in this series a battle of wills and up down action a lot of opportunity and some chippy play. David Krecji would score at1:42 of the first period and the Bruins wouldn’t score again for 93 minutes and 37 seconds. When Brad Marchand feed Patrice Bergeron for the game winner. Tuuka Rask stood on his head for most of allowing a goal to Chris Kunitz at8:19 of the 2nd period.
Tomas Vokoun was outstanding as well and when they say a lucky bounce or a quarter of inch is all it takes that wasn’t more evident then tonight. Post were hit on bothsides and both teams came out flying but in the end the bruins found a way in double overtime to take a commanding 3-0 lead against the most talented team in the NHL.
The one thing that is very noticeable throughout the series the bruins have fustrated Sidney Crosby to the point acting more like Lebron being shut down than the Sid the Kid that we know can play. The other thing this series will be remembered for when it is said and down is that the post is truly the goaltenders best friend. I watch a lot of hockey just can’t remember seeing this many post hit in a three game set.
In the West the Loa Angeles Kings finally got off their Porcelain Throne and played some hockey on Tuesday. They beat the Black Hawks 3-1 on home Ice.. Making that series into a battle and give Jonathon Quick some much needed help. I still think the Blackhawks will take the series but it won’t be a sweep. I won’t predict a Bruins sweep either I wouldn’t mind it but the Penguins should there talent Last night they did everything except put the puck by Rask. Boston it’s time to move on from Tim Thomas and embrace this guy . Rask isn’t as flashy as Thomas but he is far more efficient not wasting a lot of energy chasing down pucks and traveling all over his zone. Rask just is steady and stone cold when it comes to stopping pucks. This was your NHL Update
Some NHL tidbits for you to munch on
These final for teams are the last 4 Stanley Cup winners Pittsburgh 2009, Chicago 2010, Boston 2011, Los Angeles 2012
56 players in these two series have their names on the Stanley Cup
The Dallas Stars have a new Look
Alright admit you were hoping the Pacers had won. I think everybody outside Miami wanted the pacers to win. Has a team ever been more hated. Wait people outside New England don’t answer that.
Tuesday Night I worked a double header and came home and was switching between the Red Sox game and the Hawks Kings game.. I turn on the Red Sox and they are up 17-5 in the 8th when the Rangers bring in former Red Sox Outfielder David Murphy to pitch. Murphy did what nobody in the Texas bullpen could he throw a scoreless inning. Murphy let up a leadoff Double to Dan Nava and then struck out Mike Carp. On a called third strike which got Carp ejected for bitching about the call in a 17-5 game don’t bitch. Murphy let up two deep fly ball outs. It was refreshing to see Murphy out there smiling and having a little fun in a lost case. The Rangers came back and won 3-2 last night.
That nasty word PED’s have been mentioned again. This time MLB got the cooperation and taking names from the guy that owns the bio lab in Miami. They are trying to make a case against 20 players associated with the Lab including A-Rod and Ryan Bruan. You know when I heard this story all I could do was think shit I have Ryan Braun on my fantasy team. I guess I’m just sick of the whole PED stories and baseball. I read a few articles and they are looking at 100 game suspension for both as a second involvement but they aren’t calling failing a second test unless the involvement counts. This should end up being a big union battle stay tuned.
Happy Hump Day, Gabbers. I don’t know about you, but last week was a bit unhinged. We went from 90 degree temperatures to severe storms. Of course all the folks in the bread basket got it much worse. Plus side, we get a little drought relief. Down side, we’ve got a lot of folks that need help. Of course, the nation comes together during trying circumstances. We are seeing just that. We will need it now that we’ve officially entered hurricane season.
Fresh on the heels of the completed Faces of the Franchise list, I got to thinking of the flipside. What exactly optimizes the worst of a franchise? How have people poked fun at them. Well, I got to thinking a put together a little list of some of the Farces of the Franchises in baseball. Now unlike the Faces list, this is all my doing. You can weigh in with anything I might’ve overlooked, but this one is less passion and more just fun. These might be hard to see/live again. The people and events range from tragic to humorous. I don’t have much rhyme or reason here. So, sit back and enjoy the
Farces of the Franchise
Arizona Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson Destroys a Bird (March 24, 2001)
Batters already feared Randy Johnson’s fastball. Just ask John Kruk. After a spring training game in 2001, however, everything would learn to fear Johnson’s fastball. In the 7th inning of an exhibition game against the Giants, Johnson released a scorcher that collided with an unfortunate dove. The dove was eradicated, sending a shower of white feathers. The play was ruled a no pitch.
Atlanta Braves: Eastbound and Down (Premiered February 15, 2009)
Well, if the show references Atlanta at all it was because Kenny Powers played a year with the team. Many have speculated about whether this is a parody of former closer John Rocker. It is not. While the producers sight episodes of Rocker’s career were an inspiration to Powers’ attitude.
Baltimore Orioles: Earl Weaver’s tirades (Manager from 1968-1986)
Earl Weaver is a certified Hall of Famer. He’s also a legendary manager with a hot temper. Weaver was passionate. You can hear for yourself. He brought 4 pennants to the O’s and one World Series. His tirades against the umps were possibly just as legendary.
Boston Red Sox: Buckner’s Game 6 Error (Game 6 of 1986 World Series)
You gotta feel for Bill Buckner. He had a long, 22 year career in which he hit .289 with nearly 3000 hits, won a batting title and made an All Star appearance. Yet everyone knows him for letting that ball through his legs. The Red Sox had one more game to win it, but just couldn’t. Buckner becomes the goat. He retired with a .991 fielding percentage by the way.
Could’ve been harder on the team and put Fever Pitch here. Two words: Jimmy Fallon.
Chicago Cubs: Curse of the Goat (October 6, 1945)
Things were going great for the Cubs in 1945. They were leading the Detroit Tigers 2-1 in the World Series. Local saloon owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis and his goat, Murphy, bought a pair of tickets to game 4. Sianis believed his goat would bring the team luck. Sianis was stopped at the gate due to a no animals policy. Sianis appealed to the Cubs owner, who said Sianis could come in but not his goat. When asked why, Wrigley is said to have said because the goat stinks. Sianis reportedly threw up his arms in frustration and said: "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field." The Cubs promptly went on to lose the ’45 series to the Tigers. The curse has reigned strong for 67 years, 7 months, and 29 days. The curse continues to rear its ugly head, most notably in the guise of the infamous Bartman incident in 2003.
Chicago White Sox: Disco Demolition Night (July 12, 1979)
To say that the ’79 White Sox were bad would be an understatement. The team was so bad that by July of that year, ownership had to get creative to bring people to the stadium. With the rival Detroit Tigers in town, the Sox called in local shock jock Steve Dahl to create an anti-disco promotion. After the first game of a doubleheader, Dahl assembled a collection of disco records which he planned to explode in front of the crowd. Officials figured the stunt would bring in 20,000. About 50,000 showed up and more snuck in after the gates were locked. Around 90,000 have been estimated as being in attendance and the mass of the crowd stormed the field to riot following the destruction of the records. Riot police were called in to restore order and the second game was forfeited by the White Sox.
Cincinnati Reds: Marge Schott (owner 1981-1999)
The ‘80’s were a rough decade for the Reds. They couldn’t quite capture the magic of the Big Red Machine. Oh, and a little woman named Marge Schott began to muscle her way into ownership. As an owner, Schott was vocal and cheap. She disliked scouts and refused to fund the out of town scoreboard. She helped rebuild the Reds and contributed a lot to Cincinnati children’s charities, but she was just too vocal. And insensitive. And anti-semetic. And racist. The kicker came in 1996, when she praised Hitler to ESPN.
Cleveland Indians: Major Leagues movies (Released 1989, two sequels, one good sequel)
Bob Euchre was already a well-established figure in major league baseball, but this movie cemented Euchre and the Indians place in pop culture. One of the greatest baseball comedies ever made, this movie parodies the ineptitude of the 89 Tribe (73-89). The movie showcased a great performance by Charlie Sheen along with unforgettable quotes and characters. If you were wondering, you too can own your own Jobu doll. There is one up for bids on EBay for $30.
Colorado Rockies: What Comes After Two? (July 29, 2012)
The Rockies were in the middle of a rough game against Cincinnati. Carlos Torres had struck out the third man and sprinted off the mound. The other defenders stayed put, and continued to do so. It took the home plate umpire to get the defense off the field. The Rockies would go on to lose the game 7-2 and fall to 26 games under .500.
Detroit Tigers: 2003 Season
Well, ’62 Mets fans will tell me to stop belly aching, but 2003 was just a rare year for the Tigers. The team went 43-119. It was the worst record compiled in 41 years. Nothing went well here. Dmitri Young was our best batter by far and was under .300 for the season. Our most affective starting pitcher was Mike Maroth with 9 wins in 33 games. Watching Tigers’ games was a comedy of errors. Really the only thing that saved us from out-losing the Mets was a later season winning streak: 5-1 over the last 6 games. Somehow, Alan Trammel went on to manage 2 more seasons for Detroit.
There was a lot to work with for the Astros, but I’m being nice to my partner Jeff and going with these terrible uniforms. Widely considered one of the worst uniforms ever, these bright monstrosities were worn by such greats as Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, and Joe Morgan to name a few. Players got a brief reprieve from 1980-1993 when the pattern was moved to the shoulders of the uniform. The 1994 season saw the team drop the streaks for good.
Kansas City Royals: Pine Tar Incident (July 24, 1983)
One of the oddest and best known moments in Royals history is connected with one of their best players. Down 4-3 to the Yankees in the 9th, Brett stepped up to the plate and belted a two run shot. Billy Martin asked the umpires to inspect Brett’s bat after Martin noticed tar on the bat. The umpires found more than the legal amount and ruled Brett’s home run an out. Brett stormed the dugout and had to be restrained. The Royals protested the game. The game was moved back to the period before Brett’s at bat and restarted August 18. The Royals eventually won 5-4.
Los Angeles Angels: Rally Monkey (Debut June 6, 2000)
The Angels were in deep trouble June 6th, 2000. Down 5-4 to the Giants in the bottom of the 9th, all seemed lost and the fans sensed it. A pair of video board operators sensed the crowds’ apathy. In an effort to halt the exodus for the gates, the two found a clip of a monkey jumping from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, superimposed the word “RALLY MONKEY”, and put it on the board. The fans took notice, as did the players. The Angels scored twice to win the game. The Rally Monkey became a staple of the team. The Monkey gained national attention when it was used to help the Angels win the 2002 World Series against the same Giants it debuted against. According to her official website, the Rally Monkey is on vacation.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Dodger Dogs
It’s rare when a team’s food offering are almost as famous as the team itself. The Dodger Dog is just that kind of rare treat. Millions of fans order up a Dodger Dog each year; a chain restaurant has even popped up in Southern California. Despite all the recent bashing of hot dogs, they remain a staple at baseball games and (grilled or steamed) the Dodger Dog is a big part of the tradition. The Dog has received attention outside of sports as Agent Mulder on the X-Files claimed they gave him swamp gas.
Miami Marlins: Jeff Loria
Contrary to their current state and play, the Marlins are two-time World Series Champs. They beat the Indians and the Yankees in the World Series. Yet, after each win, the team was sold off in a fire sale. The fire sale mentality of owner Jeff Loria continued this offseason when he traded many high priced players off to Toronto. Loria has drawn ire from baseball fans and fellow owners, yet the MLB has not taken actions against him. Loria makes things worse by allowing his staff to build up good teams for a time and then immediately liquidating his valuable players.
Milwaukee Brewers: Sausage Races (Debut 1991)
In 1991, local sausage producer Klement’s Sausage Company decided it needed a new way to promote its products. The company appealed to its partners, the Brewers, and the promotional racing sausages were born. The sausages race at every Brewers’ home game in the middle of the 6th inning. The original lineup included the bratwurst, kielbasa, and Italian sausage. A chorizo and hot dog were recently added. The event is a fan favorite, but turned tragic July 9, 2003. Randall simon, 1B for the Pirates, reached his bat out and struck the Italian sausage mascot. Simon would be arrested, fine, and suspended by Major League Baseball for the incident. Mandy Block, the woman in the costume, was not injured. She asked only for the bat to be autographed and given to her by Simon. She also received a free trip to Simon’s home island of Curacao.
Minnesota Twins: Pavano Rage (May 1, 2011)
Carl Pavano was just one of those guys who never seemed to live up to his potential on a regular basis. Some days Pavano was the stud; others he was the stooge. He rarely showed that more than in Minnesota. In 2010, Pavano was the best pitcher the Twins had. In 2011, they rewarded him with a 2 year, $16.5 million dollar deal. Pavano paid them back by giving up 7 earned runs on opening day against the Blue Jays. May 1st was not any better. Pavano and the Twins were down 10-3 to the Royals in the sixth. After being pulled, Pavano decided to take out his frustrations on a trash can. Following his tantrum, Pavano did improve his pitching.
New York Mets: 1962 Debut Season
1962: National League Baseball returns to New York! The hot shot Yankees had a challenger. Spirits were high for the newly fledged Mets. Then, reality set in. They finished dead last in the National League with a 40-120 record. They were 60 ½ games out of first. Still, fans came out in droves to support this new team, proving that some can love a loser.
New York Yankees: Larry David as George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld (Debut May 19, 1994)
Rarely has such a feared and powerful man been so successfully lampooned. Larry David nailed it here. The Boss would become a recurring character on the show. He was known for being portrayed as kooky and his face was never shown.
Oakland Athletics: Moneyball (Released 2011)
The story of Billy Beane comes to the big screen. Up until a few years ago, people would have called this and Beane’s ideas a comedy. Beane cobbles teams together based on Sabremetrics and new wave stats. It has led to some mediocre teams and frustrated fans. The last few seasons, however, the A’s begin making the post season. The film, of course, shows a lot of Beane’s move in an overly dramatic fashion.
Philadelphia Phillies: Phillie Phanatic (Debut April 25, 1978)
The Phanatic is every bit as famous as the Chicken. His antics are loved by fans, but have led to some run ins with opposing players and managers. The most famous of these took place in 1988 during a home stand against the Dodgers. The Phanatic commonly beat up mementos of the other team. This time, the Phanatic had a dummy of Tommy Lasorda. After watching the mascot beat up a stuffed version of himself, Lasorda charged from the dugout and beat the Phanatic during the nationally televised game.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jason Grilli Entrance Video
So apparently enough people have told Jason Grilli that his name reminds them of grilled cheese. He’s acknowledged this with his Twitter handle @GrillCheese49. The scoreboard video producers in Pittsburgh decided to tie into this fact as well. The oddest part has to be Grilli staring down that sandwich…
St. Louis Cardinals: Eddie Gaedel plate appearance (August 19, 1951)
Bill Veeck was nothing if not a showman. Veeck is responsible for some of the most oddball moments in baseball history, but one of the most famous came when he signed Eddie Gaedel, a legal dwarf, to a secret contract and assigned him uniform number 1/8. In game two of a double header against the Detroit Tigers, Gaedel got his at bat and was walked on four straight pitches. The American League was not amused. The president voided Gaedel’s contract, struck the at bat from the records, and accused Veeck of mocking the game. A year later, Gaedel’s at bat was put back in the record books and his jersey is on display at the hall of fame. Gaedel earned $100 for his at bat.
San Diego Padres: San Diego Chicken (Debut March 1974)
Very few mascots have transcended their team or sport more than the Famous San Diego chicken. Ted Giannoulas first donned the chicken suit as part of a local radio promotion at the San Diego Zoo. Giannoulas, a poor San Diego State student, saw an opportunity to build upon this stunt and took the suit to a Padres game. The rest as they say is history. The Chicken has mocked, annoyed, and entertained the games greats and countless fans. He’s even featured on one of my favorite baseball players cards.
San Francisco Giants: ’89 World Series Earthquake (October 17, 1989)
Bay area fans were hyped for game 3 of the ’89 A’s-Giants World Series. The fans were settling in and watching the players finish warm-ups with 25 minutes to go before game time. Suddenly, the right field stands begin to shake. Concrete is knocked loose. Power is lost and fans run for cover. The stadium holds, but MLB officials decide to postpone the game. The earthquake was a 7.1 on the Richter scale.
Seattle Mariners: Mariner Moose ATV Mishaps (Debut April 13, 1990)
Mariner Moose began innocently enough as a child’s winning mascot contest entry. Things went well until they added an ATV to the Moose’s act. During the 1995 divisional series against the Yankees, the Moose was performing his signature rollerblading behind an ATV trick. The driver took a turn too close to the outfield wall and the Moose crashed into the wall. The Moose suffered a broken ankle/ The trick continued to be a crowd favorite until the Mariners moved to Safeco Field in 1999.
Tampa Bay Rays: The Trop Cat Walks
Sometimes stadium plans can become inconvenient. In the Rays case, they can lead to a down right confusing set of rules. Two rows of the rings are considered in play, while two others are considered in foul territory. The catwalks cost the Rays a win against the Twins on August 5, 2010. Jason Kubel hit a ball towards the outfield that would have fallen for an easy third out in any other stadium. In Tampa, however, the ball hit a catwalk and fell for an infield hit. The Twins extended the inning for a 8-6 win. The catwalks are structurally supportive and cannot be removed.
Texas Rangers: Jose Canseco Homers off his Head (May 26, 1993)
Jose Canseco was known for hitting a lot of home runs…and for the methods that got him that power. Canseco, however, saw himself as a well-rounded player. He has pitched before, but his glove has earned him more dubious honors. The Rangers were playing the Indians and Canseco was in the outfield tracking a routine fly ball. As Canseco moved back, he underestimated the ball, which bounced off his head and over the wall for a home run. Canseco would claim the ball went off his glove, but evidence shows the ball hitting his head. The Rangers would lose the game 7-6.
Toronto Blue Jays: Ok Blue Jays (1983)
A lot of teams have a song they associate with their team. In Toronto, they have “Ok Bluejays” by Keith Hampshire and the Bat Boys. It’s a tradition for fans to sing and clap to this song during the seventh inning stretch. They usually still follow it up with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
Washington Nationals: Jersey Debacle (April 17, 2009)
A broken team moving from Montreal to Washington D.C., the Nationals hardly came into the league with much respect. They didn’t even get any from jersey manufacturer Majestic. In this infamous game, several players took the field in jerseys reading Natinals instead of Nationals. The jerseys spawned countless jokes in sports news and late night talk shows. The easiest was that having no “O” in the teams name seemed really fitting. What was worse was that Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman, two of the team’s most visible players, donned these abominations. While Majestic would apologize for the snafu, the team couldn’t apologize for their 2-3 loss to the Marlins that night or their 59-103 season record.
Despite all that has happened in Oklahoma with the tornadoes, a little humor is still there. Hoodwood sends its love and prayers in this most difficult time
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where though the calendar says June its feeling like mid-april and Im ok with that.
NBA: And the winner is…
Now we have two teams and the networks breathe a sigh of relief. The gritty gutty Pacers simply ran out of gas in the critical 7th game, The Heat got 32 from LeBron James and a solid performance from a surprisingly spry Dwyane Wade to thrash the Pacers by a 99-76 score. The Heat got taken to the limit by the Pacers but now you have the two teams that the NBA and networks wanted to see in the Finals. The media will play up the virtuous Spurs, the team that plays the game "the right way." You will hear of how the Spurs are such an international team that is so selfless and follows the example of its taciturn dour leader Tim Duncan and it perpetually grouchy coach Gregg Popovich. Now make no mistake the Spurs are a great team and have been for the better part of 15 years. But you would never know it by the way the media contuinually fawns over them as if they are the perpetual underdogs. The media and I think quietly the NBA wants the Spurs to put the Heat in their place. The Heat have won their third straight Eastern crown but the NBA wants the Heat to get beat. Why? Simple if the Heat become a back to back dynasty more players will try to consolidate their talents in desireable locales like LA, Atlanta, New York and Houston. Smaller colder markets like Milwaukee, Denver and Utah will be forgotten basketball burgs as they simply become permanent lottery teams and farm clubs for the glam markets. If the Heat are defeated, the "good guy" team wins and the theory of building a club the "right way" will be the watchword. I still think the Heat are the better team and despite all the efforts otherwise will win the title in 7 games. The NBA and ABC will get all the drama and ratings that they can wring from this. Laugh and scoff if you want, but check back with me in 2 weeks when the Heat and Spurs are getting ready for game 6 in Miami with the Heat leading 3-2...watch and see.
NBA: Roy Hibbert shoots his mouth off
Now Im no saint, never claimed to be. Get me around some of my pals and the soundtrack is noisy and expletive laced. The insults fly and manhood is challenged at every opportunity. I know this is the situation in locker rooms from High school to the highest pro levels. Knowing this, its easy to see how Roy Hibbert had a brain fart and let loose with invective that invoked a tasteless gay slur during the press conference following the Pacers game 6 win. Im not excusing what he said but I can understand that he hadn’t made the proper transition to a more nuanced forum. Hibbert by all accounts is a very thoughtful and articulate player who isn’t your typical dumb jock. When he started by saying “You know what, because y'all motherfuckers don't watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth…” I didn’t find that offensive in the least. I thought it bold and quite truthful. That wasn’t what got Hibbert a $75K fine it was the gay slur, saying “no homo”. I thought that was a silly childish blurb. And Im sure that Hibbert knew that was going over the line as soon as he said it. I think that the fine was based solely on that comment and not the comment about the media. Hibbert for his part recognized that he was wrong and reached out to Jason Collins, the NBA player who recently came out. I think that Hibbert for his part should be scolded but not ostracized for his thoughtless remark.
NBA: The last dinosaurs
I know Im getting to that certain age. There were three players in the NBA that I identified with in the fact that they were just about my age. Shaq O’Neal, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd. O’Neal who is six months and 2 weeks older than me retired of course after the 2011 season. Hill who is two weeks younger than me decided to call it a career on Sunday and Jason Kidd just announced his retirement as well on Monday. Hill and Kidd were both 40 playing fairly respectably in their final seasons with the Clippers and Knicks respectively and though both went out with playoff losses both had stellar careers. Both were lottery picks and were tabbed as franchise players by the Pistons and Mavs respectively and shared the 1995 rookie of the year honors. Hill seemed to have the most star crossed career of any player, after six stellar years in Detroit, in which he had led the NBA in votes for the All Star game as a rookie in 1995 and finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1996, only LeBron James and Oscar Robertson had better numbers than Hill in their first six seasons. But after a sign and trade with Orlando in 2000, Hill just couldn’t stay healthy. An ankle sprain suffered late in 2000 was the start of numerous ankle injuries. In his first 4 seasons in Orlando. Hill only played a total of 47 games and missed the 03-04 season entirely. That was less than any single season he played in Detroit including the strike shortened 1999 season. Hill came back in 2005 and played 67 games but was again hampered by injuries the next season. Following the 2007 season, Hill signed with Phoenix, you can bet that the Magic were chagrined to the nth degree when Hill played more games in 4 of the 6 seasons than he did in any seasons in Orlando, including all 82 in 2009 and 81 in 2010, starting them all and leading the Suns to the conference finals. Hill finished with 17,137 points and left many wondering how much he would have had if he hadve been relatively healthy. He and Kidd might be headed to the Hall of Fame together. But as it stands Kidd will likely be getting the Hall call from Springfield here a five or so years. After being drafted ahead of Hill in the 1994 draft and sharing the rookie of the year, Kidd was traded to Phoenix after two seasons and led the Suns to the playoffs every year, then was again traded to the Nets and helped lead them to back to back Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003. The Nets went from perernial doormat to East powerhouse with Kidd running point, and made the playoffs every year he was in Jersey. Traded back to the Mavs in 2008 he helped them win an NBA title in 2010. Kidd finished 3rd all time in triple doubles. Both Kidd and Hill have Olympic gold medals. Hill winning with the 1996 squad, Kidd with the 2000 squad in Sydney and the so-called Redeem Team in Beijing in 2008. Hill wont likely be anywhere close to a basketball hall of fame unless its Duke or Collegiate. I think just a little more of my youth is gone by the wayside with the retirement of these two players.
NHL: Four is the magic number...could that be the total games in both conferences?
The Blackhawks and Kings went the distance in their grueling semifinal matchups with the Sharks and Red Wings and now face off in the West Finals, but it seemed that the Hawks were the fresher team. Smoking the Kings on back to back nights to race to a 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks dont look like a team that played a sudden death game 7 OT game. The Kings are the defending champ and are leaning hard on the hero of the last Stanley Cup Jonathan Quick, but he Hawks just seem to be everywhere and the Kings look like they are constanty defending their own zone. The Kings had better hold serve in LA in game 3 or this could be a sweep waiting to happen. But the even nastier smoking was in the east. The Pens as the #1 team in the east looked like they were ready to assert themselves as the bully. The Bruins to the likely delight of Mo and Sully were quick to correct the thinking. The Bruins have more or less feasted on the Pens, crushing them IN Pittsburgh by 3-0 and 6-1 counts. Sidney Crosby and Evgegi Malkin have been reduced to whiny bitches as the Bruins are by all appearances, hungrier and faster. The Pens are looking more and more like a team that are a mere speed bump to the Bruins who are beating the Pens in every facet, forcing 20 giveaways in game 2 while only committing 3 of their own.
PGA: What a difference a year makes Tiger falls apart at the Memorial
Last year, I was contemplating a move to Columbus. The first weekend in June was picture perfect and me and my then girlfriend spend most of the weekend tooling around town in her recently purchased truck and I spent some time watch Tiger Woods just dominate in nearby Dublin in the Memorial. I was thinking man, Tiger comes to the 614 and its a walkover. Fast forward to a year, Im not in Columbus anymore. The girl I was dating still has that truck but Im no longer with her (There is a new Lady Bandit) and Tiger Woods was back at the Memorial in Dublin and the results were just as different as the moody weather in the area, rainy then hot then humid then chilly. Tiger just looked...lost. His drives were haphazard his mid game was wildy inconsistent and his putter was anywhere but on the northwest suburbs of Columbus. Tiger finished light years behind the winner Matt Kuchar who shot a -4 68 on the final day and -12 for the tourney to win. Tiger started with a so-so 71 in the first round and then went from bad (74) to horrid (79) with a putrid 44 on the back nine on Saturday. His even on the final day was not even considered as he was way way out of the money for his worst ever finish at one of his favorite course. The prize money he made would like be just enough to pay his child support check for the month. This was a bad way to get ready for the upcoming US open
PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP
To the fans in Chapel Hill who stayed up past 1a to see the Tar Heels win an epic game 12-11 game against Florida Atlantic to advance to the Super Regionals in the NCAA Baseball tourney. The game started two hours late but the Owls and Heels just battled back and forth for nearly 4 hours in to the wee hours of the morning. There were 452 pitches in the game, 23 runs The plucky Owls stood tall against the nations 3rd ranked team and top seed rallied twice once in the 9th inning and again in extra innings but the Heels kept coming back. The game was a thriller.
Its rare that I do a head slap and want to punch the person in the face. Beeze talked about this jackass yesterday and I had to get my licks in... Jordan Kuruc obviously is a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, and his tweet that the “NHL is fucking rigged! Matt Cooke made a clean hit.” Does not go as far as out of bounds as tweets go but his statement “I hope your city gets bombed again Boston.” Is just about as tasteless as one could be. I complain about bad calls all the time. Sometimes I have no love for the cities of the teams that I despise. But I would never ever wish harm on them. I looked this clueless fuck up on Twitter and he realized what an asinine statement he made and wants to crawl back into the hole he came from openly inquiring on how to delete this twitter account. But the damage is done and this knucklenut has again demonstrated what coach Herman Edwards was saying when he said “DON’T PRESS SEND!
Thats The View From The Hoodwood, Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!!!