Posts Tagged ‘Sports’
So two weeks ago I ranted about baseball’s Opening Day, and how awesome that was. Don’t get me wrong, I love Opening Day, it’s my favorite day on the sports schedule. But my favorite nearly two month period? The NHL playoffs. I know half the nation doesn’t get it, ok, maybe more like 7/8 of the country doesn’t, but for us hockey fans, it’s like Christmas for 6 six weeks. I love love love the MLB Playoffs, but the NHL Playoffs are probably a notch up for me. So, with all that love spread, let’s take a look:
Caps-Rangers: This one will get wayyyy more love than your typical 1-8 matchup due to A) the Ovechkin factor, B) the Caps chokejob against Montreal last year, and C) the media darling that is every freakin New York sports team. This matchup will hopefully be over early so we can stop hearing about last year’s Caps Collapse, how great the Rangers are (when they really aren’t), and Ovechkin’s so far futile quest for Stanley’s Cup.
Flyers-Sabres: This one could get interesting. Sure, the Flyers are a Cup favorite, no doubt about it, but their goaltending situation is less than desirable. Hot goalies rule the NHL Playoffs and Ryan Miller is capable of carrying a lesser team through a tournament(remember the Olympics?). With that being said, the talent that the Flyers bring to the table will likely be too much.
Bruins-Canadiens: Talk about a rivalry brought to the next level. After the Chara-Pacioretty incident last month, the bad blood here didn’t need a 7 game series to develop. Couple that with a media friendly original six matchup, two goalies at the top of their game in Thomas and Price and we could have a fantastic series on our hands. Hopefully no one takes the physicality too far in this one.
Penguins-Lightning: This one has some serious sex appeal. The Penguins sans Crosby still have a fair amount of drawing power, and rightfully so, as they’ve been pretty damn good without him. Across the ice, the Lightning have hockey wunder kid Steve Stamkos, and seeing what kind of postseason player he turns out to be will be captivating. Add in the suspense of a Crosby return, and this could get legen….wait for it…..dary.
Canucks-Blackhawks: Spoiler Alert! I honestly like Chicago’s chances here, despite the perceived squash match the seedings say. Chicago has been there before, Crawford can get hot, and steal the show. Meanwhile in Canada, tons of pressure is on the Canucks, along with the President’s Trophy Curse, and to top it off, Luongo folds up like poker table at times. Sure, he didn’t fold up in the Olympics, but seriously, did you see Team Canada’s roster?
Sharks-Kings: California Love! There’s my Tupac reference for the day. Well, here we are again. The Sharks are in playoffs, itching to choke, and this time, they get a chance for a shorter trip home if they do so in Game 6. The Kings are a nice story, a bunch of kids who are on the rise, yada yada yada, but what everyone will be talking about is the Sharks’ destiny as a habitual playoff patsy. Here’s to hoping they overcome the Kings, so we can hear about that some more……Just Kidding.
Red Wings-Coyotes: This one lacks a lot of pizzaz. The Red Wings, tried and true playoffs juggernaut, are setting up to destroy the ‘Yotes, who will only get Bryzzy with it long enough to avoid a sweep. Narrowly. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the Wings knocked out, mostly because they’re all Detroit has left, but it’s just not going to happen. Sorry, die hard hockey fans in Arizona…
Ducks-Predators: This one should be interesting, just with the fact that Nashville is very under the radar. Ask a non-hockey fan to name NHL teams, I bet Nashville is left off that list. But, Pekka Rinne could be this year’s Halak, given his size and skills, and they could surprise a few teams, starting with the offensive heavy Ducks. If the Ducks had Jonas Hiller, I would probably take them to win at least a series, maybe two, but Ray Emery doesn’t blow my skirt up these days, even with a Mike Tyson helmet.
So there it is. Predictions? Not my forte. You should be able to decipher who I like in the first round from this, but beyond that, the Playoffs are NCAA Bracetesque when it comes to expecting the unexpected. Hot goalies make or break teams, and therefore decide the fate of twenty other men on their team, and make the ‘experts’ look like idiots. My Prediction- watch it, and you will enjoy it. It’s like the NBA Playoffs, only the first 47 minutes matter, the NFL playoffs, without the fluke wins, and the MLB Playoffs, being played at Mach 3.
Ooooooooooooo What a Rush!
The pageantry. The speculation. The sheer giddiness.
And don’t forget the fly overs, which might one of the coolest things in all of sports, especially with B2 Bombers.
MLB Opening Day is upon us, and with much, much anticipation us baseball nuts can finally stop twitching, drafting fantasy teams, and watching players numbered 70-99 play in the late innings. Opening Day is one of this countries finest occasions, with hope and promise limitless in the minds of even the most delusional Pirates fans. This day means something special to all of us, even if you hate baseball, it means the beginning of having to hear about it for another six months. And for us unfortunate northern types, Opening Day is sort of like Punxsutawney Phil on steroids, the definitive sign that, yes, someday, all this friggin snow will melt in the North. (Hopefully mentioning steroids during Barry Bonds’ trial isn’t too taboo)
Baseball is a nearly universal language, and Opening Day is like the universal baseball Christmas. For our friends in Japan, hopefully this Opening Day provides a momentary pleasant distraction from the unimaginable hardship and tragedy that they have endured in the days since their disaster. Likewise in the Latin countries, where poverty and instability runs rampant, but baseball provides a shining light over the region, where so many of the stars of the game hail from. Here in the U.S., Opening Day is not only something to share with the world, but I feel it’s something to hang our hat on. On days like this it’s hard not to proud to be an American, because only a country this awesome could play host to such a beautiful, multicity world wide event every year.
Although I’m not a huge fan of the Thursday start, Opening Day could happen in the middle of the night and it wouldn’t matter, because of its power. Many things in baseball are larger than life, and while none of them are bigger than the game itself, some of them transcend the game. This is one of those things. The boys of summer are back in their respective cities, and the wave of summertime fun and sunshine is coming with them.
Oh, and the fly overs are coming with too. Awesome!
Here is the list of top 20 selling jerseys according to a recent MLB press release:
I would have thought that Pujols and ARod would be higher, but they are in the top 10 lead by Jeter: 1. Derek Jeter, 2. Joe Mauer, 3. Roy Halladay, 4. Chase Utley, 5. Cliff Lee, 6. Albert Pujols, 7. Josh Hamilton, 8. Dustin Pedroia, 9. Alex Rodriguez, 10. Tim Lincecum, 11. Mark Teixeira, 12. Jason Heyward, 13. Stephen Strasburg, 14. Ryan Braun, 15. Justin Morneau, 16. Jacoby Ellsbury, 17. Ian Kinsler, 18. Ryan Howard, 19. Buster Posey, 20. Evan Longoria.
As far as team sales go, of course the Yankees lead the way as they do almost every year: 1. Yankees, 2. Red Sox, 3. Dodgers, 4 Phillies, 5. Cubs, 6. Cardinals, 7. White Sox, 8. Braves, 9. Twins, 10. Tigers
So with all of the talk around Roger Goodell and the NFLPA trying to make a deal, but coming up ridiculously short; I have some ideas to help things move along:
The 18 game schedule: Don’t do it. I’m sure everyone would love to see more football, but I’ve got a better idea- an extra bye week. Give the teams two weeks off during the season, to rest wounds, including those pesky concussions. The extra week would provide even more money to owners in the shared revenue department, expand the fantasy football season, and give the players an extra week at home to get into more media-friendly scrapes with the law. But this will push the season back a week right? False. This ties into my next plan to keep the season ending the same week.
The Pro Bowl: Scrap it. Seriously, it’s the worst display of football known to man, especially one played by players over the age of 12. I’d rather watch an arena league game. Not to mention they apparently can’t find suitable jerseys for this game, as year after year it looks like the Shriners vs. Barnum and Bailey’s. Instead, award these players with the usual fanfare for being tops in the league, give them a vacation to Hawaii and everything, just don’t make them play a pointless, toothless football game year after year as a “Reward” for being awesome.
Preseason: Yeah, cut this down to 2 games. Aside from the Pro Bowl, there is nothing quite as pointless as the 4th preseason game, where no one with a secured job sees the field for more than a series. Two games, along with all the practices during August, is plenty enough to cleanse our palate from Arena League season, and more than enough to get the hordes of homers fired up for the season.
Money: Here is the sticking point. Players want more, Owners want more, and both have plenty of pull, thanks to that stinkin Union. I side with the Owners on this one, their money is the cash on the line when these teams open up every year, not the players. Not to mention players’ salaries are bordering on baseball-high, and they only work 5 months a year, 6 if they’re good. Take your millions, quit your whining and play a sport for a filthy rich living. And you’re welcome for the extra bye week, guys. At the same time, the league should take some of this money they aren’t giving the players, and put it towards concussion research and supporting retired players who aren’t insured. I’m no Mike Ditka, but these guys busted their ass for us when football players didn’t make nearly as much, and now their lives are shattered because of it. Also, let’s tone down the rookie contracts. Signing top talent is fine, and paying them well is fine too; but in the end they haven’t proven anything and there are veterans out there working just as hard, if not harder and getting paid a fraction of that. The list of players who have made less than Ryan Leaf is endless, and I’m sure filled with a who’s who of All Pro players. I rest my case.
This doesn’t solve everything, but I think it’s a good start to negotiations; along with preferred parking for veterans, I think would go a long ways towards getting football back on the field in September.
You have your orders, Roger, now get to work.
“Nike is prepping a new fitness app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app, Nike Training Club, will be available for free on January 1, 2011. Nike Training Club is targeted at women and designed to be a full-body training app. It includes workouts and drills in areas focusing on strength, cardio and core-training.”
Read more about this at Mashable.