Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Great Thou Art

Last weekend, the Boston Red Sox won a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers by winning the Friday and Sunday games. Zeb and I had talked earlier in the year about him getting tickets and me going up and finally attending a game at Fenway Park. I've been to Boston a couple of times over the years for work, but they were either out of town, playing in a tight pennant race, or it was not conducive to my schedule. This time though, we were going to make it work. As an incentive, Zeb told me that this was the first time the both teams were in first place while facing each other since 1982, which meant they were tied in the AL Eastern Division. 1982, as any Brewer fan knows is the year the Brewers made their only World Series appearance losing to St. Louis in seven games.

Well, it didn't work out. On the first day that tickets went on sale, Zeb was able to score some standing room only tickets for the game. As the day got closer and closer, my schedule seemed to get unbearable. With one week remaining before the game, I phoned Zeb and told him I wasn't going to be able to attend because I was being sent to Chicago for work, and every time I get the chance to go back to the mid-West, I try to make it home to Wisconsin and visit my dad for a couple of days. Zeb understood and wasn't saddled with an extra ticket since he had a back-up plan to attend the game with his cousin. As things worked out, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and the city held its victory parade the same day, so it was fortuitous for Zeb and his cousin to attend that too. (See Zeb's post.)

So going back to the games. Going into the game, the Brewer's were in first place but had lost three of four in a series against the Cubs. In game one on Friday, Brewer's pitcher, Sean Marcum, gets a hip flexor in the first inning and is pulled from the game in the first inning. Probably the play of the game was in the third inning. The Brewers began to rally by hitting four consecutive singles to lead off the inning before Dustin Pedroia made a diving stab at a hard-hit grounder from McGehee. Pedroia quickly tossed it to second, starting a double play that scored one run, to tie the game at 4-4, but he killed the rally and kept Milwaukee from regaining the lead. Boston then scores six unanswered runs to win 10-4.

In game two, left-hander Randy Wolf came out on Saturday and stymied Red Sox batters scattering nine hits and two runs through seven innings, while the Brewers won 4-2. The Brewers were able to score two runs in both the first and third innings off Jon Lester. In this game, what was probably most notable was Rickie Weeks leading off the game with a high fly ball into foul territory on the first-base side, but Adrian Gonzalez couldn't handle it, dropping the ball while avoiding contact with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. It was ruled an error, and the mistake was costly because on the next pitch, Weeks homered over the Monster, and then Corey Hart follows with a homer on the first pitch he saw into right field as Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead. Boston's bottom half of the inning saw them tie the score, but in the third, George Kottaras leads off the inning with a solo shot; and then Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder gets back-to-back walks and Casey McGehee hits a single to finish up the scoring for the game.

In Sunday's rubber match-up saw Yovanni Gallardo and Tim Wakefield face-off, but it never was the duel one hoped for. Let's put it this way, the Sox celebrated the Bruin's Cup championship before the game, and the Brewer's never showed up to play. The Brewers played so bad, I couldn't find any press release on their website and had to go the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to refresh my memory. To say Gallardo struggled in the first inning would be an understatement. It took him 46 pitches to get through the first inning and the Brewers were down 6-0. Wakefield ends up working eight innings and gives up only three hits. Final score 12-3.

It would be nice to see if these two teams can meet again in the World Series; but the Brewers will have to forget how terrible they played in this series if they wish to prevail in that one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time For Another Death Penalty Sentence In College Football

Anybody who knows the history of college football knows that there has only been one so-called death sentence given out to a university.  That university was SMU who could not play for a year and then struggled to put a program together that could be called a winner for 20 years.  Well, with USC, Ohio State, Oregon and other universities around the country doing their damndest to cheat and not get caught, it is time to bring the death penalty out of the mothballs and implement it on a university that plays "big time" college football.  And I believe that there is a great candidate out there for this to be used on.  The University of North Carolina Football Program.

Why UNC?  Well, we have the former Associate Head Coach at UNC not cooperating with the NCAA, that same coach being in business with an agent.  Said coach was listed as a Vice-President of the agent's company while employed as a coach at UNC.  7 players received over $25,000 in improper benefits.  The nanny of the Head Coach is doing player's homework.  And a former tutor providing improper benefits to players. And to tell me that the Head Coach has no idea of any of this going on?  Ridiculous.

The notice, released Tuesday evening, accuses former associate head coach John Blake of providing ''false and misleading information'' to both NCAA investigators and the school regarding his relationship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard. That included a failure to report $31,500 in outside income from Wichard's firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, from May 2007 to October 2009.

The NCAA said Blake worked to steer players to Wichard once they reached the NFL. Blake's attorneys have previously characterized the transactions as loans between friends during tough financial times.

The notice states seven players received more than $27,000 in improper benefits in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the NCAA alleged unethical conduct by former tutor Jennifer Wiley for refusing to cooperate with the investigation and providing about $3,500 worth of extra benefits in travel, parking expenses and free tutoring to players.

The school was also cited for failing to monitor ''social media activity'' of the team in 2010 as well as the conduct of former player Chris Hawkins. Hawkins was previously connected to trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas made by cornerback Kendric Burney, and also paid $1,000 for the jersey of Georgia's A.J. Green - a transaction that resulted in Green's four-game suspension because the NCAA said Hawkins qualified as an agent. Hawkins had hung around the program and players in recent years, but has since been told to stay away.

So the University needs to pay for the improper benefits that the former players received.  And if that was the only thing here, I would say let them do the scholarship reduction and vacating wins.  But when you have the Associate Head Coach actually being part of a Sports Agency, it shows that there is no institutional control of the program.  And that is why the University of North Carolina should be hit with the death penalty.  One full year of no games being played.  One full year of no practices.  Send the message to the powers of UNC that if the coach is retained, there will be further sanctions.  Cut the scholarships down to 50.  If the NCAA does this, they send a clear and precise message to everybody in collegiate sports.  Enough of the BS that you are allowing coaches and boosters to get away with.  You have a compliance office, use it.  And UNC with Butch Davis and the cardinal sin of having a Sports Agent Vice-President as your Associate Head Coach should make this very clear, UNC was cheating more than USC, more than Ohio State.  They were perverting the "amateurism" of the football players that went to Chapel Hill.  Butch Davis deserves to be vilified by the NCAA and anybody else that wants to abide by the rules that each university pledges that they will abide by.  Give NC the Death Penalty, put them out of their misery and then see if they can run a program that will abide to rules instead of being the Miami Hurricanes of the 80's or the USC Trojans of the past 30 years.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This should give any hockey fan goosebumps.  Great job, CBC!

Monday, June 20, 2011

And The NHL Keeps On Rolling Along Towards Free Agency

Even though some people on this blog would probably love to keep the business of the NHL away for the next couple of months to revel in the Bruins victory, time doesn't let us.  There are reports out there that the Salary Cap will be at $64 Million and the floor will be at $48 Million.  Here is a look at some possible Unrestricted Free Agents (and their 10-11 salaries) that can be signed come July 1.

Rally Day (and another trip to Fenway)

While we did have a very good time, it could have been a whole lot better for us if the Red Sox game hadn't been moved from 1:00 to 7:00.  Initially we were going to go to the parade, walk over to Fenway for the Sox game at 1:00, then head to New Hampshire to hang with friends for awhile; but since those friends had tee times while we had five hours to kill, we did a lot of "sightseeing" instead.

We hit the road at about 6:30 in the morning.  One of the first memorable things to happen was that a car passed me rather quickly on the left, then within a minute I was passing that car back, which always frustrates me since I drive with the cruise control on.  So I turn to my left and literally say "Make up your fucking" -- when Cuz and I realize it's one of our friends who's heading down to play golf.  He didn't know we were going to the parade but saw my #32 Don Sweeney Bruins sweater hanging in the back and figured it out.  That sweater plays prominently in the day's events.

We get down to the northernmost T stop to park the car and take the subway in.  As soon as we approach the T stop in Malden, we know it's going to be a very crowded day...people and cars everywhere.  You could see people backed up waiting at every stop we passed on the way to North Station, which is where TD Garden is and where the parade was to start.  Originally we thought we would see the players leave on the duck boats from TD Garden, then get on the train to a stop along the parade route close to Copley Center, where we believed the actual rally was to be held.  We decided against that because we didn't think we'd be able to get back on the train (we were right) once the parade started.  So we transferred at North Station and got off one stop short of Copley, then walked along the parade route to a good spot a couple of blocks from Copley, arriving at 9:30.

Well if we had known we would've waited there for 2 1/2 hours and that the player speeches were going to happen back at TD Garden, we would've done this all differently.  As it turns out, we had that long wait in the hot sun on the hot pavement until nearly noontime before the duck boats get to us, and we somehow missed seeing the Cup.  We were told afterwards by other people who were there that it was with Chara and Thomas in the first boat.  Well, we saw Chara and Thomas but not the Cup.  So at the time it passed us, it must have been with whoever was on the other side of that particular boat.  (Cuz is going to peruse the pictures he took to see if there's a glimpse of it)  Back to the wait for a moment:  Cuz and I have mostly nothing else to do but chat and watch the very plentiful eye candy.  At one point someone walks up behind me and taps me on the shoulder, where I see a smiling young lady who says "Look at my sweater" and turns around, where lo and behold I see a newer version of a #32 Don Sweeney Bruin sweater.  She has a friend with her, who has us turn our backs to her, look back at her and she takes a picture.  Thanks, Jenni!
Later on when the duck boats are passing, we see the one that has Don Sweeney on it (now one of the club presidents).  So I start hollering repeatedly "Hey Donnie" and turn around and keep pointing at my back.  Mark Recchi is on the same side next to Sweeney and spots me, tells Donnie, who then sees me and gives me two thumbs up and a big smile.  Seeing me there was nothing compared to parading with the Stanley Cup but you could tell he got a kick out of seeing at least one of his sweaters on the parade route.  I only saw that one other the whole day, which is saying something since the crowd estimates are at a million and a half, and I'd dare say half of those were wearing Bruin sweaters.
Click "read more" below to read about the rest of the day, including the Red Sox/Brewers game.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Last Thing From The NBA Finals

Apparently, the people in Florida have dementia.  First we had the Macy's advertizement in the Miami Herald hocking Miami Heat Finals Championship apparel, and now we have the following shirts being sold at Wal-Marts in Florida.

The shirt does look all nice and stuff, but all you really need to know is this:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Way To Embarrass Youselves, Vancouver

I had a flashback to 1994 when the fine people of Vancouver decided to destroy their city when their hockey team couldn't pull out Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final.  It appears that the rioters of 1994 didn't teach others the folly of what they did.

Just because you had the most talented team in the finals doesn't mean that you had the best team in the finals.  Both times that the 'Nucks lost Game 7, they had the best talent but the talent didn't form a better team than the Rangers or Bruins.  Time to take a look at yourselves up there in Vancouver and ask yourselves if embarrassing yourselves twice over your hockey team not being able to win the biggest game of the season is worth it all.  There is tens of Millions of dollars of damage.  There is over 100 people arrested.  There are hundreds hurt.  Tell me that this is worth it. 

The game of hockey is just that a game.  It is disrespect that you are showing the game and your team when you decide to destroy the city that you live in.  Think that the fans in Boston would do this?  Hell no they wouldn't.  They would be upset if their team lost the finals, but they would be proud of their team and proud of their city.  The best team in the NHL during the playoffs won the Stanley Cup.  Deal with it in ways that doesn't destroy the city you idiots.  Get drunk and sleep it off.  Call the Sports talk shows and say what the Canucks need to do in order to win next year.  Have animal sex with your significant other.  Do something that doesn't involve becoming a criminal.  Have to start calling you Montreal West because of the fans.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bruins win the Stanley Cup (initial thoughts)

Shut down the #1 power play, winning 3 game 7s, Brad Marchand(desire) (Dustin Pedroia on skates), Bergeron 2 goals, the trades for Kelly and Peverley in particular, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas == shutout and dominated, the leadership of Mark Recchi.  I have my issues with very conservative Claude Julien but you have to give him all kinds of credit for winning this series in particular.
Only the 3rd team in major US sports history to win a game 7 on the road for a championship
heart, leadership, TEAM, played the whole playoffs without Marc Savard, Krejci was so solid but not noticeable by the average fan but a real fan saw what kind of series he had.  I'm remiss to leave out Chara's leadership, and his and Siedenberg's defense that neutralized the excellent Canuck offense.

Highlights -- the Ryder save, the Thomas stick save, the Horton injury,

I'll try to write something much more professional after the scotch and exitement wears off.  I can tell you that my #32 Don Sweeney sweater is making the trip to Fenway this weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hey Drew Brees! How About A Little Help Here?!

Yep.  All these PR stunts by active NFL players like Drew Brees that say they are fighting for the retired players are nothing but hot air.  This is a guy who is part of the player's union, and then they turn him away because he is costing the NFLPA money.  Disgusting.

Bruce Schwager, spends most waking hours staring at the NFL Network, silently comforted by the images of players running and blocking and tackling the way he did as a lineman for the United States Merchant Marine Academy so long ago. He does not notice his wife, Bette, silently packing his clothes and pictures into moving boxes, and does not understand when she blames the players union in which her husband still belongs.

Since July 2009, the charitable arm of the N.F.L. players union had voluntarily paid Schwager’s medical bills, which eventually topped $250,000. Schwager never played in a regular-season game — he joined the union by attending two training camps — and the players association treated him as one of its own.

But on March 14, the first day of business after the N.F.L. lockout began and the union prepared for what could be a long and costly work stoppage, a union official called Schwager’s son and said the aid would cease immediately. 

Yep.  Decertifying and taking the league to court by the NFLPA is to ensure that current and former players and members of the NFLPA are taken care of.  Well, Mr. Brees, we can now call bull**** on that talking point that you love to use.

Three players association officials, including the executive director, DeMaurice Smith, did not respond to messages requesting comment about Schwager’s case. In an April 4 letter to the Schwagers’ lawyer, Cy Smith, DeMaurice Smith wrote, “We have been and remain deeply concerned about the financial and medical well-being of Mr. Schwager and his family during this crisis,” but he added that there was no “agreement to pay those expenses indefinitely into the future.”

DeMaurice Smith did not refer to the lockout in his letter. But Schwager’s son, Joshua, said that the aid ceasing so soon after the work stoppage began “cannot be a coincidence.”

Bette and Joshua Schwager acknowledged that the union had been under no legal obligation to help their family two summers ago through the Players Assistance Trust. The aid appeared to derive in part from how the union’s director of retired players, Andre Collins, played briefly with Joshua Schwager at Penn State in the late 1980s and knew the family.

Bette and Joshua Schwager contend, however, that Collins never mentioned any limit on the assistance the Players Assistance Trust would provide, and that they relied on his promises. In e-mails she shared with The New York Times, Collins initially wrote that “The NFLPA’s PAT Fund will be responsible for the hospice bill” and, eight months later, that the union was “still fully committed” to Schwager’s care. 

Come on, Drew.  Let's get some of your union buddies to chip in a $1,000 each and provide hospice care for one of those people that paved the way before you in the NFL.   Y'all can afford it and this is one of the people you are saying that you are fighting for.  And then ask your "leader" DeMaurice Smith why he and the leadership at the NFLPA has decided that abandoning one of their own is the correct decision when you are telling the American public that you are doing the decertification and suing the NFL for exactly the person that Bruce Schwager is.  Hypocritical bastards.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gotta Love Photoshop

LeBron brought this on himself.

Dwayne Wade Apparently Isn't A Clutch Leader

Remember this blast from the past?

"Dirk said that they gave us the championship last year," Wade said Thursday. "But he's the reason they lost the championship because he wasn't the leader he's supposed to be in the closing moments."

Dirk was being nice when he said that the Mavericks gave you the title in 2006.  It was the officials and your acting.  So let's come forward to 2011.  The Heat have Batman (Wade) and Robin (James).  You have Nightwing (Bosh), in keeping with the DC references.  Guess who's the leader of this team?  Wade.  The reason that the Heat lost the championship if we use Wade's thought process is that he wasn't the leader that he was supposed to be in the final minutes.  So this is a nice thought for us Mavericks fans who in 2006 were robbed of a championship because of so many bad calls that went Wade's way.  And for that small little pr*** to call out the other team's best player as not being the leader that he was supposed to be, karma is a great thing. 

Dwayne, you and your leadership suck.  In 2006, it was Shaq and Mourning that kept the Heat from losing.  In 2011, we see that you cannot lead a more talented team to the championship.  Where was the leadership that you supposedly have come the 4th Quarter in Game 6?  Hell, LeBron outplayed you in that quarter.  Your team quit with about 4 minutes left.  That is one thing that the 2006 Mavs didn't do.  They fought until the final buzzer.  That is the true definition of a leader.  In the face of insurmountable odds, the leader's teammates fight until the end.  Your teammates didn't fight until the end.  And that is a reflection on you and the type of leader that you are.

He Said It

“At the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail – at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today … they can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point.” – Miami Heat forward LeBron James, June 12, 2011.

I really wanted to shorten this to a profane two-word phrase that rhymes with “duck him” but I’ve got something better to say about the petulant, narcissistic man-child known as LeBron James. He thinks he’s a coddled superstar, but once again he proved he’s the greatest player in the National Basketball Association as long as there’s no pressure on him to win.

LeBron is incapable of performing in the fourth quarter of games that matter. THAT is the reality I’m returning to when I wake up in the morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Is A Credit To Mark Cuban And The Mavericks Team

I Wish Santa's Helpers Looked Like This When I Was Young
Not her.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  This piece of news:

Despite the fact that Game 6 of the NBA Finals is taking place in Miami at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday night, that doesn’t mean there won't be a sea of blue supporters in downtown Dallas, cheering on the Mavericks.

On Friday, the Mavericks put 18,000 tickets on sale for a party Sunday at the American Airlines Center, where fans can watch the Mavs in their attempt to close out the Miami Heat and win their first NBA championship.

The tickets, priced at $5, sold out in an hour, according to The Dallas Morning News.

That is $90,000 folks.  And where is that money going?  Not into Mark Cuban's pockets.

But don’t think of this as a quick cash-grab by the Mavericks. The net proceeds from the ticket sales will go toward the Mavericks Foundation, which assists young people through programs stressing education, good health and skills necessary for their future success. 

The Dallas fans are supporting a team that we all know hasn't had the best success in the playoffs.  It is a credit to those fans that they support this team through all the disappointments.  That is unlike some cities that won't support their teams even when they are perennial playoff qualifying temas (Atlanta).

Friday, June 10, 2011

To Hell With The Heat and The Media

Zeb wondered why I wasn't doing a NBA Finals recap since my favorite team is in the Finals and are winning 3-2.  Right now, anything that I do say will be biased and extremely one way of looking at things.  But now, since the Heat have shown themselves to be lowlife scum, specifically LeBron and Wade, I really don't care about what it looks like about what I write.

First off, the Big 3 are nothing but whiners.  Watch the first 5 games in this series.  They are constantly whining and talking to the refs.  Hell, even the implicit media who wants the Heat to be the main story no matter what, are saying that the Heat are off their game because the Refs are not calling the fouls that they usually get.  Listen to the talking heads over at the Mothership at ESPN.  LeBron was fouled on a drive and Wade was showing his toughness in coming back in Game 5.  That is the reason that the Heat lost Game 5.  I call **&$#@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Every team in the finals has to overcome injuries and the refs aren't sitting there saying I wonder what would happen if I threw the game like Tim Donahey did. I don't hear every day about how Dallas's Third star of their Big 3 is out for the season, Caron Butler.  Imagine your best defender that would be responsible for guarding LeJerk or DeWhiner over the series actually playing.  The Heat would be sitting in South Beach crying to the media about how unfair the finals were called by the refs and how it's not fair that Dallas got all the calls.  They will be doing this next week, but you would have it already.  Bosh whines as well, but isn't the big baby like the other 2.

Next, let's put the media out there for some of the blame.  Bruins fans know about this one this year.  In the Stanley Cup Finals, it is all about Vancouver.  The Sedins, Luongo, Burrows, Kessler.  The same thing about the NBA Finals.  It is all about Pat Riley, LeJerk, DeWhiner, Bosh.  Read the stories about the NBA Finals.  Let's look at the Headlines from Pro Basketball Talk:

Video:  LeBron, Wade mock sick Dirk...It's not a big deal

History Says That Miami has a real chance to win this

LeBron James was good, but we expect more of him

NBA Playoffs:  Miami's defense lets them down

NBA Finals:  Dallas tops Miami in an outlier, but what of it?

So let's examine the headlines.  It isn't a big deal that the main stars of the Heat make fun of an opponent playing sick and beating them.  Apparently, it wasn't a big deal when LeJerk was sick during Game 2 of the Chicago series.  But yet, we had updates every 5 minutes from Rachel Nichols of ESPN about how well he is feeling.  History says that the winner of Game 5 in a 2-2 series wins over 73% of the series.  But history says that Miami has a real chance.  LeJerk should be able to play better than this.  Well, maybe, just maybe, history says that Dallas has figured out LeJerk and plays good defense on him.  Every game this year against Dallas, LeJerk has scored no more than 25 points.  So instead of asking what LeJerk is doing wrong, let's flip it around and ask what Dallas is doing right.  Miami's defense isn't great.  Watch the 2 Heat wins this series.  The Mavericks guards couldn't hit the bottom of the basket when they were wide open.  Game 5 was a fluke, apparently.  After all, an outlier is thrown out of finding averages and trends.  I submit that this wasn't an outlier.  This is the way that Dallas wants to play and they have finally started to get the tempo of the game that they want to play.

I am hoping that this series is over with Game 6.  Because I want retribution from 2006 with DeWhiner getting more Free Throws over the past 4 games than the Mavericks did as a team.  You want conspiracy theories, that is one you should investigate.  Because game after game, you could see DeWhiner flop time and time again and getting the calls.  The Mavericks were the better team that year.  This year, the Heat aren't getting as many fouls called on their opponent.  And as for the flopping that the Heat are doing like a fish out of water, Dallas will play the same way if that is the way you want to play it.  And if you are a Heat apologist, I don't want to hear about how the calls are falling.  Take a look at the Marion break away with a minute and a half left in Game 5.  LeJerk didn't touch the ball, he hacked the crap out of Marion and the refs are like, I can't find my whistle, and I don't know where to look. 

And as a final shot at the Media in this fiasco of crowning the Heat kings even now, you had Jason Whitlock after Game 3 saying that the Heat were playing around with the Mavericks.  Even now, he hasn't come out and said that he was wrong in dismissing the Mavs.  He is now claiming that the media is too much for the King.  Well, stop sucking his **!#$ and he won't have so much pressure.  Over on ESPN, you have had Michael Wilbon championing the Heat since the beginning of the playoffs.  I am tired of people in the media having their own prejudices in their so called neutral stories.  When you are an analyst on ABC for the Finals, it shouldn't always be about one team.  There is another side of the story.  Maybe Michael Wilbon will come to figure that out after this series.  But working with Tony Kornheiser might prevent that from becoming reality.  Learn that even if the suits back in Corporate Headquarters think that the 37th story about LeJerk in a week will bring readers or viewers, there is a smaller but yet growing fanbase of teams that aren't in the major 4 Media Markets that the National perspective think every sport revolves around.  I say to hell with the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, and Celtics right now.  They are all sitting at home, but yet there has been just as much coverage about the Lakers and all their disfunction and the Knicks GM job, and the Celtics changes as there has been about the Mavericks and their team of veterans that have banded together to overcome the bad taste of defeats in the past.  Where are the stories about Marion's struggles in Phoenix?  How about Tyson Chandler and his route throughout the NBA?  How about Rick Carlisle and all those times he came up short in the East?  Go to hell, mainstream media and maybe while you are there, you can attend journalism school again and learn something.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What's Good For The Bruins...

I will probably have Zeb really angry at me for this, but the video above is from the Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5.  Bruins fans want to be up in arms about Aaron Rome's hit on Nathan Horton and claim that it another sign that the Canucks are cheap shot artists.  Great.  Then tell me what this shot is.  And of course Lucic slashing and then punching Burrows in the head when Burrows is on his knees is a sign of playing tough old time hockey.  You want to get worked up on the diving that the Canucks are doing, I agree with you.  But you cannot sit there with a straight face and say that the Bruins don't take cheap shots against their opponents.  And if you are screaming that the NHL office is against your team in the Finals, be it Boston or Vancouver, because of the penalties being called or not being called, the video evidence tells a different story.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Game 3 rant (part 2)

I preface this by saying that going into this series, were it not the Bruins who were playing Vancouver, I would've loved to see them win for their fans and the city.  Not anymore, I'm learning to hate this team that really mirrors the Canadiens.  I do respect Kessler though.
It's bad enough that Burroughs bites Bergeron, is not suspended and scores 2 goals in game 2 but then Lapierre is running around trying to get Bergeron to bite his fingers and taunting, which is typical Lapierre...bush league at its best.

  • "Marchand, you pesky little bastard, where have you been?! Gooooaaaal!
  • now they need to keep the emotion up and pressure on, and not start playing tight again.
  • He's Pedroia on skates. (referring to Marchand)  He's a rookie who no one expected much from.
  •  I can't believe they called that penalty a double minor. I didn't see any blood and the stick was under the chin.
  •  What I was saying earlier: Listen to the announcers comment on the missed penalties by the Canucks but they don't miss Boston's
  • See what I mean: Sedin after getting put on his ass on a clean hit that he initiated, grabs his face trying to get a penalty, then grabs Ferenze from behind like he's tough
  •  I understand what you're saying but in hockey a high stick is a high stick. The double minor is only supposed to be called when it draws blood, which it couldn't have being under his chin instead of in his chops, unless the ref didn't see where the stick hit and the Canuck bit his lip
  • The Bruins have been great on defense but I can't count how many bad giveaways they've had also.
  • I understand what the refs are doing throwing Thornton out but that goes back to what I've been saying...why not throw out Lapierre and Boroughs for taunting, etc. What's the real difference. Doesn't matter, the Bruins have 5 more guys who can kick their ass.
  •  Run your mouth, Burroughs, you know you wouldn't throw down with Lucic. Man, I wish this were a regular season game, we'd be seeing a real melee when this is over, kinda like the Dallas game earlier in the year when they came in and tried to be tough with the Bruins and ended up getting beat by a bunch of goals and lost several really bad fights
  • You know, at this point with the Bruins down 2 games to 1, Tim Thomas is the series MVP
  •  Awesome guys, but can we save a couple of goals for the next game?! LOL
  • Final score:  Bruins-8 Canucks-1"

Stanley Cup Finals game 3 rant

Below are quotes from my Facebook wall during the first period of game 3, resultant from more LaPierre punkery and the Rome hit on Horton.  What you don't see are comments and questions by others that prompted some of my comments.  Enjoy.

  • "I love Chara but he shouldn't be allowed to skate with the puck.
  • Now we'll see whether the NHL grows some balls and suspends this Canuck.
  • and we need to score a couple goals on this PP.
  • put the fucking puck in the net, you guys, for Christ's sake.
  • I'm just disgusted. The Bruins have allowed this punk of a team to get in their heads. The goalie is very good but he hasn't met a real good shot this whole series. And if this were a regular season game, there'd be Canucks laying all over the ice because no team deserves an ass kicking more than this bunch and that includes the Canadiens.
  • You have one team that's always in the right place, always knows what to do and it's not the Bruins
  • That's why it looks like there's always more Canucks than Bruins on the ice and that they have magnets on their sticks
  • This reminds me of the Montreal series except against a better team. The Bruins can't play the game they're best at because they've been screwed by refs who fall for all the diving and other fakery. So I think they're just out of sync, especially on offense. And then punks like LaPierre have gotten under their skin because that pussy never drops the gloves but he gets to taunt and poke and slash with impugnity.
  • The other thing is this: If just one of Boston's snipers were on a roll right now, this whole series would look very different. They've had chances to bury pucks and haven't done it.
  • If you've been watching these games, which I think you have, you should be getting a clear picture of why the Canucks are the most hated team in the league, right along with the Canadiens. The fans and other players hate the way they play.
  • Mike Milbury did a good job of being fair and biting his tongue during the intermission. As arguably the meanest and nastiest Bruin ever, I have a good idea what he wanted to say."
NOTE:  I was having so much fun, I decided to keep going.  I need to get you guys on FB for stuff like this.  Keep in mind that all of the above occurs in the first period before any goals were scored.  Part 2 is during the second and third periods.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

My Take On The NFL Lockout

As this hasn't been put on this blog yet as a posting by itself and since we all know the media slant on the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals, I decided to put my thinking on the blog towards the NFL Lockout.  And as hard as it is for me to say it, I support the owners in this thing.  I'll explain below.  I'll also give my thoughts on what I would say is a fair deal.

1.  The revenue sharing.  In the last CBA, revenue sharing was set forth as such:  $1 Billion in revenue was taken away immediately and given to the owners.  Then the rest of the Revenues are split 59.6% to the players and 40.4% was given to the Owners.  Given that revenues are estimated at $9 Billion, this gives the players $4.8 Billion of the revenue while Owners get $4.2 Billion.  The Owners proposal of taking $2 Billion off the top and then splitting the revenues the same would reverse this.  The Owners would receive the $4.8 Billion while the Players would get the $4.2 Billion.  So if the players are wanting this to be 50/50, why haven't they come to the owners and said we will give $1.5 Billion off the top and then split the revenue with the split the way it is.  That way each side would get roughly the same amount.

2.  Risk taking.  The NFL players are at risk only when they cannot or don't perform on the field.  The contract that they sign isn't guaranteed, but if they do under perform the contract, they still get paid the amount that they signed for.  And when they feel like they have outperformed their contract, they want to get paid.  For the owners, there are tons of risks.  Everything from performance on the field to PR in the community, to safety at the stadiums, to vendors, to parking and many more things that come as a risk to them.  Any of these things could cause a financial hit to the team and the owners.  But is that taken into account when splitting revenue?  No.

3.  Expenses.  Let's see here.  the players have the expense of taxes taken out of their fair share of the pie.  That is it.  Let's see what the owners have taken out of their revenue.  Taxes, Personnel, Buildings, Payments on the stadiums, Jets, Upkeep of the practice facilities and stadiums, insurance for the players and others, coaching staffs, trainers, franchise fees, hotel rentals, per diems, bus fees, and a whole host of other things.  So if the players want to be "partners" with each NFL team, then why aren't they offering to pick up half of these expenses?  Oh right, they are "employees" when it comes to that, but not when it comes to anything else. 

4.  Stadiums.  I live in the Minnesota Vikings neck of the woods.  And they have been trying for a new stadium now for about a decade now.  The plan for a new stadium in Arden Hills has the vikings paying about 40% of a new stadium.  That would be about $450 Million.  So if the Vikings are making what the Bills reportedly have over the past 10 years in profit, they would come out with $25 Million in profit in a decade.  That is $2.5 Million per year in profit because of the new stadium.  And the players are making over $100 Million per year playing for the Vikings.  Tell me how that is splitting thing evenly.  And before you get on the bandwagon of how owners have cities and states helping them, let me ask you this:  Where are the "partners" of the owners, the players in all of this?  No where to be seen.  Then there is this problem from fans.  They want all the modern amenities that the newer stadiums have.  But yet they complain about prices and financing stadiums.  Ask yourself if you went to a football game next year and you had to attend it in the Old Veteran's Stadium, the Metropolitan Stadium in the Twin Cities, Gillette Stadium in Boston, or even The Orange Bowl in Miami, would look around at your surroundings and say that this is not acceptable?  Yes you would.  So get your business again, the teams must refurnish and rebuild stadiums to cater to your need for something better.  It is human nature.  And if owners need to continuously improve their facilities on their dime, why shouldn't they look at the players and all the money that they are making and say why aren't you  helping us out here, "partner"?

5.  Competitive balance.  The players in this litigation strategy that they have decided on could permanently damage the NFL.  Right now, you have 28 out of 32 teams that have a chance at getting to the playoffs.  But if the players and their litigation win, you are going to see the disparity of baseball only on steroids.  There will be no revenue sharing.  That is because the antitrust laws on the books at a Federal Level will say that the owners cannot collude to keep salaries in line with one another.  So while you might have 32 teams in the NFL, there are going to be the haves and have nots.  Both in terms of teams and players.  Because while you have no salary cap, you have no minimum either.  So the minimum veteran salary will not be there.  Watch as a long snapper gets paid $50,000 for the season.  Another thing that will be negotiated is insurance.  Teams won't have to keep policies on the players.  Everything that the players take for granted will have to be negotiated.  Per diem, travel, clothing, etc. will be different for everybody.  And practice habits will change as well.  Since the teams will have to be their own separate business, they can tell their players how long and when they are going to practice.  There won't be any rules on when you can and cannot practice.  Trades will become a thing of the past.  You cannot trade an employee to another business for another.  I know this all sounds stupid, but this is the ultimate endgame on the path that the sham decertified NFLPA is taking.

There is an old expression that the players have. 
Players play, Coaches coach, and Owners own.  During this lockout, we have the Players trying to play and own.  Own something they have no business in trying to own.  And that is all the power in the NFL.  While I don't like the lockout and absolutely would hate the missing of any games, the owners should have the right to say how they want to run the business of football.  And if it takes the not playing of the entire 2011 season for that to happen, I understand it and support it.  Most of us fans don't follow the individual players, otherwise we would have new favorite teams every couple of years.  We support the team and the players that are on that team.  The players seem to have forgotten that fact.  The league is bigger than the players.