Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekend in Providence, RI

Always wanted to go to Providence and the NCAA Ice Hockey Regionals was a great reason to go. Wonderful food finds, great company and an interesting game. Taking a walk on the 'Green Line' to see historical Providence was great fun too. Wish it had been a little warmer to have the gondolas open... but that would be another reason to go!

This is Zeb's addition:  We had a great time.  We had talked about going to Providence and the Regionals turned out to be the impetus to get us to finally go, and the weekend remained much more about the city and the food (unbelievably great) than it did about the games, which is why, even though you bought one ticket for three games, we only went to the BC/Union game last night...we wanted to spend as much time doing other things as possible.  I will share some thoughts about those things with some pics on my personal blog later.
Back to the game for just a bit:  Union outplayed BC by only a little bit early on but after getting a first-period powerplay goal, the ice tilted even more to Union's side and it was really never much of a game.  Union-5 Boston College-1.
It was neat to be in another arena to be reminded of what history had been made there.  So one of the pics I'm adding is related to that.  They also had a banner for a very old AHL team called the Providence Rhode Island Reds, who won a few Calder Cups back in the 30's and 40's.  I wish when the Maine Mariners were moved to Providence that they would've used that name instead of the Bruins.  I think it's a great play on words.

Just left of the flags is the retired jersey of Lenny Wilkens, and the two to the immediate right of the flags are Marvin Barnes and Ernie DeGregorio, the former being one of my favorite players as a kid, the poor man's Pete Maravich.


Friday, March 29, 2013

The Astros Need To Sign J.J. Watt

Well, the national media has finally figured out that the Astros aren't going to be a winning team this next season. In fact, they are bashing the Astros for their lack of payroll. I hope that they understand that we are doing rebuilding from the ground floor up. Why be a team that spends $100 Million and wins 70 games? That is called the Chicago Cubs. Anyways, with our lack of power that is on the Astros roster, the display that J.J. Watt put on in BP, the 'stros need to sign him for at least half a season.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt took batting practice with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday.
You can probably guess what happened next, because we wouldn’t have written this had he solely worked on moving the runner over from second to third with less than two outs.
Yes, J.J. Watt went yard.
Five times.
Watt, a right-handed hitter, had three of his five home runs hit a facade in left field, according to the Texans’ PR staff. Another struck a billboard in left.

Hell, those 5 yard shots might be 5th on the Astros roster at the end of the season.

A Frozen Four Prediction

NORTHEAST (Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, N.H.)
(3) UMass Lowell vs. Wisconsin
Denver vs. New Hampshire
(3) UMass Lowell vs. New Hampshire

EAST (Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, R.I.)
(1) Quinnipiac vs. Canisius
Boston College vs. Union
(1) Quinnipiac vs. Union
MIDWEST (Huntington Center - Toledo, Ohio)
Miami vs. Minnesota State
(4) Notre Dame vs. St. Cloud State
Miami vs. St. Cloud State
WEST (Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Mich.)
(2) Minnesota vs. Yale
North Dakota vs. Niagara
(2) Minnesota vs. North Dakota

Frozen Four
(1) Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State
(3) UMass Lowell vs. North Dakota

Championship Game:
(1) Quinnipiac vs. North Dakota

P.S. - It hurt picking the championship game.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Somebody Has To Try And Write A Blog Post On This!

Us people out here in the Northern Plains don't get to experiment with cutting edge technology much. So someone needs to go see a Lehigh Valley Ironpigs AAA home baseball game. Why? Because they have a new video game that you play with your pee. Someone over there on the right coast needs to do this and write the best blog post in the history of this blog. From NBC:

A steady stream will help Lehigh Valley IronPig fans stay entertained and learn about prostate health while answering nature’s call at the ballpark.

The Phillies’ AAA-minor league team will introduce the first “urinal gaming system” when the season kicks off at Coca-Cola Park next week.

Screens installed above urinals will display the game, which is a downhill snowmobile competition. The user’s flow controls the virtual snowmobiler as he tries to hit penguins on the route — directing the stream left or right will move the driver in that direction.

Now for the person that does go do this, make sure that your stream isn't going all over the place. You have to have a steady hand. Haha!

Downs says his team had a few laughs when they were approached to be a sponsor, but quickly decided it would be a great way to educate men about prostate health.

“You kind of have a built-in audience and an opportunity to create an awareness about the importance of prostate health,” he said.

The game screens will display information from the health system when the urinal is not in use. When a guy walks up to use the urinal, the information will go away and switch into game mode.

“There’s a lot of ways you can market different programs and healthcare. In this case, it made a lot of sense,” Downs says.

At least there is a good reason that this is happening, not just to keep men's brains occupied for a few more seconds.

IronPigs spokesman Jon Schaeffer says the "pee" game will be installed in four men’s rooms inside the 10,100-seat ballpark — one per restroom. Anyone using the urinal can play the game and it doesn't cost extra.

Players will be given a score at the end of their game. The high scorers will be displayed in real-time on video boards inside the ballpark. Players will also be ranked and recognized on the team's website.

And you know you want your name coming up on video boards inside the ballpark that says you are an expert wizzer control person. And we wonder why humanity seems to be on a downhill slide.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Wild Weekend Of Racing

This weekend has people buzzing about different things for different race series. In NASCAR, everything seems to be revolving around Joey Logano and the different situations that he is involved in and over in Formula 1 series, we have turmoil inside of different teams after the second race of the series.

Monday, March 25, 2013

You Cannot Make This Stuff Up

Only in wrestling can you decide to go for a move and cause your anus to split wide open.

Sean “x-Pac” Waltman had an accident at Saturday’s indy event he was booked for when he did the ‘Bronco Buster’ move which, literally, split his anus open. When Waltman went for the Bronco Buster, his opponent moved out of the way and Waltman went flying into the ring post crotch-first.  Waltman went to the hotel afterwards and immediately got taken to the hospital.  He ended up needing surgery this morning.

This was posted on twitter by Ryan Shamrock, “We don’t know if there is a medical term for it…but he did a bronco buster last night that literally ripped his ass apart! :-/ Lost a lot of blood! Had surgery this morning and is on the road to recovery! Believe it or not..this has happened to him once before!

And the funny thing is that this has happened to him once before. I hope that his body is donated to science because there are medical students that would choose other professions after looking at what has to be a big hole.

The Road To The Frozen Four

Somebody needed to write something for the blog, so I figured that I would post the NCAA Men's Hockey tournament up so everybody can look at it.

NORTHEAST (Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, N.H.)
(3) UMass Lowell vs. Wisconsin
Denver vs. New Hampshire
EAST (Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, R.I.)
(1) Quinnipiac vs. Canisius
Boston College vs. Union
MIDWEST (Huntington Center - Toledo, Ohio)
Miami vs. Minnesota State
(4) Notre Dame vs. St. Cloud State
WEST (Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Mich.)
(2) Minnesota vs. Yale
North Dakota vs. Niagara

First thoughts, I like the draw that UMass Lowell gets. I don't think that Wisconsin will continue the hotstreak that they had going in the WCHA playoffs. The possible 2nd round game between Minnesota and North Dakota will be a war. I was hoping for a WCHA team to actually be placed in the East bracket. It gets them away from the usual suspects. I look for the 1 and 3 seeds to advance to the Frozen Four, Minn. and ND get upset. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Under The Radar Baseball Stories From This Spring

I figured that I would comment on baseball stories that didn't get play on the blog during this Spring.  A couple have been pretty funny.

1. The New York Yankees are the "Evil Empire" of baseball. A panel of trademark judges denied a request from an entrepreneur from trademarking "Baseball's Evil Empire" when the Yankees objected. Here is the judges explaination of their denial:

“In short, the record shows that there is only one Evil Empire in baseball and it is the New York Yankees,” wrote the judges. “Accordingly, we find that [the Yankees] have a protectable trademark right in the term . . . as used in connection with baseball.”

Thank You Larry Lucchino for that phrase.

2. The "Evil Empire" is suing StubHub for having a store within 1500 ft. of Yankee Stadium and allowing customers to print the tickets that they buy from StubHub at that location. The Yankees are saying that it violates the scalping laws in New York. Never mind that the Yankees sell 3.5 Million tickets per year, it wants to sell more. If I see Brian Cashman dressed in a Darth Vader suit, then the "Evil Empire" moniker is complete.

3. An international draft is coming either this year or next year for baseball. Watch for less investment and development by major league baseball teams off American shores and possibly more talent staying off shore in Latin America.

4. The Cubs are still showing that they aren't getting to the World Series anytime soon. Last year, Jeff Samarzija pitched for the first time as a starter for the entire year. The Cubs offered him an offer of 5 years, and over $30 Million and the former Notre Dame TE declined saying that he wanted more. The Cubs are still negotiating. How is it that you are willing to pay for a year of production at a price range of $7 Million. Theo Epstein might not have been the genius that all of us thought he was in Boston.

5. Strange Injury: Michael Taylor of the Oakland A's has missed 10 days of training camp because of an injury he sustained by trying to throw away his chewing gum. Here is part of the report from Yahoo! Sports:

"Taylor already has missed a week of A’s camp because he cut the pinkie finger on his right hand in two spots trying to throw away a wad of gum. One of the gashes has healed, the other has not"

Anybody remember the old saying about walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time?

6. Finally, the best trade of all times: The Phillies trade P Mike Cisco for the grand sum of nada.  That is right, the Phillies sent Cisco to the Angels for no compensation. We have had a player traded for himself before, and players trading their families, and players being traded for something, even if it was for a bag of balls and a couple of donuts.

That says something about how badly the Phillies wanted to get rid of the kid. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Testy Affair

Given that the Bruins, then the defending Stanley Cup Champs during last year's first round of the playoffs, were upset by the Caps; given that the Bruins lost a three-goal lead to said Caps last week; given that the Capitals are still struggling to find their identity and get back into the playoff chase; given that both teams wore old-school throwback sweaters for today's matchup and especially given that G and I had a blog challenge on this game, it was a testy and rough affair. At least a half-dozen one-on-one scraps, G? And a couple of melees to boot.

In the end, the Bruins imposed their will on the struggling Capitals.  Here's a link for a blow-by-blow replay of the game  Suffice to say the Caps had no answer for the Bruins line of Krecji (who also scored the Caps lone goal), Lucic and Horton, who each had 3 points and Horton having a Gordie Howe hat trick (if you don't know what that is, go back to watching soccer.)

Right now I'll post this video of one of the Bruins goals and hope there'll be some vids of the many scraps from this game that I can add to this later.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

RIP Stompin' Tom

But long live hockey.  In memory of the passing yesterday of Stompin' Tom Connors, who wrote our and your favorite hockey song, I post the below video.  It also seems appropriate given that the Bruins and Leafs are facing off tonight.  Eff the Leafs, RJ!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013

A Couple Of Thoughts On Stories

Figured that I would run my mouth off at a couple of things in the sports world.

1.  The punishments handed out by the NHL to players that break the rules in games needs to be revisited.  I cannot figure out why and how penalties are handed out by Brendan Shanahan.  And that is after listening to his explanations.  I believe that the NHL should write down the punishments for actions.  If a check to the head is normally 6 games, then say it.  And then have modifiers for injury, severity, and other factors.  But let's have a standard.  And since I am talking about penalties here, let's get the officials on the ice together and have them try to call games the same.  There are some games where if there is no blood, there is no penalty and in others, the slightest infraction is called.  I would blame Gary Bettman, but this time I blame the players.  Why?  Because they haven't figured out that they are the ones that need to put pressure on the league to get these things done.

2.  The Grambling State Men's Basketball Team.  They are on the verge of history, and it's not good.  The Tigers are 0-27 this season and the Regular season is over.  They have one more chance at a win during the SWAC tournament.  I wouldn't bet on the Tigers though.  All of the games that they have lost have been by double digits.  The Tigers should be the Eighth Division-I school that has went through a season winless.

3.  Joe Flacco is one rich man.  A 6-year, $120 Million contract.  I hope that he is able to complete this contract.  And I know that I am in the minority when I say this, but Flacco deserved the money and I consider him a Top 5 Quarterback.  I put him in front of Drew Brees, that is for sure. 

4.  March Madness is nearly here and I don't give a damn.  I think that I am burnt out on basketball.  I don't care about the NBA because it is all about LeBron and the Lakers dysfunction. However, there are two things that I would like to see happen.  #1: Leave the Kings in Sacramento.  #2: Charlotte should change their name back to the Hornets.


5.  Some things from the Patriots are better left unseen: