Sunday, February 22, 2015

Found On Twitter: Angry Birds?

It is now official. After nine seasons, the San Diego Gulls are back and I couldn’t be happier!

Compared to the WCHL/ECHL logo from a decade ago, I really like this one. It retains the navy, light blue, orange and white colors that the team wore for most of its existence going back nearly fifty years ago, and the gull is updated to look like it eats Ontario Reign for breakfast and… I can’t say here how it “makes” Bakersfield Condors. *laughs*

The new season doesn’t begin until October, but I can’t wait to buy a hat, a jersey, a puck and a t-shirt once they’re available. My schedule will be changing soon, which means I’ll have many opportunities to see hockey in my hometown. Will I buy season tickets? At this time I can’t, but I wouldn’t rule out attending as many as twenty games this season. I might even take a road trip or two to go cheer for them in Ontario.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2014 NFL Pick 'Em Challenge Winner

The 4th Annual BoSox Tavern NFL Pick 'Em Challenge is in the books!  And the winner is Aaron!  Each year the gang endeavors to see who can pick the most winners each week of the NFL season.  It actually stayed pretty close through the first eight weeks, but Aaron's prowess in pigskin prognostication proved particularly potent, providing the pride of participants with pundit perfuse proficiency!  (whew!)
1.  OVERALL WINNER:  Aaron 175 correct picks (65.9%)

BLAIR: 170 wins
JAMES: 170 wins
ZEB: 169 wins
RICK: 166 wins
ROBBIE: 163 wins
GEORGE:  160 wins
ELLERY: 160 wins
BRENT: 162 wins
MIKE: 144 wins
TOM: 77 wins

ZEB: 2
RICK : 2
MIKE: 0    
TOM: 0

ZEB: 8
TOM: 0

4.  WINNING PERCENTAGE (AS A GROUP): 58.8%.....(eeeh!)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Everything Is Awesome In Maple Leafs Country? Really!

It is Legos and Hockey. A Match made in heaven. Now if the Maple Leafs could figure out how personnel on the ice is important, they might have something.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Must Read

Last night, I finished reading one of the best hockey books I’ve read in a very long time. If it weren’t for the fact I have a job, I would have likely finished this book in one evening. It was that good.

Remember Val James? You don’t? Let’s go back in time roughly thirty years. The NHL had twenty-one teams. Team USA had recently won the gold medal at Lake Placid. The Leafs sucked, but it wasn’t long ago when they played more than one Stanley Cup Playoff round in the spring. In Buffalo, one of the most feared fighters ever to lace on a pair of skates made his debut for the Sabres.

Valmore James, who was born in Ocala, Florida and grew up on Long Island, became the first black American hockey player to play in the NHL. He was brought up by the big club for one purpose – to deal with the Boston Bruins. Val took care of business, but it came at a high personal cost. Black Ice is his story.

The book doesn’t just tell how Val became the best fighter of his era. You also learn about the racism he dealt with along the way. The third chapter absolutely made me cry. Like Val, when I was in third grade I thought I was just like everyone else until a complete stranger – in my case, a kid my own age -- called me a racial slur. And then other kids joined in. When I got home from school, I remember crying to my parents and telling them, “I don’t want to be a Mexican!”

Strangely enough, Val and I share one thing in common. There are those who endure racist taunts, and then there’s the way Val and I handled things. It was refreshing to see I wasn’t the only one who didn’t take shit from anyone. You call either of us a racial slur, then you be prepared to, um, “back it up”.

For those of you who want to know what professional hockey was like in the late 70s to the mid-80s from a player’s point of view, you have to pick up this book. It is filled with stories from his time on Long Island, Canadian junior hockey, the EHL, AHL, and his brief stints in the NHL. For a preview, click on this link and enjoy the first two chapters.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Monday, February 02, 2015

Very much spoiled

I do plan to write a piece about last night's Super Bowl, won by the Patriots, because it is one of the top 5 best Super Bowls we've seen. But I'm pretty darn busy right now. So I'm just going to mention how spoiled we've been in this region since the Patriots first Super Bowl win. We have a total of 9 championships -- four by the Patriots, three by the Red Sox and one each by the Bruins and Celtics; and you can add another four championship game/round appearances that these teams lost. It is the golden age of New England sports, an era unsurpassed or matched by any region ever. And I wanted to share a couple of my favorite things I've seen posted since the game ended, and also to mention how hysterical the Ted clip that was shown during the game was, particularly timely and funny given how much talk about Tom Brady's balls there's been.
I will be buying this shirt.