Oh I was just celebratin' Harden ran into my elbow!
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where it suddenly got colder and the natives don’t like it a bit
This is kind of a lull period where baseball is just getting warmed up. College basketball is on no one’s mind, pro basketball is lurching toward its playoffs and hockey is still weeding out the suckas and pretenders, one of which are my beloved Detroit Red Wings who were shooed aside by the Nashville Predators for their earliest playoff exit since 2006, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for that veteran laden team and one has to wonder if the magic is fading. The Wings have the longest playoff run of any of the four major sports. The last time that they missed the playoffs was my senior year in high school, 1990. But you wonder with grizzled captain Nick Lidstrom hinting at retirement if the Wings will continue to make splashes in the free agent market to keep their run going and try to get back to the Cup final…
Leading Off: More problems in the Big Easy?
Damn when it rains it pours. The Saints embattled GM Mickey Loomis, already under fire for his role in Bountygate is now weathering allegations that he rigged listening devices on opposing coaches. The device which had been used by Loomis’ predecessor Randy Mueller to monitor his own coaches, was allegedly rewired to spy on opposing coaches. Loomis, who is set to serve an eight game suspension for his role in Bountygate is being accused of having the apparatus at his access from 2002-2004. Now keep in mind that the Saints were so-so during that period going 8-8, 8-8 and 9-7 and were 12-12 at home during that period. No one knows how long this would have continued, remember the Superdome was a makeshift homeless shelter during the Hurricane Katrina. But Loomis is facing not only trouble from the NFL who have the Saints high on their master shit list to start but a possible investigation from the FBI. Oh yeah, the feds are not too keen on eavesdropping. They liken that to wiretapping which is a big no-no to them. Loomis might get over on that though because of statute of limitations on that particular crime. Loomis, of course denies the allegations calling them “1000 percent false”. Loomis is playing Russian Roulette with his career and freedom and that gun has more bullets than blanks.
Canucks and Pens get the gate
As chronicled in this blog last week, the defending Western Conference champ Vancouver Canucks fell into a 0-3 hole to the heretofore unremarkable LA Kings, a team that hadn’t won a playoff series in 11 years. But after averting a sweep by winning game 4 and leading game 5 at home the Canucks lost in OT and were eliminated. Sully was predicting a riot in BC but Canuck fans just packed it up and went home too stunned to be angry. The ever present curse of the Presidents Cup has reared its head once again. While not a regular occurrence the Presidents Trophy Winner in the NHL has been jinxed as the last four winners of this trophy have not put a Stanley Cup next to it. The Canucks won last year as well but were defeated by the Bruins. The last team to win the Presidents Trophy and Stanley Cup? The Detroit Red Wings in 2008. Since its inception in 1985-86, only 6 times has a Presidents Trophy winner won the Stanley Cup.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania , The Penguins looked as if they too would get swept out of the playoffs by their hated in-state rival Philadelphia Flyers, but they staved off elimination not one but two times, thrashing the Flyers in Philly in game 4 and finally beating the Flyers at home in game 5. The whispers were getting louder if the Flyers couldn’t eliminate the Pens at home a winner take all game 7 in Pittsburgh was looming. But the Flyers played loose and relaxed and throttled the Pens before a raucous Philly crowd. The Pens with all their promise and talk of wanting the Bruins or Rangers are going home.
Oh Damn it’s them again!
I make no bones about the fact that I loath the Spurs. Their yawn inducing offense, Manu Ginobili’s fullback charges to the basket, Pop’s no necktie whines on the sideline and the uber boring yet masterly efficient Tim Duncan who just seems to be more and more vanilla yet peaks at the right time. The Spurs have been clicking off wins like a metronome and are in position to take the top seed the West with with late stumbles by the Thunder but possibly the NBA’s overall #1 seed with the poor play as of late by the Bulls in the East. I will give grudging credit to the Spurs and for their fine play down the stretch all the while secretly hoping that a plucky team like Memphis or Utah will rise up again and send the Spurs home way early. I really couldn’t stomach a full spring with ESPN fawning over the Spurs and their “team oriented basketball” I know it sounds like mindless hatred, but Ive never been a fan of Pop, Parker or Ginobili and the Spurs snooty fans. With the possible injury to the Thunder’s James Harden (See head slap) the Thunder may be in trouble trying to get out of the West. I would dread seeing the Spurs in the Finals.
Phat Dap/Head Slap
To Tennessee’s Pat Summitt who retired as not only the Tennessee’s and Women’s all time winningest coach but in all of college basketball. Summitt is battling early onset dementia and will move into the largely ceremonial role of Head Coach Emeritus but her shadow will loom large over Knoxville and womens college basketball. Her 1098 wins are 172 ahead of the Coach K at Duke who started as a head coach only a year later than Summitt. Hoodwood wishes nothing but the best for Summitt as she battles this memory sapping disease
I saved the best for last. Did you think that Ron Artest (I think that stupid moniker of Metta World Peace is insulting and inane) would escape without mention? Oh, that fool and his “celebration” which somehow landed an elbow behind the ear of Thunder forward James Hardin was just as stupid as his given name. I don’t know which is stupider, his name that so-called celebration or his excuse for what he did. Artest is going to get socked by the NBA for this one. Its hard to believe that he was last years receipient of the NBA citizenship award.
I know this one was short, but Daddy duty in Hoodwood calls... Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!
Here we are, another Monday...And this Monday, that Rangers fan above, and I will be rooting hard for our Rangers to reach down, grab themselves by their balls, and start scoring some goals...Otherwise, this great season they have had, will be a big fucking waste...
This week I've got plenty of Hockey talk...The big topic that has been buzzing around hockey, has been the violence...It seems every hack out there has something to say about the violence/physical play, since the playoffs have started...
Columnists like USA Today's Christine Brennan, and some douche from Sports Illustrated have decided to take on the physical play, and condemn the NHL for it...Why? Because these assholes haven't watched Hockey all year, but now that the playoffs have gotten some big TV ratings, so these dopes tine in, and get all upset when they see the gloves dropped a few times a game...
Listen you dolts, Hockey is a physical game, and sometimes the physical gets cranked up even more during the playoffs, when everything is on the line...But these hacks don't know that because all too often, they're writing little columns about golf, or tennis, or women's college basketball...Nothing against those sports...But they aren't hockey...And you don't pay attention to hockey...So don't jump in during the playoffs,and start pontificating...You're an asshole!
Now yes, not all the physical play is good...There are some guys who have shown a complete lack of respect on the ice...Number one right now is Raffi Torres, who took out Chicago's Marian Hossa this past week with an illegal hit to the head...And the NHL came down hard on him...
Some agree with this punishment, but there are many who feel it wasn't enough, considering Torees' long history of being an asshole...The worst part is at one time, Torres was a talented player with some real skill...Now, he's just an asshole!
One last bit of playoff hockey...Boston Bruins fans can't be happy with how their team has struggled with the Capitals...Well, I'll tell you who to blame...Tim Thomas...Call me superstitious, but any goalie who changes his pads right before the playoffs start, is asking for trouble...Yep, Tim Thomas switched his pads, and clearly signed a deal with Warrior to strap on their new goalie gear...It sounds crazy, but believe me, the B's are done.
Now for a bit of baseball...Indians closer Chris Perez was fined $750 and is the first victim of MLB's new social media policy, after he blasted off this tweet...
"Huge team win tonight, time for a sweep of the Royals. It's not 'Our Time,' it's TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."
This was after a heated exchange between the Indians and Royals...Sparked by Shin Soo Choo getting drilled for the 5th time of the short season...Choo already sensitive to the bean ball after it ended his season abruptly last year...
I'm annoyed that MLB is jumping on players tweets, and fining them chump change for it...I'm also annoyed that baseball has a problem with a player saying something, that we all know is true...It's just stupid...
I want to go on, but I need to sleep before my first day at the new gig, so that's it for now...Have a week...
I was watching an old YouTube clip the other day and it made me wonder...Of all the sports movies that have ever been made, which one is the greatest of all time? Furthermore, what qualities separate a great sports movie from a good sports movie? How do we decide the level of greatness for any individual movie?
Should we separate movies into time periods (80s, 90s, etc.), specific sports, or just have one big list of all the sports movies ever made? To truly have a "best sports movie" ever list would probably be unfair, as there are way too many to choose from. So, I believe that it would be best to separate movies into individual sports and choose the best movie from each one.
Now, here is my list of the greatest sports movies of all time, broken down by each sport. I am only listing the four major sports here, even though there are a few great boxing movies out there (Raging Bull, Cinderella Man) I have decided that it is best to keep the qualifying list to the four major sports.
Here, I have to give the nod to Field of Dreams because I can't imagine any baseball movie being better than this one overall when you have every element of a great movie in one sitting. Throw in America's pastime and you have a true classic in every aspect of the word. I mean, who hasn't cried when seeingthis moment near the end of the movie.
Anyone who has ever remotely cared for their father or son cannot admit that they have never at least been misty eyed when this scene is shown. It also has a great cast with Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, and James Earl Jones leading the way...and the best thing about this movie is that there is hardly any baseball at all.
This movie shows how the game was seen in the eyes of those who played in the early days of the sport and how much it has changed over the years. I mean, imagine A-Rod saying that he "woulda played for nothin" like Joe Jackson says in the movie. It teaches us that there is more to the game of baseball than just statistics. Baseball has in-depth meaning to it, and this movie brings that aspect out better than any before it, and any after it to this point.
I will, however, give five honorable mentions for baseball movies.
Eight Men Out
The Pride of the Yankees
Major League (only because it is so damn funny)
Without a question...Hoosiers. I don't even think there is a debate here, in fact it can be argued that this is the greatest sports movie in any sport...so I really have no reason to argue why I chose this for basketball, especially when there are moments like this in the movie. And besides, what else am I going to pick from...Blue Chips? White Men Can't Jump? Are you serious? That's what I thought. (However, I will admit that Blue Chips is funny as hell, especially the part where Nick Nolte punts the basketball at the beginning of the movie. That part slays me every single time.)
This is a tough one...there are a lot of good football movies out there. I have to give my vote to Rudy though...it has all the elements of a good movie, and it teaches that perseverance does pay off in the end. There are plenty of emotional moments in this movie, and manyencouraging words that we all can learn from. There is also a good cast in this one, with Sean Astin making the story of Rudy seem believable to the average viewer. (Note: I'm going to give it to Rudy even though it appears the real Rudy is a lying fraudulent cheater scumbag. It's still a good movie though.)
Because there are so many to choose from, I have to give some honorable mentions.
Remember the Titans
The Longest Yard (the original)
Any Given Sunday
As I see it, there are only three hockey movies to choose from. Miracle, and the first two Mighty Ducks. (I know that a lot of people reading this are going to point out Slap Shot. I have never seen it, so I cannot include it because I am not familiar enough with it to give an opinion. I know, I know - I need to watch it. I bought it on DVD a few months ago out of the five-dollar bin, but I just haven't taken the time to sit down and watch it. I apologize if this pisses you hockey nuts off too much.)
But anyway, because of the meaning behind the story I have to give the nod to Miracle. The movie depicts one of the greatest moments in the history of American Sports, so the least I could do was give it the title of best hockey movie of all time.
I know that this list of best movies is not going to be agreed upon by everyone that reads this post. I know that some readers will believe that I am way off with my selections, and I also know that some readers will think I hit the nail right on the head. So, as a reader, I encourage you to give me your opinions...I cherish your opinions, because I write this blog for you. Maybe your feedback can help narrow this list down and decide once and for all the greatest sports movie of all time.
As always, feel free to leave your thoughts (and your favorite sports movies) in the comments section.
Well guys since we last spoke a couple of weeks ago, a lot of things have happened in my life including forgetting to schedule my Sunday blog on Saturday night. My friend passed away on the 11th, and we had his funeral Monday. Not a great week, but at least I can say I made it. I was wondering something though, what the hell has happened to the Boston Red Sox this year? As in Detroit, a big lead disappeared right before Bobby Valentine's eyes and with that pitching staff he has in place right now he had better get used to it........
I know most of you are Sox fans, and to tell you the truth I would be worried also. I have noticed that most of the starters have been pitching pretty good, but still a little on the inconsistent side. But your bullpen has been absolutely awful. There really is no excuse for blowing a 9 run lead by any team in baseball. But especially a team that is supposed to be challenging for their division crown.....
Hats off to the Texas Ranger's hitters in the first inning yesterday, they made him look like a high school pitcher. First 7 batters reaching base, and I believe it was 11 of the 14 batters he faced before Leyland mercifully took him out. I honestly have never seen anything like this, the Tigers were lucky they did not score more than 8 runs in that inning, it was like they knew what was coming and hit everything in site......
Thank God for the reigning MVP and Cy Young award winner from last season, at least he could slow the Ranger's bats down enough to earn a split.
Congrats to Philip Humber for pitching the 21st perfect game in MLB history, wasn't the prettiest or most effective 96th pitch but it got the job done.
Finally before I go, hats off to Pekka Rinne, he played one hell of a series against the Wings in the first round. I could not believe some of the saves he was making when the Wings actually got a shot on goal. He was the reason they won, and if he can keep this up Nashville will go a long ways in the playoffs this season.......
Thanks for reading my post, sorry it was a little late.......
And who says baseball isn't fun? Well maybe not for fans in San Diego, Kansas City, Houston or the North Side of Chicago but it's pretty damn exciting everywhere else. April 21 had two very entertaining games depending on whom you ask and both games are at the opposite ends of the thrill meter. On one hand, you have the 'The Rivalry' in the Yankees and Red Sox and on the other, a seemingly ordinary matchup between the White Sox and Mariners. Little was left to the imagination when thinking that both of the Sox teams would end on different ends of the excitement bar.
After the rough start by the Red Sox so far, most recently having their dreaded rivals in the Yankees ruin the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park behind the arm of winning machine Ivan Nova. But today was a different tale, as non-winning machine Freddy Garcia, journeyman Clay Rapada and rook David Phelps gave up nine runs to the suddenly resurgent BoSox offense while Felix Doubront dominated against the potent Yankee lineup. He only gave up a solo homer to Mark Teixeira, who by past experiences, has shown he can have some fun. But then the 7th inning happened...
Need I say more?
Anyways, it was not all bad for a team with the word Sox in their name. The South Siders were battling the M's in Nintendo America World with a young pitcher by the name of Philip Humber as the starter. He has jumped around from team to team but never was able to stick to one. Then the White Sox gave him a chance but he did not really stand out. Then this happened.
Going from a guy who had trouble to a single baseball team to throwing something that only 20 other men have done throughout the long history of Major League Baseball is nothing to overlook. Humber has shown that, on a given day, he has the stuff to get the job done. Pure unadulterated joy.