I heard there was some soccer talk going on...Apparently there was a big game between the U.S. Men's team and Mexico in California on Saturday...Now there were a few things that happened that surprised people...The U.S. had a 2-0 lead...SURPRISE! The U.S. lost that lead...NOT A SURPRISE! The U.S. lost 4-2...NOT A SURPRISE!
But the one that has many people surprised has to do with the attendance...Of the more than 93,000 people who paid to see this game, 80,000 were there to support the Mexican team...Me: NOT SURPRISED! It was at the Rose Bowl...There's a big Mexican/Hispanic population in California...People in the U.S. don't care that damn much about soccer...There should be nothing shocking about this...How often do Americans show up in big numbers for Soccer...Especially when there is a perfectly good Saturday to be had...Why blow it on soccer!?!
Then I heard some one say the Women's World Cup is starting...Why do they keep trying to push soccer...Knock it off, we don't care! Unless all the chicks looked like Rosie up above there...But they don't, so knock it off!
In some Hockey news, The Philadelphia Flyers decided to finally spend money on a high-priced goalie...But to do so they had to move a couple of key players, shipping Mike Richards to LA, for young "talent"...So of that talent overrated...Win for LA...
Then they traded Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and a couple draft picks...I didn't mind the draft picks because this year's draft was filled with high-end talent...Voracek is talented and was starting to click with Rick Nash...But Carter finally gives Nash a quality Center to play with...So maybe will call this one even...
Then the Draft happened, and the trading got Wild...Starting with the Minnesota Wild trading Defensman Brent Burns to San Jose for Devon Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and the 28 overall pick...
The Chicago Blackhawks who have been battling Cap trouble since winning the Stanley Cup last year, traded overpriced D-man, Brian Campbell for player(s) to be named...And traded Troy Brouwer to the Capitals for their first round pick...
Now that everyone is asleep, let's get to the good stuff...
Friday my Mom took the Little Beeze to get his hair cut...He wanted a Mohawk that would look like a shark fin, but the Mrs. said no...He got it cut nice, and they gave him some goop so he could spike up the middle for a fin when he wanted to...
So Saturday morning he was trying to goop up his hair, and it wasn't working well for him...So he got pissed, got his scissors from his pencil pouch, and started chopping...Then he showed my wife...He was afraid he was going to be in trouble with me, but all I could do was laugh at his crooked, jacked-up hair...
Sunday I took him to get it fixed...He wanted to go totally bald, but I knew the Mrs. wouldn't like that, so we left a bit of hair on his head...What do you think?
Sunday I took my new favorite picture of Molly, while feeding her dinner...
Molls is a big Music fan, like all of us in this house...When she's up late I test different stuff out on her...She's becoming a fan of Coltrane, Portishead, Paul Westerberg, and Billy the Kid...So this week we'll end with Billy's latest video...
What's up everyone? There's not a lot going on in the sports world this week, that is unless you like watching that bullshit of a game called soccer. I'm sorry but I just can't get into it. The only good thing about soccer in the US to me is Hope Solo. (By the way, Hope if you're reading this, just know that you can come play with my light saber any time you want.)
Anyway, back to sports.
The College World Series will come to an end this week, and either the Gamecocks or Gators will take home the title as they square off in a best-of-three series starting tonight in Omaha. South Carolina beat Virginia by the skin of their teeth on Friday night to advance to the championship series, mostly due to an amazing performance by closer Matt Price. Price pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief to keep Virginia from scoring any runs, allowing the Gamecocks to finally push across the game-winning score on a throwing error by Virginia on a bunt attempt in the bottom of the 13th inning. It was an awesome way to win the game, but if I would have had my way they would have won it in 9 innings like Florida did to preserve their energy for the start of the final series. But oh well...shit happens sometimes, and hopefully the Gamecocks can step up to the plate and bring home another trophy.
The NBA Draft took place last week, and I didn't watch it. All I know is Cleveland picked Kyrie Irving #1 overall, and I don't think he's going to help them that much. Hell, they had LeBron James and couldn't win a title, so I doubt they'll do it with a kid from Duke who only played half of his freshman year. But I'm sure when they lose there will be plenty of apologists waiting to tell us that the loss doesn't define the city, that they will overcome, and they're still great because they won a few championships before World War II happened. Sounds like fun...can't wait.
The NHL Draft took place last week too, and I didn't watch it either. I don't even know what channel it was on, but if Gary Bettman was involved I'm sure it was on that channel I don't get that most of the NHL shit is on. (I still haven't figured this out...why put all your stuff on Versus? It just doesn't make sense.) Even if I would have watched it, I still wouldn't have known what was going on. But oh well...
I did see an article on ESPN that stated the NHL is planning a complete realignment now that Winnipeg is getting the Jets back, but the realignment won't take effect until next season. So for this year, Winnipeg gets to play in the Southeast Division...yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
I understand the need to realign, but there's no need to realign the entire league. It seems to me the simple thing to do would be to move Winnipeg to the Western Conference, and move either Columbus or Nashville to the Eastern Conference. That seems much more simple to pull off than to completely realign the league, unless the current alignment isn't working for whatever reason. (Someone with more hockey knowledge can fill me in on this, because I honestly don't have a clue...I only know who's in the Southeast Division because of my semi-fan status with the Hurricanes.)
The NFL is still locked out, but that could be changing soon. The two sides have been meeting for the last week negotiating a deal, and it is rumored that they are very close to coming to an agreement where the league year will officially start on July 15. Hopefully this rumor is true because I'm getting really tired of not having anything football-related to talk about. I'm ready for the season to start so I can brag about how Cam Newton is kicking everyone's ass and shove it down everyone's throat for saying that he wasn't going to be worth a shit. (You know it's coming if he does turn out to be as good as I hope, so be ready for it.)
There's not a lot of Major League Baseball stuff to talk about, but I will point out one thing I've learned over the last few weeks: Justin Verlander is the freaking man. I honestly think he's the best pitcher in baseball right now. Screw Roy Halladay. Screw Cliff Lee. Screw any pitcher for the Yankees or Red Sox. Verlander is the best in the bigs right now, and he proved that the other day when he had yet another dominating performance where he struck out, what, 14 hitters? I lost count after 10. If he's not the starter for the American League in the All-Star game then something is seriously screwed up with how that shit is determined. It should be Verlander and Jair Jurrgens from Atlanta as the two starters, as they are the two best pitchers in their respective leagues at the moment.
While we're on the All-Star Game, if you haven't seen it, they're having a tournament of the greatest moments in All-Star history at the moment, and the fans have already screwed up by not voting for the moment that should have won the whole thing: the 1999 All-Star Game in Fenway Park when all the greats from the previous century were on the field at the same time, and all the current All-Stars surrounded Ted Williams as he rode into the infield on a golf cart. I don't see how any other "moment" can live up to this one, because it had everything you'd want in a true "moment" in baseball history. But oh well...shit happens sometimes.
Well that's all I've got for this week. If you have anything you'd like to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Welcome to this weeks edition of Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDICTIONS. This week the Sprint Cup series is the Napa Valley, California on the Road Course at Sonoma. It is the 16th race of the season and we are heading into the final 10 races before the chase for the championship. The Nationwide series was in Elk Heart, Wisconsin on the Road America course and Reed Sorenson picked up his first win the series since 2007. I personally do not like the road course races and wish NASCAR would take them off the schedule. Passing will be difficult as usual, pit strategy will be used as the race is ran backwards becuase fuel milage always plays a huge factor in the outcome. Track position is more important here than almost everywhere else because you can't pass very easily. The only exciting thing about the road course racing is the double-file restarts. With very few cautions drivers in the back will need a different pit strategy than the leaders to get up front. As ususal there were several one-lap-wonders in qualifing and some of those include Jamie McMurray outside pole, Paul Menard 3rd, Kasey Kahne 6th, AJ Allmendinger 7th, Brad KeseClownski 15th and Dale Jr 18th. Other drivers in the middle-to-back where they usually are include Regan Smith 24th, Jeff Burton 25th, Klassles Harvick 26th, Robby Gordon 28th, Boris Said 30th and David Ragan 34th. Last week yours truly had 6 drivers finish in the Top 10 and 2 others in the Top 20. I'm really going out on a limb with my picks this week because of track position and some drivers are good road course racers. Here are this weeks picks.
1.---Marcos Ambrose qualified up front and was fast in practice. He choked last year when lading the race and lost on the final laps. He should get his 1st win of his career this week.
2.---Denny Hamlin is coming off a big win last week and is really good on the road courses as long as he can stay on the track. Look for a solid run for my favorite driver who is starting 4th.
3.---Klassless Harvick will knock everybody out of his way to the front this week and drive like a total idiot. Of course that is nothing new.
4.---Kyle Busch is a former winner here and should be up front at the end.
5.---Jimmie Johnson has ben slow in practice but he should be in the front by the end of the race. And NASCAR will proably ensure that he is if they can possibly do so.
6.---Juan Problem Montoya got the only win of his career and you can see Klassless Harvick above.
7.---Jamie McMurray is up front and is usualy pretty good on the road courses.
8.---Jeff Gordon dominated the road courses in the old cars. He should be up front by the end of the race. He too will do a Harvick/Montoya if needed. Just ask Martin Truex Jr about last year.
9.---Joey Lagano is on nthe pole and should hang around the front if he can stay on the course.
10.--Martin Truex Jr is good on the road courses and was heading for a Top 3 finish last year until Jeff Gordon came up behind him. Look for a solid finish.
The only driver to DNQ this week was Tony Ave. There are several road course ringers in the race and unfortunetly Boris Said is among them. He will also do a Klassless Harvick and knock drivers out of the way to the front. Other drivers to watch include Mark Martin, Tony Stewart if he can overcome Darrian Grubb and the big dark Horse this week is Robby Gordon. He has won here and could be factor if they use the proper pit stratgey. So far the TNT coverage has been aewsome and makes us all wonder why NASCAR continues to have the FOX/HMS Network.
Well, it is now official. The Winnipeg relocation team is resurrecting the "Jets" team name. Makes sense to me...now they don't have to spend money on "vintage" jerseys since the old logo is still in rotation. But what will the new logo look like? Who knows, but there are tons of suggested ideas floating around on the net right now. With their first draft pick, the Jets chose Mark Scheifele from the Barrie Colts. What makes this pick special? Scheifele's coach in Barrie is none other than Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk. Lets just hope that Scheifele doesn't turn out to be another Jimmy Mann. Yup, that's right. I went old school for that joke. Not sure who Jimmy Mann is? He was Winnipeg's first draft pick when they joined the NHL. Why Mann was chosen? Who knows, but they passed on someone by the name of Kevin Lowe for him.
With the addition of the Jets, the NHL is going to have to realign their current division and conference set up. Bettman made a suggestion at the Board of Governers meeting and he suggested going with Pacific, Midwest, East and South divisions. Okay...if this is the perfect time to go back to four divisions, go back to the original four; Adams, Norris, Patrick and Smythe divisions. Go back to the Campbell and Wales Conferences as well, and here's what you can do. Realign all the teams in the division according to geographic proximity to the other teams. Here is what I suggest:
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
Tampa Bay Lightning
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
St Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Keep in mind, I am just some moron sitting here in Northwestern Ontario trying to come up with a new realignment scenario. The good thing is, it isn't my job to create one and implement it. One thing that will always be a problem in the Western Conference is travel. The teams in the Western Conference are spread farther apart than they are in the Eastern Conference. As well, which team from the west would be moved into the East? Detroit makes the most sense, but the hard part will be creating divisions with the same amount of teams. I couldn't do that for this, but then again, remember that the fool proof plans are for the NHL to create and implement, and then up to us to pick them apart and mock their decisions.
Well, Philly may finally have found their goalie. Unfortunately, Bryzgalov came at a large cost. Bryzgalov dropped his old agent and picked up Rich Winter to handle the new contract. Who is Rich Winter? Winters was the guy that managed to get Hasek his big money deal, so you would think that Bryz was going after the same type of money. Here's the problem; Bryzgalov is NOT Hasek. The second that Bryzgalov starts to struggle, the fans in Philly are going to be all over him. In order to sign Bryz, the Flyers had to move Richards and Carter...the fans aren't going to forget how much he cost them. If things start to go bad for him, Bryz will realize that playing in Philly is nothing like playing in Phoenix the second he gets hit with his first trailer hitch. But the thing is, the Flyers now have some cap room to pick up some more scorers. Lots is going to be expected from the younger players like VanRiemsdyk and Giroux this year in Philly.
Paradoxes. At Bowman Gray Raceway in Winston-Salem is one of the racing's most storied facilities. Located about an hour or so from Raleigh-Durham NC, this facility used to be the football field for Wake Forest University. The football team moved out to a bigger facility but the racing went on. The goal posts and yard lines have long been gone but the facility is beautiful.
The facility is very clean, lots of parking and plenty of bathrooms, especially for us girls. There are plenty of young people who come to the track and the number of females is quite high. These factors assure the track's success well into the future. You make racing comfortable and people will come. You have a lot of young people, then you have your future generation of loyal fans,
What's more many Sprint Cup Drivers have raced there, including Richard Petty and the Allisons. But modified racing is what people come to see now and even Richie Evans won there and not just once, They are a home to the Whelen Modified Tour.
The track is short and flat and the retaining walls have been battered repeatedly, due to the type of racing that happens there. With such a narrow track, it gets quite chippy out there on the track. The track was even featured on a cable series, chronicling their weekly program and what the drivers did in preparation for each week.
Bowman Gray is well known as a hard racing track and a lot of that is due to the tight track confines but at the end of the second Modified Feature was an ontrack altercation between Miller in the 69 and Bown in the 59. I didn't see what precipitated the event but assume it was just a racing thing. Miller got behind Bown and was pushing him and the cars had to be separated near the pit gate entrance. I believe Miller placed 3rd or 4th in both features. Miller is a veteran driver and has won probably over 50 features if not more. In spite of that extra-curricular activity the crowd was quite well-behaved.
The track is touted as somewhat volatile with regards to the fans and drivers but I think that is a lot of hype, I believe the track maintains order pretty well and it is a must-see track on the basis of fan-friendly accommodations. If you ever get the chance, please go. You will like it.