YouGabSports Blogs
Tuesday's Tantrum, Tax Day Edition
Category: FEATURED

Hello Gabbers and welcome to another edition of the tantrums where Saturday morning I watched “For Love of the Game” (again!) on MLB Network, and maybe it’s just my age and the fact I’m becoming more of a sap, but listening to Vin Scully describe even a fictional game was AWESOME!!!  Forget the garbage part of the script with the girl, I found the movie to be in part a homage to the real love on so many levels from so many characters for the game of Baseball. 

It also speaks to our never ending battle with Father Time, and the line I loved was for something I have thought a lot about lately, a Vin Scully line:  And tonight I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer.”  It’s something that ties in with my first take of the tantrum: 

The Ultimate Warrior.  The following take may be cliché to some, hokey to others, but it comes from the heart.  Bear with me if you choose to read it:

 “Every mans heart one day beats its final beat.  His lungs breathe their final breath.  And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the bodies of others; If it makes them believe deeper in something larger than life; than his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized.”  -- Jim Hellwig (aka Ultimate Warrior), Monday Night Raw, April 7 2014.

Eerily 24 hours after this speech he was dead at age 54.  Like Vin Scully’s line in “For love of the game”, it seemed to me Warrior was always trying to keep the sun up in the sky and extend Summer as long as he possibly could – living life to its fullest.  He possessed an ongoing commitment to impressive physical appearance at the age of 50-plus, working out with an intensity and purpose that I had not seen anywhere – he termed it “kicking his own ass.”  His point was that Physical activity is the quickest and most effective way to kill worry, doubt, and fear…everything about you and the quality of your life gets better with exercise.”  And oh, was he right.  He showed me that 50 is literally the new 30 in so many ways. 

But his appeal to me was far more than mere physicality, it was (is) about a common sense lifestyle choice that many, myself included, seems to have forgotten – ALWAYS BELIEVING in something far greater within yourself, aggressively finding your purpose in life and working with an intensity and passion to develop your destiny which is in your hands, nobody elses.  To be yourself and actually “OWN” your life - not letting anybody else do it for you.  He believed in kicking doubt, resistance, and negativity square in the ass.  He lived this way in part by having 11 ways to better the quality of your attitude and life.  A lot of it was basic stuff that somewhere along the line I had forgotten.   I adapted these 11 points to my own life and it’s certainly helped me.

So what’s the bottom line for me?  Did he say mean-spirited and ignorant (bleep)?  Of course, we all have.  Forget the wrestling and the political takes, I choose to remember the man who takes a basic, no non-sense yet common sense approach to life.  He inspired me to wake up and realize that life ain’t over, to understand that the status quo isn’t acceptable, to search for more out of life.  He got me to accept that and to find new goals and new challenges.  Some physical, some mental, but either way, I now commit fully to them.  Those are the things I choose to remember about Jim Hellwig.  Thank you “Warrior”, not for the entertainment and certainly not for the wrestling, but for the motivating me to see there’s more to life, to live with purpose and commitment.  I will strive to be worthy of the good parts of your existence. 


Golf – The Masters.  I think it was great for the game of Golf to see that real-life Happy Gilmore moment when Bubba Watson won the Masters and had his little son walking out on to the green to greet him, then for him to pick up his son and walk and hi-five the spectators on the green, then up the path to the cabin.  Add in the fact that 20 year old Jordan Spaeth gave Watson his greatest challenge, and the game of Golf is in good hands.  The future is here.

Tiger Woods is a great and phenomenal champion, there is no denying or taking that away from the man, but I believe with all my heart that no one player of a sport is bigger than the sport itself.  The future is here and it’s time for Golf, the PGA, and the talking heads to acknowledge and embrace it.

MLB Fans.  We spoke about this last week, and now the Curtis Granderson issue in Anaheim is making it more interesting because a fan actually touched a player on the field.  Security has to be beefed up in some way and perhaps Adam Jones of the Orioles is right, charges should be brought and punishment should be severe.  Anybody remember the Monica Seles attack in Tennis?  Something bad is gonna happen if MLB Security and local police forces don’t develop a plan to keep fans in check.


San Francisco Giants Week in Review.  The Giants faced Arizona and Colorado this past week and went 3-3, 8-5 overall good enough for 2nd place in the NL West one game behind those dirty, stinking Dodgers. Right now they appear to be better on the road at 5-2.  The Giants are averaging 4.5 runs per game, pretty good for this bunch.  The Giants are pretty much scoring at will, thank goodness for Angel Pagan and Brandon Crawford, because Sandoval and Hunter Pence are absolutely stinking up the joing. 

I look for inspiration and happiness anywhere I can find it and this week at the Giants home opener, Matt Cain walked to the mound hand-in-hand with San Francisco’s favorite Superhero, Bat Kid, who threw out the first pitch for the Giants opening home game.

Freaking Mrs. B.O.B. gets two tickets to the Giants game Thursday Night against the Snakes, but I have to go to class, so Middle B.O.B. tags along to watch a ten inning affair where Kung Fu Panda cost the Giants the game with a ridiculous throwing error in the top of the 8th inning.  The throwing errors are very concerning.  Funny part of this game is that during night games, the Seagulls swoop down looking for grub almost every night.  It’s hilarious to watch this stuff.

Holy Crap Tim Lincecum, Paul Goldschmidt owns your ass!  Stop serving up the Gopher ball.  Jesus, the pitching is now hit or miss!  Hudson has a 2.35 ERA, Bumgarner 3.3.  Cain is sitting a 4.0, Vogelsong has an 8 ERA, and Lincecum is hovering at 10 for an ERA.  At least the bullpen is doing well.

Crawford yakked one into McCovey Cove to win on Sunday in the 10th, and Madison Bumgarner yakked a grand slam which had to be the highlight of the week.

Oakland A’s Week in Review.  Oakland started things off by going into Minnesota and sweeping the Twins, but then Friday night flew in to Seattle and smack dab into a red hot King Felix who owned them. But the A’s righted the ship going 5-1 this week, overall 8-4 with the best record in the AL, and 5-1 on the road.

The A’s bats are doing better, but still have a long way to go, particularly in the power department.  Brandon Moss is still hot, but he is going to need help from Cespedes, Donaldson, and especially Reddick, who if he doesn’t wake up soon, could find his way to AAA while Sam Fuld takes his place.   

Oakland’s pitching is doing well with Gray and Kazmir below 1.5 ERA, and Straily below 3, but their high priced closer Jim Johnson has already been pulled from that duty, sitting at a nearly 12 ERA. 

San Francisco 49ers.  What the hell is going on w/the 49ers?  Jesus guys, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  And Aldon Smith, if it’s true that you got belligerent with the TSA and told them you were in possession of a bomb, you should be cut IMMEDIATELY.  You aren’t getting it, and perhaps you need the “Cris Carter” wake up call before you do something that takes out an innocent person.

So let's see, alleged gangsta shit, felony weapons charges, DUI, and now communicating a bomb threat at an airport (and possibly being drunk while doing it).  Yeah, he represents the shield real well.

Better yet, this is where I would have absolutely ZERO problem with the Sheriff coming in and giving this ass-wipe the entire season off to think about things and what direction he wants to head.

Psst, Hey Colin Kaepernick, STAY THE HELL OUT OF MIAMI!!!

NFL Draft #6 Pick – Atlanta Falcons.  When you look at this team you sit and wonder.  You wonder about the Head Coach decision making, you wonder if they can stay healthy, and you wonder about picking up of Scott Pioli as part of the Falcons “Brain Trust”.  All that talent, but too many questions to overcome.

Mike Smith might have been on the hot seat, but he got a huge break (no pun intended) when Atlanta became the NFL’s version of a MASH unit.  But I can’t imagine another season like the last one, so you gotta figure he’s already on that hot seat.

This upcoming draft, says the Falcons need LB, DL, OL, TE.  It would seem they addressed the line issues somewhat in Free Agency, they brought in two DL Tyson Jackson (KC) and Paul Soliai (MIA) and one OL in G Jon Asamoah (KC).  A signing I particularly like is the Devin Hester signing out of the blue.  That already adds to a deep WR core and automatically helps the return game. 

In the draft the Falcons have 10 picks (2 in the fourth, and three in the 7th), and my goodness, how fast do you think the Dirty Birds would jump on Jadaveon Clowney if he isn’t snatched up by #6?  Regardless of that Atlanta wins because no matter what they will address a need at #6 but again, if it’s Clowney there certainly is that question of motor and intensity.

College Football – Georgia 2014 schedule.  Since I wrote about the Falcons, I thought why not take a look at the Bulldogs. 

Home:  Clemson, Troy, Tennessee, Vandy, Auburn, Charleston Southen, Georgia Tech

Road:  South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky,

Neutral:  Florida (Jacksonville)

Notably missing:  Alabama (AGAIN!).  I don’t get the politics of the Georgia/Alabama refusal to play each other, a friend once told me it was Bear Bryant who wanted nothing to do with the Dawgs.

Troy isn’t a scrub, but they are not SEC caliber and I don’t get this SEC-specific thing of playing a scrub at home in the middle of November.  This is gonna hurt the SEC in the coming years as the other conferences start bulking up.

Here’s the thing about the Dawgs, they break your heart year after year.  They just can’t get over the hump.  But I would say this about Georgia – this may be the year that they can rise above South Carolina and Missouri and take the SEC East.


The Greatest Wide Receiver Not In The Pro Football Hall of Fame
Category: FEATURED
Tags: AFL Charlie Hennigan Pro Football Hall of Fame NCAA Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders Tennessee Titans

(I'm having some awful writers block, and really tired from a long weekend at work...So I decided to go back in the archives, and share a post from our old friend ThirdStone...Enjoy  -The Beeze)



Charlie Hennigan
6'1" 187
Wide Receiver
Houston Oilers
7 seasons
410 Receptions
6,723 Receiving Yards
51 Touchdowns
5 Pro Bowls
AFL All-Time Team
First With 101 Receptions In A Season

Charles Taylor Hennigan joined the expansion Houston Oilers as an undrafted 25-year old in the fledgling American Football League in 1960. He had previously been a high school teacher at a high school, where he earned $4,000 annually. He kept a monthly pay stub of $270.72 in his helmet for inspiration on the gridiron.

He had initially went to college at LSU on a track scholarship, where the coaches of the school had designs for him to compete in the Olympic games. The Tigers were the SCC mile-relay champions in his freshman year, an event Hennigan specialized in.

Football became Hennigan's primary interest soon after his high school sweetheart passed away from cancer. LSU did not want him switching sports, so Hennigan transferred to Northwestern State University and played running back for three years.

After college, he was invited to try out for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was cut after a week, so he had a stint in the United States Army before returning to Louisiana to teach biology and gym class while also coaching both football and track.

Hennigan used his time as a track coach to run and stay in shape, along with using isometrics. Red Cochran was a former NFL player who later became a scout. He happened to live nearby Hennigan, so Cochran got him to try out for the newly founded Oilers. Cochran's career would last 52 years in the NFL, ending up in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Having no real experience as a wide receiver, Hennigan asked Cleveland Browns legend Dub Jones for some help. Jones, whose son Bert would later become a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Baltimore Colts, was a former Pro Bowl receiver who happened to live close by Hennigan as well.

Jones, who still shares the NFL record for six touchdowns scored in one game, drilled Hennigan on how to fake the defender and not the area. NFL defenses employed man-to-man coverage in those days, as opposed to the zone coverage most teams use in the game today.

Hennigan went into a Oilers camp that had a few stars trying out for the team. The team cut future stars like Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown and Pro Bowl wide receiver Homer Jones. Jones, who still holds the NFL record for yards per catch in a career, is known best for inventing the football spike after a score.

A big reason Brown didn't make the Oilers is because he had difficulty covering Hennigan in practice. The two would butt heads many times over the years, often complimenting each other as the toughest opponent either had faced in their careers.

There was a few hundred men trying out for the Oilers and Hennigan began to hear rumors he was about to be cut as well. Yet he made the team and had Browns great Mac Speedie, a former teammate of Dub Jones, as his wide receivers coach.

He and Oilers teammate Charley "The Human Bowling Ball" Tolar are the first persons at Northwestern State to play professional football. The school would later produce such greats like Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith, Pro Bowl players like quarterback Bobby Hebert, cornerback Terrence McGee, wide receiver Mark Duper, running backs Tolar, John Stephens and Joe Delaney. They are amongst the 44 players from that school to play professional football.

The five Pro Bowls Hennigan accrued is tied with Smith as the most ever by a Northwestern State Demon. Also a track star, he has been named one of the 100 greatest football players in school history.

He soon won a starting job in camp and developed an amazing repertoire with Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda. Hennigan scored the first touchdown in Oilers history, which happened in the first game in franchise history against the Oakland Raiders.

Separating his shoulder in the first half of that game, Hennigan then sat out for three games as he healed from the injury. He returned to be second on the team in receiving yards and touchdown catches as the Oilers eventually reached the first ever AFL title game.

Playing against the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston came back from an early deficit to capture the championship with a 24-16 victory. Hennigan's four receptions for 71 yards were both the second best totals on the team.

The 1961 season started out strange for the Oilers. After stumbling out to a 1-3-1, they replaced head coach Lou Rymkus with Wally Lemm. This awoke the Oilers roster, as they would then explode upon the AFL with 10 straight wins on their way to winning the second, and so far last, title in franchise history.

The offense was ranked first in the league in offense, total yards and passing yards. They also finished second in rushing yards, points and total yards allowed. It was also the finest season of Hennigan's career.

He had to share receptions with Pro Bowlers like Tolar, Billy Cannon, Willard Dewveall, Bob McLoud and Bill Groman. Groman led the AFL with 17 touchdowns off of 50 receptions for 1,175 yards that year, as well as leading the league in yards per catch.

Hennigan racked up 82 catches at an impressive 21.3 yards per reception average that was second best in the AFL. He led the league with a career best 1,746 receiving yards, breaking an 11-year old record previously set by Hall of Famer Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch.

He had started out the season charting out a way to break Hirsch's record. Hennigan once calculated the number of receptions and receiving yards he needed to break the record by writing on a bathroom mirror with soap as he shaved.

Not only did he set a career best mark by leading the AFL with 124.7 receiving yards gained per game, he also caught a career high 12 touchdowns. The 124.7 yards mark stood as a record until 1982, when Wes Chandler surpassed it in a strike-shortened season that lasted nine games that year. Hennigan appeared in 14 games 21 years earlier and his average still ranks second best in pro football history.

Yet he also piled up more records. He still owns the record for three games of which Hennigan had over 200 yards receiving. He also owns the record for seven straight games of at least 100 yards receiving, which is how he started out the 1961 season. Hennigan was also the first player ever to have 10 games in a season with over 100 receiving yards.

Hennigan had 11 total games that year of at least 100 yards receiving. It, as well as his streak of seven games, was tied in 1995 by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Irvin needed 16 games to tie the record.

His streak of seven games ended after getting 232 yards and two scores against the Buffalo Bills. After missing his eighth straight game by 22 yards the next week in a game Houston won 55-14 over the Denver Broncos, he did not catch a pass the following game.

While the Oilers beat the San Diego Chargers for the 1961 AFL Championship, they did a good job limiting Hennigan to 43 yards on five catches. The reason was because they concentrated on him after he had burned them for 214 yards and three scores just three weeks earlier.

Not only did his 1,746 total yards lead the AFL on 1961, Hennigan began a streak of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. The record of 1,746 receiving yards stood as a record until 1995, when Isaac Bruce and record holder Jerry Rice surpassed it. Yet Hennigan's total still ranks and the third most ever.

The difference between Hennigan's record setting seasons to those who tied or surpassed him is the fact he passed Hirsch's record in 12 games, the same number of games Hirsch had played in 1951. Rice and Bruce needed 16 games, two more than Hennigan played in 1961, to surpass him.

Another difference is that only Irvin was on a championship team like Hennigan was during these record-setting years. Rice, a Hall of Famer, and Bruce would win titles in different seasons.

Hennigan, who was named First Team All-Pro in 1961 and 1962, then continued his excellence after his incredible year. He grabbed 115 balls for 1,918 yards and 18 touchdowns over the next two seasons. The 1962 Houston team reached the AFL title game for a third straight season, but lost in overtime.

Some say Hennigan's 1964 season was his best, while Hennigan prefers to think his 1961 season was. Though he was good friends with Denver Broncos legend Lionel Taylor, he set out to break Taylor's 1961 record of 100 receptions.

He broke the record by grabbing 101 passes that year. This mark stood 20 years until Hall of Famer Art Monk had 106 in 1984, a record would stand for. Hennigan also had 1,546 receiving yards, which also led the AFL and still ranks as the 21st most in pro football history.

The 110.4 yards gained per game receiving average he has in 1964 also still ranks as the eighth best ever in pro football history. Hennigan is the first pro player ever to have two seasons of over 1,500 yards receiving, and he is also the first to have four games of 200 or more receiving yards.

Concussions began to catch up to Hennigan by 1965, as well as the fact he was running around on an injured knee. He gutted it out over the next two years, catching 68 passes for 891 yards and seven touchdowns over that time.

One game against the Chargers saw San Diego cornerback Claude Gibson hit Hennigan with a rabbit punch, knocking the Oilers star out cold. Hennigan woke up in the locker room, but was dazed. He was put back out on the field, but didn't know where he was most of the time because of the concussion he suffered.

It turned out to be a mistake by Gibson, a great punt returner who led the AFL in punt return yardage and average twice. Player in those days took care of their own teammates.

Unbeknownst to Hennigan, two of his teammates set up Gibson during a preseason game a few years later. He was hit in the knees, which ended Gibson's career. Hennigan was told this story at a 50th anniversary reunion by his teammates.

Concussions went untreated back then, and medical technology was not good enough to do a good job repairing knees either. Houston traded Hennigan to the Raiders for a future draft pick, but he failed the physical and decided to retire.

Not only was Hennigan on the gridiron for the love of the game, but he was able to pursue his doctorate in education with an increase in salary compared to what he earned as a teacher.

He once asked Oilers owner Bud Adams for a raise after his monster 1961 season, but was refused. Instead, Adams cut him a check for $10,000 and sent Hennigan out of his offices.

When Hennigan retired after the 1966 season, he basically owned every receiving record there was for the Oilers and AFL. He still has the most touchdown receptions in franchise history, as well as the fourth most receiving yards and sixth most receptions in team history.

He owns the Oilers record of most catches and receiving yards in a game, when he went for 276 yards on 13 receptions in 1961. His 26 games of at least 100 yards receiving is also a franchise record.

His 71.8 receiving yards per game is not only the best in team history, it is still the 12th best ever in pro football history. Four of the players ahead of him on this list are still active, so Hennigan could move back up the list as the years go on.

The 16.8 yards per reception average is excellent for any era of football, especially one that dealt with the 10-yard chuck rule. Not only does it rank 39th best ever in yards per touch in pro football history, it is the second best in Oilers/ Titans history behind Oilers great Ken Burrough.

I do not know what disgusts me most. Hennigan's exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the fact Adams has seemingly spit on his teams earlier history.

Blanda and Jim Norton are the only early Oilers in the franchises Hall of Fame. Ken Houston and Elvin Bethea, two more Hall of Fame players, are the only other AFL Oilers inducted into the teams Hall of Fame.

Hennigan should have been inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Oilers/ Titans Hall of Fame by now. Not only is he the greatest wide receiver in that franchises history, he is one of the very best in AFL history. Hennigan is a member of the AFL All-Time Team.

There are the obvious signs of the continued AFL disrespect by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the reasons to why Hennigan has not yet been inducted. Even though the building in Canton does not say NFL Hall of Fame, it has become just that.

The NFL's anger of being forced to merge with the successful AFL still seems to burn brightly. The voters obviously cower and heed this anger by inducting modern inferior players instead.

Not only did Hennigan have to deal with the 10-yard chuck rule, which is a lot harder to have success in compared to the modern five-yard rule, he dealt with playing fields that were nowhere as near as pristine as they have been the past few decades.

Football used to be a game for men in Hennigan's era. Players had to actually earn their accolades then, as opposed to the rule changes that guarantee successes like now. Yet the numbers he put up easily match or exceed many players today that are deemed as stars.

Some detractors will point at he fact he lasted just seven seasons, but the Hall of Fame is filled with men who had careers of that length or less. Men who put up inferior production as well.

While Hirsch is in the Hall of Fame, he went to two less Pro Bowls and had one less First Team All-Pro honor than Hennigan. Though a great wide receiver, Hirsch had two excellent seasons and several decent ones.

Lynn Swann, another Hall of Famer, lasted nine years but many of his number pale in comparison to Hennigan. Swann was finalist 13 times before induction, while Hennigan hasn't even been named a semi-finalist once. Hennigan also has more receptions than Hall of Fame receiver Bob Hayes, let alone the fact he either owns or shares several other records with some of the best receivers to ever play the game.

Blanda, who was later a teammate of Brown's, often lamented the exclusion of Hennigan from the Hall of Fame up until his death. Hennigan set his receptions record after catching nine passes against Brown, who also agrees with Blanda that the Oilers legend deserves a bust in Canton.

Not only did Hennigan's 101 reception season stand as a record for 20 years, his 1,746 yards gained stood as a record for 34 seasons. He is the only player ever to have three games of 200-yards receiving in a season.

Voters should look at the travails Hennigan had to persevere through compared to the game now. Not only the rules to empower the modern offense that he did not have to help him nor the shoddy fields he played on often. How the hash marks placement greatly differed then and the goal posts used to be placed hazardously on the goal line in his day.

How the defenses of his day actually were allowed to play defense and even extend it further to the realm of crossing the lines of fair play. Even with medical care that didn't have as much expertise as now, Hennigan went out there and performed at a Hall of Fame level no matter how hurt he was.

There is no doubt that Hennigan belongs in Canton. The seniors committee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is afforded just two nominees each year, which is unfair to the tremendous backlog they have to sift through annually. Yet Hennigan should never have reached the seniors pool, because it is obvious he should have been inducted long ago.

While he is in that deep seniors pool now, Hennigan easily rises to the top of the best wide receivers not yet inducted. Yet too much times has passed in his omission, so the voters must get it together now and put him in so Hennigan can enjoy his long overdue induction.

It is easy to see Charlie Hennigan is the greatest wide receiver not yet put into the hallowed halls within Canton. He belonged long ago, but now is the time to right the wrongs made by past voters. Contact all of the voters and tell them that Hennigan deserves his rightful place inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Nostalgia Sells: Rose Colored Glasses
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Hartford Whalers Bruins NHL

On October 11, 1979, the Minnesota North Stars opened the season playing the Hartford Whalers.  The Whalers had been in existence since 1972 when the somewhat disingenuously named "World Hockey Association" or WHA began operations, and when the WHA and NHL merged, “the Whale” became one of the 4 teams that joined the NHL, along with the Oilers, Nordiques, and Jets. 

The NHL treated the merger as an “expansion,” but for an organization “welcoming” new  partners, the 4 new NHL franchises were basically stripped of their players and placed at the end of the draft order  due largely to the acrimony between the two leagues – and the result was predictable – the Oilers were the only team that ever became successful (due in large part to one particular once-in-a-lifetime player), the rest were relegated to mediocrity.  The rest of the three eventually relocated to greener pastures: The Whalers to Raleigh to become the Hurricanes, the Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche, and the Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes.  It was only upon relocation that the Whalers and Nordiques achieved any real level of success.  Arguably, the league's hubris here started a downward spiral to their canceled season - who wants to pay to see subpar competition?

And so it was 18 years after the inauspicious start in Minnesota (a 4-1 loss) that on April 13, 1997 they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning – perhaps apropos given the NHL’s expansion efforts into areas not typically considered “hockey friendly.”  Also apropos, the day before Ottawa defeated Buffalo – far more typical hockey outposts – which eliminated Hartford from the possibility of the playoffs.  April 13, 1997 would be the Whalers final game in Hartford.

They’ve been gone from Hartford now for almost as long as they were in the NHL.  17 years ago yesterday, they pulled up stakes and left Connecticut for good. 

 Connecticut has not been without sports – see the 2014 NCAA Basketball Champion University of Connecticut: the New England Patriots flirted with moving to Hartford until it turned out the property they were looking at was in fact a toxic wasteland and since 2003 the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun has played at Mohegan Sun Resort Casino, but let’s face it ALMOST being an NFL city isn’t the same as being one; being the home of a WBNA team – basically a vehicle for the Indian Casino to draw crowds – isn’t exactly the same as being home to an NBA team. 

Here’s the thing though: there are probably more Whalers fans now than there ever were when they were playing.  When they would play the Bruins, it was basically a home game for the Bostonians.  From 1988, attendance was on a steady decline – it only began to increase when talks of the team moving began.  In contrast, The B’s were consistently drawing a healthy crowd.  It took three years for the Hurricanes to average what the Whale had been averaging, but they’ve been a healthy draw since.  The Whalers now have about 456 fans on facebook

There was a great write up in the Boston Sunday Globe yesterday on the “Fanniversary” of the last game, and while nostalgia sells the fact is there is one really good reason there is no longer a Hartford Whalers team.  No one went to the games.   Hartford is really no closer to getting another team than they were back in 1997.  The merch sells – back in 2010, it was the best selling merchandise in the NHL and is consistently in the top 5 – but if you want to catch an NHL game in new England, you’re going to the TD Garden in the shadow of the Zakim Bridge in Boston.  That’s where you’ll see the 2014 President’s trophy winner Bruins as they make their months long playoff run to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

So, everyone loves a good story - even if that story isn't exactly non-fiction.  The Whale is dead; Long Live the Whale.


Sunday Musings #142
Category: User Showcase
Tags: CollegeBasketball Jerry Tarkanian BostonCollegeAthletics MLB NewEnglandPatriots HighSchoolSports WNBA MichiganStateSpartans BostonCeltics
While still marveling over Storrs, Connecticut being the center of the college basketball universe...again...
UConn - Monday night saw the rise of the men's basketball team to the top of the heap after their 60-54 defeat of Kentucky. Kevin Ollie did a marvelous job in guiding the team to the title and Shabazz Napier was just awesome.
Following that up was the UConn women's team completing a 40-0 season with their defeat of Notre Dame, 79-58. As a matter of fact, the game and entire women's tournament went pretty much how I thought it would. I told a co-worker that the women's tourney would come down to a matchup between #1 UConn and #2 Notre Dame and then UConn would win by 20 points. Which is pretty much what happened.
Speaking of the tournaments themselves, the final breakdown of the four brackets I had going broke down like this:
Men's NCAA record -  43-26 (Won the YouGabSports ESPN Bracket Challenge Group)
Women's NCAA record - 48-15 (Picked the national title winner)
NIT Record - 13-18
WNIT Record - 37-26
Kentucky - After the Wildcats loss, noise about John Calipari as the front runner for the LA Lakers job started getting louder.'s Pete Thamel wrote that Calipari's coaching job in the final showed how he can never succeed in the NBA. You can read that here:
Manhattan - After it was learned that Steve Masiello did not have the degree he claimed to have received and lost out on a job, he decided to try and stay at Manhattan. But the school put him on leave until they decided what they were going to do.
The news this past week was Masiello would keep his job but is on unpaid leave until he completes his degree studies at Kentucky. Associate head coach Matt Grady will run the team in the meantime.
UMass - This past Wednesday, sophomore guard Derrick Gordon broke the news that he was gay, thus becoming the first openly gay active player in D1 men's basketball. Reaction to the announcement was initially positive. Here's an article link:
Michigan State - Lacey Holsworth, the little girl befriended by Spartans player Adreian Payne, passed away this week after fighting cancer. You can read more here:
UNLV - Former Runnin' Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian was hospitalized on Thursday. The 83 year old complained of feeling weak and having trouble breathing. His son was quoted as saying his father was having trouble keeping his eyes open as well.
It was later reported that Tarkanian is being treated for pneumonia and while improving is still hospitalized.
There was an article on ex-major league player Chad Curtis on Sports On Earth this past week. Curtis was one of those holier-than-thou jerks who constantly wore out his welcome on whatever team he played for. And as usual, the most virulently religious are usually exposed as the biggest hypocrites. You can read about how Curtis was revealed to be a major scumbag here via this Sports on Earth article link:
Men's Basketball - There has been a lot of activity with the men's team this week. Between the introduction of the new coach to a flurry of transfer news both real and rumored, it has kept the fan base very engaged.
Men's Hockey - The Eagles faced off against Union College on Thursday in the Frozen Four.
They owned the first period, leading 1-0 at the break. But the start of the second period saw Union dominate the first 9 minutes. They took a 2-1 lead during that time. After that, the Eagles controlled the next 9 minutes allowing just one shot on goal for Union.
It was tied 2-2 after the second period. Union took a 3-2 lead. Boston College then got the benefits of a five minute power play. They weren't able to capitalize on it though. Union then took a 4-2 lead and things looked very bleak.
BC pulled their goalie with 2:32 left in the third and they managed to score to make it 4-3. Union countered with an empty net goal to make it 5-3.
Not to go down quietly, BC's Patrick Brown scored to make it 5-4. But with just 3.2 seconds left in the game, Union prevailed by that 5-4 score to end the Eagles season.
Also, while it doesn't reduce the hurt of finishing short of a national title, BC's junior forward Johnny Gaudreau capped his year by being named the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner.
Despite holding a 19 point lead in the 3rd quarter, the Celtics week started off with a 115-11 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The loss featured three Celtics going for more than 20 points apiece and Phil Pressey having a 12 point 11 assist night with Rajon Rondo sitting out.
Things didn't get much better on Wednesday night when the Hawks handed Boston a 105-97 loss. Avery Bradley scored 24 points to lead the offense while Rondo had 19 points and 12 assists. Jared Sullinger added 15 points and 11 boards.
However, the Celtics did manage to break their losing streak on Friday night thanks to a 106-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. Bradley again led the offense by scoring 22 points and Sullinger had 20 points. Rondo was out with a bruised shin so Phil Pressey handled the point with 10 points and 13 assists.
They followed that up with a 111-99 win over Cleveland on Saturday night. It's been quite a while since they won 2 games in a row and over the first three quarters, the Celtics looked like the dominant team of yore as they built up a 31 point lead. A combination of them slacking off and Cleveland getting hot saw the Cavaliers outscore the Celtics by 19 points in the fourth quarter, making things tighter and the final score more respectable.
Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics. Avery Bradley also scored 25. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass also chimed in with 19 points apiece.
In other NBA news, Joe Dumars is reportedly going to resign as GM of the Detroit Pistons. He's been with the team for 29 years including a front office job since 2000. It's really too bad because he's been the one Bad Boys era Pistons player that you could actually root for.
But the team has been terrible the last few years and I don't think anyone can really argue that a change isn't needed.
Now that he's with the Buffalo Bills, ex-Patriot Brandon Spikes mouthed off on Twitter this week about his time with the Pats. While most of his comments were inconsequential hype, the one comment that is sure to tick off a lot of people was how he termed his time with the Patriots as "Four Years a Slave".
Really Brandon? Seriously? You are trying to compare being a well paid pro athlete with the black mark on US history that is slavery?
While I'm not in the habit of rooting for ex-players that leave the teams I root for, I generally leave them alone in terms of the booing and such. But with the idiocy of his comments, I'm going to actively root against Spikes during the two games he faces off against the Patriots.
My fandom for the league has hit a downturn with the news on Thursday that the Chicago Sky had cut former Boston College standout Carolyn Swords.
She saw her season end early last year with a knee injury but when I saw her a couple of times at BC games this winter, she said rehab had been going well and expected to be back in Chicago for the upcoming season.
I don't know what if anything happened to make the team change their mind and release her. But I do know that they are losing out on a decent backup.
I don't know what her plans will be now. She could go overseas again or look for another WNBA team. (The Connecticut Sun would be a nice landing spot for my own selfish reasons of being close enough to actually go see her play again)
However, with her departure from the team, my interest in the Chicago Sky just went into the crapper. And with Katie Smith retired, there are currently no active WNBA players I have any interest in following. Yes I'll keep track of the New York Liberty because Smith will be an assistant coach there this season but it will be a different experience to not be rooting on a particular player.
Wareham Girls Track - The team picked up their first win of the season by beating Bourne 106-30. They won all but one of the individual events in the meet. My ex-player Paige picked up individual wins in the long jump (14 feet 4 1/2 inches) and the 800 meters (2:41.4). She and another of my former players (Kali) were part of the quartet that won the 4 x 400 meter relay event (4:41.4).
Wareham Girls Varsity Softball - The Vikings got blasted by Fairhaven on Wednesday, losing 19-4 in a mercy rule shortened game. Rae-Lyn got tagged with the loss on the mound.
On Friday, the Vikings lost to Old Rochester 15-5, despite Gina going 2-3 with a home run.
They are now 0-4 on the season.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Softball - The Lady Rams are 4-1 on the season after beating Cape Tech 16-0. The Upper Cape pitcher threw a no-hitter.
Friday's game against Old Colony saw the Rams take a 14-13 thriller to improve to 5-1 with a 2-0 conference record.
Movies - reviewed Captain America: The Winter Soldier here:
Music - My review of the Lone Justice CD This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983 can now be seen via the following link:
You can check out the video for the new Winger song "Tin Soldier" below.
Books - I finally finished reading a book this week. It was the Star Trek Enterprise novel Rise of the Federation - A Choice of Futures by Christopher L. Bennett. It was a surprisingly good read and much like the other books based on the Enterprise TV show, far better than anything that came in the first three seasons of the series. I loved the fourth season which was just awesome until the abomination they call the series finale.
I also picked up the Ingrid Thoft thriller/mystery Loyalty. It is the first book in her series featuring PI Fina Ludlow. I read a review of the second book in the series and thought it sounded good so I wanted to read the first book.
TV - The extended trailer for 24: Live Another Day has been released online. You can see it below. I get more excited as May 5th draws closer.
NASCAR Update And Other Fast Stuff 4-12-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Texas NASCAR Haas Darlington Michigan testing Petty



Gooooooooooooooooood morning. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. It's Mustang's 50th anniversary. Love that car. Well, the old ones from the 60's. They rock.


Like this one. It's so prettttttttttty. That's a if I win the lottery car. Yup. Dreaming....

Geoff Bodine drove some Mustang in name only (as far as I see it) as the pace car for the Darlington race  this Saturday night. If they hadn't told me it was a Stang, I'd never have noticed. Beautiful color and a special edition for the anniversary but a Stang it is not. 

So they were testing Goodyear tires at Michigan this week. Drivers were reaching speeds between 212 & 217 mph. That's scary bad fast territory. NASCAR is already making plans for down sizing the motors for next year. Restrictor plates aren't enough. 

Awesome Bill from Dawsonville has a son. A very talented one. He missed his Sr prom to run in the Nationwide Series on Friday night. He won. That's 2 in a row for this young man of 18. Count me as jealous.

Kyle Petty says his dad, Richard is doing well since his wife Lynda passed away recently. Every one is taking time staying with him to help him through this rough patch. The Petty's are thankful for all the prayers and well wishes.

Gene Haas who is 1/2 of Stewart Haas Racing has been granted his F1 license. Haas owns the biggest CNC Machining business in the western world. So money is not a big deal. So that's 4 NASCAR teams and an F1 team under the Haas name. Even with sponsors that's a tall order.

I was reading about this Heartbleed virus that's busy in Internetland. According to what I read you should see a green lock with https. in your address bar if a site is infected. Well, my Mac doesn't show anything but my Lenovo laptop with Windows 7 does. The Gab and Craigslist are free of this scourge but Yahoo, Twitter & Youtube have it. My virus scanner on my Lenovo didn't say anything to me about a possibility of me picking up this virus by hanging on Twitter during the race. What up with that? That stupid virus scanner is constantly bugging me about other stuff but not that Heartbleed thing. I need to read more on this subject. Any body got an explanation?


It was another rain out last week. Worked 6am to 12pm and drove over to my parents to watch the race on Monday. Got there just in time to see Dale Jr get too low on the track and fold his nose under when his splitter touched the grass. He said it was his fault. He was watching the car in front of him. So 12 laps in and Dale Jr is done for the day.

Johnson got nailed by the debris from Dales car and he had issues for the rest of the race.

Stewart had the pole and led the first 77 laps and then Keselowski took over. 

Keselowski had issues at the start of the race but managed to get it fixed. The jet dryer drove by and blew into his wheel well and messed up his hood. The team duct taped it down and away he went. His team mate Logano led more laps than him but it was a good day for Penske.

Harvick had a fast car but on lap 28 a puff of smoke spelled doom for his day. Ouch.

Hamlin, Gordon, and Ky Bu all led a lot of laps but Logano led the most at 108 and he led the last lap for the win.  

Top 15 Finishers - Logano - Gordon - Ky Bu - Vickers - Larson - Biffle - Kenseth - Bowyer - Menard - Stewart - Kahne - Almirola - Hamlin - Edwards - Keselowski


​The race lived up to it's nickname. The Lady in black. Lots of cars with the Darlington stripe. I laugh because they always count the cars that scrape the wall. I'm really sorry for the guy that has to paint all that wall. It was another Gentleman start your tempers kind of race. Paint trading on the track and barb trading on the radio. But your veterans did prevail as usual. Except Hamlin. He should just quit. I picked him up in one of my leagues and this is the last time. He had a top 10 run going which should've been a top 5 and he blew it on the last pit stop by speeding on pit road and then he wrecked. 

Harvick had the pole and dominated the race and won the race. There were 2 Green/White Checkers. The first one saw Harvick hook up to Dale Jr's bumper and push him to the lead. Ku Bu wrecked off Bowyer's bumper before they got to the white flag so it was Green/White Checkers #2. Dale Jr takes the lead again but Harvick passed him easily. 

UNOFFICIAL TOP 15 FINISH - Harvick - Dale Jr - Johnson - Kenseth - Biffle - Ky Bu - Gordon - Larson - Stewart - Newman - Dillon - Bowyer - Edwards - Ambrose - Allmendinger

​So it was a full moon this weekend. The crazies were out in full force too. On the race track and where I work. Very very rough work week for me. People were absolutely nutso. I'm thinking I need medication so I can deal with them. Hopefully they all settle down till next week. 

It was 70 on Saturday and no wind. Actually quite nice. Supposed to be 80 today. Can't wait. Maybe I'll sit on my mom's porch all day. WOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!! I hope all the Gabbers and others enjoy the great weather today too. Well wishes to all.

And I'm outta here.....


Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz