The Taylor Hall Trade Has Become So Absurdly Lopsided That It Has 'Hockey Night Punjabi' Speaking My Language
As someone who is only bilingual in the sense that I can say "bye" (and "hi") in a language other than my own, I'm not at liberty to translate exactly what was said by a presumedly critical anchor for Hockey Night Punjabi. Luckily, the beauty of common sense is that in the most obvious of cases it knows not a dialect barrier, and the results of the one-for-one swap that - with all due respect to Adam Larsson - was always known as the 'Taylor Hall trade' have only become more and more transcendent of culture and opinion with each passing day. So no, I may not be able tell you what my favorite line of a seemingly thorough takedown of the Edmonton Oilers was, but that's only because I can almost guarantee that I wholeheartedly agree with all of them.
If I had to guess, I'd say there was probably something in there about a laughably underachieving team that's now short of speed on the wings selling low on someone whose transition into one of the most dynamic and versatile forwards in the sport wasn't exactly unforeseen. There was likely a mention that, despite a region-wide scapegoating, the player in question wasn't "the problem" when they shipped him out of town for a high-end second-pairing defenseman whose value - through no fault of his own - has exponentially decreased relative to that of the person he'll forever be linked to. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but given the length of the rant, I'm inclined to believe he even addressed the alleged "lack of leadership" shown by someone that's now dominating on a nightly basis while spending most of those nights alongside two teenagers.
Unfortunately, I can't say whether or not this upstanding employee of Hockey Night Punjabi adheres to the NHL's definition of a "scoring streak" or if he recognizes the entirety of 18 (and counting) straight games with a point, but I can confidently say he's well aware of how masterful with the brush Taylor Hall has been in painting New Jersey's playoff picture. I don't care if he only did so to take a big fat dump on the organization that's currently wasting one of the prime years of Connor McDavid. By way of international spite, Bhupinder Handal almost assuredly spoke of the Devils' undeniable MVP's outside shot at the Hart Trophy as if it were inside the realm of possibility, and that's how you speak my language.
Taylor Hall straight up for Adam Larsson was initially a tough sell locally, but now that the sun has set on last season's honeymoon period, it's become more impossible to sell globally than the Presidency of Donald Trump. Don't believe me? Then believe the two minute critique that you didn't even have to understand to interpret. Don't need the closed captions to get a read on that story, and that's before the main character wrote yet another chapter...
Devante Smith-Pelly Did Not Take Kindly To The Racially Charged Taunting He Was Targeted By While In The Penalty Box, But Who Can Blame Him?
If we are judging on the scale of racial insensitivity where a '10' is the N-word and a '1' is an presumed affinity for watermelon, a "basketball" chant towards a black NHLer probably falls somewhere in the middle as moderately inexcusable. Unfortunately, looking at the obvious targeting of a minority in such a comparative way makes it far easier for people to dismiss this particular incident as something less significant than an undeniable sign that hockey's aura is still that of repressed whiteness.
Whether it be the tone-deaf hiring of Confederate crooner Kid Rock to "bless" the All Star Game with his antiquated anthems, reminders that 'Hockey Is For Everyone' that - while overwhelmingly positive in nature - have become so incessant that you'd think the NHL was trying to convince itself, overdone criticisms of P.K. Subban that almost exclusively reek of cultural bias, or yet another racially charged incident between a player and "fans". You can bet your ass that Devante Smith-Pelly's aggressive reaction to a group of (likely drunken) jackasses was only aided in vitriol by the fact that he still doesn't feel wholly embraced by the NHL community in the year 2018.
As sad as it is, it's almost a certainty that DSP has been the victim of far worse than a call for basketball while doing his maturing on a rink as opposed to a court, but it's nothing less than infuriating that a directive aimed at equality has only resulted in a relative improvement in regards to racism. Stereotypes do exist for a reason, but that reason isn't so that they can be appropriated as malicious insults towards those that break their generally inflammatory mold. Four unruly fans don't make for a legitimate indictment of an entire sport, but their comfortability in being discriminatory in a public place with cameras present doesn't exactly speak glowingly of the culture surrounding said sport. Especially since it rears it's ugly head in a way that's disproportional to the growing amount of non-white players currently employed by it's most preeminent league.
The NHL, as well as both franchises involved, said all the right things in reference to inclusiveness, but apparently we've still got a ways to go until they undo decades of exclusiveness that are still sporadically being contributed to...
It Probably Could Have Been Worse, But The NHL Made The Right Call In Issuing Miles Wood A 2-Game Suspension
If that hit were delivered by anyone other than Miles Wood, I might be singing a very different tune in regards to how many unpaid games off it was deserving of. I say that not only because this is the first time he's drawn the ire of the Department of Player Safety, but also because the endless ball of energy that the Devils' roster as a middle-6 winger is basically the NHL equivalent of a golden retriever that just heard the front door to a house with newly polished hardwood floors crack open. If his biggest assets are his speed and physicality then his biggest liabilities are his inability to harness that speed and physicality.
Having the instincts of an excitable labrador doesn't allow for him to be held less accountable when he torpedoes himself into the numbers of a defenseless opponent who somewhat miraculously peeled himself off the ice to continue playing. However, I can say with relative confidence - and I admit this will sound stupid to those unfamiliar with his game - that Miles Wood didn't have evil intentions when he tried to put a vulnerable player through the boards before splitting open the face of the teammate that came to the defense of his victim. Miles Wood has a tendency to forget how big, fast, and strong he is. That absent-mindedness was probably as guilty for what was undeniably an incredibly ugly display as anything else.
So, in sticking with what I find to be an incredibly fitting analogy, a two-game suspension that gives him time to absorb the teachings of obedience school should prove as effective as a rolled up newspaper to the snout. As is usually the case in these situations, you could definitely argue that it was deserving of more, but - keeping in mind that Namestnikov got up fairly unscathed - I'd argue that a couple games for something that was mostly the result of him thinking less was pretty fair.
Also, huge shoutout to the consistent inconsistency of NHL officiating. In no world should that sequence have been deemed punishable by anything less than a 5 minute major and a game misconduct that would have served as a death blow against a team as dynamic as Tampa Bay. Instead, both the hit and the botched facial reconstructive surgery that followed left the Devils shorthanded for no more than two minutes...
...and allowed for Miles Wood to come back and redeem his abject stupidity with a game-winning goal...
The Lightning should definitely feel as though they are owed an apology after the way in which the game played out, but - as the Devils have learned far, far too many times this season - it's not their job to offer it up...
A funny thing happened last night. I was sitting there watching a 1-1 game between the Devils and Hurricanes when all the sudden the non-stop activity of Stefan Noesen caught my eye. But wait, because - seeing as he's a fairly workmanlike player - that's not even the weird part. You see, just seconds later, before I could even had the chance to foreshadow his fortune by way of social media, it was his forecheck that resulted in a fairly harmless shot on net that - by the grace of the hockey gods - was left sitting inches from the goal line as if the person who received it had inserted "Scott Darling's kitchen" as the shipping address on Amazon Prime...
In retrospect, maybe it doesn't seem all that strange that a noticeably energetic shift resulted in a goal against a struggling goaltender, but the Devils' inability to make their own puck luck - despite their best efforts - has played a massive part in their struggles as of late.
Now, regardless of prying open and maintaining a three goal lead that allowed their fans to breathe an in-game sigh of relief for the first time in 2018, they didn't even come close to playing as complete a game in victory as they have in some of their recent defeats. However, if yesterday's much needed win over the eternally annoying Hurricanes was even a small sign of serendipity to come and Keith Kinkaid can continue providing the occasional timely stop then the 'New Jersey Devils Vs. Everybody' isn't nearly as much of a handicapped match as it was when the world seemed to be against them.
As for Nico Hischier, it's not only his constant improvement that leaves me with a shit-eating grin on my face, but also how expedited that improvement will become when he's carrying ten more pounds of muscle and a full year of experience. Whether it be his innate ability to slip the grasp of opponents, his willingness to go to the tough areas of the ice, or the ease with which he can turn defense to offense (all which he displayed last night), the kid is hockey-wise beyond his years. As dependable as he's been all season, that trait is starting to show itself more and more frequently.
It's fairly ridiculous that a teenager who was immediately thrown into the fire of first line duties has maintained a flame retardant confidence that's apparently harder to shake than the defense of Justin Faulk. With someone having finally convinced him that selfishness isn't always a bad thing, there's no telling what new tricks he might learn down the stretch. What is for certain is that the Devils are going to need see every one of them from a rookie whose skillset is somehow highlighted by a veteran-like savvy.
Perspective is something that has become so rare in the ever-turning and self-important world of sports. For that reason, you just never know where you might stumble across it. To be honest, I didn't even know I needed context to realize exactly how piss poor a professional football team has to be to collect one win in two seasons, but the only thing more surprising than someone fully dilating my eyes to the complete and total incompetence required for 1-31 is who that someone happened to be.
RG3. By way of a snarky fan, the Cleveland Browns got buried by RG3. The same RG3 that went from Heisman winner - to - NFL 'Rookie Of The Year' - to - locker room outcast - to - arrogant All Star in the 'Over 40' league at the local YMCA...
...to self-promoting his waning NFL eligibility in the same way that a highly inefficient Island-dweller might try to shake free from sustenance...
I thought I had an idea of the extent of the Cleveland Browns' ineptitude. That is, until I saw the upper hand of someone that feels like he's been out of the league for 3-4 years come rifling across the face of the entirety of a professional organization. RG3 can still technically claim that a team hasn't been the same since he left, and not mean it in a sarcastic or self deprecating way. The guy whose better as a punchline than as a passer just went all-in and flipped over the trump card on an NFL franchise, and - for that reason alone - their record alone doesn't do their dreadfulness justice.
Here's the thing, I don't want to discourage officials from doing everything in their power - or core strength, for that matter - to make the correct call. The NHL already does plenty of that by enforcing a set of rules that's somehow both oddly specific and ridiculously ambiguous.
That's why, in theory, it was nice to see a referee do parkour in hopes of upholding the integrity of the game. Unfortunately, in execution, it was about as fruitless a feat as trying to do your cursive homework from the last row of the bus. Not to discount what was a fairly impressive showing of athleticism, but - much like the eye test required to see a puck through a seven person pileup - the one thing calisthenics don't do is make multitasking any easier. Balancing the weight of your body a top a net amidst absolute chaos is a cool skill, but - as it pertains to the profession of officiating hockey - it's about as useless on the rink as the ability to palm a basketball. I might not know this to be true, but I'm fairly certain no one has ever gotten halfway through the monkey bars only to stop and wonder 'Where's Waldo?'.
I'm all for showmanship, but this dude might as well be the loudest grunter in your local gym, because that shameless showing of fitness was fitting of a person who can't so much as point you in the direction of the beach without flexing. Like, we get it bro, you work out, but getting in the crunches necessary to superman the net doesn't give you the superhuman focus required to spot a needle in a haystack while doing so. The NHL hasn't exactly served as the best example, but - hypothetically - that's what the dozens of multi-angled HD cameras and video replay are for.
One Of Fox News' Resident Racists Told LeBron James And Kevin Durant To "Shut Up And Dribble" Because She Didn't Like Their Take On Donald Trump
Welp, when you're right...you're right, and they simply don't get any further right than Tomi Lahren's wicked, horse-faced stepmother Laura Ingraham. She might wrong about LeBron James leaving high school early - which he quite obviously didn't - and be completely ignorant to the most intrinsic values of free speech, but when it comes to making her opposition's point for them, this bigoted bitch couldn't have been anymore spot on!
While the first question that comes to the mind of anyone with a soul is "who's this they you are referring to you trifling trout-mouth of a political pollutant?", I suggest that instead of asking it we silently pull over on the road to understanding to get lectured by the head officer of the grammar police. Ironically, as condescending as the racial overtones of "shut up and dribble" happen to be, it's actually not the worst advice I've ever heard. As citizens of a free country they certainly aren't legally required to, but - if they so choose - LeBron James and Kevin Durant can feel free to focus on basketball knowing full well that Laura Ingraham is doing a fine job of making Donald Trump look like a divisive dolt with her own discriminatory drivel.
So take heed to the cautionary tale of a kid who came from nothing to shoot to the peak of his profession while further monetizing his transcendent talents through a wide variety of business ventures. After all, he used the wrong tense of a word or two in frustratingly telling an obvious truth. Therefore, he must not be educationally inclined to speak on the oft-bankrupt billionaire who was raised off silver spoon-fed bullshit.
An Arizona Cheerleader Got Tossed For Talking Trash, And I'm Ready To Reconvene On The "Is It A Sport?" Debate
It's about damn time that undying optimism and those relentless vocal chords were used for something other than white noise! Personally, I've never questioned the athleticism of cheerleaders - of their gender - out of fear that they might respond by challenging me to do a split or hold up another human being with nothing more than my palm. I have, however, taken umbrage with the idea that something can be considered a sport when there's typically not a winner or loser.
That said, while this megaphone-toting Wildcats enthusiast might not have physically been out there contributing anything to a final score, he was giving his team a mental edge by drawing the ire of the officials, chirping members of the opposition by name, and becoming a galvanizing force by which the team could rally around. Nothing provides a shot in the arm to the active roster quite like a good old fashioned, principled ejection, especially when it doesn't - in any way - deplete the active roster.
I'm still not ready to call cheerleading a sport, but the counterargument just got a little bit stronger. If the participants are going to become noticeably invested in them in a way that gets under the skin of those who are actually out there competing then it's undeniably sports-adjacent...and not just because they tend to spell out their cliched chants court side.
“Double-twisting double summersault. Not a massive degree of difficulty. Very nicely done, great control. Very Chinese. They all look the same. Very hard to tell who’s who.”
As someone that takes a perverse sense of pleasure in awkwardness being brought to me live and in living color, I must say that the Olympics have been virtual treasure trove of people talking themselves into trouble. It feels like every other day there's either a cultural or semantical misunderstanding that needs to be addressed, and nothing - and I mean nothing - encapsulates that quite like a broadcaster dropping the one line you must steer clear of when talking about Asian athletes. Like, whatever notes Jacqui Cooper was keeping on the event should have had "don't talk about the visual similarities of the Chinese" written in Sharpie and underlined 6-8 times. I'm sure her analysis was only more accurate than it it was innocent, but the fact that she confidently and unapologetically dropped a "they all look the same" is not only hilarious, but it's also so perfectly representative of just how difficult it is to avoid misspeaking amongst the most mixed of company.
The only thing that could have sounded worse on initial listen would have been if she made mention of some sort of inherent limitation of eyesight. Poor lady did her due diligence into the training techniques of every country she was covering and all it got her was tentatively labeled a simple-minded racist. If that's not a sign that no broadcaster - from the most ignorant to the most educated - is totally safe from the tangled web of words that is the English language then I don't know what the hell is.
Out of respect for a game that can be plenty violent and dangerous on its own accord, you probably shouldn't ever add to that by firing vulcanized rubber in the direction of an unsuspecting opponent. That however, isn't my biggest gripe with Charles Hudon venting his frustrations by way of errant, high speed projectile. Rather, my biggest problem with the Canadiens forward using the puck as a grievance mechanism is that he waited until both teams were halfway to the locker room before doing so.
The Montreal Canadiens scored all of zero goals yesterday. The Canadiens rookie in question took four shots on net and all of none of them went into said net. You mean to tell me he couldn't have spared one of those limp-wristed attempts on the torso of the defenseman he clearly had it out for during the course of gameplay? If you're not going to score then you might as well add an air of inconspicuousness to your childish bullshit, and that vindictiveness was less veiled than anything you'd find in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Help us help you Charles. Give us any reason to believe your intentions were anything other than malicious. By waiting until everyone else on the rink was casually gliding around as engaged as a billionaire bachelor while an obnoxiously loud horn was resonating throughout the building you did the exact opposite of passing the puck to ambiguity. Dickheads can sometimes give the NHL a little character, but being a dickhead before the outcome has officially been decided is key to making it look like you're actually trying to make a difference.
Rajon Rondo And Isaiah Thomas Got Tossed From Last Night's Pelicans/Lakers Game After Getting Into It Over The Now Infamously Unplayed Tribute Video
RR- "You didn't even deserve a tribute!"
IT- "Well, that's fine, because I didn't get a tribute!"
RR- "But you wanted one!"
IT- "But I was the one that said I didn't want one!"
RR- "But your thought about wanting one!"
IT- "Don't you tell me what I thought!"
RR- "Psssh, You weren't even a real Celtic anyway..."
IT- "HA! Ray Allen meant more to that banner than you and your broken ass jump shot!"
RR- "Whatever midget."
IT- "Who you talking about old E.T. lookin' head ass!"
RR- ::bitch slap::
IT- ::hair pull::
RR- ::hair pull::
IT- ::bitch slap::
Seriously though, have we really reached a place where the whining surrounding a hypothetical tribute video is going to end up being more memorable than the season-long performance that it would have attributed? Like, of all the NBA storylines to achieve immortality, the legend of the lost tape that is a 30 second tip-of-the-cap to a couple larger-than-life playoff series is the one that could outlive a cockroach? And all because Paul Pierce wanted the party that LeBron James crashed anyway to be all about him and no one but him?
Jeez, the pettiness truly knows no bounds if two guys whose affiliation with one another is nothing more than playing for the same organization at far different times are getting tossed from games for bickering about exactly how much respect is owed to them by the organization that neither one of them is still a part of it. That pissing contest was basically a consolation game, because the Boston Celtics have moved on to both bigger and better things at the point guard position. I hate to say this to two professional athletes that just got into the type of scrap you'd expect to see in a high school cafeteria, but - in the battle of the exes - nobody wins. Especially when what the exes are battling over is something as stupid and unfulfilling as unplayed tribute video.
Bode Miller Implied That Marriage May Have Affected An Olympic Skier's Performance, And He's Probably Never Been More Accurate
You know, when I first saw that Bode Miller - of 60 Minutes, "if you ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy!" fame - was trying to soften the blow of something he said on a broadcast, I thought I was going to be treated to at least a mild controversy. I'm honestly a little disappointed, because the only thing questionable about that unorthodox analysis was who it could have possibly offended.
I know for a fact that it's not married people, because those with a ring on their finger are always the first to bitch about the trials and tribulations that are attached to it. Never mind putting in the amount of work necessary to compete in a solo high speed sport against the best of the best from around the entire globe, do you know what else becomes more difficult when every aspect of your life becomes entangled with that of another? Literally everything. Considering that relationship weight is a very real thing, I would say the hurdle that is making the most of your gym membership becomes higher upon the consummation of a legal partnership, so what - are we to pretend that reaching the peak of your athletic potential as an all-world athlete is any different? It's common knowledge that taking shit in your own bathroom requires more of a thought process when you're sharing it with someone else, but we're going to act like there's nothing about a recently shared residency that could stand in the way of someone making the most of themselves as an Olympian?
I certainly wouldn't say it's her husband's fault that she underperformed as anything other than a joke - just like Bode Miller did - but I'd argue the institution of marriage as a whole probably made that clock tick as fast as the biological one she was trying to beat. The term "ball and chain" is typically used tongue-in-cheek, but every sarcastic figure of speech contains at least a little bit of truth and I would imagine even the most lightweight of shackle is enough to slightly slow down your slalom. Equating her recently altered marital status to her performance on the slopes might be socially frowned upon, but so is voicing your frustration with your significant other outside of your marriage and people do that all the goddamn time.
Saying that a wedding - one that took extensive planning, mind you - didn't negatively affect Anna Veith's skiing is just as disingenuous as me arguing that the selfish and self-involved life of a single male is super stressful. The Hallmark holiday that was underway when he said this is proof positive that the only thing that's more high maintenance than tinkering with a top-end skill so as to take fractions of a second off the time it takes you to maneuver down the steepest of icy declines is eternal love. Hell, even the drunk dude on the mountain knows that.
In Their War Against Everybody, The Devils Finally Toughed Out A Much Needed Battle Against The Flyers
Admittedly, it's unoriginal and over-adopted, but as derivative as the "_________ Vs. Everybody" mantra is, I can't think of a team that's currently more filling of that blank than the New Jersey Devils.
Other than it ending in victory, last night's game against the Flyers was much like many in what's been a frustrating stretch of bad luck and worse losses. The bounces didn't go their way, as evidenced by the two goals that redirected off them into their own net. The officiating didn't go their way, as evidenced by the uncalled high stick that drew blood that was closely followed by an absolute ghost of a penalty that was shamelessly drawn by Gostisbehere. The bumps and bruises didn't go their way, as evidenced by Taylor Hall spending a vast majority of the second period in concussion protocol. Hell, even their own style of play didn't go their way, as it seemed as though Keith Kinkaid might never be able to save his team from falling victim to what felt like the 41st stretch pass that Travis Konecny has received while streaking down the right side of the ice into the Devils' zone in 2018.
Now, every team - at one point or another - has to work harder for their puck luck, kill off shitty penalties, battle through uncalled penalties, overcome injuries, accept the fate of the fickle video replay, and absorb the self-inflicted blows that result from playing the best competition that the hockey world has to offer on a bi-weekly basis. The difference between those teams and the one that has - albeit dramatically - declared war on "the world" in the hunt for a playoff spot is that it seems as though all those factors are working against the Devils on every given night.
Throughout the last month it feels like they have needed to fight for every inch while their opponents have frequently been collecting foot after foot of undeserved slack. Even in what ended up being a come-from-behind shootout win over a division rival, New Jersey had created more than enough opportunities to tie it before Taylor Hall broke the spell and stopped the leaking with a rebound roof job. Point being, taking on "everybody" might be a bit excessive since occasionally their most daunting opponent is themselves, but - considering almost all of their underlying numbers have been better than they were in the beginning of the season - it feels like the house is rolling weighted dice at their expense.
If embracing just how often the odds have mistakenly blown their whistle, or obliviously turned their head during a scrum, or been 1/12th of an inch offsides, or blindly viewed a video replay, or bounced over their stick, or almost maliciously taunted physics, or tripped important players onto the IR, or mockingly rung off the post is what it takes for this team to throw caution to the unrelenting wind and continue to pick up traction in the postseason race then I'll gladly support an overdone cause. 'Devils Vs. Everybody', if only because nobody will feel bad for them if their hot start gets iced into a cold finish by factors that are outside of their control.
One battle down, 26 more to go. Given the way things have been going, to expect them to get any easier would be a fool's errand.
If you've still only got one foot on board the 'Taylor Hall for Hart Trophy' train then I suggest you take the leap because - with the way he's been playing - there might not be another stop in the near future. If not because he managed to post the following numbers along with these two goals while playing only two and a quarter periods in his 15th straight game with a point...
...then because his teammates, themselves, were quick to admit how much of their weight he's been carrying on a nightly basis all year...
There's honestly too many complimentary things that need to be said about what he's been able to accomplish while showing the ropes to the two teenagers he's spent a majority of his ice time playing alongside, so instead I leave you with an objectively hilarious joke...
"The trade is one for one."
TMZ- Warren Sapp didn't see this coming!!!!
The NFL Hall of Famer got SERVED with a lawsuit in his battery case by a process server PRETENDING TO BE A FAN ... and executed the trick play to perfection!
As we previously reported, Sapp is being sued by a woman who claims Sapp drunkenly bowled her over at a 2015 Super Bowl party in Arizona. She claims she suffered major injuries as a result.
The woman's attorneys had been trying to serve Sapp for more than a year but couldn't quite track him down -- they felt he was "actively avoiding the process server."
So, they sent a guy to a Sapp autograph session he had been promoting, hoping Warren would show up -- and they could finally slap him with the complaint and summons to appear in court.
The plan worked to perfection ... an unsuspecting Sapp even put his arm around the guy to pose for a photo before he dropped the bomb on him.
Just like they drew it up! Hook, line, and sinker! The bait and switch! A play call that's as timeless of a classic as an interior stunt! He knocked him off balance with the increasingly rare "OMG, OMG, You're my favorite undersized defensive tackle turned predatory blowhard of all time!", and used the long arms of the law to spin him right onto the wrong side of justice! As far as rushing the maker of non-consensual passes is concerned, it doesn't get much more textbook than that!
If we are being honest, I pictured that going down much differently. I was really hoping to candidly witness one of those heartfelt, cinematic moments in which a process server audibly slams a mandated court notice on the table in front of an assailant only to punctuate it with a "YOU'VE BEEN SERVED!" that makes for the "dun-dun-duuuun" of a dramatic pause.
The fact that this interaction was so casual actually kind of ruins it for me. I would imagine the type of person that gracefully takes surprise lawsuits in stride has been dealt a harrowing amount of them. Therefore, I'm not sure I'm buying that the former athlete who self-promoted his own autograph session was "actively avoiding" anything other than basic workplace decency. Judging by that response, he probably encounters more undercover judicial messengers than he does fans these days. If that blindsided sacking of Warren Sapp truly took an entire year then I have a feeling what we just watched was a Rudy-esque culmination of over 12 months of fruitless labor. Still makes for a good story, but - just like getting away with jumping offsides on a meaningless late-game snap - this process server was basically pitied his moment of glory by a long-defeated opponent.
While a bunch of overeager hockey fans wouldn't be my preferred company when offering the rest of my mortality to another human being, I can't help but feel extremely happy for these two lovestruck Devils' diehards.
I just have one question. Was having Miles Wood, of all people, deliver a puck that says "Tracy, will you marry me?" to your soulmate really the most promising way to get her to agree to eternal monogamy? I mean, look at this fucking guy...
Kid's got a jawline that appears to have been chiseled from granite in the mold of Ashton Kutcher's, eyes you could lost in, and a smile that's only made more seductive by the fact that it's not even remotely meant to be. I thought you're supposed to limit the risk of the proposition during a marriage proposal? This dude is lucky the maintenance crew didn't need to be called to remove his long time girlfriend from the leg of a 22 year old speedster whose play leads me to believe he might be willing to do a little grinding off the ice as well.
I don't even mean this as a low-blow towards her now fiancé because you can probably count on one hand the amount of people in the world that aren't comparatively made to look like gremlins by the mere presence of James Franco's long-lost-inside-a-gym brother. It's a good thing this guy knew the love was true, because if Tracy had cold feet about her current situation they would have been hot on the tail of Miles Wood. Shit, I might jump the fence and kick down the door of the closet if I knew he was inside, never mind receiving a souvenir proposal that didn't have a 'From:' attached.
Congrats to the happy couple. I'm sure they overcame a lot throughout their relationship, but nothing was more of a test than the split second in which Tracy thought she had caught the alluring eyes of her favorite team's heartbreaker. Thankfully they passed!
Erik Karlsson Can't Even Bid Adieu To Traded Teammates Without People Wondering What It Says About His Future
In fairness to Senators fans, there is something odd about the wording of that tweet. Personally, I'm more inclined to wonder why the first sentence reads like something you might follow with an 'R.I.P.' as it seems to reference a reconvening in the afterlife. I suppose I can see why those from Ottawa might get paranoid and mistakenly see it as a foreshadowing of the future by which the fate of franchise hinges. However, if you asked me to give you a guess as to what team Erik Karlsson is signing with next summer after reading that first post I might just go with the St. Peter Souls because the tear and the "...for now" made for an oddly morbid promise of an encore between now former teammates.
In all seriousness though, I do not envy the position the Ottawa faithful have been put in. Already being so paranoid that you're taking a fine-tooth comb to every completely irrelevant public statement your franchise player makes in hopes of finding a subliminal message over a full year before he hits free agency is admittedly a wee bit overbearing. but it's not like they have meaningful hockey to distract them from what's almost guaranteed to be a nut-clutching negotiation. Riding a Conn Smythe-caliber performance to within a goal of the Stanley Cup Finals has only made Senators' fans a more fragile bunch. So much so that I'm not even sure what will break their spirit more, potentially getting broken up with by their game-breaking defenseman or incessantly stalking his social media to a point where it consumes their life. With Drew Doughty in need of an equally anchor-esque long term contract at the same exact time, it's pretty far outside the realm of possibility that Erik Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf, and Nate Thompson end up together in LA. Unfortunately, as the overanalyzed semantics of a gracious farewell have proven, insecurity knows no unlikelihood. Just ask any jealous girlfriend that's looked through their significant other's phone and found nothing to worry about...if you can even find one.
You Won't Catch Tyronn Lue Letting His Players Coach The Team, Since Everyone Thinks LeBron Already Does
While it's inherently unfair that the NBA has gotten to the point where the most successful head coaches get the least amount of credit, I like to envision Tyronn Lue's tenure coaching the Cavaliers as one long, drawn out struggle to prove his worth. Every good joke contains a littttttle bit of truth so, however mildly, the man who hypothetically helped to bring Cleveland it's first championship in over 50 years still worries about the optics of his own importance. Clipped to that board might as well be his job security, and - come hell or high maintenance - he's not putting it in the hands of anyone else.
And the best part is, not only is that hilarious, but it's a completely legitimate concern. Things are on the up-and-up now, but were not even a week removed from the Cavaliers looking about 100x more dysfunctional than they ever did under David Blatt and he got ousted almost as fast as Isaiah Thomas in a team-wide compatibility contest. Despite both having led their teams to the last two NBA Finals (Lue was an assistant in 2015), Steve Kerr and Tyronn Lue couldn't possibly be in different positions right now. Can you imagine if the latter sat idly by and watching his own roster orchestrate a 46 point win over anyone? The narrative wouldn't be "he's disrespecting his opponent", it would be "AHA, WE FINALLY FOUND THE PROBLEM!". I'm glad the guy who once laughably referred to his job as the hardest in the entire NBA stumbled upon some self awareness, because the fact that - sarcastically or not - he referenced a refusal to leave his team to their own volition like a clingy, overachieving boyfriend is evidence of the opposite. It may come off as insecure, but as the head coach of the most successful organization to consistently need a scapegoat and Kevin Love currently suffering from an ailment that can be proved with an x-ray, you wouldn't be too quick to let yourself look expendable either.
ESPN- New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara wasn’t so sure about the whole Mardi Gras thing.
Hours later, as he walked down the street packed with adoring crowds on either side, talking selfies with whomever ran out to him and throwing beads into the masses, it was clear he had figured it out in his own way.
The two rookies had a float to themselves, complete with a band that quickly struck up “Stand Up and Get Crunk” as soon as the parade started rolling.
“This is crazy,” one of them murmured as they saw the crowd of people, thousands of them, lined up along several miles of a route that would conclude at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Kamara and Lattimore, both participating in their first Mardi Gras, clearly didn’t care about what anyone did in the past. They enticed someone from the crowd to give them burgers and chicken in exchange for some premium beads. Kamara, who had been provided Airheads on the float, threw them off like they were normal throws. They hung their game day jerseys and Pro Bowl jerseys off the float, teasing people with the idea that they might actually throw them.
“Let’s get off the float,” one of them suggested. And before anyone could really think it over, the group was jumping off and running down the street. While some stretches of the parade have barriers to prevent anyone from crossing, this part did not. Anyone who wanted to run up to them could, and did.
This was probably the worst nightmare of the security detail provided for the float. They were short-handed that day and had one man assigned to the players and their friends. This didn’t seem to bother either rookie.
Kamara was swallowed into a crowd of fans that held up their phones, pleading for a picture. They hugged him. Lattimore walked alongside him, taking it all in. This stretched on for several minutes. The parade creeped behind them and then stopped.
Security tried to entice them to get back on the float, but the two didn’t notice or didn’t care.
It was clear they were loving it almost as much as the fans who held up signs for them or screamed their names. They were persuaded to get back on the float, but jumped off again only a few minutes later. Kamara took off by himself, grinning as he threw beads into the crowd from the ground level. At one point, the two spotted Saints general manager Mickey Loomis at the parade with his family and jogged over to take a picture. They gathered for a picture with former Saints safety Steve Gleason in the middle of the street.
A police officer eventually yelled for them to wrap it up. They obligingly climbed back up on the float. The band struck up again, and the parade continued rolling along toward the Superdome.
When asked how he felt about Mardi Gras now that he’d seen it for himself, Kamara grinned.
“I’d f--- with it,” he said.
Their award winning performance on the field had already long convinced me that Alvin Kamara And Marshon Lattimore were destined to one day be part of their very own uninhibited, celebratory parade throughout New Orleans. That said, I'll be damned if them embracing their newfound stardom Mardi Gras-style doesn't have me desperately hoping that procession gets scheduled sooner rather than later.
Watching the Eagles - led by Jason Kelce, of course - become a gritty reflection of the city of Philadelphia was so cool that it almost made me forget that the shit-eating grins of their fanbase were all-too-literal. I say that to say this, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore are New Orleans. If that wasn't made clear by the swagger with which they somehow casually dominated professional football in their first season and the subsequent celebrations that ensued then it was made clear by their willingness to brush off security detail and become one with the culture and tradition of their new home.
The current Saints team might be the most likable of a Sean Payton era that includes both a resurrectional rebirth of the city as well as the franchise's first Super Bowl victory. Transcendent talent aside, that's due - in large part - to the personalities that have come along with the central figures in a youth movement that's rapidly progressed beyond its year. The recency bias of renewed relevance is weighing heavily on the following statement, but I can honestly say I'd be surprised if neither of them ended up being a part of a championship extravaganza in NOLA. Let's hope that's the correct assessment, because clearly they know how to a embrace a parade and a...umm..."lubricated" fanbase as their own.
We Have A Disputed Racial Dispute Between Tennis Pros, But - Due To His Own Words - It's Not Looking Great For The Accused
"If that happened on a football field, everyone would laugh and say, '15-yard penalty" and move on. You move forward and try to take it in stride. At the end of the day, you see everybody, you like everybody and you want to be friends and friendly with everybody, but everybody out here I compete against, even the ones I like, they are the ones trying to take away my livelihood. I have to do what I can to get through, and I was proud of myself for doing that." - Ryan Harrison (h/t ShreveportTimes)
I'm not sure whether or not the words exchanged between Ryan Harrison and Donald Young Jr. were inappropriate in nature, nor am I going to make any guesses as to what they might have been. I wouldn't know either player if they walked up to me in the middle of the street and began beating me over the head with their personalized racquets, so I'm most certainly not qualified to blindly judge the content of their character.
That's why I'll leave it at this. If the best defense of the accused is "it would only be worthy of a 15-yard penalty on a football field" then the accused better tighten his grip on the proverbial soap, because that will quickly have him receiving the broad end of the gavel in the court of public opinion.
In fairness to Ryan Harrison, a snowball would probably stand a better in hell then he would on the gridiron, but has he even watched the barbaric game he just used for cross-sport comparison? I can't help but think he's severely undervaluing what it might take to talk yourself into a 15 yard penalty during an NFL game, because 'punishably depraved' by the standards of those that combat each other in competitive assault belongs no where near a tennis court unless said tennis court is being used to host an organized purge. Granted, most are exchanged between members on the same race, but I feel pretty confident in saying that slurs (of varying degrees) fly far more frequently than flags throughout a football game. Therefore, deeming his trash talk during a gentleman's game to be fitting of the type of infraction one receives when they take a decade off the lifespan of a defenseless wide receiver probably isn't in his best interest.
To his own point, it's all relative. However, contrary to his point, 15 yards on a football field roughly equates to 5-to-10 years of imprisonment in society, which roughly equates to approximately 25-to-community service (pending appeal and under-the-table pay off, of course) in the high society where professional tennis functions.
Again, I'm not saying whether or not he's guilty of racist rhetoric, but - unless he was out there chanting the mission statement of the KKK - he's definitely guilty of having an elementary understanding of the type of unforgivable things that are said between the whistles during contact sports.
It's February 13th, And Officiating Guru Mike Pereira Has Officially Decided That The 'Philly Special' Was The Result Of An Illegal Formation
TalkOfFame- One more item of interest, particularly to New England fans: According to Pereira, the “Philly Special” that produced a Nick Foles touchdown catch at the end of the first half and was the most memorable play of the Super Bowl should have been called back. Reason? The Eagles didn’t line up properly and should have been penalized.
“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is.” Pereira said. “The down judge, who was the one that (the play) was on his side of the field … they felt that it was his judgment, and he (receiver Alshon Jeffrey) was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.
“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.
“We always use a yard (within the line of scrimmage), maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two. And even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”
Look, I don't particular know if the 4th down trickeration that rose the entire Super Bowl-viewing audience - regardless of affiliation - up off their couch was the result of an uncalled penalty. The only thing I know about flags thrown for illegal formations is that they are complete and utter bullshit when they go against my rooting interest and an undeniable upholding of justice and integrity when they benefit my rooting interest. I have heard unbiased people that seem to know what the fuck they are talking about take both sides of what should theoretically be a cut-and-dry argument, and I don't have anywhere near enough interest to do a deep dive in hopes of coming to Mike Pereira's "more comfortable" conclusion that an awesome Super Bowl should have had the life sucked out of it.
That being said, the VP of Officiating turned FOX's rules analyst vehemently grandstanding on behalf of six inches of uncovered ground that in no way aided in the most exciting play of the biggest game of the year over a week after it ended is basically everything that's wrong with the NFL officiating wrapped up in one concise podcast segment.
The uncertainty. The nitpicking. The untimeliness. I don't blame Mike Pereira because the occupational hazards by which he has made a post-retirement career weren't set in place by him, but - Christ Almighty - can't we just let the recently-sober underdogs lie? If not because a failure to do so makes a multi-billion dollar business look even more incapable of managing itself then because no one gives a rat's ass about the legality of formations until they allow them to bitch, moan, and use them as a scapegoat.