You're not going to find me claiming that body shaming isn't a very prevalent issue in society. That's partially because it's quite obviously something that effects many people, but it's mostly because I am not sure I could handle the emasculation if Aly Raisman challenged me to an arm wrestling competition for saying it's not.
That being said, I think we should consider the context of this rude interaction between an Olympian gymnast and a TSA agent before we rush to judgement. I don't want to make it sound like those who are held responsible for vetting every irritable commuter during the most annoying part of their trip should be given free reign to be an objectionable asshole, but I definitely understand why they tend to be. I hardly even want to talk to myself when going through the process of boarding a flight, never mind talking to every self-important person that (understandably) thinks their time is more valuable than that of everyone else. That's why I have let it slide every time my intelligence has been insulted after saying "what?" to someone that is already occupationally obligated to repeat themselves hundreds of times per shift.
Now, I clearly can't imagine what it's like for Aly Raisman to be viewed as weak simply because she's a woman when she's undeniably stronger than a significant number of men. I'm sure it happens far more often than we'd like to believe. I just can't - in good conscience - treat it as an all-encompassing indictment of society at large when the guilty party is someone that has to feel up pissed off passengers of every shape, size, and undoubtedly dim demeanor all damn day. I don't personally know the guy manning security at whatever terminal she was flying out of and he may very well be a sexist prick, but the possibility that a long day of being fake nice to testy travelers simply took it's toll on his attitude absolutely exists.
Brock Osweiler Also Sucks At Digesting Game Tape And Thinks He's Proven He Can Be A Starting Quarterback
It's not often that I instinctually have a visceral reaction to contextless quotes from professional athletes that fit within the unforgiving constraints of 140 characters, but this one got to me. Think of it in the same vein as "the coverup is worse than the crime". Brock Osweiler's insistence that his performance last year was that of a starting NFL quarterback is more incriminating than his performance last year that was threateningly reminiscent of a blind person playing darts after a dozen beers.
We are talking about a guy that was traded away from a team that is a mediocre QB away from contending for literally less than nothing. If I were put in charge of making the thankless decision of whether or not to start him I might actually use the above tweet as the basis for going with any one else. Yes, even more so than the game tape that shows him transforming DeAndre Hopkins from an All-World wideout into an innocent bystander.
You know how stupid people are exponentially more dangerous to themselves and others when they think they are actually smart? Crappy quarterbacks are the same way. The only thing that drowns your team faster than a guy who stinks under center is a guy who can't even comprehend that he sticks under center. If this Brock Osweiler blurb wasn't delivered as anything other sarcastic then he's not in need of more reps, he's in need of a psychological evaluation. Being irrationally confident can be a quality, but the ability to blissfully ignore hours upon hours of damning visual evidence is undoubtedly not.
Update: It's actually, somehow, even worse than I expected it to be...
In Case You Hadn't Had Enough Of Game 3, Richard Jefferson Implied That LeBron James Was Sick With A Mystery Illness
"I know he won't talk about it, so I'll give my big guy a shout," Jefferson said. "Deron Williams missed shootaround this morning because he had like a little bug, really lethargic, had no energy. And I think that's what 'Bron had. And sometimes these little bugs can go around. And [James] was like, dude when Deron didn't show up to shootaround, it kind of started clicking in his head. Because for him it was like, 'I don't know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing.'
"And so, these little things happen. [There] was no panic. Look, he was lethargic, they hit a bunch of tough shots, if Marcus Smart doesn't go 7-for-10 from 3, then we're not even talking about it."
Oh, sweet Jesus. Can we please not do this? I appreciate Richard Jefferson sticking up for the guy who is most responsible for him retiring with a ring, but come the fuck on. Retroactively diagnosing the best player in the world with an ailment that he only thought that he might have had after it kept his much more mortal teammate out of a light practice two days later? I have no explanation for LeBron James general disinterest during what was one of his worst postseason games of his career so having a vague, indiscernible "bug" is as good of a reason as any. Still, acting like a sickness that he didn't even know about at the time was solely responsible for his shitty game is like last season's "Steph Curry sucked so he must be hurt" narrative on steroids.
Why? Just why can't we let this die? Why can't we focus on the other 11 playoff games in which LeBron James defied age, science, and damn near everything else that says people aren't supposed to peak as professional athletes at the age of 32? Maybe the one game where he didn't make his peers look like preteens playing pickup against their father was altered by a mystery illness. However, unless that mystery illness was the 24 hour black plague then it doesn't completely make sense of an 11 point, 6 turnover performance from someone that's bigger, stronger, and faster then almost everyone else that has ever played the sport.
I haven't let one lazy, uninterested effort effect how I view a player that will probably go down as the best of all time, but if every loss is going to have a corresponding "condition" then I may have to jump on board with the idiots that won't stop stat vomiting Michael Jordon's arbitrary playoff point totals.
It Doesn't Really Matter, But It Does Seem Odd That Odell Beckham Skipped OTA's To Kick It With Johnny Manziel
TMZ- Johnny Manziel recruited one of the best receivers in the league this week to help with his NFL comeback -- Odell Beckham!!
We're told Manziel and OBJ hit the gridiron for some passing drills while hanging with Odell's custom cleat artist, Kickasso ... and we're told the ex-Browns QB was firing the ball around -- lookin' like Johnny Football again.
Odell -- and few other receivers -- ran routes while Manziel threw them passes. Word is his arm looked strong, and his feet looked fast.
Look, I'm not going to pretend to care that Odell Beckham skipped some optional workouts to play catch with an unemployed "quarterback" who is apparently now marketing his (former?) addiction by rocking a "#LostInTheSauce" hat. I don't know why he would do so when he's already a lightning rod for controversy, but it's probably because Odell simply isn't being true to himself if he's not making news somehow. The idea that an NFL player's attendance at OTA's is discretionary is more in name than it usually is in practice, but I'm not going to kill the guy for getting started off on the wrong foot when that's exactly where he left off last season. I may question why he would prioritize some personal time with someone who has basically been ostracized (and rightfully so) from the same league that employs him, but what Odell Beckham wants to do on (what is technically) his own time is of no concern to me.
I just don't need these "scouting reports" that read like the Giants' superstar wideout is doing anything other than casually tossing the pigskin around the yard with a 24 year old has-been. His feet look fast and his arm looked strong? Really? That might be a fine standard to go if we were comparing "Johnny Football" to the Johnny Manziel that was stumbling drunk around the Caribbean looking like he was on a strict diet of blow and rabbit food. However, it's not exactly the most ringing endorsement of someone that's looking to transition from rehab to an NFL locker room. Like, let's not get duped into believing that Odell Beckham is playing sponsor to a guy who still has a long way to go to get back to the life he drank and snorted away. It's pretty clear he's just relaxing somewhere sunny with his shoe designer and some bum whose incessant attention seeking he can wholeheartedly relate to. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly not going to help Giants' fans forget about what happened in Green Bay.
TimesNews- A third Elon University football player has been arrested for his alleged role in the surreptitious filming of a woman in a dorm room.
Marcus E. Willoughby, 18, of 201 Bridgefield Place, Apt. 131, Durham, was arrested Monday by the Elon University Police Department and charged with felony secret peeping.
He was booked in the Alamance County jail under a $15,000 bond.
According to an arrest warrant, on Jan. 15, Willoughby “did secretly and for the purpose of arousing sexual desire create a photographic video” using a laptop while in a dorm room in the university’s Danieley flats.
Willoughby, along with two other students arrested on the same charge a month ago, are accused of “capturing the image” of a woman without her consent.
I can't say that I was aware that Elon University had a football team, but at the exact moment I found out they had football team I also found out why I never knew of their existence. Seriously, how am I supposed to be aware of a program in the Colonial Athletic Conference if not even their co-eds are aware of it?
I know I have been led to believe this by every stereotypical sports movie ever made, but there's at least a hint of truth to football players being the "big men on campus" that don't often have to do much more than hold a roster spot to be privy to the advances of the fairer sex. Meanwhile, the voyeuristic schmucks at Elon are resigned to hiding in the bushes desperate to catch a glimpse of one single titty, because they aren't even good enough to have groupies. Most D1 athletes are recognizable to the naked eye, but members of the gridiron gang at a small school in rural North Carolina are held up in a closet in hopes of getting an eye on someone naked.
Not only is it criminal and disgusting behavior, but it's also sad that three scholarship athletes can't get laid and have to resort to making poorly produced pornographic photo-books. I swear I would pity their inability to parlay their playing status into sexual pleasure if I wasn't so busy looking down on them in shame as the perverted deviants they have proven to be.
Objectively speaking, Joey Votto won this war of words. Regardless of your opinion on how much wit is required to properly execute a well timed fat joke, doing so undoubtedly packs more of a punch than telling a professional baseball player who is hitting over .300 in the Major Leagues that he's no longer good at baseball. The Cincinnati Reds signed Joey Votto to 10 year, 225 million dollar extension in 2012, and - without having a visual of this loudmouth - I think it's fair to say he let his body and his pride go to shit well before that.
Unfortunately, engaging the type of fan that pays entirely too much just to sit up front and insult the players he's sacrificing his (second or third) lunch money to watch is a no-win endeavor. Obviously anyone who appreciates professional athletes as the insanely skilled entertainers they are would score this round in favor of Joey Votto, but it's no surprise that his "opponent" kept swinging after a joke that certainly served as the bell. This exchange highlighted the complete lack of shame that one has to have to get into a pissing contest with a pro ball player, and it left said pro ball player running low on allowable retorts. Basically, it was an example of how thankless it is to argue with stupid, especially when stupid is sitting behind a screen safe from actually answering to his baseless taunts.
To put it in terms of video games, an overweight heckler is like the boss at the end of the level that aimlessly hurls fireballs while needing to be hit 100 times before he dies, and - due to his profession as a public figure - Joey Votto had a limited bag of libel to fire shots from. If rendering someone speechless is the ultimate sign of victory in shit talking then the jackass unseen still had a ways to go before he choked on his slanderous tongue. That's too bad, because Joey Votto clearly would have done an even better job slamming the door shut on his entire existence if he were at liberty to come unhinged.
ESPN- “I’m not for that at all,” Lewis, who is on the NFL Competition Committee, said of the change. “We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, you want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way, and that’s not a very good example for young people.”
Lewis said he didn’t like the idea of emphasizing individuals in a team sport.
“The rules were changed for a reason, and I thought we had a good outcome,” he said. “Again, this is a team game, and … I don’t understand why we want to give in to individual celebrations.”
Generally I find it to be silly to compare apples to oranges. There's usually very little to gain from going the "oh yeah..." route with views that are merely disjointed in their hypocrisy. That said, if Marvin Lewis wants to die on this highfalutin hill then I feel like I should have the right to bury his body with the whole fucking fruit basket.
Marvin Lewis. The longtime (some might say way too long) head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. The overseer of the roster who is notoriously well known for having a rap sheet that puts Jay-Z's discography to shame. The supervisor of a team who oddly makes concessions in the name of talent, but whose character issues only seem to manifest themselves in playoff losses.
Consider this - Marvin Lewis' organization just drafted a guy who was caught on camera shattering a woman's jaw and casually walking out of restaurant with no remorse like all he did was leave some spilled soda for someone else to clean up, and the sports world's collective reaction was "figures". Now granted, someone was going to give Joe Mixon a job, but that someone deserves to be shamed if they follow up that moral compromise by going the "what about the poor children?" route to impede the path towards more unflaggable end zone dances.
I'm fully aware that there's very little correlation between overindulgent displays of individuality and domestic abuse, but - Christ Almighty - if you are going to be so hyper critical of the former I would think you'd be a little less forgiving of the latter. Especially if your reasoning is predicated on teaching young people the correct way to handle their business. Call me crazy, but casting a guy with a history of putting himself above the team by acting outside of the law doesn't exactly fit the script in terms of the fictitious "all for one and one for all" scene that Marvin Lewis is trying re-create in his locker room. The grainy footage that made every other team in the league pass on the Bengals' new running back at least once is a lot more detrimental to the eyes of our youth than a clip of Antonio Brown performing a lap dance on a goalpost.
SportingNews- Former Kansas star Josh Jackson received a diversion agreement that stipulates he attend anger management classes, refrain from alcohol and recreational drugs for 12 months and write an apology letter, according to court records obtained by The Kansas City Star.
Jackson was charged in February with misdemeanor criminal damage to property after he followed a female student to her car, then proceeded to kick the driver's-side door and rear tail light.
The police report listed the damage caused to the car at $3,150.45, which is a felony. Jackson, however, was given a lesser charge.
Jackson must now enroll in and successfully complete an anger management counseling course by October 31. He will also have to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service by the same date.
I think we can agree that being obligated to attend anger management courses when you're about to be selected to contribute on a professional court that often times turns contentious isn't the greatest look for a kid that's trying to up his draft stock as high as possible. Josh Jackson seems to fit comfortably in the 3-5 range regardless, so it's doubtful that his inability to communicate his frustrations with words will have much of an impact on his immediate future.
Plus, even if it did, possessing some calves that can cause well over $3,000 worth of damage to a motor vehicle is damn impressive. I don't know how that translates to explosiveness in the paint but having a fender bending front kick should be in the 'strengths' section of the scouting report, because it has to be considered a 'pro' when it's not being used on the rear end of a college girl's Jetta. I don't think he should look to use it as an on-court asset - a la Draymond Green - but I have a lot of confidence in Josh Jackson's ability to out jump people for rebounds if he can damn near total a car with nothing more than the launching points in his sneakers. Harness that type of destructive lower body strength into something a little more productive than manipular vehicle-slaughter and the 76er's might really have a player on their hands.
Warriors' Owner Joe Lacob Said They Were The Better Team Despite Losing To The Cavaliers In The Finals Last Year
You know what they say, insufferableness starts at the top. Well, actually it might be success that starts at the top. Eh, whatever, with the Warriors it's basically the same difference anyway. Joe Lacob's masturbatory self love (that's got to be dangerously close to causing chaffing by now) for what he's created - via the help of exemplary coaching and a hot hand in the dice game that is the NBA Draft - runs rampart throughout his whole organization, and there is no bigger sign of it than him heaping championship-level praise on his 73 win runner-ups.
I can't - in good conscience - say that he's wrong, because the Warriors probably would have went back-to-back if Draymond Green could have suppressed his impulse to go limb-to-dick. Speaking strictly from the "team" perspective, the record setting and history making Warriors probably were better than the Cavaliers. After all, Cleveland needed Kyrie Irving to play Robin to LeBron James' Batman in just barely saving Gotham from the thin-skinned villains whose money man can't seem to get over the heroics that took them down. That said, saying such as the self important - albeit successful - owner of a team whose choke job became an internet sensation is a move so annoying that it makes me yearn for the days of the nauseatingly repetitive '3-1' jokes. Joe Lacob might have a lot to be proud of, but he's light years behind in understanding that the better team losing made them - at least temporarily - a top-to-bottom failure as a franchise.
I'm not going to try to sell the name "Fangerang" as anything but cringeworthy. I'm not going to say that summoning the musical influences of 'Gangnam Style' was the best choice in production for something that's meant to hype a crowd for one of the most pressure packed stages in all of sports. I'm not going to endorse any of the painfully caucasian choreography that took place. Still - while there no shortage of aspects of this video that make you want to shake your damn head so hard that that you lose the memory of watching it - it's just so perfectly Predators.
This corny video is hockey in Nashville in a nutshell. It may not feature people that know the intricacies of the sport and it might require excess alcohol for peak enjoyment, but it's loud, over-the-top, and shamelessly fun in a way in which only hockey in a Southern party city could be. Other than a star-studded roster that is unquestionably coming together at the right time, this montage is perfectly representative of what's making it so difficult to root against a team whose fans are embracing their team in a way that not many thought possible when they first arrived. Maybe I'm a sucker for stupid viral videos that are - at least in part - intentionally bad, or maybe the non-traditionalist vibe is a welcomed change to a sport that too often has a Sherwood stuck up it's ass. Either way, I'm down with the 'Fangerang' (until it gets repetitive and old after about 1.5 more viewings).
Speaking As Someone Who Criticized Kevin Durant's Decision, This Recent Stephen A. Smith Rant Is Totally Off Base
What has happened to Durant? I can't believe this is a question we are asking, but - in response to the conversation starter that 'First Take' used to lead into a eye roll-inducing rant about an NBA superstar's respect level towards fans - let me say this; Kevin Durant has stopped giving a fuck and I have a tough time blaming him for it.
I - like many, many others - instantly called KD's departure to the team that had just recently beat him in soul shattering fashion a soft move that showed a lack of competitive spirit. If only for that reason, I can't sit here now and say that KD should give a crap what I - or anyone else for that matter - thinks about his team's dominance. I don't care that he's making millions of dollars as a basketball player, because there's no dollar amount that would, could, or should make a person any less "dismissive" towards those that basically called them a pussy in public.
We are talking about a guy that had the entirety of his character torn to shreds following a career choice that he had every right to make. That's not to say that it wasn't an easily criticizable career choice. However, those fans that he's being "disrespectful" towards are the same ones that called him a coward, or - in Stephen A. Smith's own words - "weak" for the entirety of an offseason. I was one of those fans, and as such I would expect the reasonably spiteful professional athlete to stick his proverbial middle finger up in my face after flawlessly cruising to the NBA Finals.
In fact, I actually appreciate that Kevin Durant is finally doubling down on what was undoubtedly a villainous choice. I know Stephen A. Smith added an unnecessary amount of hot sauce to his critique because that's what he's paid handsomely to do, but when did we stop praising people for speaking words that parallel their actions? When the unstoppable force chose to join the immovable object instead of potentially meeting it in the Western Conference Finals he proved he didn't care bout parity in the NBA. He's finally saying that now too, and for that I begrudgingly applaud him.
Roger Goodell Is Apparently Loosening Up On TD Celebrations, But I'm Fearful Of Where He Plans On Tightening Up
I can't believe I am going to say this, but this news concerns me. Of course I'm on board with all the over-the-top celebrations and appreciate that they will no longer be met with flying yellow flags that can impact the actual game, but the last person that us fans should want a favor from is Roger Goodell.
Think about the few times you have taken the opportunity to stop being a narcissistic asshole and actually committed yourself to doing even the smallest of good deeds. Doesn't engaging in common courtesy feel way better than it should for far too long simply because of how rarely you do it? Don't you use your generosity/hospitality/kindness to justify future instances in which you aren't as quick to be a nice person? Now imagine that phenomenon taking hold of the most stubborn, out-of-touch mind in professional sports.
All Roger Goodell did was allow players to express themselves in jubilation, but - considering how often he does right by his viewers - he's probably going to use that minor, obvious adjustment to rationalize about 10 other rule changes that counteract the interests of his consumers. I wouldn't be mildly surprised if we don't even get to see the undisciplined dance recitals because the commissioner of the NFL sold that airtime as ad space. We are talking about a person that's so blind, deaf, and dumb to society that he believes marijuana is more addictive than the pain killers his employees legally use to manage potentially life-altering injuries. If there's a son of a bitch that would give an inch just to try to distract half-drunk football fans with celebratory, premeditated prop comedy as he took a mile then it would be him. He might be loosening up that tie as a show of good faith, but - make no mistake - his ass his just as tight as ever.
Who Would Have Thought That A Random, Offseason Article About Michael Bennett's "Immaturity" Would Backfire This Badly?
SeattleTimes- I was 10 feet away from Bennett after that playoff loss to the Falcons when he ripped into a reporter for asking a fair question about the pass rush. He called him a “non-playing (expletive)” and asked what kind of adversity he’d been through, implying that there was no way it could be on par with an NFL player.
Well, that reporter survived cancer, which Bennett obviously didn’t know. But the fact that he never publicly apologized or even acknowledged it reeks of immaturity.
I don't think I am alone in claiming ignorance here. Seriously, who would have thought that an article targeting one of the most outspoken members of a notoriously media unfriendly locker room would be taken so poorly? I was simply stunned that Michael Bennett had a less than positive reaction to a that (in full) reads as follows: "Here's a bunch of good things about Seattle's defensive end just so it doesn't look like this is a blatant hit piece that I conjured up for clicks in the dead of the offseason when I take the turn and label him immature for something he did 4 months ago". Just an absolutely shocking response...until you see the most column crippling 'Editor's Note' in the history of typed word....
"(Editor’s note: This column has been clarified to reflect that Michael Bennett privately contacted a reporter to express regret about his response to a question following the Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Falcons.)"
Whoooooops. That whole "Michael Bennett is an unforgiving criticizer of cancer survivors" angle really gets it's legs chop blocked out from underneath it when you find out that it's subject actually apologized for his emotional/unintentional gaff in the most genuine, mature way possible. Saying "sorry" by way of a medium that's not entirely public and thus completely incredulous? Who even knew that was a thing that existed in 2017?
Man, if only there were a way that author Matt Calkins could have avoided being made to look like an informed jackass that potentially cost his publication access to certain areas of the Seahawks locker room. I'd have to do my research, but - off the top of my head - I can't think of anyway to make sure you have your facts straight when taking a retroactive stand on behalf of a colleague (and a retroactive stab at a professional athlete) other than by talking to that colleague even once between the months of January and May. Honestly? It's a good thing the journalist didn't go the investigative route or the integrity of his moot message would have been shot to shit before he even had a chance to share it with the world.
Randy Carlyle Isn't One To Make Excuses, But The Ducks' Playoff Schedule Was...Like...Really, Really Hard
PuckDaddy- Randy Carlyle, indicated that the schedule wasn’t in Anaheim’s favor, and that the NHL should reconsider it.
“I don’t think we played poorly in the series. I think that the toughest part I have about the whole thing is that this was our seventh game in 13 days,” said Carlyle.
“Now, there’s various reasons for that, but I think there’s got to be some consideration in the scheduling in the future between series. We finished on a Wednesday and had to open again on Friday, whereas other teams had to open on Saturday. An extra day would have given us a chance to recover. And we know how tough these games are. And that was a tough hand that was dealt to us.”
Also please recall that on May 17, Carlyle completely punted on the schedule question, when asked “is it fair to play the playoffs with this kind of schedule” by a reporter.
“Well, I better not comment what’s fair and what’s not fair. I leave that up for other people. I think the issue is we get accustomed to it and we just have to make sure we manage the time, what we do in the days between and how we can re-energize our group. That’s the most important thing,” he said.
Well, I - for one - simply cannot believe what I just read. Did Randy Carlyle just imply that the NHL Playoffs can be long and unforgiving? And that a two month tournament consisting of 7 game series between the best teams in an aggressive, contact sport often offers forms of adversity that might take a mental and physical on it's participants? I'm going to need to hear from a less biased party on this, because if the Ducks really were impeded from competing at full strength due to their failure to close out Edmonton Oilers in a timely manner then we are going to have to put an asterisk next to 2017 Western Conference Finals.
Maybe the Nashville Predators aren't a team of destiny that has gotten contributions from up and down the lineup and overcome injuries to their first line center and longtime captain in stamping their ticket to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history. Maybe they are just a group that was all-but-gifted an express pass to the next and last round by eliminating their previous opponent as soon as they got the opportunity. Sure, the Anaheim Ducks only played one more game than the Nashville Predators have this postseason, but that extra day or two of rest that the NHL used to unfairly sabotage the healthier roster clearly made all the difference in the world.
I know the head coach of a team that could have made their playoff lives easier by not getting their doors blown off (7-1) in the game that inevitably tightened their schedule would never make excuses, so I'll do it for him. Seven games in thirteen days is a hell of a lot of hockey. Who knew that hoisting the most difficult trophy to win in all of sports can often be extremely challenging when you make it harder on yourselves? Sigh, it's a shame really. When we look back at this year's Anaheim Ducks team I can only imagine the first thing that will pop in our head isn't that they lost to a more deserving opponent, but that they were one free Friday night away from glory.
John Wall Got A Class Full Of Kids (Taught By The Most Shameless Teacher Ever) A '100' On Their Math Final
I don't want to paint the entire teaching profession with a broad stroke, but if they want their calls for higher salaries to be taken seriously then they should probably have a sit down with their peers that are lazily passing out 100's by the classroom at the click of a celebrity's button. I'm not offended that the youth of America is getting stupider by the second, but educators that get summers off are already fighting an uphill battle for additional financial benefits without pawning off their grading on professional athletes.
Credit to John Wall for doing right by some kids in getting them out of a math test, but there's very little arithmetic to be learned from a retweet. Ms. Gilbert ain't got no man and therefore she should have plenty of free time to check the work of 20-some odd kids that just pulled an A+ out of their ass by convincing their teacher into letting her lack of occupational integrity go viral. I know how useless algebra can be in the long run, but that doesn't mean I need the next generation growing up thinking that a point guard's social media account can get them out of studying fruitless crap like the rest of us had to. I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but I'm going to guess that most of these kids don't have a killer crossover that's going to expedite their higher education so maybe let's consider fan interaction to be extra credit instead of automatic triple digits for everyone.
Guy Boucher Admitted He's Coaching The Second Best Team In The Eastern Conference Finals, As If That Were A Secret
Look, if you gave me a list of things I would want to hear from the losing head coach following a complete beatdown that brought a team of underdogs to the bitter brink of elimination and asked me to rank them then "they are better than us" would be sitting there more lonely than the fat kid during recess. As far as postgame quotes given to fulfill repetitive media obligations are concerned, "we aren't as good as our opponent" is admittedly far more controversial than it needed to be.
That said, I just can't find a reason to look at it as a preemptive excuse when the one reason the Ottawa Senators have made it this far in the postseason is because the entirety of their roster has bought into a strategy that's built around them tactically outperforming their talent. This isn't like Gordon Bombay sarcastically ripping his team of misfits behind their back. This is an NHL coach saying something that was - at the very least - implied when he got his professional athletes to embrace and execute a defensive-minded system aimed at keeping games close.
Maybe hearing their head coach talk about how inferior they are will serve as a reminder of what helped them to overcome that inferiority in previous rounds, or maybe it breeds resentment amongst a group of proud players. Whatever the case may be, it can't make things much worse than losing by so many goals that your rotation of goaltenders turned into a goddamn carousel. I don't know if I would have dropped that truth bomb if I were Guy Boucher, but there's very little chance it blows up in his face with what's at stake for a team that is merely six wins away from realizing it's dream while being no strangers to adversity. Considering how far they have come, I think it's safe to say that he has a better grasp of his room than those that just walk into it to pry answers that aren't nearly as incriminating as they seem on the surface.
Anthony Bennett, The Bustiest Bust Of All Time, Is On The Cusp Of A Euro Championship And Expects To Have The Last Laugh
I know what you are thinking. It's absolutely preposterous for a former #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft to feel vindicated by winning a championship in the EuroLeague after being unable to hack it on the roster of a 20-62 Brooklyn Nets team that's so starved for talent that they would sign my grandmother if she shoot over 70% underhand from the charity stripe. It's legitimately insane for Anthony Bennett to think that hoisting a trophy that no one in the states cares about would serve as his "HA!" moment when all that he's contributing towards winning it is less than one two point field goal in a little over seven minutes of playing time per game.
However, while there is no shortage of disparaging adjectives you can use in reference to the professional basketball career (or nearly complete lack thereof) of Anthony Bennett, you can't say the man is a liar. Assuming he has a self deprecating sense of humor, he absolutely will have the last laugh. If he can find the comic relief in being stapled to the bench overseas while the franchise that drafted him is running roughshod over their entire conference en route to a third straight NBA Finals appearance in exactly as many years as he has been off the team then all the power to him. Personally, I appreciate someone that has the ability to make jokes at their own expense, and if Anthony Bennett is that type of person then he'll be in self induced stitches well after the general public has forgotten about his entire existence.
Now, if by "I just turned 24 years old..." he was trying to imply that years 25-30 are going to exonerate him as the biggest bust in basketball history then he legitimately needs a psychological evaluation, but the undisputed fact about crazy people is that they do - indeed - tend to laugh just a little bit longer than everyone else.
Apparently The NHL Truly DGAF, Because Tommy Wingels Won't Have A Hearing Following His Game 5 Elbow
It's not so much that I am surprised that as the games become more and more important the NHL veers further and further away from upholding the rules that they solely put in place to make it look like they give a crap about the long term health of their players (Newsflash: they don't). In fact, if you sat me down in front of a lie detector and asked me if I appreciated the hands-off approach to dirty plays during the playoffs then that needle would spike faster than Tommy Wingels elbow. That, however, is the fan in me talking and fans don't have any obligation to maintain the integrity of the league they watch strictly for entertainment. So what's truly shocking isn't the Department Of Player Safety's decision making, but rather their inability to recognize an opportunity to make themselves look mindful of completely unnecessary head shots without detracting from the product on the ice.
Forget about a forearm from the blindside being an intentionally dangerous act that was a product of the frustration that results from getting embarrassed by a touchdown's worth of goals in a playoff game. The fact that is was delivered by a 4th liner that hasn't even been a regular in the lineup should have been enough for the NHL to - for once - err on the side of safety.
You know who cares deeply about Tommy Wingels presence on the active roster? Tommy Wingels' parents...maybe. The Senators aren't living or dying with the single digit minutes that he's giving them during the games in which he actually does play. The game's competitiveness is in no way compromised by forcing him up to a luxury suite in a suit for a night.
I guess what I am saying is that the NHL isn't just bad at making the protection of their employees a priority, but they are downright horrendous at keeping up the facade that they actually consider it a priority. Looking like a bunch of jackasses for not stepping in when a recently concussed Sidney Crosby went headfirst into the boards so as to make sure a superstar continued playing is one thing. Not suspending a buffoon - who wouldn't even be sorely missed - after he went out of his way to hurt someone in a lopsided game is the equivalent of Windex'ing the lens to the microscope they are under when they they should be trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We should all know by now that the NHL doesn't care about concussions, but I would appreciate it if they were a wee more subtle in insulting our intelligence.
It's almost as if it were fate, or even destiny. I know it was the result of an overly excited young player getting his first taste of a semi-professional championship, but I'll be damned if it doesn't feel like there are other forces working to make sure Henrik Lundqvist's seasons (or in this case, tournaments) conclude with him flat on the rink. "The King" who has yet to be crowned simply always finds a way to be staring up at the ceiling or directly down at the ice when the final buzzer blows. Like, the visual of him lying helpless after getting straddled by William Nylander was novel in the sense that it finally followed a win, but even in victory he ended up assuming his seemingly annual position of defeat.
Maybe - in a strange way - that's symbolic of the harsh reality that one of greatest goaltenders of all time is going to have to settle for celebrating first place in a tournament whose participation is predicated on professional failure. He just won a gold medal for his country and it undoubtedly feels like a net loss. Maybe (Also see: Definitely) I'm biased in saying the clip of him getting driven into the playing surface during a euphoric moment served as a painful reminder of how little the 'World Championships' should mean to a player of his caliber. Maybe the New York Rangers will figure out to how ice a competent defense that allows a generational netminder to win a championship that's worthy of his talents so he is resigned to retiring to a criminally underwhelming trophy case. Though, if I'm going to get that outlandish with my hypotheticals then it would be an injustice not to mention that farm animals that roll around in shit all day might also someday grow wings and fly.
If you think I am going to dig into the annals of Cleveland Cavaliers postgame press conferences to try to find out whether or not LeBron James and Kenny Roda have some long, storied past of contentiousness specifically following defeat then clearly it's your first time reading this site. Welcome, and in a very "sorry, not sorry" kind of a way I apologize for the lack of journalistic integrity.
Anyway, on to the best basketball player in the world and his seemingly snippy response to what sounded like a fairly harmless question. Like I said, I don't know if there's a history responsible for that uncomfortable interaction, but I do know that that tone was of someone that hasn't had to answer to his failures in quite some time.
You know when you get accustomed to a higher standard of living and things that used to be part of your daily routine now feel like inconveniences? I can't help but think that LeBron has gotten so used to winning (seeing as that's all he's done for well over a month) that answering to a loss felt like the professional athlete version of an executive getting his/her own coffee for the first time since they became partner. Complaining about a poignant inquiry following one of his worst playoff performances ever comes off as trivial at best and bitchy at worst, but maybe you'd react similarly if you had reporters lobbing you softballs about your favorite rapper for the last 40-some odd days. Not to say that his whining should be excused because of how unnecessary it's been since the postseason started, but it is to say that I can relate since I engage in similarly unexcused whining when I hit traffic that's "not supposed to be there" or encounter a long line that's usually much shorter.