Just over a minute. Sixty-two seconds, to be exact, although it would be a lie to tell you it felt that long. That's how much time it took Alexander Ovechkin to rear back and unleash a howitzer so patented that it should come with it's own watermark past both Andrei Vasilevskiy and the lurking narrative that either he and/or his team were doomed to suffer yet another crushing postseason defeat. I'd say that he took an annually explored storyline and shoved it directly up every ass, my own included, that was impatiently taking a squat-and-see approach to crapping on the Washington Capitals for managing to loot the Lightning of their home ice advantage in a series they proceeded to undeniably dominate, only to end up back within the hauntingly unforgiving confines of a Game 7. Unfortunately, the truth is that you couldn't even have conjured up quality clickbait between the dropping of the puck and it's all-too-familiar insertion into the back of the net that served as further proof that this particular "Caps Year" was different.
We're talking about a team that has basically been the Vincent van Gogh of choke artists, so while refusing to paint yet another masterpiece against Pittsburgh was a good sign, it was never quite safe to assume that they wouldn't end up chopping off their own ear out of nowhere. Admittedly, outside of dropping two straight OT games to Columbus to kick off the postseason, it felt more difficult to find fatal flaws this time around, but there was reason to fear that dropping three straight to Tampa Bay in a fashion that was so defiant of the eye-test that it seemed like an optical illusion summoned some suppressed demons. The Capitals, to their credit, couldn't possibly have been any more indifferent to those demons in strapping Tampa Bay to the bed to helplessly squirm and vomit all over themselves as they finished the exorcism that they were as unstoppable in starting as their captain's clapper. There's no doubt as to who the best team in the Eastern Conference is, and for once we are saying that about the Capitals in late-May as opposed to early April.
I'm at liberty to believe that the Vegas Golden Knights could currently go dancing in the rain and Marc-Andre Fleury would still come inside drier than this line of humor. So, while one of these cinematic stories has to give in a matchup we never even thought possible (in part because prior to this season, it was impossible), I have no idea which Cinderella's picture perfect season will come out underdeveloped once their slipper drops.
Of course, Alexander Ovechkin could certainly use a Stanley Cup to both legitimize his legacy as well as to dump vodka-stained urine on every one of his nauseatingly nitpicky detractors. That said, barring a cataclysmic collapse of epic proportions, he finally shattered the perception that his Washington Capitals can't win when it matters with an immediate one-timer that looked to be worth a lot more than the absolute dagger of a go-ahead and game-winning goal that it counted as. The Finals will be fun for a variety of reasons, including the lack of a reason not to expect more of the same after a decade of dreading the same old.
The Bucks Strongly Condemned Local Police After BodyCam Footage Of The Excessive Force Used On Rookie Sterling Brown Was Released, In Case You Were Wondering Why The NBA Has No Anthem Controversy
MilwaukeeBucks- The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.
Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.
We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored.
There needs to be more accountability.
The Milwaukee Police Department and local officials have acknowledged the challenges they are working to address, and we urge them to enact higher standards and more direct accountability. We all want to be able to trust each and every officer serving to protect us.
Incidents like this remind us of the injustices that persist. As an organization, we will support Sterling and build on our work with local leaders and organizations to foster safe neighborhoods and better our community.
I suppose addressing it could do the disservice of legitimizing idiocy, but even one person pointing out the NBA's strict policy regarding National Anthem etiquette as a desperate attempt to justify the cowardice of NFL ownership is too many, and I've seen far more than one person do it...
So, as it pertains to that argument, that makes this quite the fitting time for the release of bodycam footage that shows a black basketball player being tackled by half-a-dozen cops who seemed oddly incensed in defense of the hypothetical handicapped person that temporarily had their spot stolen by Sterling Brown's convenient car placement in an otherwise empty lot.
You see, as sad as it is that a police officer needed approximately five friends armed with their authority complexes, a taser, and a pair of handcuffs to write out a goddamn parking ticket, the steadfast statement from the NBA team that employs the victim does a great job highlighting the non-comparison to be made between how they and the NFL handle social injustices.
The Milwaukee Bucks, as an organization, publicly released to the press a demand that local law enforcement take a look in the mirror. Meanwhile, on the exact same day, thirty-two organizations in the NFL looked in the mirror, that they seem to shatter with each and every attempt to protect their shield, and still decided to continue the shameless highjacking of a peaceful protest. One that, at it's core, was originally aimed at putting an end to the exact same type of prejudice in police brutality we just saw administered to a kid who made a dumb, yet completely harmless decision.
This never was never really about a flag or a song, no matter how many times the all-knowing purveyors of patriotism will tell you otherwise. Therefore, how one league legislates the recognition of them in comparison to another, much more progressive, league is of no relevance here. On the other hand, the support shown and platform given by the NBA to its players, as opposed to the dictatorial backlash shown by the NFL to its players and their principles, absolutely is.
Commissioner Adam Silver, as well as some of the most prominent coaches and owners in the NBA, have been outspoken about a culture change, while the people that man those very same positions in the NFL have kept a close eye on their bank accounts while resisting thee most non-violent acknowledgment of that very same social issue. We just got ourselves a first hand look at that juxtaposition yesterday, so it's time to get your closed-mind back to work on that drawing board if you're looking to explain why something as simple as kneeling makes you that nauseous. I don't mean to interrupt those that continue to misguidedly scream about respect for a flag, but the fact is that this is predominantly an NFL issue because they don't respect their players' opinions.
High School Baseball Teams Provisionally Determined The Winner Of Their Rained Out Playoff Game With Some Rock, Paper, Scissor
GameTimeCT- After another round of rain pushed back the start of the SCC tournament, the North Haven and Amity baseball teams took it upon themselves to get their quarterfinal matchup in as scheduled.
They did it with an epic game of Rock-Paper-Scissors at home plate of the Bob DeMayo Sports Complex.
And, after 11 tense rounds, it was the Indians who came from behind to defeat the Spartans 5-4, ostensibly advancing to the SCC semifinals and giving North Haven coach Bob DeMayo’s 900th victory. It was Amity’s first SCC quarterfinal loss in SCC baseball playoff history…
Well, ok, maybe not. We’re awaiting a ruling on that from the SCC commissioner’s office. It probably won’t hold.
As awesome as this whole scene was, it's really just a shame to see the integrity of competition tainted so carelessly. Glad these guys had their fun during a suspiciously dry rain-out, but I'm not sure the damage they did to the purity of sport will prove worth it in the long run. What do we even have if we can no longer grasp tightly to the prevailing truth that what happens on the field will ultimately decide hard fought games between emotional invested participants?
That might sound like I'm scoffing at the idea of deciding who advances in a high school baseball tournament in the same fashion that friends might decide who gets the last slice of pizza, but I'm going to give the SCC more credit than they probably deserve and assume that their semifinalist will inevitably be decided by way of a makeup game. Therefore, my real beef is with the undermining of the once decisive drawing of rock, paper, or scissors. There's just something inherently wrong with hosting a first-to-five series in which the loser doesn't even feel as though they actually lost anything. Is assigning circumstantial values to household office supplies and the most rudimentary of rubble in random drawings not as fundamental a part of America's pastime as the swinging of a bat at a ball? Getting theoretically smashed, snipped, or smothered is supposed to come with consequences, even if they only equate to buying the net round at the bar. It might not be as important as the results of the upmost and elaborate game of base running, but - at the very least - let's hope that Amity got snipped of home-field advantage with that series-clinching tossing of sheers.
P.S. Special credit to the scorekeeper. The world would be a better place if we all had a lifetime record kept of our potency in competitive pantomiming...
NORTH HAVEN 5, AMITY 4
Scoring: 1st: Amity 1-0 (Rock over Scissor); 2nd: Push Amity 1-0 (Paper Paper); 3rd: North Haven 1-1 (Rock over Scissor); 4th: North Haven 2-1 (Rock over Scissor); 5th: Amity 2-2 (Rock over Scissor); 6th: Push (Paper, Paper); 7th: Amity 3-2 (Paper over Rock); 8th: North Haven 3-3 (Rock over Scissor); 9th: North Haven 4-3 (Rock over Scissor); 10th: Amity 4-4 (Rock over Scissor); 11th: North 5-4 (Scissor cuts Paper)
Batteries: NH – Peyton Farina, Luca Lawerence (9). A – John Lumpinski, Peter Spodnick (9)
WP: Luca Lawrence. LP: Peter Spodnick.
Don't you just hate that? One second you think you're about to approach an old friend to catch up on lost time, and the next thing you know you're unknowingly insulting a complete stranger after failing to pick him out of lineup. You really got to feel for David Pingalore here. He was just trying to reminisce about his glory days running around Orlando with Carlos Gonzalez, and - whoops - wrong Latin American fella! Happens to the best of us...just typically not when we are within two dozen drinks of sober.
In all seriousness, we all owe Noel Ceuvas a huge 'thank you' for both humoring that reporter and being a good sport, as that clip isn't anywhere near as funny or awkward without the introductory anecdote. If checking the back of his jersey before declaring that two players who look alike in complexion alone are basically identical served as the comical chocolate syrup, and the nervous waving was the whimsical whipped cream, then having his implication that he's hung in the same social circle as ball players for years tick, tick, and BOOM right in his face was the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae of laughably botched interviews.
The NFL's Genius "Resolution" To The National Anthem Controversy Is Essentially To Hide It Under A Pile Of Their Dirty Laundry
I don't care anymore. I truly, deeply, and genuinely don't care anymore. I understand that disciplining silent and harmless social activism for no other reason than to retain close-minded idiots as consumers is inherently unAmerican, but if I invest even one more ounce of emotional welfare into this nauseatingly circular debate I'm going to grow to resent the NFL more than I already do. I, unfortunately much like hundreds of thousands of hypocrites that show their "respect" for the flag by emptying their bladder only to hop back on the beer line while it's still being serenaded, need my Sunday football. Therefore, an eye roll and the light pounding of my forehead against the nearest wall will be the extent of my backlash towards a rule change regarding something as mind-blowingly petty as showing the appropriate amount of reverence.
That being said, if you look past the idea that the NFL thinks they can "fix" peaceful protesting, it's quite funny that 32 billionaires had a meeting of the minds and the best "solution" they could come up with compares favorably to a kid cleaning his room by barricading everything in his closet. Not exactly sure that braintrust is deserving of any good faith after they combined their white powers and all they came up with was a strategy that basically equates to "out of sight, out of mind", but what a fittingly stupid answer to what should have never been anything more than a rhetorical question. The NFL has decided to give curing a delicate racial and political divide a try by...sweeping it under the rug! Can't wait to hear the futile attempt to spin that into some sort of "compromise", because what's the players' issue if not that they want to stay out of the sun during the singing of the National Anthem?!?!
Oh well, I'm sure everything will go smoothly. Nothing else to see here...
With Family In Attendance, Brandon Crawford Of The Giants Hit A Home Run Off Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole, Who Happens To Be His Brother-In-Law
You know what, I'm honestly just glad that it wasn't the other way around. Not that it really matters, seeing as Brandon Crawford and Gerrit Cole are former teammates turned friends turned family, but if there's a side for the casual viewer to take in a brother-in-law on brother-in-law at-bat then it's undoubtedly that of the actual brother.
After all, while I'm sure it goes largely unspoken (at least when sober) during holidays, there is an upper hand that has to get selflessly relinquished when your buddy takes the hand of your hot sister. A completely meaningless dinger in late-May was really just the somewhat inevitable byproduct of pseudo-siblings through marriage working for opposing organizations in the same competitive profession. However, as I think everyone who has felt obligated to protect a younger sister would agree, if one had to slightly strengthen his family name at the expense of the other then this was the more fitting outcome. If not because a Gerrit Cole already connected with a heater in hitting a hell of a lot more than an opposite field home run off the Crawford's, then because a Cole exerting well-deserved dominance over the discourse at a Crawford family thanksgiving table might have been tougher for a very proud patriarch to swallow than dry turkey...
Trevor Bauer Was Annoyed That People Thought The Message He Spelled Out On The Mound With His Cleat Was 9/11 Related
Despite him suspiciously offering up zero clarity as to the meaning of the random, otherwise indecipherable, message that he spelled out in unmistakable letters on the mound in the immediate direction of the camera that he knows to be trained on him at all times, I'm with Trevor Bauer in the following sense. I agree that it's ridiculous to presume that a pitcher, who clearly needs work on his decimals, turned the focal point of a professional baseball field into an ode to a teenage conspiracy theory regarding the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil. Theoretically, there's a lot of things that 'BD 91(.)1' could represent, so it takes quite the leap to immediately jump to the conclusion that it was the President-before-last's alleged involvement in killing thousands of his own people by orchestrating the flying of airplanes into prominent skyscrapers while forever compromising his own national security.
Unfortunately, the fact that enough people voluntarily chose to take that leap says more about Trevor Bauer than it does those accusing him of trivializing long lost innocent lives with a public political statement that you'd expect out of someone in a tin foil cap, as opposed to a baseball cap. Let's put it this way, in the year 2018, (most) people aren't tuning into baseball games looking for an excuse to bring up 9/11. Therefore, there has to be some sort of precedent set for viewers to believe that a starting pitcher just might be partaking in the type blatant pandering that's usually saved for the most anonymous of internet trolls.
I guess what I'm getting at is that perhaps Trevor Bauer should work on cleaning up his reputation before he gets all pissy about an allegation that was a direct reflection of it. It would be dumb to automatically speculate that someone dug 'Bush Did 9/11' into an MLB mound simply because his general viewpoint on just about everything is so Trump'd up that you'd assume The Donald grabbed him by the proverbial pussy to use him as puppet. It's just not as dumb as assuming that someone who sliced their hand clean open while playing with a drone days prior to a playoff start is too smart to do something so stupid.
A Blue Jackets Prospect Had His Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Year Explained When He, Umm, Discharged A 25 Inch Tapeworm
PuckDaddy- Scores of doctors, trainers and psychiatrists couldn’t diagnose what was ailing Blue Jackets prospect Carson Meyer. Instead, it was one nauseating trip to the bathroom that held the answer.
While playing hockey for Miami (OH), Meyer was severely under-performing after a promising freshman season that led to him being selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft. Meyer went from scoring 26 points in 32 games over the 2016-17 season to just 10 points as well as a -22 rating as a sophomore last season.
According to a report from The Athletic, Meyer felt perpetually exhausted and experienced significant weight loss. It got to the point that an opposing coach reportedly asked one of Meyer’s Miami teammates if he had cancer. Tests for mononucleosis and other diseases went nowhere, until Meyer found what was ailing him in a toilet bowl.
Here are nauseating details from The Athletic:
“I was going to the bathroom, just like normal,” Meyer said. “And it came out.”
It was a 25-inch tapeworm — the head, the neck and all of the segments, about 50 of them. It was orange. Meyer almost fainted.
“I FaceTimed my mom and was like, ‘What the hell is this thing?’ ” Meyer said. “I was freaking out. Absolutely freaking out.”
Answers seemed to come quickly for Meyer after that point, with the tapeworm reportedly identified as diphyllobothrium latum, which can come from undercooked fish and grow up to 30 feet lone according to the CDC. Treatment had Meyer feeling better one month after the tapeworm, which is suspected to have been inside Meyer for a whole year, was discovered and the 20-year-old will be seeing a doctor later to make sure no larvae was left in his intestine.
Meyer is now reportedly transferring to Ohio State for a variety of reasons, one of them being that some at Miami didn’t seem to take his illness seriously. He still needs to get a waiver to be eligible to play next season, and will likely do by contending that the RedHawks’ failure to diagnose him created a hostile situation.
The situation isn’t apparently too hostile for Meyer’s teammates, who have reportedly named the tapeworm Teddy.
Trust me, I'd love to turn this into a joke about being "hockey tough". Nothing would please me more than using the example of a college kid trudging through an entire season while unknowingly sharing both his meals and his insides with the parasitic equivalent of a baby python to poke fun at the negligent coaches and insecure fans that view the sometimes psychotic pain suppression of players to be a positive, regardless of circumstance.
Unfortunately, as much pleasure as I would derive from pulling the strings on that inferiority complex like a puppet-master, I'm simply too unnerved by the idea of cursory coaches and mediocre medical practitioners sabotaging an extremely important season of Carson Meyer's development as a player and, more importantly, his well-being as a person. A whole hell of a lot of people had to let down a talented 20 year old kid for them to stumble around stumbling upon the two foot organism feasting on both his energy and his exuberance for a full year.
Therefore, I'm going to have to pass on making light of the razor thin line between respecting resilience and celebrating stupidity. Sorry, but I'm just a bit too busy filtering out every seafood restaurant that clocks in at under 4 stars on Yelp! to engage in any comedic relief. So you can take that financially incentivized 'All You Can Eat' sushi and roll it on over to the next man if defecating the type freeloader that both literally and visibly sucks the life out of you is the most promising way to detect its existence. I'm glad (but not at all surprised) that Carson Meyer's teammates are getting a laugh out of 'Teddy' the tapeworm, but I'm not exactly snuggling up next to this story to bear a good night's sleep.
Anyway, here's to hoping he gets his health in order and his career back on the right track after having the most inconspicuous of internal insects feeding off his digestive tract. It probably shouldn't be too hard to up his impact on the ice, seeing as having someone, or something, who refuses to pass more often than a coach's son leeched to you is a great way to have your stats sucked dry.
NFL Owners Are Considering The Institution Of A 15 Yard Penalty For Kneeling, Because Apparently NFL Owners Have A Lot More Money Than They Do Memory
Ah yes, because what better way to get "politics" out of your sport than to make a change that makes sure every "political statement" has a direct impact on the playing of your sport. If I know anything about the vast minority of athletes that continued to kneel even when doing so pissed off a demographic of a consumer base that wasn't shy about willfully misinterpreting it as unpatriotic, it's that the potential presence of a weighted yellow flag will make them step back from their stance on police brutality and stand tall for the singing of the National Anthem.
Of course, if they discuss their intent to protest peacefully with their superior prior, like all unwavering supporters of social change tend to do, then the massive threat of a 15-yard penalty could be eliminated by home field advantage. Unfortunately, they might not be so lucky on the road, but what's better than turning the time-honored tradition of "respecting thy country" by way of song into a "will they, won't they"-type spectacle by calling attention to it's newfound divisiveness? Just think about the possibilities. It could become a factor we take into consideration during pre-game analysis like the weather or the wind! Hell, given the new ruling on gambling, we might even be able to bet on whether or not teams come out of the tunnel! The new 'heads or tails', if you will, but instead of one team winning based on luck, we all lose based on endless bickering!
Honestly, even considering how old and white NFL ownership happens to be, it flat out baffles me that they can't see the best solution is to do absolutely nothing and hope that time heals all. The last attempt to stop what was a dwindling amount of players from protesting was made by way of a Presidential threat against their livelihoods, and the only result was that it strengthened an inherently good cause exponentially. So, having dealt with that backlash, the people in charge have conjured up a similar threat, albeit one that's as petty as the disciplining of end zone dances, as the most counterproductive "quick fix" possible? Well, that line of thinking only has as many clear and present gaps as the follicles of the first person who tried, and failed, to institute it!
Jalen Rose Doesn't Think Kyrie Irving Is Rooting For The Boston Celtics To Win A Title Without Him, And I Think We Are Overlooking One Major Factor Here
While taking into consideration the competitive nature of transcendentally talented professional athletes and thus completely understanding that they don't want to be left feeling as though their skill set wasn't even required to accomplish the unlikely, I can't help but think are being rather dismissive of one huge issue here. You see, I'd argue that Kyrie Irving is rooting for what remains of his roster to win an NBA Championship sans his services, but it's not because he's a selfless teammate whose ego is immune to bruising. Instead, it's because there is a complete lack of risk that comes along with doing so.
Let's set aside patently absurd hypotheticals and talk facts. The best case scenario for the Celtics is that they summon the same type of home court advantage they used in jumping out to a 2-0 lead, oust LeBron in a way that makes Batman look desperate for a Robin, and drowned under a wave of Warriors' threes in five games tops. Whether it be highlighting Cleveland's lack of a proven second scorer or highlighting Boston's need for some NBA Finals' expertise, both of those outcomes are a very good look for Kyrie Irving.
Unless Steph Curry were to slip ass over tea kettle on one of his pom-poms and Kevin Durant were to run off court to anonymously take to Twitter in response to some of his light verbal jabs, there's nothing Kyrie Irving's full support from the sidelines can offer to his team's chances of winning a title with him on the bench. Since those chances currently remain steady at exactly 0%, this is basically the real world equivalent of wishing your co-worker well before he asks for the promotion that you want....while knowing damn well that he's already on the verge of getting fired. Therefore, Kyrie Irving probably is pulling for the Celtics to win a championship, if only because there is nothing that is going to push them past one of the most dominant teams in sports history.
This is admittedly a strange thing to say about a team that authoritatively staved off elimination with an assertive performance on home ice, but - if I were a Capitals fan - the thing that would most concern me about this matchup going seven is that it's still going on in the first place. Goaltending and special teams are at the peak of their importance in the playoffs, so you can fair obliviously credit Andrei Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos with the penmanship responsible for re-writing this script. That said, it still feels weird that we've reached the "anything can happen" part of the journey when, as far as gameplay in concerned, the Capitals have encountered very few speed-bumps along the way. The Tampa Bay Lightning somewhat unbelievably snuck a three game winning streak in during a six game stretch of games in which they were noticeably the superior team for a number of periods that could pretty easily be tallied up on a single hand. As much as having a predisposition to the most painful of playoff exits, the fact that the Capitals undoubtedly deserve better heading into a game in which better doesn't necessarily determine the outcome has to be more frightening than killing the penalty that's sure to come when Tom Wilson starts frothing at the mouth.
The truth is, you could probably flip a coin as to who is going to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals out of the Eastern Conference, as the allure of Game 7's is that they are the most fickle of beasts. The thing is, having a 50% chance of advancing when you've controlled approximately 80% of the series is the type of bullshit bookmaking that only the Washington Capitals would find themselves forced into investing in. Despite the game taken place in Tampa, I personally think should be the slight favorite to win, but - as has become the theme during this series - actually believing in them probably makes them more likely to lose. In that sense, they are the very definition of an organization that simply can't have nice things, like confidence, momentum, or the backing of the public.
Ovechkin, Holtby, and Co. being tasked with overcoming an all-too-familiar foe whose smiling face is both symptomatic of the easiness with which he's currently going and completely unrelatable to anyone invested in the postseason success of the Washington Capitals would make for a fitting finale to the NHL playoffs. Unfortunately, as would the Washington Capitals serving as the exception to the general rule that the team who is playing the best always comes out on top over the course of a long series.
Kevin Love FaceTimed With LeBron's Daughter, Per Her Request, After The Cavaliers Evened The Series Last Night
Looking past how unbelievably precious this scene must have been, this tells me one of two things. The first option being that we, as fans, looked far too much into the passive aggressive quotes, exclusionary Instagrams, and confrontational team meetings as social media driven divisiveness in deeming Kevin Love the red-headed step child of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After all, he'd have to maintain a pretty close relationship with the person who serves as their best player/coach/GM to attain FaceTime privileges with the adorable young girl whose birth allowed LeBron to start irrelevantly fancying himself a "father of three" whenever things weren't going his way on the basketball court. Therefore, it stands to reason that the 'GOAT' and the scapeGOAT have never been at the type of odds that we'd put on 'The King' speaking down towards one of his suspiciously unnamed disciples following a disappointing loss.
The second option, however, is that this two-part rendition on the Cavaliers' locker room has been filled (and refilled) with so many outcasted doormats that Kevin Love and LeBron James have basically pricked their fingers and became blood brothers if only to keep themselves sane. If you really think about it, the latter's appreciation for the former has to be at an all-time high, and - with Dwyane Wade going MIA (first figuratively and then literally) - LeBron needed someone to sit across from him and sympathize as he soaked his frustrations in a hearty bottle of red. I can't recall an instance in which Kevin Love and LeBron James shared as genuine a laugh as they did following Game 2, and since then they've backed up that chemistry on the court with plays that would figure into consideration for one of highly publicized but completely unimportant end-of-season lists the NFL releases to stay in the news cycle...
Don't take my word for it, but it certainly appears as though the one positive that can be taken from a bipolar Cavaliers team that's just as likely to hit their open shots as they are to come out looking as though they are attending their own funeral is that they indirectly forged the familial bond of two of their only rostered players who would be of any value elsewhere. Considering the tension that's existed between them in the past, that might be the most impressive contribution that Cleveland's extended bench has made all season.
Despite Watching His Team Get Railroaded in Game 3, Mike D'Antoni Thinks The Pressure Is All On The Warriors In Game 4
I'm first inclination was to mock an NBA coach for implying that his team maintains any sort of advantage after getting taken behind the woodshed and spanked raw by way of a 41-point drubbing. After all, I hardly think the Warriors are quaking in the boots they removed from the buttocks of a one seed that too easily obliged to their steel toes in the second half of Game 3. If anything, Golden State is probably feeling as confident as ever having casually ridden the type of scoring tsunami that breaks when the climate changes around Steph Curry's jumper and his health magically materializes back to 100% with the falling of consecutive jumpers. For the first time in the series, their 2x NBA MVP didn't look as though he was replaced by a barely post-pubescent boy in bland sneakers that turned his very first beard into a Steph Curry costume, and the result was an unadulterated ass-kicking. Simply put, if the Warriors feel any "pressure" whatsoever then it's probably the type one might feel not to physically hurt their little brother while dominating him up, down, around the driveway.
That being said, I'm assuming that repeating this pep talk wouldn't exactly have been media friendly...
Therefore, I don't really know what else Mike D'Antoni was supposed to say after that dreadful performance other than selectively leaning on an overused cliche as a crutch. Trying to speak into existence a seed of doubt is as good of a defense as any against a historic offense with one of the league's best home court advantages. Of course, in saying that all I'm really saying is that it's just another fruitless attempt at avoiding embarrassment like a Kevin Durant barbershop visit, but - in answering to a bad, bad loss - you can't just shrug your shoulders and pray that one your underperforming players saves you next time...or can you?
Devils Legend Lou Lamoriello Is Joining The Islanders Front Office, And It Feels Weird Not Really Caring
There was a time, not as long ago as it feels, in which the news that Lou Lamoriello was taking up employment in the Metropolitan Division would have had me anxiously holding my breathe tighter than he grasps to socially repressed ideals and antiquated traditions. I remember my heart sinking when I heard that someone whose legacy will always be synonymous with the success that he had in building the New Jersey Devils from the ground up to the rafters that became more and more populated throughout his tenure was joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Fortunately, as is a credit to the nearly irreproachable work of his replacement, that memory is starting to fade. So much so, in fact, that coming across the increasingly inevitable news of Lou's move to the opposite side of an all-too-familiar river barely evoked a reaction from me. Hell, for the split second in which the idea of bidding against one of most highly decorated General Managers in sports history for the services of John Tavares failed to cross my mind, I actually wished him the best in cleaning up a defensive hellscape that comparatively makes the Devils' blueline look as though it's in the black...
While still being insanely grateful for everything that he did in crafting a winning culture in New Jersey for over two decades, I'm a little less likely to give a pat on the ass and a "go get 'em slugger" to a franchise figurehead turned division rival. However, I'm not desperately praying that he falls face-first into freezing the salary cap with a Kovalchuk-esque contract while trying to melt the glacier-sized missteps of Garth Snow, and that's a lot more than I could say had he done the unthinkable by joining the Rangers or Flyers.
The truth is, I'll be more than happy to honor Lou Lamoriello when his career comes to an end. Unfortunately, I get the sneaking suspicion that will require the work of the Grim Reaper, as he has undoubtedly made a "til' death do us part" agreement with his executive chair. Still, I'll be excited to show the type of unwavering appreciation that every Devils' fan should have for the man responsible for almost every one of the organization's many positive memories. Until then, however, he can do as he pleases (within reason, see above) free of harsh feelings, as his former franchise has become trusted in the meticulous hands of someone like Ray Shero, who has already shown huge signs of being just as adept and crafty in molding it to his liking.
It's so typical of self-important hockey fans that we are in a place where an expansion team has stolen both national headlines and hearts alike in defeating unconscionable odds to make championship-level headway during their first year of existence...annnd there are actually people out there that have taken umbrage with it. We're approaching the final chapter of a feel-good story that, regardless of whether or not it has a fairytale ending, should theoretically result in drastically upping the standards expected of those Generally Managing the most inexplicably secure jobs in the sport. Yet, here some stand on the most flimsy of grounds, trying so desperately to find the downside in the type of underdog tale that's so often celebrated that they've put forth an elementary argument about fairness that you'd expect from a child wailing uncontrollably in a toy store.
Let's look past the fact that some of the NHL's most impassioned faithful have apparently been made even more long-suffering by taking residence in a fantasy land that's native to unicorns and bubblegum fairies in which they hold the collective belief that sports and/or life give a shit about their feelings. Let's brush aside the ideal that purchasing a ticket buys you anything other than a single game day experience, and temporarily ignore the inherent volatility of emotional investments. After all, is it even worth debating the type of fan who is so irrational about his rooting interest that he/she thinks his/her "sacrifice" as a devoted spectator is somehow more deserving of glory than the work put in by a thrown together group of professional athletes that objectively overachieved after they bonded to realize the common belief that they were under-appreciated?
Look, the Vegas Golden Knights, due in part to the price they paid for admission, benefited from a more forgiving expansion draft than those that came before them. However, that's more so an indictment of how thankless previous expansions were than anything else. No one, and I mean not even the man that paid $500 million dollars to absolve 'Sin City' of its lack of professional sports, thought the Golden Knights were going to be worth a single damn this season...
Therefore, retrospectively finding fault in the handpicking of those that were universally considered mid-tier role players from organizations that did such a comical job of evaluating their own talent that they made the process laughably easier makes about as much sense as the Golden Knights' sustained success...
I don't know, maybe it's my inner-realist that's stopping me from blaming all my sorrows as a sports' fans on the newly founded franchise whose magical run is exemplified by turning the 6-goal scorer that was offered to them into a 43-goal scorer seemingly overnight. Still, I can't help but think that those that have been in positions of power having no fucking clue what they are doing is far worse for hockey than the team that unknowingly took advantage of them capturing the imagination of a nation that would otherwise be largely apathetic to the sport on its biggest stage.
The Golden Knights unquestionably set the curve as it pertains to building a team, but it's not their fault they were inserted into a class full of idiots. As a diehard Devils' fan, I can totally emphasize with overvaluing of one's own loyalty to a sports team, but don't get mad at the new kid for guessing right on a few questions and getting an 'A' just because an overwhelming amount of his peers received an 'F'.
One of the prevailing schools of thought, of which I was temporarily and regrettably enrolled, regarding an expansion team that unexpectedly expanded unprecedented horizons is that their fans didn't "earn" such immediate success. We can delve into the legitimacy of that claim later, but if who is/was deserving of what emotional toll is the question then the unwarranted torture that the Panthers' fan base has had to endure is just as much part of the answer as the current Viva of Las Vegas.
I don't care how limited-in-size or retired-in-community Floridian hockey fans happen to be, because the amount of tough pills that they have been forced into swallowing on nearly a daily basis throughout this postseason would make the most resilient of elderly flush their will to wake up. Explicitly put, if the Knights have a Golden horseshoe up their ass then the Florida Panthers have a fist up theirs, and it's being given the most violent of spin seemingly every time the team whose construction was exacerbated predominantly by one organization's incompetence takes the ice.
You could easily look at Reilly Smith's game-winning snipe in Game 4 as if it were a shot to the heart of the team that paid dearly to give him away...
However, to treat it as such you'd basically have to view said heart as having long been left cold and dead, as it belongs to a beaten body that's become more tattered than a Kanye West clothing line as Jonathan Marchessault has continued killin' it throughout the playoffs...
If the Panthers were made sick by having their praiseworthy playoff push fall one point short then it's their own front office that let the medicine that could have settled their stomach slip into the hands of an upstart organization that was well within its draft rights to exponentially boost its value more than Martin Shkreli. Even more unfortunate, that comparison somehow isn't limited to Dale Tallon voluntarily forfeiting 2/3rd's of a first line to an eventual Stanley Cup finalist.
After all, let's not forget that it was the Panthers that literally left a 'Coach Of The Year' finalist sitting curbside like a piece of furniture that overstayed its welcome before seeing his candidacy consummated elsewhere. Call it an ironic twist on a tale of revenge. Florida threw out Gerard Gallant like yesterday's trash in search of the advancement of analytics, but - other than Marc-Andre Fleury posting an average rate of success that rivals Ted Williams playing tee-ball - there's hardly one stat that backs up the street smarts he's summoned in getting the absolute most out of his golden group of misfits.
You need not look further than the nauseatingly repetitive and relatively uneducated criticisms of head coaches in hockey to see that, outside of the standings, the direct results of beneficial work behind the bench typically go unseen. For that reason, it's a rarity that's nearly as rare as the first year success of a franchise for someone to speak strongly about his personal approach to the game and see it immediately return undeniable dividends during the next game. Check the timestamps on the following sequence of events and Gerard Gallant's contributions to the most unlikely of underdog stories becomes as impossible to dismiss as the chemistry that exists atop his lineup...
As is the case with everything that's happened (but not stayed) in Vegas this season, trying to script the circumstances surrounding part-time 4th liner Tomas Nosek's first ever postseason goal would leave you with more of a headache than absorbing a punch from Mike Tyson and make you wish a lingering 'Hangover' was the only thing responsible for your writer's block. Having the type of unrelenting luck that would get your hands literally and figuratively removed in the backroom of every establishment within a two mile radius of an arena that has basically shown the brightest of lights on the phrase "the house always wins" has become par for the course for a team that's put off golfing as long as professionally possible. However, it bears mentioning that their serendipity-aided success had to come at the expense of someone, and that someone is an organization that was poorly run even before it became overrun by 'Murphy's Law' and a fanbase that probably feels as though they are stuck in a nightmare.
Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa Says He Would Have Transferred If Not For Being Inserted In The 2nd Half Of The National Championship
HNN- After Alabama won the national title, Kiffin – now the head coach at Florida Atlantic – claimed Tagovailoa had long been considering transferring to another school. According to Tagovailoa, that may have actually been the case.
"I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available," Tagovailoa told the crowd of seventh and eighth graders. "I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it'd be easier for me and wouldn't challenge me so much."
The former Crusader went on to tell the students that this particular conversation with his father took place early in his time in Tuscaloosa – and that it actually landed him in hot water with his family.
"Even throughout my football season, I wasn't the starter," Tagovailoa continued. "I wanted to leave the school. So I told myself if I didn't play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out. If I gave in, I don't think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now."
Within the religion that is big time college football, it's undoubtedly blasphemous to speak even a relative ill of the Prophet Saban, who has crossed the Crimson Tide into territory that now untouchable. Alabama has been an absolute juggernaut for a decade, going back to his hiring as head coach, and the impressiveness of that shouldn't be understated.
That being said, what I refuse to overstate is the genius of someone who - if not for one laughably broken coverage - would have cost his team a title with a bad decision that turned out so poorly that he had to retreat from it out of desperation just before it was too late. I won't say that Nick Saban is overrated, although all I'd really be saying is that he's not a beard away from being a Biblical figure, but I will say that he's lucky that Jalen Hurts saved his ass by sucking so bad. There's like, give or take, a 70% chance that Tua Tagovailoa leads Alabama to another National Championship next year, as opposed to taking snaps in Southern California, and that's solely because their irreproachable head coach was too stubborn to start a superior player all season. I suppose he gets credit for fortuitously sneaking him into the game prior to the unspoken deadline, but it wasn't exactly a difficult choice given how it had played out to that point.
I guess, if nothing else, this story really just goes to show that recruiting and reputation are more important than the calls you make on the sidelines come Saturday. Nick Saban has earned his margin for error, but I don't think it's unfair to say that he used quite a bit of it last season.
Buck Showalter Made It To The Mound To Pull His Starting Pitcher Before Xander Bogaerts Even Finished His Home Run Trot
Ah, the classic conflicting of priorities! To do things right or to do them efficiently? Despite the half-assing of many a household chores, it remains a question that's as old as the day is long, which is ironically pretty close to the running time of most professional baseball games.
To be clear, it does seem a bit rude, to all parties involved, for a manager to hightail it to the mound so quickly that he intersects the celebratory jog of the batter responsible for the visit, as well as sends a message that loosely translates to "I can no longer stand the sight of you" to his underperforming pitcher.
That said, as much as baseball loves it's unwritten rules, are we not willing to sacrifice a little sportsmanship to speed things up? Is souring some delicate sensibilities not a fair price to pay for getting the show on the road? Sometimes you have to cut a couple people off if you want to get where you are going in a timely fashion, so maybe giving the middle finger to ritualistic detours is the best way to swerve through the traffic of a nine inning outing in mid-May.
Assuming that didn't cross the baseline into grounds for a retaliatory fastball upside the face of an involved player, I'm going to go ahead and declare no harm, no foul on an act of mildly impolite impatience. If not because it's an extremely small step to shortening the game then because I'd be a hypocrite to hate on Buck Showalter for displaying the same type of irritable mannerisms you might see written across my face while on line at the grocery store.
NBC Sports Boston Did A Segment Ranking The Most Useless Cavaliers, Which Is Appropriately Inappropriate
As far as useless, air-filling television segments are concerned, I actually find one that ranks the uselessness of the Cavaliers to be relatively useful. In fact, if LeBron's (and to a lesser extent, Kevin Love's) supporting cast is going to continue to be as hopeless as they've been thus far then I just might spend the second half of the next game that's sure to be out of reach at that point crafting my own power rankings of Cleveland's counterproductive players just for the sake of debate.
I mean, it's not like this series has offered all that much else to argue in circles about. LeBron is great. The Celtics, as a collective, are better. Not sure there's a lot of expounding that needs to be done on that, so we might as well try to differentiate between the levels of invisibility of damn near half the "active" participants in a playoff series that sure doesn't look like it's being played for conference supremacy. It's both harsh, as well as a result of the brash bravado of Boston sports' affiliates, but that doesn't make it a practice that's anymore unfair than being forced into watching a professional basketball team apathetically sleepwalk through one of the final matchups of the season.
Unfortunately, I'm having a tough time thinking of even one noteworthy play made by the huge pool that is those that have been incompetent enough to be eligible for this list after two games, so while I'd like to give you my rough draft, it would currently have more unenthused parties tied for "first place" than a tee-ball league. Whether or not everyone deserves accolades remains a huge talking point in 2018. Since this race to the end the bench is as close as any, might as well continue to get some mileage out of it as a conversation starter.
The Treasurer Of A Youth Hockey League Finally Gave Herself Up After Embezzling Nearly A Quarter Million Dollars From It
KHOU- A Fort Bend County woman stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from a youth hockey league, according to Sheriff Troy Nehls.
Michele Bernier, 51, was treasurer for the Interscholastic Hockey League when the president noticed discrepancies with their financial records.
He told deputies he confronted Bernier and she admitted she had been withdrawing money from the league’s account since she became treasurer in 2013.
Nehls said it added up to $223,327.
“I cannot imagine why anyone would steal money being used to support a youth group,” said Sheriff Troy Nehls. “For five years, she pocketed almost a quarter of a million dollars while the kids in the hockey league went without. Shame, shame.”
She said she took the money because of financial hardship, according to FBCSO.
Bernier offered to repay $45,000 but the league rejected the offer, according to the club’s president.
I don't think it's worth putting an adequately insulting label on the extent to which this woman is a completely reprehensible scumbag, even though I just did so anyway. Simply put, embezzling yourself into a lap of luxury at the expense of a youth sports league is lower than the sweat dropping down Lil' Jon's balls. Michele Bernier is quite clearly a terrible person who doesn't belong within 100 miles of either another person's child or their money.
That said, I can't help but wonder exactly how much fault should be placed at her feet. It's easy to say all of it, but how much was a youth hockey league deep in the heart of Texas pulling in that it took it's President five goddamn years to realize that $45,000 was going unaccounted for annually? Like, after the first $50K she was already in so deep that she would have been stupid to stop trading hours upon hours of developmental ice time to quell the "financial hardship" felt by momma "needing" about 85 new pairs of shoes. She passed the threshold into criminally inexcusable about five figures ago, so maybe a superior should have put the bare minimum amount of research into vetting his trustees and/or investigating their failings. Sort of seems like the president failed these kids just as much as this wretched old wench that admitted she's a thief out of pity more so than guilt.