Against All Odds, Nazem Kadri Managed To Become The Most Hated Player In A Series That Features Brad Marchand
You couldn't possibly ask for an easier job. I'm not going to pretend I was in the unfriendly confines of TD Bank Garden and know exactly what role Mike Babcock laid out for his second line, two-way center that's as talented as he is enigmatic, but I can't imagine that he was asked to go out there and immediately become the most bathroom-clearing asshole in the entire building. The one thing that was working in Toronto's favor was that the person most likely to draw the ire of the officials, as well as force the hand of the Department of Player Safety, played for their opponent. While that will temporarily remain true as Nazem Kadri stands a better chance of having Donald Trump personally grant him American citizenship than he does of playing in Game 2 (or, if the NHL's balls have dropped, 3 and 4), the long term prognosis is that this rat-nosed piece of trash is merely the runner-up for the superlative of Most Likely To Come Upon His Reckoning...
And it's not just one of the most unsightly instances of attempted ass-to-mouth that these eyes have ever seen that makes me say so. If the following clips are any indication, Nazem Kadri basically made it his mission to be the first player suspended from a series that featured your favorite dickhead's favorite dickhead and that's something that Tom Cruise would have found impossible prior to last night...
Like, talk about not even leaving a shadow of a doubt in rendering both his "but..." and his butt deserving of a spanking. A player that could have easily goated the GOAT of doing indiscipline dumb shit into a disciplinary hearing instead decided to steal his crown as King Scumbag. Just straight up took whatever sympathy card the Maple Leafs might have had in their back pocket and ripped it into a million indecipherable pieces by chin-checking a defenseless player with his hip.
Honestly, I might need to guzzle TUMS like they are Skittles to get through the remainder of a series in which Brad Marchand is (temporarily, anyway) playing on the moral high ground, and - for the endurance of that internal discomfort - I have Nazem Kadri to "thank".
The truth is, despite believing that New Jersey had a decent chance of winning this series before it started, I thought it would have taken an upset of epic proportions for them to go into Tampa Bay and steal home ice advantage in Game 1. After a head-scratching season series, they were owed one by a team that finally had the motivation to match their level of desperation. If you've been building their case by telling yourself that the Devils have been playoff hockey against top-end competition for the last month then I welcome you to the club, but admitting to yourself that - for the most part -their opposition wasn't is a response that's required of this membership. Not that anyone thought that beating the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference after scratching and clawing to retain their playoff spot was going to be easy, but everything should be a little bit harder come mid-April. Defensively, the Devils didn't act according to the latter half of that cliche, and that's largely why the are looking at a one game hole headed into Saturday.
While I'd love to take up residence in a perfect world where the Devils are capable of breaking the spirit of even the most ferocious of forechecks, the fact of the matter is that the Lightning are too goddamn good not to turn them over every once and awhile. Limiting those giveaways and breakdowns while making sure they don't result in one of Tampa's handful of 20-goal scorers standing unencumbered in front of their net is a much more realistic expectation that a young team failed miserably in meeting last night. It wasn't entirely unpredictable that they were overwhelmed and outclassed in the first period of a series against a team that's been there before, but fixing the issues in their own end are paramount if they want to instill even a little bit of doubt in said team. Long story short, now more than ever, you absolutely cannot beat yourself if you're looking to also beat a team that is, top to bottom, better than you.
And that's where Mirco Mueller comes in, or - more accurately - should come out. He wasn't the only player whose mistakes cost the Devils (See: Maroon's tape-to-tape offensive zone turnover) but he's one of the only players whose mistakes looked to have effected his play over the course of the game. Theoretically, he's only playing because he's the "safer" option, but after his overhanding of the puck turned into the most untimely of two goal deficits he was about as cautious as juggling a live grenade while trying to weave your way through traffic to get to the nearest shitter. The haphazard clear turned perfect one-timer pass wasn't as egregious a decision as watching the result in slow-motion would lead you to believe, but it was fitting of player that played like...well...someone who struggled to take his game to the next level after spending merely eight games back in the lineup getting used to the previous level. I was already skeptical of the Devils scratching their second or third most skilled defensemen against a team with which they are dealing from an obvious talent disparity, but if that was an example of the "smarts" they are prioritizing then get Damon Severson's dumb ass in the lineup ASAP. Sink or swim, his offensive prowess and right-handed shot probably give the blue line their best chance of staying afloat in stormy waters.
All in all, the score didn't reflect how well the Devils played for some stretches. After Miles Wood's moronic and unnecessary penalty rightfully got him benched and ultimately pushed Tampa's lead to three, the final 38 minutes and change were a pretty good portrayal of how close this series can be if the Devils avoid defensive disasters. Zajac and friends put quite the kibosh on the Stamkos-Kucherov line, the powerplay looked fantastic (and for potentially the first time all year I say that of both units), Taylor Hall proved that he probably should have started doing this whole postseason ages ago, and the resilient team we've all come to know and love actually made a game of it. If they do that from the outset then, win or lose, you're likely looking at a much more competitive game on Saturday. The Devils got their kick in the ass and it didn't leave them flat on their face. I think that bodes well for a team that's very much learning what it takes to win this time of the year on the fly.
My only problem with this harmless and mildly clever act of fandom is that it didn't come later in the series. To be quite honest, I chuckled a little bit when I saw it, and that has everything to do with he fact that I didn't see it at some point during the two week war that's about to be started at 7PM EST. I'm about two hours and change from despising everything about a relatively nondescript city in a state whose secession would bring an abrupt end to the American epidemic of inventing new drugs out of household cleaning products, and that includes the airline employees and their silly senses of humor.
So touché, funny man, but try this shit again a week from now and I'm hoping on the next flight to the poor, drunk, and homeless man's California and bolting you to the runway I landed on. It's New Jersey Devils Vs. Everybody. Keep thinking your slick by hanging those flags and soon they will be gently laying one across your casket.
I suppose it's important to let the justice system run its course on such a serious matter, but I think it's safe to say that we probably shouldn't see Reuben Foster playing professional football anytime soon. The key word, of course, is "shouldn't", seeing as the NFL has an uncanny way of forgetting the initiatives they've set in motion when it comes to prioritizing their public relations. Simply put, all the work that went into attempting to make everyone forget that they originally botched the Ray Rice situation will be nothing more than a lip servicing that would make a hooker blush if the on-field contributions of a young, highly talented linebacker don't become a moot point that's secondary to his off-the-field transgressions.
It's a situation like this that really tests the mettle of the moral compass that the NFL clumsily stumbled upon at the height of the criticism they were facing for decades of brushing domestic abuse under the rug. As a player, Reuben Foster isn't just a good linebacker. He's a great linebacker that, in his first season, proved more than worthy of the first round pick used on him. As a person, Reuben Foster isn't just a bad guy. He's reportedly a terrible guy that, in his first offseason, proved more than worthy of all the character issues that surrounded his selection.
It's easy to make an example of a problematic player when he's got very little left to give, a la Ray Rice. It's not so easy to make an example out of a problematic player when he has the All-Pro potential that defensive coordinators salivate over. Hopefully Reuben Foster doesn't magically manage to avoid jail time if these charges are anywhere close to the truth, but if he does then it would be a nice change of pace if NFL franchises collectively laid a road block in his path from the court room to a locker room. Lets just say I wouldn't consider myself cautiously optimistic as much as I would consider myself laughably pessimistic.
On a much less important note, a quick reminder that the football gods put all their energy into making the Saints 2017 draft class noteworthy for all the right reasons...
A Coach In The National Women's Soccer League Was Suspended For Rubbing Dirt In An Official's Hand Following A Game
Unprofessional, to say the least. Irresponsible, to say the most. I just can't help but wonder when we are going to start holding the authority figures in sports accountable for their own actions? I mean, can you even imagine being an adult male that's childish enough to...fall for the old dirty handshake trick?!?
I mean, goodness gracious, can we get just a little bit of culpability? What kind of naive sucker is out there blindly shaking hands with people who clearly feel wronged by them? Granted, I personally wouldn't go digging through the playing surface in an effort to send an extremely immature message to a official when my role encourages me to lead by example. However, the only person who should be receiving supplemental discipline is the guy soiling his pants over his soiled palm. Sometimes you just have to wipe your hands clean of a well-executed, albeit wildly necessary and insanely juvenile, prank and tip your cap. If for no other reason then because taking the high road and laughing it off would have avoided this preposterously embarrassing story from doing a disservice to the legitimacy of women's sports by being the first and potentially last I've heard from the NWSL.
I Thought This Went Without Saying, But Perhaps We Should Keep Some Distance Between Mentions Of Cotton-Picking And Professional Basketball
Seeing as Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis is in his eighth year on the job and, to my knowledge, doesn't have any other racially-charged expressions that loosely relate to slavery in his arsenal, I think I'm just going to assume this the innocent use of an outdated figure of speech that's guilty of having very obvious ancestral undertones.
That said, no more free passes after last night. Cotton picking references, be they euphemistic in nature or not, should officially be barred from NBA broadcasts as far as I am concerned, and it's not so much that they could serve as an uncomfortable reminder of this country's dark past, but rather that the pay-off is basically that of a breakaway lay-up.
Admittedly, I don't know what type of mental state one might enter during the incessant picking of cotton, but something tells it's not liable to reflect the thought processes of a professional athlete who is thoroughly dominating his opposition. If Russell Westbrook were to ever stop in the middle of a fast break and started uncontrollably screaming while pulling clumps of hair out of his head during a hysterical fit then we can revisit the relevance of "out of your cotton pickin' mind" as an imagery tool. As it undoubtedly sat on the air like a stale fart last night, however, it was just about the worst compliment I could think of for the professional excellence of someone who was in the process of solidifying his second straight season averaging a triple-double.
Contextually, I give the Thunder announcer the benefit of the doubt that I'd never even think about giving to Bob McNair, but - in the interest of better describing athletic achievements - lets all make a concerted effort to understand that the English language, much like everything else, has changed drastically since the 1800's. Therefore, if you have absolutely have to use the phrase "out of his cotton picking mind" then use it in reference to an NBA announcer that somehow thought it was a good idea to say that a black player was "out of his cotton picking mind" on a live broadcast in 2018.
Me personally? I would never compare a weapon who was left to walk by the offensively-challenged team he played for previously despite having a seemingly reasonable price tag to a New Orleans Saints' legend. His build, skill set, and versatility might appear vaguely familiar, but - when it comes to Cameron Meredith - these fingers will not produce a single mention of any particular wideout who used to roam the slot creating mismatches after being damn close to also going undrafted.
Unfortunately, I am simply not liable for any analogies made by those that might make their living by spending countless hours closely examining game film...
In all seriousness, it kind of feels like the Saints took advantage of the Bears' lack of familiarity with the full range of medical advancements made in the last two decades. Not saying they didn't do their homework on Cameron Meredith, but it appears whatever textbook they were reading from is wildly outdated. Missing a full year due to a serious knee injury is definitely a reason for slight skepticism, but ACL/MCL surgery on a 25 year old in the year 2018 is basically as routine as a back shoulder throw over a trailing linebacker.
We are talking about a kid that has already proven capable of being productive, and - considering his limited history of pass catching - still has plenty of room to grow under an offensive guru that's long salivated at the thought of maneuvering his combination of size and speed up, down, and around the seam and slot. You don't have to do too much dreaming to envision a scenario where Cameron Meredith spends the next two years developing into a vital complementary cog in Sean Payton's offense as Ted Ginn Jr. slowly ages out of it. To be quite frank, the fact that he'll be doing so for merely five million a year when his past successes in a mediocre offense led by a half-retired quarterback were easily worth that seems rather silly, but who am I to complain about the Saints curing their third down woes?
After Spending A Decade In The D/G League, Andre Ingram Got His First NBA Opportunity With The Lakers And Went Bonkers
First and foremost, Andre Ingram's story unquestionably serves as an inspirational tale of perseverance. Had he been called onto the Staples Center floor, waved to the crowd, and ran off into the sunset during the next break in action, the amount of miles he racked up on the long, uncertain road he took to realizing his dream still would have made doing so that much sweeter. Chances are the President of the Larry Bird Fan Club couldn't even fight back a smile while watching that gray-haired debut, as it represents just about everything that is great about sports.
That being said, how many points would he have needed to score before a poetically heart-warming moment became an inexcusable case of mismanagement? Don't get me wrong, Andre Ingram very much had the prayer-like shooting stroke of a one-time flash in the pan. However, he also has a decade of statistical evidence showing that he's far, far more than competent from an area of the floor that has gotten way too many people paid way too much money. The Lakers are heading into their season finale 13 games under .500 and they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire in recent years. You mean to tell me at no point could a 3-and-D guy with leadership qualities and a workmanlike attitude been of service to them?
By no means am I saying that one scorching hot performance in a meaningless game is proof that Andre Ingram's skillset is fit for an NBA bench. Still, with the way the Lakers have been dogging it the last few seasons, that 19-point effort sure makes it seem like he should have been thrown a bone before his hairline got put to sleep. Admittedly, I don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to evaluating talent, but the 32 year old rook certainly put his foot in whatever mouth has spoken ill of his abilities.
Never Has One Play Encapsulated Two Careers Quite Like Lance Stephenson's Block On Dwight Howard Last Night
Let's start with Lance Stephenson...
I want to say that this is the most "Lance Stephenson" play of Lance Stephenson's career, but Lance Stephenson's biggest problem is that almost every noteworthy play he makes gives it a huge run for its money. Doing something absolutely awe-inspiring, but not even leaving enough time between it and the ensuing brain-dead display for everyone to start wondering why you've been passed around the Association quicker than the genital discomfort of a video vixen. I absolutely love the guy's personality, but you'd legitimately need Martin Scorsese's video editing team if you wanted to put together a Lance Stephenson highlight package that didn't immediately contradict itself. Taking the bad with the good isn't some new concept in sports, but watching Lance Stephenson is like taking some ambien with your cocaine. The highest of highs resulting in the most laughable of lows makes for a hell of a viewing experience, but having the attention span of a goldfish doesn't exactly make a consistent professional athlete that you'd trust to anything more than thoroughly entertain. If you're rooting for the team he plays on, as opposed to absolute chaos, then Lance Stephenson sustains satisfaction in such short orders that it makes a stick of Zebra gum seem like an everlasting gobstopper,
And Dwight Howard...
Getting emasculated by someone smaller than him, whining to an official, and completely ignoring the successes of his team because they don't perfectly align with his own success is basically the Dwight Howard trifecta and those horses came in 1, 2, 3 with a photo finish. Other than a laugh, I don't even know that there's that much left to offer on his performance in this clip, which is perfect considering a transcendent talent with a HOF resume somehow turned his career into a punchline.
Donovan Mitchell Made Just About The Worst Argument Ever In His Last-Ditch Play For 'Rookie Of The Year'
And, with one screen-print, any prospective political career that Donovan Mitchell had lined up post-basketball got stripped away from him in the backcourt. Maybe that's presumptuous given the way governmental qualifications are trending, but the fact that the Jazz guard donned attire that swayed less votes than had he showed up carrying a sign that said "Ben Simmons grabs 'em by the pussy" is pretty telling.
I actually enjoy the fact that NBA players are shameless enough to campaign on behalf of their own candidacy for an individual award. I think it makes things fun in a sports landscape that's constantly trying to kill its own buzz. Unfortunately, in this instance, I'm more liable to believe that Hillary Clinton put aside her slice of pepperoni to pimp pre-pubescents out of a pizza front than I am to believe that having court-side seats to the Sixers for a season enabled a guy with not an NBA minute to his name to will the extension of The Process into the postseason.
Simply put, if your best argument for 'Rookie Of The Year' is that everyone with a more compelling case isn't a rookie, despite steadfast rules that state the contrary, then you probably should have just stuck to slinging mud like our proud public servants. The word "playing" is literally used in Donovan Mitchell's desperate reliance on a definition and he played his first professional basketball game on the same exact day as Ben Simmons. That just goes to show that when you're trying to reverse the inevitable course of the polls, clarity helps your crusade about as much as a reminder that you were recruited by Rick Pitino aides in the effectiveness of your higher-education analogy...
Tell 'em Ben...
Duda Machado Of The Brazilian League Hit One Of The Cockiest Game-Winning 3's These Eyes Have Ever Seen In A Playoff Game
There's a lot that could be discussed here. The perfect placement of the intentional miss. The reading and reacting of the shooter. The rebounding prowess, or lack thereof, of the opponent. The fact it all took place in a postseason game that had very real ramifications. That was anything but your average game-winner, so surely there is a lot of aspects of it that could dissected.
That said, there's only one thing that I keep coming back to and that's the fact that, with the clock running down, this loose ball had no business turning into a long ball...
I'm not exactly a coach or anything, but I would presume that someone who was might tell their players to utilize the unguarded lane to the basket while down two points with 5 seconds remaining in a game that previously appeared destined to tie a postseason series. You know, as opposed to turning their back on said basket, sprinting away from it to the three-point line, and rushing a fall-away shot like they were in a high stakes game of Knockout. I know the basketball has become increasingly reliant on shooting from range, but this seems a hell of a lot more like a Happy Gilmore-esque "nah, I'll just beat 'em now" type decision than a highly calculated attempt at maintaining offensive efficiency.
So credit to Duda Machado for dragging his huge balls all the way out for an absolute dragger of a corner three, for what it lacked in cautiousness it more than made up for in cockiness.
Hundreds Of Presumably Brain-Washed Former Penn State Football Players Put Together A Condemnation Of HBO's 'Paterno'
Yahoo- A statement signed by nearly 300 Penn State football lettermen, including Franco Harris and Ki-Jana Carter, called the film, which stars Al Pacino as Paterno, “uninformed” and says it “fails in every manner” to depict the late coach.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
“As Penn State Lettermen, there was never a question that one day we would see a movie made about Joe Paterno, one that showcased his impact on the game of football, on Penn State University and, on the thousands of men he coached and mentored over his 61-year career.
“Sadly — and wrongly — HBO’s ‘Paterno’ is not that movie. It has been described by producer Barry Levinson as a work of fiction, which is likely the only truth in the entire project. Incredibly, in making the movie, Levinson and his team never consulted a single person who was close to, worked with, or was coached by Joe Paterno. Not even family members or us, who undoubtedly knew him best of all.
“As a result, this uninformed depiction of Joe fails in every manner about the man we knew and loved. Deviously using ‘fiction’ as his shield, Levinson takes shameless liberties about the Sandusky scandal and Joe’s knowledge of it that would certainly be proven libelous if Joe were alive today.
“As a coach, educator and philanthropist, Joe Paterno was a positive force in our lives, molding us not only to win games, but to win in life. His character, integrity, and moral compass will live on in us long after the ill-gotten ratings of this reckless attempt at entertainment fades away.”
Here's what I want you to do. I want you to sit down and make a list of all the people in your life that you would publicly and staunchly defend if they admitted to being at least mildly complicit in a ring of child molestation that spanned multiple decades.
I don't want you to feel pressure or anything, but my list is empty. For, though I would forgive a member of my own family if they were as negligent as Joe Paterno was in monitoring the atrocities that happened under his droopy ass nose, I certainly wouldn't be making a delusional spectacle of myself on behalf of someone that knowingly could have done a hell of a lot more to maintain the physical and mental well-being of children.
Now granted, I probably also wouldn't be too happy to see a dramatized film portraying a loved one as the bad guy (no 'Tony Montana' pun intended) and taking certain liberties with a story of such a serious nature, but - for fuck's sake - we are talking about a football coach. A football coach that was authoritative and influential in a way that extended beyond the football field such that there's no navy-and-white tinted world in which he didn't know one of his employees was diddling the children we kept bringing around the facility, but a football coach nonetheless. Yet, here we are with nearly 300 grown ass men condemning a film that's at least loosely based on facts because it's "uninformed"?
I'm going to need Franco Harris, Ki-Jana Carter, and the other 290+ idiots to inform everyone what makes Joe Paterno's reputation so far beyond reproach despite evidence to the contrary. If they know something we don't then the time to speak up was well before now, but it kind of seems like they are making up just as much shit about the Sandusky scandal as Barry Levinson did. The only difference being that they don't get the director's cut on an admittedly fictional film that would be a disgraceful and disingenuous puff piece, that trivialized the trauma experienced by countless people who merely needed one football coach to be a man, if they wrote the script.
I guess what I'm really saying is that, instead of indirectly endorsing child rape, perhaps it's just best to not watch a movie that you already know you're not going to enjoy before it starts. Is that easier said than done?
I know that 'Paint The Ice' promotions are largely aimed at pandering to young, naive fans that can be easily distracted from organizational incompetence with bright colors and drawing utensils. Still, I can't help but think that it's oxymoronic for the Buffalo Sabres, of all organizations, to host one with the unspoken rule being "if you don't have something nice to write then don't write anything at all". Like, either give your season ticket holders free reign to be critical or don't encourage them to turn your ice into their canvas, because making them say complimentary things about a franchise they wasted their hard-earned money on might actually be more painstaking than subjecting them to 41 games of futility for the umpteenth season in a row.
I suppose the creativity of the kids shouldn't be sabotaged by the frustrations of their parents, but let's take a second to think about who is flipping the bill to come see a team that's annually dreaming of clear fairways every single February. In my opinion, if the Sabres gave a damn about their truest of fans they'd bring in artificial snow and let the holder of every credit card on file empty their bladder in sending an unmistakable message to management. At the very least, the person who knows all-too-well exactly what a season ticket is worth should be able to deem it "worthless".
A Milwaukee Reporter Was Arrested For Punching Another Milwaukee Reporter After Criticizing His Girlfriend, Who Happened To Be A Co-Worker, At A Brewers Game
AwfulAnnouncing- FTV Live reports that WITI (FOX Milwaukee) reporter A.J. Bayatpour was arrested after getting into a fight with a rival television reporter during Friday night’s Brewers-Cubs game at Miller Park.
Bayatpour got into an argument with WTMJ (NBC Milwaukee) reporter Ben Jordan while they were both attending the game as fans.
According to the police report acquired by FTV Live (pictured below), Bayatpour and Jordan got into a fight after Bayatpour “was ridiculing” Jordan’s girlfriend, Madeline Anderson, who’s actually a colleague of Bayatpour’s at WITI. Jordan then stepped in to defend Anderson, and Bayaport punched him, causing “significant injury” according to the police report.
Did ya get all that? Want to give it a quick re-read just to make sure you're all caught up? Here, I'll break it down in Shakespearean terms for those of you that are still confused...
You see, it looks as though what we have here is a real Romeo and Juliet-esque tale of star-crossed lovers in which rival news organizations, led by their trusted correspondents, fulfill the roles of the Capulets and Montagues. NBC's Ben Jordan, who wants nothing more than to keep the hand of FOX's Madeline Anderson, being drawn into conflict by the potential jealousy of a third party at FOX who - by way of employment proximity - believes he is entitled to her affection.
Full disclosure, I actually have no idea if this altercation was the product of a love triangle gone wrong, but - seeing as this story can only be made better by a little more drama - I think that's what we should presume until further notice.
I mean, the only alternative would be that this A.J. Bayatpour character took the Brew Crew nickname a little too literally, drunkenly made fun of a co-worker who was also a peer's girlfriend to their faces, proceeded to punch that peer when he stood up for her, and then took off running as if his arrest wasn't inevitable given how easily identifiable he is to the victim. Needless to say, getting taken out of the ballgame and taken down in a crowd under those circumstances wouldn't be the greatest look for him on a personal or professional level.
On the other hand, the "love makes people do crazy things" initiative can be called in front of the court if this was just a fight over a girl. Granted, that court will be of the public opinion and it's judgement will be handed down by way of a much-anticipated rematch between heart-stricken and bloodthirsty broadcast adversaries, because I've already started penning a letter to Jerry Springer on behalf of a plot line that I may or may not have taken some liberties with.
Hey advanced analytics community...check, and - if you don't have the math available to measure the collective moods of grown men - then...mate. I know you worked really hard calculating them, but unfortunately you're going to have to take all those fancy equations that, over the course of 82 underwhelming games, shows that the Montreal Canadiens were set up for failure by their front office and shove 'em, because the iceberg that was a bad overall attitude is what they really sank their season.
Obviously it's not the lack of talent that was instrumental in their losing ways, but rather the fact that said talent didn't show up to the rink everyday with a smile on their face packing the cheerful spirit necessary to succeed. Granted, that's probably because the General Manager pining for a different demeanor is the same one that shipped out one of the most electrifying defensemen in all of hockey for an older, less talented version of himself due to the locker room cancer that was his affable personality. Still, let's not act like that quote is just a diversion of blame to anyone whose high paying job doesn't require them to build a competitive roster for one of the most prestigious organizations in hockey.
After all, would someone that didn't see any error in his ways be kind enough to fall on the sword for the 13 games in which his team accidentally happened to stumble upon a loser point? It wasn't only the players' fault....just the 40 or so times that they didn't summon their positivity to will their way into an overtime period that could boost their point total by way of a largely empty result. Seems like a pretty fair dispersal of scapegoating, you know, if you ignore just about every preseason prediction that had them finishing exactly where they did prior to taking into account the team's overall temperament.
Hockey Sticks Across All Of North America Are Being Left Out In Memory Of, And In Solidarity With, The Humboldt Broncos
For the love of the game.
Call it just one of the dozen baseball movies featuring Kevin Costner. Call it a rationalization of the seemingly absurd amount of time and effort we put into sports. Call it going to extreme lengths to humanize the athletics we immerse ourselves in so as to justify an otherwise suffering social life. What that saying is, in this instance anyway, is pretty much the only way to describe how long bus rides, that - in and of themselves - are typically terrible, become unforgettable bonding experiences upon being shared with teammates.
I'm not going to lie to you. It's a sad truth that I'm not proud of, but I've become at least mildly desensitized to almost every disastrous event in which the mass casualties are those that had full lives left to live. Maybe the prominence of school shootings, the all-too-familiar details that generally surround them, and the shameless politicizing that tends to follow just blend together in a hodgepodge of horrific, but - for whatever reason - the nauseating news of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash packed much more of a gut punch.
That doesn't make it any more or less of a tragedy obviously, but - for everyone that grew up looking forward to cramming themselves into a restricted mode of transportation that they were sure to turn into an adolescent playground for hours on end - this one hit closer to home. Oddly enough, seeing as a considerable amount of time on it was spent in anything but a secure position, the team bus has always been a bit of a safe haven of unsophistication. A sanctuary on wheels, if you will. The family, friends, and remaining members of a proud junior hockey organization can no longer think of it that way and that's almost an unimaginable feeling for everyone that can all-too-easily go back in time and put themselves in the carefree skates of the injured or deceased.
While propping up a stick on the porch is a small showing of solidarity with a group of young men that, whether they are still with us or not, just eternally became a team for all the wrong reasons, it's actually the perfect one. To almost any hockey player, the only thing as relatable as leaning a twig up against a house, or a garage, or a basement wall, or a locker room, or the boards, or anywhere else where it is easily accessible if literally any handheld object is just begging to be toe-dragged is casually launching it into the luggage compartment of a Greyhound so as to get in another couple of seconds messing around in a way that turns teammates into friends and friends into family. I'm not even sure how anyone could feel entirely comfortable doing the latter as of yet, but the former serves quite the remembrance of a group of kids who were just trying to live an eerily familiar dream when, out of absolutely nowhere, it became a nightmare.
The unbelievable support and the inspirational stories that have come of this catastrophe serve as formidable band-aids, but nothing can quite patch the hole left in Saskatchewan's heart and the hockey community's soul...
Packers' Wideout Trevor Davis Was Detained For Joking About The Bomb In His Bag While In Line At The Airport
TheComeback- Green Bay Packers wideout Trevor Davis learned the hard way as he was arrested at LAX for misdemeanor criminal threats after allegedly making a joke to a female companion about packing explosives. TMZ reported that Davis made the joke after being asked security questions by a ticket counter agent and was released on bond.
Instead of playing it straight — we’re told Davis turned to the other woman and said, “Did you remember to pack the explosives?”
She apparently said, “No” and tried to get him to stop. He then said, “Just kidding” — but it was too late.
You know, it's just doesn't seem fair. It's been nearly 17 full years since the country fell victim to a highly fatal attack via air raid, and you're telling me that people are still made uncomfortable by sarcastic bomb references as they are prepping themselves to travel tens of thousands of feet in the air in an enclosed space amongst complete strangers? Like, geez everybody, can't we lighten up in the interest of getting these situationally timely jokes off?!?
Of course, Trevor Davis obviously should have known better, but maybe he intentionally fell on the proverbial box cutter to prove a much larger point. Such as, the longer we ban terrorism as a comedic device throughout the inherently funny process of maintaining national security, the longer belly-busting jokes are left undelivered to those whose cranky moods would surely be quelled by chuckling at their compromised safety! The risk of leaving an...ahem...explosive one-liner in an airport left un-investigated is kinda high, but think about the uproarious pay off!
I mean, come on, you're telling me you don't see the hilarity in being reminded that all it potentially takes is one psycho to put - at bare minimum - hundreds of lives in peril minutes an hour or so prior to sacrificing your safety to the skies?! Hope they confiscate whatever bottled substance you're using to water your blanket, you humorless lame-o.
LBS- In an interview with Jayson Stark of The Athletic that was published Monday, the retired slugger said that he still could have reached 70 homers if he had not used performance-enhancing drugs, which he has admitted to doing.
“Absolutely,” McGwire was quoted as saying. “I just know myself. I just know. I was a born home run hitter. I mean, unfortunately, I did [take PEDs]. And I’ve regretted that. I’ve talked about that. I regretted it. I didn’t need to. That’s the thing. Didn’t need to.
“But I know,” the former St. Louis Cardinal added. “Deep down inside, I know me as a hitter. And I know what I did in that box. And I know how strong my mind is. And I know what kind of hitter I became. And yes. Yes. Definitely.”
The truth is, I probably had the exact same hysterical reaction to reading that preposterous answer to a question that was, at it's most insightful, probably meant to get Mark McGwire to discuss the allure of substances that serve very little positive purpose if not to enhance performance. I just can't imagine that Jayson Stark thought he was encouraging a disgraced power hitter to stand by each and every one of his tainted homers when he asked him about his steroid-induced, record-setting season. Therefore, I think even he had to suppress a laugh at the implication that the former pro athlete he was interviewing had mental strength that absolutely would have magically made up for his artificial strength in helping him hit a ball out of park a historic amount of times.
That said, we can't prove that Mark McGwire wouldn't have flexed his brow and transferred his intellectual weight in a brand new way that would have, hypothetically, allowed him to power 135 baseballs beyond the wall if he had happened to be clean from 1998 to 1999. I mean, we could easily make that inference by analyzing an entire era of statistical inflation, as well as career numbers that, while very impressive, don't exactly look as though they were a couple brain teasers away from making up what was - at the very least - a 12 dinger disparity. Still, that small seed of doubt that has been watered into a full blown poisonous plant by the superhuman mind of someone who was born to smash baseballs is technically being kept alive. Even if his rationalization is much like one used by someone claiming they can quit an addiction whenever they want, or a proud penis owner trying to explain the Viagra in their medicine cabinet, don't tell Mark McGwire he couldn't get it (the baseball, you perv) up naturally!
Ready Your Eye Rolls: According To Ray Lewis, Odell Beckham Jr.'s Problem Is That He's Distanced Himself From God
(Starting at 8:48)
You know what, I think I just have to tip my cap here. For, as moronic as Ray Lewis sounds, I actually think he just did the impossible. In implying that one of the most nauseatingly narcissistic players in all of sports needs to find a higher power, he somehow made a manufactured story about some hypothetical relationship between Odell Beckham Jr. and Jesus Christ entirely about himself.
This isn't about the importance of religion. It's not about the inhibited maturity of a personality that's on the verge of getting the transcendently talented player it belongs to traded for far less than he's worth. That presumptuous, holier than thou rant about having a "foundation" was the product of an ego bruised by a lack of incoming calls from a current NFL player...
Ray Lewis, who was at the very least an accomplice to murder, just blamed the curious case of Odell Beckham on the people he chooses to surround himself with, but - if you listen closely - it actually has nothing to do with that at all. That critique was just a bunch of filibustering aimed at making you forget that some hypocritical jackass whose public presence on television is a constant threat to the integrity of sports media is upset that an NFL superstar decided to opt-out of over-the-phone Bible study with someone who is headed straight to hell if even half of its passages are rooted in truth.
Don't fall for the God-fearing schtick, because Ray Lewis is basically just mad that he got ghosted by someone who is younger, cooler, and more relevant than him. From what I gather, I don't even like the millennial's millennial that is Odell Beckham. Still, that ridiculous argument had less legs to stand on than a Tinder date making a regrettable mistake on a first date, and - oddly enough - they both have a dismissiveness in further contact in common.
In A Move That Is Poetically Nonsensical, Ilya Kovalchuk Is Reportedly Signing A Multi-Year Deal With The Rangers
Normally I would be a bit more skeptical of breaking news that's preceded by nothing more than "per source", seeing as that's become the sports media's way of implying that they've finished exchanging whispers and their game of telephone has reached it's conclusion.
However, this particular breaking news actually makes so little sense that I'm feeling more and more inclined to treat it as fact. After all, Ilya Kovalchuk and the New York Rangers currently make for such a horrific match that no one, in their right mind, would comfortably presume that they were getting together unless they had verification that was the case.
In theory, the team whose organizational philosophy has always revolved around acquiring shooting stars as their brightness begins to fade is the perfect destination for a soon-to-be 35 year old that, while still very talented, is well past his prime. Adding him to a list of names that's awe-inspiring when you consider how little they accomplished in New York actually seems fitting. Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, Bobby Holik, Chris Drury, Brad Richards, Scott Gomez, Dan Boyle, Keith Yandle, Rick Nash. Those underwhelming additions could use a self-serving left winger to continue the Blueshirts' rich history of bolstering aging players' bank accounts.
That is, if it weren't for the recently publicized priorities of the two parties in question.
First and foremost, Ilya Kovalchuk, who - despite shredding his contract and up and leaving the NHL to play for a stacked team in an inferior league - is now apparently dying to hoist a trophy that actually has some prestige...
And then, the New York Rangers, who - after decades of doing almost the exact opposite - made a mid-season insistence that they will be changing the direction of their franchise by way of "young, competitive players that combine speed, skill, and character"...
The only scenario in which those two thought processes could possibly meet is in the VIP section of an upscale NYC club after relapsing on their drug of choice. In this particular instance, the substance they allegedly chose to abuse is the spotlight. I don't know which entity is more desperate for attention, but I've seen far too many headlines hijacked by the player in question and too many offseasons won by the organization in question to believe there's nothing suspicious about the timing of this announcement. The Devils officially have a playoff matchup to call their own and the Rangers don't for the first time since his abrupt departure, and Ilya Kovalchuk almost immediately calls for the dropping of this bomb? Kudos to him for being able to build up a senseless grudge against the organization that he (in retrospect, thankfully) wronged, but this is the one time, throughout the last six years, in which Devils' fans have an immunity built up to the ghosts of untimely retirement's past.
Seriously though, it this is indeed true, there are people whose gym memberships became nothing more than a monthly, directly-deposited donation by Valentines Day that have clung more tightly to their resolutions than either Ilya Kovalchuk or the New York Rangers. The former finally wanted to win now, the latter finally dedicated themselves to winning later, and instead of sticking to those goals they both reportedly made a relatively long-term commitment to their kryptonite during their first withdrawal.
In a laughable way that's best encapsulated by every relationship that's either motivated by money or bred out of convenience, this marriage is almost poetic in how doomed it would be to fail. The Rangers are trying to shift the entirety of their culture, and in doing so they are trusting a proven mercenary with a fully-guaranteed, multi-year contract to presumably provide veteran leadership, or something very, very unlike it, to a team that's admittedly a ways away from competing? Might as well hire Patrick Roy to bring a calm, trusted voice behind the bench, because if that's supposed to be an example of parallel thinking then it runs perpendicular to any sort of building process.
You can call me a salty Devils' fan, but I have been seasoned by nothing more than historically supported facts that show that the Rangers, in conjunction with Ilya Kovalchuk, don't stand to have any real success in the next 2-3 seasons. As far as I'm concerned, this makes New Jersey's undeniable upward trajectory that much sweeter in that there's only one team to wish the worst upon going forward.
Kovy may have taken the money, the Rangers may have taken the bait, and both of them may have sacrificed what they actually wanted to satisfy their incessant need to be newsworthy. With the playoffs on the Devils' horizon, the sun could already be setting on the Rangers' rebuild. If the repetition of a predictably disappointing history was the plot line, you honestly couldn't write a better script.