People Seem None Too Pleased That Ryan Getzlaf Walked Away With Nothing More Than A Fine After Using A Gay Slur Towards An Official
OutSports- Last year when the NHL suspended Chicago Blackhawks player Andrew Shaw one playoff game for being caught using a gay slur, the league was lauded for taking the meaningful step.
Now the NHL is backtracking.
Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was caught calling a referee a “cocksucker” on multiple occasions during his team’s Game 4 against the Nashville Predators.
The NHL’s reaction? A meaningless $10,000 fine. No suspension.
If the NHL wanted to take a real stand, they would suspend him for a playoff game.
To be clear, “cocksucker” is an even more specifically anti-gay term than “faggot” (though they can be equally hurtful). The latter has been co-opted for years in sports to mean other things that demean an opponent. To be sure, the root of the term is homophobia, but it’s taken on a whole other meaning for many people unaware that it’s a gay slur.
See, now what we have here is a classic miscommunication between sexualities. I think the straight community as a whole figured there was one particular word at the heart of the controversy when they saw that Ryan Getzlaf was taking some heat for using a gay slur. I believe it's safe to say that that word was not "cocksucker". Now, that might be an ignorant assumption, but it's not one that's totally untrue. I suppose it is rather homophobic to attempt to insult a man by claiming that he enjoys phallic genitalia in and around his mouth, but that's not something I can say that I realized until this very moment.
I can't speak for the Ducks' center's knowledge of all things LGBT, but - if he's anything like me - then this is more so an issue of negligence than it is discrimination. The NHL's decision to fine him instead of sentencing him to a one game suspension similar to the one they gave Andrew Shaw for using the term "faggot" last year isn't so much inconsistent as it is an admittance that they too were in the dark on the offensiveness of implied oral sex between males. I wouldn't go as far as saying that Ryan Getzlaf's star power had absolutely nothing to do with him receiving nothing more than a costly slap on the wrist, but the word in question not widely being considered prejudice certainly weighed heavier than whose (apparently dick-free) mouth it came from.
So let me borrow some words from the guilty party and offer an apology to the gay community. Once again you are going to have to excuse our innocent disregard for your feelings, because - as demeaning as "cocksucker" might be to men that actually suck cocks - it's nowhere near reaching the level of universal disdain that a particular F-word has. I know it's pathetic, but we are still taking baby steps toward true understanding and when we get there you can start demanding that players sit out playoff games with massive implications because they thoughtlessly slandered the potential penile preference of an on-ice official.
Ryan Getzlaf's apology (which, for what it's worth, seems genuine):
A College Golfer Had To Strip Down And Go Swimming To Find His Ball Because Of Some Stupid NCAA Rule
JacksonvilleUniversity- The day reached a tipping point on the fourth hole, the 13th hole of the day for David Wicks. The senior from Bexhill, England, picked up his ball after his first putt finished around three feet from the hole and placed it in his pocket. While waiting for the other golfers in his group to finish their putts, Wicks backed up towards the bunker, which has a lake just behind it. Wicks went to pull his scorecard out of his pocket, and as he reached for the card his ball fell out of his pocket, kicked off his shoe, and fell into the lake. NCAA rules state that a golfer must find their personal ball in order to continue the hole without any penalty. Wicks stripped down to his underwear and dove in with a five-minute time limit.
"David probably found 20 balls in the stretch of five minutes, but he never could find his," said Blackburn. "It was just a stroke of bad luck. After the five minute period ended the rules officials gave him a two-stroke penalty, which really could've hampered our comeback. But David rebounded, finishing the day with five straight pars to keep us in the race."
The NCAA and golf - talk about a match made in a gamesman's personal hell. Hey, the governing body of the most self-important sport on the planet might make a college kid bob for Titleists like he's participating in the most low budget gameshow off all time, but at least they won't have any rules - no matter how ludicrous - get broken on their watch! I suppose you could argue that having a momentary, mid-round bout with your hand-eye coordination while spectating shouldn't reflect poorly on your score, but dumbass regulations that will never be corrected solely out of stubbornness are simply par for the course when it comes to the NCAA and/or the PGA.
I don't know why David Wicks didn't just drop a little white lie and say that one of the two dozen balls he found was his. I think he's a maniac for being that devoted to the code (assuming there were no cameras that could prove him wrong), but I can respect him for internalizing his anger instead of going full-Elin Woods on the official that notified him of his two stroke penalty while he stood there smelling like swamp water. If that were me then Jacksonville University would been wishing they gave my scholarship to Happy Gilmore instead, because I would have been fishing for my ball with that referee's face as the bait for as long as it took for his body to go limp. So credit to David Wicks for taking it in stride and recovering to give his team a fighting chance at the finals.
Shoutout To This Child Who Was Casually Drinking A Coors Light Tall Boy At The Pirates Game Yesterday
Irresponsible. Reckless. Dim-witted. There's no shortage of words you could use to describe the type of dad that's going around buying tall boys for short boys that are about a decade away from carrying an all-you-can-drink card in the form of an ID.
Now, I won't use any of those words, because the visual of a kid picking up a beer that's bigger than his bicep behind a graphic for a youth-centric promotion that's also providing the background noise is too perfect for me to worry about how he's being raised. Personally, I wouldn't drop $12 bucks on an adult beverage for my hypothetical pre-teen, but if you're going to be the cool, involved parent that serves a minor so as to better monitor his drinking (5-7 years too early) then you might as well do it when there are older women around for him to impress. I think we can all agree it's wrong to intoxicate your child when his learner's permit is still a pipe dream, but this is probably the safest way to do so. Feet kicked up, watching baseball, and sipping piss water that even an 80 pound human being would struggle to get drunk on? Probably not what the Pirates had planned for 'Kid's Day', but it is kind of endearing that this little dude wanted to reenact how his dad spends 'Father's Day'.
ESPN- Recently released by the Carolina Panthers in a cost-cutting move, Boston had three suitors in the Chargers, the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After visiting all three teams, Boston said he prayed for clarity as traveled back home to Charlotte, North Carolina, to make his decision. That's when he stopped by the local gas station, even though he had a half a tank, to take advantage of a price that had dropped from $3.29 to $3.10 a gallon.
"I crossed two lanes to get to the gas station," Boston said. "I pump my gas. After I pump my gas, I put my wallet in my car. After I put my wallet in my car, there's a guy with three kids and he asked me for a little bit of change, or if I had a dollar or two. I gave him a $20.
"So he tells me thank you so much, and that God put me in his life for a reason. And in my mind I'm saying you're here for a reason, too. So in my mind I'm saying should I ask him, 'L.A. or Buffalo.' And before I could ask him, my man told me, 'Thank you so much. There aren't too many people like you in this world, God's children. My name's Mike Daniels, but people call me L.A.'"
Boston said he started crying, taking the nickname of his new friend as a sign from the man upstairs that he should join the Chargers.
And as he reached for a tissue in his car, Boston said he thought he saw Jesus on an advertisement stand selling gas station cards.
Boston said he glanced back and on the stand he saw a card that said, "Jesus saves." The two men talked for another half hour before saying their goodbyes.
Let's just cut to the chase here. The Chargers were the right choice for Tre Boston. That's not so much an endorsement of his devout decision making process as it is an assumption that his "what if God was a slob like one of us?" mentality is just a better fit for Los Angeles than it is for Pittsburgh or Buffalo.
Now, I'm not trying to put down anybody's religion here. However, to think that Jesus saved in this situation would be to think that Jesus was letting some homeless dude wander the streets begging for money with his three children in tow and only decided to interject when he realized that a professional football player needed guidance on where to make his millions. Call me crazy, but it seems bit self centered for Tre Boston believe that his Lord and Savior dropped everything to make a guest appearance in his life by selling discounted fuel during a period of time as "tragic" as free agency. I'll admit that Mike Daniels going by the nickname 'L.A' is a bit odd, but not nearly as odd as being narcissistic enough to conclude that your professional path was a priority for the man above.
That's not to say this isn't an example of everything happening for a reason. It very well may be, but it's definitely not because God plays matchmaker by orchestrating chance encounters between strangers whose lives are heading in polar opposite directions. It's because the people that truly trust that he is whenever they have a decision to make tend to do well living in regions where the locals get a littttttttle too much sun. Just saying, the fine folks of Buffalo don't seem like the laid back type that would hear someone out if they started talking about seeing supreme beings in a piece of toast. If for no other reason than because their weed just isn't as potent.
A Spurs Fan Is Suing Zaza Pachulia For "Maliciously" Injuring Kawhi Leonard, Annnnd That's About Enough Of That
SFChronicle- The Spurs have not asked the NBA to review Zaza Pachulia's foul on Kawhi Leonard, which caused Leonard to re-injure his ankle and forced him to miss the final 20 minutes of Game 1 and all of Game 2.
Juan Vazquez on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Pachulia and the Warriors on behalf of Spurs season ticket holders and San Antonio card shop What's On Second.
"All we are asking from the court is that this type of behavior, that can and does cause serious injury to our team and those that love it, not be allowed in San Antonio," said Alfonso Kennard, Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
The suit claims Pachulia acted "without excuse or justification, intentionally and maliciously invaded the landing zone of an opposing athlete, Kawhi Leonard."
Pachulia's action, the complaint reads, "devastated the quality of the Spurs' chances of being competitive and having additional games in their home arena, both in the Western Conference Finals and also potentially in the NBA Finals" and also negatively affected "the value of the tickets purchased by plaintiff subsequent to their purchase."
Among the plaintiffs' demands:
Yup, we found it. That, right there, is officially the line. I would have been cool with Spurs' fans - and really NBA fans in general - bitching about a dirty play that dramatically effected the watchability of a long anticipated series until that long anticipated series ended in woefully uninteresting fashion. Unfortunately, now that legalities are involved I know longer want to hear about how some dopey Russian terrorized the Western Conference Finals when the same team more than likely would have won regardless.
Listening to the ongoing backlash towards the not-so-cautionary closeout was like watching one friend drunkenly try to fight another friend who spent weeks intentionally getting under his skin. You could understand the frustration and had no problem letting it play out how the spurned party saw fit....until the spurned party got his ass kicked and immediately went full-douche with the "good thing my dad is a lawyer" line.
I hate Zaza Pachulia as much as the next guy, but - as much as he resembles one of Vladimir Putin's henchman - he's not actually a criminal for being a little careless with his feet. All sports fan should feel as though they have been robbed of one of the few instances of interesting basketball in these NBA Playoffs, but you can't file a claim for a hypothetical. A player who was already hurt got a little more hurt, and - if we are being honest with ourselves - the ankle of a guy as active as Kawhi Leonard probably wasn't going to hold up anyway. It sucks that it gave out at a time that so clearly soured the intrigue of the series, but a lot of things suck and most of them don't require a law suit. Life goes on, and I am pretty sure Spurs' fans have enough fucking titles to get them through this.
The Penguins Starting Goalie Is In Question, So Let's See If Mike Sullivan Learned Anything From Last Year...
TheSportingNews- The Penguins were embarrassed 5-1 by the Senators in Game 3 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, and now Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is under fire after a rough outing.
Fleury allowed four goals on the Senators' first nine shots in the first period before he was pulled in favor of Matt Murray. Fleury's struggles could cause the Penguins to start Murray in Game 4 on Friday.
After the game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he hadn't thought about who will get the start.
“I haven’t even given any consideration to that at this point,” he told reporters. “We give up four goals as quickly as we did, sometimes when you make a change, it’s for more than one reason. … It’s a little bit of a wake-up call, I guess, for the whole group.”
Talk about deja vu. It's damn near been one year - to the day - that Mike Sullivan overreacted to a bad outing from his team that made his hot goaltender look even worse on a rough night. The goalies have flipped, but the situation is almost eerily similar. Last season it was Matt Murray who didn't expect to be counted on come playoff time, and now it's the guy whose starting role he officially assumed this year. Much like another familiar masked man was last postseason, Marc-Andre Fleury has been goddamn revelation for the Penguins this postseason. Replacing him between the pipes now would create ambiguity that could dramatically effect the psyche of a guy who is in the midst of rewriting the narrative on his playoff reputation.
Is putting Matt Murray in net for a game could push you to the brink of elimination a death sentence? Probably not. The kid is a stud. He played well in relief and he could very well backstop his team to a win in Game 4. However - whether or does he not - the same question would still persist during the time of year when you least want to answer to uncertainty.
Mike Sullivan went with Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and - due to no fault of the player he inserted in the lineup - his team ended up with their backs against the wall while in the midst of a goaltender controversy. Apparently the presence of otherworldly talent transcends self inflicted distractions because they rattled off wins in back-to-back elimination games en route to an eventual Stanley Cup Championship, but that's not the point. The point is that the only real mistake is one in which you don't learn anything. Changing his last line of defense to spark his team didn't work last year, and - with how inspiring Marc-Andre Fleury's performance was against Washington - there's no reason to think it would this year. Four goals against on nine shots is an indictment of his entire team as much as it was him, so those numbers shouldn't cloud the fact that 'The Flower' was coming off a shutout in which he bloomed.
I absolutely loathe small talk, and I'm not really a huge dessert guy, but I'll be damned the combination wasn't a welcomed addition to a broadcast that I hardly wanted to watch - never mind hear - any more of. I don't even know what else to say about the travesty that has become the Western Conference Finals, and that's why I can't criticize Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy for choosing to bicker about a bitter sweet ending to their man dinner. Lord knows what else they are going to use to fill dead air, but if we are treated to another performance like we were in Game 2 then it would have to be about their post-meal bathroom visits on Mexican night to stink as much as the basketball we'd be watching. I'm starting to think that they should kick off games by having an unrelated dialogue and only begin to acknowledge said games when they prove that they might still be mildly competitive in the second half. The NBA playoffs have lost the benefit of the doubt, and I wouldn't even mind if they completely lost the attention of their most trusted commentators. At the very least it would help said commentators relate to the average/bored/distacted viewer who is keenly aware that Mark Jackson is working harder to stay awake than Mike Brown is while holding his former position as coach of Warriors.
Shockingly, I'm not an expert on gang rape so I can't definitively speak on the predominant motive behind them. I would think that they are generally just the result of a bunch of criminal minded predators ending up horny and alone while perpetuating their own deviant thoughts. I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem like the type of activity you would do solely to strengthen a kinship.
That said, if there was a ever a group that was going to be inspired to commit outnumbered sexual assaults on women in the spirit of brotherhood and unity then that group would likely have a Baylor football scholarship in common. If there's a program that would steer clear of paintball trips and fireside chats in lieu of calculated acts of violence that required inducing young, vulnerable women with debilitating drugs then that program would reside in Waco, Texas.
It's almost like Art Briles heard someone use the term "rape culture" while walking past him down the street and he immediately decided it sounded like a hell of a team building philosophy without even giving it so much as a Google search. With 52 acts of sexual misconduct officially in writing, I am not sure anything would surprise me anymore. You could tell me that Art Briles sat at the foot of the bed using a significantly different type of rape whistle to make sure all of his players got their "reps" in and I would only think slightly less of him, because you can't really get much lower than scum of the Earth. To team up on 18-19 year old girls and come away afterwards feeling closer as a unit would be such a nauseating display of groupthink that it would make the gluten-free craze look like a product of individualism by comparison. Yet somehow - given the obscene circumstances - it feels like the most logical explanation for a football team turning a college campus into the type of environment that Liam Neeson would kill an entire roster to save his daughter from.
ESPN- Here is the full breakdown of Peterson’s contract:
Signing bonus: $2.5 million
2017: $1 million base salary (fully guaranteed).
2018: $1.05 million base salary. $750,000 roster bonus due on third day of league year. $50,000 workout bonus. Up to $1.25 million in weekly roster bonuses for every week spent on the 53-man roster, injured reserve or physically-unable-to-perform list. Up to $400,000 in additional per-game roster bonuses for every game on the active 46-man roster.
Incentives in 2017 and 2018: Up to $8.25 million in total (see breakdown below).
Rushing yard incentives: $150,000 for 750 rushing yards OR $250,000 for 1,000 rushing yards OR $750,000 for 1,250 rushing yards OR $1 million for 1,500 rushing yards.
Note: If Peterson reaches any of those incentives in 2017, his 2018 weekly roster bonus total will increase by the same amount.
Touchdown incentives: $250,000 for 6 rushing/receiving touchdowns OR $500,000 for 8 rushing/receiving touchdowns OR $750,000 for 10 rushing/receiving touchdowns IF he also leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns.
Team/player performance incentives: $250,000 if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND plays in wild-card or divisional playoff game. OR $500,000 if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND plays in conference championship game. OR $1 million if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND Saints win Super Bowl.
The maximum Peterson can earn if he hits every incentive (including those 1,500-yard seasons and Super Bowl wins) is $15.25 million over two years.
There are a hell of a lot of numbers floating around up there and I have very little interest in breaking down all the scenarios - of varying unlikelihood - so let's just put it terms that every can understand. Adrian Peterson could potentially earn 15.25 million dollars over the course of the next two years, and if he does so then the New Orleans Saints will be back-to-back Super Bowl Champions having won those games by an average of 25 (sorry not sorry, Falcons fans) points. Unfortunately, it would also make Mark Ingram go from 'happy camper' to Jason Voorhees, but - as long as Drew Brees isn't included in the body count - he would yawn his way to ludicrously efficient numbers that would require a workload that's lighter than Adrian Peterson's baggage.
Now, none of that is coming anywhere close to fruition because 'AD' is 32 years old, coming off a season ending injury, undoubtedly slated at #2 on the depth chart, and more than likely needs to change his nickname to 'Half Day'. Still, it's nice to know that he's incentivized to regain his 'Hall Of Fame' form. If money is the motivation then there should be no shortage of will powering his wheels. You'd be an idiot to let a couple eye-popping incentives that were thrown in to sweeten a deal that was surely humbling effect your expectations, but it's mildly comforting to know that there's more than 3.5 million reasons for the Saints' backup running back to stay on the field and out of Sean Payton's doghouse.
You're going to have to forgive my negligence because I have never gone through the process of attaining full bodied, plucked poultry, but isn't skinning a duck the only way to get your hands on a skinned duck? Unless you happen to know the right outdoorsman, how else would one come to secure something that looks like it's sold - as is - at a roadside stand in China? I think I speak for almost everyone that doesn't have a future in serial killing when I say that I prefer my meat to be headless upon purchase, so it must take some sort of effort to end up with a duck that's literally dead behind the eyes at your disposal.
That's why I have to give this dude a hell of a lot of credit. I personally find it haunting and strange to lug dead birds around in public, but if you put that type of dedication into trolling your opponent during the playoffs then there's nothing I can do but respect it. Whatever means he used to sneak that animal corpse into the arena probably dangerously toed the thin line between beastiality and necrophilia, but if you are at a loss for words then there's a legitimate reason why...
Because it's the Cup.
P.S. I guess it's a good thing they changed their name, because there is nothing "mighty" about that dead, disgraced mallard.
Warriors "Acting" Head Coach Mike Brown Got Stopped By Multiple Cops While Trying To Enter Oracle Arena
Welp, there you have it. Need not look further than Mike Brown not getting let on the premises based on facial recognition alone to ID the fact that the Warriors really don't even need a head coach. All due respect to Steve Kerr, because his handy work is the reason that this machine is so well oiled and self sufficient, but does it really matter who plays the role of hands-off supervisor if the local police department doesn't even know who is currently "in charge" of the team they are ultimately trying to protect during the conference finals?
I feel like one of the officers heard him say "I am the acting head coach of the Golden State Warriors!" before turning to his partner and saying "Wait, stop that guy. I am pretty sure they don't even have one of those". That's where we are at now. Golden State is so dominant that they might as well have one of those faceless video games silhouettes running their sideline. There is almost nothing that Mike Brown could do or not do to have a lasting impact on games that are more often than not way out of (his) hand(s). Shit, he can't even make a lasting impact on the memory of those that wave him into his own workplace. That's not to say that he can't get through to players that are all-to-familiar with their roles within the system, but it is to say that he doesn't even fucking have to.
"Acting" head coach is actually an insanely appropriate title, because - whether or not he's capable of more - he's basically just going through the motions as an authority figure that can't even recognized by authority.
::insert race joke about law enforcement here::
I Couldn't Possibly Care Less That LaMarcus Aldridge Had A Similarly Dangerous Closeout On Kevin Durant
I can't do it. I simply cannot do it, and I won't let the internet guilt me into doing it. Despite LaMarcus Aldridge closing out in...well...ZaZa-esque fashion, I won't be intimidated into making as big of a deal of it as I did the play that ultimately made the rest of this series a snooze-fest.
Yes, it was just as dirty. The ridiculously similar extra shuffle towards the landing spot of the shooter was just as dangerous and just as unnecessary. Unfortunately, I have bad news for those that are patting themselves on the back because they have timely, visual evidence to point to when discussing the frequency with which this type of tomfoolery takes place. Results matter and this closeout didn't result in a boring, non-competitive Western Conference Final between two teams that we've been patiently waiting to see matchup come playoff time. Reputation matters and ZaZa Pachulia's is that of a relatively talentless goon who commonly crosses the line.
Warriors' fans can likely be heard screaming "Ha! See!" from the mountain top they decided to scale when Steph Curry started hitting 3-pointers from well beyond it, and I would probably do the same if I were them. That doesn't mean I - or anyone else - should be anywhere near as pissed about a risky scenario that ended up being nothing more than a harmless blip on the radar during a blowout. I don't even care if it's hypocritical to look at LaMarcus Aldridge's questionable defensive effort and shrug, because LaMarcus Aldridge's questionable defensive effort didn't sideline the best two way player in the league and severely cripple the odds of the underdog.
P.S. Also, on a more sadistic note, I think everyone that's being honest with themselves (and not wearing a 10 month old Durant jersey) is hoping that something bad happens to Golden State. I don't root for injuries, but I'll be damned if an ankle for an ankle doesn't seem justified at this point.
It's exceedingly difficult to come away from that clip with anything but a smile on your face. It's cool to see the leader of an NFL team take interest in another local franchise and encourage fan support within a rowdy building that might falsely lead him to believe that the NHL actually can do a mediocre job marketing itself outside of notorious hockey cities. To watch him do it with five overweight dudes showering themselves with obnoxiously expensive, XL beers in the background only enhances what was already a pretty awesome visual.
That's why it's crazy to think that there are more than likely people out there that would have had it ruined for them if the sixth attending member of the Tennessee Titans - who also happens to be of-age - partook in spilling overpriced suds down his shirt.
Maybe I'm not giving enough credit to those who have proven - time and time again - that they don't deserve it. That said, don't you think that one or two talking heads would at least pretend to have a problem if a starting quarterback in the NFL was slugging stadium brews like he was trying to make up for his 4th year of college that proved unnecessary? Am I crazy to think that people would be searching for a way to spin a 23 year old professional athlete letting loose at a sporting event during the offseason as something that was inappropriate to do in public given his position?
It's objectively hilarious when the handful of bruisers that are paid to protect him (or as NBCSN likes to acknowledge them, the world's largest footnote) treat a televised appearance like it's a tailgate. However, given the overblown scrutiny that usually surrounds those under center, I would be interested to see if that opinion slightly differed if the one guy who has the fate of the franchise resting on his right arm had been equally as bold with his boozing. I'm pretty sure that Marcus Mariota was a bit of a goody two shoes when he first came into the league so maybe he's more of a "white wine spritzer when the occasion calls for it" kinda guy, but I can't help but think that his oft-dissected status as the front man in the huddle deterred him from cheers'ing as much as cheering. As someone that loves a good, old fashioned chug off, it makes me sad that my first thought was that there are definitely some that are mildly hypocritical in how they view them.
Russell Wilson Wouldn't Mind Having Colin Kaepernick As His Backup, As If That Were An Actual Question
Wait just a damn minute. Do you mean to tell me that Russell Wilson would be totally fine with having his former division rival ride the bench behind him? That doesn't sound right at all. Why would a player want someone he was once compared to - ad nauseam - taking up an inferior roster spot while having no realistic chance of pushing him for the starting job? It's not like a professional athlete would ever be so petty to view his spot a top the depth chart as the official nail in the coffin to the now antiquated debate of who was the better young, mobile quarterback in the NFC West, so why would Russell Wilson agree to letting Colin Kaepernick join the roster as nothing more than an insurance policy? Doesn't make a lick of sense to me. I know that I - personally - would absolutely loathe being placed in a position of direct superiority over someone who was arguably considered better than me in the not-so-distant past. Relinquishing the role of clear #2 to a guy that was once a 1(a) or 1(b) - depending who you asked in 2012 - in a heated, ongoing feud between proud, competitive franchises? Other than an ego boost that could shoot his self esteem through the glass ceiling by which black quarterbacks are viewed, what's in it for Russell Wilson?
Draymond Green's Thoughts (Or Lack Thereof) On Gregg Popovich's Criticism Of ZaZa Pachulia Spoke Volumes
I don't want to get into the long of this debate, but as far as the short of it goes? I think that if you want to die on the hill that ZaZa Pachulia's closeout differed from the rest of his career in being clean then you're either a sucker or you used WebMD to diagnose him with lower body Tourette's Syndrome. I'm not saying it was a schemed and plotted attack against the ankle of Kawhi Leonard, but that extra step was just as dangerous as it was completely unnecessary. To think otherwise would be to drastically underrate the athletic ability of NBA players.
But hey, you don't have to take my word for it. Hell, you don't even have to take the most accomplished, respected coach in the sport at his word either. After all, Gregg Popovich allowed Bruce Bowen to engage in similar antics a decade before they were anywhere near being legislated properly so what the fuck does he know? Plus, it doesn't stand to reason to get a biased opinion when the shockingly dumbstruck reaction to that biased opinion is so much more incriminating.
I may be looking too far into this, but when is the last time you remember Draymond Green taking criticism that is directed towards the Warriors in stride? The guy in that video who somehow developed the never before seen ability to speak in a hushed tone is the same guy that has loudly excused multiple acts of violence against the scrotums of opposing players. Yup, the same one that acted as Kevin Durant's spokesperson when the general public was wondering why he took made a quick left down Easy Street in search of championship. You mean to tell me that very same dude couldn't muster up a two sentence defense for a scathing indictment of his scumbag of a teammate if he thought it was unfair? I would never speak for Draymond Green because he does enough of that for himself, and that's why him going mum on the word in response to a question about a play that was already widely considered dirty may as well have slung mud on it.
I don't really know how to beat around the bush here so I am just going to come out and ask it. Is it even possible for a German person to passionately scream in order to motivate a group of people without giving off a serious Hitler-esque vibe? It's probably just my limited familiarity with the language and it's inherent aggressiveness, but - putting aside my cultural insensitivity - any person that was in that room and didn't understand what was being said would follow strictly out of fear. Any non-German speaking Jew (soft J) that heard this guy's voice bellowing from the opposing locker room would "sprain his ankle" tripping over a blade of grass before he even got out on the pitch. I don't want to make it sound Carsten Rump is a superiority complex and a broken moral compass away from being capable of dictatorship. However, those subtitles read like someone that is calling for his players to treat a soccer match like the outcome determines the fate of their families so really, how attached is he to reality?
I guess we should just let the past be the past, but - historically speaking - that inspiration speech had an undeniably oppressive tone. Which I suppose, in turn, means that German is a dialect whose reputation will never be fully reparable.
TheComeback- Dennis Morgan has been a regular performing the anthem for the team for the past 17 years, but he now takes a back seat to singers like Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum with the Predators working their way to the Stanley Cup Final. Now, Morgan and the Predators are in a bit of a war of words, via public statements on the issue.
“I’m not going to hide my disappointment and I told the Predators that I have been asked the same question over and over and it’s just really getting old,” Morgan said, according to The Tennessean.
“Everywhere I go — obviously at my day job (as a healthcare IT recruiting manager) and at (Bridgestone) arena as well as everywhere else I go to church, grocery stores, on the street, in meetings and in restaurants — people want to know how I feel.”
Morgan claimed he didn’t want to make a big deal about it until after the Predators’ postseason run, which he hopes ends with a Stanley Cup parade through the city. But because of the constant questions he has faced, he felt the need to address the elephant in the room.
As a big "stick with what got you there" guy, I won't defend the Nashville Predators initial departure down the celebrity route in saluting America. If the Devils ever started a postseason by trotting out anyone other than Arlette prior to Round 1, Home Game 1 I would hope that she'd be as livid as me, so I can understand why Dennis Morgan feels slighted. At the risk of sounding like someone that doesn't want to hear Carrie Underwood belt out her angelic vocals while wearing a hockey jersey, I must say that I - personally - would have considered it a good omen to go with the guy whose entire life inexplicably turns to dog shit when he gets passed over by a talented, smoking hot blonde.
Unfortunately, it's now been proven that blessing Dennis Morgan with the microphone isn't exactly as effective as rubbing a rabbit's foot. When Kevin Fiala netted the overtime winner that officially brought the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination the clock officially struck midnight on his role as the team's good luck charm. If he deeply and truly cared about their success he would realize that. I didn't think that pandering to national broadcasts with famous country singers would be what helped to fuel a pretty dominant drive to potential playoff glory, but now that it has there is no debate as to who the red carpet should be rolled out for.
Honestly, bitching about not being able to sing the National Anthem when your team is on an absolute tear is so un-American that even the Southern conservatives in 'Bridgestone Arena' would agree that it makes Colin Kaepernick look like Abraham Lincoln. I don't care if the guy has to have an awkward conversation with every single person that passes him in the street, because any hockey fan that wouldn't endure a couple months of social anxiety in exchange for a championship celebration - in Nashville, of all places - doesn't even deserve to call themselves such. Dennis Morgan might as well rock a Ryan Kesler jersey, because this little woe-is-me act can be looked at as nothing but a distraction. The Predators have been to more Western Conference Finals without him providing the pregame patriotism than they have with him providing the pregame patriotism, and that alone should make him consider retiring his mic come playoff time.
P.S. I can't believe an organization that is in the midst of their first legitimate run towards a Stanley Cup actually wasted time in addressing a butt-hurt anthem singer. What a world...
“We have always valued Dennis K. Morgan’s performance of the national anthem at Predators’ home games. Our arrangement with him has always allowed for nationally and internationally renowned musical artists to perform when available to further enhance our game experience while paying respect to our country through their respective awe-inspiring renditions of the national anthem. The reaction from our fans in Bridgestone Arena as well as from around the country to seeing and hearing world class performers such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Vince Gill and his daughters, Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been overwhelmingly positive, bringing national and international exposure to our community while continuing to set our game experience and atmosphere apart from others in professional sports.”
I know it's never safe to assume that everyone feels the same, but - unless your a Senators fan or suspiciously loyal to the Maple Leafs' former front office - it's impossible not to love this juxtaposition. Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin going from at each other's throats like they were about to spark an international incident to linking up for the game winning goal is just a perfect portrayal of the intensity of playoff hockey. Obviously, the imagery was helped by the NHL's version of a folk hero throwing a temper tantrum that would force a pilot to land the plane early, and the hilarity of what it might sound like to hear his linemate/temporary nemesis cursing in broken English. Still, those frustrations hitting their boiling point before getting completely relieved with one pretty passing play and the ensuing fortunate bounce says all you need to know about the emotions these guys experience while performing under pressure packed circumstances.
Phil Kessel went from looking like Evgeni Malkin banged his sister and never called ever again to looking like he was his best friend that just got back from being stranded on a deserted island for a decade. Surely there would be plenty of hot-take artists searching for a deeper meaning behind an on-bench argument in the heat of the moment if it never got it's happy ending, but luckily that's of no concern with the way the conflict was resolved in damn near rom-com-esque fashion. Splice these clips together and set them to a heartwarming score and you've got the summer's next unrealistic tale of love, but don't take my word for it...
PlayersTribune- I had to stop going to the grocery store this season.
For one reason or another, the grocery store has always been where I get recognized the most in Ottawa. I can hang out in pretty much any restaurant or bar and be in the clear, but at the grocery store I’ll pretty much always be spotted. For the most part, I’ve always enjoyed that. Engaging fans is one of the most rewarding things about making it to the NHL. But one thing you learn after playing in Canada for a while is that Canadian hockey fans are … honest.
I might be in the produce aisle squeezing a tomato or something when an elderly woman will approach me.
“Pardon, but are you Bobby Ryan from the Senators?”
I’ll perk up, clear my throat, and in my best I’m A Professional voice respond, “Yes ma’am, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
And without hesitating, she’ll go full beat-reporter on me, “You haven’t scored in a while, eh? Maybe you’re holding the puck too long at the point?”
After hearing that, I might set the tomato down (or maybe squeeze it harder, I’m not sure) before responding. My impulse will be to defend myself, so I’ll say something like, “Well, uh, yeah, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. But I managed to redirect a couple of pucks last game, and I think the goals are going to start comi—”
And that’s when I’ll stop myself and think, Why the hell am I talking about my job at the grocery store?
That type of scenario played out a lot this season. By the time I’d get home, my wife would be confused because I’d be super stressed-out from buying a couple of bags of groceries. Eventually she started doing the shopping. It was for the best, I suppose.
I don't think even the most head-in-the-clouds (i.e. up their own ass) fan is under some illusion that being a professional athlete is a "normal" job. It obviously comes with an amount of scrutiny that is unfitting considering the amount of talent they possess in comparison to their scrutinizers that will never begin to understand that talent. Now, they are certainly reimbursed quite nicely for playing a role that thanklessly shifts from city-wide savior to the general public's proverbial punching bag at a moment's notice. Still, that doesn't make the concept of wholly average people giving condescending tips to those that are astronomically more skilled any less odd.
Just imagine if this were something that happened to workers whose jobs are labeled with a colored collar on a regular basis. Think about leaving the office after having a shitty day and getting stopped by a member of the custodial staff. Then picture that janitor suggesting that you better maximize the efficiency of your spreadsheets by explaining something that was taught to them by an animated, talking paperclip in middle school.
I'm not trying to imply that playing in the NHL is anything less than absolutely awesome as the benefits of being a pro exponentially outweigh the cons, but we should acknowledge that potentially being reminded of your struggles at work while away from work is a massive fucking con. I would have traded places with Bobby Ryan before he became a postseason revelation, but I also would have used that tomato to treat an overeager elderly woman like she was bombing her comedy routine if she took a jab at my professional insecurities. I don't think people are good at taking criticism as much as there are just varying levels of bad. That being said - if not for entertaining us with abilities that will always be inherently underrated - athletes at least deserve credit for not being the worst when people with (mostly) good intentions insult them by critiquing their performance away from a job they could never, ever do.
I think my favorite part of watching the head coach of a professional sports team go full-Bill Belichick is that they always tend to make the idea of them using modern technology seem like it's a slap in their SnapFace. I don't doubt for a second that Guy Boucher has never checked the "sky is falling" overreactions of his fanbase by scouring the abject dumpster fire that is relatively anonymous postgame chatter. I'm not quite sure I have ever seen the man bear a smile, and - despite the "rotting animal in the ass" vibe that tends to emanate from hockey twitter - it's pretty impossible to survive the wild, wild web of social media if you are humorless.
I do, however, agree with his larger point. I'm not sure why a reporter thought it would be wise to pepper a head coach of a team that has defied odds to get to the Eastern Conference Finals with a question about the "quality" of hockey he's overseeing. If Guy Boucher's job was to produce aesthetically pleasing puck he would already be sitting at home petting the white cat on his lap until September. Pretty off-base to assume that he should concern himself with appeasing the unappeasable general public while also continuing to lead a team on what would be an extremely unlikely championship run. The Ottawa Senators could act as Ambien to the entire NHL viewership by mucking it up with a more skilled squad, and Guy Boucher wouldn't be any less ecstatic if it resulted in a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. You might not be able to tell from his facial expression, but you definitely could by checking his anti-social browser history.