News

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins

I have watched quite a bit of hockey this year, and I am sad to see this season end without a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Pens fans should have had the chance to watch their team raise the cup on their home ice, but what are you going to do?

My observations are:

Nashville's fans are amazing, but they have to stop throwing dead catfish on the ice.

The turnout around Nashville's arena is like something out of an owner's dream. The people who partied outside in Preds jerseys and brought their support of the team to downtown Nashville demonstrates that this is a franchise that will stick around.

The fans inside of the arena stood and clapped for the opposing team at the end. This is beyond classy and is unheard of in many, many arenas throughout the league. Nashville is now a real hockey town, and they should be accorded the respect that goes with it. They turned out for the series, the local celebrities showed up, and the people there made it work. Anyone thinking of signing with the Predators was just shown a damned good reason why doing so would be a no-brainer. They support their team in Nashville, and they understand the game.

The Pens are probably going to dump some players and that's good for everyone looking for playoff experience. A three-peat? Nope, don't think so. This series should have been over after the 4th game. In all four of the first games played, Nashville was the better team in every one of them. They didn't get the breaks they needed on the road, and that's what sunk them.

The NBC announcing crew is the absolute worst in all of hockey. Mike Emrick and Pierre McGuire are unlistenable. I simply do not care where these guys played their junior hockey, and the wordplay and the double entendres are difficult to endure. We have watched much of the series with the sound off. I don't care about Eddie Olczyck because there is furniture in the room with more insight. I miss Bill Clement, I wish Coach Barry was out there, and virtually all of the NHL teams have announcer pairs that could do a better job. Bob Miller will go down as one of the all-time greatest announcers in NHL history, and he never got the break he deserved. NBC's crew couldn't hold a candle to Bob Miller. 

Not impressed with the idea that we'll have a "new" franchise next year. The Las Vegas Golden Knights? Really? Okay, then.

Darryl Sutter is Out of a Job

This really surprised me today:

The Los Angeles Kings have fired coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi, who led the franchise to its only two Stanley Cup championships.

The Kings on Monday also promoted former defenseman Rob Blake to vice president and general manager, while longtime executive Luc Robitaille will be their new team president in charge of all hockey and business operations.

Everyone knows why the Kings had a rough year. They lost Jonathan Quick at the beginning of the season and didn't find a suitable replacement. They had a roster that couldn't get it done, but it's not like they don't have the talent around which you can build a great team. How does firing Sutter fix the roster problems the Kings face in the years ahead?

How do you do that to the guy who brought two Stanley Cups to a franchise that had none? Hockey is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kinda sport, and that's how they're doing things in Los Angeles. If they can get a good coach and get back into contention, well, I guess that would prove me wrong. I was of a mind to see them make roster changes and come back next year and do fairly well, but how likely is that now?

Did That Team That Nobody Likes Win?

I am not a March Madness kind of fellow. But if that team that plays for that school you went to won, great. If they lost, well, bummer, man.

There is a huge disconnect between the reality of college sports and the overall college experience. I read a side item earlier about Lamar Odom and how he went to a college on the east coast. He was not a good student, but he was great at basketball. He maybe lasted a year with that team, left no mark on that school, but they go crazy for him and love him anyway. What is there to admire? That's where he stopped on the way to going to the NBA. He didn't graduate, he didn't stick around and help the team win a lot of games. One and done, baby.

Tom Brady and Donald Trump Are Really, Really Good Friends

It might not be a big deal right now, but it will be in the days and weeks ahead. 

The friendship of Tom Brady and Donald Trump is like proof hell is real if you're a New England fan who voted for Hillary. You have the golden boy quarterback--the best ever--and the most unpopular president in the modern era. 

How long do you think it will take for Brady to salvage his own image (endorsements are really important when you're a quarterback approaching the age of 40) and conveniently stop appearing with Trump? Or will Brady double down and proudly defend his friendship?

At some point, someone's going to be thrown under the bus. And what kind of new and exciting version of hell is it when Corey Lewandowski gives an interview to gush like a schoolgirl about a friendship between two men?

Megan Kalmoe is Pulling For You, America

AP London Olympics Rowing Women

Oh, my word:

"My request to everyone who is fixated on s--t in the water: stop. Stop trying to ruin the Olympics for us," Kalmoe wrote in an essay for theGuardian.

The 2012 bronze medalist in quadruple sculls noted that it does no good to complain about the water quality and that there have been similar concerns about the host cities of each of the past few Olympic Games. While the pollution is an issue (not just for the Summer Games, but for everyday life in Brazil), she is just thankful Rio has put in a lot of time, effort and money to host the Olympics.

Now that the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 are just days away, the 32-year-old Kalmoe doesn't want to talk about the water quality. She is ready to compete: "If you are that insecure about where we stand, America, let me be the one to say it. I'll say it, if it will allay your fears and put some of these issues to rest: I will row through s--t for you, America."

Do we really need to censor the word "shit" here? I don't think that we do. I think that these will be the Olympics where a lot of cowardly people stayed home. The bravest and the best of us are headed to Rio. Whiny ass titty baby bitches need not apply.

The Texas Rangers Need a New Stadium

The shelf life for a baseball stadium is now about 25 years:

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Texas Rangers and the city of Arlington Texas are set to announce that the Rangers will soon be getting a new, retractable-roof ballpark to replace their current home, Globe Life Park.

Their current lease on Globe Life expires in 2024 and can be ended a year early by the club at its discretion, but Grant says the new ballpark will be up and operating before that. He says that construction of the park would be subject to an election by Arlington voters, likely to approve the dedication of sales taxes and other public revenues to the project. Ownership of the park would be split between Arlington and the ball club.

Globe Life Park, previously The Ballpark at Arlington, opened in 1994. That was relatively early in the stadium building boom of the 1990s-2000s, making it tied for 11th oldest among current ballparks. Age, however, is not so much of an issue as the park is in fine shape. Nor is location, as Arlington has been and remains the sports stadium capital of the Metroplex and continues to have multiple projects in the works making it a sports and entertainment destination.

Rather, the issue is heat and the depression of attendance and revenues the current open-air stadium experiences in the hot, hot summers of north Texas, even when the Rangers are winning. When the Ballpark at Arlington the cost of a retractable roof was seen as prohibitive and the technology of such beasts was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. As such, the choice to eschew a roof was understandable, even if has led to a couple of decades of Rangers fans sweltering in sometimes dangerous heat.

They didn't know it was hot in Texas in 1994? They spent $191 million dollars to build it and it is still in good shape. Someone somewhere probably knows how to retrofit and cool a stadium for way less than the nearly a billion dollars it will take to replace a perfectly good ballpark. I realize that they're never going to accept the concept of global warming in Texas, but, honestly--what a waste of resources.

Tom Brady is a Handsome Fellow

Personally, I think criticizing the work of a courtroom sketch artist is like going after a fifth grade orchestra for muffing their third piece of music for the day. Tom Brady is guilty as sin and the NFL is obviously in collusion with the courtroom sketch artist to make him look like a Bulgarian sex offender.

Somehow, they gave him the most subtle fu manchu in Patriots history.

Finally, one decent thing happened today:

the Hall initially decided that his family members would not be allowed to speak for him at the ceremony. Seau died by suicide in 2012, two and a half years after retiring from football. A study of his brain tissue found signs of CTE, and in January 2013 his family sued the NFL, alleging that his suicide was caused by a brain disease developed from years of sustaining hits while playing in the league. A policy had been in place since 2010 disallowing others to speak on behalf of posthumous inductees.

The Hall later reversed course, allowing Sydney to speak. The New York Times reported the late Seau told his family that he wanted Sydney to introduce him should he ever be inducted. Seau did not discuss the circumstances of her father's death.

Even though Sydney Seau let the NFL off the hook and didn't say anything about how Junior Seau killed himself, we cannot forget that this man gave his life to play a game that has a billion dollar fixation on minimizing the impact of concussions on players.