Category Archives: Hockey

Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Speaking of point guards, Duke just got a commitment for next season from the highest rated ball handler left. Actually the highest rated PG committed or not.

Meaning Coach K and Coach Cal have once again corralled enough Golden Arches superüberduperstars with enough free burger coupons to sate every fan that will be in the Alamodome for next season’s Final Four.

The question of course is, will the Blue Devils and Wildcats actually be there to participate themselves?

I know stuff happens, kids don’t pan out like they’re supposed to, extraneous diversions affect team performances, etc, etc, but, given how they’ve harvested talent in the last decade, shouldn’t UK and Duke make it to the last weekend of the season every season? And win the dang thing more than they do?

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There’s a NBA Game 7 tonight. Boston and Washington shall battle to see which gets whipped by the Cleveland LeBrons in the Eastern Division finals.

It ought to be an exciting tilt. The squads are pretty even, if flawed.

My sense is the Wizards shall prevail, even though the game’s in Beantown. But that’s not why I bring it up.

Which is that I’m as mesmerized as the next hoopaholic about Celtic Isaiah Thomas’s offense. The guy can score. The guy can score at crunch time. From inside, despite his diminutive stature. From outside, even when closely checked by leaping bigs with a huge reach.

(We shan’t mention Thomas’s D. Because I could guard guys better than he does. And there are analytics to prove that. At least to provide evidence how bad he is. I haven’t seen any statisticians checking out my footwork recently.)

Now my point. When I see Isaiah Thomas play, I see Russ Smith.

(Except Smith knows how to play D.) Continue reading Monday Afternoon PG: Another Game 7, Pucks, Russ’s Misdirection, Where’s J.B. & More

Hump Day Harangue: Rose vs. Rose, Tiger vs. Lance, ‘Dores vs. ‘Hoos & 3 vs. 3

allsportsWith the majority of my readership located in the heart of Hoopsylvania, and therefore obsessed with and frothing at the mouth over tomorrow night’s NBA draft, I daresay few have noticed the great move by the NHL Board of Governors.

So, yes, I’ll get to other stuff soon enough, but first a high five to hockey.

I’ve oft said, and shall now repeat, that there’s nothing as exhilarating as OT pucks.

It’s harum scarum. End to end. Chaos on ice.

Now the prospect of a more open competition, should the clubs be tied after 60, is a comin’. Three on three, may the swifter on skates, the more adept at avoidance, prevail.

Only after five minutes of such careening into the corners and across the blue lines will regular season games resort to the reasonably exciting, but skewed decider of a winner, those singular skater against goalie shootouts.

Every once in awhile hockey’s muckety mucks get it right. This is one of those times.

Now on to stuff you may care about. Continue reading Hump Day Harangue: Rose vs. Rose, Tiger vs. Lance, ‘Dores vs. ‘Hoos & 3 vs. 3

Throwdown Thursday: Hoops, Pucks, Balls, Bats & FIFA

allsportsImagine for a moment that the NFL announced the 2020 Super Bowl was going to be played at an outdoor stadium yet to be built at Lake Superior State, a school that presently doesn’t even have a football program, in Sault Ste. Marie, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,

In the United States, where American football reigns, the sporting media and sports fans alike would be aghast.

Immediate inquiries would ensue, eventually whittling down the possible explanations for such an absurd decision to two possibilities: 1) The AD at the school has a video of Roger Goodell in a state of inamorata with an underage sheep, or 2) Roger Goodell took a several million dollar bribe to see the deal was done.

Now then, suppose this happened on a global stage? In futbol (Read: soccer), a sport so much more popular than its American-style interloper, that what is happening with FIFA makes Deflategate seem a squabble between a parent and a Little League coach when the former’s 7 year old didn’t get to bat in the 9th inning of a game in Germantown?

Which is exactly what happened. When FIFA, the governing body for world soccer awarded a future World Cup to Qatar. Much to the chagrin and befuddlement of everyone who can appreciate that Lionel Messi is the world’s leading sports icon these days. Continue reading Throwdown Thursday: Hoops, Pucks, Balls, Bats & FIFA

Throwdown Thursday: Those Darn Playoffs

b-ballI’ve always had a theory about basketball players.

Essentially it boils down to this. Winners win.

To elucidate a bit further, I’ve always loved when my Louisville Cardinals recruit a kid who has played for a state champion. I’ll settle for slightly less talent, and slightly more know how to close the deal when it matters.

Okay, I admit, it didn’t really work out so well with Elisha Justice. But that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Which I thought of last night, when Al Horford made the play that’s going to be the pivotal one, when Atlanta finally finishes off the Wizards and advances to the Eastern Conference finals.

That German PG of the Hawks, you know, the one with that slight streak of blonde hair, stormed to the bucket on Atl’s last possession, but his layup rolled off the rim. At which juncture, Horford made a winners win play, leaping over and through the phalanx of other potential rebounders, fellows from both squads, securing the rock, then dropping it through the twine for the deciding deuce. Continue reading Throwdown Thursday: Those Darn Playoffs

Monday Morning Sports Shots

allsportsNo. I do not have any reports from spring practice.

I don’t do spring practice.

In fact, I don’t do practice at all. I haven’t enough expertise to discern who is playing better, and who worse?

Allow me to remind you, I’m the guy who did go to practice when Teddy Bridgewater was a rookie. I watched him tossing the ball in drills, and thought the other QBs, guys whose names are long since forgotten, had stronger arms and were more accurate.

Which is why, allow me to reiterate, I don’t do spring practice.

In fact, I don’t do practice at all.

I leave it to the good ol’ boys, the wannabe JV assistants, in their double knit shorts. Continue reading Monday Morning Sports Shots

Hump Day Hits & Misses

cards✔︎✔︎✔︎Hit: Louisville Cardinal Athletics. For the second year in a row, has recognized the transcendence of U of L sports.

The Cards, of course, dominated the ratings for the ’12-’13 school year.

You know, the old NCAA hoops title, BCS bowl W, CWS appearance and womens’ hoops runner up quadrafecta.

It was, you might say, a good year.

By the site’s point rankings, Louisville bested second place Oregon by a hefty 113 points, 625-512.

Think Secretariat in the Belmont. Continue reading Hump Day Hits & Misses

Monday’s Sports Musings: Baseball, Basketball, $$$ & More

reporterLast weekend was a special one for baseball fans around Kentuckiana, if not quite as memorable for IU and UK fans, as those who bleed red & black.

There’s something about competition where the elements are involved. (Tell me true, I know you never click away from a football game, played in a snow storm.)

And the rain that played havoc with the Louisville NCAA tourney regional, as well as many others, added to the drama of Kentucky vs. Louisville to advance in the post season.

WDRB columnist Eric Crawford was on top of his considerable game with this marvelous column about Sunday night’s battle at Third & Central, and those wet fans who stuck it out to the end.

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The NBA Finals have all the makings of great theater. Continue reading Monday’s Sports Musings: Baseball, Basketball, $$$ & More

Monday Musings: Pacers puncture Predictions, DAP is Back & Mo’

b-ballThis digital age is, one guy’s opinion, a marvelous thing.

I sit here at my desk, fashioning my rather lame Jim Murray/ Hunter Thompson/ Charles Pierce imitations, hit “Enter” and my bloviations disseminate instantly into the cybergalaxy to be savored or ignored, your choice.

There are pluses and minuses to this whole internet thing.

Immediate access to “information.” Plus.

Small town gossip now global. Minus.

Also, if I write something, and make a mistake — which I way too often do — I can correct it.

One can also cover oneself, after making really bad forecasts. Simply erase what has been written. At which point, only the writer and that 13 year old hacker in Berzerkistan know the whole truth.

But, in the name of integrity, the Hippocratic Oath, the Marquise of Queensbury Edicts, the Barristers’ Code of Ethics and the Golden Rule, I try not to do. Even if I look the fool to all those with a memory of what I’ve written.

And, sadly, there are a lot of you with elephantine recall out there.

Which is my usual long-winded, self-indulgent way of getting to this point.

Yes, it was me who wrote these words, which I am likely to come to regret: “Besides, given that Miami is a deadbolt lock to win the East, a rematch of last year’s Finals is what we want, right?” Continue reading Monday Musings: Pacers puncture Predictions, DAP is Back & Mo’

Thursday’s Thrashings: Hoops, Pucks, Kicks (& Nary A Syllable On The Draft)

animated_sportsIt is with this opening salvo that my inner alter cocker wants to bray on (and on and on) about the late start times for the Western Conference matchups in the NBA playoffs.

Tonight’s fascinating Game 6 tilt in LA between the Clippers and Thunder doesn’t hit the air waves until 10:30, though the actual tip will surely be 15-20 minutes later.

Which is, of course, a half an hour after my bed time, more or less.

Then, the more rational me weighs in. The game starts at a reasonable 7:somethingoranother PDT. And it’s still a reasonable hour for the mid-westerners, rooting for OKC, who will have plenty time enough to color coordinate their apparel.

Besides, I say to myself, self, “Self, I’m an old fart, who already knows what insurance company I want to use, what fast food breakfast “treats” my doctor has told me to avoid, and I just bought a new car six months ago, so I’m not the target audience, even if an inveterate lifelong hoopaholic.” Continue reading Thursday’s Thrashings: Hoops, Pucks, Kicks (& Nary A Syllable On The Draft)

Thursday Night Winners: Bridgewater, Bruins & Browns (Maybe)

footballoldYes, I watched the NFL Draft.

A lot of it.

With impunity.

Without compunction.

So also, The Professor, another fellow, like myself, who will slobber over mention of the next great rising sophomore, 6-6 SF who is considering matriculation to play for our favorite team. But who, like myself, has been all too quick to criticize those who have a Mel Kiper Jr. shrine in the corner of their man cave.

“NFL Draft? You kiddin’ me. Who cares?”

And, you know, I bet some of those media guys who boast of their indifference to this new rite of spring tuned in too.

This year was different. For any number of reasons. Continue reading Thursday Night Winners: Bridgewater, Bruins & Browns (Maybe)