Sunday, February 28, 2010

Proud To Be An American Hockey Fan

Well done Canada. You got the gold. Now go clean your shorts.

I honestly didn't think the U.S. had a chance as I saw Canada destroy Russia in the early rounds of the Olympic tournament. That was supposed to be a gold medal type match and Canada wiped the floor with those Russian types.

The U.S. beat the Canucks early in the tournament and people like myself thought that loss simply woke the Canadians up. They'd come into the gold medal game with something to prove and would therefor crush the upstart Americans with a team that reads like an NHL All-Star roster.

And yet there the Americans were, pushing the Canadians into overtime before falling in the final game of the Olympics.

So why did the Americans look so glum afterward? Sure, they lost. Losing sucks. But c'mon, man! The U.S. was one of the youngest teams in the tournament! This is a team that was hoping to make some strides during this Olympics. They were playing for 2014, but there they were, pushing the heavily favored Canadians to the brink.

I know America didn't win the gold. The Canadians deserve the praise they get. And so do the Americans.

It would have been nice to see some love given by the winners to a team that beat them once and then nearly beat them a second time despite the Canadians having every motivation to win big. The only tip of the cap I heard to the U.S. players was a big ovation for goaltender Ryan Miller during the medal ceremony.

Miller deserved it for sure, he was a beast. Don't think though that he was the only reason the U.S. was in the gold medal game. That's selling this team short. The Americans went toe to toe with the best in the world and absolutely held their own. Guys like Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, and Brian Rafalski proved that they could be on any Olympic team. Yes, even Canada's.

So I applaud the Canadians for a gold medal they deserve, but as I say that, I can tell you without a doubt that I am proud to be a U.S. hockey fan today.

America! F--k Yeah!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No To The Netherlands Knee Jerk

Sven Kramer has a right to be pissed. He coach cost him the race.

When Gerard Kemkers told his star skater to switch lanes in the final part of the 10,000 meters, it destroyed any chance for a medal. Despite walloping every opponent in the race, Kramer learned that he was disqualified because his coach told him move to the inside lane. Kramer was in the outside lane...where he was supposed to be. He moved at the last second after his coach screamed at him to switch. Then he got to skate the last few laps knowing something was terribly wrong. He'd won big, yet no one was celebrating.

Kramer heard the news about his disqualification. He threw his glasses and stalked off the ice in frustration. Kemkers just buried his head in his hands.

Speed skating in the Netherlands is somewhat like hockey in Canada. It's their pride and passion. This was no simple little blunder, this was a national embarrassment.

Today, after a difficult meeting supposedly filled with less than pleasant exchanges, Kramer finally made the big decision.

He kept his coach.

Not an easy decision for sure. Imagine a football coach opting to kick a field goal as time expired in the Super Bowl when his team was down by four points. You think there might be some calls for his dismissal?

But Kramer resisted the calls for his coach's head because, despite the gigantic blunder, this was a man who helped coach Kramer up to a world class skater. He'd won several titles before the Olympics and would have won gold if not for the disqualification.

It was a terrible mistake, but it was a mistake. That's it.

Plus, Kramer probably got more attention because of this story than he ever would have if he just won the race. His coach has made Sven a speed skating celebrity.

That's probably little consolation to a man who just lost a gold medal on a technicality, but there was no need for drastic action. Sven Kramer proved that he can be one cool customer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Golden Denial

Yevgeny Plushenko is having trouble dealing with reality these days. The Russian figure skater is apparently still dumbfounded that he didn't win the men's competition despite being the only skater to land a quad jump which is considered the most difficult maneuver.

Plushenko's second place finish is definitely controversial, but he has officially gone off the deep end to protest it.

His website has announced that Plushenko's silver medal is actually platinum, a metal more precious than gold.

...Okay.

This sounds like a story for Jon Stewart. Russian skater upset with his medal decides to play make believe. The skater exclaims "Plushenko won in Vancouver!" He then shows Stewart his gold medal which is actually a paper cut out colored in gold crayon. "Plushenko colored a bit outside the lines. But is gold."

Right next to it is a second grader's drawing of her family which consists of stick figures, a brown spot that might be the dog, random grass, a giant tree, and the little cursive "m"s that make up birds flying below gigantic clouds and a sun with a smiley face. "Plushenko much better drawer than her. She can't even draw house correctly. She can't jump quad either."

Yeah, it's that kind of a joke now. Plushenko missed the gold which he though was his. Instead of sympathy, his actions are eliciting laughs. I hope he has a good sense of humor.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PantsCast February 22

Tiger talk, the meaning of Mardis Gras, NBA trades, and some Olympics. Except ice dancing, we don't do that stuff.

Just go on and click that little mouse right here to listen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Homophobia Issue

Lost among the Olympics, NBA trades, and Tiger Woods hysteria, there remains the issue of homophobia in sports. Never was this problem shown so blatantly than in the Super Bowl when a New Orleans Saints player gleefully made fun of two Colts showing affection to each other. The incident was caught on national television and now the world can see how intolerant Americans can be.
The younger generations of Americans should strive to eliminate this ignorant nonsense so that pictures like this aren't shown to the world:


What's up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day Of Reckoning In Cleveland

Ask a sports fan what thing they hate most about Major League Baseball and most will tell you about the tilted competitive system. Teams like the Brewers, A's, and Royals are basically minor league systems for the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets. As a result, teams can't keep the superstars they drafted from jumping ship to the highest bidder in a bigger market.

It looks like the NBA is starting to follow suit. Already the Lakers have made a habit out of snagging superstars from other teams (Shaq) and making joke trades (Pau Gasol) to help win championships. Now the New York Knicks have made it clear that they plan on making a big free-agent splash this off-season.

The trade for Tracy McGrady was for only one thing: his expiring contract. This will leave the Knicks oodles of cap space this off-season when players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade become available.

Hey, good for Knicks fans. They might get to see some good basketball again. What I worry about is the precedent set if James decides he needs a bigger market in New York. There's been no secret the New York covets James. The Knicks have done anything short of straight tampering to woo James to the Enlarged Apple.

If James decides that he's just too big for Cleveland, the New York Knicks will suddenly be contenders. This is a team that has put together some of the worst teams in recent memory. The organization is a joke right now even though Isaiah Thomas was finally fired. Now suddenly the team will be contenders while Cleveland will fall off of the map.

I could coach the Knicks if James goes there. "You, James! Go dunk!" There you go. A crack organization isn't needed if you can just lure the best NBA players when you feel like winning.

So what happens in the future for a team in a smaller market? Does Kevin Durant run out of Oklahoma City for Chicago? Does Dwight Howard decide he'd like to follow Shaq out of Orlando and to the Lakers?

The NBA does some things to help smaller market teams keep the superstars. First and foremost, the original team is allowed to offer the star more money than another suitor (the Larry Bird rule). This has allowed the San Antonio Spurs to keep Tim Duncan and try for championships. However, the smaller markets don't offer the exposure and high society living that a major market would.

If the Knicks pull LeBron and another big name to Madison Square Garden, a dangerous pattern is set where smaller market teams will to have hope they get either a mild mannered super star like Tim Duncan who doesn't seek the spotlight, or the team has to win a championship before that star becomes a free-agent. Otherwise, the team and fans will have to watch their hero take another team to the title.

If you wonder what that's like, just call the fans in Orlando. They'll tell you what it was like to see Shaq win multiple NBA titles, but without a Magic uniform on.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Good Show

So you're not much of an Olympics fan, huh? You don't really follow the weird sports on there and therefor aren't interested in what's happening up there in warmish Vancouver (probably better for Summer Olympics wouldn't you say?)

Well human, you are missing out on some great stuff.

Right at the front of the awesome train is women's downhill skiing. Yep, women's skiing, led by hot American Lindsey Vonn. You might know Vonn from her sultry pics, which is a good way to know her.

Here is another way to know her: gold medalist of downhill skiing.

Let me tell you, the women's downhill skiing was nothing less than spectacular this year. That is coming from someone who doesn't watch it ever. The warm Vancouver weather played havoc with the downhill course. The snow was a melted slush of tightly packed snow and ice. The result? A lot of this:




Imagine getting in a wreck going 65 miles per hour. Now imagine doing it without a car around you. Doctors said the impact on some of these crashes is like being hit in the chest with a sledgehammer.

Lindsey Vonn had such a wreck earlier in her career and could do nothing but cry breathlessly has medics strapped her to a board and fly her out. She didn't miss any upcoming races.

Then, later, Vonn ended up with her wrist in a sling. Again, she fought through and competed in all the races she had.

These Olympics were supposed to be the time when she finally got healthy and showed everyone what she could do. Unfortunately, she badly bruised her shin and it looked like she may not even be able to compete. Another chance bites the dust.

Luckily for Vonn, the Vancouver weather acted up and gave her a few extra days to heal the shin before she needed to ski. The extra time allowed her to compete in the downhill race she wanted so badly to win after the flame-out in the 2006 Olympics.

This is what we saw last night


If you don't get chills from that video, then you've lost your sports heart. It ain't about the stats. It's about the sports.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PantsCast February 16


Winter Olympics, All-Star Events, and Valentines Day issues.

Click here for some good times.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Post Super Bowl PantsCast

Who Dat won de Super Bowl?

Yep, it's over and discuss what happened on the field, the effects of this game on the legacy for the losing quarterback, and those commercials. Good or suck? It's all on the Post Super Bowl PantsCast!

Friday, February 5, 2010

When Players Don't Think Of All Aspects Of The Game...

This is just too bad. These guys are in the middle of a game and they're trying to sort out the next defensive series. Meanwhile snarky a-holes like myself make fun of them for their last names. It's just wrong. And yet you're smiling....

The PantsCast Is Finally On I-Tunes



It took way too much time dealing with Apple technical problems, but the PantsCast is now on I-Tunes.

Just go to this URL:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=354156912


Don't be a slave to the computer anymore, just load up the PantsCast to your mobile type device that's all the rage with the children these days and move forward in your activities. That is all.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Which Is The Worst Sports Month?

Do you argue for July or February as the worst month of the sporting world?

Check out the arguments here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playoff PantsCast Super Bowl Edition

Yes, it works now. If you tried this link and it went nowhere...well, just thank the "geniuses" at Apple.

It is time for the big game and we have a PantsCast to match! I don't want to oversell it, but this might be the best thing anyone has done ever.

That includes the Magna Carta, but doesn't include the outdoor smoker.

Check it out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stunner

I was driving around today when I heard the words "Jay Novacek" and "dead" in the same sentence.

As a native Dallasite, naturally I freaked. It turns out it was his wife, but that still leaves me quite stunned. I never rooted for LeAnne Novacek on the football field, yet her alleged suicide by a gunshot wound still feels like something big has been ripped away for NFL fans.

During an era of Cowboys football when players perfected the art of bad boy images and shameless self-promotion, Novacek was a quiet worker. He didn't dance, he didn't talk, he just got open. He went to the Pro-Bowl nearly every year he was in Dallas and became Troy Aikman's go-to guy when a first down was critical.

Cowboys fans loved him and even Dallas-haters had to respect him. He was one of the good guys on a team full of questionable characters. Defenses couldn't cover him, but you'd never hear him tell you about it.

That's why I still stunned by his wife's sudden and violent suicide. Out of all the players on those early 90's teams, Novacek struck me as a man with a solid foundation and a reliable family man. His wife's death may have absolutely nothing to do with him, but out of all the players to have this sort of tragedy happen, Novacek would by at the bottom of the list.

You never wish this tragedy on anyone, but it hurts even more when it happens to someone you admired as the epitome of normalcy. It feels like if it can happen to him, it could happen to me. And that's scary.