It’s been 18 years since the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings four games to one in the Stanley Cup playoffs to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada. Since then, the Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Senators have each once challenged for the cup, all losing. Now the Canucks are back in the Stanley Cup championship and are looking to regain the cup for Canada – all of Canada. I spoke to some folks in Edmonton, Winnipeg (who is getting a team back) and other snow drenched areas of America’s hat. They all are begrudgingly rooting for the Canucks to pull this off. I also spoke to some Boston fans, who are not.
@bigguyd, a Boston Bruins faithful had this to say: “Fuck Vancouver.” That’s nice, but I have to root for them. After all, #notitlesinboston.
Here’s the thing, as good as Tim Thomas is in net for the Bruins (and he is fantastic) I think Roberto Luongo is just as good if not better. Game one of the series was a great example of the goal tending you are going to see throughout the series, but you have to think about how many goals Thomas gave up against the Lightning and how many Luongo gave up against the Sharks. There is a disparity and Thomas’ aggressive style of play when he’s got a one on one or a two on one coming at him can play against him sometimes, as it did in Raffi Torres winning goal of game one. He came way too far out of the paint to challenge the Torres, and was flat out beat on a good shot. He blocked a lot of great shots during the game, and got a lot of help from angles and the crossbar.
At the other end, Luongo also was on his toes the whole game, blocking a lot of fantastic shots from the Bruins forwards, who just looked absolutely winded by the end of the game. There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a very tough, very high endurance series. Seven games are on tap, I don’t see anyone busting out early. I mean, as long as everyone can keep their hands and feet out of each others mouths. Really Burrows? Biting? C’mon man, you are better than that. Thankfully Bergeron still has all his digits. The biting incident aside, this series should go to Vancouver in the end, as in my estimation, they have the scoring edge.
Heat Set the Mavericks on Fire
That’s not a good thing. The Heat came out strong in game one of the NBA Finals, beating the Dallas Mavericks with relative ease. I’d quote you stats and what not, but I don’t really give a shit. As a Cleveland fan (though caring little about the NBA) I have to root for the Mavericks because of the whole LeBron thing. Frankly, I don’t give a shit. If you care about the NBA, I welcome you to write a guest paragraph for next weeks post, or wait until next season when I still won’t be talking about the NBA. It’s my column. I can do that.
NFL Labor Deal Possible
So it seems that within two to three weeks the NFL and the Players Association could reach a deal in time for the season. Or not. Really it depends on how much the players are willing to give up. It also depends on if the two sides can reach a settlement deal. This easily could go right back to the courts and deliberation before any type of deal is made. A deal needs to be made quickly for two major reasons, neither of which has to do with players paychecks.
1. Owners need to pay off stadium debt. These multi-million dollar stadiums were not double wides bought at a county auction. They have mortgages that need to be paid off. While there will be income to the teams from the television deals, they need the constant flow of green into the actual stadium books themselves, so they can pay it out. The owners are nervous that they won’t have that stadium revenue to pay the mortgage bills, and they may have to do some creative accounting. Not to mention the stadium jobs during the season, those aren’t volunteers. Those are hard working people looking for some extra money to help them through the year.
2. Most players don’t make bank. They make the league minimum which is enough to survive on, the problem is that you can take the gangsta out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the gangsta. Most players live outside their means, like most of America, and a lot of players have crime in their history. Anything from drugs, guns, abusing women and so on. These activities will only become more prevalent as these players have nothing to keep them busy, and their stack of uninvented, uninsured money is growing smaller and smaller. Expect to see more NFL players (at the lower echelon of the talent pool) getting arrested for some of the above crimes.
The point is that this deal needs to happen sooner than later. I’m not looking forward to not having an NFL season, and not just for the fantasy football implications. I mean, what the hell are we going to do on Sunday afternoons?
Jim Tressel Resigns
Long time Ohio State Buckeye NCAA Football coach, Jim Tressel, has resigned from his coaching position at the school amid allegations of rule violations concerning players selling memorabilia. Tressel has coached the Ohio State Buckeye football team to a 106-22 record (66-14 in the Big Ten), a national championship in 2002, seven Big Ten championships and most importantly – a 9-1 record against Michigan.
However, after all that, after the imposed honor that Tressel seemed to embody, now he has resigned because he wasn’t following the rules and faced a five game suspension for the start of next season. He resigned disgraced, and for the Ohio State Buckeye faithful – such as myself – this is truly a sad day.
“After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach,” Tressel said in a statement Monday morning. “The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”
The 11 year head coach will be replaced by Assistant coach Luke Fickell, who will serve as interim until a replacement is found, or if he gets the job himself. This is the first time an Ohio State football coach has left on his own terms since the 1940′s. School president E. Gordon Gee accepted the resignation, saying this in a letter to trustees,
“As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program. In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the Board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel’s resignation.
“My public statement will include our common understanding that throughout all we do, we are one university with one set of standards and one overarching mission. The University’s enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions.”
Predictably, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Tressel was encouraged to resign, which was the right decision by all parties involved. The NCAA still had not conducted their investigation, so this will forgo the school and the football program being dragged through the mud.
Regardless of who is coaching the Buckeyes, as long as they continue to beat Michigan, us Ohio State faithful will carry on.