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Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes, the NHL All-Star Game and NFL's Pro Bowl Still Suck

Yours truly is rarely shy about giving an opinion, and the All-Star concepts of the NFL and NHL were no strangers to that in the last week.  But, in the spirit of keeping an open mind, I forced myself to tune in at least for a few minutes yesterday and was reminded of why both are an utter waste of time.  You've got a 21 goal NHL game, in a league and era where you're lucky to see 21 goals over five regular season, and yet the All-Star game was actually more boring as far as I could tell.  What's more exciting than a goal and literally nobody gets out of their seats and almost as many applaud?  That said, seeing the small net accuracy in the Skills Relay on Saturday was damn impressive.  Still, if you spent your weekend absorbing all that, and the draft...well, you know where I sit on that.  As for the Pro Bore, caught the dying minutes to see a series of snaps where not a single lineman touched the guy lined up across from him as the AFC worked a meaningless TD in a very representative-of-the-real-thing 55-41 win for the NFC.

The best stat you'll hear during Super Bowl week: the 60 - SIXTY - strip clubs in Big D are looking to bring in a few extra strippers to meet the demand of the fans descending on Dallas for the game.  And by "few extra strippers", we mean 10,000. 

During yesterday's Boston Celtic visit to the LA Lakers, when asked by a Lakers ballboy to sign a ball, the always classy Kevin Garnett was heard replying: "You got a better chance of catching Bin Laden"

Spring Training isn't far off, so why not take a peak at baseball's best 50 prospects, or, if you have ESPN Insider, Keith Law's Top 100.

One final thing on the NHL All-Star game.  Sure, Phil Kessel may have been picked last, but isn't the bigger joke that Cam Ward went first?  At least Kessel can say he's got as many goals as Alexander Ovechkin and Dany Heatley.

If the rumor is accurate, Liverpool's Fernando Torres is on his way to Chelsea today, with the move about to be completed.

Forbes Magazine says 17 of 30 NBA teams lost money last year. If you're the players unions, shouldn't you be asking what kind of impact the financial sinkhole that is the WNBA had on that, and if they it goes to the glue factory in the next labor war?

Kevin Durant - who by all accounts is a fantastic guy in addition to player - lit into Chris Bosh, calling him a "fake tough guy".  I think the "fake" tag extends a lot further than the "tough guy" bit with Bosh, but he's definitely right on that one.  After all, it was Bosh who asked for extra games off last year with the Toronto Raptors in the playoff hunt, the very same guy that whined this year of a player diving near his toesies for a loose ball.

The clock for the St. Louis Cardinals to extend the great Albert Pujols is ticking quickly, and word is he will decline any trade proposals with his veto on that.  The Cards best get the chequebook out, or call in McGruber.

Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun, for the second Monday in a row here, sheds the light of reality on the Toronto Blue Jays: "I seem to be in the minority on this, but I worry about the Blue Jays. I wonder how they’re going to replace the 60-plus home runs they’re bound to lose with Vernon Wells and John Buck gone and Jose Bautista certain not to hit 54 again. I wonder who is going to step in for the 195 innings Shaun Marcum pitched, the 15 starts that he took them into the seventh inning or deeper? I wonder how many infield errors there will be with Adam Lind playing first base instead of Lyle Overbay? I wonder if it’s possible for Brett Cecil to go 8-2 against the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, again. I wonder if the Baltimore Orioles, 34-23 after Buck Showalter took over as manager, push the Jays closer to the bottom of the American League East, rather than closer to the top. The Jays were 15-3 against Baltimore last summer, most of those wins coming before Showalter took over. That won’t happen again. There is little doubt that GM Alex Anthopoulos is building for the future and his intense and private work has been indeed impressive. The Jays won 85 games last season, but the only on-field area in which they’ve improved is in the bullpen. An 80-win season might not be possible."  But fear not, Jays fan, the Jays will have a lot of money to spend in 2012, and Paul Beeston thinks Toronto is a market that should be able to sustain a payroll of $140-$150 million.  Shame free agents don't look to Toronto as a destination.  Can't wait for higher Rogers bills!

I'm sure Peyton Manning will be thrilled to hear the terms "not immortal" and "hit a wall" associated with him, especially when they were dropped by teammate Reggie Wayne.  We all know how kindly Peyton takes to being criticized by teammates.

Okay, really the last word on the wastes of time that were the Pro Bowl.  Here are nine sporting events less relevant than the Pro Bowl.
For those that don't have ESPN Insider, Buster Olney got off a series of great would-be tweets if George Steinbrenner used Twitter.  Enjoy.@TheBoss_Yankees
  • Just bought the Yankees. This is the last you'll hear from me. Best owners are absent owners.
  • For the record, I'm against free agency. It will ruin the game. Also, we just signed Catfish Hunter. Good man.
  • BILLY IS BACK!! Nobody knows more about baseball than Billy. Born leader.
  • Just talked to Billy about that one's-a-born-liar, the-other's-convicted quote. I assured him he never said it.
  • You heard it from me -- Billy just resigned. Anybody who says I had anything to do with it is a complete liar.
  • Forget what you've read. I never called a manager in the dugout to dictate who should play or to say that he'd made a mistake.
  • Bowie Kuhn has rejected Vida Blue acquisition. What a bozo.
  • How about that joke of a performance. Ken Clay spat the bit. He's a morning glory.
  • Billy is hired. He'll be taking over the club in two years. Not sure what Lemon's next role will be, but he'll love it.
  • BUCKY DENT!!!!!!! To the Red Sox fan who threw that slice of pizza at me in the second inning: Have a nice cold winter!!!!!
  • Dumb decision by MacPhail re: Brett's pine tar bat. I would not want to be him living in NYC. He better start house-hunting close to KC.
  • Don't mean to brag, but it has been a really, really, really, really bad night for marshmallow salesmen. More later.
  • To all Yankees: Sorry for that embarrassing performance against the Dodgers. There will be changes.
  • Misquoted again re: Yogi. I am often misquoted. I am supportive of my managers, even though they all may not think so.
  • I'm really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.
  • Mr. October, my A##! How about a clean single with a runner at third in April??????????
  • Dave Winfield is Mr. May, as far as I'm concerned. I long for the days of Mr. October.
  • Doyle Alexander stinks. I'm afraid some of my players will get hurt playing behind him.
  • The team just hasn't looked ready to play in this first week. Change necessary. Sorry, Yogi.
  • I wouldn't sell the Yankees for anything. Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa. You don't sell it.
  • Mattingly's hair has gotten so long that he looks like one of the Beatles -- one of their girlfriends, I mean.
  • Sometimes I am unreasonable. I have to catch myself. But at least I can catch, right @DonSlaughtMachine??
  • @FayVincent. I accept the suspension. Doesn't mean I like you. Please go take flying leap off Thompson Memorial Chapel.
  • During my suspension, considering following @BanShman -- big Yanks fan.
  • Saw that Jeter kid at exhibition game. He looks like a winner. Except that he's from Michigan, and not Ohio. :)
  • Our guys just didn't look ready to play against Braves in Game 1. Shaping up to be a national embarrassment.
  • Just left Torre's office. Told him he has all the resources he needs, he has all support he needs. Time to win. Or else.
  • Congratulations to the Braves for being the second best team in baseball!!!!!
  • I see Paul O'Neill and I think: Warrior. But he needs to pick up his batting average.
  • @BrianCashmanGM just told me @RandyBigUnitJohnson was traded to Astros. If we lose World Series to Houston, it will be @BrianCashmanGM's fault.
  • AL President Gene Budig has fined the Yankees for alleged misdoings. I bet that guy has never worn a jock in his life.
  • @HidekiIrabu_Yanks is a fat pus-y toad.
  • Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.
  • Every time I go out on the streets, the cab drivers here love me. They are real New Yorkers.
  • The first Subway Series in more than 40 years. I'm pretty sure the Mets have bugged our clubhouse.
  • @BrianCashmanGM. Get on a flight to Tampa now, go to complex and wait for my call. No XMAS vacation for you.
  • Looked like Joe's players weren't ready for Game 1 vs. Arizona.
  • Larry Lucchino called us The Evil Empire. All I can say is, how's the Babe Ruth trade working for you guys?
  • AARON BOONE!!!!!! He is A WINNER!!!!!! The third baseman of the future for the Yankees!!!!!!!
  • Re: loss to the Red Sox in playoffs: Nice fat fastball that @JavyVazquez threw to Damon. You will never see him wear pinstripes again.

Finally today, beforea video, some of the better Super Bowl prop bets from, with my picks in brackets:
  • How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the Star Spangled Banner? -- Over/Under: 1 minute 50 seconds (over, most at YouTube are in the 2 minute range)
  • How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note "Brave" at the end of the National Anthem? -- Over/Under: 6 seconds (gotta go over)
  • How many times will FOX show Jerry Jones on TV during the Game? -- Over/Under: 3 (over, lock of the day)
  • Will a punt hit the scoreboard during the game? -- Yes: 10/1 (has only happened once, not happening)
  • Will a Steelers player do the Aaron Rodgers Championship Belt Celebration during the game?
    Yes: Even; No: -140 (no)
  • How many current NFL players will be arrested during Super Bowl week? Over 0.5: +150; Under 0.5: -200 (over, value play)
Just because you're rocking a "Tap Out" shirt doesn't mean you can take a shot.

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