In the world of sports, there are many great events. Some get followed by everyone, others get ignored. That has no bearing on my feelings about them. If it is great (Stanley Cup Finals, World Cup, etc) then I cover it, regardless if it is a piñata for the remainder of the local media. Further, if it is covered by the media (Terrell Owens 24/7) then chances are you will not read much about that here. It is just how I roll…
Stanley Cup Finals Game 1; a classic with a tough ending for Edmonton …
For 37 minutes or so, the Oilers couldn't have asked for anything more out of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Hurricanes.
They had a 3-0 lead, which included the first successful penalty shot in Cup finals history (scored by Chris Pronger). They were winning every physical battle. And, they were keeping the Hurricanes on the far edges of the rink.
The next 23 minutes, however, were sheer horror for the Oilers, who lost the game 5-4 and their star stopper, Dwayne Roloson, who suffered a knee injury as a result of a collision with Canes rookie Andrew Ladd at 14:06 of the third period.
When asked about his goalie after the game, Oilers coach Craig MacTavish delivered the painful news: "The goalie's not good," MacTavish said. "He won't be back in the series." Roloson was unavailable for comment after the game.
OK, Oilers fans, say it with me ... OUCH! Well, you might want to use another word. It would be the right word, but we can't use it here.
The 36-year-old Roloson has started all but one game since arriving from Minnesota just a day before the March 9 trade deadline. This postseason, he's been the backbone of the Oilers' stunning run. He's given his teammates the confidence to play their game in front of him. In 17 playoff games, Roloson was 12-5 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. His numbers made him a strong candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Terry Jones tells his Edmonton readers about the problem …
Move over Steve Smith. You've got company.
Put on the Stanley Cup goat horns, Ty Conklin. You, too, Marc Andre Bergeron.
Conklin gave away the game, turning the puck over behind his own net for the winning goal. Bergeron may have given away the series when he ran Andrew Ladd into Dwayne Roloson.
"Goalie's not good. Won't be back this series. Knee,'' reported coach Craig MacTavish when it was over and his Edmonton Oilers had gassed a game well within their grasp.
They had Game 1 won. Now they have to win four of the next six with Jussi Markkanen who hasn't played since ...
"Since forever,'' said the Oilers other heebie-jeebie goalie who inspired Kevin Lowe to trade for Roloson on the trade deadline.
"It doesn't matter. Six weeks. Three months ago. It is what it is,'' said Markkanen.
For today’s NBA Finals developments, we see How Germany feels about its hero, Dirk …
"It's just not that important here in Germany if Dirk is in the Finals," said Patrick Kull, a reporter from Die Welt, a national newspaper based in Berlin. "If he wins the championship, then we'll pay much more attention."
After all, Nowitzki is not the first German player to reach the Finals. There was also Detlef Schrempf, who lost to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in six games while with Seattle.
For now, well, there was a big feature on Nowitzki in Die Welt on May 27 and three-to-five sentences each day on his progress against the Phoenix Suns. When he scored 50, the headline in the paper two days later was many points smaller.
"It's a little far away in distance," said Dirk Steinbach, from the Hamburger Abendblatt, a regional newspaper. "But if you have any basketball story, it's about Dirk. The children are very much more interested in the NBA than in the German basketball league."
Stop a kid on the street, though, ask him to name his favorite athlete. One Hamburg teenager, Peter Schneider, just starts listing the entire national soccer team roster.
"Ballack, Klose, Lehmann, Nowotny ..." Schneider said.
For now, there is only a cult following for Nowitzki, and many of these fans can be found in places like Champs, a restaurant in Hamburg where only American televised sports events are shown.
NBA Finals? what does TO think? …
Receiver Terrell Owens is torn regarding the NBA Finals. He's a friend of Mavs guard Jason Terry, as well as Heat center Shaquille O' Neal.
So when asked to pick a Mavs-Heat winner, Owens put on his dancing shoes.
"I'm going to be neutral," said Owens, who plans to attend the games. "I may have a Heat jersey with a Mavs hat on. I just like the great ones....The Mavs are a great team. [It's] great for the city."
Ricky Gervais meets Larry David ….
USA Today features Jon Daniels …
Daniels' knowledge shows his passion for the game, an essential asset for a GM, Byrnes says. The Rockies weed out the hundreds of applicants for internships with a quiz, one Daniels breezed through when he joined that organization.
Daniels was able to put in order, shortest to tallest, four starters: Roy Oswalt (6 feet), Brad Radke (6-2), Andy Pettitte (6-5) and C.C. Sabathia (6-7). He knew Kirk Gibson hit Dennis Eckersley's slider for the home run that won Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. And Daniels knew the superstar (Albert Pujols) who was drafted in the 13th round and had 490 minor league at-bats.
"You can't fake your way through the quiz. And after 10 questions, Jon asked if the questions were going to get more difficult," Byrnes says. "You have to have passion because in 13 years, I've never looked at my watch and said, 'It's time to go.' "
Wow, that quiz seemed pretty strong. I guess I could not be a baseball GM.
Trailer for new New York Cosmos movie …
Shield coming back for 7th season …rejoice!!!
FX gave "The Shield" a new lease on life Monday, ordering a seventh and final season of the drama series. The fate of the critically acclaimed cop drama was uncertain heading into the second half of its sixth season in early 2007. Now those 10 episodes will be followed up by a fresh batch of 13 episodes to air in late 2007 or early 2008.
Eddie Johnson is being counted on for USA …that is not good news…
Johnson has the physical talent to be a game-changing forward. The youngest player on the U.S. squad at 23, he is fast, agile and strong in the air. His confidence skyrocketed after his first few games with the national team as he was scoring nearly every time he set foot on the field. It was his foot that betrayed him, though, when he suffered a painful and lingering injury that sidelined him for much of 2005.
The six-footer has nine goals in fewer than 20 international games, although his scoring rate has dropped off drastically from those early outings. Johnson seems to have recovered his fitness after rehabilitation from the foot injury, but his touch and poise around the goal have been fickle. The mental worry of his injury might bother him more than anything, because he still seems a bit tentative.
If it were somehow possible to transfer some of the passion Dempsey has in excess and bestow it on Johnson, the balance would benefit both players. As both are good friends and occasional roommates on the national team, perhaps the natural influence of the other's company on the World Cup journey will accomplish that. Johnson's easygoing nature might help keep Dempsey loose, and Dempsey's drive might push Johnson to stay focused.
A good strong P1 sent me an email about the upcoming baseball draft, of which I know almost nothing. Anyway, he asked if I “Think this guy gets made fun of?”
5. Evan Longoria, INF, Long Beach State
No relation to Eva -- much to the chagrin of area scouts volunteering to do the home visit -- Longoria is the top collegiate position player prospect in the pool, although that's more a reflection of the lack of star-caliber college hitters than of Longoria's own potential. Despite his apparent attempts to adopt the swing of 2005 first-rounder Troy Tulowitzki (who was the Dirtbags' shortstop for three years), Longoria is a completely different animal from Tulo, who was a rangy shortstop with plus power potential and a hose for an arm. Longoria has played third and second in addition to short, and his ultimate position isn't clear. He has only average raw power, but has shown excellent plate discipline this spring after struggling with the strike zone in an otherwise stellar summer on the Cape. He does have a hole inside, common in a lot of power hitters, but a little surprising for a disciplined, plate-coverage guy like Longoria. He'll be an above-average regular if he can stay at short, or an average third baseman, quick to the big leagues, but without much star potential.
Pretty amusing bit. Bet the poor guy is beaten down…
Today’s Blog Comedy hit of the day: Steve takes a plane ride …