Hey, We Won... The TROPHY!!
Don't worry, that's not the real Canadian Hockey League trophy Bruton from the Spokane Chiefs dropped. The real trophy is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, while this was just a replica. Still, you'd think they'd make their replica trophy a little bit better so the cup part didn't disconnect from the base so easily and thus make this poor bum look like he broke the trophy. Then again, it's not like that trophy is as expensive as the NCAA's National Championship Football (made of Waterford crystal) broken by the Florida Gators.
Barton Banged Up
All good stuff, but the thing that got my attention more than anything was the Joey Barton story, partly because I'm a Newcastle fan and partly because it illustrates just how fucked up and stupid the world really is. For those not in the know, Mr Barton was this week sentenced to a six-month prison term for a violent altercation outside McDonald's (he gets paid thousands of pounds a week and he still eats shit), in which he repeatedly punched a man while he was on the ground and then smashed in a 16-year-old's teeth. Considering his previous history, its amazing he wasnt jailed for longer. The man is clearly scum.
What is wrong with the world?
And Then There Were 4. (Conference Final Preview)
Lenstradamus Called It Last October...They Should've Listened.
Gasp, A Decent NFL Team!
You might remember the story of Kevin Everett, the Bills special teamer who took a hit to the helmet wrong and broke his neck last season. He worked hard in physical therapy, made a miracle recovery, and was well enough to walk into the Bills' final home game of the season. By all accounts, the fact that he's even out of bed is astounding, but even more astounding is the fact that Buffalo did something for him.
Today, Buffalo waived Kevin Everett.
I know what you're thinking, "How does being waived actually help this guy?"
Well, by waiving him now, rather than last year, the Bills ensured that Everett got both his full salary from last year, and his all-important third year of NFL service, which means he's now fully vested in the NFLPA retirement plan. This means he'll be able to apply for lifetime disability payments ($224,000 a year!) and a one-time payment of $75,000 for his medical expenses. Now it's up to the NFLPA to do the right thing (for once) and put Everett on the fast track to the benefits he deserves.
Delicious Shaved Ice, Or The Zamboni Razor
How a Zamboni works is... well, basically it's a floor buffer/scraper designed to smooth out the ice between periods of a hockey game. It sprays down a fresh layer of ice and squeegees it flat, while scraping out the roughness with a different blade. So really, with today's modern razors, there's not much difference what with the lubricating strip, the hair lifting, the multiple blades, and the quest for perfect smoothness. That's why these promotions are brilliant!
Really, I don't see why this isn't at every NHL game, because it's really that cool. It actually makes me want to seriously consider shaving more than once every two weeks when I get tired of looking like a homeless Grizzly Adams.
Someone give this man a damn retirement party
How this news hasn't even registered as a blip on the MLB radar boggles my mind. In this day and age when so many athletes who "retire" get a send-off of obscene proportions (only to unretire less than a year later), the end of a career that spans decades should get some kind of an honorable mention, yet no one seems to give a damn. No, Julio Franco was not a superstar, but the fact that he was still playing effectively after over 20 years should be worth something. There are major league players who weren't even BORN when the man started his career. He holds the record for being the oldest ballplayer in the major leagues to hit a home run, which he achieved at the age of 48. How many 48-year-old men do you see still hitting home runs these days? Hell, how many 48-year-old men are still playing baseball, period?
His final stats: .298 average, 2,586 hits and 173 home runs in 23 seasons in the majors with eight teams. All of it steroid-free, too--that alone should earn him a year-long party.
Cal Ripken can get put on a pedestal for playing a lot of baseball games in a row. Barry Bonds can get a paper crown on his ginormous head for hitting a bunch of home runs. How come Julio Franco can play baseball and play it well for 23 years and no one seems to feel it's worth even mentioning?
Somebody had better be coming up with a Julio Franco Day pretty damn soon, that's all I can say.
A Derby of mixed emotions
Unfortunately, it was the story of the big girl who finished behind him that overshadowed his special day. Eight Belles collapsed and had to be euthanized just after running a spectacular race of her own and placing second. She had broken both her front ankles. A horse might survive one broken ankle, even a front ankle, but it needs to have one good front ankle to balance on in order to stand. With both front ankles impaired, there was no choice but to put the filly out of her misery.
The loss of any horse during a race is tragic. To see a horse who had just run her heart out to a spectacular finish at one of the most prestigious races in the world go down and have to be euthanized is especially so. Her runner-up finish most likely would have made her a serious contender for the Preakness, and the thought of a rematch between her and Big Brown would have generated some good hype for the event. For me, it brought back way too many bad memories of the tragic end of the great filly Ruffian, who also gave her all to win and paid the ultimate price for it. It will be hard to watch the rest of the Triple Crown this year without thinking of what might have been.