2016-17 NBA Western Conference Preview

Written by :
Published on : October 27, 2016

 

The NBA season is underway. I’ve already given you my forecast for the Eastern Conference, so let’s head to the Western Conference and see where it stands. There are some new faces in new places that may alter the pecking order of the conference.

 

15. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are a team without a clear leader or direction. Head coach Michael Malone has a tough task ahead of him to get some production from often injured stretch 4 Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari has been viewed as a player with the potential to be one of the best shooters in the game. He has yet to live to the hype. Kenneth Faried has been in the rumor cycle for years and has yet to be traded. This year would be the best year to start a total rebuild with second-year player Emmanuel Mudiay and rookie Jamal Murray developing chemistry in the backcourt. Nikola Jokic has shown promise and received votes for rookie of the year last year.

 

14. Los Angeles Lakers

walton coach

 

Head coach Luke Walton has several pieces with which to implement the scheme he learned from the Golden State Warriors. Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell were selected number two in the past two drafts. Russell is expected to lead the team under Walton’s system. Once the team trusts in Walton and Russell they will start to vie for a playoff berth. It may take a few seasons but the team is young and athletic. Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle will help keep the team competitive. The best outcome is a year to let this current roster gel and build through the draft.

 

13. Phoenix Suns

A team with a ton of young talent at nearly every position. Also a strong Kentucky Wildcat presence with four former players on the roster. The team has NBA Champion Tyson Chandler on the team and he has always been respected as a leader in the locker room. Devin Booker was the youngest player in the league last year and his post All-Star break stats were great. If he can build on his rookie season and new coach Earl Watson can learn quickly on the job, this will be a very competitive team. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of offense Watson will implements with rookie Dragan Bender in the lineup.

 

12. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs benefited last year from a top-heavy Western Conference. The team was not good and squeaked into the playoffs. Now with various players moving to different teams within the conference (including former Maverick, Chandler Parsons) it will be very hard for the Mavs to make it to the playoffs again this season. Dirk Nowitzki is in the final years of his Hall Of Fame career. Unfortunately, the roster is void of a star player to lessen the load on the aging Nowitzki. The team paid Harrison Barnes a max salary to become the focal point of their team. Unless he becomes the next Kawhi Leonard, that money will become another example of the Mavs wasting away the years of Nowitzki.

 

11. Sacramento Kings

demarcus cousins

 

This team is so dysfunctional that I have to be equally crazy to give them a ranking this high. The Kings could very well be the worst team in the league even with DeMarcus Cousins. The saving grace is that I believe they picked up a good coach, in Dave Joerger, that willed a depleted Memphis Grizzles team to the playoffs last year. Cousins is becoming legendary for his coach killing ability. At some point, he will be held responsible for all the bodies that were laid to rest on his watch. The team does have some good veterans as well as some intriguing young talent. It could make for another interesting year in “Boogieworld.’

 

10. New Orleans Pelicans

Aside from the horrible team name, this team should be better under second-year head coach Alvin Gentry. The main issue is the health of Anthony Davis. If he is healthy, this is a team that could contend for a playoff spot. Without him they’re looking at a top 3 draft pick. Another team with some good veterans to go with some talented young players. Will Buddy Hield become the scorer they’ve been looking for?

 

9. Utah Jazz

I had Jazz fans coming for my neck last season because I picked them to be last in the conference. I do feel head coach Quin Snyder is on the hot seat this season if he does not get this team to the playoffs. Gordon Hayward is regarded as one of the most underrated players in the league. If he can bring his level of play up this season I think this team may sneak into the playoffs.

 

8. Memphis Grizzles

mike conley

 

A veteran team that got annihilated by the injury bug last season. They went into this offseason with a new coach (David Fizdale), gave Mike Conley the richest contract in history, and acquired Chandler Parsons in free agency. This team, when healthy, is easily a contender for the Western Conference Finals. The Grizzles still have to acquire someone who can score on the perimeter and create his own shot. Having Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the frontcourt has proven successful but at some point, the style of play of their competitors will make the two big men nonfactors.

 

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

The death of Flip Saunders last year possibly derailed this team from making it to the playoffs. I’m very intrigued by this team and the hiring of new President of Operations/Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. This team will make the playoffs. A few years ago Anthony Davis was expected to become the premier big man of the league. Due to injuries Davis has since been supplanted by DeMarcus Cousins and Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns. Anthony-Towns is the reigning rookie of the year and a franchise talent. Add in former rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins, Slam Dunk Champion Zach LaVine, and point guard Ricky Rubio, this team has the legs to endure the push of Thibodeau’s system.

 

6. Houston Rockets

Moving James Harden to the point guard position and adding Mike D’Antoni to coach the team will be a fun car wreck to watch. The uptempo system of D’Antoni will surely help put Harden in the MVP race. While the team will suffer defensively, they will be able to run a tempo that will rival that of the Golden State Warriors.

 

5. Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell-Westbrook-Desktop

 

Russell Westbrook or die. That sums up the roster. Head coach Billy Donovan does not seem like a good fit for the NBA but he would be wise to just let Westbrook go to work. They do have two quality big men in Steven Adams and Enes Kanter that can cause problems for opposing teams. Victor Oladipo may be the shooting guard this team has needed since the departure of James Harden. Westbrook will put up amazing stats but the team will have to monitor his health over the course of the year.

 

4. Los Angeles Clippers

This team has one more year to make a championship run or it will possibly start over. There have been trade rumors for years around Blake Griffin. This season may be the year that he and Chris Paul could be moved in order to start over. Team President and head coach Doc Rivers has yet to deliver on championship promises despite having a pretty stacked roster. It’s put up or shut up time for Mr. Rivers and Co.

 

3. Portland Trailblazers

Last year, everyone wrote the Blazers off (including myself). They were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. They overachieved and made it to the playoffs with one of the youngest rosters. This year they’ve added some veterans and re-signed some of their own to contract extensions (Allen Crabbe and C.J. McCollum). Damian Lillard is out to prove he’s one of the best point guards in the game after being snubbed of an All-Star berth last year. They’re young and athletic. Most of all, they’re coached well by Terry Stotts. This team will shock a lot of people and possibly upset the Spurs or Warriors.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs

kawhi-leonard-1

 

Life post-Tim Duncan. No one knows how it will unfold but Kawhi Leonard looks as if he is ready to take over the franchise. He’s only 25 years old and they’ve added superior front court help in consecutive seasons (Lamarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol). The most boring yet consistent team in league history will continue to give people fits.

 

1. Golden State Warriors

Last tear this team won 73 games. It is now a league record. They lost in the NBA Finals after being ahead of the Cavaliers 3-1. They let the majority of their role players leave via free agency (including Harrison Barnes). Then they added Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry took the summer to get healthy after battling knee problems during the playoffs. Oh and they still have Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Head coach Steve Kerr will probably scale back the minutes to preserve his players for a long playoff run. This should be the first of a few championships for the new look Warriors.

 

 

There you have it everyone. That’s how the NBA Western Conference will shake out come playoff time. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy some basketball. Drop a line in the comments and tell me where you think I’m on point and where you think I’m way off.

 

 


2016 NHL Trade Deadline Rundown

Written by :
Published on : March 2, 2016

 

 

The NHL Trade deadline has come and gone with one of the most dismal deadline days in recent memory.

 

 

 

Many people saw this coming, with only 14 trades, most of which you could consider “minor”, made over the weekend leading up Monday’s 3pm deadline. There were a few big time moves though, three of which involved captains. Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was traded to the Senators in a monster trade earlier in the month. Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd returned to Chicago in a trade made Friday night leading up to the deadline and longtime ‘Canes captain Eric Staal joined his brother, Marc Staal, when he became a New York Ranger on Sunday afternoon.

 

Here is the rundown for all the trades made up until the deadline:

 

February 29

 Lee Stempniak is now with the Bruins

 

Flames get some goaltending help from the Wild
  • FLAMES GET: G Nicklas Backstrom
  • WILD GET: F David Jones
Blackhawks and Ducks swap depth players
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Tim Jackman, 2017 7th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Corey Tropp
Marooned in Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: F Patrick Maroon
  • DUCKS GET: D Martin Gernat, 2016 4th round pick
Predators add a minor leaguer
  • PREDATORS GET: D Corey Potter
  • COYOTES GET: future considerations
Darryl Sutter’s Kings add the coach’s kid
  • KINGS GET: F Brett Sutter
  • WILD GET: F Scott Sabourin
Jamie McGinn moved to the Ducks
  • DUCKS GET: F Jamie McGinn
  • SABRES GET: 2016 conditional 2nd or 3rd round pick
Dustin Jeffrey back to Pens, likely AHL-bound
  • PENGUINS GET: F Dustin Jeffrey
  • COYOTES GET: F Matia Marcantuoni, Dan O’Donaghue
Matteau! Matteau! Devils send Stefan to Montreal
  • CANADIENS GET: F Stefan Matteau
  • DEVILS GET: F Devante Smith-Pelly
Avs, Isles make tiny swap
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Marc-Andre Cliche
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Taylor Beck
Bruins add Lee Stempniak at the final minute
  • BRUINS GET: F Lee Stempniak
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 2nd round pick, 2016 4th round pick
Islanders pick up winger Shane Prince
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Shane Prince, 2016 7th round pick
  • SENATORS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
AHL deal between Ottawa, Minnesota
  • SENATORS GET: F Michael Keranen
  • WILD GET: D Conor Allen
After missing out on Russell + Hamhuis, Bruins add Liles
  • HURRICANES GET: LW Anthony Camara, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
  • BRUINS GET: D John-Michael Liles
Brandon Pirri goes to Ducks for cheap
  • PANTHERS GET: 2016 6th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Brandon Pirri
Eric Gelinas gets fresh start in Colorado
  • AVALANCHE GET: D Eric Gelinas
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 3rd round pick
Kris Russell is now a Dallas Star
  • STARS GET: D Kris Russell
  • FLAMES GET: D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, conditional 1st or 2nd round pick
Avalanche add Mikkel Boedker from Arizona
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Mikkel Boedker
  • COYOTES GET: F Alex Tanguay, C Conner Bleackley, D Kyle Wood
Chicago, Carolina swap AHLers
  • HURRICANES GET: D Dennis Robertson
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: G Drew MacIntyre
Plotnikov goes west
  • PENGUINS GET: F Matthias Plachta, 2017 7th round pick
  • COYOTES GET: F Sergei Plotnikov

 

February 28

 The Rangers got Eric Staal

 

Capitals send Laich, Carrick to Leafs for Winnik
  • CAPITALS GET: F Daniel Winnik, 2016 5th round pick
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Brooks Laich, D Connor Carrick, 2016 2nd round pick
Rangers, Capitals swap minor leaguers
  • RANGERS GET: F Chris Brown
  • CAPITALS GET: F Ryan Bourque
Hurricanes dish Versteeg to L.A.
  • KINGS GET: F Kris Versteeg
  • HURRICANES GET: F Valentin Zykov, conditional 5th round pick
Eric Staal joins his (other) brother in New York
  • HURRICANES GET: F Aleksi Saarela, 2016 2nd round pick, 2017 2nd round pick
  • RANGERS GET: C Eric Staal

 

February 27

 Reimer is now a Shark

 

Oilers, Sabres get you excited with a Big AHL Trade
  • SENATORS GET: F Jason Akeson, F Phil Varone, D Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, conditional pick
  • SABRES GET: D Michael Sdao, F Alex Guptill, F Cole Schneider, F Eric O’Dell
Penguins add defensive help with Schultz
  • PENGUINS GET: D Justin Schutlz
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
Panthers beef up with Jiri Hudler
  • PANTHERS GET: F Jiri Hudler
  • FLAMES GET: 2016 2nd round pick, 2018 4th round pick
More depth in Florida: Cats add Purcell
  • PANTHERS GET: F Teddy Purcell
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
And even more depth: Panthers also add Kindl from Wings
  • PANTHERS GET: D Jakub Kindl
  • RED WINGS GET: 2017 6th round pick
Sharks add James Reimer from Toronto
  • SHARKS GET: G James Reimer, F Jeremy Morin
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, 2018 conditional 4th round pick
Blues, Oilers trade goaltenders
  • BLUES GET: G Anders Nilsson
  • OILERS GET: G Niklas Lundstrom, 2016 5th round pick

 

February 26

 Ehrhoff is no longer in Socal

 

Chicago adds Fleischmann, Weise
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Dale Weise, F Tomas Fleischmann
  • CANADIENS GET: F Phillip Danault, 2018 2nd round pick
Kings, Blackhawks swap underwhelming veteran defensemen
  • KINGS GET: D Rob Scuderi
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: D Christian Ehrhoff

 

February 25

Ladd heads back to Chicago for another Cup run
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Andrew Ladd, D Jay Harrison, F Matt Fraser
  • JETS GET: F Marko Dano, 2016 1st round pick, 2018 conditional 3rd round pick

 

February 24

Canucks add Larsen from Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: 2017 5th round pick
  • CANUCKS GET: D Philip Larsen

 

February 23

 Weber is now in Washington

 

Caps add depth with Weber from Buffalo
  • CAPITALS GET: F Mike Weber
  • SABRES GET: 2017 3rd round pick

 

February 22

Flames, Canucks swap prospects
  • FLAMES GET: F Hunter Shinkaruk
  • CANUCKS GET: F Markus Granlund
Polak, Spaling to Sharks for Torres and picks
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Raffi Torres, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick,
  • SHARKS GET: D Roman Polak, F Nick Spaling

 

February 21

Leafs deal Matthias to Avs
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Colin Smith, 2016 4th round pick
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Shawn Matthias

 

February 9

 Phaneuf finally got shipped out of Toronto

 

Maple Leafs trade their captain to the rival Senators
  • SENATORS GET: D Dion Phaneuf, F Matt Frattin, F Casey Bailey, F Ryan Rupert, D Cody Donaghey
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: D Jared Cowen, F Milan Michalek, F Colin Greening, F Tobias Lindberg, 2017 2nd round pick

 

 

There you have it. All of the trades made leading up to the deadline. How did your team do?

 

 


DeMarcus Cousins Needs to Chill

Written by :
Published on : March 1, 2016

 

 

 

It’s been pretty common knowledge for quite a few years now that DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most dominant and physically talented big men in basketball. He is in his sixth NBA season and has averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in that time. The Sacramento Kings have made him the centerpiece of their franchise, despite the knocks on him coming out of college. The main knock being that he is a little bit of a hothead.

 

I’m sure the Kings figured he would cool off with age, that most people tend to chill out as they get older. Well, it’s becoming increasingly clear that DeMarcus Cousins is not one of those people. In the last few days, NBA fans have a had a chance to see some vintage DeMarcus Cousins antics and let’s just say that he is not the kind of guy you want to mess with. The first exhibit is from last Saturday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

   

 

Let’s start by making it clear that this is pretty much a clean play, technically speaking. When you’re falling out of bounds in basketball, you do your best to throw it off of an opposing player. That’s something they teach you when you’re a kid. But when you see this video you’ve got to admit that it looks kind of nasty. He is obviously going for the back of Chris Paul’s head with the ball.  Okay, so maybe that was just a little bit of frustration and bad aim on Boogie’ part, no big deal. Then the Kings played the Thunder yesterday, and Angry Boogie returned for a second showing.

 

 

The first incident occurred when the teams’ two biggest stars got into a little bit of a confrontation. Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins exchanged a few words and then briefly got into some light shoving before teammates rushed in to break it up. This type of thing happens pretty often between players in every sport, so it’s understandable if you think I’m reading too much into it. But let’s check out his highlight from later in the game and see what we think about it.


 

Now this one really takes the cake. DeMarcus Cousins gets tangled up with Thunder center, Steven Adams and comes alarmingly close to punching him in the back of the head. Sure, he restrains himself and I suppose he deserves a bit of credit for that, but the fact that he was even considering delivering that haymaker to an opposing player on the ground is pretty scary. And pretty indicative of the anger management problem that Cousins has. If he doesn’t pull up and actually connects with that punch then he has a chance to do some serious damage to Adams, and is probably looking at a very, very long suspension.

 

So I think it’s time that the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins seriously address his anger issues before something really bad happens on the court. It’s been well known that the issues are there and in the last week it seems as though they have risen to the surface.  He should chill out and remember that it is just a game. A game that he is getting paid millions of dollars to play. For most people that is an opportunity that they never get. So he should appreciate it and make sure he doesn’t mess it up by doing something stupid out of anger.

 

 

 


Champ and Chump: Week 14

Written by :
Published on : December 16, 2015

 

 

A little more variety this week as we give some love to the frozen pond and hit the hardwood in our Champ and Chump sections. As always, the gridiron takes center stage with quarterbacks in the leading role. And there were a couple very memorable performances, while another gets awful reviews for his play. So here we go, see which players took a bow as the fans begged for an encore performance and who saw the curtains crash down on them. To the picks!

 

Champ: Russell Wilson

 Can Russell lead the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl?

 

Hard to find a hotter quarterback on the planet right now than Seattle’s Russell Wilson. A few weeks ago the Seahawks looked like a team that might miss out on the playoffs after consecutive Super Bowl appearances, especially when running back Marshawn Lynch went down with an injury. Since then, Wilson has led the Seahawks to four straight wins and has Seattle looking at a Wild Card spot. On Sunday, the Seahawks manhandled the Ravens 35-6 with Wilson finishing 23-32 and 292 yards with 5 touchdowns. During the four game win streak, Wilson has 17 touchdowns (1 rushing) and 0 interceptions. With Lynch expected back for the playoffs, Seattle may be hitting their stride, and for everyone else in the NFC that could be very bad news.

 

Honorable Mention:

Khalil Mack- The Oakland Raider finished with 5 sacks, as he constantly pressured and hit Denver’s Brock Osweiler, leading the Raiders to a 15-12 victory.

Eli Manning- Finished 27-31 and 337 yards with 4 touchdowns in a win on Monday Night in Miami. A nearly perfect evening for Eli keeping the Giants in the playoff hunt.

Patrick Kane- With an assist on Sunday night, Kane extended his points streak to 26 games as the Blackhawks blanked the Canucks 4-0. Kane leads the league with 46 points.

Golden State Warriors- Speaking of streaks, an incredible run was put to an end this past weekend as the Warriors took their first loss of the season after starting the year 24-0. Give the Bucks credit for being the first to take down the defending champs, but my guess is Golden State will get another streak going here real soon, and I predict they will win 70+ games.

 

 

Chump: Rajon Rondo

 Rondo wins the award for biggest chump.

 

Rajon Rondo is not known as one of the “good guys” by any stretch in the NBA, and he may have made matters even worse this past weekend. Disgusted with a call, Rondo lashed out on an official before being ejected, going as far as to call him a slur that rhymes with “maggot.” Days later, that official has come out as a gay man. Whether Rondo knew he was gay or not isn’t necessarily the issue, though I suppose Rondo looks even worse if he did. Just last year on a Dallas squad that made the playoffs, we saw Rondo absolutely give up on his team and wound up being benched by coach Rick Carlisle, who Rondo constantly argued with on and off the court. Once thought to be potentially the best point guard in the NBA, Rondo has continued to put up good numbers for the Kings all the while looking like an absolute joker.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Robbie Gould- For the second consecutive week, Gould lined up with a chance to give Chicago the win or in this case a tie as time expired, and in both cases he missed it. The Bears easily could have won both these games making them 7-6 and just a game out of the playoffs with three winnable games left. However, instead they’re 5-8 with the chips stacked high against them.

Andy Dalton- The “Red Rocket” may have just cost the Bengals their season on Sunday. While blaming a guy for breaking his thumb while trying to make a tackle may seem a bit unfair, you have to consider the circumstance. In the redzone, Dalton threw an interception on an atrocious shovel pass attempt. I had to watch this replay a few times to even see what happened because it honestly looked like he just threw it to the defensive lineman and then dove into his knees. Dalton may be ready for the postseason where his resume absolutely needs a playoff win, perhaps more than any other quarterback.

Miami Dolphins- This one is personal. I just have to vent real quick. In the first round of my fantasy football playoffs I am sitting pretty at halftime with Lamar Miler and Josh Brown (NY Giants’ kicker) going against Odell Beckham Jr, who for the most part was held in check. Miller went off in the first half and Miami is leading so I think I’ll be ok. Fast forward to the second half and OBJ goes off for two scores (one being an 85-yarder) and Miller gets just 4 second half touches. Just 4! Thanks Miami, I hope you lose the rest of your games.

 

 


Most Annoying Fan Bases in Sports

Written by :
Published on : August 5, 2015

 

 

I’ve been all over. So this is the truth. Here is a list of the most annoying fan bases in sports:

 

Bay Area Fans

Don’t you just hate them?

 

Whether you’re a “die hard” Warriors or Giants fan or a fair whether flipper between the Raiders & 49ers, just shut up about all of it. Being a die hard fan of anything by inductive reasoning makes you extremely annoying. The Bay Area is a particularly spoiled sports region that most people don’t think of as a hardcore sports region. The term “sore winners” comes to mind. Don’t forget to recycle those empty fair trade, organic beer cans after you shotgun them while tailgating.

 

Boston

A fan holds up a ‘Free Tom Brady’ sign at a Red Sox game.

 

Another spoiled sports region. All 4 major sports franchises from here have won championships in recent years. The fan base most likely to physically fight you over a minor disagreement. Shout out to Philly fans on violence too.
A city of “die hard fans” meaning they have so little going on in their life that they pour their whole personality into devotions to a team of millionaires. Millionaires competitors who care less about winning than their loyal fans who talk like they all had strokes.

 

Chicago

Put your shirts back on!

 

Shockingly worse accents than people from Boston. The perfect storm of spoiled (Blackhawks, 90s Bulls, Black Sox from not long ago, 80s Bears) and tortured (Cubs, Derrick Rose, current Bears) to combine for an infuriating brand of in-your-face pride & loser’s lamenting. Go eat comfort food from anywhere within 5 feet of you & shut your yapper!

 

New York

Less than a year ago they wanted A-Rods head on a spike in the Bronx. Now it’s all Happy Birthdays and rainbows.

 

Ok, you do have the right to be genuine Yankee fans unlike 85% of Yankee hat wearers. Hearing New Yorkers belly aching about sports is like hearing your rich friend complain about their BMW.  You live in an overwhelming metropolis – find something better to complain about than Carmelo, Gino Smith/Eli Manning & ARod. I’m walking here!

 

Los Angeles

Lakers fans.

 

Similar to NYC fans, but worse because of general vanity & lack of self awareness; not to mention the entitled mentality all fans of big market teams are stricken with. Lakers fans are the hardest to stomach, directly followed by Trojan Fans or Dodger fans* who will beat the living shit out of you then fair-weather Kings fans. What a cross section of fair-weather & spoiled.

*non-violent Dodger fans are legit though

 

Ohio

I hope these drunks aren’t driving after the game.

 

Ohio State fans, the ones who are so enthusiastic/spirited/aggressive/loud – it makes you love U of M even if you have no rooting interest whatsoever. Cleveland fans who burned their Lebron James jerseys & welcomed him back with open arms. Bengals fans when they’re a fringe playoff team. They are the best of the worst, only because they’re consummate losers/silver medalists, but Ohio State fans are the worst braggarts about their success. These fans are those kids who get trophies despite losing.

 

Portland

Fair weather as fuck in a city with pretty fair weather. And I’ll never get behind a team that does this:

Recycle

 


NHL Overtime Change

Written by :
Published on : July 30, 2015

Teams don’t carry the same roster year after year, and the world hockey is always evolving. The consistency is that the structure of the game stays the same, but even that is up for review from time to time. The NHL Board of Governor’s approved a change in OT game play which reduces the players from 4-4 to 3-3 beginning in October for regular season games that force overtime. The same shootout rules apply if neither team scores a goal.

 

The 3-3 overtime posits that there will be no less than 3 men on the ice for the duration of overtime. In the case of having a penalty carry over from regulation the teams will begin overtime at 4-3. Conversely, if a penalty is drawn in overtime, the team on the power play gains another man on the ice for a 4-3 advantage, and if an additional penalty is taken the teams will see an odd-man rush of 5-3. Offensively speaking, teams are allowed to pull their goaltender for an extra attacker; however, they risk forfeiting the point they’ve earned by taking the game to overtime.

 

GM’s and players agree that the 3-3 change would increase goals scored in overtime, ending games in this period rather than the shootouts. Coaches are free to strategize how their teams will face overtime and can get creative by having one defenseman and two forwards or two defensemen and one forward with their respective goal tenders. As a Kings fan the shootouts have gone from thrilling to dreadful, so it’s exciting to see that this rule is set to showcase the game, the creativity of coaches, intellect of the players, and what they can produce with more space on the ice.

 

I love that the push to change the NHL overtime format was influenced by OT play in the AHL. The AHL saw 75 percent of overtime games be settled within the sudden death period when the teams went from 4-4 to 3-3 three minutes into their 7 minute overtime period. The NHL Board of Governors was wise to approve changing the format to 3-3, because out of 306 overtime games last season only 136 were of them were decided in overtime. The obvious benefit to having fewer men on the ice is the game more efficient and it preserves the game’s fast paced essence. It keeps hockey authentic and truer to itself a lot more than the shootout rounds ever do.

 

 

Shootouts are labeled “exciting,” but it’s hard to see them as such. The three round format is a bit anti-climactic especially if teams have injury-laden rosters that force coaches to shuffle through players that will hopefully score goals. Additionally, the shootout rounds strip away the feel of watching a live game. It’s almost like attending a practice where you’re watching your team warm-up rather than playing to earn two points. The ugly truth is that if shootouts are occurring it’s because your team failed to deliver in regulation and overtime, so by the time the shootouts begin you’re already feeling disappointment, inadequacy, and if you’ve got a short fuse like me you’re angrily shouting obscenities at your TV or at the game. I’m hopeful that the 3-3 overtime change will not only rejuvenate hockey after regulation, but that it will neutralize the dark feelings that arise in people when teams force overtime.

 

As we speak there are only 69 days left until hockey starts and the LA Kings will begin the season against the SJ Sharks on October 7, 2015. With the bad blood and rivalry these teams have built over the years I could not think of a better match to debut the 3-3-overtime format change. In the months leading up to this season opener game an old quote from Drew Doughty comes to mind, “We want to beat this team. Especially this team, the San Jose Sharks.” I remember an old colleague once proudly boasted that his SJ Sharks had made the playoffs 19 out of 24 seasons to which I said that is an admirable accomplishment, but it’s still no Stanley Cup.

 


Offseason Madness – Mad Max: Fury Road Edition

Written by :
Published on : July 21, 2015

Offseason Madness

It’s summer once again, which means that football fields, basketball courts and hockey rinks echo in their collective emptiness. With the exception of baseball, which hasn’t really stopped since the MLB’s inception in 1903,  fans of the other top three major American sports are forced to argue insane theories, scenarios, and questions as they wait with bated breath for their seasons to start.

Debating ridiculous sports hypotheticals mixed with pop culture references is one of our favorite things to do at ScoreBoredSports, so it was only natural that we include our favorite movie of the summer, Mad Max: Fury Road, in the discussion.  Throw in the fact that our Los Angeles based headquarters is headed for a similar reality set in the Mad Max universe, and we have our first scintillating question:

If you had to recruit five athletes from any of the major LA sports teams (soccer can come too) to station on your War Rig, the mythical battle tank that carries our heroes in Mad Max, who would they be and why?  Here are our picks

Driver:

FuriosaNneka

If we’re looking for a Furiosa, there is no easier pick to make than the Los Angeles Sparks’ versatile star forward Nneka Ogwumike. The former 1st overall pick graduated from Stanford, which means she knows the roads of Southern and Northern California. Add her in penchant for attacking the basket, and you’ll find that she’s the perfect driver on and off the court.  We’d absolutely follow her on the War Rig in search of the ever elusive ‘Green Place’…er WNBA championship.

Main Gunner:

GunnerKershaw

You’ll need a gunner in these wasteland apocalyptic times with good enough aim to keep you safe from the opposing desert biker gangs. Who better to man the turret than fastball extraordinaire Clayton Kershaw? Kershaw has managed to win 104 games (and counting) in just 8 years to go along with a career 2.51 ERA. Good aim, indeed.

 

Crazy Guitar Guy:

GuitarStoll

If Metta World Peace were still in LA, this would be an easy choice.  We’ve been forced to go to our Plan B Crazy Guitar Guy; Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll. Stoll’s April arrest for trying to smuggle cocaine and molly into a pool party at the MGM Grand is probably the most rock star thing any LA athlete has done since the departure of the artist formerly known as Ron Artest. We figured he’d be the perfect guy to rock out on a guitar in our attempt to intimidate the surrounding wastelands.

Motorcycle Side Scout:

MotoGerrard

 

The responsibilities of a midfielder in soccer are immense.  They are the connection between the offense and the defense. Steven Gerrard has made a legendary career off of being the centerpiece of Liverpool’s lineup so it was only fair to include him as the scout for our rig.  After all, when the legendary Liverpool midfielder agreed to an 18-month contract he probably had no idea that 13 of those months would be spent in a barren wasteland devoid of water.

 

Polecat:

PolecatAllen

The Polecats must have good aim and dexterity to pull off such whimsical acts of road terrorism. We had to go a little farther into SoCal to recruit San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen. The 3rd round pick out of California took the NFL by storm by going over a thousand yards in his rookie year. Allen did suffer from the famed sophomore slump with only 783 yards, so he’ll definitely be hungry to return to prominence whether it’s on the football field, or performing Cirque Du Soleil style acts on the top of a moving car in a caravan of a death militia. Honestly both are pretty enticing opportunities. 

 

Immortan Joe:

JoeBryant

 

The titular villain of Mad Max: Fury Road has only one equal when it comes to ruthlessness, and that is the Kobe Bryant himself. The Black Mamba is entering what looks to be his final year in the league, but he hasn’t lost an inch of his cutthroat attitude that has him ranked 3rd all time in points scored. In fact, earlier this year Bryant remarked to ESPN that “friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.” Sorry LeBron, but we are all witnesses to the glory of the Mamba. May he ride into Valhalla eternal.

 

So there you have it, your All-Star team for the coming California apocalypse. If you didn’t, you should really go see Mad Max: Fury Road.

 

 


How I Became a Kings Fan and Fell in Love With The NHL

Written by :
Published on : July 17, 2015

My earliest memories of sports were that they were boring. As a first generation Honduran/Salvadorian American my initial exposure to sports was soccer on TV. I never understood the matches and found them to be excruciatingly long. They would enslave my biological father to the tube so my weekend afternoons had me wishing I were out somewhere having fun like the rest of the kids.

Unfortunately my father was not an adequate one, so my indifference to the sport was because I associated soccer with my negative feelings toward him. Can you say damaged? I’ve worked all that out in therapy. El futbol , soccer, or football for my Europeans out there is fine by me, but my true love in the sports world does not involve a field of grass.

The road to find my love in pro sports took 18 years. Throughout the years I dabbled in the sports world because I wanted to feel the rush, energy, love, and passion of being a fan. That hometown pride. I dabbled in the NBA by cheering for the Lakers in their 1999-2000 season when they beat Reggie Miller and the Pacers to break a 12-year championship drought. It was so exhilarating to feel a sense of dominance and accomplishment for my hometown of Los Angeles.

I remember how charismatic that roster was with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Horry, Rick Fox (he was and still is so beautiful), and Derek Fisher on the team. They were truly sensational to watch; however, I did not feel an immense love for the Lakers. Not even after the three-peat Championship era that followed. I felt like I liked it but it was not love.  I followed basketball throughout junior high and high school and although it was not my true love I recognize that the game continued every single season uninterrupted.  Conversely, the disruption of another major sport lead me to my soul’s true counterpart in pro sports.

Following the 2004-05 lockout, the Staples Center gave away tickets to for an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim before the 2005-’06 season officially started. Live games were something I was not used to, so this was not only a new sport to delve into, but a whole new experience altogether. The sight of the ice as we entered the Staples Center was electrifying, plus the cool breeze from it gave a higher sense of realness to the game. It was also a culture shock considering there isn’t much of a use for a jacket in September. But there I was September 17, 2005 seated up in the nosebleeds, letting the speed, adrenaline, and aggression of the hockey world bewilder me. I had no idea what the rules were, names of players, and even up to now that first game is blur in my mind—I only remember the important parts: the fights and that the Kings won which was perfect because by default they were my team. I was a newborn L.A. Kings fan.

I began watching Kings games on TV but also watched other NHL teams to continue absorbing hockey. My next live game was January 19, 2006, which had the Kings playing the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets) in the Staples Center. By then I knew my roster, positions, penalties, and Kings history so I walked in a more confident fan. Additionally, I knew that Luc Robitaille was the highest scoring left winger in the game.  He was just a few goals shy of breaking the record for most goals scored by a Kings player. I found myself up in the nosebleeds admiring Marcel Dionne’s retired jersey. I remember wondering if this night would have me witnessing the history of Robitaille breaking his franchise record of 550 goals. And the moment came. I was there to witness the 551st goal ever scored by our alternate captain, Luc Robitaille. Out of excitement I hugged my hockey comrade who showed up to the game with me, high fived random people in the crowd, and felt a rush of momentum and energy from the venue. Before that I thought hockey was very cool, but after witnessing this moment I was hooked.  At the end of the ’05-’06 season I did something I never did with the NBA—I kept up with post-season signings, trades, and other league news. I realized that not only do I love this team, but I love the sport. I wanted to know as much as I could about the NHL.

 


To this day I am a proud Kings fan. Six years passed before I saw the Kings hoist the greatest trophy in all of sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup. In total I have been with this organization for 10 years and have seen 3 coaches, 3 captains, and 2 Stanley Cups. I love that the first hockey team in California was set in Los Angeles and that Kings were the first to win the Stanley Cup twice in this state. We have no real winters so the fact that hockey has thrived in California with the Kings greatly speaks of the impact and lure of the sport. The Great One’s era with the team is another of the many highlights in Kings history. With all this pride for my home team it’s funny that I found sports boring once upon a time, because now it’s me who is enslaved to the tube watching a game.


Support Us
Support ScoreBoredSports on patreon!

patreon-medium-button
Sponsors

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close