The Golden State Warriors have just won the 2017 NBA Championship. Congrats to them. They pulled it off in just five games against a very good Cavs team led by superstar LeBron James. This is the Warriors second trophy in just three seasons (three straight finals trips) and from the looks of the roster, they should be highly competitive for years to come.
Just days before that, the Pittsburgh Penguins became back-to-back Stanley Cup champs after beating the Nashville Predators in six games. It was a hard fought series but the experience and leadership of Sidney Crosby was too much for a young Preds crew to overcome. That now makes five Stanley Cups for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Three since 2009. That’s dominance.
The 2016 sports season is finally over. All the hardware has been handed out and now we can finally look back and spot the trends. The data tells a simple story. The same jerks who always win, won again. In the four major professional sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB), only the Chicago Cubs were not a recent champion of the 2016 winners (Patriots, Warriors, Penguins). What’s the deal? Why do we only ever see the same few organizations on the podium? It’s a drag to always see the same guys celebrating.
In football, the 2016 season ended with yet another New England Patriots Super Bowl victory. Yawn. Don’t get me wrong, the actual game was great and historic. Seeing the Pats climb back was a sports memory no one will soon forget but the overall outcome was boring. Brady wins his fifth ring in fifteen years. Give someone else a turn.
Thank God for the Chicago Cubs. If it wasn’t for them then we would be stuck watching sports re-runs of the same victory parades over and over again. The Cubbies made history and ended one hell of a drought. That’s a good story. That’s what we need. Redemption, the under dog, the cinderella story. Something new!
But baseball isn’t always the outlier. The San Francisco Giants have three World Series wins since 2010. Overall, the MLB seems more wide open than the other sports but maybe that’s just the perception. So what now? It’s clear that across sports there is an upper class of franchises and these teams are the ones that win the big games. What’s the lesson? Steal the model. Copy what’s working. Steal away their coaches and personnel. Change your culture. Whatever it takes.
As we enter the summer months where we only have MLB action to hold us over or as many call it, the dark days, we can only hope that this year will see some new faces on the Wheaties box.
It’s almost time for another group of warriors to drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup of destiny. The defending champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins are annoyingly back in the trophy round. Their opponent, the Nashville Predators, are making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. And I for one, am rooting for the new guys. All across sports, we see the same major market teams always hoisting the championship hardware. Let someone else have a turn for once.
I really wanted the Ottawa Senators to make the Final. They pushed the Penguins to the brink. Double overtime in game 7 but alas, Pittsburgh proved yet again they are one of the best outfits on ice. That final score bummed me out. No Canadian team has made the Stanley Cup Final since Vancouver in 2011 and the last Canadian team to win it was Montreal all the way back in 1993. That’s sad. They invented the sport but are relegated to watching the Stanley Cup instead of competing for it. And our northern brothers will have to wait at least another year before recapturing hockey’s top prize.
If you aren’t from Pennsylvania, then the Penguins should be the obvious villains in this series. They have been dominant in the sport for the last few years, they are defending champs, have a roster full of stars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang and Matt Murray. Plus those black jerseys with that menacing mascot of theirs. I just hate them. Crosby especially. He is so good but he has a face that you just want to smash. Phil Kessel is cool though. Like a goal-scoring teddy bear but will buy you a beer. But seriously, Penguins please don’t win again. That would be great. Thanks.
Now, let’s meet the good guys. The unlikely crew from Nashville taking the playoffs by storm. In the net, is Pekka Rinne the Finish goaltender who is absolutely crushing it right now. He leads the postseason in every major goaltending stat (GAA, Save %, Wins, Shutouts). Rinne is the number one reason the Preds have made it to the Finals. But Nashville is a sneaky deep squad featuring ballers like PK Subban, Mike Fisher, James Neal, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Colton Sissons, Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm. All the tools are here. Let’s hope they can put it together.
In terms of the matchup, you have to give the advantage to the Penguins just based on experience. They’ve been here before and they know how to win a Cup. But that may not be an issue if Rinne keeps up his level of play. Part of me wants to see Pittsburgh get swept but that won’t happen. The series will probably need 6 or 7 games to determine a winner. Which is fine because that sounds like a great Stanley Cup. Let’s just hope we get the right ending. F the Penguins.
That’s what a packed house at Joe Louis Arena was screaming as Steve Yzerman walked away from the podium during the closing ceremony for the Detroit Red Wings home for the last 38 years. Yzerman is a hall of famer who wore the winged wheel across his chest for 22 years. His #19 jersey will hang in the rafters of whatever home the Red Wings have from now until eternity, never to be worn by another player on that team. He was the captain for 19 seasons and he’s still known simply as “The Captain.” He is Hockeytown and it’s time for him to come back home and lead the team he loves.
This is a scenario that makes too much sense to not happen. Following his retirement from playing in the NHL in 2006, the Red Wings made Yzerman team vice president. In that position and through his stint running team Canada, he was groomed for the position of general manager. Under Ken Holland, the Red Wings current general manager, he learned the tricks of the trade and was part of another Stanley Cup championship. There was even an attempt to make Yzerman the GM before he eventually departed for Tampa Bay, but Ken Holland declined a promotion that would have made room for Stevie Y in the front office.
In the time since Holland obstructed Yzerman’s path to his rightful place at the helm of the organization, the Captain’s Lightning have won 1 Stanley Cup and the Wings have none. This isn’t to insinuate that Yzerman is necessarily a better GM than Holland, but after some bad contracts and steadily declining performance of the team in recent years, Holland seems to be on his way out after an illustrious career in Detroit. The time is now to get the band back together. Holland has two years left on his contract and Yzerman only has one, that seems like a deal that is more than doable.
There are whispers that perhaps Steve Yzerman and Chris Ilitch, son of former owner Mike Ilitch and the guy currently signing the checks, don’t have the same type of relationship. Mike Ilitch only ever cared about giving the people of Detroit a winner and because of that, he will always be remembered fondly by fans in the Motor City. Rumor has it that his son is much more concerned with the bottom line and is not as willing to spend endless amounts of money just for the chance to win big. With a reputation for being tighter with the money, it’s also said that he is a much more hands-on owner and because of that Stevie Y might want to avoid giving up the good thing he has in Tampa Bay. I call bullshit.
Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings go together like peanut butter and jelly. He belongs in Detroit where he made a career and turned the Red Wings into a dynasty. He laid the bricks that built Hockeytown and it’s hard for me believe that he hasn’t simply been waiting for his chance to return. The fans in Detroit should be forever grateful to Ken Holland for the teams that he built but it’s becoming clear that he doesn’t have the same success in the salary cap era as he did before it. Holland’s time is ending and that will leave the door open for Stevie to come home, just like the fans want. Chris Ilitch should make sure he doesn’t let this opportunity slip away. His dad sure wouldn’t have.
On Sunday April 9th, 2017 the Detroit Red Wings played their last game at Joe Louis Arena, signaling the end of an era. For 38 years Joe Louis was the heart and soul of Hockeytown, and the list of players who graced the ice in that building is a who’s who of hall of famers. It is one of the most iconic places in hockey, even for those who don’t support the winged wheel. Everyone respects the history but for some of us, Joe Louis Arena is more than just a building where our favorite team played, it’s hallowed ground. It’s like a part of the family, a piece of our sports culture. A piece of Detroit’s culture.
JLA is a monument to a time before corporate sponsorship of stadiums. When places that represented a people were named in honor of the greatest champions among those people. The Red Wings new home, Little Caesars Arena, inspires considerably less Motor City pride. Joe Louis Arena was too old, too small, too ill-equipped to handle the needs and desires of today’s sports fan. Because of that, it was time to move on, but damned if it wasn’t a great place to see the game. That place was always rocking and the atmosphere was always electric. Four Stanley Cups were won by the Red Wings during their time in that building. The team was built into a dynasty during that era; they were royalty, and Joe Louis Arena was their castle.
One of 31 octopi that were thrown on to the ice during the Red Wings last game at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings are missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and it almost seems fitting that in the same year we all said goodbye to beloved owner, Mike Ilitch, and Joe Louis Arena. This is the beginning of a new era for the franchise and all of its fans. What makes this franchise so special is that even though they are planning for the future they know they had to honor their past.
The Illitch family has always had a deep love for the city of Detroit and they know what that building and the team mean to the city. The organization recognized the meaning of that moment, and they knew that the fans in Detroit needed a chance to pay their respect to a place that means so much to them. In a ceremony that involved over 90 current and former players and coaches, the city and the team had a chance to process the moment and reflect on everything that had happened under that roof.
Current and former players salute the crowd following the closing ceremony at Joe Louis Arena.
Steve Yzerman was in the house and was greeted by adoring fans who begged him to come back home to Detroit. Bob Probert’s widow spread his ashes in the penalty box, a place where he spent a considerable amount of time during his career. Guys that couldn’t attend, like Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan, sent in video messages. Hell, Wayne Gretzky did a video message, and he didn’t even play for the team but he wanted to be part of saying goodbye to a piece of history.
Joe Louis Arena was more than just a building. For some people, it was their earliest memory of going to a game. For some people, it was where they fell in love with the game. For some people, it was where they saw champions made. For some people, it was sports Mecca. For some people, it was home. As for me, it is the place where some of my fondest memories happened, and the best place to watch a hockey game on the entire planet.
Award season has come and gone. And in honor of the recent 89th Academy Awards, ScoreBoredSports would like to present the 1st annual Sports Oscars. Just what America needs, another award show! Press your tux and fill your flask because it’s time to walk the red carpet and hand out some gold statues to the year’s best sports performances. And to all the winners, don’t forget to thank your agent and your mom. Now, let’s get this show on the road. The first category is:
Best Supporting Actor
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. After Kevin Durant came to town, Dray’s role on the team shifted. He no longer was needed to score the ball but instead had to become the defensive leader and do all the small things that help win games. No better example than back in February, when Green had the most unconventional of Triple Doubles. With only 4 points, he also tallied 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals (along with 5 blocks).
Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. This was a tough one but Bryce’s under-eye black takes the cake. It’s kind of looks like Harper is the 5th member of Kiss mixed with a little Hawk and Animal from the Legion of Doom (WWF/WWE). I think more pros should follow the face paint lead. It’s a great way to show off some personality and it just washes off when you’re done.
The New England Patriots. These guys always seem to make the perfect roster moves They add players you think are only okay and then they preform insanely well and they cut talent you think is irreplaceable only to see them underperform with their new team. Perfect example: Lions cut ties with LB Kyle Van Noy after him not working out in Detroit. They trade him to New England. Cut to Van Noy flying around being one of the difference makers for the Pats, in the Super Bowl.
Best Original Screenplay
Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers. The dude is 45-years-old and writing his own story where only he knows the ending. The man has 763 career goals, that’s good for third all-time behind Howe and Gretzky. Jagr has more points over the age of 40 than even Howe. So he is the best older hockey player we have ever seen. He loves to play and has no plans of stopping. I hope this story has a few more chapters.
The University of Michigan Men’s Basketball team. On their way to D.C. for the Big Ten tournament, their plane was forced to abort takeoff and then roughly skid off the runway. The Wolverines barely made it to the game but their luggage with their uniforms were still stuck on the plane. U of M channeled their inner Tim Gunn and had to ‘make it work’ because they rocked their practice jerseys, looked dope and won the game.
This is the only award that both SBS and the real Oscars agree on. We both have O.J.: Made in America as the winner for best doc. It’s superbly well-made and very captivating. You should check it out. And it’s not just for sports or murder fans. It fun for the whole family.
Lionel Messi of Barcelona. Messi is a wizard with the ball in space but he is just as lethal when it comes to free kicks. This zinger comes from a stretch of 3 games where Messi had a free kick goal in each. That’s just insane. Click HERE to watch the clip and be amazed.
Serena Williams. Her huge win at the Australian Open gives her 39 total titles (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) in tennis. If this category is about incredible individual effort, than I can think of no one more accomplished than Serena. She is a joy to watch and has elevated the entire sport of tennis. Not just the women’s game. Serena Williams is a champion.
Joe Maddon, skipper of the Chicago Cubs has to win this one. His arrival seemed liked the real turning point for this franchise. From his first weeks in Wrigley, it seemed liked things were different. Maddon directed the Cubs to their first World Series win in a jabillion years and for that he wins the award.
Maybe my Michigan bias is showing but the image is truly stunning and it was a huge moment/game for two teams hunting the NFL playoffs. I really wanted to be cool and just say “presented without comment” but that’s totally a comment. And I’m way better than that.
That’s going to do it for the first ever sports Oscars. List your favorite player or performance in the comments below. Not bad for our first award show. At least we never called the wrong winner.
It’s been a very different kind of year for fans of the Detroit Red Wings. Right now, the team is among the worst in the NHL and the chances of them making it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs are dwindling with each passing day and each loss. It’s a sinking feeling that people in Detroit aren’t used to and missing the playoffs is something that hasn’t happened in decades. To many of us, it’s a tragedy for a franchise that is so accustomed to excellence to be in such a poor state. But it also seems like a fitting cap to what has been a trying year for the Red Wings. A year when the Wings have lost some very important people and will be leaving their home of the last 38 years.
The hits started coming last summer, less than two months after the Red Wings first round playoff exit at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightening. On June 10th, one of the most legendary players in the history of the game of hockey, Gordie Howe, passed away at the age of 88 and the entire sports world mourned. He was an old man who had lived a full life and for that, all of us who loved him can be grateful. But that doesn’t lessen the impact of his passing.
You are missed, Gordie.
Then a couple of weeks ago, on February 10th, 2017, longtime team owner, Mike Illitch, passed away. He too lived to a ripe, old age and at 87-years-old the man who made his fortune off the Little Caesars pizza chain and bought the Red Wings in 1982 for $8 million had lived to see his team win 4 Stanley Cups during his time as owner. He truly loved the Red Wings and his other team the Tigers, as well as the city of Detroit. As a fan, you couldn’t ask for a more passionate and caring owner. All he ever wanted was to win and though his Tigers were never able to bring him a championship he was overjoyed every time the Wings were able to hoist the Cup.
Mike Iliitch loved his team and his city.
So with two of the biggest icons in the history of Detroit hockey gone, isn’t it fitting that the team would miss out on the postseason for the first time in 25 years? The passing of Howe and Illitch, along with this year’s abysmal performance by the team and their departure from Joe Louis Arena, point to a shift in the world of Detroit Hockey. That might not be a bad thing and it seems like it could be a jumping off point for the next generation of Detroit Red Wings.
New arena. New owner. New Red Wings. The team has been coasting on “just making the playoffs” for years now and the decade anniversary of the last Stanley Cup championship is rapidly approaching. Fans are getting tired of simply making it to the dance and getting tossed in the first or second round. It’s time for a rebuild and a year away from the playoffs might be what the franchise needs to turn the corner and get back to the mountain top. It’s been tough losing Gordie and Mr I, and it will be tough leaving Joe Louis Arena behind but the only constant in this world is change. These changes might be hard but they are necessary. Likely, it will be a bumpy road but with some luck there will be a new, improved Red Wings team rising from the ashes of the 2016-17 season.
Foam sticks, a high school gymnasium and all the excitement of the NHL. That’s right, I’m talking floor hockey. Most Americans learn about the sport in gym class during their teenage education. I was lucky enough to play a lot of the hardwood soft stick so I’m considered an expert by Midwest bullshit, know-it-all standards. Put on your non-marking shoes and get ready for the ScoreBoredSports guide to floor hockey.
You don’t need too much. A set of sticks, two goals and a puck or ball. I only ever used foam sticks. Anything too hard was considered dangerous at my weird school. Remember, keep the stick below your waist level or you’ll spend two minutes in the box. As always, good footwear is critical. Gym shoes will do nicely. Something that still has some grip. In terms of clothing, anything athletic will work. No jeans please. If you can grow a quick hockey mullet, then please do. Great hockey hair can really put this whole thing over the top. Oh, and our goalies never had any real pads. But if you have enough gear for both tenders, then game on Wayne.
Put your second best player at the center of the defense then put all your best stick-handlers up front and at the wings. Bad floor hockey players can still play decent defense. Just clog the passing lanes and crash down on whoever has the puck. For those totally unfamiliar with hockey, the easiest way to score is to draw the goalie to one side and pass to a shooter on the far post. Then just let them just tap it in.
Try to keep possession and pass the rock. Dump and chase can be effective but it takes your advantage of control away. Sometimes the best pass is backwards. Soccer players can understand this. You can’t drive straight to the net without attracting the whole defense. If you truly have no pass or option then play the puck forward, into space. Hopefully one of your mates can win the 50-50 ball and reclaim possession in the attacking third to set something up. If your crew is getting worked, then try to figure out who is torching you and stop the bleeding. Maybe put a spy on their best player and try to slow them down.
Don’t wear a watch
So this one time in high school, I had a very memorable day of FH. The quick backstory was I had a free period while the middle schoolers had their gym class. Well they were pucking around one day and I was looking for something to do. The gym teacher was also my track and soccer coach so he let me join to help fill out teams.
Cut to later, I’m kicking ass and scoring mad goals but this little jerk kid Danny kept pestering me. He’d hit me with his stick and do anything he could to bug me. I caught a pass in the corner and had my back to the net. Danny closes in and starts hacking me with the stick again. These are foam sticks with plastic handles so it doesn’t hurt but it’s annoying as all shit.
Normally, the gym teacher would stop this type of slashing but I think my coach liked seeing me get provoked by this underclassmen. Danny hits me again and I turn and slash him back, knocking his stick to the ground. Now, coach blows the whistle and tosses me from the gym. I leave in a huff. What I didn’t see or know until later was that Danny was wearing some awful metal watch and it cut his wrist when I retaliated. Danny bled all over the gym floor then went to the hospital. So don’t wear a watch when you play floor hockey or else Bruno will tell you what time it is. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
I never got in trouble for the whole Danny thing but I do feel bad about what happened. I mean who thought a foam stick could be so deadly? The lesson is floor hockey can be lots of fun but leave that wrist bling in your locker.
The Donald is President and he is only weeks into the job and already looking to ruin everything from the environment to education to healthcare. Why would professional sports get a pass? Let’s use our political magic 8-ball and try and guess how Trump will destroy our favorite sports.
All foreign born players are deported. Leaving only a few dozen white dudes with bad facial hair. Sounds a lot like the WWE but with slightly better batting averages. Baseball officially dies and is replaced with an Alt-Right/all white version of the Home Run Derby. Each game is just giant, juiced up bros, jacking HR’s and eating Slim Jims. Just think Mark McGuire and you totally get it what it’s going to look like.
Players are no longer allowed to palm the ball. This maneuver upsets Trump and reminds him of his tiny, tiny, tiny hands. Additionally, Pres Trump will add a 5-point line to the court. Make a shot from beyond the golden arc and your team gets 4 points and one of Trump’s rich cronies gets a point. Also, all players are forced to wear Trump brand sneakers. They are like Jordans but they suck and everyone hates them. So nothing like Jordans expect they are made in the same factory. In China. That’s true by the way, look it up.
Trump forces the NHL to expand to include a Vladimir Putin run Moscow Maulers franchise. They win their first year in the league as Putin personally scores 100 goals in each playoff game as the player/coach/owner/commander-in-chief. Trump renames the Stanley Cup in Russia’s honor, dubbing it the Stalin Cup. Gretzky cries a few tears that freeze on his face. He watches Frozen with his grandkids to cheer up. It mostly works.
The core of football mostly stays the same. A good tyrant knows to keep us masses entertained and The Apprentice is only on so often. It’s your classic “Bread and Circuses” platform. The noticeable league changes for the NFL include the displacing both the Washington and Kansas City teams to reservations in Canada plus Tom Brady being granted a full Presidential pardon or any past or future cheating.
The world is ending. I just pray it isn’t too soon. I joke about everything in this piece but we are at a critical moment in our history and I hope everyone cares about what is happening with the same energy we care about sports.
The NHL All-Star game was this past weekend. With a little over half of the season complete, it’s a good time to recap some recent storylines.
Fights per game is at 0.31. That’s in line with the 2014-15 season, sans most enforcers, and slightly above last season’s 0.28 number.
Cody McLeod led the league with 12 fights in the 2015-16 campaign. He’s currently tied for the league lead with Jared Boll at 11, making it likely they’ll surpass last season’s high.
Michael Latta leads the AHL with 7 fights. He may become the first player suspended for the 10 fight rule put into place this season.
Cody Eakin and Chris Kreider fought on January 17th. They also both picked up Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in a high-scoring Dallas Stars New York Rangers contest.
A couple of weeks ago, Cody McLeod was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Nashville Predators. The Preds then played the Avs the very next day. McLeod fought Jarome Iginla. There was no bad blood from when both donned the same sweater:
“It’s happened in the past where I’ve fought guys I’ve played with,” said McLeod. “We were down 1-0 at the time and kind of sluggish in the second period and I was just trying to provide a spark. I asked Iggy and he obliged, and there you go.”
This was the second time the two have duked it out.
Without further ado, Here are the Top 10 NHL fights of 2016-2017
10. Jordan Nolan vs Jared Boll, Nov. 20, 2016
9. Max Domi vs Ryan Kessler, Nov. 4, 2016
8. Chris Neil vs Cody Bass, Nov. 8, 2016
7. Lawson Crouse vs Chris Stewart, Jan. 19, 2017
6. Josh Anderson vs Chris Stewart & Matt Calvert vs Matt Dumba, Dec. 31, 2016
5. Matt Martin vs Erik Gudbranson, Dec. 3, 2016
4. Miles Wood vs Steve Oleksy, Dec. 23, 2016
3. Michael Healy vs Ryan White, Nov. 19, 2016
2. Luke Gazdic vs Chris Neil, Dec. 19, 2016
1. Adam McQuaid vs Derek Grant, Jan. 12, 2017
Did we miss any fights that hold a special place in your heart? Share in the comments below.
The New York Islanders are currently having a “decent” season. The team had a rough start in the beginning of the year with the loss of Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, and Frans Nielsen. However, it seems that the team is getting more used to the new setup. But for a team that has so much potential, and has made the playoffs two years in a row, why hasn’t the team made it any further? Many fans blame the coaching done by Jack Capuano. Many other fans blame the managing of former Islanders’ goalie, Garth Snow.
Personally, I would have to agree with the fans who believe it is Garth that is preventing the team from winning a Stanley Cup. It has been ten years for Garth Snow as the GM and I feel that he has made some contributions that have helped but he’s also made a lot of stupid choices. Now, lets take a step back and look at Garth’s history with the Islanders and what he has done wrong ever since he was hired.
Garth Snow the goaltender in net for team USA
Garth Snow was originally a New York Islanders goalie, as the back up goalie for Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro. However in 2006 when Garth retired, he was named General Manager of the team, replacing Neil Smith (who has actually won a Stanley Cup as a GM). Through those years as GM, Garth has had his highs and lows. His lows as GM have truly prevented the team from growing.
For instance, in the 2008 Entry Draft, Garth Snow and the Islanders selected Josh Bailey. Yeah, you know Josh Bailey, famous for his sloppy performances and lack of scoring. Josh Bailey has even earned himself a song made by Islander fans who sat at the former Moe’s Section at the Nassau Coliseum. The lyrics of the song is a parody of the song “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel and it goes like this, “Hey! Josh Bailey, I want to know, if you’ll score a goal”. And to make matters worse, Erik Karlsson (two time James Norris Memorial Trophy Winner) and Jordan Eberle (All Star and led Oilers in goals in 2012) were also available in the same round of the draft.
Another example of Garth’s many bad decisions would be the 2011 draft pick of Ryan Strome. Ryan Strome hasn’t been a very impressive player ever since the team drafted him. What makes this pick even worse is that like the 2008 draft, there were far more impressive players available, such as Jonas Brodin and Mark Scheifele.
Garth Snow plotting his next draft disaster
My third example is going away from draft picks and more into trading. In 2013, the Islanders and Garth Snow traded Matt Moulson for Thomas Vanek. Now this specific scenario still bothers me to this day. Matt Moulson and John Tavares had such fantastic chemistry on their line and for some reason Garth decided, “Hey, let’s get rid of one of our best players who also works well with our other best player so we can get Thomas Vanek, who doesn’t even want to play for us.” Thomas Vanek didn’t even stay on the Islanders for more than one year. What a complete waste of a trade and it led the Islanders to a horrible season (also due to John Tavares’s injury at the Sochi Olympics).
Finally, the last decision that Garth Snow made that I felt was ridiculous was allowing Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo to leave the team. We all know that Frans Nielsen wanted to leave the Islanders to go to Detroit and Garth even offered an identical contract like Detroit’s. But he seriously did not try at all to keep Okposo and Martin on the roster. He just let them leave. And to make this situation even worse, Garth offered Casey Cizikas a $16.75 million contract. Cizikas is a good player but he is not worth $16.75 million. He decided to offer Cizikas a huge contract instead of offering to either Okposo or Martin? You’ve got to be kidding me. With Okposo and Martin, the Islanders made the playoffs two years in a row. The team was actually growing from 2012 to 2016. But for some reason, Garth wanted to do what he does best and prevent the team from succeeding.
It’s like he has it out for the Islanders for not starting him in net while he was a goalie for them, but lets not make this into a whole conspiracy. In all honesty, Garth has made some really good decisions like picking up Tavares and Pulock. But I feel like he has made more mistakes in his ten years of being GM than contributions to the team. I hope we eventually get back to where we were last year but for now it’s still too early in the season to tell. If the Islanders blow it this year, I wouldn’t be shocked if Garth loses his job.
I already have two front teeth but there is plenty I still want. Mostly I want less credit card debt. Or clothes, I can always use clothes. I won’t leave a link to an amazon wish list because I’m not a stripper on twitter. Now, let’s turn to the world of pro athletics and I’ll go through my Christmas wish list, sport by sport. Get ready to have your stocking stuffed. With sports!
For the Cleveland Indians to retire their racist mascot, Chief Wahoo. They are already removing him from all their hats for the upcoming season but he will still be featured on their sleeves. Baby steps aren’t good enough anymore. Just ditch the insanely racist cartoon completely. Please and thank you. I understand that fans in Cleveland may have fond memories of the mascot but their franchise was just in the World Series so they have that to think about it. It’s a perfect time to bury that bigot of an image.
Let’s keep the Christmas righteousness rolling. I wish that the Washington “Redskins” would change their name. I’ve said this many times and I’ll keep saying it. They can keep the logo for now but the name has to go. If they want to keep the Native American theme then they can pick something less offensive (maybe the Washington Warriors) or could rebrand completely. The Washington Wallabies. Or the Washington Washing Machines. I like that, not the toughest animal but it’s universally respected.
Oh, and quick side note. Dear Santa, if you aren’t too busy, please let the Lions win the Super Bowl. Love, Bruno.
P.S. I left you cookies and bourbon.
All I want for hockey Christmas is for the Red Wings to make the playoffs again this year. That would make it 26 straight years with a postseason appearance. Which is nuts, because I’m 31, so most of my active memory includes the Wings being good. It’s already the longest active streak in any major sport but the real reason I want the playoffs this year is because it’s the last season the Wings play at Joe Louis Arena, the building where that streak started. Let’s see the stadium out with a bang, one last cup run. Let’s go Red Wings! #LGRW
Spirit of Detroit statue dressed for the playoffs
I wish for Russell Westbrook to stay healthy all year. So he can get the most triple doubles ever and play the Golden State Warriors in the postseason. And If I’m being honest, I want for at least one moment, for Russ to drive and KD is the help defense that rolls over. Then, that moment will slow down as Batman guards Robin. I’m not saying who is better but I bet Westbrook either scores or get’s fouled. Just like if KD had the ball. But please let me have this moment. We all want to see that go down.
Santa, there is a roast beef sandwich for you in the fridge. And if you make the Lions win the Super Bowl then you can also take a few beers. Hell, take the whole case. I’ll just buy more with my credit card. Love Bruno.
Halloween is right around the corner and I bet most of you lazy bones still don’t have a costume yet. No worries, let SBS scare up some ideas for you. All Hallows’ Eve is a wonderful holiday where you get to shock and delight your friends and neighbors with a spooky getup while stuffing your face with candy. What’s not to love? Here are a few sports related Halloween costume concepts that are easy to pull off and are sure to be a hit where ever you go.
All you need for this one is a New England Patriots jersey or shirt. Preferably something with number 12 on it. Doesn’t need to be official merch, head to the thrift store and find something that fits. You can borrow from a friend but there is a chance it may get stained so be careful. Next, get some corpse makeup and do your best to look undead. Maybe splatter fake blood across the jersey. This can also be modified as a couple’s costume. The Gisele or Gizombie costume is the same: Pat’s gear, corpse paint, hair down. When it doubt, add names to the back of the shirts. Also, group costume idea, get a third person to rock the Belichick hoodie.
You don’t need insane handles and an unstoppable three to dress up as Steph Curry. It’s actually quite easy to imitate the Golden State Warriors star. All you need is a clear mouthguard which is available at any sporting goods store. Then, wait for someone to ask you what your costume is then put the mouthguard in then starting chewing on one end and see how quick your buds guess the answer.
First step is simple. Some Red Wings attire (jersey or t-shirt). Unlike clam chowder, we prefer the red over the white. But if it’s available, by all means. Next, you need either a wolf mask (full rubber or plastic face with elastic band) or some decent fur and makeup. A hockey stick is a nice accessory but lugging it around can be a pain. Remember, you are going as a play-on-words. And no ones plays harder than Gordie Howe. So really sell it. Practice your howl and do it like Gordie would have.
The Cubs finally made it to a World Series, so we can all finally laugh about the Bartman incident. To pull this one off you need some eyeglasses, a solid blue Cubs hat, a black crew neck sweatshirt, a green turtle neck (for underneath the sweatshirt) and walkman with shitty 90’s style headphones. Any Chicago fan or serious sports nut will dig this look. But be carful, dress this way and Mike Bridenstine may take a swing at you.
All jokes aside, what could be scarier than being the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns? They are on their 6th QB in 7 games. Injury has taken them all out. Enough tricks already, these guys could use some treats. If you have a great costume idea then please leave it in the comments for everyone to enjoy. Send us all your sports Halloween costume photos and we will post them to our instagram.
The 2015-2016 season was one to forget for Rangers players and fans alike. After a hot 14-2-2 start, the Blueshirts finished at a 91-point pace. A pace that, over a full season, would’ve missed the playoffs. Considering how the team limped into the first round just to get embarrassed by the eventual Cup champs, that might’ve been a good thing. That’s the past though. This off-season was an interesting one for Slats successor Jeff Gorton. With limited resources, he had to figure out a way to “rebuild” with the potential for immediate improvement. All things considered I think he did an excellent job. The potential to bounce back as an Eastern Conference powerhouse is there. Cup Ready? – thats TBD.
New Sheriff, Jeff Gorton.
Brassard (29 – Ottawa), Stalberg (30 – Carolina), Moore (36 – Boston), E. Staal (32 – Minnesota), Glass (33 – AHL), Yandle (30 – Florida), Boyle (40 – retired)
There’s absolutely no denying the Rangers are significantly better up front simply by subtraction. Eric Staal & Glass are relatively useless. I love Dom Moore but the game looked to pass him by last season. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Stalberg return but he’s not exactly a linchpin guy. Brass was a fan-favorite, but moving him for a better two-way center that scores at a similar clip & has yet to hit his prime is the right decision. Gorton has retooled these forwards in a big way and its already starting to translate into success.
It’s only 6 games – two of which they lost – but this New York Rangers team looks infinitely more equipped to succeed playing the up-tempo game that’s sweeping the league. The speed & aggressiveness is obvious compared to last year’s passive squad & that’s in large part to Jeff Gorton’s off-season tinkering. Under-the-radar newcomers like Grabner, Pirri & Clendening have given the Blueshirts exactly what was expected so far. Nick Holden has soaked up 21 minutes a game & been solid. Jimmy Vesey has had his opportunities to score but appears a bit snakebitten. Buchnevich has shown a better two-way game than I expected & has been an asset despite a couple “rookie” plays. And anyone skeptical about the Brassard/Zibanejad swap has to have changed their mind.
Zibanejad and Kreider all day.
A big part of Kreider’s early success (seven points in five games) can be attributed to Zibanejad doing a great job of opening up some space and moving the puck into soft areas so that the big American winger can play to his strengths. Zibanejad just seems to have eyes in the back of his head, one pass that displays all of his gifts came in the first game of the season against the Fishsticks when the centerman peels out of the corner and finds Brady Skjei at the point.
One of the best parts of Zibanejad’s game is his ability to move the puck to his linemates after drawing defenders to him. This is an important aspect of any center’s game, but Zibanejad does it with incredible grace and it’s allowed his linemates to play with more space in front of them.
Not only has Zib shown great chemistry with his linemates & as much offensive capabilities as Brass, but he’s dominating the dot & working his ass off in the defensive zone. This kid is going to be a star. Gorton should do everything he can to lock him up long-term before even risking him as an RFA before next season. #93 doesn’t turn 24 until the playoffs start & has apparently helped turn Chris Krieder into the monster we’ve been waiting for. Kreids was stellar all preseason & has followed that up with consecutive 1 G/1 A/7 SOG efforts in the games that count. He’s teased us before but this is a newfound confidence he’s skating with. This time, it feels so real.
The road ahead is not an easy one, but if the past few games are any indication of how the season will go, we’re in for a real treat. Big picture, the window is still wide open for the New York Rangers.
For ScoreBoredSports 500th post, we honor the number 500 and see its mark on the world of sports. 500 is a mountain to climb for things like wins, goals, yards in a game but many of the greats have those milestone in their rear-view. Let’s dig through sports history books and see where the famous number presents itself.
The first thing that comes to mind. I’ll include Daytona and all other major 500 lap Sprint Cup races in this section. Racing wasn’t always on my sports radar but with age, I’ve come to appreciate the talent needed to drive a car over 200 mph for hundreds of laps. My old car can’t even go over 45 mph. NASCAR speed is almost shocking but it’s the control that’s truly impressive.
The term “.500”
In reference to a team’s winning percentage. Often in the context of over or under .500. AKA are you a winning or losing team. This metric is used in many pro games. It is the gold standard for coaches where W’s mean keeping a job. Over .500? Things are probably going pretty good.
500 yards passing in a game
Only 16 NFL QBs have pulled this off. From older names like Norm Van Brocklin to modern gun slingers like Matthew Stafford. As football goes more and more pass heavy, this club will stop being so exclusive. Then we’ll start talking about 600 yards passing in one game.
500 home run club
Babe Ruth was the first to hit 500 dingers and 26 others have matched the feat. Albert Pujols is the only active member of the 500 club. He sits at 591. Barry Bonds’ 762 home runs seems like an insane hill to climb for anyone.
The game “500”
You know the rules. Your one friend plays dealer and tosses a ball and calls out a point value. The rest of the players fight to catch the ball. You earn points with each catch. Hit 500 and you earn the right to be the dealer. Perfect game for when you didn’t really have the numbers for full teams of something else.
500 goals in NHL
Only 44 hockey players have this honor. Most of them Canadians. 500 is a huge mark but for reference, the all time leader in goals is Wayne Gretzky and he has 894. Gordie Howe is second on that list with 801. Suddenly, 500 doesn’t seem that wild.
Coaches in almost every sport have broken this barrier. Often it is a college coach who stays at one program for two decades plus. There are too many to name but most of the greats you can think of are here. Just no NFL guys because of the much shorter schedule in terms of overall games.
500 goals in soccer
27 futbol gods have netted 500 or more GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! Scoring machines Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only active players with over 500 goals. Who knows how many more these two will score before it’s all over.
Happy 500 everyone. To all the athletes with the insane records, we tip our caps to you. And to all the SBS family and all the loyal Bored-Agains, here is to the next 500 posts.
As the NHL season approaches, so does the final season for the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. It has been the home of hockey in Detroit since 1979 and is one of the most fabled venues in all of sports. With the end rapidly approaching, we take a minute to review some of the best moments in the history of Joe Louis Arena.
Red Wings/ Avalanche Brawl (March 26, 1997)
Not only is this one of the greatest moments in the history of Joe Louis Arena, this may be my favorite moment in the history of the sport of hockey. Roger Pretzel has already given you his perspective on the affair. As an 11-year-old whipper snapper, I was just coming into my own as a sports fan in the Detroit area when this shit went down. But I remember watching it on tv in real time and falling in love with the Red Wings, the rivalry and the sport of hockey.
Hockey is one of the few sports where teams have a long memory and will retaliate for past offenses, even if it isn’t until next season. Baseball is probably the only other sport where this is an accepted (more or less) practice. That’s exactly what happened with this brawl. This ass kicking that the Avalanche received at the hands of the Red Wings was payback for Claude Lemieux’s dirty hit on Kris Draper in the ’96 playoffs. That hit ended Drapers season and he ended up needing reconstructive surgery.
When the two teams met at Joe Louis Arena the following season, it didn’t take long for things to get scrappy. A scuffle turned into complete and utter mayhem and Darren McCarty took the opportunity to pay back the debt owed to Claude Lemieux by beating the shit out of him. It was glorious. Another highlight was goalies Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy duking it out at center ice. This remains my favorite moment ever to occur at Joe Louis Arena.
See for yourself:
Red Wings end 42 year cup drought (June 7, 1997)
This was such a big deal when it happened. 42 years since Hockeytown had last seen the Stanley Cup, the Red Wings complete a 4-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers on their home ice. This is another moment that I vividly remember witnessing live on tv. It really makes me realize that 1997 was a great year to be a Red Wings fan.
The Red Wings won game 4 by a score of 2-1. Mike Vernon, who had been benched for the final 10 playoff games in the previous season, redeemed himself by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. He finished the playoffs with a 16-4 record and a .927 save percentage, and was integral in bringing Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Detroit.
Then it was party time. The arena immediately went ape shit when the clock expired, and so did the players. Joe Louis Arena was so electric that you could feel the joy pouring out of the television set. All around Southeast Michigan, the drinks were flowing and the people were celebrating. Of all the Red Wings and Pistons championships I have been alive to witness, I remember this one as having the most raucous celebration. LET’S GO RED WINGS!
Here is the best of the Red Wings 1997 Stanley Cup run:
Steve Austin and the zamboni (September 28, 1998)
This is another event that has been covered in some capacity here at ScoreBoredSports. But I was physically there for this one so I have to touch on it. And it remains one of the coolest moments in WWF (WWE) history. With the Detroit Red Wings in the middle of a dominating run, pro wrestling decided to come to town and found a way to incorporate some of Detroit’s hockey culture into the spectacle. Monday Night Raw was at the Joe and as usual there was no shortage of controversy and excitement.
In usual fashion during that era, Vince McMahon was being a total asshole. He screwed over Stone Cold Steve Austin by setting him up to get beat by the Undertaker and Kane and lose the belt. The only problem was that they both pinned Steve, so there was no clear cut winner. McMahon was having some stupid ceremony to present the belt to one of them. As usual, Steve Austin wasn’t having it. Punk ass McMahon surrounded himself with police in order to protect himself from Stone Cold’s white trash wrath, but Steve Austin had other ideas.
Stone Cold drove a zamboni up to the ring and proceeded to circumvent the police and security in order to open up a quick can of whoop ass all over McMahon. 12-year-old me was going absolutely nuts out there in the crowd. Steve Austin then got arrested and taken out of the arena, but the damage was done and the whole world knew that McMahon was bitch made.
I know it’s all staged but it was still pretty sweet. Check it out:
Gordie Howe’s last/Gretzky’s first All Star Game (February 5, 1980)
This one took place before my time but that doesn’t make me think that it’s any less fucking awesome. Two of the most legendary players in the history of the hockey sharing the ice for the 32nd NHL All Star Game. A 19-year-old phenom in the making, Wayne Gretzky, and a 51-year-old titan, Gordie Howe, playing in their first and last All Star games, respectively.
It was Howe’s 23rd appearance. Gretzky would go on to appear in every single All Star Game during his 20 year career, trailing only his childhood idol, Gordie Howe in total appearances. These two would combine for six decades as the face of the NHL and to see them both on the ice had to be very special for the sold out crowd in Joe Louis Arena.
This passing of the torch from Howe to Gretzky signified a changing of the guard in professional hockey. From toothless maniacs who didn’t even wear helmets to toothless maniacs who wore helmets. Gretzky was fast and flashy and incredibly talented, but he didn’t come up with any goals or assists that night in 1980. The old grizzled vet, Gordie wound up with 1 assist, however, and though I couldn’t find a video of the game, I did find one of that assist.
Way to go old man:
As the sun sets on Joe Louis Arena, we bid farewell to one of the most legendary venues in hockey. You can’t stop progress, and I suppose this moment was inevitable. A top notch team needs to have top notch facilities. When the crew moves up Woodward to their new home, Little Caesars Arena, near Ford Field and Comerica Park, they will take the banners down at the Joe and all that will remain is memories of the great times that came to pass on that hallowed ground. But until 2017, there is still one more season of hockey and some more memories to be made at the Joe.