Thursday, August 27, 2009

Howlings in Glendale

While all hell has broken loose with the Phoenix Coyotes the past several months, Don Maloney has tried to go about the business of assembling a competitive hockey club on a phantom budget, not knowing if his team will remain in Glendale, move to Hamilton, or even continue to employ its head coach, Wayne Gretzky.

Just consider this the latest imperfect situation for one of the NHL's classiest gentlemen.

That Maloney is indeed as first-class as they come is something I know firsthand, having worked with him in the Islanders organization during the 1990's. At the time of his retirement as a player, on my birthday---January the 17th---in 1991, the Islanders hired Maloney as Assistant General Manager, and heir apparent, to legendary GM Bill Torrey.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Higgins, Gilroy Playing for Blue Shirts

Matt Gilroy and Chris Higgins share something in common with me - they're Long Island natives. They are also separated by one distinct measuring point that creates enemies - they are members of the New York Rangers.

Higgins, who hails from Smithtown and was recently acquired by the Rangers from Montreal, grew up a die-hard Habs fan, so playing for the Blue Shirts isn't as sweet as it sounds. However, when I spoke to Higgins last month he was more than thrilled to be playing for one of the Original Six teams.

(Continue to Thin Ice)

Has Holtz Lost His Mind?

Lou Holtz has gone off the deep end again with his prediction last week that Notre Dame would play in the BCS national championship game, presumably against Florida.

You have to appreciate Holtz's love for Notre Dame, and someone needs to defend the Irish, especially when they get attacked every week on ESPN by Mark May, who remains bitter because Notre Dame had the audacity to fire Tyrone Willingham (How did the "molder of men" fare at Washington?)

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

Mark Sanchez: The Only Choice

The official word was handed down Wednesday: Mark Sanchez will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets to start the 2009 season.

The unofficial word: Hopefully he will also be the starting quarterback for many additional years to come.

Rex Ryan gave a fair shake to the "incumbent", Kellen Clemens, whose only claim to the job, really, was having already been on the Jets' roster. Ryan declared the position open to a competition, may the best man win.

Trouble was, no one was best...the numbers this pre-season were pretty equal. And that's bad news for a veteran versus a rookie, because if the rookie can do what the veteran can do, why not go with the this case the number five overall pick in the draft.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

Tide Players Land in Murky Waters

Let me get this straight.

A man from Athens, Ala., takes two Alabama football players on a fishing trip earlier this year and now the players might be suspended when the fifth-ranked Crimson Tide opens the 2009 season Sept. 5 against seventh-ranked Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff.

Did I miss something?

It sounds kind of fishy to me, but reportedly Curtis Anderson, a 56-year-old man from Athens, took Tide sophomore receiver Julio Jones and sophomore running Mark Ingram on a Gulf Coast fishing trip, which Anderson paid for. Anderson claims the players are friends of his.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Mark Richt: We'll Get Beat

These are some words from Georgia coach Mark Richt after Wednesday’s practice game at Sanford Stadium, where the Bulldogs simulated their upcoming game with Oklahoma State:

“We’re not going to beat Oklahoma State playing like that. I’m glad we have 10 more days to prepare. There were too many penalties. One of the penalties forced us to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown. Offensively, we were just erratic. We did make some fine defensive plays and had good, solid tackling.”

I mentioned before that I think something is bothering Richt. I think there’s a chance he isn’t quite sure this year’s team will be that good.

(Continue to The Chapel Bell)

Ten Years of BCS: 2006

BCS had its dream season in 2005. Too bad it had to wake up for 2006.

Throughout most of the year, it looked as if the BCS would have its first intra-conference rematch, pitting Ohio State against Michigan. The Big Ten's bitter rivals matched each other game-for-game on a collision course of unbeatens while other contenders fell away.

Then on the eve of the 1-vs.-2 showdown at the Horseshoe, Bo Schembechler, Michigan's legendary coach (and former Ohio State assistant), passed away.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Greinkkkkkkkkkkkkkkke ... with 15Ks

Even the most starved and beleaguered sports fans claim some obscure benefits when their hometown team is perennially cellar-dwelling in what is perhaps baseball's thinnest division (the AL Central). Two days ago at 4:47 p.m., my roommate, Daniel, and I decided to fill another lifeless Tuesday with a trip to the Royals-Indians game that evening at Kauffman Stadium, recently renovated and now known as 'The K'.

After a quick workout and an even quicker dinner, we left for The K shortly after 6:23 p.m., hoping somehow to avoid Kansas City's rush-hour traffic and still arrive in time for first pitch at 7:05. Neither objective was an obstacle. With the Royals roughly 20 games out of first (19 entering Tuesday) and exactly 30 games below .500 (47-77), there was no discernible automotive convergence on the Truman Sports Complex, which is located due east of downtown KC and holds both The K and Arrowhead Stadium, where the town's other lovable losers languish longingly.

(Continue to Sport Imitates Life)

Phillies Closer Experiment: Fail

Who's next?

Ryan Madson has blown more saves (5) than he has successfully converted (4).

I've heard everything from bringing back Mitch Williams to calling up Scott Mathieson who is just coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2006 and another elbow injury in 2007.

(Continue to Philadelphia Sports Scene)

The Triumph of Patchwork Tennis

With a creative fusion of different styles Andy Murray has interrupted the duopoly Federer-Nadal, becoming the first player, when both present, to occupy one of the first two seeds in a Grand Slam tournament since Wimbledon 2005.

Multiplicity in unity. Andy Murray is the new paradigm, of a gestaltic synthesis of different influences and characters, styles and spurs generating an ensemble divergent and probably better in quality and quantity from the mechanical sum of the parts. He's a natural born showman, he speaks to his public with grimaces and snarls, with sulks and outbursts. He's genuine and spontaneous, on- and out-courts, and as a youngsters faced the inconveniences of journalistic misunderstandings.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)
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