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When the Flyers win, a little piece of the earth breaks off and floats into space

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When the Flyers win, a little piece of the earth breaks off and floats into space

Posted on 23 April 2012 by Drew Forrester

So, as it turns out, the worst franchise in the history of professional sports figured out a way to not collapse and choke away a 3-0 series lead.

Damn.

After the Flyers lost Games 4 and 5 to the Penguins, I was holding out hope that somehow they’d drop the next two and go home losers, shamed and embarrassed at having failed to capitalize on a once seemingly-insurmountable series lead.

They got lucky on Sunday and won Game 6, in Philly no less, where the home fans got to usher Crosby and Company out of the building with a serenade of “You can’t beat us”.

Where’s Patrick Kane when you need him to shut those goofs up?

While the Capitals play for their lives on Wednesday night in Boston (and let’s face it, we know how that’s going to end), the Flyers are at home, waiting to see if they play the Caps or some other Eastern Conference foe in the next round of the playoffs.

I’ll be honest, like I always am:  I do NOT want to see the Caps face the Flyers in the next round if Washington somehow gets past the Bruins on Wednesday night.

I don’t like the Flyers.

There’s nothing at all redeeming about them.

They’ve been punks since the days of Clarke, Linseman, Leach and Hextall.

But I know hockey and I know they can create offense and I know they have some speed…and all of that would create major problems for the Capitals if, in fact, they were fortunate enough to face the Flyers in the next round.

Losing to the Flyers in the playoffs would be like having Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam off the Orioles in the top of the 9th in a September game in Baltimore that gives the Yankees the pennant.

Actually, it would be much worse than that.

In fact, if I could somehow sign a document right now that guarantees the Flyers go 0-82 next season IF Teixeira – in exchange – could hit a grand slam in Baltimore to put the Yankees in the playoffs in 2012, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Flyers…0-82?  Lord, wouldn’t that be something to behold?

I’d sell my soul to Mark Teixeira, even, to have the Flyers go winless over a whole season.

(Please see next page) 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Jermain Taylor vs. Caleb Truax (Friday 11pm from Biloxi, MS live on Showtime), Abner Mares vs. Eric Morel (Saturday 9pm from El Paso, TX live on Showtime); Tennis: ATP Tour Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 4:30am Saturday 7am Sunday 7:30am from Monaco live on Tennis Channel/ESPN3.com); Soccer: MLS-Montreal Impact @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), New York Red Bulls @ DC United (Sunday 6pm from RFK Stadium live on ESPN2); Women’s College Lacrosse: ACC Tournament-Maryland vs. Virginia Tech (Friday 2pm from Durham, NC live on ESPN3.com), ACC Championship (Monday 7pm from Durham, NC live on ESPNU)

10. Augustana (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Portugal. The Man (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live); Charm City Devils (Saturday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Colin Hay (Thursday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); The Bacon Brothers (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), WAR (Sunday 5pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Fountains of Wayne/James Iha (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), NEEDTOBREATHE (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Glen Campbell (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Bad Brains (Friday 8pm Howard Theater); Daryl Hall/Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); Bowling For Soup (Saturday 8pm Stevenson University); Johns Hopkins Spring Fair feat. Passion Pit (Friday-Sunday, Passion Pit show Friday 7pm JHU Rec Center); UMBC Quadmania feat. Gym Class Heroes (Friday-Sunday, Gym Class Heroes show Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); Neon Trees “Picture Show” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You know I’ll be at Recher Saturday night supporting the very awesome John Allan and CCD. My only issue with “Man of Constant Sorrow” is that I can’t fathom a human being leaving Kentucky…

I don’t particularly know anything about NEEDTOBREATHE but I DO know I dig this tune…

If Daryl Hall had Fitz & The Tantrums as his touring house band, I’d go to every show…

I probably shouldn’t admit how much I dig Neon Trees…

9. Ron White (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Eddie Griffin (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Norm MacDonald (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Wendy Liebman (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Tax Day (Tuesday)

I think I’m gonna go see Norm MacDonald. Because Norm MacDonald is funny. See below.

Also, it’s Tax Day Tuesday. I don’t think I’m getting any money back (do you have to make money for that?), but if I did I know exactly how I’d spend it…

There isn’t anything…in the world…I want more than a LoveSac.

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My Sports Year In Review

Posted on 30 December 2011 by Chad Lamasa

As 2011 draws to a close, I’ve been looking back on the year in sports. There have been lots of interesting things this year.

Aaron Rodgers finally escaped Brett Favre’s shadow by winning his first Super Bowl. Then follows it up with a 13-0 run before finally losing this season.

The Boston Bruins winning their first Stanley Cup since Bobby Orr played for them.

The Dallas Mavericks winning their first Championship in franchise history over, the newly minted most hated team in the NBA, the Miami Heat.

All the horrific stuff at Penn State and Syracuse.

Tebow-Mania.

Cam Newton proving everyone wrong. Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino’s passing yards record.

Coach K setting the all-time wins record.

The untimely deaths of two Baltimore sports heroes- Bubba Smith and Mike Flanagan.

But the thing that captured my attention the most…..

Three letters:  W W E!

I know what you’re thinking. Really Chad? Really? Wrestling is fake and it’s not even a sport.

Let me give you a bit of a backstory here.

When I was little, I was really into the WWF. Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and Junkyard Dog were among my favorites. I collected the toys;  many of which I still have, and my eight year old son plays with.

I waited for that one Saturday night a month when Saturday Night Live was preempted by Saturday Night’s Main Event.

I even talked my parents into taking me to a live event at, what was then, the Civic Center.

However, after I graduated high school in 1990 and went off to college, I lost my passion for WWF. The main reason being none of my college friends were into it.

About two years ago, my wife and I went out and my son spent some time with a friend who was watching WWE. He came home talking about it non-stop. He wanted me to watch it with him but I resisted. I figured it would be something he got out of quickly. My son and wife would go upstairs and watch Smackdown and I would watch something else.

Earlier this year I finally gave in and watched an episode with him. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

This past June, Raw came to First Mariner Arena. My son’s birthday is at the end of May so one of my presents to him was tickets to the event. That was it.  I was hooked once again. To be fair, I was hooked before then but going to a live event solidified it.

Since then, I’ve bought a bunch of action figures for both my son and myself, DVDs, PPVs and tickets to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs event a couple of weeks ago.  The TLC event was one of the best sporting events I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out.

That first episode, I saw a character named The Miz. He’s a heel, or in layman’s terms, a bad guy. He was on the mic doing one of his trademark rants. Instantly he became my favorite. He may not be the most versatile guy on the mic but he has a lot of humor and sarcasm in what he says. He reminds me a lot of Roddy Piper in this respect. A jerk but funny at the same time.

A lot of people don’t like him because they don’t respect the way he came to WWE, via the Real World. They think he didn’t earn what has been given to him. To me that means he has to prove himself every night and thus earn it even more.

He also finished second on the fourth season of Tough Enough which offers the winner a WWE contract. So he wasn’t completely handed everything.

The best guy on the mic is by far CM Punk. I couldn’t stand this guy when I first started watching again but he always kept me glued to the TV, I couldn’t turn him off. He comes into the ring and sits down to deliver his “pipe bombs”. I always felt like he was a smug jerk. Which he is, but his wrestling abilities and his promo on an episode of Raw in June blew me away and he has become another favorite for me. He’s more cerebral than the Miz though.

As far as the action goes, I prefer to call it choreographed. Yes there are times they miss each other and have to “sell” a punch or kick, but that happens in every action movie. No one has a problem watching Jet Li kick someone’s butt in a movie because it’s fake. It’s still exciting.

I suppose you could make an argument about WWE not being a sport. However you can’t deny the athletic ability of these guys. Particularly, the high fliers. These guys launch themselves off the top rope, off a ladder or scaffolding. They do things they would need wires to do in the movies. Pull up John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy or Rey Mysterio on YouTube, and tell me they aren’t athletes.

They have to have the execution on some of their moves down perfectly or someone could be paralyzed or even killed.

Yes there are some guys that are just big and fat and don’t have much more than power moves but those guys aren’t as prominent as they used to be. There are many more ripped guys than, out of shape flabby ones.

Plus take into account there is no off season and no breaks. They work about 300 days a year. The only break they get is if they are injured and rehabbing, or suspended for whatever reason.

I love the storylines. They run the gamut. Good versus evil. Revenge, redemption, betrayal, even an occasional love triangle.

Maybe my favorite of the current crop of stories is R Truth. His character is absolutely insane. He rants about “Little Jimmy”, and the head office conspiring to keep him down. He has these crazy eyes and plays the part very well. I almost feel like he isn’t acting.

Not to mention the beautiful women to watch. Several of which are very talented in their own right but WWE needs to figure out how to use them better.

As I’ve gotten back into it, I’ve seen how many guys my age are still into it and never lost their interest. I’ve been able to go to them with questions to fill in gaps that I have.

I now tape Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown every week to watch with my son. It’s definitely become father/son bonding time and if not for him I’d be missing out on a lot of fun.

If you keep in mind that the “E” in WWE is for “entertainment”, you just might find yourself enjoying it as much as I do.

 

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My Sports Year In Review

Posted on 30 December 2011 by Chad Lamasa

As 2011 draws to a close, I’ve been looking back on the year in sports. There have been lots of interesting things this year.

Aaron Rodgers finally escaped Brett Favre’s shadow by winning his first Super Bowl. Then follows it up with a 13-0 run before finally losing this season.

The Boston Bruins winning their first Stanley Cup since Bobby Orr played for them.

The Dallas Mavericks winning their first Championship in franchise history over, the newly minted most hated team in the NBA, the Miami Heat.

All the horrific stuff at Penn State and Syracuse.

Tebow-Mania.

Cam Newton proving everyone wrong. Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino’s passing yards record.

Coach K setting the all-time wins record.

The untimely deaths of two Baltimore sports heroes- Bubba Smith and Mike Flanagan.

But the thing that captured my attention the most…..

Three letters:  W W E!

I know what you’re thinking. Really Chad? Really? Wrestling is fake and it’s not even a sport.

Let me give you a bit of a backstory here.

When I was little, I was really into the WWF. Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and Junkyard Dog were among my favorites. I collected the toys;  many of which I still have, and my eight year old son plays with.

I waited for that one Saturday night a month when Saturday Night Live was preempted by Saturday Night’s Main Event.

I even talked my parents into taking me to a live event at, what was then, the Civic Center.

However, after I graduated high school in 1990 and went off to college, I lost my passion for WWF. The main reason being none of my college friends were into it.

About two years ago, my wife and I went out and my son spent some time with a friend who was watching WWE. He came home talking about it non-stop. He wanted me to watch it with him but I resisted. I figured it would be something he got out of quickly. My son and wife would go upstairs and watch Smackdown and I would watch something else.

Earlier this year I finally gave in and watched an episode with him. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

This past June, Raw came to First Mariner Arena. My son’s birthday is at the end of May so one of my presents to him was tickets to the event. That was it.  I was hooked once again. To be fair, I was hooked before then but going to a live event solidified it.

Since then, I’ve bought a bunch of action figures for both my son and myself, DVDs, PPVs and tickets to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs event a couple of weeks ago.  The TLC event was one of the best sporting events I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out.

That first episode, I saw a character named The Miz. He’s a heel, or in layman’s terms, a bad guy. He was on the mic doing one of his trademark rants. Instantly he became my favorite. He may not be the most versatile guy on the mic but he has a lot of humor and sarcasm in what he says. He reminds me a lot of Roddy Piper in this respect. A jerk but funny at the same time.

A lot of people don’t like him because they don’t respect the way he came to WWE, via the Real World. They think he didn’t earn what has been given to him. To me that means he has to prove himself every night and thus earn it even more.

He also finished second on the fourth season of Tough Enough which offers the winner a WWE contract. So he wasn’t completely handed everything.

The best guy on the mic is by far CM Punk. I couldn’t stand this guy when I first started watching again but he always kept me glued to the TV, I couldn’t turn him off. He comes into the ring and sits down to deliver his “pipe bombs”. I always felt like he was a smug jerk. Which he is, but his wrestling abilities and his promo on an episode of Raw in June blew me away and he has become another favorite for me. He’s more cerebral than the Miz though.

As far as the action goes, I prefer to call it choreographed. Yes there are times they miss each other and have to “sell” a punch or kick, but that happens in every action movie. No one has a problem watching Jet Li kick someone’s butt in a movie because it’s fake. It’s still exciting.

I suppose you could make an argument about WWE not being a sport. However you can’t deny the athletic ability of these guys. Particularly, the high fliers. These guys launch themselves off the top rope, off a ladder or scaffolding. They do things they would need wires to do in the movies. Pull up John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy or Rey Mysterio on YouTube, and tell me they aren’t athletes.

They have to have the execution on some of their moves down perfectly or someone could be paralyzed or even killed.

Yes there are some guys that are just big and fat and don’t have much more than power moves but those guys aren’t as prominent as they used to be. There are many more ripped guys than, out of shape flabby ones.

Plus take into account there is no off season and no breaks. They work about 300 days a year. The only break they get is if they are injured and rehabbing, or suspended for whatever reason.

I love the storylines. They run the gamut. Good versus evil. Revenge, redemption, betrayal, even an occasional love triangle.

Maybe my favorite of the current crop of stories is R Truth. His character is absolutely insane. He rants about “Little Jimmy”, and the head office conspiring to keep him down. He has these crazy eyes and plays the part very well. I almost feel like he isn’t acting.

Not to mention the beautiful women to watch. Several of which are very talented in their own right but WWE needs to figure out how to use them better.

As I’ve gotten back into it, I’ve seen how many guys my age are still into it and never lost their interest. I’ve been able to go to them with questions to fill in gaps that I have.

I now tape Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown every week to watch with my son. It’s definitely become father/son bonding time and if not for him I’d be missing out on a lot of fun.

If you keep in mind that the “E” in WWE is for “entertainment”, you just might find yourself enjoying it as much as I do.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR Awards Show (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SPEED); Golf: PGA Tour Qualifying School (Saturday & Sunday 4pm, Monday 3:30pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel), PGA Tour Chevron World Challenge (Thursday & Friday 1pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12pm live on NBC. All golf from Thousand Oaks, CA); Women’s College Basketball: Big Ten/ACC Challenge-Michigan @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ American (Sunday 1pm Bender Arena); Tennis: ATP Tour Davis Cup Final (Friday 8am Saturday 10am Sunday 7am from Seville, Spain live on Tennis Channel)

10. Andrea Bocelli (Friday 8pm Verizon Center); Erykah Badu (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Dashboard Confessional (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 7pm 8×10 Club); Aaron Neville (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Robin Thicke (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); String Cheese Incident (Wednesday 8pm Lyric Opera House), Ryan Adams (Sunday 7:30pm Lyric Opera House); J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Friday 9pm Ottobar); Mac Miller (Thursday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Ra Ra Riot (Friday 7pm Ritchie Coliseum College Park); Tori Amos (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Adele Live at Royal Albert Hall available on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes (Tuesday)

I really shouldn’t like Robin Thicke all that much. I just can’t help myself…

Dude, Ryan Adams has made so many great tunes but are any of them greater than this?

I feel like I should be a bigger J Roddy Walston fan than I am…http://wnst.net/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?post=185164&action=edit

I don’t know if Adele sounds BETTER at Royal Albert Hall…but I know this much…no CHANCE she doesn’t sound amazing…

9. Washington Monument Lighting (Thursday 7pm from Mt. Vernon Place live on WBAL11), Mayor’s Christmas Parade (Sunday 2pm Hampden/Medfield); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Steve-O (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Jim Norton (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House)

Is there any chance that when Stephanie Rawlings-Blake flips on the lights at the monument the scene looks anything like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ar-__ub0rc

And since I’ve already invoked Christmas Vacation, I think it’s only appropriate that we do this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 04 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Arena Football-AFL Cleveland Gladiators @ Philadelphia Soul (Friday 8pm from Philly live on NFL Network); Canadian Football League: Montreal Alouettes @ Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday 4pm from Saskatchewan live on NFL Network), Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday 7pm from Edmonton live on NFL Network); WNBA: Washington Mystics @ Chicago Sky (Tuesday 8pm from Chicago live on ESPN3.com); Boxing: Brandon Rios vs. Urbano Antillon (Saturday 10pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Friday Night Fights-Francisco Sierra vs. Jesus Gonzales (Friday 9pm from Phoenix live on ESPN2)

10. Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (Thursday 6pm Rams Head Live), Charm City Devils (Saturday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Old 97′s (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Frankie Beverly & MAZE (Saturday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Animal Collective (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Def Leppard/Heart (Saturday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); John Witherspoon (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Rockapella (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); The Bridge (Sunday 6pm Ladew Gardens)

The Old 97′s are the best band you’ve never heard of. (I’ve always wanted to say that!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1nn7lXP7WQ[/youtube]

I’ve been trying to get you to support John Allan and CCD boys for years. Please start soon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUB08-RuwdM[/youtube]

My favorite Def Leppard tune? Quite possibly “Photograph”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ5bS3_BCDs[/youtube]

For the 15th time this year, PLEASE START LISTENING TO THE BRIDGE…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajY3mBuGVQk[/youtube]

9. “Horrible Bosses” opens in theaters (Friday); Boy Meets World Season 6 available on DVD (Tuesday)

I finally saw “Bridesmaids” over 4th of July weekend. How can Kristen Wiig not be funny at all on Saturday Night Live but then be genuinely funny in a really funny movie? Weird.

Critics are telling us Horrible Bosses is really funny, so I imagine I’ll see it. I am struggling with one of the plotlines being Charlie Day having problems with being sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston however…

aniston

Nope. Not buying it.

And as far as BMW Season 6 goes, I remember the ridiculous range of emotions I experienced while watching the episode “Resurrection.” Tough to do this to a 13 year old kid, ABC.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIv8WCIfD4Y[/youtube]

8. Pro Lacrosse: MLL All-Star Game (Saturday 7pm from Boston live on ESPN2)

Lord…they’ve won the Super Bowl three times, the World Series twice, the NBA Championship, the Stanley Cup and four Frozen Fours since 2001 and now they’re taking the All-Star Game in OUR sport?

Jesus, this is too much. Seriously, can’t we just have anything in Charm City? I mean, are they going to take this from us next???

backriver

7. Cycling: Tour De France (Stage 3 Tuesday 8am Stage 4 Wednesday 7:30am Stages 5-8 Thursday-Sunday 8am all live on VERSUS)

I couldn’t tell you a damn THING about the Tour de France at this point, and I follow Lance Armstrong on Twitter.

Instead, I offer a picture of Buffalo Chicken Waffle French Fries for my food porn friends…

fries

Word.

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Quaker State 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Sparta, KY live on TNT); IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday 2pm from Toronto live on VERSUS)

Something called David Ragan won this week’s NASCAR race in Daytona. So…that happened.

Look-if it had been Brian Regan, I would have been interested…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89frRi8GgGA[/youtube]

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-MLL Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze (Friday 8pm from Salt Lake City live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-John Molina vs. Robert Frankel (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on ESPN2), Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse (Saturday 9:45 from St. Charles, MO live on HBO); WNBA: Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

10. Bad Teacher” and “Cars 2” out in theaters (Friday)

Both of these flicks appear to be watchable at worst. Bad Teacher looks particularly good, as it includes the great Jason Segel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ZtwbzUFZE[/youtube]

…Phyllis from “The Office”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCZIfPAWMis[/youtube]

…and of course the great Justin Timberlake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7gwX7rjOw[/youtube]

9. Roots Fest (Wednesday-Sunday “Highway to Nowhere”-Route 40, Franklin and N. Gilmor)

Perhaps the highlight of the event? The dialogue on the future of Baltimore…with the cast of “The Wire.”

Given the folks involved, is it safe to say that the future of Baltimore somehow involves drugs?

I’d pay ten dollars just to go and watch the guys re-enact their interrogations. Pardon the language…it’s art.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EeFa8QOq_Y[/youtube]

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sunday 3pm from Sonoma, CA live on TNT); IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Saturday 8pm from Newton, IA live on VERSUS)

Rex Snider said something on Twitter the other day about NASCAR TV ratings being up. I would have kept reading, but it involved NASCAR so I’m pretty sure no one cared.

Jeff Gordon recently won an event. With Cars 2 set to open soon, I will admit that I am much more concerned with how Jeff Gorvette is doing…

gorvette

7. Golf: PGA Tour Travelers Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Cromwell, Conn.); Champions Tour Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Endicott, NY live on Golf Channel); Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel)

With the U.S. Open in the books (and Rory McIlroy still making a birdie somewhere at Congressional), all of us not named Drew Forrester now go right back to doing exactly what we were doing before-not really giving a crap about golf.

You know how that would change? More Bubba Watson in overalls and “ooh-da-lolly lolly.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2NocuEihw[/youtube]

Seriously…these guys need to make one of these videos every week, especially if Tiger Woods is going to totally stop banging whores.

I mean, what the hell else are we supposed to do? Talk about golf???

6. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Live 4-Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story (Sunday 9pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS); Strikeforce Challengers-Caros Fodor vs. James Terry (Friday 11pm from Kent, WA live on Showtime)

A couple of things. One-Is Kevin Connolly REALLY interested in making a movie about the life of one-time MMA star Kimbo Slice? REALLY? Is Mr. T available to play him???

And also-did you see this picture of Conor Heun that Bloody Elbow posted after the Strikeforce event Saturday night? Looks normal at first…but keep looking at his right arm. I’ll give you about 5 seconds before you exclaim “Ohhhhh…………”

heun

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Feast or Famine: An exercise in futility

Posted on 16 June 2011 by Keith Melchior

With the NBA and NHL playoffs both leagues crowning  champions this week,  I think back to when Baltimore rejoiced in the Ravens’ Super Bowl  victory. The city was painted purple and fans from all over partied in the streets and watched the celebration in the rain. Hard to believe that was 10 years ago already.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were a fan of a team that never won a Super Bowl, World Series, NBA title or Stanley Cup.  Here in Baltimore, with our 2 major sports, we’ve experienced 4 NFL championships (1958, 1959, 1970, 2000) and 3 World Series titles (1966, 1970, 1983).  Buffalo comes to mind as a city that has never experienced the feeling of winning a championship. The Bills (NFL), Sabres (NHL),  and the old Buffalo Braves (NBA) have had some really good teams that never won a championship. Cities like Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto, New York, Pittsburgh Green Bay and Chicago all know what it’s like to win numerous championships and on many occasions, fans from a few of those cities love to rub  those championship victories in the faces of many Baltimore fans.

We’re well aware the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and in the AL the Cleveland Indians last won the series in 1948. Around the Baltimore area, we hear the complaining about the Orioles only making the playoffs twice in 27 years and not winning a World Series title since 1983.

It’s hard to win championships in any given league. Many franchises were fortunate enough to win multiple titles in their history.  Others, however, haven’t been lucky enough to even win at all. Some have never gotten the chance to play for a league championship. Talk about a hard pill to swallow. How would you like to be those fans?

Here’s a list of all current major sports franchises, the year they last won a championship and the current drought ;

Baseball – Chicago Cubs 1908 – 102 yrs, Washington (Senators/Nationals) 1924 – 86 yrs,  Cleveland 1948 – 62 yrs,  Pittsburgh 1979 – 31 yrs,  Baltimore 1983 -27 yrs,  Detroit 1984 – 26 yrs,  Kansas City 1985 – 25 yrs,  New York Mets 1986 – 24 yrs,  LA Dodgers 1988 – 22 yrs,  Oakland 1989 – 21 yrs,  Cincinnati 1990 – 20yrs,  Minnesota 1991 – 19 yrs,  Toronto 1993 – 17 yrs,   Atlanta 1995 – 15 yrs,   Arizona 2001 – 9 yrs,  LA Angels  2002 – 8 yrs,  Florida  2003 – 7 yrs,  Chicago White Sox 2005 – 5 yrs, St Louis 2006 – 4 yrs,  Boston 2007 – 3 yrs,  Philadelphia 2008 – 2 yrs,  NY Yankees 2009 – 1 yr,  SF 2010 – current.

These 7 current teams have yet to win a World Series;  Houston 1962 – 48 yrs , San Diego Padres  1969 – 41 yrs,  Milwaukee Brewers 1969 – 41 yrs, Texas 1972 – 38 yrs – Seattle* 1977 – 33 yrs, Colorado 1993 – 17 yrs, Tampa Bay 1998 – 12 yrs….  *Seattle is the only team to have never played in a World Series.

NHL – It’s not an easy task to win the most beautiful trophy in all of professional sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup. It takes 16 playoff wins to accomplish the feat. Unlike the NBA, where certain teams seem to dominate the post-season, the NHL has crowned 8 different champions in the last 8 seasons. The only 2 teams to repeat as champion in the last 20 years were Pittsburgh in 1991/92 and Detroit in 1997/98. Detroit and New Jersey are the only teams to win twice in the millennium.

The drought continues for former Cup winners;  Toronto 1967 – 44 yrs, Philadelphia 1975 – 36 yrs, NY Islanders 1983 – 27 yrs, Calgary 1989 – 22 yrs,  Edmonton 1990 – 21 yrs, Montreal 1993 – 18 yrs, NY Rangers 1994 – 17 yrs, Dallas 1999 – 12 yrs,  Colorado 2001 – 10 yrs, New Jersey 2003 – 8 yrs, Tampa Bay 2004 – 7 yrs, Carolina 2006 – 5 yrs, Anaheim 2007 – 4 yrs, Detroit 2008 – 3 yrs, Pittsburgh 2009 – 2 yrs, Chicago 2010 – 1 yr, Boston 2011 – current.

These 12 franchises have never won a Stanley Cup in their history; LA Kings 1967 – 44 yrs,   St Louis 1967 – 44 yrs, Buffalo 1970 – 41 yrs, Vancouver 1970 – 41 yrs, Washington 1974 – 37 yrs,  Minnesota (North Stars -1967-1993 and Wild -2000) 37 yrs,  Atlanta (Flames 1972-1980 and Thrashers  1999-2011) – 22yrs**,  San Jose 1991 – 20 yrs,  Ottawa 1992 – 19 yrs,  Winnipeg 1979-1996 – 17 yrs ** , Florida 1994 – 17 yrs,  Phoenix 1997 – 14 yrs, Nashville 1998 – 13 yrs, Columbus 2000 – 11 yrs… **Atlanta’s franchise was sold and will move to Winnipeg in 2012, the 2nd time NHL hockey has failed in the ATL.

These teams have never played in a Stanley Cup final;  Atlanta, Winnipeg, San Jose, Phoenix, Nashville and Columbus.

Boston ended their 39 yr drought last night, making Toronto the only team left from the original 6 not to win at least one Stanley Cup in the last 18 years.

NBA – The NBA is very stingy when it comes to crowning new champions. The sport has been dominated by Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Antonio over the last 50 years, with those teams claiming the NBA title 36 times.  Since 1960, there have only been 15 different NBA champions crowned.  The Dallas Mavericks won their first ever NBA title in the 30 yr history of the franchise this week.

The drought continues for the following teams; Milwaukee Bucks 1971 – 40 yrs, New York Knicks 1973 – 38 yrs, Golden State 1975 – 36 yrs, Portland Trailblazers 1977 – 34 yrs, Washington 1978 – 33 yrs,  Philadelphia 1983 – 28 yrs, Houston 1995 – 16 yrs, Chicago 1998 – 13 yrs, Detroit 2004 – 7 yrs, Miami 2006 – 5 yrs, San Antonio 2007 – 4 yrs, Boston 2008 – 3 yrs, LA Lakers 2010 – 1 yr, Dallas 2011 – current.

Having a lot of different teams winning an NBA Championship over the years was almost like trying to unseat Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund or Hulk Hogan for the WWF championships, it just didn’t happen very often as noted by the gaps between the droughts from 1983 to 2011 when the likes of San Antonio (4), Detroit (3), Houston (2),Boston (3), LA Lakers (8), and Chicago (6) won 26 of 28 championships during that span. Miami and Dallas are the only different, “non-repeating” teams to win a title in 28 seasons

These franchises have never won an NBA title;  Phoenix 1969 – 42 yrs, Atlanta &  Cleveland 1970 – 41  yrs,  Utah 1975 (in New Orleans) – 36 yrs, Denver, New Jersey, & Indiana 1977 – 34 yrs,  LA Clippers 1979 (in San Diego) 32 yrs,  Sacramento 1986 – 25 yrs, Minnesota & Orlando 1990 – 21 yrs,  Memphis 1996 (in Vancouver) – 15 yrs, Toronto 1996 – 15 yrs, New Orleans 2001 – 10 yrs, Oklahoma City 2008 – 3 yrs

These 10 teams have never appeared in an NBA final: Charlotte, LA Clippers, Sacramento, Oklahoma City**, Toronto, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Denver, and Minnesota. **(the  franchise won in 1979 as the Seattle Supersonics before moving to OKC)

NFL – They talk about wanting parity in the NFL and they are right. Here is an interesting list of all the current NFL franchises and the last time they won either the Super Bowl or the old NFL Championship post 1940′s.

Here’s the drought between championships;  Detroit 1957 – 53 yrs, Philadelphia 1960 – 50 yrs, Cleveland 1964 – 46 yrs, NY Jets 1968 – 42 yrs, Kansas City 1969 – 41 yrs, Miami 1974 – 36 yrs, Oakland 1983 – 27 yrs, Chicago 1985 – 25 yrs, Washington 1991 – 19 yrs, San Francisco 1994 – 16 yrs, Dallas 1995 – 15 yrs, St Louis 1999 – 11 yrs, Baltimore 2000- 10 yrs, Tampa Bay 2002 – 8 yrs, New England 2004 – 6 yrs, Indianapolis 2006 – 4 yrs, NY Giants 2007 – 3 yrs, Pittsburgh 2008 – 2 yrs, New Orleans 2009 – 1 yr, Green Bay 2010 – current.

These 10 franchises have never won a title in their history; Minnesota 1961 – 49 yrs, Atlanta 1966 – 44 yrs, Cincinnati 1968 – 42 yrs, (AFL merged teams – Buffalo 1970 – 40 yrs, Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans 1970 – 40 yrs, San Diego 1970 – 40 Yrs) Seattle 1976 – 34 yrs, Jacksonville 1995 – 15 yrs, Carolina  1995 – 15 yrs, Houston 2002 – 8 yrs….

Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston are the only current teams who have never played in Super Bowl game although Detroit and Cleveland both won an NFL Championship in 1957 and 1964, respectively. Even in the parity era of the NFL, only 17 of the current 32 teams (53%) have ever won a Super Bowl. Parity might give teams a chance, but it doesn’t guarantee them a title.

With MLB in preliminary talks about eliminating the divisional format and going to 2 leagues with a balanced schedule, the playoffs would expand to 5 teams in both the AL and NL. The teams finishing in 4th and 5th place would be the wild card teams and have a best of 3 series to determine who gets to play the top seed in the divisional round. Those 2 teams, along with the 2nd and 3rd place finishers would face off  in the divisional round. The LCS would pit the winners of round 2 in a best of 7. That seems to make the scramble for playoff seeding much more interesting. The only thing left is for MLB to scrap the  All-Star game winner securing home field advantage in the World Series. That should be left up to the individual teams to decide with best overall record determining the advantage.

Should MLB make the switch, we wouldn’t have to hear the Oriole apologists complaining about the Orioles having to play in the over-matched Al East anymore. Thankfully, that would be a thing of the past and hopefully so would their string of non-playoff appearances.

How sweet would it be to have both the Orioles and Ravens celebrating championships together? Extremely.  Then we could rub it in other fans’ faces for once.

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Dear Football, Please Just Come Back Already

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Dear Football-

It didn’t hit me until Tuesday night. To be totally honest with you, I’ve been really enjoying some of the other things going on in the world of sports since you left my life in February.

My favorite NHL team (the Phoenix Coyotes) were quickly swept out by the Detroit Red Wings, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been really good otherwise. Most of the cities I don’t like have already seen their teams eliminated (Pittsburgh, Washington, New York) and the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to deliver the most painful heartbreak to Boston Wednesday night, with a chance to win a Game 7 at home against the Bruins.

There’s been a ton of scoring but still a ton of close games, and the hockey playoffs in general have been pretty good.

My favorite NBA team (the Phoenix Suns) didn’t even qualify for postseason play, but it had little effect on how exciting the NBA playoffs were. Between the Los Angeles Lakers getting swept out, Greivis Vasquez and the Memphis Grizzlies getting within a game of the Western Conference Finals and the riveting series the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat played in the NBA Finals, the postseason was thrilling.

Even those of us that don’t spend too much time watching regular season hoops found ourselves making postseason games destination television.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 13 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Long Island Lizards (Thursday 7:30pm from Hempstead, NY live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Fernando Guerrero vs. Grady Brewer (Friday 9pm from Austin, TX live on ESPN2), Canelo Alvarez vs. Ryan Rhodes (Saturday 10:30pm from Guadalajara, Mexico live on HBO)

10. Sade & John Legend (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Katy Perry (Wednesday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Owl City & Mat Kearney (Saturday 5:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Rascal Flatts (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Patti LaBelle (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap), Elvis Costello & The Imposters (Wednesday 8pm Wolf Trap), Daryl Hall & John Oates (Monday 8pm Wolf Trap); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Michael Franti & Spearhead (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Pop Evil/Crossfade (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live), Good Charlotte/Yellowcard (Monday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); The Bridge (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Pat McGee (Friday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Mark Curry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Aziz Ansari (Friday 7pm & 10pm Warner Theatre); “The Green Lantern” opens in theaters (Friday)

I was digging John Legend way before I ever heard his cover of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.” That being said, it DOES make me like him more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrQ4njrnnsI[/youtube]

When David Letterman had eight heart attacks, apparently Elvis Costello filled in for him one night and introduced himself as the musical guest. This is why YouTube exists, folks…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XYFJUP84lE[/youtube]

If you’re not listening to Michael Franti, this is on you at this point. Get on it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-8mw9MKbQ[/youtube]

Seeing Pat McGee playing solo makes me wonder what Pat McGee Band is doing. That being said, he’s pretty good on his own too…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzTL2woRzrI[/youtube]

9. Harford County Restaurant Week continues (Tuesday & Wednesday throughout Hazzard County)

Ho.ly. Crap.

You mean to tell me there’s a Chiapparelli’s in Havre de Grace and NONE of you a-holes told me?

Look, it will never replace the O.G. in Little Italy (which is actually closer to me), but it’s a potential refreshing change of pace when I need a fix.

Yes, I have an addiction…to Chips salad.

chips

What are everyone’s plans Wednesday night? I’m in if you are…

8. Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

You might not know this, but I’m a HUGE fan of the Roller Girls.

It isn’t just because the first time I went to see them I was greeted with Chipotle and Pabst Blue Ribbon, although I will admit it helped.

It’s also about the players’ names. For example…

Minnie Piledriver
Reckless Ndangerment
Frenzy Lohan
Duchess of Torque
Flo Shizzle
Coach Ballbricker
Dolly Rocket
Joy Collision
Pistol Whip

I offer one solid dollar for someone to come up with my own CCRG name. Not just a dollar…a SOLID dollar. Keep that in mind.

7. Auto Racing: NASCAR Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 (Sunday 1pm from Cambridge Township, MI live on TNT); IndyCar Series Milwaukee 225 (Sunday 3:30pm from West Allis, WI live on ABC)

I know some people are into this, but I’ve made no mistake that NASCAR and Auto Racing in general just aren’t for me.

You know how it WOULD be for me? If Rick From Reisterstown could call the races!!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlmJsosYi_Y[/youtube]

Rick took the collar this year when Ruler On Ice claimed the Belmont instead of Shackleford. Seriously though, if you took your betting advice from Rick-I’ve got nothing for you.

6. NHL Playoffs: Stanley Cup Finals-Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks (Game 7 if necessary Wednesday 8pm from Vancouver live on NBC)

You’re thinking to yourself “Glenn, why is a potential Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals only number 7 on your list instead of being number 1???”

The answer is-of course-because if there’s a God (and I believe there will be), the Canucks will parade around Beantown with the Cup Monday night and Vancouver will simply be recovering from a 48 hour hangover Wednesday night.

If they win (either Monday OR Wednesday), we all agree that as a show of thanks for vanquishing the evil from Boston, we dress up like this on Friday, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4ICMRAUEoE[/youtube]

5. Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour Wimbledon (Opening Round Monday 7am from Wimbledon, ENG live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com)

The thing I like most about the fortnight is the chance to really watch the prettiest players in the sport go at it…

roddick

What did you think I was going to do? Post a picture of Caroline Wozniacki? This is the one grand slam event that Andy Roddick is actually (kinda) good at! Let me have SOMETHING!

By the way, I’m going to REALLY go out on a limb and say Rafael Nadal wins Wimbledon this year. Stunning, I know-but I hear he’s pretty good.

4. Soccer: Team USA vs. Guadeloupe (Tuesday 9pm from Kansas City live on Fox Soccer Channel); MLS-DC United @ Real Salt Lake (Saturday 9pm from Salt Lake City live on Comcast SportsNet)

What happened to Team USA against Panama Saturday night in Tampa Bay was nothing short of a debacle. Playing Van Halen tunes won’t make me feel a THING better about it, despite what some of your wisenheimers have tried doing on Facebook (search “Glenn Clark”) and Twitter (@WNST & @GlennClarkWNST).

There was SOMETHING good that came out of soccer this weekend though. If you haven’t seen the goal Eric Hassli scored for the Vancouver Whitecaps yet, thank me later.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Vfdx7LEh4&feature=player_embedded#at=48[/youtube]

3. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament-Allistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum (Saturday 10pm from Dallas live on Showtime)

The disappointing part about Saturday’s event is that Gina Carano had to pull out of her fight.

Yes, that sentence WAS written in a way that would allow me to giggle about using the words “Gina Carano” and “pull out”.

I’d tell you more about the guys who ARE fighting, but wouldn’t we all just rather take another gander at the infamous weigh-in picture???

carano

Yep. Pants smaller.

2. Pro Wrestling: WWE Capitol Punishment (Sunday 8pm from Verizon Center live on Pay-Per-View); WWE Monday Night Raw (Monday 7:15from from 1st Mariner Arena live on USA Network)

Here’s the deal. Kelly Kelly will be in Baltimore Monday. If somehow she manages to leave town Tuesday, we’ve all failed.

kellykelly

1. Golf: PGA Tour/USGA U.S. Open (Thursday & Friday 10am & 5pm live on ESPN, 3pm live on NBC Saturday 2pm Sunday 1:30pm live on NBC. All golf from Congressional Country Club in Bethesda)

Harrison Frazar comes into the event red hot, having won the St. Jude Classic in Memphis. That inspires the question, “who the hell is Harrison Frazar?”

It inspires the additional, significantly more important question “did Harrison Frazar manage to get his family back after the win?”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9GwtRsOYSI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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