Category Archives: Sports

This is Just to Say…

Dear President Joel,

Just an idea of how we can get through our economic crisis: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4033999.

Best,

The Midnight Toker

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Why I Love Hockey Players

August sucks for a hockey fan.

The rest of the year is fine.  In September you’ve got the preseason tuneups,  October-April is hockey season, and the postseason takes you through June.  Even July has free agency.  August’s got nothing.

As a diehard Rangers fan with nothing better to do in this season forsaken by the hockey gods, I’ve been snooping around the internet for anything to get my hockey fix.  Today I found some videos that capture why hockey players are the coolest sportsmen on the planet.  (Except maybe those guys from the World’s Strongest Man competiton.  What would a troubled soul do without them on ESPN2 at 3:00 AM?  But I digress…)

Hockey players are so down to earth and approach every situation with that classic good-natured Canadian humor.  Case in point: Brendan Shanahan.

This New York Times article from last December compares the Knicks and Rangers players.  Shanny caps it off with a great quote.

Most of the Rangers live in Manhattan; the Knicks largely stay in Westchester County. Many Rangers ride the subway to the Garden. When they drive to practice here, they enter the same secure players parking lot as the Knicks do, parking their Land Rovers and BMWs alongside the Knicks’ flashier cars, a collection that includes a Bentley.

“You see a lot of Rolls-Royces down there, big trucks with nice tires and rims on them,” Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg said. “A lot of that has to do with their salaries, and how different they are as well.”

As forward Brendan Shanahan added: “The difference is, we’re in parking spaces and they just park anywhere. We actually park in the lines. They just pull up to the door and get out of the car.”

The coolest thing about hockey humor is that it comes from guys who are tough as nails.  I’m talking get your face smashed open, get it stitched up–no anesthetic, of course–and come back for the next period.   This Verizon commercial puts it nicely:

Take a look at the above-mentioned Ryan Hollweg.  On the ice, he’s a grisly monster you don’t want to mess with:

and off the ice he’s a big goofball who plays in an airband and dances around in a jockstrap:

Nothing against other sports players, but my hat goes off to hockeymen.

Just one more bonus Shanahan video from a long series of funny ESPN hockey commercials before I sign off.

Patiently waiting for hockey season to start again,

Toke

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These Girls are Flipping Underage

Just a quick post this Wednesday morning.  Like the rest of America, I had the Olympics last night.  The team that made the biggest impression on me was the Chinese, not because they performed the best–which they did–but because they are tiny.

Yes, I do realize that both Chinese people and gymnasts typically come bite-sized, but there is no way these girls are all past the minimum Olympic age of 16, like their government claims they are.  Even more absurd, the passports issued by the very same government suffices to document their age eligibility for the IOC.  Read more about it from the NY Times here.

The funny thing is that everyone seems to know that China is cheating.  When talking to NBC’s Bob Costas, famed gymnastics coach Béla Károlyi kept on going on about the scandal until Costas interrupted him to cut to the floor excersize.

My problem, besides the cheating aspect of it, is that these little girls, no matter how technically sound they may be, lack the polish of an older gymnast.  The place that it really shows is floor excersize.

Women’s floor excersize just pisses me off.  It’s an event with an identity crisis.  Is it about running, tumbling, and flipping or is it about dancing?  If it’s about gymnastics, why the hell do they do it to that annoying music that just makes the actual gymnastic component of the routine look ridiculous?  It’s like they had their sport, watched a winter Olympics and saw figure skating and got jealous.

My point is that a 14 year old girl just doesn’t have the polish that an older girl has.  The girls were so flawless in execution and then tried to shimmy a little and looked like, well, underdeveloped 14 year old girls.

Another thing that really bothered me is the lives these girls live.  They’re scouted in nurseries and taken from their families at age 3, from which point on they only see them once a year as they become part of the Chinese gymnastics machine.  Al Trautwig (who, by the way, was great last night) mentioned how the 20 year-old Chinese team captain wanted to quit several times because the girl missed her family (she’s the middle one in the top row of the picture above).  Think about it: for these girls, gymnastics is their life.  America’s Alicia Sacramone messed up, but she has a life to get back to after it’s over.  (American girls train from age 10, by the way.)  Kind of sad.

Oh well.  Sucks to be an athletic three-year-old Chinese girl.

That said, this week’s Brainfart of the Week award goes to the International Olympic Committee for thinking these girls are all 16.  You guys are idiots.

Peace out,

Toke

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Filed under Brainfart of the Week, In the News, Sports, What I'm Burining About