Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Like we always do at this time..."

Thanks to everyone for your comments and responses. The feedback from my first ever blog entry was more than I ever expected, so thank you for reading and contributing! I hope I am able to provide enough quality reading to keep bringing you back :)

And on with the show...

LeBron's Ode to the Yankees:

Being the 'sneaker head' that I am, I had to share this link. Now as many of you may recall Mr. LeBron James aka King James, LBJ, Bron Bron, Athlete LeBron, Wise LeBron, Kid LeBron, All Business LeBron (ok ok, enough already right?), went to the Cleveland Indians/New York Yankees AL playoff series wearing a Yankees hat. This set off a whole debate amongst Cleveland's sports fan collective. Personally, I see nothing wrong with it - he's been a Yankees fan his whole life. It's not like he plays baseball for the Indians and demands to suit up wearing pinstripes or an 'NY' on his hat as he steps to the plate to hold on to his allegiance...

He has taken his Yankees love to the next level. Nike is releasing an exclusive 'LeBron V (5)' shoe inspired by his favourite 'America's past time' team. The best part is that these kicks are mainly navy blue which is a predominate color in the Cavs jerseys, especially their Alternate road attire. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out to see if he starts rocking these during games this season or post-season for that matter.

NHL All-Star Weekend:

With this year's NHL All-Star festivities just 3 days away in Atlanta, GA, I would be remiss not to discuss it! My girlfriend Kelly, who is also a huge sports nut, sent me an excellent article written by 'Hockey Night In Canada' commentator and columnist, Scott Morrison.

Morrison discusses the NHL All Star Saturday Night Super Skills Competition, specifically on all the things the NHL has done to try and make this the most entertaining NHL All Star skills competition yet! I applaud the League's choices and updates to the existing competitons to make it more fresh and exciting for the fans - because at the end of the day - it should be all about us right?!

Be sure to check it out this weekend if you'll be near a TV:

Sat. Jan 26
Dodge/NHL SuperSkills Competiton
NHL Young Stars Game
On TV: CBC (Canada) 6:30pm EST, Versus (USA) 7pm EST

Sun. Jan 27
56th NHL All Star Game
On TV: CBC (Canada) 6pm EST, Versus (USA) 6pm EST

Hope to see you all back here next week for my next update - post NHL All-Star festivities and 1st weekend of Super Bowl hype...How many times will we hear about Tom Brady's foot up until kick off on Super Bowl Sunday? I wonder if there's an 'over/under' or 'line' for that you can bet on in Vegas?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blog Initiation

First of all, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day everyone. Our world is a better place from the vision, message, and legacy he left for us to follow. We certainly haven't fulfilled his dream entirely yet, but we're getting there day by day. Thank you Dr. King.

Now, this is my first official post and foray into the world of blogging...yes, isn't that exciting...(***cricket noises in silence***) so, with that said, no point in delaying what I came here to do, and what you all came here to read (hopefully!).

I've always found the early new year to be a great time for professional sports fans. At this point on the calander the NFL Playoffs are well underway, and soon marks the unofficial halfway point of the NBA and NHL seasons with both All Star weekend events around the corner. You may be saying to yourself "What about the crazy number of free agent signings in Major League Baseball? That's exciting!". Well, as you'll soon learn about me if you don't already know me personally - I'm no longer a TRUE baseball fan.

I still go to MLB games and enjoy taking in an afternoon or evening at the ball park. NOTHING beats LIVE sporting events. I was fortunate enough to live in Chicago for a year during this past 2007 baseball season, and took in as many Cubbies and White Sox games as I could...but since the strike season of 1994, I have not been able to warm up to baseball again.

Now, to clarify - yes, the NBA had a temporary work stoppage/lockout in 1998, and the NHL had a temporary work stoppage/lockout in the 1994/1995 season, as well as the season-cancelling lockout in 2004/2005. So, why am I still an avid fan of puck and the 'Association'? Well, that's because they had the decency to NOT start the season or just cancel it altogether. Not play 70% of the games and then decide to call it quits like MLB did in 1994 (And yes Mark, if you're reading, the Expos would have beat your Braves to win the NL East, and eventually advance to the World Series in '94!). That will forever leave a nasty taste in my mouth. Worse than the one you get from eating burned popcorn.

My beloved Montreal Expos managed to get the short end of the stick once again that year, and unfortunately that was the beginning of the ending for them as a franchise, and for me as a fan of baseball. Not to mention steroids - but we'll save that foder for a future post :)

Well, now that I've gotten that off my chest (for the moment...) let's look at the upcoming match up we've been given for the 1st day of glutony in 2008, aka Super Bowl Sunday. The New York Football Giants (in the words of the great Chris Berman) vs. the New England Patriots. We could talk all day about the Patriots and all the things they have accomplished this season: all-time league records, team records, individual records, etc. - but since you've gotten that all year long, and you'll continue to get even more of that during the most hyped '2 week span' in all of sports, I'm going to choose to focus on the underdog, which they have been all season long.

The Giants were not expected to be in this position this year, most pre-season prognosticators had them middle of the pack, going 8-8 in a best case scenario. Then you had Tiki Barber trading in the shoulder pads for the microphone, and his constant criticism of Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning, and Plaxico Burress. They had the most impressive loss you'll ever see vs. the Patriots on the last week of the regular season. Since then they have reeled off 3 straight playoff wins on the road, knocking off the top 2 seeded teams in the NFC in the process. I honestly believe if the Giants can continue to play the way they have - they can be the ones holding the Lombardi trophy after the game on the evening of February 3rd.

Just announced on 'NBA on TNT' as I'm writing this entry:
Rudy Gay, Jamario Moon, Dwight Howard, and Gerald Green have now been officially announced as the contestants in this year's Sprite NBA Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA All Star festivities in the 'Big Easy' next month. I'm definitely looking forward to this - especially since the NBA is allowing fans to have some live input on judging, and to also see if Jamario is able to put on the same type of show (or better!) that all Raptors followers have seen ever since he got inserted into the starting line up in mid November.

Well, time to sign off and finish watching my Chicago Bulls take on the Memphis Grizzlies...hopefully this won't result in a loss. Then I gotta get to the gym before they close @ 10pm - just under 2 hours from now - plenty of time :)

Thanks for reading - please leave comments, opinions, love letters, hate mail - whatever you feel.