Tag Archives: Alex Ovechkin

The Grandma who wants to be a Cowboys cheerleader. The Rangers pull off a miracle. And a rare moment of truth on Fox News.

I am drained, emotionally and physically, after that miraculous New York Rangers win last night over the Washington Capitals.
And it was miraculous. Down 2-1 with 22 seconds to go, Washington’s Joel Ward accidentally high-sticks the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin, giving the Rangers a four-minute power play.
I didn’t think this would matter, since the Rangers power play had been beyond awful all night.
But sometimes miracles happen in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Brad Richards scored to tie the game with 6.6 left and send Madison Square Garden into bedlam.
Then, with the power play again in overtime, Marc Staal scored and the Rangers won.
SO huge. To be seven ticks away from going down 3-2 in the series, to tying it, winning in OT, and now only needing one more win to advance to the conference finals? Amazing how fast that game turned.
Couple more hockey thoughts on the game, if you’ll indulge me:
— Richards got signed to a $9 million per year contract last summer. He deserves it after tonight. Huge game for him.
— Rangers deserved to win after dominating most of the game, but in the words of Snoop from “The Wire,” “Deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it.” I was giving up hope with a minute left.
— I love him when he’s not playing the Rangers, so it’s great to see Caps star Alex Ovechkin finally playing defense and buying in. I just hope he doesn’t score any more this year.
— Please, Blueshirts, get this done Wednesday night and win it in 6. I can’t take another Game 7.

I love people who never let go of their dreams, no matter how improbable they start to seem.
Meet  Sharon Simmons, a 55-year-old grandmother of two who lives in Texas.
All her life, Sharon wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. She wanted to try out when she was 22, but life got in the way (bills to pay, kids to feed, that sort of thing).

Still, she didn’t give up her ambition, and last weekend attended tryouts for the world famous squad. We don’t know yet if she made the team (she said she forgot part of her routine partway through, which could happen to anyone, 5 or 55), but I love what she said afterward.

“For me, it has been about the journey.”

So true. I hope Sharon makes it and becomes the oldest Cowboy cheerleader ever.

**Finally, every once in a while a Fox News anchor lets his or her guard down and says something we’re all thinking. Shep Smith has always seemed like one of the rare “free thinkers” at Fox News; I’ve heard him call out anti-gay bigots, and his rant here about Newt Gingrich after the Egomaniacal One dropped out of the race was highly entertaining.

But he saved his best bit on Gingrich for after that, when Mitt Romney announced that he and Newt were best pals again. Click on the video above to see what Smith had to say at the end.
Bravo, Shep.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/true-but-rather-strange-to-hea.html

The toughest waiter in America. And the NHL does a very cool thing

So you think being a waiter is a tough job requiring tough people? Well, you’re right. But not many are as tough as my new hero, a waiter at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Skokie, Ill.

Peter Crotty is a 24-year-old waiter who was working on Oct. 29 when three teenagers came in, ordered $51 worth of food, then tried to dash out with it without paying. So Crotty, naturally, chased after them, flung himself onto the side of their SUV, and hung on as the men tried to punch him and get him to fall off.

Eventually, Crotty jumped off, but the police caught the hooligans and arrested them.
I love it. A waiter who takes it personally when you try to stiff the restaurant. That’s one bad-ass waiter, to go chasing after three kids who ran out.
And I loved his quote at the end of the story, about why he ran back to work: “I still had tables.”
I hope everyone in his section gave him a nice big tip that night.

**I don’t write much about the NHL on this blog because I’m sure few of you care as much as I do, and also I haven’t had time to pay much attention to hockey yet this season.
But I heard this Wednesday and thought it was awesome. At the NHL All-Star Game this year, instead of just playing the Eastern Conference vs. the Western Conference, they’re going to select 2 captains and let them pick teams.
Yeah, just like we all did on the playground when we were kids. So Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin could conceivably stand there like two 11-year-olds, going “I’ve got Mike Green,” “OK, then I’m picking Ilya Kovalchuk,” and so on and so on.
I love it. The NHL has said, though, that the last few picks will be made all at once, so some 27-year-old millionaire who’s an All-Star doesn’t have his ego wounded by being the last pick.
Hey, I turned out OK.

A thrilling game Sunday. And oh yeah, the Super Bowl was good, too

I know every sports-related blog in America will be starting with the Super Bowl today, and I’ll have plenty of thoughts on that in a minute.

But just to be a little different, let me tell you how amazing that Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game was Sunday afternoon. Sidney Crosby, the second-greatest player in the NHL, scores twice, and helps his team get up 4-1. Then Alex Ovechkin, who I’d stalk if I lived in D.C., and also the greatest player in the NHL, comes back with a hat trick and sets up the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Caps won 5-4.

As I keep saying, this rivalry right now, Caps-Penguins, is what hockey is all about. It’s thrilling every time they play, and anyone who wants to be introduced to how awesome hockey is, should make Caps-Pens their first required viewing. Great stuff.

**OK, now to the Super Bowl. Thought it was a really good game; not quite as dramatic as last year, but still really damn good.

First, the non-football stuff, the commercials:

– Absolutely loved the Google commercial about the guy studying abroad in Paris, which led to so many other things. I thought the Vizio spot was really cool, too, and the Monster.com ad of a beaver playing a violin, well, how could you go wrong with cute animals doing Mozart?

But I think my favorite ad was the Audi “Green Police” commercial; thought it was brilliant:

– I guess I have to weigh in on the Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family ad, which I criticized quite harshly on CNN.com here. It was totally harmless. I don’t know if the ad was originally more strident, and because of all the controversy Focus on the Family toned it down, or if it was just always that benign.

Again, my point in the column wasn’t to criticize Tebow; it was to point out CBS’s awful double standard: Homosexuals, bad. Christian anti-abortionists, good.

– I thought The Who were fine as halftime entertainment, though I was hoping Pete Townsend would break his guitar at the end. Though Posnanski had a great line: Will Pete Townsend break his guitar, or break his hip?” Maybe the NFL can get ZZ Top or The Monkees for next year.

–OK, to the game itself. One of the more shocking sports things I’ve seen in my life, not up there with Douglas knocking out Tyson (just watched that clip again, still can’t believe it happened), but still pretty stunning, was the great Peyton Manning throwing that interception late in the fourth quarter. Tracy Porter made a great play, but it was one of those deals where you couldn’t believe Manning really screwed up like that, and to have it returned for a touchdown? Wow.

–Drew Brees, you were fantastic. Didn’t hit any long balls because the Colts took that away, but picked apart the defense.

– Man, at 24-17, I was convinced we were headed for our first Super Bowl overtime game.

– Phenomenal game by Jonathan Vilma, the ex-Jet. So glad Mangini decided to trade him.

– Great text from my good buddy Scott Sterbens, fellow Jet sufferer, after the Manning pick: “He couldn’t have effed up like that in the last game against us?”

Finally, how about the cojones Saints coach Sean Payton? Loved him going for it on fourth down in the first half, and the onside kick to start the third quarter took major guts. He knew he had to take risks to beat Manning, and he did.

– Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, I still wasn’t sure who to pull for when the game started. I ended up cheering for the Saints; what a wonderful story for the city of New Orleans.

And now, no more football for a while. Sadness.