Tag Archives: Nashville Predators

A bitter cold morning, and saying goodbye to Grandma for the last time. The great Barry Bremen, remembered. And a hockey commercial 1980s wrestling fans are sure to love.

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Sunday morning, on a sunny, 20-degree day on Long Island, my family said goodbye to our beloved matriarch one last time.

It was my Grandmother’s unveiling, which is a Jewish tradition wherein, within the first year after someone’s death, the family gathers together to unveil her headstone, and pay final respects.

I’ve been to several unveilings, and as a non-religious person it’s always struck me as an odd little ceremony. You are of course still sad about the loss of a loved one, but most of the emotion from the funeral has gone, everyone has moved on, and it sometimes feels like an afterthought.

This unveiling was different, though. My grandmother, as I’ve written here several times before, was an incredible woman, the best person I’ve ever met. I still think about her often, and miss her terribly.
Something so mundane as scrolling through the contacts in my cell phone and reaching the “G’s” and not seeing her name in there can make me feel sad. We used to talk all the time before Alzheimer’s robbed us of the person she once was, and our phone calls were always a highlight.

But that’s been over for a long time now, and Sunday seemed like the final moments we’d have with her. She was on a headstone next to my grandfather, and I’m glad they’re together again. We said a few prayers, hugged and kissed each other, and placed small stones on both their monuments.

It wasn’t nearly as emotional as the funeral was, but it was still a very final feeling, and it was nice to have everyone together to celebrate her one last time.

Then, we all went and had a good meal, laughing and joking and talking about Thanksgiving.

Grandma would’ve been so happy to see us all there.

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**When I was a kid, one of the strangest characters I’d ever seen in sports was Barry Bremen. Bremen was a Detroit sporting goods salesmen who, thanks to some creative ingenuity and incredibly lax security, came to be known as “The Great Imposter.” He snuck onto the field at an MLB All-Star Game, shot some warm-up hoops on an NBA court, became a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and an NFL referee.

ESPN’s “30 for 30 shorts” documentary series did a great little nine-minute video on Bremen’s life.

He was just such a bizarre character, who none of the athletes really minded (well, Tommy Lasorda, around the 6-minute mark of the video, kinda got mad).
You watch this video and realize that none of Bremen’s antics could’ve happened today, with the security in today’s stadium.

I always sort of envied Bremen; “all he ever did was bring a smile to your face,” one of his friends says in the video.
That’s a pretty good epitaph to have, if you ask me.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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**Finally today, this one made me laugh out loud. The Nashville Predators hockey team have a glut of American-born players doing well this season, so they decided to make a promo video highlighting their stars, juxtaposed with photos of great American landmarks.

To the soundtrack of Hulk Hogan’s old wrestling entrance music, “I am A Real American.” Old-school wrestling fans, enjoy.

And if you don’t have this song in your head the rest of the day, I haven’t done my job here. (Can’t you just hear Gorilla Monsoon hollering “And here comes teh Hulkster!”)

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A senseless murder leaves me with many questions. An American who lived in England examines our relationship. And a really stupid ticket idea by an NHL team.

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So many killings happen in this country, every day, that it all starts to blend together.
You turn on the TV, and there’s five murders in Chicago, a homicide in the Bronx, three people killed in Florida, yada yada yada. It all blends in like background noise, rarely paid much attention to, kind of the way the toll of our American soldiers’ deaths during long wars gets sadly ignored (Vietnam, the Iraq war from 2003-2011, it happens all the time.)

So it takes a lot to snap us out of our numbness about death. Tuesday it took me reading about this crime you may have heard about, a 23-year-old Australian going to college in Oklahoma named Christopher Lane.

Lane (photo above) is a baseball player at East Central University in Duncan, Okla., and he was murdered last Friday by three teenagers while Lane was out jogging.

They decided to kill him because, as one of the teens arrested told police, “we were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”

Of all the reasons for committing murder that I’ve ever heard, that might be the most maddening.

Where has our society gone wrong that three children growing up in America decide that it’s OK to go kill an innocent stranger because they were bored?

Where were the parents, or any other adults in these boys’ formative years, that so abdicated their responsibility to teach right from wrong?

Just sickening. Absolutely sickening that we as a nation can produce such animals as these three boys, who had nothing better to do last Friday so decided to end a person’s life.

When does it end?

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**Time for a palatte-cleanser. Next up today, I thought this was one of the best newspaper essays I’ve read in a long time. Sarah Lyall was the New York Times’ London correspondent for the past 18 years, and while across the pond she got to learn just what it is that Brits think of Americans, and how different our two countries really are.

It was fascinating to see how her biases about each country changed, and I thought she had a trenchant take, especially on how England sees our political scene.

It’s definitely worth a read.

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**Finally, I don’t mean to pick on the Nashville Predators hockey team alone, because they’re nowhere near the only franchise to do something like this.

But it’s a terrible move when anyone does it, and I just happened to get annoyed by them today.

Here’s the deal: Pro sports teams in non-traditional markets, like Nashville, often face the problem of road team fans with a rich tradition and a national fan-base coming to their arena and outnumbering, and out-cheering their home fans.

The Yankees’ opponents have this problem, as do the foes of the L.A. Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Cowboys, and other storied franchises.

So instead of building up your own team’s fan base and putting a great product on the field to encourage your own fans to come out en masse, teams pull stunts like this. The Predators have announced that for the upcoming hockey season, any fans that want to buy tickets for the home game against the Chicago Blackhawks must ALSO buy tickets to another game.

This will theoretically limit the number of ‘Hawks fans who will fill up the Predators’ arena when Chicago plays Nashville.

This is stupid. Asinine. Idiotic.

First, you are going out of your way to prevent people from other cities from visiting your town, spending money on hotels, restaurants, etc., money that is sorely needed in any town.
Second, from a sporting perspective, it’s like surrendering. You’re saying “we can’t sell out our own building, so instead of allowing people who really want to go to the games attend, we’ll just freeze them out and have lots of empty seats.”

If I were a Predator fan, I would hate this. It makes zero sense. You want more Predators fans in your building? Then win. And create the desire in new fans to come to games.