Tag Archives: Philadelphia Flyers

The Stanley Cup playoffs are awesome, and tonight I get to see them live. Skateboarding with dogs looks fun. And a minor-league team hosts a “Seinfeld” night.

rangers-flyers

The Stanley Cup playoffs began Wednesday night, and like I do every year, I looked forward to it like a Christian kid on Christmas.

We had great action in all three games, a hellacious overtime between Tampa Bay and Montreal (note to the Lightning: You need a better goalie if you’re gonna win this series, because Anders Lindback ain’t gonna get it done), and a wasted chance to steal a win by Columbus.

I’ve preached it here many times before, but the hockey playoffs are by far the best postseason in sports, for drama and excitement.

Tonight, though, is the night I’ve really been looking forward to: For the first time in my life I’m going to a Rangers playoff game live, and I am super pumped. Rangers-Flyers, Game 1.

It’s funny, I was a sportswriter for so many years, going to hundreds and hundreds of games as an impartial observer, that you almost forget what it’s like to go to a “big game” as a fan.

The nervous excitement all day, the anticipation of walking up to the gate and handing your ticket to the usher, the rush of walking into the arena. As a reporter, you ignore such things, mostly: You’re worried about Internet access, how far your seat is from the playing field, what your deadline is, yada yada yada.

But the last couple years since leaving the daily grind has made me appreciate being a fan even more. I plan to savor every moment tonight, and scream my lungs out, and curse anything in orange and black.

Should be a great time. It’s the Stanley Cup playoffs, what could be bad? For my hockey fan readers, here’s the alway s-goosebump-inducing Hockey Night in Canada 2014 playoff montage…

**Next up, this is definitely an event I will try to get tickets for: On July 5th the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team is holding a “Salute to Seinfeld” night at their game.

There will be Keith Hernandez “Magic Loogie” bobbleheads given out, the Cyclones will take batting practice in puffy uniform shorts (but they’re not playing in cotton uniforms, amazingly! Love that episode where George convinces the Yanks to play in cotton), and there’ll be an Elaine dance competition.
My favorite part is that the Cyclones’ home park is going to be renamed Vandelay Industries Park for the night, and latex salesmen get a special prize.

Can’t wait.

 

**And finally, nothing to see here, just a man skateboarding really fast with a handful of dogs on a leash:

 

 

I’ve decided I liked “Glee” finale. The Stanley Cup comes to Chicago. And Snowball, the dancing cockatoo

OK, I think I’m ready to talk about the “Glee” finale.
I needed a day to process. Plus, I know many of you are like me: you DVR the show, and watch it a day later. So now I don’t have to worry about spoiling anything.

The finale made me angry and happy at the same time. It made me angry because there were SO many ludicrous plot points, things that absolutely made you suspend reality even more than usual. Such as, how could Regionals allow a judge (Sue Sylvester) from the same school as one of the teams competing? Why does Olivia Newton-John suddenly turn so mean, when she seemed friendly the last time she guest-starred? And Idina Menzel can’t handle being Rachel’s mom, but she adopts Quinn’s baby?

I know, I know, I shouldn’t nit-pick. But that stuff drives me crazy. You have to give the viewers some points for intelligence. And there was so much overly-schmaltzy stuff with Mr. Schu.

Then I thought about all the good stuff on the finale. The amazing, transcendent six-minute montage when Vocal Adrenaline sang “Bohemian Rhapsody,” interspersed with Quinn giving birth. The fantastic Journey medley, bringing the show back to the beginning. (By the way, how weird is it that Fox is showing the whole season again starting tonight, but not the pilot episode that had “Don’t Stop Believin'” in it?).

The great, heartfelt moments between the club. The great Sue monologues interspersed. And of course, the warm, touching final scene with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sung by Puck (quickly becoming my favorite character) and Mr. Schu.

I love this show, even though I think it ran out of steam toward the end. It was a breath of fresh air on TV this year, and if they can cut out 1-2 musical numbers per show, and get back to the great storylines they had before the Olympics, I’ll be one happy Gleek.

**I know that most of you who read my blog, to my great sorrow, aren’t hockey fans. But the Stanley Cup Finals concluded Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

And as I watched them skate around with the most beautiful trophy in sports, I got goosebumps. Because if sports gives us one thing, it allows us to see grown men at the happiest moment of their careers, with smiles like 6-year-olds at Christmas.

This is the culmination of decades of work, all wrapped up into one glorious hoisting of a trophy. How often do we really get to see a person at their absolute apex of happiness? Not often. Which is why the Cup celebration gets to me, emotionally, every time.

**So being that this video has been seen like 3 million times, I might be the past person to have seen it. But I saw a story about Snowball, the Dancing Cockatoo, on CBS Sunday Morning, last week, and I’m quite literally amazed. Watch how this incredible bird dances to the beat.

Another Classic “Winter Classic.” And a meaningless bowl game sucks me in

I’ll watch just about any hockey game, but come Jan. 1 the last three years, I get extra excited.

It’s rare that the NHL breaks through the clutter of other major sports in this country, and even more rare when the NHL markets something exactly right.

But we’ve got that double dip every year now; the sport I love more than any other has truly created an “appointment viewing” hockey game.

The Winter Classic, played outdoors at either a historic football or baseball stadium, is nothing short of spectacular. Outdoor hockey, played with (sometimes) snow swirling, winds blowing, and thousands of fans watching from (pretty far away) seats. Great stuff for hockey purists, and for people like my Uncle Bryan Russo, who’s by no means a hockey fan but who tuned in for a bit Friday, just to see the spectacle.

This year’s game didn’t have the snowflakes of the great match in Buffalo two years ago, but it had plenty of other attractions. It was in Fenway Park, the greatest baseball stadium ever built, and yes, there were fans sitting in seats over the Green Monster (Sadly, my dream of a slapshot ricocheting off the big wall in left field didn’t happen). We had the Bruins and Flyers, two traditional rivals. There were legends like Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr, representing each team.

And we had a good game, short on offense but with plenty of hitting and even a fight thrown in. The Bruins, trailing 1-0 for much of the second and third periods, tied it late in the game as Mark Recchi (who, I think, was a rookie when Gordie Howe was still playing) tipped in a shot. Then the Boston boys won it in overtime, 2-1.

It’s just such a beautiful, visual sight to see hockey in a place like Fenway; can’t believe people who paid big money for their tickets had such a crappy view, but hey, they were there for the experience, more than anything else.

I hope the NHL puts the next one in Yankee Stadium; that would be awesome. Rangers-Capitals, with Alex Ovechkin skating in the new House that Jeter Built? That has to happen.

If you want to see some cool photos from this year’s Winter Classic at Fenway, check this out.

***So every year I find myself watching the end of an exciting bowl game, not sure which team to root for but compelled by the odd matchup.

Friday I watched the end of the 4th quarter and OT of Northwestern-Auburn, in-between whistles of the Winter Classic. What a wild finish. Auburn recovered a fumble, up 38-35 in overtime, and it looked like the Tigers had won. Only it was ruled not a fumble, and Northwestern kept the ball. Then, on a tying field goal try, the Wildcats kicker missed, and Auburn won (again). Except Auburn roughed the kicker, so Northwestern got still ANOTHER chance. Then on fourth down, it looked like Northwestern was going to try another field goal, with a backup kicker. But instead, they tried a fake and were tackled at the 2-yard line.

Crazy stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Particularly because I had no rooting interest; if I were fan of either of those teams, I may have had a heart attack.