Tag Archives: Stanley Cup

Barack Obama, sinking lower and lower with Syria/NSA decisions. Trampoline cliff diving? Sure. Will the Cup be awarded tonight?

I know I have only myself to blame for getting my hopes up. That in his second term Barack Obama would be a better, more decisive, more “2008” Obama than we saw in his first term.

But boy oh boy, have I been wildly disappointed. Over the last couple of weeks two major news items have shown that for many reasons Obama is failing miserably at being the kind of President millions of us hoped for.

First, the NSA data collection debacle. Oh, I know the NSA isn’t really listening to our phone calls and hearing about Aunt Ida’s trip to the Grand Canyon (random tangent: did you see that Wallenda dude walk across the Canyon on a wire last night on Discovery Channel? Insanely cool) or your hatred of your boss at work.

And I know there are legit national security grounds for data-mining some of our calls.
But this whole operation is wildly invasive and totally over the top; it reeks of what George W. Bush did during his term, and we liberals have been invoking that comparison way too often lately.

As the excellent Glenn Greenwald has been writing, prosecuting NSA leaker Edward Snowden for espionage, for God’s sakes, is ridiculous and wrong. As Greenwald points out, the Obama administration has doubled the number of espionage prosecutions in the entire history of the U.S., in just the last 4 1/2 years.

Then, Syria. Another American president, getting us deeper and deeper into a war with no end in sight, and helping arm a group of rebels who look just as dangerous and menacing as the Syrian army they’re fighting.

Obama swore up and down not to get the U.S. involved in “wars of choice.” Well, Syria is a war of choice, and like his choices on so many other issues, Obama has now made the wrong one.

Just so disappointing.

**And now, add this one to the list of sports I will never in a million years try. I present to you, trampoline cliff diving. These people are nuts…

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**Finally today, it’s a big night in the world of sports because the most awesome trophy in sports may be awarded tonight.
Through five games, the Stanley Cup Finals have been nothing short of spectacular. The Bruins and Blackhawks have played hard-hitting, compelling, intense hockey for five games, and I expect nothing less tonight when the Blackhawks try to finish the B’s off.

Saturday’s Game 5 was the nastiest of the series; the Bruins are awfully lucky Johnny Boychuk (and if that isn’t a great hockey name, I don’t know what is) didn’t get suspended for his vicious hit on Chicago captain Jonathan Toews the other night, though the B’s are likely without their best player, Patrice Bergeron, as well.

I’m rooting for Chicago in this series but honestly, I’m hoping it goes seven games. The hockey has been too good for it to end tonight.

And yes, I’ve found another excuse to run the photo (above) of me hanging with Lord Stanley, in 2005. Truly one of the Top 5 moments of my journalism career!

Two great sporting events on a Wednesday night. A high school refuses a kid a diploma for parents cheering too loud. And the enormous lies of Mitt Romney

We had two great sporting events going on simultaneously last night.
In one, the L.A. Kings tried to complete one of the most remarkable playoff runs to a championship of any sports team ever. They tried to win a Stanley Cup in front of their home fans, which is extremely cool and surprisingly rare.

Watching the Cup get skated around is one of my favorite moments in all of sports (see above video and try not to get goosebumps).

But alas, the bums from New Jersey (yes I’m still bitter over the Rangers’ defeat) stole a game and prevented an L.A. celebration.  It was, incredibly, only the third loss of the entire playoffs for the Kings.

It wasn’t that exciting of a game, to be frank, which is why I found myself watching much more of the second great sporting event last night.

I’ve had a man-crush on Kevin Durant since his transcendent freshman year at University of Texas; it was the single best season I’ve ever seen for a freshman. So it was great to see Durant, as nice and classy a kid as you’ll find in the NBA, lead his team to the NBA Finals for the first time, beating the San Antonio Spurs.

Truly amazing how fast this series turned; a week ago the Spurs had won a ridiculous 20 straight games and it seemed like nothing could stop them from winning the NBA title. And now a week later, they’re toast. Going home for the summer.

I don’t care if Miami or Boston wins the East, neither one of them is beating Oklahoma City. Great to see new teams step up and demand to be recognized, and I love seeing a talent like Durant getting to be on a national stage this spring.

And check out the cool video above at the :24 mark, when Durant walks over and hugs his Mom. So sweet.

**From something great to something that turned my stomach. Check this out: A high school senior in Ohio named Anthony Cornish has been denied a diploma he rightfully earned.

Why? Because Mt. Healthy High School officials said his family cheered too loud when his name was called at graduation.
Seriously, I’m not making this shit up. The school wants Cornish to do 20 hours of community service to make for the disruption caused by his family making too much noise when Cornish’s name was called.

I know this sounds like I made it up or stole it from The Onion, but click here for all the details (with video of the graduation).

What an absolute disgrace.

**Finally, I know it’s a Presidential election year, and I know candidates lie all the time, but this Mitt Romney whopper continues to piss me off. Here’s what he said the other day, brought to my attention by the great Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

“With America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn’t put forth a plan to get us working again. Now I know we’re getting close to an election so he’ll come out with one soon, but three and a half years later, we’re waiting.”

Are you freaking kidding me, you pompous blowhard? How about TARP, and the jobs bill in January that your fellow Republicans kept voting down or even refused to debate in Congress?

Mitt Romney cannot be elected President. I keep telling myself no one this phony, this completely full of crap, could really lead the free world.

Then I remember W., and I start to shudder.

The married couple whose clothing has matched for 35 straight years. A very cool day with the Stanley Cup. And a 6-year-old makes the Spelling Bee finals

I really don’t even know what to say about this story, except that it’s just wrong, what this couple does.
Meet Mel and Joey Schwanke, who have been married for 64 years. That’s awesome, and God bless them for being married that long.
But the Omaha, Neb. couple have a bit of a different marriage: For every day of the past 35 years, the fabric of Joey’s tie has exactly matched the color of Mel’s dress.
Every. Single. Day.
They have, according to this story, 146 different outfit combinations they can choose from.
I mean, what can you say? I’ve heard of older couples who start dressing alike after being together for a while, but this is a little ridiculous.
If you click the link above, there’s a video of Mel and Joey, too. Highly recommend it.

**The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight, and even though I’m sad the Rangers aren’t in it, it still should be a pretty compelling Finals. But the star, as it always is in the hockey playoffs, is the Stanley Cup itself. It’s the greatest trophy in sports, one I’m proud to say I’ve touched once (one of the best days of my life, truthfully).

Chris Jones, the wildly talented Esquire and ESPN writer, had a great story idea, executed well. He asked the NHL if he could borrow the Stanley Cup for a day, and just take it around his small Canada hometown and see people’s reactions to it.

What happens to Jones (and to people who touch it) is truly a great read.

**Finally, the first of what may be numerous posts this week about the National Spelling Bee. I am an ENORMOUS National Spelling Bee fan (it starts Wednesday, with the finals at 8 p.m. on Thursday night on ESPN), which I just explained to my fiance tonight.

I got a horrified laugh followed by a look of utter puzzlement from her, but hopefully no reaction that will make her give back the ring.

Anyway, the Bee is must-see TV for me every year, because A, I love seeing smart kids get rewarded by being famous for a few hours, and 2, because spelling is so horrendous among America’s children these days (believe me, I just finished grading 7th graders’ work for four months, we have a spelling epidemic in this country) and I like being reminded that some people can still spell.

Anyway, so the Bee is this week and I’m excited. Especially after I read this story, about a 6-year-old girl named Lori Anne Madison who is the youngest National Spelling Bee contestant in history. Lori sounds awesome, I hope she goes far!

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.