CANADA QUIETLY DOMINATES ENTIRE TOURNAMENT; WINS ANOTHER GOLD

Throughout the 2014 Winter Olympics, I made quite a few predictions. Some ended up being laughably wrong, some tragically wrong, but I did get one thing right, which happened to be the most important (and easiest to guess):

Canada won the gold medal.

That’s two straight Olympics. 11 Canadian men now have two gold medals in ice hockey in the span of four years. Two consecutive Winter Olympic Games that Canada has been the odds-on favorite to win gold, and both times have they delivered. Canada has been spared of the heartbreak endured by the Russians, Americans, Finns, Swedes, Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, Slovenians, Norwegians, Latvians, Swiss, Germans, and Belarusians, most of whom haven’t even seen a medal in the previous two Olympics, let alone a gold, let alone fucking two golds.

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NO MEDAL FOR YOU: US MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FAILS TO REACH PODIUM

I thought maybe waiting all day to finish this would take some of the edge off and let me put things in perspective. I was wrong:

Well, fuck me.

Look, this is hard, because I don’t want to be that guy calling out a team for a bad loss after a heartbreak like the one dealt to the players of Team USA by their North American brethren less than a full day before the shitshow we saw this morning, especially because I’ve never played in the NHL and easier said than done and if you can’t stand behind our boys feel free to stand in front of them, but the Americans simply should have played better, especially because their opponent was essentially in the exact same situation.

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WELL, THAT ONE HURT

Four years after suffering heartbreak at the hands of Team Canada in the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, all America wanted was another shot.

We got it, and it went wide.

I began my plea for belief by asking Americans to abandon reason, foresight, and logic because reasonable, logical foresight led to the conclusion that Canada would win. I used reasonable, logical foresight when I predicted Canada would win gold.

Throughout the game, the Canadians were faster than the Americans. Canada’s passing was crisp, while the US had trouble connecting tape to tape. For most of the second period, the Americans looked like they were just trying to keep up, while Canada dictated play with a textbook offensive zone cycle that exhausted America’s defenders and opened up plenty of room for Canada’s big, speedy forwards.

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MEDAL ROUND, BITCHES

All right, America, it’s time to drop the objectivity. It’s time to leave reason, logic, and foresight behind and give in to blind emotion.

It’s time to do what Teemu Selanne and the Finns did on Wednesday, and what they’ll no doubt continue to do tomorrow.

It’s time to believe.

Sure, the Canadians have Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Ryan Getzlaf, Martin St. Louis, Jeff Carter, Shea Weber, Corey Perry, and Carey Price, among other top-level players. Sure, they’re the defending gold medalists. Sure, their country lives, breathes, and dies hockey, showing a devotion to the frozen sport that rivals Europeans’ devotion to football, or Americans’ devotion to football.

The fact of the matter is that if there is any one team that can beat the Canadians in this tournament, it’s Team USA. The Americans have overcome every challenge the Olympics have thrown at them and have looked good doing it. What’s that, Russia? You want to go eight rounds in the shootout? Meet TJ Oshie.

Seen here: the hockey player performs a complicated mating dance.

Oshie’s 4 goals in 6 attempts proved to be the toughest test the US faced. The next day, Phil Kessel recorded a natural hat trick as Team USA beat Slovenia 5-1, granting them the top spot in Group A and the second overall seed in the tournament. Three days later, the US took advantage of the day off their bye earned them to light up a tired Czech Republic squad and roll to a semifinal matchup with none other than those bastard syrup-suckers, Team Canada.

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Wichita State Shockers: Final Four or Early Exit?

Wichita State is a great team, but are they a Final Four team?

Despite the numerous successes of non power-conference schools in the NCAA Tournament, it has remained rare for a mid-major to assume a top seed. This season, Wichita State looks poised to sit on the top line of their region. Though the 25-0 Shockers are not a lock for a one-seed, their impressive play and talented roster make enter the tournament as a title contender to many, regardless of what seed they are given.

The Good

After last year’s impressive run to the Final Four, the Shockers have returned key pieces for the 2013-2014 campaign – including leading scorer Cleanthony Early. The senior is once again the team’s leading scorer, averaging more than 16 points per game on very efficient shooting (46-35-85). Sophomores Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet both average double digits, while also leading the team in assists. VanVleet, in particular, is lethal from deep, shooting 41%. However, he’s choosy, and Early and Baker take the majority of the outside shots.

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The Green Bay Phoenix: A Potential Cinderella?

Potential Cinderella: The Green Bay Phoenix

The Phoenix (21-5, 11-2) have been waiting for their turn to dance. Last season, Green Bay was seconds away from meeting Wright State in the Horizon League Championship game, before Valparaiso hit a buzzer beating three to break the Phoenix heart. But this year seems different.

Fresh off completing a dominating sweep of second place Cleveland State,  the Phoenix can virtually wrap up the Horizon regular season with a win Thursday, which will grant them an automatic birth in the conference tournament semi-finals and home-court advantage throughout. Assuming they win the tournament – or get an unlikely at-large birth – the Phoenix have a roster that can make some tournament noise. Maybe even second weekend noise.

The Good

Senior Alec Brown has tallied 1,600+ points and bagged more than 750 rebounds in his Phoenix career. A 7’1 senior who shoots 42% from beyond the arc, Brown is equally comfortable stretching the defense or going to work in the paint. Futhermore, his 3.1 blocks per game is a full block per game more than anybody else in the Horizon League. A good finish to the season, especially in the NCAA Tournament, would help Alec Brown earn an NBA draft selection in June. However talented, Brown is not even the go to player for the Phoenix.

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Ahead of the Curve: Why Michael Sam Represents the Future of the NFL

Think of the most generic football player you can. The most cliche composite of every standard jock stereotype there is. You probably see a giant hulk of a man with taped fingers, black out smudged under his eyes, and tribal tattoos peeking out from under his jersey. He’s shouting about something. Probably hustle or “gettin’ his”. If you had to sum the guy up in three words you could use loud, huge, and sweaty. A grizzly bear of a gladiator, thirsty to get out on the field and mess someone up. Also, he is an alcoholic womanizer who acts like he is above the law and starts fights in night clubs with people who don’t respect him. Oh was that not part of your mental picture? Well that has been the cliche football player we have all become accustomed to over the last several decades: a slightly more athletic Rob Ford.

Seriously it’s like someone let a lineman from Miami run a city.

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