Hockey versus Basketball: Why The Difference?

Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their second straight Stanley Cup, and captain Sidney Crosby added a third championship to his Hall of Fame career (let’s see how long he remembers it for with all those concussions).

Tonight, Steph Curry and the Warriors could put away LeBron James and the Cavs, adding Steph’s second title and Kevin Durant’s first. This could happen in Game 5, in what has been a fairly lopsided series.

And this morning, ESPN opened Sportscenter with talking points on the NBA Finals game tonight, followed by the coverage of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  And I wondered…why?

These two sports always seem to compete since their regular season and post-season run during the same time of the year, and you almost never see a playoff game occur on the same night simply to spread out viewership for networks. Yet when it comes to coverage, NBA is first. But what makes the NBA so much bigger than the NHL? Why is the champion of the NHL put second behind discussions of a possible champion in the NBA?

I know this isn’t really anything new, people always complain about hockey coverage on ESPN, and it has been a problem for a while. I am probably part of the problem as one of the people who turn off hockey when I see it on Sportscenter simply because I don’t follow it.  But is this what happens to everyone? Is hockey really that far behind the NBA that the night a champion is crowned, it is not even as important as analysts predicting an ending for the NBA? I have some theories as to why:

STAR POWER

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaq, Steph Curry, etc. are all household names.  They have endorsements that you see EVERYWHERE.  They go beyond basketball, they are celebrities. In the NHL, the best players aren’t all over television. You’ll see a few commercials with Crosby or Ovechkin (ie: This Is Sportscenter), but never anything outside of sports-related products.  Therefore, only loyal hockey fans watch the games since people aren’t turning on the game to “see” anyone.

YOUTH PLAY

Basketball is global, hockey is not. Basketball courts are in every school, hoops in every front yard, and every kid plays rec basketball for at least a few years. Hockey is a sport that requires a specific skill set to even play, let alone be good at. So, it is not as popular or common of a sport to play, which separates fans immediately since they simply don’t relate as much.

GAME PLAY

I personally don’t agree with this argument, but I’ve heard it from enough people I should include it.  People who turn on hockey say they can’t follow the game because it’s too fast, they can’t see the puck, and they don’t know who’s who on the ice.  This is pretty much just being a lazy fan and not wanting to follow the game because you don’t know what’s going on, so while not really valid or reasonable, it still has to be considered.

HOCKEY FANS CAN GET ANNOYING

Every time anything cool happens in hockey, hockey fans throw it in your face, like this:

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I probably saw hundreds of tweets like this, and it gets a little obnoxious.  Hockey is more of a team sport, and LeBron has an ego. Move on.

Or this:

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Hockey players are tough, no doubt. Just please relax about it.

 

These are just my thoughts, and I’m sure there are more issues involved, but when the NHL Playoffs had an 8 seed and a 1 seed in the finals going evenly head-to-head, and the NBA has had the same team three years in a row, I think it’s time for a “changing of the guards” and for the people covering sports to wake up.

 

 

 

A Couple Classic Steve Irwin Videos To Prove This Guy Was an Australian Stud

CRIKEY!!!

Steve Irwin was one of the few Australians that were actually cool, and when he died in 2006 it was a global tragedy.  People forget sometimes just what an absolute powerhouse this guy was on The Animal Planet.  The Crocodile Hunter is probably one of the greatest animal shows ever because Steve Irwin literally threw his body at “mighty crocs” and “beautiful creatures” like he was diving onto a Sleepy’s mattress (that’s a shot at possible advertisements).

I’m writing this just to send a reminder to people who may not know or remember what a legend this guy was. So here are some outrageous videos of him just being one with nature.

He says “Shalom” to the deadliest snake on Earth

I’m not sure how many “deadliest snakes on the planet” there are,  but this is another one that Steve Irwin tames.  He took this on like a WWE Steel Cage match.  Riveting entertainment.

No problems here, just dangling a pound of meat in front of a hungry crocodile while holding his baby son.  Married to the game.

A bit of irony on this one.

He literally got bit by a snake and acted like he poked by a Q-tip.

He was playing free safety for a little the Australian Wild and fucking caught an emu on foot.

Hopefully, these videos took you on a YouTube loop of some of the greatest things Irwin did. Steve Irwin was out of his mind, and every now and then it’s good to remind people of it.

RIP Steve

Yankees Take 2/3 from the Red Sox to Extend Division Lead to 3 Games and it Feels GOOD

After Tanaka’s dud of a start Tuesday, the Yankee offense exploded to outscore the Sox 17-1 in the last 2 games. CC and Big Mike Pineda both had awesome pitching performances, and everyone seems to be hitting the ball. Hell, even Christ Carter is hitting. If you told me 2 days ago that Carter was gonna go 3-4 with a home run and the one out was a home run that he got robbed of, this would have been my reaction

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Because I actually would have thought you were on hard drugs. But Carter came through in this series, and I almost feel a little bad for imploring that he get released for the past few weeks (I don’t though.)

The real positive to this series is that although the Yankees didn’t have to face Chris Sale, they absolutely crushed the Sox’ other 2 big-time starters in Porcello and Price. Porcello has not had nearly as good a campaign as when he won the Cy Young in 2016, but it was great to beat him nonetheless. And as for David Price, the Yankees never fail to make him look like one of the most overrated pitchers in the league.

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El Gary had 2 homers last night, Judge is still hitting baseballs harder than anyone knew was humanly possible, Gardner is still hitting homers. Obviously a 3 game lead in June means almost nothing, and the Red Sox are definitely a formidable team. But if there was any doubt whether or not the 2017 Yankees were legit, this series proved that they are. It may only be early June but man I love this team. Buck Foston baby, Yankees by a million.

 

Do NBA Fans Enjoy Participation Trophies?

Listen, as I’ve openly announced before I am not a loyal basketball fan. I know the basics. I know the stars. But if you ask me to name more than 3 players on any of the “home town” teams I might tell you that Deron Williams is still a Net, or that the Knicks starting point guard is still Stephon Marbury. Okay… I’m not that absurd, but I really just want to get across the point that basketball ain’t my main thing.

With that said, I have a 2 hour commute to work each day so sports radio has kind of taken over my life, because although I love Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” I have had enough after 3 listens in an hour. What I am starting to gather from talk radio in the past week or so is that there have become 2 political parties of the NBA. No matter what team you actually are a fan of, when the Finals roll around you either are a LeBron supporter, or a Warriors supporter.

One of the biggest complaints I have been hearing on talk shows like the Michael Kay Show, Stephen A. Smith’s blabber factory, and other Metropolitan area shows is that the LeBronians are throwing shade at KD for joining a team that was stacked… Are you people dense? Is that seriously a reason for a person to bash a player…going to a team that is already great. In my opinion it’s a great move for KD. The Warriors are going to win for a long time with him, and all of the LeBron people re getting on him for going to a team that was already good. Honestly, you have got to be some type of moron to get on a guy for joining a great team, getting a big paycheck, and leaving one of the most selfish teammates in the NBA @RussellWestbrook. If any person on this planet was KD after last year and was approached by the Warriors I’m calling that there is about a 110% chance you sign the contract within the first 10 minutes of getting the call. It is an absolute no-brainer.  KD going to the Warriors is only bad because it makes the only hurdle in front of LeBron a little higher, and the end goal is to win. So what are you people complaining about saying KD is soft because he joined a good team?

My next issue with this nonsense is that people are calling out the NBA for having competitive balance issues. Literally these are the people that want everyone to get a trophy. Seriously, people are saying competitive inequality is an… “issue”. You’re right morons, there is a competitive balance issue. And it is great. You want me to tell you why it’s good that there is an issue with the competitive balance in the NBA? Because it takes the business out of the NBA and makes it more about winning. The Warriors will do what it takes. Now its time for other teams to put up or shut up. Spend the money. Develop a team that players want to come to. Listen, its alright to go 5, 10, even 15 years without winning. Look at the Cubs. The survived 108 years without a championship and I would put them up there for one of the top franchises in all of sports right now. Every team is going to have its big years, and for the Warriors this is it. Maintaining this level in the future (I’m talking 10 years down the road) is going to be tough as nails, but they want to win now, so they are going all in NOW. And as I have said, that’s okay NBA fans. Not every team should have an equal chance to win a title. That is not how sports work.

Finally, my last main point really has to do with the hypocrisy of both sides of the debate. Here is my final take on this issue. And yes, both sides are to blame.

To those who say LeBron started this whole “Big 3” trend in the NBA… get out. You people are worse than FAKE NEWS. SAD. It has been happening in the NBA forever and it has always correlated to success. Don’t act like LeBron was the first. He was just the first to make it into a television show and make a decision like a contestant on Say Yes to the Dress or House Hunters (International of course, everyone likes International way better).

To those who say KD is a coward for going to the Warriors… Shut up and read above. LeBron made his big move a Big 3 and you were perfectly fine with it then.

To those who still ramble about competitive balance… if you have kids you are teaching them the wrong principals of sport, and if you don’t have kids you will be the parent screaming at the umpire when your child takes strike 3 right down the middle belt high. It’s not the umpire that lost you the game… it’s the thought process you are instilling in your children.

To those who are YANKEE FANS who complain about competitive balance… you are literally the worst people on this planet because I know you are the same assholes saying “2019 will be the year of Machado and Harper in Pinstripes”. That is the opposite of competitive balance. If it happens I am alright with it, but for your sake, don’t complain about it in one sport and love it when your team is going against it. I get the sports are different, but adding 2 superstars of that magnitude to a roster of 10 is pretty much the same as adding KD to a roster of 5.

So that is my thoughts. Honestly the more I hear people complaining about the NBA and Lebron and KD it reminds me that NBA fans are the most annoying in all the land. You people are giving yourselves a bad name. And you can take this as “here goes this nimrod who knows nothing about basketball sounding off” or, you can be mature and think “hmmm, maybe an outside perspective on this is what can make our group more a better, more cohesive one”. Either way, in the words of Mr. Met:

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Bieber Continues to Drop Heat With 2U (music video featuring Victoria’s Secret Models)

What a turn Justin Bieber has made in the last year or so, huh? Used to be the punk kid with terrible music that every guy hated, but if you don’t like his music at this point you probably don’t like puppies or pizza either. He’s dropped some absolute BANGERS in the last year like Cold Water, Despacito,  and I’m the One. I’ll put 2U right up there with those. Can’t wait to bump it at the beach this weekend.

P.S. 11/10 chance Bieber banged some/most/all of the models in that video. It makes you so jealous that you wanna be angry but you just can’t. Don’t hate the player hate the game.

A-Rod Sexting Somebody Else While Dating J-Lo is the Most Classic A-Rod Move Ever

From TMZ

Alex Rodriguez is dealing with an ex from hell — a woman who’s hit him up for cash for years is now threatening to expose private messages if he doesn’t cough up as much as $600k … TMZ has learned. 

We’re told A-Rod broke up with the woman back in 2014, and although it was never a serious relationship — more of a fling — she continued contacting him every now and then, asking for small amounts of money. We’re told he always turned her away empty-handed.

But things changed earlier this year when Alex got together with Jennifer Lopez. We’re told the ex suddenly started hitting up A-Rod for larger amounts of money. He did not give in, and finally within the last week … he told the woman he was in a happy, committed relationship with J Lo … and simply wanted to be left alone.

That final denial set her off, and she insisted she would not be ignored. Think Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.”

We’re told she demanded $600,000 or she would contact multiple media outlets to offer text messages Alex had sent her. One source with direct knowledge believes the woman’s motives are clear: once A-Rod hooked up with J Lo … the ex saw dollar signs, and felt he would pay any amount to keep her quiet.

The source believes she intended to release old texts with Alex from when they were dating, and make it seem like he was still contacting her while dating Jennifer.

We’re told A-Rod is standing firm … he will NOT pay her a dime. Instead, his legal team is preparing to go to police and even federal authorities if the woman continues threatening him.

As for Jennifer … we’re told she’s fully aware of what Alex is dealing with, and not only stands by him, but empathizes … having gone through similar situations in her past.

It seems like this “isn’t A-Rod’s fault” and this girl is “crazy”, but I don’t know how much I’m buying it.  We have ALL seen Rodriguez lie before:

(Check out the twitch at :57 seconds…)

We now know he lied here about using roids, and I’m prepared to say he’s bullshitting again. I have 0.0% evidence on this, so it’s basically A-Rod’s word against mine.

Ignoring the “he said-she said” stuff, if this is true, it is classic A-Rod. This guy simply cannot settle. He can be on top of the world and he’ll find a way to screw it up.

He had two chances to be an absolute legend and blew it.

One was in baseball, when he finished with one of the best statistical careers of all-time, but he went and flushed that down the metaphorical toilet because of multiple steroid accusations and suspensions.

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The other, and arguably more important, is now, when he is getting to date THE Jennifer Lopez. After all the screw-ups, rumors of disloyalty, a divorce, and being hated by half the country, Jennifer Lopez still said to herself, “Yes, I will date Alex Rodriguez”. A-Rod fucks, but with this whole scandal going down, he’s ruining another chance to be a legend because he wants to cheat the system.

Alex, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

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One thing you have to give A-Rod is he is not complacent.  He won’t settle for just the best, and a great man once said “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”.

We can lock A-Rod in for the biggest try-hard in the world.

Open Letter to Joe Girardi on How to Manage this Team to the Playoffs

What’s up Joe. How are ya? How are the kids? Good? Good. Now let’s talk baseball. I know you played in the big leagues, have been managing the Yankees for 10 years, and won a World Series title in 2009. Pretty impressive resume. So am I in any position to tell you how to do your job? Well I stopped playing baseball after 8th grade, have won countless baseball games on PlayStation 2, and got retweeted by River Ave. Blues last night. Does that mean I could manage this team better than you? Yes, it absolutely does. So I’m gonna help you out, pal. I won’t even ask for any credit, you guys winning games is all the reward I need. Grab a pen and paper, Joey, cause you’re gonna want to take notes.

Stop the Chris Carter Experiment

Think of Chris Carter as a science fair volcano. Except the volcano won’t erupt, but it will strike out in every single at-bat while you pay it 4 million dollars to do so. This guy has been a sad excuse at the bottom of our lineup for far too long. I don’t even care that he hit a home run last night. He is trash trash trash. Greg Bird is still hurt, but Tyler Austin is back at AAA, almost at full health. Austin is no All-Star, but he hit .241 with 5 homers and 12 RBI in 83 at-bats last year, more than respectable for his big-league debut. I genuinely feel bad for Chris Carter being as bad as he is, but then again I don’t. He’s gonna get paid $4 million to do a job just about as poorly as you can do it for a few months, then get released. Hopefully he’ll be gone within the week, and we’ll be able to say RIP in peace to his time in Pinstripes.

Skip Tanaka’s Next Start

This one is trickier than Chris Carter. We’re talking about a guy who has been the ace of this staff for the last three years that’s making $22 million. I get the whole “taking him out of the rotation will kill his confidence” theory, but he’s got no confidence out there as it is. You can see it on his face. Maybe a little time off to regroup and work on his mechanics is just what he needs. Going out and getting shelled every fifth day is no good for the guy’s confidence, just like going 0-4 every day wasn’t helping Bird’s. Either fill his spot in the rotation with Chad Green or Adam Warren, or call up Chance Adams and let’s see if this kid is the real deal.

Bench Chase Headley

I’ll keep this one brief, but I could go on for hours about Chase Headley. Bench him now. Can’t hit from either side of the plate, and is one of the worst defensive third basemen in the league. Ronald Torreyes did a great job filling in for Didi when he was hurt, so let him play third every day until Gleyber Torres is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

Keep Aaron Hicks in the Lineup Every Day

Honestly, Aaron Judge’s hot start has been the second biggest surprise from Yankees named Aaron this season. Hicks was almost Chase Headley level bad last year. This year? Looks like our center fielder of the future. A switch-hitting outfielder with speed and power, his 8 homers and 31 RBI through 45 games have already matched his 2016 totals in 123 games. His .329 batting average ranks 5th in the AL, and he’s second in on-base percentage (second!) behind Mike Trout. Obviously there’s no choice but to play him every day with Ellsbury out right now, but even when he comes back, you can’t take Hicks out of the lineup besides to rest him every once in awhile. Either try and trade Ellsbury (although you’re gonna have to eat a lot of that contract to do so), or see what kind of return you can get for Gardner. I wanna keep Brett as much as the next guy, but if you can sell high at the deadline and get a player back who will make a major-league impact right now (back of the end rotation guy or a late-inning reliever), I think you have to at least consider it.

You’re doing all right, Joe. I’ve never thought you were the best manager, or even a good one, but I’ll give you credit where it’s due with this team in first place right now. Take my suggestions into consideration, and hopefully we’ll see this team go deep into October. Don’t be a stranger, feel free to hook me up with some tickets sometime and we can chat in person. Good talk, pal.

Regards,

Nick