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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Can Rugby survive in the US?

I recently attended the Barclay's Churchill Cup over the weekend, the tournament for Rugby. This was played at Toyota Park. There was a decent crowd to see the 3 matches...not sold out by far, but there were plenty there, despite being played at the same time as Game 2 of the Cubs - Sox interleague game (won by the Chicago Cubs.)
6 Teams Matched up at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, with the following results:

Ireland A 33 - Argentina 8 to win the Plate championship
England Saxons 36 – Scotland A 19 to win the Churchill Cup
Canada 26 - USA Eagles 10 to win the Bowl Final

Ok, I don't know what the plate championship is, but I read online that Ireland got to keep the plate they won earlier....ok...must be like the College football rivalries where the winner keeps the trophy for a year...the little brown jug, the tomahawk, etc.

I think USA & Canada had a trophy made up, as rugby is not popular at all in the US...have you seen any highlights on ESPN?

The game is fun, and easy to learn, and they had a good crowd last weekend...although my hunch is that there were many European transplants in the stands....and ironically, it was all the Irish pubs and restaruants advertising at the matches!
Anyways, enjoy some of the photos.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Moment of silence for George Carlin...did he hear his two minute warning?

Here's to you George.

Moment of Silence
by George Carlin.

by George Carlin.

"Now, you might be wondering why I would even suggest that someone can affect the manner and style of his death. Well, it's because of a mysterious and little-known stage of dying, the two-minute warning. Most people are not aware of it, but it does exist. Just as in football, two minutes before you die you receive an audible warning: "Two minutes! Get your shit together!" And the reason most people don't know about it is because the only ones who hear it are dead two minutes later. They never get a chance to tell us.

But such a warning does exist, and I suggest that when it comes, you use your two minutes to entertain and go out big. If nothing else, deliver a two-minute speech. Pick a subject you feel passionate about, and just start talking. Begin low-key, but, with mounting passion, build to a rousing climax. Finally, in the last few seconds, scream at those around you, "If these words are not the truth, may God strike me dead!" He will. Then simply slump forward and fall to the floor. Believe me, from that moment on, people will pay more attention to you."

-From "Napalm and Silly Putty" (though orignially featured on "On the Road")

Friday, June 20, 2008

Aramis Ramirez 2HRs Finish the sox

after getting drenched for 30min walking into Wrigley Field today, I saw the Cubs rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the opening game of the cross town classic. Double plays did the Cubs in for the first 6 innings, namely Lee grounding into a double play in the first with a man on first and third. The run scored but stymied an early rally. Danks pitched well. He was pulled in the seventh. Strangely, Ozzie let him warm up first, then pulled him at the start of the 7th before the first pitch, appearantly to let Dotel get a few more warmup pitches. He needed a few more, as Derek Lee and Ramirez went deep on him, back to back to tie the game. Kerry Wood pitched out of a self created jam, having given up a leadoff double. He pitched well, striking out AJ on an appeal to 3rd base umpire, who rung him up. Ramirez topped it off by blasting a 410 foot shot to center field. His teammates gathered at home, jumping up and down, clapping and cheering while the still packed stands, filled with throngs of wrigley faithful chanted - go cubs go, go cubs go, hey Chicago whaddya say, the Cubs are gonna win today.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Finally, Big Ten football will be on Comcast Sports.

Comcast has agreed to pay about 70 cents per subscriber to the Big Ten, which had sought $1.10. It will be nice to see all of the Fighting Illini games this year, let's see if they can make another Rose Bowl push with Juice Williams now that Rashard Mendenhall has gone to play for the Steelers.

For Jen...White Sox commentary

Paulie goes down, first trip to the DH. Can it affect the Crosstown classic?
Do the White Sox have a Cubs killer?
With the Cubs-Sox inter-league series set to start this weekend...will someone emerge as a Cubs killer? Previously, it was El Caballo, Carlos Lee. He would always hit the crushing HR or the double to the gap to kill any Cubs rally during inter-league play.
Perhaps another Carlos can step up, rookie phenom Carlos Quentin has been blasting them out of the park during the first half of the year. Cubs dominated last year's crosstown classic, 5 games to 1. We'll see who can pull ahead in the race. All-time, the teams are split 30-30, with each team winning 16 at home.
I'll be at the game on Friday, so I'll let you all know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Congrats go out to the Chicago Wolves, who have taken home another Calder Cup Trophy by winning against Scranton-Wilkes Barr last nite.

Congrats to a great career by Dominik Hasek, one of the NHL's finest goalies of all time. (He was a Blackhawk at one time, you know.) He recently hung up his skates, having won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.

Congrats goes out to Ken Griffey Jr. who just knocked out his 600th HR, joining an elite list of superstar ballplayers- Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa. He truly epitomizes the game of baseball..from his bloodlines, to his million dollar smile. It is scary to think where he'd be if the last 7 years weren't riddled with injuries. Truly one of baseball's all time greats.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cedric Benson---good as done...Hello Matt Forte

Cedric Benson, what were you thinking?
I refer you to my last blog post about being a smart athlete, and pay people to do your dirty work, like driving...
Cedric Benson was arrested again yesterday on suspicion of DUI. Gotta love the mug shot, pretty similar to last time don't you think? What is so funny?
Why doesn't he pay one of his entourage $50k a year just to be his driver?
Idiot. So much for living up to the expectations of a 4th pick overall. Go find Curtis Ennis, Rashaan Salaam and all the other lame RB's that the bears have drafted. Bears Brass has been either hit or miss..
Hits: Red Grange, Walter Payton, Neal Anderson (to some degree)
Misses: Curtis Ennis, Rashaan Salam, Cedric Benson.
Hit -via Trades- Thomas Jones...hit while he was here, miss for letting him go last year and sticking with their investment in Benson.
Hello Matt have basically just won the starting job as the Chicago Bears running back, without having to take a snap.
Good thing we have a great Quarterback....oh, wait......
in the immortal words of Napoleon Dynamite.."Idiot!"

6/9/08-4:22pm update:

Quoting Jerry Angelo:
"Disappointment is too much an often-used word when we're talking about Cedric, and the number one lesson for every player is protect your job," Angelo said. "So we're all held accountable for our actions."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lord Stanley Visits Hockeytown

Yes, The Detroit Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup in 2008. A few interesting facts mentioned on the NBC TV broadcast on Monday and again last night.
First, this is the first Stanley Cup awarded to a team captain of European Descent, to Nickas Lidstrom. I haven't reasearched it, but I assume the rest have all been Canadian and Americans.
Second, to get your name inscribed on the Stanley cup, you need to have either played in a stanley cup championship game, or else have played in 40+ games during the regular season. Also, the team can petition for a player to have his name put on the cup, if he otherwise didn't meet the other requirements. They mentioned it in regards to Chris Chelios, who played in over 60 games during the regular season, but did not play in the Cup finals. He has now won his third stanley cup, his second with Detroit, the other with Montreal.
The Wings won the game, but the Penguins made a valiant effort at the end. They scored with 1:24 left to bring the score to 3-2. Detroit had scored their 3rd goal earlier, when their goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made a save, the puck fell behind him though. In an effort to freeze the puck, he fell backwards, but the puck squirted into the net, just over the line. 99 out of 100 times the goalie would freeze that puck. Then, with mere seconds left, young gun Sidney Crosby fired the puck, which goalie Chris Osgood deflected just to the left of the net, where Crosby's teammate Marian Hossa was, and he flipped it toward the goal mouth, thru the crease, but safely missed the net. Replay showed that had he been able to direct the rebound into the net, it would have been mere 10ths of a second too late.
This great game has helped bring fans back into the realm.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chicago Makes Top Four to Host 2016 Olympics

Today, the International Olympic Committee has named the top four finalists in the running to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The IOC Director of Communications Giselle Davies said the top four are : Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.
Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago's Olympic Bid Committee Chairman Patrick Ryan were on hand for the announcement.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Triple Overtime - Pittsburgh stays alive in Stanley Cup

Now, I have officially come back to enjoy hockey after the 2005 Strike/Lockout.
I enjoyed watching the Stanley Cub Finals, seeing the upstart Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings on an triple overtime goal Petr Sykora. Too bad for the Red Wings, getting a high sticking call against Jiri Hudler, drew some blood so got a 4 minute call. Will Detroit win it? I'd love one of my favorite players raise the Stanley Cup again. Chris Chelios doesn't have much left in the tank, but he's giving it everything he's got. I do want to see Pittsburgh win, because how can anyone from Chicago root for Detroit? But don't forget Pittsburgh also swept the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992 when they last won the cup with Super Mario and Jaromir Jagr.

It was funny seeing the Wings change their jerseys during the game and the crowd thru octopi and chanted 'We Want The Cup' hundreds of times. Osgood, gave up an unfortunate goal that Pittsburgh slammed in with about 34 seconds left in the 3rd period to tie it up. They lead early 2-0 but the Wings scraped back to tie the game.

Young Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby looks good with Malkin, Staal, Dupuis and crew, they have a very talented team and will be contenders for years to come. Long live Lord Stanley, and bring on game 6.

R.I.P. Bo Diddley, "Who do you love?"

Tinkers to Evers to Chance

I recently purchased a framed copy of the famous poem by Franklin Adams, called "Baseball's Sad Lexicon." On the plaque are reprints of the T-206 cards of Chicago Cubs greats : shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers, and first baseman Frank Chance.

Here is the great poem:

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double --
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Adams wrote the poem in his newspaper column in the Evening Mail, called "Always in Good Humor" Adams, who was from Chicago, wrote the poem on his trip to the Polo Grounds to see the Cubs-Giants game.

Cubs Best record in baseball

This is the first time since 1908 that the Chicago Cubs have had the best record in baseball on June 1. Last time they were, they won the World Series. It is a long way till October, Cubs fans know this well. I refer you to my earlier post about the skewed home game schedule for the first half of the year.