Opening Day Moments That Made Us Smile (so far)

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Mo’s last Opening Day. Insert heaving sigh here.

Never mind that it was Easter weekend. Opening Weekend made it more like Christmas Day at the Bee Household, just as I expect it may have been for you this past long weekend. (True story: we spent Sunday morning watching the replay of Yankees-Army at West Point on MLB.tv via Apple TV. And it was glorious.)

While it wasn’t such a great day for my Yankees – and please, let’s all just calm down, alright? – there was so much to celebrate. For one, I was glad to see Francisco Cervelli back in the regular lineup and having a decent outing at the plate, and hearing the Yankee faithful bellowing YOOOOOOOOUUUUK! (Suck it, Boston. He’s OURS now!) For Boston fans, seeing a strong outing from Jon Lester at Yankee Stadium was likely pretty uplifting. Maybe we don’t need to relegate them to the AL East basement just yet.

Here are a few other moments that may have brought a smile to your face:

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Meet Simon Whitfield, Canada’s Olympic Flag Bearer

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(Photo: Postmedia News)

What would you do if you received a call telling you that you have been chosen as your country’s flag bearer for the 2012 London Olympic Games? Burst into tears? Panic? Reach for the wine? Go for a run?

That’s exactly what triathlete Simon Whitfield did upon receiving the news: a jaunt through Victoria, BC all the way to the Terry Fox marker, where he gave the statue a high five.

Whitfield won gold at the Sydney Games in 2000, when the triathlon made its Olympic debut. He picked up a silver in Beijing. He’s also won gold at the Commonwealth Games and has 14 World Cup victories. At 37, he’s not exactly the youngest athlete on Team Canada (that honour belongs to teen gymnast Victoria Moors) but I don’t buy the notion that his age will work against him. It may, however, be one of his last competitions: Whitfield is deeply focused on his role as a father to two young daughters, and training obviously takes his time away from them. You can’t hit a news story, blog post or even his Facebook page without Whitfield talking about them. ADORBS!

And don’t talk to Whitfield about this nonsense of the Flag Bearer’s Jinx! “It’s so last century,” he told CBC Sports. You gotta love his confidence!

Follow the jump for a visual guide to Canada’s Olympic flag bearer!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 21

Unfortunately for me, there is a bit of a dearth of yumminess on the Brewers. Its such a shame, really. But one of the completely underrated cuties is backup catcher George Kottaras.

Honestly, the absolute best thing about Kottaras is his accent. He’s Canadian and while he’s been playing in the MLB and minors for awhile, every once in awhile the Canada comes out it and its great. You can hear some of it when he answers the second question in this video

He’s also of Greek descent and is fluent in Greek – so there’s always that chance he’ll whisper sweet nothings in your ear and take you for fabulous vacations on Crete.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, Kottaras hit one of just two cycles in Major League Baseball this season.

Follow the jump to peak in on this Canadian cutie

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 16

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I can't decide which part of the picture is more hilarious: the Whalers jersey, Pronger's mullet or Burkie.

With the news that Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is out for the remainder of the NHL season, I figured fans of the Dryden, ON native might appreciate a post devoted to the Stanley Cup Champion-Olympic gold medalist-all-around devastating presence on the ice. Suffice to say that Pronger is no angel – he’s made his own negative impact on a few hockey careers. And this doesn’t necessarily mean his career is over…yet. But nobody likes to see a career shortened on account of a head injury, or any injury for that matter.

The dialogue on head injuries in the NHL has always been simmering, and I for one would love to just see this boil over already. In the last week, we’ve seen Claude Giroux, Jeff Skinner and a number of other players sidelined on account of head injuries – this, not long after Sidney Crosby put the brakes on his comeback after an 11-month hiatus, and not long after these revelations about Derek Boogaard. Habs legend, former Leafs president and former MP Ken Dryden wrote a thoughtful essay on the issue for Grantland this week that’s worth a read. I just hope Bettman read it too.

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Monday Morning Abs: Congratulations, Grey Cup Champs!

Montreal Alouettes

It's Show & Tell with Alouettes DB Paul Woldu (Photo: Reuters)

Happy Monday! Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving! I’m recovering from the aftereffects of cold medicine so I’ll keep this brief. Our congrats to the Montreal Alouettes, winners of the 98th Grey Cup in a 21-18 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I was able to last through the 3rd quarter when it was tied 11-11 (before the Neo Citran kicked in) but I had a feeling when I crawled into bed that it would be a fight to the finish. And it was: the Roughriders might have been able to tie the game had Darian Durant not channeled Favre and thrown an interception in the final minute.

By the way, I am three for four for seeing a professional team during the season they win a championship. I think I’m due for another trip to the Big Apple.

P.S. We’re thinking of you, Anthony Calvillo.

Your 2010-11 NHL Hotness Preview: Pacific Division

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(Wicked Cool Photo of Ilya Bryzgalov: Getty Images)

Yeah, I suppose most sports sites do their previews before the season starts. But we think different here at Ladies… Also, we’re hella busy and I needed a few days to deal with that whole ALCS outcome, obviously. I spent the weekend doing a lot of intentional walking. I trust Girardi did the same.

Let’s focus on hockey now, shall we? The Pacific Division, y’all!

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Sports on the Day of No Sports

The Tour de France knows not of your "off day," silly Americans.

Yesterday was the “Off Day” in the All-Star Break, or as it is sometimes called, The Day So Devoid of Major Sporting Events* that ESPN Invented an Awards Show Just to Have Something To Air.   Because this year’s Off Day also fell just after the close of the World Cup, things feel particularly quiet this year.  But that didn’t mean there was no athletic competition to enjoy …you just might have to leave the contiguous United States for some of it.

*Except the Tour de France , which ESPN doesn’t count since Versus has the rights and Lance isn’t going to win. That’s current leader Andy Schleck above. He’s from Luxembourg.

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