Our fave sports moments of 2011

PhotobucketYour TV, radio and internets are being bombarded with Year In Review posts and specials as I type this. Well, guess what? It’s no different here at Ladies… We took a few moments this week to reflect on our favourite memories of this past year. Some will be hilariously obvious, others may surprise you. All of them will make you warm and fuzzy, like a delicious flute of champagne.

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Best. Sign. Ever.

Hope everyone out there had a very Merry Christmas yesterday! (and Happy Hanukkah for two more nights!)  As I’m sure you noticed, the NFL treated Saturday – Christmas Eve – as if it were a regular Sunday filled with regular season football games, and we were treated to an extra Christmas present of Aaron Rogers and his Packers getting back on track with a Bears beatdown last night. (I believe my favorite Facebook comment from a friend last night was “I can’t believe McCarthy is making the Packers practice on Christmas.”) However, something was brought to my attention this morning that made the Packers-Bears game just a little better, and that is sweet vindication from this lady Green Bay fan:

Bet he wishes he didn’t cheat now! You go, girl!

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 24

I’m a bad lady… and I forgot to post today before I headed off for family festivities, so you’re getting a late night/early Christmas morning double-dose of hotties. I assume you all won’t complain.

The Christmas Eve hottie is Taylor Pratt of the Phoenix Coyotes. Look at that jawline and those gorgeous baby blues and the scruff. Om nom nom….

Follow the jump for some more of the manly Coyote

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 23

Hot man. Stupid cap.

At some point earlier this week, Games Mistress pleaded in our Top Secret Ladies… Email Exchanges “[Would] someone please do Wes Welker.  So hot, but so much a Patriot.” I offered to hold my nose and do the job.

OMG, YOU GUYS, THE SACRIFICES I MAKE FOR THIS BLOG! I cannot begin to describe the hardship – nay, the emotional distress! – involved in researching this post. I hope you’re all happy now! Y’all owe me!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 22

I waited to post this next ACoH because I didn’t want to adversely affect his last game (shouldn’t have worried) or his Heisman chances (turned out to be a non-factor), or his school’s BCS championship game chances (ditto) and I think we’re far enough away from the Fiesta Bowl that any jinxing will wear off by then.  Thus, I present for your enjoyment Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

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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.

Oh…photos! I forgot this was about Pronger! Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 13

Continuing on my second year football men trend, I accidentally stumbled on this adorable gem in my photo research for yesterday’s ACoH Ryan Mathews.  I have to be honest – I’m not really a Broncos fan, so I sadly missed wide receiver Mr. Eric Decker up until now.  If you’re familiar, you will certainly enjoy the abundance of photos I have collected.  If you aren’t familiar yet, just thank me later ;)

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 8

Today’s ACoH selection was inspired by the last two weeks of New Orleans Saints games and my boyfriend’s growing mancrush on tight end Jimmy Graham.  Since becoming the starter last year, Jimmy has become one of the Saints’ biggest offensive weapons — and this year, he has become one of the best tight ends in the entire league.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness 2011: Day 3

OK, y’all. I try not to be too much of a homer for ACoH, but surely I am allowed one Cardinal — especially this year.  So, I hereby appoint as Day 3 ACoH your 2011 World Series MVP, David Freese.

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Five treats you won’t find covered in chocolate tonight*

* in some cases, we wish.

1) Your World Series MVP David Freese

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionLadies, we have a new favourite on the blog to swoon over, and it’s this guy – yes, GM, we’ll wrestle you for him. David Freese also won the NLCS MVP, hit .397 in the postseason, broke a bunch of records, and came through in the clutch. But it’s his humble nature that teammates like Pujols and gals like us love.

But wait, there’s more in our treat bags…

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In Which Baseball Drives Me Actually Insane

Guys! He needs to wear that tonight!

Somewhere in the middle of the ninth inning last night, I realized I was clutching a sofa cushion to my chest and rocking back and forth.  Then Freese tripled with two outs and two strikes and I threw back my head and cackled.

It was about then that I realized baseball had succeeded in driving me mad.

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Super Rain Delay Video Extravaganza (FUNNY!!!!)

(Will that work for a You Tube title, or do I need more exclamation points?)

As I type this Wednesday evening, the ALCS is just getting under way after a two hour delayed start; it remains to be seen how an impending storm will effect the NLCS.  Meanwhile, an unexpected 24 hour “suspension” of my evening plans has forced me to scramble for a post idea a day early.  Remembering an old baseball video we had growing up that featured (I think) Robin Yount and Paul Molitor goofing around during a rain delay, I hit YouTube hoping to find a clip.  Either no one shares my appreciation for Robin Yount, belly padded with towels, pretending to hit a Molitor “air pitch” for a home run on top of a rain soaked tarp (complete with face first slide into home), or MLB’s license police have been really earning their pay, for I came up with nothing.  Fortunately, though, I found other rain delay antics to enjoy.  But first, we have to get that tarp on the field!

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Every. Game. Counts. (A Regular Season Wrap Up and Playoff Preview)

Let’s just put aside the fact that I had an actual rooting interest last night — everything that happened in baseball over the last 24 hours makes my brain scream this song:

As someone who has spent the last two weeks watching the Cardinals wait until the last inning to win or lose what seemed like 95% of their games, one of the most surreal things about last night was that St. Louis was the only team that got their game settled right out of the gate, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs before recording a single out.  Which left me free to enjoy the one day MLB.tv subscription I paid 3.99 for Tuesday night as a mostly impartial fan (possibly the best 4 bucks I’ve ever spent, even if I couldn’t get the Rays-Yankees because of blackout restrictions, and had to switch to the Phillies-Braves radio feeds for the latter innings because of too much traffic on the video feed (and my crappy bandwidth).  At one point, I had three GTalk conversations going and was on the phone to my parents; 99.5 % of the discussion revolved around baseball (I did manage to discuss Christmas arrangements with my folks.  I’m not totally obsessed.)

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Hump Day (Retired) Hottie: Mike Modano

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On a day when everyone voiced their displeasure over Facebook’s new changes, NHL unrestricted free agent Mike Modano used the platform to announce his retirement after 21 seasons. Obviously, sports reporters had little trouble finding his update in the new-style news feed.

Drafted by Minnesota in the 1988 NHL Draft, Modano spent most of his season with the (North) Stars in Minnesota and Dallas, where he won his only Stanley Cup in 1999. The seven-time All Star finished his career last year with the Detroit Red Wings, but was limited to just 15 points over 40 games on account of injuries. He was just one game shy of having played 1,500 NHL games.

Modano leaves behind an amazing legacy as the all-time top scoring U.S.-born player in goals and assists (561 and 813 respectively) and as a silver medalist for Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I always admired him for his quiet leadership and the fact that he chose to play for as long as he did in a non-traditional hockey market like Dallas.

Join me after the jump for a little tribute to Mike, complete with a musical salute from a band that also decided to “retire” today.

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Buffalita’s Bachelorette Pt. 2 (With Poll!)

Brad Smith may be new to the Buffalo Bills this season, but he just had to get in on Buffalita’s Bachelorette Party. Lady Bee put Part 1 on her post for a reason, people: we are not done with the revelry.

Ryan Miller of Buffalita’s beloved Sabres also wanted to, ahem, pay his respects. Knowing Buff works in the music biz, he decided on a theme outfit:

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Hit and Run: I Really Gotta Run Edition

What with the liveblogging early this week, and an unexpected trip out of town this weekend, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.  Here’s a couple of quick, fun pictures before I get up and resume packing.

Boris Struebel/Getty Images

The US Women are in the World Cup final, and Abby Wambach has another beautiful header goal. The Final is Sunday right when I’ll be heading back from my trip, but I’ll be with them in spirit.

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Hit and Run: I’m too hot to come up with a theme

World Cup Soccer

Hope Solo shall have none of your silly goal scoring nonsense. (Photo: Getty Images)

We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend! I’m still unpacking and cleaning up gear from the Great Island Campout of 2011, in which I did not end up on Princess Kate Watch and did not get to celebrate Brad Richards signing with the Maple Leafs.

And tonight? It’s warm! Summer warm! Finally! Also building heat is Team USA, who defeated Columbia 3-0 yesterday in Women’s World Cup action in Germany. The win clinches them a spot in the quarter finals. They face Sweden tomorrow at 2:45 ET.

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Eye Candy Break!

Sorry, lovely readers, but my brain heard there was a three day weekend coming and decided to take off early.  Please to enjoy this sampling of Jo-Wilifried Tsonga, surprise Wimbeldon semifinalist after his upset of Federer yesterday.  Jo-Wilifried has previously appeared on Ladies… when I was desperate for a third French athlete to fill out the “three French men” in my Twelve Days of Christmas post a couple years ago; now he gets a post all to himself. You will not be disappointed.

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Hump Day Hottie: Doug Gilmour

Leafs

The face that launched a thousand crushes in the 90s, including mine.

My post this week was originally supposed to be about the NHL Draft until Tuesday when I learned that JESUS LORD DOUG GILMOUR IS GOING TO THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME!!!

You’re damn right that deserves to be written in all caps. Doug Gilmour is one of the biggest reasons I became a Leafs fan, although I admit that even when I was still hanging on to my childhood affection for the Canadiens, I already had a crush on Killer. What sane girl didn’t? And for that matter, what sane guy? Because there is no platonic man love like the love of a Leafs fan for Dougie Gilmour. Just ask Don Cherry once you get past the jump.

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Hit And Run: (Mostly) Celebrity Edition

As excited as the Ladies get for baseball’s All-Star festivities, we tend to ignore the Celebrity Softball game.  I may have to at least DVR it, however, now that Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, Everwood) has been announced as one of the celebrities. Chris is in the Moneyball movie as one of the A’s prospects, so he’s presumably had at least some movie prep coaching.  If he brings MouseRat to sing the national anthem, I’ll even watch it live.

Also on the celeb roster:

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Ladies… Links: Something To Read So You Can Ignore Don Cherry

Bruins

The Bruins Saturday night in Vancouver. Boston will try to get back into the Stanley Cup Final series tonight with Game 3 at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just a quick hit to give you something to read between periods tonight.

Know how I always talk about the East Coast’s love for all things Boston? Here’s an article from the Globe and Mail that backs up my point, but only to a certain extent. See, what I got out of this was a) Bruins fans in the Maritimes consist of old guys who are missing their own teeth and b) the Maritimes consist solely of Nova Scotia…oh, wait, they threw PEI a bone. So this story drove me crazy all day. Yeah, I know it’s customary for Canadians in my part of the country to kvetch about how the rest of Canada views us. When national publications talk East Coast, they’re really just talking about Halifax (so we think). And the national CBC is even worse, as when they talk about the East, it seems to end at the Quebec border. Grrr.

So here’s a footnote to that Globe article. New Brunswick is home to two Bruins greats: Don Sweeney, who spent the better part of 15 seasons with Boston, and Willie O’Ree, who broke the NHL colour barrier. For the record, I know far more Bruins fans out here than actual Canucks fans (apologies to those cheering them on because they’re the last Canadian team standing).

And many of them are women.

Here’s something to make you smile, speaking of Boston: one kid honouring his uncle’s memory with an assist from the Red Sox. I can’t hate on them when they agree to do stuff like this.

This is from a few days ago, but Star Wars fans will enjoy this tale from our pal Andrew Bucholtz at Sporting Madness.

And now back to some seriousness: keep Nathan Horton in your thoughts, OK? God, I hate seeing anyone being carried off on a stretcher.

Why yes, it IS time for the French Open!

Maria, you're dating Sasha Vujacic. Don't get so excited about the Rafa pics.

We’ve been very team-sport oriented around here lately (though not without reason), so I thought I’d take a moment to skip across the Atlantic and check in on the French Open, which begins semifinal play on Friday (NBC just informed me that they will have live coverage Friday morning, for those of you who have summer work schedules.)

Despite the fact that no one has been paying attention, some interesting storylines are developing at Roland Garros. Chaos has broken out in the women’s draw, where the top seeds remaining are last year’s champ Francesca Schiavione (the 5 seed), and a rejuvenated Maria Sharapova (the 7 seed). The men’s draw has been by-the-numbers, with the top four seeds winding up in the semifinals.  This does not, however, mean these matchups are lacking in excitement — or pictures.

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Mr. Monday: Kevin Durant

Thunder
Since it’s been all of five months since we did a post on Kevin Durant, we thought it was time for another montage of the Thunder’s forward. Never mind, of course, that he led Oklahoma City to a Game 7 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday with a stellar postseason offensive performance (39 points!) The team will return to the West final for the first time in 15 years when they were the celebrated Seattle (Super)Sonics. It won’t be an easy task, mind you: they’re facing the Mavs. But aren’t you glad to see a West final that doesn’t include Kobe for a change?

More Durant deliciousness and your Monday music fix after the jump.

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