Overtime Heroes

NHLRound Two of the PLAYOFFS THAT SEEM TO NEVER END is well underway (and might I add that I am proud that I was 5 for 8 in my playoff picks?) Several series kept us at the edge of our seats by going the distance to Game 7. And let’s not forget the games that spilled into overtime (yes, please take your regular season shootout and shove it, NHL!) Here’s a look at a few guys that seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Always remember: good things happen when you go to the net.

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Great Eight: The Memphis Grizzlies

If a miracle 3 pointer hadn’t saved the Spurs last night, this post would have been a celebration of the Memphis Grizzlies unlikely domination of the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Not only have 8 seeds won NBA playoff series only two previous times in history, the Grizzlies, in both their Memphis and Vancouver incarnations, had never won a playoff game before this series.

So it’s now 3-2, and still possible the Spurs (being the Spurs) could pull off two more wins and restore numerical sanity to the playoffs.  Regardless, Memphis has been entertaining to watch … and not too shabby in still pictures, either! Perfect for trying out our new gallery capabilities.

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Mr. Mondays (yes, we have three!)

Red Sox

See? The Red Sox still remember how to smile. (AP Photo)

It’s the Monday of a four-day work week for me. Don’t those Mondays seem like the very longest of Mondays? Ugh. And for that reason, I wish I had this post up for you sooner. Forgive me. How about I make it up to you with not one, but three Mr. Mondays!

Let’s start with a belated Happy Patriots’ Day to the good residents of my geographical neighbours in Maine, and further on in Massachusetts. The Red Sox celebrated the day by beating up on the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1. It was like the War of 1812 except, um, not really. At all.

But hey, how about Jed Lowrie who had four hits including a two-run homer! I haven’t done the research, but at .516/.545/.774, is it safe to say that Jed is off to his Best Start Ever? It’s just a shame he’s Scutaro’s backup. The win is Boston’s third in a row, so maybe we’re finally seeing the team we were warned about all along.

See who else made our Monday after the jump.

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Quick & Dirty NHL Playoff Preview: Part Two

Tampa Bay Lightning

Gratuitous Steve Yzerman in a suit. He's practically playoff-ready. (AP Photo)

Congratulations, Oilers fans! You win Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! I’m just relieved it wasn’t Boston who won the Draft Lottery. But I digress.

We looked at the first five quarter-final series last night. Now here’s a glance at the games starting on Thursday.

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It’s the 2011 NHL Playoffs, you guys!

NHL

It’s a glorious time of year! (Unless you’re a Leafs fan or Cory Clouston.) It’s time for our quick and dirty preview of the first round of the NHL Playoffs. Here are the matchups that begin Wednesday:

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Blood, Brackets, and Tears: An NCAA Basketball Wrap-Up

It is December 2010.  You’re looking over your holiday gifts lists when there’s a loud pop behind you.  You turn around to seeyourself, wearing slightly less clothing, hair mussed and eyes bloodshoot.

“I came from the future to warn you,” the apparition says.  “Beware the brackets.  UConn will win and destroy us all.”

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Your wait is over.

The rotation that will haunt our dreams. (AP Photo)

High socks. Eye black. Dusty mounds. Cliff Lee. Baseball is back for reals, and we at Ladies… couldn’t be happier. Many of us have spent the last few days figuring out how to weasel out of whatever we’re going to be up to at the time our respective favorite teams are playing. Me? TWO HOUR MEETING when Mike Mussina throws the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. How am I supposed to sneak my phone in to listen to the game? ARGH! (although Games Mistress told me there was lots of rain expected in New York Thursday, so I may get my wish after all.)

It’s Opening Day for these Ladies… faves. Let’s see what they’re up to today:

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VCU vs Butler

So admit it – your brackets are just as screwed up as mine are. Yeah, I know. Lots of upsets, lots of overtime, lots of surprises. But two of the bigger surprises came from the 8th seeded Butler and the young and admirable  Brad Stevens, and 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth (Virginia where?) with their fearless leader – Shaka Smart.  I was almost positive that the earlier Saturday game of this coming weekend would be Pitt vs. Kansas, especially when I was in 1000th place out of millions with ESPN’s bracket challenge after the first round and a half.  Boy was I ever wrong.  Thankfully, these two gentlemen make it very easy to feel good about rooting for the underdogs, and also make one of these final games very easy on the eyes.  Let’s take a side-by-side look at our favorite hottie NCAA BBall coaches  - one of them is guaranteed to be in the Championship Game, so regardless of Saturday’s results, which one wins Ladies… choice?

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

Photobucket

Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

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Your March Madness Visual Reference Guide

I would be happy to see more of this from Singler, but YMMV.

I’m jumping my usual post day by about twelve hours just so I can remind you that you can still sign up for the Ladies… Bracket Brawl right up until tipoff Thursday (12:15 EST).  Just click the link and enter the password: ladiesdotdotdot.

In the meantime, here’s a quick visual guide to some of the teams and storylines that will be occupying your TV over the next four days (at least).

Uh, that’s Duke over there.  I miss that period when they flamed out in the early rounds every year. Kyle Singler (#12) is the latest in the Duke mold of Awesome Collegiate Players With No Real Chance At A Pro Career.

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Hello Carmelo!

Not exactly new news, but with the NBA trade mill in high gear before Thursday afternoon’s impending deadline, I had to show some support for the hometown team.  The Knicks finally got Anthony; Anthony finally got the Knicks.  But it didn’t come without one of the more complicated trade deals that I think I’ve seen.  I reckon this trade might actually get me in to basketball – more on the gains and losses after the break…

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Laura Vikmanis: One Hot Mama!

It’s not often that we here at Ladies… will recognize the efforts of a pro cheerleader.  But after seeing all of the recent buzz around Laura Vikmanis and learning that she is the cousin of a friend in the OH circle, it was pretty hard not to admire her moxie and help share her story with the sports world.  Who is Laura Vikmanis?  More after the jump.

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The Ladies… Craft Like A Champion Challenge

We are fast approaching one of the notorious Dead Zones of the sports calendar: the two week period leading up to the Super Bowl.  The NHL and NBA are not yet at mid-season, college basketball is still a week or two away from beginning its crescendo to the tourney, and Spring Training is almost a month away.  For a vast majority of us, it’s even too cold to go outside. What’s a sports loving gal to do with all that time on her hands?

How about making a hat for a needy newborn as part of the Ladies… Craft Like A Champion Challenge?

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Hump Day Hotties: NFL Divisional Playoffs

To get you ready for the NFL Divisional Playoffs this weekend, I thought I would feature a hottie from each team playing this weekend.  To see if your favorite hottie made the cut, take a trip with me after the jump.  I hope I don’t disappoint!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 20

(Photo: Getty Images)

Here’s a nice change from football and hockey players: US swimmer and three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who won gold in the Mens’ 200 metre backstroke final at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championship in Dubai this past weekend. It wasn’t the only individual race he won, and he just may have set a few records and raised the hype bar a little for London in 2012. But for now, let’s focus on the present. Let’s see that medal, Ryan…

(Photo: AP)

Now if that smile doesn’t take the edge off your holiday stress, nothing will.

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 14

Sensing a serious lack of ink in our lovely ACOH – today’s hottie comes fully loaded.  For your viewing pleasure ladies – Devin Thomas.

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So THAT happened.

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I don’t even know if this should be an Advent Calendar of Hotness post or what. I’m a Phillies fan and I still don’t know what just happened. All I know is that Cliff Lee turned down a whole shit-ton of money, and I know that the rotation is absolutely disgusting and I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS.

I went to my first baseball game in 1993 when the Phillies played the Rockies. Back then, the Phillies literally gave away tickets to games in packages of hot dogs. Seriously, I remember 14 year old Maggie negotiating with her dad that if we bought TWO packages of hot dogs, my siblings could come to the game, and if we bought THREE, Mom could come too.

Halladay.
Hamels.
Oswalt.

…And Lee?

I can’t even.

Look, I know the world hates the Phillies and everything because they’re the new Red Sox or Yankees or Patriots or whatever, but this is…mindblowing.

Advent Calendar of Hotness – Day 4*

*late because I was a little too busy celebrating last night.

With apologies to Minda and Auburn fans, there was one particular college football player who earned ACoH honors for Day 4 by helping his team win the Big XII Championship: Oklahoma’s Travis Lewis.

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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.

FINALLY! Buffalo has a WIN!

OH YEAH!

Trust me, it’s not like I’m bragging by any means – I’m actually pretty glad that I couldn’t actually watch the action, given that it went from 14-3 to 14-12 in the last few seconds, in true Buffalo fashion.  But after 3 weeks in a row of losing by 3 points, a win by 2 is still a win!  More celebrating, reflecting, whining, and rambling after the jump…

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Support for the ‘stache

Yankees

Just try to top the "State Trooper Giambi" look, as sported by Mike Mussina a few years back.

It’s been well-documented that we at Ladies… have a love/hate/complicated relationship with the moustache (and why is it so often associated with the mullet?), but this is clearly a case in which we wholeheartedly support its existence. As you may be aware, we are halfway through Movember, a movement designed to bring awareness to men’s health and specifically prostate cancer.

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Ladies’ Linkups: Midterm Eve Edition

Hey peeps! No, I’m not a week late with the election references – it’s just that I have a calculus midterm tomorrow so I’m phoning in it with some required reading from around the interwebs.

So that has started… *sigh* [LoHud Yankees Blog] Oh and this news made me think of you, Maggiesox. [ESPN]

We’ve written about the topic a number of times here at Ladies… in one way or another, but I particularly enjoyed this take. The comments are just as entertaining (and yes, as a Leafs fan, I sympathize) [jezebel]

Craig at Flip Flop Fly Ball recently asked what this past season’s MLB standings would look like if payrolls decided the outcomes of ball games. The answers…probably won’t surprise you in some ways (and then again, the Cubs?)

“We get it, Bee! You miss baseball!” Fine. Could you use a primer on booing etiquette in the NHL? Of course you could! Take it away, Down Goes Brown!

Uh-oh, what’s going on here? (side note: Mr. Bee has taken to calling the Cowboys’ coach WAD Phillips.) [ESPN]

Finally, you may recall our excitement upon hearing that Angela James and Cammi Granato would be part of the 2010 class headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. They will be officially enshrined tonight. The Globe and Mail has profiles of these fabulous athletes here and here.

(FYI – The Induction Ceremony will be carried on TSN2 tonight at 10 PM Eastern, past my bedtime but chances are I’ll be up studying anyway. Stupid derivatives.)

Your 2010-11 NHL Hotness Preview: Pacific Division

Coyotes

(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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Cliff Lee is the devil

(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Just to summarize:

8 innings pitched

122 pitches

2 hits

0 runs

1 walk

13 K

Bee’s line

1.3 glasses of merlot (contemplated drinking straight from the bottle at 7-0)

1/3 bag of Lays’ reduced salt chips

28 swears

8 middle fingers (mostly for Josh Hamilton)

 

Damn you, Cliff Lee. Damn you to hell.

(I hate that you’re so awesome.)

And Then There Were Four

Why yes, that is a picture of Placido Polanco stuffing Raul Ibanez’s glove down his pants.  Thanks for noticing!

Enough goofing around: the league pennants are upon us, Fox has to start acting like the MLB playoffs aren’t something that just gets in the way of its football coverage (although to be fair they have a truly awesome NLCS promo which I can not find on the web but which prominently features a couple great Cardinal playoff moments plus Bartman), and fans whose teams win this series can buy shirts that don’t look kind of pathetic. (Unless you are a Rangers fan — you’re allowed to buy a Divisional Series Champs shirt if your team has never won a playoff series before.)  Two teams swept their way in, one team needed all 5 games, and one would have swept if it were not for the heroics of one Rick Ankiel (it is, apparently, a good post season for Cardinals nostalgia).  Anyway, here’s who we have left:

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The Ladies… Slightly Tardy MLB Playoff Predictions

 

Maybe we aren’t late. Maybe we just wanted to wait for Roy to be awesome.

Yes, three of the four divisional playoff series played their first games yesterday, and yes, Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Reds and totally ruined any chance I had of writing a “but it’s only Game 1 so it hasn’t got really exciting yet” lead in to this post, but some of us Ladies have once again decided to make fools of ourselves by predicting the MLB playoffs. But at least now the post will be illustrated by photos of actual 2010 playoff action, so that’s a bonus.

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Ladies and Gentlemen…

…Roy Halladay. Do I even need to say anything else?

HI EVERYONE ROY HALLADAY THREW A NO HITTER IN HIS FIRST POSTSEASON APPEARANCE AND I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO USE PUNCTUATION

PS IT WAS ONLY THE SECOND ONE IN A LITTLE THING WE LIKE TO CALL HISTORY

PS NUMBAH TWO: OH AND HE THREW A PERFECT GAME THIS YEAR ALREADY.

For real, I kind of think my husband would be okay if I left him for Roy. Actually, I kind of think he might leave me for Roy. I’m not sure I blame him.

Now for a little MORE good news…

With the Cardinals officially eliminating themselves from the MLB playoffs and the Jets managing to embarrass themselves on and off the field, this week has me in something of a funk, sports-wise.  So I took  a cue from Bee’s Steve Nash post, and went hunting for some sports news that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face:

  • First off, let’s congratulate Kevin Durant and the rest of the US team on winning the World Basketball Championship, the country’s first since 1994.  If Kevin Durant smiling doesn’t make you smile, check your pulse.

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