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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Ladies…Bracket Brawl 2013: This Time It Counts*

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Your tourney favourites (AP Photo)

*Well, if you count bragging rights.

This post is brought to you by Advil Cold and Sinus, so if this starts down the trail of incoherence forgive me. It’s NCAA Tourney Time which means we have a Bracket to Brawl over. You can join our group, Ladies…Bracket Brawl, here on ESPN’s Tournament Challenge (password is ladiesdotdotdot) Once again, we are offering the winner (the non-Ladies… contributor winner, that is) a slot for a guest post. Need some insight? You will find some here and here but you should probably avoid cold medication unless you’re comfortable with choosing Davidson to go Elite Eight. For the mobile minded, NCAA has an app for iOS and Android to help you follow along (sadly, not available in Canada’s iTunes Store. BOO-URNS.)

March Madness starts Thursday, March 21 so get your brackets in now!

What fresh hell is this: NHL realignment

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No matter how I feel about the NHL, I can’t stay mad at this guy. (Source: Burnaby Beacon)

I’m sure there’s some sort of valid reason for this based on, I don’t know, a desire to keep the NHL “fresh” and “relevant”? On Tuesday reports surfaced of the proposed realignment for the league: a return to four divisions, seven or eight teams per division, new playoff format, same number of teams getting in (the top three teams in each division along with four wild cards.)

My reaction is mixed (never mind that I still haven’t watched a single NHL game this shortened season. No longer bitter, just uninterested.) I’m personally fine with the altered playoff format and the idea of a few wild card slots. The idea of four divisions, however, falls flat with me. What’s wrong with keeping it at six? I’m old enough to remember when the NHL was a four division league, but it was a much smaller league than it is today. How do you foster an effective division rivalry when your division is eight teams wide? Or does that even matter in the 2013 NHL?

This is still a proposal and subject to approval by the usual suspects. But what do you think? Does this realignment make sense to you?

Jetting Away: Bart Scott

It’s with a somewhat heavy heart that I take a moment to reflect on the release of linebacker Bart Scott of the New York Jets. His last few seasons were marred by injury and discontent, but we’ll always remember him for this epic interview following the Jets’ pounding of the Pats in the 2010 divisional playoffs:

And so another step has been taken as the Jets try to distant themselves from that dumpster fire of a 2012 season. But take heart, Bart Scott fans: there’s a chance he may land with Buffalita’s Bills.

Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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The Best Super Bowl Party (Memories) Ever

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

You’ve probably heard before that the Super Bowl is the biggest gambling day of the year.  I started the week thinking all us Ladies would talk about our best/worst Super Bowl bets, but as it turns out, I am the only one who has any. (One. I have one.  And it’s only because I have friends who are professional poker players who LOVE betting games.)

However, the Super Bowl is also one of the biggest party days of the year.  Even churches have Super Bowl parties, so you do not have to have any particular vices to have a good Super Bowl party story (though it helps). Join us, as we discuss some of our favorite memories of Super Bowl past. And some minor betting.

Raven: I’ve been betting on the Super Bowl since I was a small child. My parents’ friends have parties every year and they always do box pools. Of course, I’ve never won, but when my sister was born, she won three straight years. And she was a baby. She has all the luck.

As far as best party, I’m hoping this year turns out to be the best. The Ravens aren’t in the Super Bowl every year, so it’s kinda special when they are. The last time they were in the Super Bowl was probably the worst Super Bowl party I ever attended. I was away at school, living in an all girls dorm and there was only one other girl in my building who cared about the Ravens and/or football. We took over the lounge, bought snacks and food and had our own lonely party. Eventually some other girls joined us when they realized that we weren’t going to let them watch whatever show they wanted to watch in the lounge. It was sad.

Buffalita: Okay, for betting stories, I unfortunately don’t have anything good that I can think of besides betting myself in my head for four years as a little kid that the Bills could and would actually pull off a win. Obviously I lost those bets.

Bee: My Super Bowl parties are quiet affairs – not enough good friends who like NFL football. That or they’re Patriots fans. My most memorable gathering would have been Super Bowl 32 (Favre’s Packers vs. Elway’s Broncos), in my old one-bedroom apartment. One friend/co-worker came over with a slice of processed cheese on his ball cap. Literally and figuratively cheesy. Meanwhile my bestie, deciding she would cheer for the Denver Broncos, made her own GO BRONCOS flag by defacing an old tabletop provincial flag with GO BRONCOS in black Sharpie, which I realize is at the very least bad protocol if not illegal. But she’s awesome so don’t you dare hold anything against her! 16 years later I think she still has it. Otherwise, not much else to report. I forgot the halftime show was that tribute to Motown with Boyz II Men (was it good? I think I’ve mentally blocked all pre-Wardrobe Malfunction halftime shows.)

The Packers lost and Elway got his stupid Championship (oh, let’s be honest – he deserved it!) and the chili was good. Fun times!

Games Mistress: My one and only Super Bowl betting story happened four years ago, featuring the Cardinals vs. the Steelers.  Now I should preface this by saying, I only gamble at my friend’s Super Bowl parties.  He always has one of those score grids with a buy-in of $5 a box, and I would bring $20 with me every year on the assumption that I’d never see that money again.

I remember that Super Bowl as being kind of dull — possibly because other than one half-hearted Pittsburgh native (who wasn’t otherwise really a sports fan), no one at the party had much of an interest in either team.  So I got REALLY into tracking my boxes.  Unfortunately, I had a bunch of strange numbers (I think at least one involved a 5), and my only decent set (Steelers 7, Cardinals 3) seemed increasingly unlikely the way the score was progressing.  In fact, all three of the mini-prizes awarded after each quarter went to the host’s brother, who had bought something like ten boxes and wasn’t even there.  So I resigned myself to it not being my year, right about as the Cardinals started showing signs of life, scoring 16 unanswered points, including an odd, rare safety on a Pittsburgh holding penalty in the end zone.  Making an otherwise pedestrian 27-21 final score 27-23.

It wasn’t a lot of money, but I do still have the IKEA dresser and desk chair the winnings bought me.

What are your favorite Super Bowl party/betting stories?  Any big plans for Sunday?

Why I love being a curling mom

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Curling cuteness from my favourite Olympics

My seven-year-old daughter played in her very first out-of-town tournament this past weekend. It was a big moment for me: a small part of me felt like I finally “arrived” as one of the millions of North American parents who every year pile their kids and their big stinky bags of hockey gear into a minivan and hit the highway to cheer them on in a chilly rink and remind them not to press all the buttons in the hotel elevator.

Except that I drive a Civic, her gear fits into a small backpack, and she’s a curler.

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