Five-Point Plan of B.S.?

Montreal Canadiens

This is what a concussion and a fractured vertebrae looks like. (Photo: Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

I love hockey. But the events of this past season are seriously testing my loyalty to this sport. Put it this way: there is a reason why I have grown to love baseball more in recent years.

I’ve been watching NHL hockey since Gretzky wore an Oilers jersey. Ugly, filthy hits have existed for years. But is it just me, or are they increasing? Continue reading

Your Annual “Ladies… On A Break” Post

Red Sox,Mets

A few of us could tolerate being here right now for our spring break, even with the overcast Florida skies. (Photo: AP)

We’re taking their annual blogging break to recharge our batteries. But don’t worry, we’ll be back in a week with all the fun that March has to offer: MLB Spring Training, NHL and NBA playoff position jockeying, and of course, March Madness (including our annual Bracket Challenge where I will defend my title as Unexpected Champ. I’m the Canadian. How does that even happen?)

Enjoy the next seven days!

Hockey Hotties On The Move: 2011 Edition

Leafs

NOT HOT! But Burkie rocks the untied tie like nobody's business.

The timing was almost perfect: I took today off to recover from an arduous 11 hours of traveling from Ottawa to my East Coast home on Sunday to make up for a canceled direct flight on Friday (Mother Nature has been particularly bitchy to New Brunswickers this year. I swear, we have at least one snowstorm a week.) The hubby and I were all set to brew some coffee, snuggle on the couch and consume hours of TSN Tradecentre 2011 (the annual wall-to-wall coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline, for those of you unfamiliar.)

But not surprisingly, another snowstorm dumped 15 centimetres (at least) in our driveway and the kids stayed home from school. *sigh* So much for Date Day.

Trade Deadline Day was disruptive for some of our favorite players as well. Here’s a look at some of the notables who wound up with a new zip/postal code today, as well as a few who surprisingly managed to stay put.

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NHL Heritage Classic Results: Hogwarts 4, Habs 0

(Photo: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Happy Monday, readers! Just a quick hit until I can write something more substantive tonight, as I couldn’t let this one slide. The talk of last night’s NHL Heritage Classic outdoors at McMahon Stadium was not about the crummy ice, Metric’s chilly halftime second intermission performance or Kipper’s shutout – at least not at my house. No, the talk was about Calgary’s unis, which may or may not have been channeling some sort of wizardry. Seriously, isn’t the cut on those jerseys bad enough without dipping it into the ugly bath?

How I Crafted Like A Champion (or “A Peek Into The Demented Mind of Lady Bee”)

Craft Like A Champion

Can you guess what I made with this classic baby yarn?

It’s been a head-spinning 24 hours of breaking news: Forsberg’s retirement (*sniff!*), pitchers and catchers reporting (YES!) and Arcade Fire‘s tremendous Grammy win (OUI!). So dizzying that one needs to sit down, take stock, maybe do a little knitting to calm down.

While one of us Ladies… checks on Games Mistress to she how she’s faring through this Pujols drama (CAN’T YOU SEE YOU’RE KILLING HER, ALBERT?!), let me tell you how I made out in our Craft Like A Champion Challenge.

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Friday Fellow: Dwayne Roloson

Tampa Bay LightningMy affection for the older guys has been well documented here at Ladies… What can I say? Take young forward Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, for example. Cute, yes, but far too young for me to buy him a drink. He’s not even legal in my province, anyway.

However, I’d hire Skinner to babysit my kids so that I could hit the town in my patent leather peep toe pumps with Tampa Bay’s recently acquired goaltender, Dwayne Roloson. Continue reading

It’s Friday. Have some Dave Foley.

Yes, it is Friday and I am filling in for CuteSports by woefully mailing it in. Please forgive me: it’s been a week full of earaches, barfing flu and vet visits. I have a school assignment screaming at me to get done, but quite frankly I’m content to just ignore it, crack open a microbrew, knit another baby cap and watch the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft (TSN, 7:30 ET) . My money is on Kessel getting picked last – his plus/minus is -19, people! What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

I would have loved to have picked my own team for today’s post, but you know, see above. It’s too bad. I would have enjoyed the sound of your laughter upon reading my first pick of Clarke MacArthur. Maybe I’ll still do this for Monday. We shall see.

What? You don’t give a flying Crosby about this All-Star Game nonsense? It’s driving you crazy waiting for Super Bowl Sunday and the Pro Bowl is a bore? At least there is the exciting Gaelic-Italian tradition of shirling to keep you entertained through the weekend…

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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Settling Conference Scores…Who Y’a Got?

Photobucket

Hailing a cab to Pittsburgh, it's Mark Sanchez! (Getty Images)

Only a little part of me will be glad to have my Sunday nights back (that means I might actually file my posts on time!) I mean, really, has the football not been superb these last two weekends?

Saturday’s NFL Divisional matchups saw the Steelers topple the Ravens 31-24, while Green Bay annihilated the Falcons 48-21.

Then came Sunday. We figured the Seahawks wouldn’t stand a chance against the Bears, and while they put up a fight the end result was as predicted: Chicago over Seattle 35-24.

But did you think for a minute…that the Patriots would fall to Rex Ryan’s Jets? Oh, the drama, the vitriol, the stupid hair, the gentle musings of one Bart Scott (please do yourself a favour and watch the video clip!)

Get’cha popcorn ready for Sunday and join me, Games Mistress and CuteSports after the jump for our NFL Conference Showdown predictions…plus a chance for you to vote for your NFL Conference Championship picks.

Hit and Run: First of 2011 Edition

Coney Island Polar Bear Swim 2011

Girls, we should really consider an "I Was There" post from the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim next year. I'm just sayin'. (Reuters)

Happy New Year, readers! We hope you had a fabulous holiday that wasn’t marred by travel hiccups, barfing flu or Christmas morning plumbing problems (that last one happened to me. True story.) We’re back at it after a much-needed break. If you laid low this past weekend after a raucous New Year’s Eve, let’s fill you in on what you may have missed.

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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 6

Yankees

Hughes proved his worth in the bullpen in 2009 when the Yankees last won the World Series. Ah, those were good times.

Ah, crap, so we’re a day behind. Let’s just get my requisite Yankee selection out of the way, shall we? It’s Phil Hughes, he who won back his role as a starter in 2010, and he who was sadly on the mound in Game 6 of the ALCS when Joe Girardi decided that intentional walks were the Best Idea Ever. No, I am not bitter.

The California native had, in my view, one of his best seasons in pinstripes in 2010. His 4.19 ERA was, well, meh, but Phil went 18-8 with a not-too-shabby 146 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.25. If only AJ Burnett was that reliable.

Check out the pitcher who hasn’t had a truckload of money dumped in front of his house after the jump. Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness – Day 3

Tampa Bay Lightning

When it comes to Steven Stamkos, colour me guilty: I kind of forget to point out how awesome he is because, well, he plays in Tampa Bay and I live in a Crosby-centric part of the world. How is last year’s Rocket Richard Trophy winner doing these days? Let’s get you up to speed: 20 points in the last 14 games, 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points overall, just trailing Sir Sidney.

Oh, and he’s kind of cute, too. Go see! Continue reading

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.

R.I.P. Pat Burns

Former Devils coach Pat Burns lost his long battle with cancer Friday in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The three-time Jack Adams trophy winner was 58.

We profiled Pat back in March at the announcement for the hockey arena being built in his name in the Eastern Townships. His last public appearance was last month when he attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

The recent Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony reignited the debate that Pat should have been included in this year’s class. There’s no point in resuming that discussion. Anyone who followed the Habs, Leafs, Bruins or Devils during Pat’s career is well aware of his legacy, his passion for the game, his commitment to community and family, his fighting spirit. We don’t need the HHOF to acknowledge what we as hockey fans knew all these years. He’s there – he was there in our eyes a long time ago.

We extend our thoughts to Pat’s loved ones.

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.

Community support always makes our hearts melt, so we salute the numerous athletes who have taken up the moustachioed cause. Continue reading

In Which the Ladies Join In To The “Farewell Joe Morgan” Blog Circus

If you read this blog, you probably read many other sports blogs or internet sports related media, and you know that Tuesday, ESPN announced it was not renewing the contracts of its Sunday Night Baseball team, which meant to Twitter and Facebook enabled baseball fans everywhere, that Joe Morgan finally got fired.   And even if we here at Ladies were a bit too preoccupied with the jobs we actually still have this week to put up an instant response, we still couldn’t let an event sports fans have been waiting for for at least half a decade go by without comment.  Our thoughts below (and yours, hopefully, below that).

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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.)

Hit and Run: Crazy Endings Edition

Saints

I mean, what else would you expect on Hallowe'en? (AP Photo)

There just something about Hallowe’en that brings out the crazy. Dressing like a zombie. Dressing like Gaga. Drinking booze that is clearly coloured by artificial susbtances and possibly has floating eyeballs. Eating far too many mini Coffee Crisps. These jackets. Whatever bizarre behaviour you engage in is perfectly acceptable on October 31st, or at least the Friday or Saturday closest to it.

The sports world was also full of crazy on the weekend. For instance… Continue reading

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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Your Monday Morning Nightmare

NHL Hotness Preview Numero Trois will be along later this evening. In the meantime…did you catch Sunday Night Football last night? I had my head down working on my NHL post, so I assume they were doing a segment on Favre (well, OBVIOUSLY!) when they started flashing Photoshopped stills of sports legends wearing unis of their respective team’s arch rivals. Bird. Jordan. Elway.

Derek Jeter.

There is not enough wine in the world to erase this horrible, horrible image from my memory.

(via @bubbaprog via @amandarykoff. Really, you guys. You shouldn’t have.)

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.)

Your 2010-11 NHL Hotness Preview: Northwest Division

 

Holiday bloggingHappy Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving! The NHL season is finally underway, and yes, we realize we are a little late filing our previews. But it’s still early enough in the season – heck, TORONTO is tied for first in the East as I type this. I’m not joking! See?

 

standings oct10

(Screen shot courtesy tsn.ca)

 

Sorry. I know we’re two games in but it’s been far too long since I’ve seen these guys at the top of the standings. Just let me enjoy this Very Special Moment.

OK! On to the Northwest! Continue reading

Your NHL 2010-11 Hotness Preview: the Northeast

Leafs

Save some of that for the regular season, Dion. (Photo: Getty Images)

The countdown to October 7th is underway! That’s when the puck drops and the ice is prepped for a brand-new NHL season. Raven and I will be bringing you previews the only way we know how…with photos of hot men.

We bring you the Northeast after the jump.

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Down To The Wire

Say goodnight, Ozzie. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

It seems like only yesterday we were squealing with delight about the arrival of the 2010 Major League Baseball season. Now here we are in the final weeks of the regular season. Some fans will be packing away their Pirates and Mets tees away with their capri pants and strappy sandals, reflecting on a season that should have been. But others will be biting their nails and rocking back and forth on their couches, popping Tums and living in fear that the stupid Rays will take the AL East (OK, maybe that’s just me)

Here’s a quick look at how the race to the postseason is looking heading into tonight’s games, and how this prognosticator (HAHAHAHA!) sees it going down:

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Reason 127 why Steve Nash is a wonderful human being

Terry FoxI’m not one to make assumptions, but I’ll go out on a limb and state that I’m quite certain there isn’t a Canadian born before 1975 that wasn’t moved by Terry Fox.

Here at home, Fox is considered one of our greatest. He wasn’t a hockey player, a politician, a writer or a rock star. Terry was just one of us, except that he lost a leg to cancer in the prime of his life, and then spent his remaining time on earth running across Canada to raise funds and awareness of the disease (and, sadly, fighting the cancer that would cut his marathon – and life – all too short). So, yeah, he transcended that ordinary guy role and became an inspiration for millions.

I have two vivid childhood memories of Terry Fox: a campy but cool 1980 jingle promoting his Marathon of Hope on television, and footage of his funeral on CBC. I was at my grandmother’s that summer, and I remember reflecting how unfair it was that he was taken from us so soon when we were just getting to know him. Here I am 29 years later, and I am still amazed at the legacy Terry left Canadians. And we’re still running for him.

Steve Nash is about my age and was as equally moved during that era, so much that he co-directed a new movie about Terry’s life, Into The Wind, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Terry’s story has been told several times through print and film, although I’m unsure how many times his life has been examined through the lens of another athlete, let alone one as prolific as Nash.

The film is part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series and will premiere September 28 on the network. If you’re unaware of Terry’s story, please tune in. I don’t imagine that Nash will be breaking new cinematic ground or finding a future beyond the NBA, but give him credit for his desire to share this story of one of Canada’s most beloved icons. And I will promise you this: you will be moved.

Five Ways To Spend Labor Day

Twins

Yes, some people have to work today.

Happy last weekend of summer as we know it! For those of you not spending it at work, or moving to your dorm, or counting down the hours until you can put the kids on the school bus, we bring you five ways to spend that (hopefully) least of laborious days. Continue reading

Hit and Run: September’s coming soon

Hands up: who cannot wait for September?

Cowboys Texans

No, no, NO, Malcolm Sheppard of the Texans! That's not what I meant by "Hands up!" (AP Photo)

Oh, September. What’s not to love? The return of NFL football, baseball hurling towards the Fall Classic, hockey and basketball waiting in the wings. We’re almost there, but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of what happened the last weekend of August.

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