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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
(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!
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.
Allow me (again) to bask in a little national pride for a moment.
Canadians spend a lot of time navel gazing and musing over the fact that we don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves much. We’re afraid of coming on a little too strong, and when we do, we apologize profusely.
I’m so glad that for a change, we let our flag wave often and proudly. We sported the red and white. We sang our anthem spontaneously. We celebrated with beer! We even came off as a bit obnoxious.
For once, Canadians need not apologize.
(Exception: the closing ceremonies music. Let me make this clear: most Canadians don’t like Nickelback. Here‘s an example of a band we should have had close the Vancouver games, which also explains the mystery behind the title of this post.)
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games certainly had its ups and downs and fair share of criticism. There will be plenty of time for analysis in that regard. For now, let’s just bask in the glory of those record 14 gold medals, including one in…mens’ hockey!!
I can’t help but roll my eyes at all of this. You can’t build a development program overnight, and let’s face it: these athletes are obviously doing something right. Much was made of the fact that we had never won gold in Montreal or Calgary. Today, we have eight gold medals. And we still have curling and mens’ hockey to go!
Look, I never expect Canada to be overly dominant at any Olympics. The U.S. and various EU countries regularly kick our asses in the medal count: fact of life. We accept it. Remember, this is a nation that lost its Expos and hasn’t seen the Stanley Cup travel down Yonge Street since 1967. We’re used to not having it all in the sports realm. And that’s OK. We have a rich hockey history and public health care and we can boast that Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot (NOT DEAD!) all hail from here.
What was the point of this post? Oh yeah: CANADIAN OLYMPIANS WE LOVE, EH?
Winning at home is always sweetest. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
It finally happened!
Canada didn’t win gold in 1976 in Montreal. We didn’t win gold in Calgary in 1988, either.
But tonight, in Vancouver, it happened.
Alexandre Bilodeau of Quebec – a toddler when Canada last hosted the Winter Games – is the nation’s newest Olympic hero as he captured gold in the Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Moguls competition. He also made a little history, becoming the first Canadian Olympian to win gold on home soil. Bilodeau beat the heavily favoured Dale Beggs-Smith (a Canuck, incidentally, competing for Australia) with a score of 26.75. Team USA’s Bryon Wilson captured bronze in an impressive effort.
Bilodeau’s inspiration? His brother Fredric, who lives with cerebral palsy, and who was cheering for Alexandre harder than anyone else in the red-and-white clad crowd at Cypress Mountain. You can read about Alexandre and his brother here and watch their story “Source of strength” here.
I don’t think freestyle skiing has ever moved me to tears. Bravo Alexandre!
Surely you weren't expecting Schwartzenegger here! Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden with the Torch earlier today (Photo Credit: Arlen Redekop)
This weekend is the sports equivalent of being handed a heart-shaped velvet box of decadent dark chocolates and not knowing whether to start nibbling on the dipped hazelnut or the coconut creme. But let’s face it – we deserve to be spoiled! Yes, there’s this party going on in Vancouver right now, but if you need something to keep you busy until the Pacific timezone catches up to, there’s lots to choose from.