Saturday, May 26, 2007
Flying under the radar, at least in this country, are the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Hockey still exists, and the NHL is still in business, in spite of their lockout of two years ago. In the United States (outside of NHL cities), hockey gets lower TV ratings than poker, and is less popular than tractor pulls. It is a great spectator sport that has not translated well to TV. Now that the league is no longer seen on ESPN, the league has become out of sight and out of mind to most sports fans.
The Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday night just outside of Disneyland in Anaheim. Canada's Team, the Ottawa Senators, face the 57 Freeway's Team, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are no longer Mighty, as Disney sold the team a couple of years ago, and they are simply the Anaheim Ducks. Games 1 & 2 are on TV in the US, just barely, as they will be on Versus (way up the dial on digital cable and satellite). The remaining games will be on NBC, as long as there is no horse racing pre-game show. (NBC last Saturday left the Senators-Sabres playoff game before overtime to go to the Preakness pre-race show. The pre-race show got much better ratings than hockey) It's still a big deal in the Great White North, though.
These teams have not played since January 2006. What kind of league plays an 82-game schedule, but doesn't let every team play each other at least once or twice? In the NBA, even the Lakers have to play the Charlotte Bobcats twice.
I still like hockey. I can't bring myself to root for the Ducks, as I'm still a Dallas Stars fan. Go Sens!
Friday, May 25, 2007
This is painful, but I have to be fair.
College baseball is pretty far off the radar of everyone except the most rabid college sports fans. The competition is pretty good, especially when rivalries from football and basketball spill over to the diamond. The caliber of play is somewhere around low minor league quality, as college programs have 11.7 total scholarships to offer to the whole team, and are competing with major league organizations and their large bonuses offered to high draft picks. College baseball, overall, is a fun sport, though not nearly as popular as football or basketball.
Here is the painful part. Anyone that knows me knows that there are really only four things that are important to me: God, my family, the Oklahoma Sooners, and America. Sometimes, those priorities get mixed up. So, it pains me to throw the Sooners under the bus. But, I have to.
OU has broken out these black baseball uniforms. There are two major strikes against them: 1) black for a school that does not have it as a primary color, and 2) the red stripe under the arm and down the side of the jersey. Nike really stunk up the joint here. Someone at Nike needs to be drawn up and quartered.
Berry Tramel, lead columnist for The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, hits it right on the mark in this video/column (link is to the video-column is in the list to the right). The Sooners should wear crimson and cream. They should not wear black. Black is for their cousins in Stillwater.
Nike and OU better not try this in football or basketball. Black does not go with crimson and cream, no matter how cool anyone thinks it may be.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
It's a slow time of year, as my major sports interests, the NFL, college football, and college basketball are out of season.
With that being said, it's also a slow time for uniforms. I did see something the other night that caught my eye.
My wife and I were eating dinner in the Seattle airport, and I saw this guy with this houndstooth baseball cap. Sure enough, it had the Alabama "A" on it.
I like Alabama. The Crimson Tide have a football tradition that is second to none, rivaling Notre Dame, USC, and Oklahoma. They packed their stadium with 90,000 people for their spring game. They have the Million Dollar Band, and the Four Million Dollar Coach, Nick Saban. However, there is an ongoing obsession with Bear Bryant. The Bear has been dead almost 25 years, and every coach is still expected to replace him. Paul "Bear" Bryant was greatness. But, he's been gone a long time.
This hat symbolizes that obsession. Bear Bryant was known for his houndstooth derby hat. This cap combines the houndstooth design with a baseball cap. Ugly. Bear Bryant wouldn't be caught dead in that. Come to think of it, Bear Bryant wouldn't be caught alive in it, either.
Somewhere, Nike is making some bucks off of this. I don't expect the Four Million Dollar Coach to wear this on the sideline this year, though.
Today, on the fourth ballot, the NFL owners awarded Super Bowl XLV to Arlington. The 2001 game will be played at Jerryworld, the new stadium to be named later in Arlington.
This is one of the major reasons for the new stadium: attracting a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl will be good for business in North Texas.
I hope the Cowboys are a Super Bowl contender in four years. Maybe they will get to play a Super Bowl on their home field.