GOODBYE BEN SCRIVENS

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Ben Scrivens was traded to Edmonton today for a third round draft pick. Yes, it happened and sadly it makes sense. Scrivens would be an UFA after this season, and we can all trust Dean Lombardi when it comes to these types of decisions. Sell high on the goalies. Ben stepped up to the plate when Quick iced his balls for 2 months and he did so with unheralded suaveness. He played a total of 19 games, and was 7-5-4 with a 1.97 GAA and a .931 SVP…which means save percentage, not scott van pelt, whom i adore. Scrivens was the 4th goalie in franchise history to notch a no-hitter in his first start for the team. He was the first King to tally back-to-back road shutouts.

JUST LISTEN TO THOSE STATS I STOLE FROM A NEWS ARTICLE. THEY’RE BLOWING MY MIND.

Because deep down, in the juicy ventricular walls of my presumed healthy heart…i love Ben Scrivens. And his stupid side-part. Because he was the hand that speared into the icy waters of fear and pulled me out of limbo. And he did it with such elegance. He did it with a certain, ‘why are you worried’ mentality that injected comfort into the veins of an anxious fan like a hot load of China White heroin.

A King Without a Crown.

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.39.08 PMBut now he’s gone. Disappeared. A shadow in the ignorance of hot afternoon heat, but the sun has set on the side-part. Slowly sinking behind the Santa Monica mountains, and pushing a dark carpet over the legend of Ben Scrivens. Shaking hands and bowing as he slowly backpedals through that door, i’m sure. Polite as ever, thanking any and everyone who believed in him; everyone involved in the trade; everyone who gave him a chance. Begging anyone in the room to act like they’re not devastated as the door quietly clicks shut.

His legacy now lives on through the stories of his quick glove, historic video bombs behind that human canker-sore named Patrick O’Neil, and of course…the hair. Always the hair. Immediately ignoring the tradition of the backup-wears-a-team-hat-on-the-sideline..Scrivens started his kings campaign with gusto. I feel ashamed to have been surprised by his interstellar play. So here’s goodbye to Benjamin Scrivens, the cedric diggory of a truly gryffindor-esque franchise, and the hero of what ultimately may become another successful season in Tinsel Town.

Keep in mind that throughout this entire post, i’ve been listening to Matisyahu, and have discovered he’s recently released some absolute FUEGO. Started with King Without a Crown, and I only played it 3 times before moving on to something else. Thats saying something. Listen to this shit! Looks like he shaved the trademark’d jew-beard. Thaaaaat appears to have been a horrible decision. And very possibly the reason this song/video never really took off. 6 million views? I’ve never heard of it.

One of the worst music videos i’ve ever seen. But blast it regardless.

Loser of the Week: Cam Newton

An inverse thought process pertaining to the Boss of the Week post. This week, in addition to a BotW, we’ll discuss the Loser of the Week, which in its inaugural showing will feature Carolina Panthers sophomore quarterback, Cam Newton.

It would appear that ‘Superman’ is finally showing his true colors. No, I’m not talking about the ridiculous over-saturation of Pink things we see in the NFL in October. That’s an entirely different discussion, and something I’ll get into soon. No, we’re instead going to discuss Cam’s sideline demeanor during Carolina’s three-game skid. In an absolute blow-out loss to the defending SuperBowl champs, Superman spent more time hiding under a towel on the bench, than he did throwing interceptions and coughing it up on the field.

But regardless of the outcome, if Cam Newton gets into the end zone, he’ll make sure everyone gets out of his way so he can do his thing. It makes me think that in a streak of dismal performances by the Panthers, an innate sense of selfishness has begun to leak from Cam Newton. Things were great last year for him, because he was a rookie and no one expected anything from the Carolina Panthers. He wins a handful of games and everyone starts talking crazy. This is not to take anything away from his season last year, when he broke the record for rushing TD’s by a QB with 14. But we’ve arrived at a season where things are expected from both the Panthers and their sophomore QB. It was a hot debate before the season began, and how has Cam reacted/performed with these expectations weighing heavy on that cape-laden back.

He’s done terribly. The Panthers are 1-4, have lost three straight, and face Dallas, Chicago, and Washington in the next three weeks respectively. Newton has thrown more picks than TDs. He has fumbled three times, equaling his total from last season. But again, his performance is related, but it’s not the reason he’s our Loser of the Week. He’s featured because of his sideline behavior, as it contrasts to the image he’s pushed upon his after one year in the league. He’s Superman, yet when the going gets tough, the ‘tough’ sits on the sideline with a pink towel draped over his head and refuses to speak to anyone? Doesn’t sound like Mr. Kent to me. An emotional leader? The chips are down, lets look to our captain. Oh, we can’t find him because he’s hiding his face under a towel on the bench. Not that his face would provide anything but more depression and fear, seeing that it’s twisted contorted itself into the most sinister scowl anyone’s seen on television since Jim Carrey in The Grinch.

My message to Cam Newton? Stay in your lane, forget the cameras, and be a leader. Prove to your fans that you’re not embarrassed to be a Carolina Panther. Don’t act like a 6 year-old girl in your press conferences. Stop fumbling the football. Quit acting like you’ve made it. Lead your team by setting a good example on and off the field. Put the towel down. STEP YOUR GAME UP.

Shaun White Gets Bombed and That’s Okay

Apparently X-Games/Olympic/Extreme sports icon, Shaun White, was arrested early Monday morning (aka late sunday night) for getting hamboned and making some bad decisions. Here’s the story, as reported by the all-faithfull, TMZ. Here’s the thing about TMZ. As much as we all hate the idea of TMZ, TMZ is great. They don’t care about anything except exposing celebrities for how idiotic they sometimes(usually) are. It’s completely unfiltered, and more often than not, truthful. From allegations that Baltimore Ravens pro-bowl defensive end, Terrell Suggs sustained a potentially season-ending achilles injury during an off-season game of pick-up basketball(which he has denied, but everyone knows are true); to pictures of country singers face down, ass-naked in the middle of the street. TMZ is extremely diverse in its subjects, and loves loves loves to watch/capture important people do really stupid things.

Back to White. TMZ reports:

  • Shaun White is blasted in his room, and proceeds to trash the hell out of it. This makes quite a reasonable amount of noise, which in turn attracts a number of hotel guests. It’s 2am and people usually don’t appreciate drunken 26 year-olds making loud noises and breaking things.
  • Hotel Staff is called to the scene.
  • White, when confronted by Hotel Employees, promptly pulls a nearby fire-alarm. He also manages to smash a hotel phone.
  • The entire building is evacuated. At 2am.
  • Guests are pissed.
  • White attempts to flee the scene of the crime, but is chased down by a ‘concerned citizen’ who attempts to apprehend the X-Games gold medalist.
  • The X-Games gold medalist assaults the ‘concerned citizen’ and keeps running.
  • The ‘concerned citizen’ catches up to the intoxicated White, and returns the favor by shoving White into a nearby fence.
  • White smashes his head into a fence post and subsequently is sent into a state of blurred incoherence and overall delirium. Game, set, and match: Concerned Citizen.
  • The Police get involved. Report includes a description of White: ‘Appeared to be extremely intoxicated, and reeked of alcohol.’
  • White is taken downtown, where this picture is taken.

So let’s recap. Here’s what Shaun White did

1. Got drunk.
2. Broke a hotel phone
3. Pulled a bunch of fire alarms

He didn’t

1. Kill the bellhop.
2. Sexually assault members of the maid staff.
3. Light the building on fire.

The bottom line is this: It’s a funny/slightly unacceptable story that will more than likely be blasted wayyyy out of proportion. When people hear ‘Shaun White Get’s Arrested in Nashville”, their minds more than likely travel to a pretty dark and unfair place. But the snowboarder in the black-leather butt huggers has my condolences. In a world that is so full of people with his level of stardom doing things that are so much worse, White has played it pretty cool. This guy has been in the spotlight since he was like, 10, and I can’t think of any major screw-ups. That’s pretty admirable when you take his image and crew into account. Snowboarders don’t have the best rap when it comes to aligning with social norms. He’s also a skateboarder, which helps tremendously. I mean, the guy looks like he should be playing keyboard for Def Leppard, but has still managed to have (arguably) the biggest influence on snowboarding since Terje started throwing McTwists in Sweeden. Shaun White is the reason 75% of kids that snowboard have the following as their facebook profile picture.

Ahh yes, it is the chairlift selfie, complete with face mask(usually gangster bandana) and dark(usually mirrored) lenses. How many of these have you seen? Alone on the chairlift, what should I do? Oh yeah, take a picture of myself because I look super sick.

Point: Shaun White.
And let’s not overlook the giant pink elephant taking a deuce in the corner: Shaun White is ridiculously good at snowboarding.

there’s also this, which was pretty funny.

Monday Night Sports Cocktail

An exceptional selection of options this evening. By exceptional I mean 3. I’ll break each one down.

US Open Men’s Final: Novak Djokovic(SRB) vs Andy Murray(UK) Djokovic was my original pick to win this whole thing, and I’m standing by that. Here’s the thing about Novak: he’s from Serbia. And I’m not entirely sure why, but I just don’t really like Serbians. I think it has something to do with the moronic Serbian fans who keep yelling “SERBIAAAAAA” in-between every single point. I knew a Serbian kid in college who played on the water polo team and spent his free time trying to convince everyone how awesome Serbia is. “Nonono you don’t understand. Serbia is toughest country ever. We are raised as warriors. Descendants of ancient Sparta.” Says the kid wearing pink booty shorts and drinking a protein shake. As horribly uninformed as that quote is, I can’t help noticing similarities between it’s implications and Novak Djokovic. They seem almost identical. There is no rattling this guy. And as he battles Andy Murray in this first set tie-break, he seems extremely grounded. This match is ridiculous btw. It looks like they’re playing on the set of Twister. How awesome was that movie btw. The wind keeps screwing up Novak’s toss and he keeps apologizing to Murray, which surprises me. He would be more accurate, judging on Novak’s appearance, if instead of apologizing he just looked over at Murray’s girlfriend and let some horribly demeaning comment fly and then smiled demonically at Murray before promptly striking an ace.

Like I said earlier, I predict Novak will win tonight, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Murray wins the tournament. Murray is great, and part of me thinks this is his time, but the other part of me thinks he’s just not quite there, and whines too much. Either way, Andy just won the first set, and this is shaping up to be a great match, because you know Novak will only play harder and harder..kinda like a Spartan or something….(dumbest thing I’ve ever heard)

BTW here’s the primary reason I doubt Novak has any interest in Murray’s lady. I present, Jelena Ristic

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

The guy everyone will be watching tonight will surely be Darren McFadden. Run DMC. The speedy tailback is amongst the most dangerous and explosive runners, but has spent a decent amount of the past 2 seasons on the bench with a myriad of different injuries. Some have just surrendered him into the ‘guys who will never amount to anything because they’re always hurt’ category, while others(including myself) think this may be his break-out season. He has shown shown flashes of ridiculous talent, and expect him to get a truck-load of opportunities tonight at the Oakland Coliseum.

People will also be wondering about the status of San Diego sophomore running back, Ryan Matthews, who is staring at a season of pretty formidable expectations. He broke his collarbone in the pre-season, and after a quick recovery, is hoping to get involved tonight. A gutted SD receiving corps will be spear-headed by veteran tight end, Antonio Gates, who will surely be looking to dunk one over the goal-post tonight. Phil Rivers is rebounded from his worst season in years(career?) and many have pinned him as a declining talent.

Could be exciting. I’ll take Oakland tonight in a game that I doubt many people will watch. It starts at 10:15 EST. It just doesn’t seem like a game that’s going to rake in viewers, and in all honesty, it really surprises me that ESPN selected the games they did for the first MNF of the season. SD v Oakland and Cincinnati v Baltimore? Seeing as ESPN cares only about how many people are watching their channel, and not about the quality of their material, this seems unorthodox. I would’ve predicted a Cowboys/49ers or NYFG/Saints line up. Not 2 games that 1. actually matter and 2. involve quality teams.

nice work.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

The brutal and cruel AFC North division will begin it’s heated rivalries tonight when the the Ravens play host to sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton (aka the RED RIFLE) and the Cincinnati Bengals. Everyone seems to think this is going to be a great game, but I’m gonna take the Ravens in a fairly one-sided contest. I think that we’re going to see a considerable decline in the play of Dalton, who quietly had quiet a productive rookie season and took his team to the playoffs for the first time since anyone can remember. The Bengals have somehow inched their way out of that ‘eternally damned’ NFL franchise group that includes the Jacksonville Jaguars, the St. Louis Rams, The Miami Dolphins, and the team that has been the worst team in existence for the past thousand years: The Cleveland Browns. It  literally makes most young children cringe to hear the words, ‘Cleveland’ and ‘Browns’ in the same sentence. Regardless, Cincinnati is no longer in that group, thanks largely in-part to the chemistry developed between Dalton and his young rock-star wide-out, AJ Green. I imagine we’ll see plenty of them tonight. On the other side we’ll get a steady diet of Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, and break-out candidate WR, Torrey Smith. Apparently he’s primed for a huge season. We’ll find out soon enough.

Andy Roddick. All-American.

I had the opportunity, the privilege to watch Andy Roddick play a match in his final tournament as a professional tennis player, and it was incredible to say the least. Before I get into the details of the match, I’d just like to discuss briefly how big of a deal this was to me, and how big of a deal it should be to all of America.

Growing up as a tennis player, it was only natural that my favorite player was and still remains Andy Roddick. How does any 16-year-old kid not completely idolize this guy? I honestly wonder about that. What is there not to like about his game? Sure, kids can venture off toward the stylish/trendy/more skilled players. It was easy for kids on the team to admire and aspire to be a player like Roger or the up-and-comer Novak Djokovic. But when you’re a high-school tennis player, and there are girls in the stands watching you, it’s images of Roddick that flick through your mind. You don’t want to outsmart an opponent. You want to dominate an opponent; you want an opponent to fear you. I’d be willing to say that Andy Roddick is the primary reason why about 95% of male high school tennis player’s first serves never go in. And who cares if it doesn’t go in every point? Not me. Because I know it will at some point, and when it does, that clown across the court isn’t gonna touch it. You almost hope that he manages to get the strings on it, because that means you’ve got an overhead coming your way and an opportunity to spike it into the seats right next to that blonde who sits next to you in chemistry.

Andy Roddick, from Austin, Texas. He wears American flags on his shoes. He serves like a deer rifle and he doesn’t waste time in between points. Three bounces, twirl racquet, BOOM. repeat. The original poster-boy of then rising racquet powerhouse, Babolat, I’m of the opinion that Andy should take home at least 40% of that company’s annual earnings, with another 30% going to Nadal, and the remaining 30% equally distributed amongst the possibly brilliant and surely pretentious French owners. Because I’m convinced that without Roddick’s influence, that company (which is now jockeying for the top racquet company on tour) would still be making most of it’s profit on squash racquets and vibration dampeners. Speaking of vibration dampeners, what kind does Roddick use? Oh yeah, he uses a rubber band. That’s just who this guy is. If he doesn’t like a call, the chair ump is going to hear about it; if he doesn’t like a question, the journalist is going to hear about it. He doesn’t play fancy, he doesn’t accessorize with unnecessary sponsors, and he has a strong history with dating extremely attractive women. Past members include but are in no way limited to: Mandy Moore, Maria Sharapova, and Paris Hilton. That streak ended with his current wife and 2010 SI Swimsuit Cover Girl, Brooklyn Decker.

Yeah. She’s… in shape. It’s all part of the point. Andy Roddick doesn’t just wear the flag on his shoes, he has become an international symbol of this country. And after a brief look at his resume, what’s not to like?

The reason I was inspired to actually sit down and write this, is that a few nights ago, I had the opportunity to watch Andy Roddick battle Bernard Tomic in Flushing Meadows. I use the word ‘battle’, although the more appropriate wording may be, ‘an explosive bludgeoning’. And it’s unfortunate that 19-year-old Bernard Tomic had to walk into the machine-gun fire armed with nothing more than a headband and a complacent smile. I don’t know if I can recall a more one-sided match. Like a matador under the raining roses of Madrid, Roddick is in true form under the lights at Arthur Ashe. The crowd vibrating with anticipation, and exploding with every ace. Roddick won in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 and a debilitating 6-0.

He continues his final US Open tonight, against the lanky Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro. At 9th in world, Del Potro represents the most imposing challenge thus far, and will be the favorite on paper. But it would be foolish to think that Roddick can’t win this match. Roddick can beat Delpo, and did just that in their most recent meeting. The crowd, the emotions, all the intangibles will belong to the American, and he will look to take heavy advantage of that. It will be as it always has been; Andy’s serve will dictate the match.

Regardless of the outcome Tuesday night, Roddick will leave a unprecedented mark on American tennis. The fiery, hard-hitting Texan has pushed the sport into the deepest and most distant corners of this country, and has made the sport desirable for an ex-high school football players like myself. He’s changed the sport’s image from the cashmere draping, champagne sipping, white-collared snobs; to a overhead-smashing, f-bomb dropping, model-dating rock star. With the conclusion of the 2012 US Open comes the exit of an American Icon, and a true international representative that has become a legend in the sport – never stepping foot on that court without our flag wrapped tight across his back.

McKayla Maroney: who needs gold anyway

As almost everyone has seen by now, McKayla Maroney had all but put that gold medallion around her neck before her final run in the women’s vault final. She was the one. This was her event. The announcers were so sure of themselves. Her first jump went perfectly. Not sure what it was called, but it was crazy and she stomped it. But the final score is a combination of two jumps. It was finally time for her second. If you were listening to the announcers, it almost sounded like a victory lap. She would have to orchestrate a historic meltdown if she were to finish without the top score. And then this happened.

She lands on her heels and falls back onto the mat. Everyone is shocked, the crowd confused. Maroney quickly gets up and does that chest puff-push and everyone cheers. That little move probably feels either really good, or really really shitty. It’s like this requirement that you have to do this weird little move after every exercise, even if you completely choked. It’d be like making Tiger Woods do a massive fist pump after every single putt, be it a 50-foot ace or a 3 foot air-ball. It has to be extremely humiliating.

But it’s okay because she acted like a civilized and mature adult after. She was all smiles and shined with enthusiasm and support for her fellow gymnasts. Not a scowl in sight.

and most of all…World Peace

“Disappointed on how today turned out, but everything happens for a reason!! #noregrets.. Plus, the silver medal is actually pretty sick!!”-@McKaylaMaroney

I think McKayla and I are actually on the same page here. Silver is way sicker than gold. Reasons why McKayla and I say silver is way sicker than gold.

1. Because it is.
2. Because we said so.
3. Because we like it better.
4. Gold sucks.
5. : P

McKayla did her best. She stood on the second-highest podium and held that medal high. Proud to be a medalist. Proud to be an olympian. Proud to be an American.

“Whether it’s life or swimming, always do your best.” – Ryan Lochte