Sports… Well, they rule

What a great day to be a sports fan. Hockey, basketball, hockey, beer, hockey, baseball, basketball, hockey, beer, UFC and more hockey.

A day like Saturday is why I love being a sports degenerate. My flight from Colorado, after another tough Rush loss, landed at 11:20 a.m. and I got on my couch at 12:06 p.m. The beginning of eleven continuous hours of watching sports, and the storylines were all intriguing.

VARLAMOV?

I tune into the Caps/Rangers game and I’m stunned trying to figure out who the hell is Simeon Varlamov. The 20-year-old Russian got into six games for the Caps this year, and in his five starts he went 4-0-1 with a .920 Sv% and a 2.4 GAA.

Gutsy call by Bruce Boudreau to go with the rookie, and he even though they lost 1-0, Varlamov was considerably better than Jose Theodore was in game one. Varlamov stopped 23 of 24, but Henrik Lundqvist was the story stopping all 35. In the first two games the Caps have dominated but they can’t score.

Boudreau has to stick with Varlamov the rest of the way, but unless Ovechkin, Green and company can score it won’t matter who is in net.

My picks are getting spanked right now. I had the Caps, Blues, Sharks, and Canes moving on. Not looking great right now. And I don’t even want to check where I’m at in the NATION pool. If I’m behind Wanye I will be bombed before the Habs game starts.

And if you have never heard Mike Emrick call a game, make sure you do before the playoffs are over. He is outstanding and brings great energy, enthusiasm and intonation to the booth.

BULLS RETURN TO GLORY?

During the 2nd intermission of the Caps/Rangers game I switched to the SCORE to check out the Bulls and the defending champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics aren’t going anywhere without KG, and after watching Derrick Rose they might not get past round one.

Rose was phenomenal for the Bulls. The Rookie tied Karim Abdul-Jabbar, for most points by a rookie in his first playoff game with 36. Wilt Chamberlain (35) and Tim Duncan (32) were the others in the top three before Rose came along, so he is definitely in some select company. He also added 12 assists and was a perfect 12 for 12 from the free throw line before fouling out in OT. The Bulls won 105-103, after Paul Pierce missed a free throw with 2.7 seconds to go in regulation time.

Rose’s poise, speed, quickness, strength, patience and ability to make the tough shot at the key time were impressive. No one should compare him to the legend, Michael Jordan, but along with Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah the Bulls have some great young talent. The most refreshing part about Rose was how humble and soft spoken he was after the game. Make sure you check out Rose and the upstart Bulls against the Celtics later this week.

YOU THINK HORCOFF’S CONTRACT IS BAD?

Even though Shawn Horcoff’s contract has yet to kick in, many are already questioning how he can possibly produce enough to earn that kind of coin. While Horcoff’s deal puts him in the top 20 worst in the NHL, it doesn’t come close to the albatross in Toronto.

Vernon Wells is in year two of a six-year $126 million contract. He takes home a cool $18 million per season. Wells signed the extension after the 2006 season when he hit .303 with 32 homers and 106 RBI. Similar to Horcoff Wells had one year left on his existing contract that paid him $5.6 million in 2007, when he signed the extension.

Like Horcoff, Wells underperformed in the final year of his deal, before his monstrous ticket kicked in. Wells hit a gawdy .245 with 16 dingers and 80 RBI.

He did rebound last year a bit hitting .300 but he only had 20 homers and 78 Ribbies.

Why did I bring this up? After the Rangers and Bulls won, I switched to see the Jay. What can I say I’m a sports junkie, and the Jays are off to a great start. They are absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, leading the league in batting average, runs, doubles, hits, RBI and are tied for 1st in homers.

Yet, Wells has two round trippers and a meager five RBI. He hits in the middle of the order on a team that crushes the ball, yet he only has five RBI? OUCH.

Yesterday in the bottom of the ninth in tie game, Wells came to the plate with one out and runners on first and third. The infield was in, and Wells grounded to second and the A’s promptly threw out Scutaro at home and the Jay needed 12 innings before winning 4-2.

Wells’ contract could easily put him in the top ten worst of all time in MLB when it expires in 2014.

And the Jays are now 9-4. I still have a soft spot for them, even though I know it is only a matter of time before their pitching collapses. But right now they are fun to watch, regardless of how grossly overpaid Wells is.

FAVOURITE ATHLETE TO WATCH

It is 2:00 p.m. and I’ve already watched parts of three games, had a few bevys, a turkey sandwich and part some Easter chocolate and now I tune into the watch the Cavaliers schooling the Pistons. This game is a must watch for me because of Lebron James.

The top-five athletes I would pay to watch live include Ovechkin, James, Anderson Silva, Roy Halladay and Randy Moss. I know Tiger Woods is great, but watching golf is not a priority for me. I want to sit in my seat, crush a few beers and check out some cheerleaders, rather than have to run from hole to hole trying to get a good seat. Golf not a sport I care to watch, unless I could hover above in an air-conditioned hover craft.

James is a 6’8”, 260 pound freak. He is the Ovechkin of hockey. He scores, passes, plays good D and has an infectious personality.

James — I hate when announcers use Lebron and Kobe — had 22 points in the first half, including a half-court-buzzer-beater, and the Cavs had a comfortable 12 point lead.

He ended up with 38 points, a team-high seven assists and eight rebounds as the Cavs won easily 102-84.

*** What made this game even better was learning that ABC will finally air a new Desperate Housewives episode Sunday night. That’s right boys and girls, I like DHW. It is a guilty pleasure. I know the writing isn’t great and the story lines are predictable, but something about it keeps bringing me back. And that something is the hot cougars: Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Nicolette Sheridan and even Felicity Huffman.

Is Edie seriously injured??? She better be, because those bastards at ABC have made us wait three weeks to see what happened to her. How sad do I sound right now, getting amped up over DHW…whatever it is Super Sports Saturday, so I need some female thoughts to balance things out.

PICTURE IN PICTURE A GREAT INVENTION

Just had time to squeeze in a little nap before the Wings and Jackets fire up the hockey playoff train again. This series doesn’t excite me that much.

I hate Calgary so that is a no-brainer. Oveckin is easy to watch, the battle of Pennsylvania is enticing, Habs v. Bruins is always intense, Ducks and Sharks are stacked with great players and the Blues are a great story, even though they are down two games already.

The Devils and Wings’ series don’t do much for me, yet, since I’m a degenerate I will be watching.

While I wait for to see if Mason can stand on his head I discover this little nugget….

When the Wild axed Lemaire and Risebrough, I thought that might give the Wild a chance to re-sign UFA Marian Gaborik, but after reading this (link story)
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=275499 I doubt it.

Consider this the first volley from Salcer. If the Wild are going to keep his Gaborik, they will have to come close to the $8 million-a-year offer they had on the table last year.

It isn’t a good sign when a player, or his agent, publicly criticize the team’s medical staff.

Since I’m not a fan of the Habs, Bruins, Flames or Hawks I wonder which game do I watch when they overlap one another? Which one goes in the small picture in the picture-in-picture feature?

I’m also intrigued to see if Chuck Liddell gets rocked again tonight in UFC 97. If he gets knocked out he has to retire, or at Dana White should stop putting him in the ring. If Rua can’t beat Liddell then he won’t be part of a main event anytime soon.

And does anyone think the “Spider” won’t win? Silva is a destroyer in the cage, but remember that Patrick Cote did last three rounds before his grotesque injury gave Silva the win. I think Silva might want to prove that that fight was a fluke for Cote. Thales Leites will be lucky to get out of the second round.

Enjoy the rest of the day, and of course tomorrow should be just as fun for a sports fan. In fact, it will be better because DHW is on at 10pm, when all the hockey, basketball, baseball are done.