Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: A-Roid?

The latest NY Yankee to admit past steroid use is none other than the highest paid player in the big leagues, Mr. Alex Rodriguez (or, A-Roid as I’ll now call him).

The youngest player to hit 500 says he took a banned substance with his cousin between the years of 2001 and 2003, but it was an over-the-counter drug (over-the-counter in the Dominican Republic).

Rodriguez says the banned substance in question was supposed to give him a dramatic energy boost and was “otherwise harmless,” and blamed the decision to take it on being young and stupid.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he saw tears in A-Roid’s eyes during the press conference, and saw remorse…but here’s the question: Is he remorseful because he did it, or because he got busted?

Only one man can answer that question, but I’ll say this – as a fan of Rodriguez, I’m a little disappointed that he’s involved in this scenario, BUT…I’d be more disappointed if we were talkin’ HGH or something.

It’s a shame that the player most likely to set the home run record will have these question marks following his stats no matter what.

When will baseball lose its last ounce of credibility? A few more of these stories and you’ve got to think it’s all over for America’s pastime.

Hey, that’s MY stick!

Washington’s Mike Green set an NHL record for a defenseman earlier this month by scoring in eight straight games – and the Hockey Hall of Fame came calling.

They wanted the historic stick in the hallowed halls, but Green said no, or at least not yet.

Basically he told them they can have it when he’s done, because he scored all 10 goals in that eight game stretch with that very same stick!

The update on this story is that after Wednesday night’s game between the Caps and the Habs, Green decided the right thing to do would be to send it off to the HHOF.

He said it was better that it go there than sit in his garage and maybe end up getting lost. Good on ya Mike!

Terrible Towels?

The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers are known for the Terrible Towels…but if you don’t have any towels, watch out!

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed is facing charges after throwing a hissy fit at a convenience store east of Pittsburgh because their bathroom didn’t have paper towels.

Police say he broke the towel dispenser and then swore at employees (his wet hands probably got water everywhere too).

So let that be a warning to you, tiny borough of New Alexandria.

Pray to God a high profile celeb like Jeff Reed doesn’t need to dry his hands the next time you’re out of paper towels!

Mad Dangles

If you missed it – Brazil’s Robinho scored a filthy goal last Tuesday that practically redefines the word dangle.

Twenty-seven minutes into a 2-0 win over Italy, the 25-year-old Man City forward stole the ball from Andrea Pirlo, beat three players and rustled the mesh with a perfectly placed shot to the opposite corner.

That’s ridiculous skill on display right there. I guess that’s why he pulls in over $280,000 a week at his day job.

Speaking of highlight reel – I’ve got to say something about Nate Robinson.

The 5’9 New York Knicks guard dethroned Orlando’s Dwight Howard at the NBA’s Dunk Contest with an insane rim rocker OVER the 6’11 centre.

Robinson’s green kryptonite shoes probably never thought they’d reach those heights as he sailed over Howard, who used a phone booth to change into his Superman cape earlier in the contest.

Howard is the man…he had a few pretty sweet dunks, including one on an 11-foot net.

Here’s a highlight package:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: From the Q to the Clink?

If things don’t go his way, Jonathan Roy could go from the “Q” to the clink this summer.

It seems like all we talk about these days here in Kerrzy’s Notebook is fighting, but that’s because it’s just such an interesting beast!

Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy’s son Jonathan is going to trial in July on an assault charge stemming from a line-brawl in a QMJHL game last March.

Roy was suspended for seven games by the league, but is now dealing with the prospect of jail time if he’s found guilty of assault (and the evidence is all over YouTube!).

On March 22nd in a game between Roy’s Quebec Remparts and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, a line brawl broke out. Everyone had a partner except poor old Jonathan Roy.

Roy tried and tried to advance up the ice so that he could engage the only other guy not fighting, but the linesman kept getting in his way. Finally, an extra set of stripes was needed along the boards, and Monsieur Roy was off to the races.

He skated to the top of Bobby Nadeau’s crease and started unloading on the Chicoutimi net minder, who didn’t fight back at all.

When he was done filling in Nadeau, Roy even pulled a Ray Emery and got into a brief tussle with a player as he skated away!

But back to the issue at hand here: Assault charge? Are you kidding me?

Yes, Nadeau didn’t fight back…but of all the over-the-top things that have happened in the NHL over the past five years or so, how many have become police matters?

Shouldn’t EVERY player involved in that line brawl be prosecuted? I’m sure Nadeau wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to fight.

And before you say, “Roy shouldn’t have fought,” lets try to better understand the situation.

In my last year of Midget “AA” hockey, my team was the Charlestown Chiefs of the league, and one afternoon we were involved in a line brawl.

I won’t get into all the awesome details, but I found myself in a similar situation to Roy. I was standing there on my own, the ref told me to go to my bench, but then one of my coaches yelled “Get in there and fight somebody!”

So I found the other guy that was wandering aimlessly and shed the mitts like a young Reggie Dunlop!

The point of that story is that if your coach tells you to get involved, you get involved. Especially if your dad is the coach (Patrick Roy was also suspended for five games because he encouraged his son)

I’m just saying, you can’t charge the younger Roy with assault without setting a dangerous precedent in the game of hockey.

Here’s a classic Patrick Roy fight:

Canada Bound?

The head of the NHL Players Association wants another team in Canada.

Paul Kelly says he wouldn’t be surprised if more than one team is forced to pack up and move in the next five years, and if that’s the case – Canada should be the place.

The obvious example is the Phoenix Coyotes, despite NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman saying the team is going nowhere.

Kelly says Toronto or the greater southern Ontario region could “certainly support” a second team but included Winnipeg is his list of places that could host an NHL club should a current team fold.

Who does he think will be the first to go? Kelly mentioned teams in “blue-collar” and the “sun-belt” areas.

Good on him!

You won’t hear Gary Bettman talking like that…ever! He’d move a club to Hawaii, Alaska or Mexico before he looked to Canada.

Kelly for Commish!

The Great Eight pots 200

Alex Ovechkin marked his 293rd career NHL game by putting himself in very good company and scoring his 200th career NHL goal.

Only legendary scorers like Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux found mesh 200 times in their first four seasons in the big leagues.

Think about that – 200 goals in under 300 games. To celebrate that moment, here’s a video I found with 50 of his best mesh ticklers!

New rule Penn-ding for UFC

Last week we discussed the dominating performance of George St. Pierre at UFC 94 in a TKO win over BJ Penn…this week, it’s all about Vaseline.

Penn’s camp accuses St. Pierre’s side of putting Vaseline on the fighter, while GSP’s corner argues it was a simple mistake.

The guy handling the Vaseline was the same guy helping St. Pierre with a breathing exercise by rubbing his chest and back. Was that the difference in the fight? No. Not a chance. Did that make it harder for Penn to grab onto St. Pierre? Probably.

Nevertheless, there’s word that the UFC has some new rules for corner men – they can’t handle Vaseline. The organization will provide one cut man for each fighter from now on, and only two people will be aloud inside the octagon between rounds.

Lets reflect once again though on the fight that was between GSP and Penn – what a beauty! If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do.

That’s all for this week!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Is HNIC offensive?!

A gay rights group made headlines last week by complaining about a word they heard on Hockey Night in Canada.

The term in question? Pansification.

As in, “if you take fighting out of hockey, it will lead to the pansification of the game.”

Egale Canada thinks Mike Milbury and Don Cherry are in the wrong for using what they call “stereotypical terms against a group in society.”

And what group would that be?

Lets see, well when Don Cherry uses words like pansification, one million percent of the time he is talking about Europeans, French Canadians or just other players he deems to lack the toughness of the stereotypical hockey player.

Come on, there are pansies in all walks of life. Gay, straight, undecided – we all have ‘em. I think it’s a bit broad by Egale Canada to claim them all as their own!

Is this “Pansification?”

Along with the “pansification” of the game, a lot of people figure if fighting is banned, players will fill that void with cheap shots and sucker punches.

Here’s a recent example of that from NCAA puck, where the rules have made fighting a fairly rare occurrence:

Michigan State’s Andrew Conboy is out for the rest of the season after he sucker punched a Michigan Wolverines player in the last minute of a game his team was losing 5-3.

It all started when Steve Kampfer smoked Michigan State’s Corey Tropp with a clean open-ice hit with about 54 seconds left in the game.

Conboy, a Montreal prospect, took offence and clocked Kampfer from behind, throwing him to the ice. After that, Tropp came in and slashed Kampfer in the neck as he lay on his stomach.

Along with Conboy, Tropp was also suspended for the rest of the year. After the suspensions were handed out, Conboy announced that he was leaving school.

That’s an instance where an enforcer-type player’s first reaction is a sucker punch. That’s just not right, and maybe that’s what happens when you remove the fighting component of the game.

In another twist to this story, Kampfer’s dad came into the Spartan’s dressing room shortly after Corey Tropp was escorted off the ice and the two had a bit of a wrestling match, according to an interview Tropp did with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

With the 5-3 win, the Michigan Wolverines sweep the season series with their state rivals. I’m sure that was just salt in the wound for Spartans fans though!

Just Ray bein’ Ray?

Ray Emery’s Eurotrip just got violent.

Since packin’ up and moving to Russia to play in the Continental Hockey League, Emery has pretty much stayed out of the headlines…but thanks mainly to YouTube, he’s back!

The former Ottawa Senators and current Atlant Mytishchi net minder was involved in a little altercation with a team trainer the other day – over a hat.

There’s a video circulating that shows a team staffer trying and trying to get Ray Emery to put a hat on as he stands on the bench after being pulled. That guy then takes a face full of goalie mitt.

There’s a long stare-down that follows (Emery described it as the guy giving him a “tough guy stare”) and then Sugar Ray starts throwin! He stuns him with a left and then backs him down the hallway before he’s restrained.

He even went back down the hall for some more!

Emery was yanked after being lit up for three first period goals in a 5-3 loss to Lokomotiv Yaroslav, and I swear it almost looks like the trainer is trying to pick a fight. Know your role buddy!

Mr. Emery is a love-him-or-hate-him kind of guy who got a lot of bad press last year, but I have to say I’m a fan. I was sold when I saw him fighting Buffalo’s Andrew Peters (who is 6’4, 247lbs) with a big smile on his face.

He’ll be back in the NHL soon, he’s one of the top five goalies in the KHL right now with a 20-6-0 record. And it’s good to see he can still fight!

What a Super Bowl!

From the 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by James Harrison to end the first half to the last-minute heroics of Santonio Holmes at the back of the end zone, this one had it all!

Cardinals fans had stuff to cheer about too, like Larry Fitzgerald pulling in a pair of touchdown passes and Kurt Warner passing for 377 yards, the second highest total for a Super Bowl (he also holds 1st place in that category).

But in the end, Big Ben and the Steelers went ahead with 35 seconds to go and forced a Kurt Warner foul with under 10 seconds left to cap the victory.

The Holmes TD catch marks the second year in a row that a player caught the winning touchdown with 35 seconds left in the Super Bowl. Last year it was Plaxico Burress for the NY Giants.

Also…doesn’t Ben Roethlisberger sorta look like Will Ferrell?

GSP Does it Again!

If you’re a BJ Penn fan, I feel sorry for you. I really do.

George St. Pierre made it look easy against the UFC lightweight champ on Saturday night, defending his welterweight crown with a fourth-round TKO.

I’ve got to say, GSP was the fighter that turned me into a UFC fan. A lot of my friends love MMA, so by association I started watch the pay-per-views and we all get up for St. Pierre fights.

I don’t think any of us expected him to mop the floor with Penn like he did in the later rounds before the fight was stopped. Did Penn even land a single quality punch?

It was just total domination by GSP, the guy who seems to get better and better with every match. The discipline and work ethic of that guy is unbelievable.

On the heels of Saturday night’s win for the Canadian, the UFC announced that they’re coming back to his hometown of Montreal this year for UFC 97.

It looks like a pretty good card too – a middleweight bout between title holder Anderson Silva and Thales Leitis, and former light-heavyweight champ Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell versus Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

I just can’t wait until the next George St. Pierre fight though…