Friday, July 29, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts: A Bug’s Life, Alomar Robbery, JR Punch

A Bug’s Life

Are you scared of bugs?

It’s okay, it’s just you and I talking here, I won’t tell anyone. Would you jump if you turned around right now and saw a big spider scampering up the wall? Let’s take it a step further – would you involuntarily take action if you looked down and a big creepy crawly was making its way up your leg, or would you just calmly flick it away? I know for a fact that I’m making some of you uncomfortable by just mentioning the possibility that a big slimy bug might be preparing to lunge towards you at this very moment…but that’s because you’re not answering my question!

I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to bugs – not a huge fan, but not terrified of them. That said, if I ever wind up in a situation like the one that Florida Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison found himself in this week, I don’t think I’d want a camera filming me!

According to the Palm Beach Post, Morrison approached a praying mantis that had taken over the Marlins dugout late in a win over the Nationals…and it attacked!

As funny as Morrison’s reaction is to watch, I bet most of us would react the exact same way! Do you have any bad bug stories?

He puts the “Rob” in Roberto!

Roberto Alomar’s induction into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays made for quite a nostalgic week for Canadian baseball fans this week.

It was especially memorable for one fan who showed up to the parade portion of the induction ceremony with a brand new replica Blue Jays jersey and a camera, and left with only one of those things:

I love the title of the video: “Alomar Borrows My Shirt.” No man, he stole your shirt. Straight up!

Here’s my question though – would you be rattled if that was your jersey he took? I mean, I had the guy’s poster on my wall for years as a kid…but he’s probably got plenty of jerseys and plenty of money!

Is Jeremy Roenick The Man?

Well, is he?

If your immediate reaction is “no,” here’s something that might change your mind: a video from a charity golf tournament where Roenick lets a fan crack him in the chin…for fun!

I wish we could get a bit of context here – what could possibly have led to JR saying to this guy “why don’t you punch me in the face about it?”

Is there a pro athlete you wish you could take a free shot at?

Other stuff…

Now that the NFL lockout is over, it would probably be wise for players to take this quick refresher course on navigating social media

Hilarity from The Onion - Yankees talking to several teams about Robinson Cano: “He’s good and we’re going to keep him.”

Kevin Love isn’t playing overseas during the NBA lockout…but he might be playing next to an ocean or lake though!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Footy Bloopers, Cheap Shot Fallout

The preseason fundraisers, I mean tournaments, continue around the world this week for many of Europe’s top soccer teams, and it seems to have been an especially bloopery few days!

To give you an idea of where some of the big clubs are playing at the moment: Manchester United, Man City and Real Madrid are three of the teams taking part in the Herbalife World Football Challenge, a tournament that pits some of the top sides in the world against a handful of Major League Soccer teams. Barcelona is about to join the WFC after winning the Audi Cup over in Germany, while Chelsea is spending the summer over in Asia, battling for the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Sure, fans around the world have been treated to some great soccer so far, but they are also getting to see their fair share of flubs as well! Why don’t we let Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun kick things off for us:

The only thing that could have made this one any worse is if he ended up hurting himself in the process!

Up next, we’ve got Manchester City bad boy Mario Balotelli, who caught some serious flak for an incident on Sunday that his coach called “disrespectful.” Early on during a game against the LA Galaxy (which City won on penalties), Balotelli found himself wide open with the ball at his feet…but rather than take a shot, he tried a spinning back heel that dribbled wide of the net:

I think he either thought he was offside, or he thought he was about to score the goal of the century, but it’s tough to tell. Whatever the case, City manager Roberto Mancini was enraged by the play and took him off minutes later!

This last blooper comes to us from Man United’s 4-0 thrashing of the MLS All-Star team on Wednesday, but it’s a linesman that ends up red in the face:

You know the situation has gotten out of control when even the refs start diving!

To more serious matters now: remember that Brazilian goalie who jump kicked another player earlier this week? As I told you on Wednesday, Gustavo the goalie was let go by his team, Sport Recife, but the story doesn’t end there.

The Daily Mail reports he may end up facing a charge of attempted murder when all is said and done. Police have apparently spoken to several witnesses and plan to speak with him next.

Other stuff…

Is Sergio Aguero the “Che Guevara” of soccer? He thinks so!

Toronto FC’s 5-foot-3 striker is the hero in the first leg of his club’s CONCACAF Champions League prelim…

Have you heard of Neymar? I have three words to describe what you’re about to see: Oh. My. Goodness.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wednesday Worsts

It’s time to debut a new feature here on Kerrzy’s Notebook: “The Wednesday Worsts” – a nod to the crummy side of sports!

Too often in sports it’s the highlights that tend to hog most of the attention, but I’m here to give a bit of press to the cringe-worthy aspects of the games we all love! I’m talking about the horrid own goals, the cheap shots you have to watch twice and the losing streaks that are so long you hope they continue, just so they set some kind of record!

Lucky for us, there is a lot of that type of thing going on at the moment! Let’s start in baseball, where the Seattle Mariners are chasing history:

The M’s managed just one run in an 8-1 defeat at the hands of the NY Yankees on Tuesday night, giving them 17 straight losses coming into Wednesday’s action! Just how bad is that streak? Well, the American League record is 21 straight losses, held by the 1988 Orioles, and the 1961 Phillies set the MLB mark with 26 in a row!

Can they do it? I hope so…if you’re going to tank as hard as they already have, you may as well tank the hardest, right? Do you really want to go through all that pain just to be the “almost” worst team ever?

Let’s go from losing streaks to a guy who absolutely lost it earlier this week:

The goalie for Brazilian U-20 soccer team Sport Recife delivered what is probably the most intense cheap shot of the year after a game against Vasco de Gama on Monday.

Players from both teams started to push and shove a bit, before Gustavo delivered a little bit of Cleat Justice!

Nothing says “Excuse me sir, I disagree with your world views,” like a flying jump kick to the back of the skull. According to The Fiver, Gustavo has since been let go from the club “because of his rampant attitude.” I wonder if anyone got jump kicked after that news was delivered! Is this guy the Brazilian Chuck Norris?

Speaking of goalie jump kicks – I’m sure Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny felt like walloping teammate Carl Jenkinson on the weekend:

I’ve seen a lot of own goals in my day, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one as weird as the one we saw in a 2-1 Arsenal win over FC Cologne recently! The ball is sent toward the Arsenal 18-yard box and rather than make a smart play, Jenkinson decides to just knock it straight up in the air. Unfortunately for him, this happened:

Oh boy. He’s lucky that A) His team still won, and B) It was a meaningless game!

*Honorable Mention*

Worst Promotion: It looks like the Baltimore Orioles will be holding a “bobblehead night” for a player who is currently in the minor leagues on August 6th. They’ll be handing out Brian Matsuz bobbleheads that night, but he is 0-3 in the minors with a 4.73 ERA at the moment and there is no timetable for his return. The worst part is, this happened to the team last year too!

Worst End to a Great Game: It sounds like the home plate umpire totally blew it on Tuesday night in what was a marathon game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves. In the bottom of the 19th inning, Julio Lugo was called safe at home plate for the winning run…despite clearly being tagged out by Michael McKenry.

Worst Blog Feature: The Wednesday Worsts. What a silly idea. I hope it’s just a one-off!

Monday, July 25, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

Another week has come and gone in the world of sports, and lucky for you, you’ve got Kerrzy and Geoff here to help break it all down! This week on 15 Minutes of Fame: Is Chris Osgood a Hall of Fame goalie? Are signing bonuses the new “front-loaded contract” in the NHL? Are the NY Islanders ACTUALLY thinking about bringing Alexei Yashin back? Also: How about those Eskimos!

In the GABBYs: Travis Snider (and his moustache), the Pittsburgh Pirates, Joe Sakic, NCAA and cycling accidents!

See something you think should be a GABBY? You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, “Like” us on Facebook or shoot us an email at!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts: UAE PK, Strome Light, Nash vs. Granny

Cheekiest Penalty?

If you’re a soccer fan, you’re probably familiar with the term “cheeky penalty” – well, that phrase was given a whole new meaning last week!

It’s normally something you would use to describe a penalty shot that is taken in such a way that a goal is terribly embarrassing for the goalie and a miss is even more embarrassing for the player. Usually, a guy will take a purposeful run up to the ball, but then just gently chip it right down the middle, while the diving goalie angrily looks on.

United Arab Emirates winger Awana Diab took things to a whole other level and became an immediate star on the internet with his take on the cheeky penalty last Sunday in an international friendly against Lebanon.

With his side up 5-2, Diab took a few strides towards goal and then channeled his inner Francesco Totti, spinning around and striking the ball with his heel! It wasn’t the most fluid of movements and it wasn’t very well hit, but it was enough to fool the Lebanese keeper. It was also enough to earn him a yellow card and a quick substitution by his coach, who had only just brought him on minutes earlier!

The Daily Mail reports that UAE coach Srecko Katanec didn’t like what he saw, saying it showed a lack of respect for the opponent by the 21-year-old. You be the judge:

For the record, Lebanon coach Emile Rustom said he had no problem with it. The one thing I’ll say is that late in a 5-2 game, that’s the kind of thing that could/should warrant a bit of retaliation from the other team, so he’s lucky he was taken off!

The OMG Dangle of the Week

While the Diab penalty wasn’t particularly well taken, just wait until you get a load of this goal from the NY Islanders developmental camp last weekend at Nassau Coliseum!

Former Niagara Ice Dogs centre Ryan Strome was selected fifth overall by the Islanders this summer after going from 27 points in 61 games in 2009-10 to 106 points in 65 games last year. Obviously he’s been working on his hands a little bit, and you’ll see what I mean in a second: he walks in and pulls the puck (and his stick) between his legs, before spinning around and roofing a backhander!

I wonder when someone will build up the nerve to try a move like this in an actual game?

Nash vs. Granny

Is it just me, or does NBA star Steve Nash seem like an absolutely cool guy (forgetting, of course, that he’s probably a Canucks fan)?

Nash is at it again with another hilarious viral video that appears to be an ad for Toyota. It starts off as a dramatic piece about working hard in practice, and ends with him doing a celebratory MJ dance at an old lady in an empty parking lot!


Other stuff…

Are you sick and tired of being bombarded with Derek Jeter news? If so, the Jeter Filter is for you!

Florida Marlins pitcher Edward Mujica gets busted taking a nap during a game!

Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is really making life miserable for Duffy’s Irish Pub...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strange Sports!

Do you ever get tired of watching the same old sports on TV every day?

We’ve all got a sport that we are deeply loyal to and a handful of other ones that help fill in when our number one isn’t around, but what about all the other crazy sports out there? Red Bull has brought many strange activities to the forefront over the years, like Crashed Ice and the Air Race championships, and we got a taste of the offbeat last winter when Edmonton hosted the first ever Canadian Yukigassen championships, but it doesn’t end there!

In fact, it almost seems like there is no end to the sports craziness you’ll find if you look hard enough. Don’t believe me? Get ready to meet three of the craziest sports that I’ve stumbled upon during my recent internet travels:

You’ve heard of Parkour right? That’s the sport where people run around and do all sorts of acrobatic stuff off of and onto buildings and other structures – it’s pretty impressive, but to be honest, it looks pretty tiring. If only there was some kind of “freestyle sitting” version…

Enter: Hockern!

Ben “The Hockstar” Denn says the idea for the sport came about back in 2001 when a group of friends just started playing around with a stool (or a “hocker” in Germany) and trying to do tricks. By 2006, they were holding their first Hocktoberfest!

“In Germany, I would say we have about 100 active persons doing this sport and they are coming from every part of the country,” Denn says. “Hockern was also [on German TV] several times [and] this was helping to show the world our sport and get more people involved in it.”

Are you ready to see what freestyle sitting looks like? You better sit down for this one…

Pretty cool, eh? Hock ‘n Roll!

Let’s move on to our next strange sport: Sepak Takraw.

As The Nosebleeds tells us, this one is a mix of volleyball and soccer, and it looks like it’s played on a modified badminton court. Apparently you can only use your feet, knees, chest and head to get the ball over the net, but it’s a lot more difficult than it might sound!

Check it out:

Look at how agile those guys are! That is definitely not a sport I’d be good at for more than about two minutes!

Okay, so to recap: Hockern is basically freestyle sitting and Sepak Takraw is a blend of volleyball and soccer (played on a badminton court). Are you ready for the third crazy sport on my list?

This right here is something you really have to see to believe – Bo-Taoshi is a sport where one guy climbs to the top of a wooden pole, which is held up by his teammates, and all they have to do is maintain possession of the pole.

Sounds easy, right? What if there is a pack of guys running towards your team, who plan on fighting their way to the top of the pole?

Once again, I don’t think this is a sport I’d be very good at for more than a couple of minutes!

What’s the weirdest sport you’ve ever come across?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Off Season Highlights?

For most North American sports fans, the off-season is a fairly boring period where the best you can hope for is a big trade or signing, or perhaps a new collective bargaining agreement.

If you’re a soccer fan though, the off-season apparently just means more highlights! I’m not even sure that there is an off-season for soccer fans, because when your European league of choice closes shop for the year, there is always Major League Soccer, which plays on an opposite schedule!

This year, while NFL & NBA fans sweat their respective lockouts and NHL fans get overexcited about player movement, the “off-season” for soccer fans has been jam packed with action. First, there was the Women’s World Cup, which really showed us all how far women’s soccer has come. Then we’ve got the Copa America, which has featured some massive upsets so far, and finally, the Herbalife World Football Challenge is now in full swing.

I know what you’re saying: “Kerrzy, the World Football Challenge is just a series of money-making friendlies where they make 10 subs at half time!”

You may be right, but so far Man United, Man City and Real Madrid have given the fans their moneys worth, and Barcelona and Juventus are sure to follow that lead! Don’t believe me? Check out these goals!

Man United’s Park Ji Sung got cheeky in the first game of the tournament, finishing off a quick passing play with a neat chip over New England Revolution goalie Bobby Shuttleworth:

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo took on three or four LA Galaxy players at once and made them all look silly in a 4-1 win a few nights later:

Soccer isn’t always about the fancy footwork – sometimes the best way to beat a goalie is by raw power. Just ask Man City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips:

Another game that should be good for a few more highlights will be Man United against the MLS All-Stars, led by David Beckham and Thierry Henry!

It isn’t all fun and goals though folks, there have been some monumental upsets this summer as well. Both Brazil and Argentina were knocked out of the South American championships on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, sending shockwaves through both nations.

As tough as it is for the host Argentineans to lose out, the pain is probably much deeper in Brazil right now. Not only did they come up short in their bid for a three-peat, but they also failed to even score a goal once the game went to penalty kicks!

Apparently that’s the first time ever that Brazil has been shutout on PKs!

So, the next time you hear a soccer fan complaining about the “off season,” get your studs up and slide as hard as you can toward his or her shin as a way of letting them know that they don’t know how good they’ve got it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drama in Lake County

What a couple of weeks for the Lake County Fielders of the North American Baseball League!

In a series of events that is sure to have people questioning the legitimacy of the NABL itself, the Fielders have gone through a stretch that has seen them lose a manager, an interim manager, 23 players and a play-by-play guy…all since July 9th!

The underlying issue here seems to be money – apparently the team, which is co-owned by actor Kevin Costner, has been a bit tardy when it comes to the paychecks. The Lake County Daily Herald says the first one to go was manger Tim Johnson, who quit the team via email after telling his players that he hadn’t been paid since the start of the season!

Eleven Fielders players refused to play that night against Jose Canseco and the Yuma Scorpions, some out of support for their former manager, others because they hadn’t been paid in a while either. It’s tough to say if this, too, was a form of protest, but interim manager Pete LaCock used pitchers as position players and position players as pitchers on the night, which wound up being an 8-3 loss (and a win for Scorpions pitcher Jose Canseco!). LaCock resigned after the game.

If you think the craziness ends there, you’re wrong!

In the days following that statement by the (former) coaching staff, nine players were traded and 14 more were released from the Fielders roster, though the team says they also got caught up on payroll before the shake up. Imagine that: you lose a manager, a hitting coach/interim manager and 23 players all in the span of a few days!

Wait, didn’t I say something about a play-by-play guy?

I sure did! My pal Morley Scott sent me this gem on Monday night – Qumar Zaman quit as the team’s announcer while wrapping up the post game show after a loss to the Chico Outlaws recently!

Zaman says there were issues with meal money being paid out on road trips, which doesn’t sound like a big deal unless you take into account the fact that the Fielders were on a six-week roadie when all of these problems were happening!

I hope he had fun at Money in the Bank on Sunday! Boom! Seriously though, could it get any worse for this team? I’m surprised the mascot didn’t quit on them too!

What do you think: Does this make you think less of the North American Baseball League, or of Kevin Costner?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

The boys from “15 Minutes of Fame” are back for another week, running down the top stories in the world of sports! This week: The Oilers continue a busy off season, Matthew Hulsizer is back in the running to be an NHL owner, Jonathan Cheechoo gets another shot and, in football, Anthony Calvillo makes history.

In the GABBYs: Ryan Whitney & Twitter, MLS goalie goals, Jose Cano, the Tour de France and more!

See something you think should be a GABBY? You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, “Like” us on Facebook or shoot us an email at!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts: DJ3K, Israeli Dangles, Goalie Goals

Nice Guys Finish…

“Nice Guys Finish Last / If You Catch a Jeter Blast / Don’t Let The Taxman Know That, He’ll Tax Your Behind!”

What a whirlwind week it must have been for NY Yankees fan Christian Lopez!

He’s the guy who caught the home run ball that made Derek Jeter the first ever Yankee to reach 3,000 career hits last weekend, and it’s safe to say his life hasn’t been the same since. Rather than hold the ball ransom and try to sell it for hundreds of thousands of dollars (which he would have gotten), Lopez gave it right back, and his generosity was rewarded…and then some!

The team apparently gave him luxury box tickets for the rest of the season (including the postseason) and some team swag, but the story doesn’t end there. A few news organizations reported this week that Lopez could (and probably would) end up being taxed on the gifts he received from the Yankees, a bill that might total as much as $14,000! Like the good sport that he clearly is, Lopez was quoted as saying that he’d pay the taxes if he had to, and “the IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them.”

Well, it turns out that the cell phone salesman won’t have to hold it against the IRS, because someone's got his back!

Miller High Life is offering to cover Lopez’s tax bill “because you should be rewarded for doing the right thing.” Even better, Modell’s Sporting Goods hooked him up with a 2009 World Series ring and is teaming up with Steiner Sports to put at least $50,000 towards the $150,000 worth of student loads he has. Oh, did I mention that Topps is also making him his own baseball card?

What a great story! Lopez isn’t the only one profiting from profiting from DJ's 3K though…

Sick Dangles

Have you heard of Eliezer Sherbatov?

Me neither, at least not until now! The 5-foot-7, 170-pound winger was the star of the Israeli hockey team at the recent IIHF Division III championships in Cape Town, South Africa, where he scored one of the sickest goals you’ll see all year…or maybe even EVER!

According to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Sherbatov racked up an impressive 14 goals and 26 points in just four games, which is an average of 6.5 points PER GAME!

Sounds like Greece had a pretty rough tournament…I heard they couldn’t BUY a goal!

Memorable Debut

When it comes to first impressions, I doubt there are many, if any, pro soccer goalies who can say what David Bingham can about his professional debut.

The San Jose Earthquakes keeper got the call this week for a friendly against English side West Brom, and ended up notching his first career goal before he even made his first career save!

That’s not a typo – Bingham scored from the top of his own 18-yard box about three minutes into a 2-1 win and wasn’t forced to make a save until about the 20th minute!

Apparently he didn’t even see the ball go in, because he had “turned away in disgust” over missing the intended target of that pass! Thank god for YouTube, I suppose!

Other stuff…

Feeling down about your latest round of golf? If so, you probably shouldn’t click here.

South Korea: Boy, I can’t wait to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
North Korea: Hey, wanna hang out?

They really hold a grudge in Ohio, don’t they? A mining company is the latest group to take a shot at LeBron James!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lockout Professionals?

It’s a tale of two lockouts in the world of North American pro sports right now.

In the NFL, the season is fast-approaching as the work stoppage nears its 130th day, but there are rumblings that it may all be over soon. Not so in the NBA though, where players are being encouraged to find somewhere else to play to show the owners what’s up!

Lets start with football: ESPN reports that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are calling for the end of the lockout, but after another marathon session, the two sides aren’t ready to come together just yet.

There is a lot of talk that July 21st might be a big day in the CBA battle, but there are also rumors that the players still don’t feel like the owners are “giving” as much as they should be in negotiations. Another thing that could potentially slow things down is the legal action being taken by former players who feel they’ve been left out of the whole process. Could that affect a potential deal reached by the players and the owners? I suppose we’ll find out on August 8th when a judge hears the case!

The bottom line is, training camp is supposed to open up soon and the preseason is supposed to start in early August, so a CBA needs to be reached in short order or else both sides will start to lose money. The heat will really be turned up in the next couple of weeks here as, for the first time, the lockout actually threatens the upcoming season. Will a deal get done in time? I’m going to say probably.

Over in the NBA, things aren’t looking good at the moment either.

Union head Billy Hunter sent a memo out on Tuesday to let the players know that he supports those who are looking to play elsewhere for the moment. Hunter says this work stoppage “is intended to economically pressure our players to agree to an unfavorable [CBA],” and that finding another league to play in is basically a good way to stick it to the owners.

When the union boss is talking like that, it’s probably a good sign that negotiations aren’t going well.

While some players have already committed to playing abroad, it seems others have found different ways to keep themselves busy during the lockout. Check out this hilarious sketch from Wednesday night’s ESPYs:

“I love filing papers so much that I might change my name to ‘I Love Filing Papers So Much,’ right kids?” (Right, Metta World Dad!)

Only $9,000,000.99 for help with those odd jobs around the house? Sounds like a deal to me!

But seriously, I think there’s a good chance that the NBA lockout cuts into at least part of the upcoming season. The players and owners are so far apart at this point and they don’t even seem to be talking seriously yet. Blake, Kevin and Metta might need to do some odd jobs after all come October!

What do you think: Which will have a bigger impact on the coming season – the NBA or the NFL lockout?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Hoop & The Harm: NBA Europe?

As the NBA lockout starts to drag on, it looks like players are beginning to weigh their options a little bit.

First there were rumors, then a high profile guy signed a deal (with an out-clause), and then another mid-level player signed a deal without an out-clause. Then, more rumors. If we get closer to the start of the season and there is no deal in sight, we’ll probably hear more rumors about guys heading overseas, but how many players will actually leave?

Most guys will probably follow in the footsteps of NJ Nets guard Deron Williams, who will be back as soon as the lockout is over because of that out-clause. The Toronto Raptors will spend the entire year without forward Sonny Weems though, as he is gone to Lithuania for the year, regardless of when the work stoppage ends. It sounds like Chicago’s Joakim Noah will play overseas too, but not for a club team – ESPN reports he’s hoping to get some games in with France at the upcoming European Championships.

Then, there is everybody else.

There are rumors that Kobe Bryant will be leading some kind of superstar tour around China, teammate Metta World Peace (also known as Ron Artest) has his agent looking for a place to play and countless others, I’m sure, are quietly making inquiries but aren’t quite ready to make a move just yet. Artest has only been linked to teams in Finland and the UK so far, despite an open invite to all players to become part of the newly formed National Basketball League of Canada…weird!

Moving right along, OKC Thunder guard Nate Robinson isn’t just looking at a different league, he’s considering a whole other sport this summer! The problem is, he wants to play football, but the NFL is also in the middle of a lockout!

Robinson, who was an elite football player in high school, says if that doesn’t pan out though, he’ll probably end up playing hoops overseas somewhere.

So the question is this: if the lockout goes long, will more players make the jump to Europe and stay long-term, as Besiktas’ new recruit suggests?

I doubt it. The NBA is where the money is, and it’s where the money will be even if the players are forced to give up a big chunk of change to get a new collective bargaining agreement in place. If that happens, and I think it might, it won’t take long for general managers to find ways around whatever new rules are in place, and players will be raking in the dough again in no time. The NHL is a prime example of this – guys are signing strange, big money deals every year and the big bad salary cap has gone up by $25-million since 2005!

Will some players go overseas and stay there for at least a season? Sure, especially if they are free agents at the moment. I’m guessing that the majority of players will either stay home or they won’t commit to a full year abroad though.

What do you think: Should players stick it to the owners by playing somewhere else during the lockout?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: 15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Monday!

It was another solid week in the world of sports, and we are once again here to break it all down for you! On this episode of 15 Minutes of Fame: Ryan Smyth’s return to Edmonton and the accompanying controversy, a look at which Free Agents are still looking for work and a thumbs up to the Edmonton Eskimos!

In the GABBYs: Derek Jeter hits 3,000, Wladimir Klitschko fires back at David Haye, jersey swapping at the Women’s World Cup, Tiger Woods and Michael Vick.

See something you think should be a GABBY? You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, “Like” us on Facebook or shoot us an email at!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts: Hargreaves, Jersey Swap, Off Season Training

Out of Luck?

Once regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, Owen Hargreaves is now unsure where, or when he’ll play next.

The 30-year-old left his home in Calgary fourteen years ago to try his luck with German club Bayern Munich, a move that paid off greatly. He won four league titles and a Champions League medal with that club, before being sold for massive money to English giants Manchester United in 2007. There, he won another Champions League trophy in his first season at Old Trafford, along with an EPL title…but that is where his luck would end.

The England international developed tendonitis in his knee the following season, and after appearing in 34 games in 2007-08, he would feature just five times over the next three years. In fact, he lasted just five minutes in his lone appearance last season, with a hamstring injury as the culprit this time around.

Needless to say, Man U didn’t offer Hargreaves a new contract this summer, but he’s not taking it lying down!

Instead, he has launched a YouTube channel that features over twenty short videos of him doing various workouts, a lot of which focus on mobility. Not a bad idea, but will it be enough?

Toronto FC is among the clubs rumored to be interested in Hargreaves, and perhaps a return home to Canada would be a good thing for him. What do you think - should he keep pushing for the comeback, or should he just pack it in?

How Swede It Is

Still with soccer – players swapping jerseys after a game is pretty commonplace in the men’s game, but did you see what happened at the Women’s World Cup recently?

After a 1-0 win over North Korea, Swedish player Josefine Oqvist was talked into swapping shirts with a guy wearing a Germany jersey!

I’ve got to say – I’ve never seen that before!

Off Season Training

Pro athletes always talk about spending the summer in the gym getting ready for training camp…but have you ever wondered how they really train in the off season?

Gongshow Gear has the answer:

That last dangle is just straight up ridiculous!

Other stuff…

A Compton High School basketball player shows us all what a great Guei he is…

Remember the model that promised to strip if Paraguay won the World Cup? She says she’ll strip on the field if they win the Copa America!

NBA lockout: After scooping up Nets guard Deron Williams, Turkish side Besiktas is reportedly pursuing none other than Kobe Bryant

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is New Zealand Going Too Far?

When it comes to sports, they really love their nicknames down in New Zealand, don’t they?

Most people have heard of the All Blacks, the nation’s elite rugby team, and you might have heard of their soccer team, the All Whites (and the Football Ferns), but it doesn’t end there! No sir. They seem to have a nickname, in that pattern, for just about every national team on the slate!

Don’t believe me? Okay, I’ll prove it:

They’ve got the Black Caps & the White Ferns (cricket), the Ice Blacks (hockey), the Tall Blacks & the Tall Ferns (basketball), the Black Sox (softball), the Wheel Blacks (wheelchair rugby) and even the Black Sticks (field hockey).

At some point, you had to figure that this “nickname” business was going to go too far…and according to the New Zealand Herald, it finally has!

The paper says Badminton New Zealand is being forced to reconsider the proposed name of its national team, the Black Cocks, after “opposition from home and abroad,” which included some negative input from the International Badminton Federation.

As inappropriate as it might sound, the name refers to the shuttlecock, which is the object that players hit back and forth during game play.

Badminton NZ says each of its 27 regional associations will have a say at a meeting in November before a final decision is made on the name. President Nigel Skelt told The Herald though that it doesn’t really matter what they decide, because “whether the team actually adopt the name officially, they’re already known as the Black Cocks.”

Looking at the nicknames of the rest of the country’s national teams, I can see how Badminton NZ could end up where they did…but what I can’t believe is that nobody spoke up and said, “Are you guys serious?”

I mean, I’m no expert, but I would guess that a rule of thumb these days is that if you can’t safely search for it in Google, it’s not a good idea. Then again, I suppose if the point of the exercise was to gain a brief bit of international name recognition that stretches far beyond those who care about badminton, it’s a job well done.

Who knew badminton could be so controversial?

What do you think: Is it time for New Zealand to get out of the nickname biz for a while?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bleeding Blue

There’s no question it’s been a tough couple of years for the Edmonton Oilers, but there is a lot to be optimistic about as we inch towards the 2011-12 NHL season.

Another last place finish, while slightly embarrassing, gave the team another first overall pick at the draft, the Oil have been very active in the free agent market so far, and then there was that trade they made somewhere in between.

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini introduced, or rather, re-introduced Ryan Smyth to the media on Tuesday afternoon, about two weeks after the start of a whirlwind series of events that led to his escape from LA. It was back then that Smyth was rumored to have asked Kings GM Dean Lombardi for a trade to Edmonton, which was followed by denials, anonymous confirmations, silence…and then a trade that was announced at the Draft, but wouldn’t be made final until a couple of days later.

So, what got Smyth longing for Edmonton? He says he landed in the city a few weeks ago with a friend, and it just “felt like home.”

“That was before everything took place [and] coming back again now, house hunting, it really hit me,” Smyth says. “It really sunk in a little bit more, being in a city where the fans appreciate their hockey [and] you, as a player, appreciate them.”

In fact, Smyth could hardly contain himself when talking about finally being back where he feels most at home, saying he is “overwhelmed with joy,” and that becoming an Oiler again is something he has wanted for a long time.

“I think once the season gets going and you see the energy in the building and the energy around the city of hockey fever, you know, it's going to be a tremendous year."

As far as his new GM is concerned, the move couldn’t have come at a better time for the club. Steve Tambellini says Smyth is a good player who will fill valuable minutes during the season, but he will also be a key figure in guiding what will once again be a very young group of players.

“Part of the team development is setting an example of what it's like to be not a good pro, but a great pro,” Tambellini says. “The example of how you act off the ice, how you take care of yourself as far as working out, how you prepare for a game, how you handle pressure. There are so many things that go into being a great pro, and I can't think of a better example right now."

Smyth left the Oilers on bad terms in 2007 after contract talks failed between the two sides, but he says that’s all “water under the bridge” now. He spent the rest of that season on Long Island (and was still Edmonton’s leading scorer by season’s end), before two-year stops in Colorado and LA. Last year he had 23 goals and 47 points with the Kings, while playing about 18 minutes per game and acting as a mentor to some of the team’s younger players, a role he says he welcomed.

"I learned a lot along my journey thus far,” Smyth says. “[I learned] from guys like Kelly Buchberger, Doug Weight, Luke Richardson, the list goes on, when I came in the league, now I'm at that other end of it and if I can mentor some of these kids along the way, then great.”

When asked about the other moves the team has made this off-season, Smyth praised the additions of tough guys Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk, faceoff specialist Eric Belanger and skilled defenceman Cam Barker. He also said he knows that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is coming into this season with a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but he thinks the 18-year-old is well equipped to take it on.

So, could the Oilers end up fighting for a playoff spot this year? If you want my opinion, acquiring Ryan Smyth was the first big step the team took towards that – what he is able to contribute off the ice could end up being far more valuable than the 20 goals he scores on it this season. Steve Tambellini has also done a lot to strengthen other parts of the roster so far this month, and I think as long as they are able to stay relatively healthy, this will be a team the fans can be proud of.

After all, it’s been a while since we’ve had a player who “bleeds blue.”

What do you think: How important will Ryan Smyth be for the Edmonton Oilers this season?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame

Happy Tuesday!

Due to some technical difficulties, this week’s episode of 15 Minutes of Fame is coming at you a day later than usual, but it’s better late than never right?

This week, we’re breaking down some of the biggest moves of the NHL Free Agent season, including the handful made by the Oilers and Panthers, and we look at the NBA lockout. In the GABBYs: The LA Dodgers, NY Mets Grand Slams, Cliff Lee shutouts, Major League steroids, and more!

See something you think should be a GABBY? You can get a hold of us on Twitter @15MinutesYEG, “Like” us on Facebook or shoot us an email at!

For last week's episode, click here. Thanks for watching!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts: UFA Season, Tennis Tease, Soccer Fever

NHL Free Agency

Happy Canada Day!

As always, the birthday of our great nation also signifies the start of free agency in the NHL! Thanks to smartphones and free/stolen wireless internet, it’s now easier than ever to be social and remain glued to your favorite sports sites…but who is going where this year?

The biggest fish in this year’s free agent market is definitely Brad Richards, who is coming off a 77-point season with the Dallas Stars. Richards is a talented playmaking centre who is going to score big money for sure on the open market. There are plenty of teams lining up to make a pitch for the 31 year old, including the Leafs, Rangers and Kings, but it will be interesting to see who is able to land him in the end.

Tomas Vokoun is easily the best available goalie out there this summer, after a 22-win, six-shutout season in Florida. Will he stay with the Panthers? They certainly have the cap space to make a deal, and they need to add over $20-million in salary to reach the cap floor! Adding Brian Campbell could be the first of many big moves this summer for Florida.

As for defencemen, there are a lot of veterans available at the moment, including the likes of Ed Jovanovski and Bryan McCabe. There are some intriguing restricted free agents on defence that could come into play, like Shea Weber and Drew Doughty, but I can’t see Nashville and LA letting these guys get away.

I can’t wait to see how things shake down!

Tennis Tease

From what I can gather, being a ball boy at a tennis match is a pretty thankless job – you spend your entire shift running from one side of the court to the other, head down, picking up loose balls, and if you’re lucky, you might get beaned with a shot and end up on TV. That’s about as good as it gets.

Well, Juan Martin Del Potro added another chapter to the book earlier this week and probably scarred this poor kid for life with a little game of keep-away!

The ball boy got the last laugh though (kind of, well not really), because Del Potro ended up losing the match. Justice is served.

Get it?

Workplace Injuries

ESPN is out with another classic “This Is Sportscenter” commercial, this time starring US soccer player Abby Wambach!

In honor of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the commercial shows what happens when “World Cup fever” spreads a little too vigorously around the workplace:

I love the way the guy screams after he’s bumped – “OH! I won’t work for weeks!” – before brushing himself off and walking away. Classic!

Other stuff…

At the Boston Bruins big post-cup celebration, there was a single Amstel Light on the bill…and the brewery wants to know who ordered it!

Leave it up to Cirque du Soleil to make every other first pitch in the history of baseball look totally lame…

Add Ricky Vaughn to the list of Major League ball players who admit to taking steroids…you remember Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, don’t you?