POSTS WITH TAG: hockey

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    In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I grew up, we take our sports very, very seriously. Though apparently none of us takes it nearly as seriously as this extremely animated, thoroughly adorable 2-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins fan.

    The Penguins and their loyal fans are currently enjoying the hype and excitement that is playoff hockey, and a very short clip of this little guy popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook a couple of days ago after one of the games. Friends of mine from Pittsburgh shared it, we all had a good laugh, then we moved on with our lives, but little did we know that cutie Tyler Avolia would become a hero to not just those of us in Pittsburgh, but to anyone who's a die-hard fan of any sport.

    Just look at this face!

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    The U.S. Olympic hockey team just beat the pants off the Russian Olympic hockey team. Okay, maybe it wasn't a total slaughter, they won 3-2. But this is Russia! Russians live on ice. Have you been there? I have. It's damn cold. They got ice in their blood, I tells ya.

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    Here's how it goes … at 3, my kids won trophies for soccer, which I assure you were not deserved. How do I know? Um, there were times my daughter would stop kicking the ball to chase a dragon fly. And, I could be wrong, but I don't think my son was bending it like Beckham when he would pick up the ball with his hands and throw it to a friend mid-game.  I know, it wasn't about them deserving their awards … they all get trophies -- because that's what we do to our millennial children, we make them think that they're the best at everything.  We praise them constantly and tell them everyone is a winner, leaving them little motivation, and little idea of what the real world is like.

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    I get how some sports fans take their love for their team to extremes, I really do. But there comes a point when you cross the line from loyalty and devotion to being a classless idiot. A fan at the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins NHL playoff hockey game last night proved this by holding up a sign that read, "Toronto Stronger" with a blue ribbon.

    I mean, WTF?! Everyone is well aware of what Boston has gone through this past April with the horrific Boston Marathon bombings that forever tainted a day that was supposed to be a celebration of pride, patriotism, and athleticism. The phrase "Boston Strong" was coined to help the city get through such a harrowing, difficult time. But then this dumbass fan had to make and hold up this sign ... I guess just to prove that dumbass people like this actually exist.

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    Sometimes it's quite easy to dismiss the world of professional sports as nothing but psychotic, aggressive, delusional fans cheering on spoiled, multimillionaire athletes who lack any kind of class or moral compass -- but you have to admit, at the same time, sports can unite and inspire us unlike anything else. Just take a look at what happened during the National Anthem at the Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabers game last night, the first professional sports event Boston hosted since the devastating and tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

    Blue and yellow ribbons were projected onto the ice at TD Garden before the game while Rene Rancourt appeared and began singing the National Anthem. Fans in attendance started singing along, and eventually their voices took over to the point that Rancourt deemed it appropriate to lower his microphone. What happened next is something you won't soon forget.

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    In Pennsylvania, nearly 200 high school hockey teams have been told that they are to cut the National Anthem from the program because it eats into time and time is money when rink time costs upwards of $300 an hour to rent. Um, the National Anthem only takes two minutes to sing, how much more could that really cost?

    In other words, are you frickin' serious, people?

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    It goes to show how much the NHL lockout has left a deep void in some sports fans' lives when videos like this go around. Along with scrums, goal celebrations are as intrinsic to hockey as popcorn is to movies, whether it's coasting Gretzky-style stick pumps, one-footed pirouettes, wild dances, or the classic "glass slam." And when the glass breaks, even better, because even though these guys are 250 pounds of sheer lats and quadriceps, they never expect it and the surprised little boy look on their big tough faces is always hysterical. Or, like what this kid did afterward:

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    We could go round in circles for hours debating who is in the right, the hockey players or the hockey owners, and still end up with no NHL hockey this season, which would suck beyond belief. It's Day Two of the 2012/13 NHL Lockout, but hockey fans know never to give up hope until the buzzer sounds. There's still a chance the greedy players and the greedy owners will be able to come to some greedy agreement in time for the first puck drop on October 11. Meantime, there's nothing much anyone can do about it except wish really hard and make fun of it, as is the American way. (Or Canadian way?) Skittering around the web for any glimmer of hope this is all a bad dream turned up some funnies worth checking out, because laughing beats crying.

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    Well here's one of the most awful things you're going to see all day. It looks like a junior hockey coach in Vancouver may have tripped a 13-year-old boy on the opposing team during the handshake! The UBC Hornets coach, Martin Tremblay, had just led his team to a 5-4 victory. He claims he slipped, which caused the Richmond Steel kid to fall (and it looks like he inadvertently makes a second boy fall down as well). But after watching the tape, I'm kind of finding that pretty hard to believe.

    Not only that, the first child he allegedly tripped suffered from a broken wrist and will have to be in a cast for two weeks.

    On top of that, after the folks in the stands saw what happened, of course they started yelling at Tremblay. His response? He gave everyone in attendance the finger.

    What the heck? After watching the video, you can see why so many parents of the Richmond Steel team are outraged and are calling for this coach's suspension!

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    Matt Birk's familyHappy Father's Day everyone! I hope every dad gets the chance to sit back and relax with a cold one -- even super-famous athlete dads, whose energy levels to be both a father and a professional sports star are something to be envied. Especially guys with four-plus kids running around!

    And boy, quite a few professional athletes really know how to procreate. Granted, some, such as Antonio Cromartie (who has seven children with multiple women) and Larry Johnson (who has five children with four different women), probably do not represent an idyllic pillar of fatherhood. But there are others who are fantastic dads, so I'm going to keep this list to guys who've had (or are expecting) four or more kids with the same woman. Yes, believe it or not, they're out there!

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