Each week MyHOFS gathers some of the finest minds in sports and they shoot from the hip. Pull up a chair and join the conversation.
This is why you-- yes you, MyHOFS reader-- need to watch European soccer on the regular.
The end of the 2012 soccer season in the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, and the Champions League tournament has resulted in perhaps one of the most memorable, and has made its case to non-soccer fans around the world to pay attention.
As we speak, the two Manchester teams (United and City) face off with the hottest of rivalries in England. Several red cards have been handed out in their previous matches, goals galore, and today it's all for the Premier League title. In a league disregarded as having such dry monotony, it's rare to have the title decided with a match to this grandiose extent.
Looking down the EPL table, there are four teams fighting to make the Champions League qualification (the top four of the league). Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, and Chelsea are all in contention for the final two spots remaining. But with only five points separating #3 Arsenal and #6 Chelsea, these last three matches for the clubs are worth literally billions of dollars.
Shoot down to Spain, where the two staples, Real Madrid and Barcelona matched up in El Clasico last week. The two best teams in the world, in arguably the most talented of leagues, have made it a dog fight all year for the trophy. And following the match, it looks like Real will edge out Barca to take back the title they last won in 2008 after years of Catalonian dominance. But, once again, it came down to the final stretch of the season to declare the winner.
*Remember, without post-season play in both England and Spain, league winners are determined by final points through a long 38-match season.
Lastly, the final two weeks proved to be four of the most remarkable soccer matches in UEFA Champions League history. "The best of the best” or the top four teams in Europe, brought billions of people to their feet in celebration or to their knees in dismay. The four heart-wrenching matches sudsed out the two favorites (Real and Barca) to have Chelsea and Bayern Munich meet for the world's most coveted league title.
If you are to watch some beautiful football to convince you to follow these leagues next year, tune in on May 19th to see who takes the UCL title. It promises to be one of for the ages.
After a healthy, opening round of contusions, concussions and conundrums, the ice wars have settled into a manageable groove. Ousted favorites Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Detroit are enjoying their clubhouse Dagwoods. Today’s story highlights a sampling of puzzling goalie performances marring a few more Cup contenders.
In the desert, the Phoenix Coyotes have solved a Rinne sized rubix cube. The Moonhowlers are doing what the Red Wings could not. Peppering Pekka with shots showed the hulking netminder’s mortality. The Preds have leaked nine goals in just two games—the same amount given up in the entire Chicago series. Mike Smith hasn’t looked entirely comfortable either, but Phoenix is playing with the confidence of a team that won six straight overtime games. At 2-0 heading back to Smashville, it might be over already.
Brian Elliott, now inserted into St. Louis’ plans, gave up three goals against the surprising Kings. The real backbreaker, a shorty late in the second period, initially stopped by Elliott’s outstretched toe, was gobbled up and virtually sank the Blues in their own building. Throw away the underdog moniker for these Kings—they’re playing Cup worthy hockey behind the fastest goalie from post to post in Johnny Quick.
If it wasn’t for a bushytailed BC Eagle, recently called-up Chris Kreider, the Rangers would be down one. The Rags mustered just 14 shots and were lucky that another youngster, Washington goalie, Braden Holtby showed his youth. Boy-Wonder, who ousted the mustachioed Bruin Timmy Thomas, let in three softies. A lazy wraparound, a 20-foot floater and a failure to close the 5-hole might end Holtby’s spell. A healthy Michal Neuvirth could be the Caps stop-gap. The 7-seed rang at least four pucks off Hank the Tank’s iron and were blunted by some defective broken sticks—I’m expecting Ovi to answer the call.
The Flyers needed an oil tanker full of WD-40 before yesterday’s game against the Devils. After the rare full week layoff, the only sharp tool in the shed was Ilya Bryzgalov. Shame is, as the game progressed he became the only tool in a sharp shed. The Bryzaster looked sloppy all day when called upon to stickhandle. His exits from net were met with lackadaisical returns and a break away goal by the ancient Petr Sykora topped a disappointing day for Bryz-who seems to never really stand on his head as proven by his below 9 save percentage. The Flyers are thanking their lucky stars—this offense is bailing out Mr. Universe, who looks a shadow of his counterpart, game 2’s birthday boy, the 40 year old Marty Brodeur.
From the annals of the unbelievable: something happened in baseball this week that has never happened in the MLB
. The Marlins, during their game against the Mets, walked four straight batters to give the Mets their first run of the game. This Little League display is not, in and of itself, noteworthy. Nor is the fact that all four batters walked with 2 outs. No, what makes this amazing is that the Marlins walked four batters in a row WITH FOUR DIFFERENT PITCHERS! That is something I haven't seen since I was on the last place team playing at Sunset Field in Willie Mays baseball. And it's something that Major League Baseball had never seen either.
An Historic Comeback
A Durant Buzzer Beater
A Rondo chest bump
Two torn ACLs
And a 10-Block Triple Double
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are 6-1 against the #1 and #2 seeds in the Western Conference. This proves that I know nothing about hockey.
. Only one first place team in the NL (St. Louis) features a top ten bullpen in the MLB. If the playoffs started today the NL would feature the 4th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th best pens. Toss in injuries to closers like Brian Wilson, Ryan Madison and Drew Storen and NL teams will need to start making moves before squaring off with the AL in the Fall Classic.
London 2012 Logo
. This is a joke, right
? I would expect this kind of font from a company that makes games like Toejam and Earl
Gambling Moment Of The Week
I'd love to throw the Tigers under the bus for allowing a game winning run against the Yankees Friday night without allowing a hit
, but I can't ignore the Clips-Grizz game
. You win that game as a gambler 99,999 times out of 100,000.