Archives for: 2008, week 10

03/16/08

Martin Brodeur Nets 40th Victory, Extends NHL Record

Permalink 03:15:58 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

Nobody has done it better than New Jersey Devils record setting future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur posted his seventh career 40 win season last night vs Colorado securing a 4-2 victory. His most recent win added to his all time NHL best regular season victory total which now stands at 534!!

Brodeur rates as one of the all time best goalies ever to play in the NHL. He's been a highlight reel in motion every time he pads up during his stellar 14 year career. New Jersey's first round 1990 draft pick has paid tremendous dividends. Some of his records include:

Seven 40 win seasons (no other has more than 3)
Most single season minutes played 4697
Most single season victories 48
Most back to back 40 win seasons (2)
Most consecutive 35 win seasons (10)
Tied for most 10+ shutout seasons (4)
Most consecutive post season games started (153)
Lowest career post season GAA (1.93)
His next shutout will tie him for most ever (combined regular season and playoffs)... and, he's closing in on the all time victory record.

Brodeur has anchored Stanley Cup winning teams, All Star teams, won various awards and he's far from done. He and Patrick Roy (retired) are the two most electrifying goalies ever to play. The biggest difference between the two must be the fact Brodeur has played on Devils teams which rarely lit up scoreboards. Without his exceptional net minding, New Jersey would have been only an average team and most likely never three time Stanley Cup Champions. Had they managed to compliment his skills with an above average scoring machine... there's no doubt the Devils would have been of dynasty proportions reminiscent of the old Montreal Canadiens clubs.

For those of you who have never watched Brodeur between the pipes... you're missing out on the games greatest net minder. There are no signs of his slowing down whatsoever. If anything, he's getting better with each passing season. By the time his outrageous career ends, Brodeur will own or rank near the top in every statistical goaltending category. Martin Brodeur exemplifies what true champions are made of and a perfect model for young upcoming players to emulate.

03/15/08

Olympics 2008: China's Human Rights Issues Raises International Concerns

Permalink 03:53:54 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

China will be hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing August 8-24. The Games have brought dramatic political focus not witnessed since the boycotts of US and Soviet Union games of the 1980's.

China has often been criticized by other nations leaders and major news organizations throughout the world for human rights violations and atrocities ranging from jailing dissidents, forced abortions, child labor, cultural cleansing in Tibet, ethnic cleansing in Africa, crackdowns on students, lack of women's rights, and a wide ranging of freedom of speach issues.

China has also received negative press amidst trading practices of shipping substandard supplies such as tainted children's toys, contaminated human/pet foods, problematic blood thinners and a whole array of shoddy products.

China's aggressive and non-transparent military buildup is another issue of concern as they continue to threaten Taiwan. In recent months past, a Chinese submarine approached US Naval ships without notice or provocation. They have been alleged to be supporting hackers attempts to infiltrate various defense department facilities from around the world. Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, remains concerned of China's use of force in attempts to quell peaceful protests within the country.

According to an ABC News (March 15, 2008) story, there are signs China is well aware of "international opinion". ABC News continued: "Chinese officials promised reforms before winning the right to host the games. The current secretary general of the Beijing organizing committee said then that he thought a Chinese Olympics could "promote" human rights. In a May interview with The Associated Press, Wang Wei said human rights were improving and dismissed the issue as "an old topic."

We'll soon see how China reacts to planned demonstrations ahead of the Games. I anticipate a gentler human rights side will emerge from the Chinese government ahead of the games in attempts to distance themselves from negative publicity. Once the games begin, most of the coverage will rightfully be on the hundreds of athletes representing countries of the world. Then it'll be business as usual once the games conclude.

03/12/08

NBA: Rockets Soaring, 19 Straight Wins!

Permalink 01:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

The Houston Rockets (43-20) 19 game winning streak has been nothing short of amazing. One more Houston victory will tie for the NBA's 2nd longest run in league history. (LA Lakers record setting 33 in 1971-72 is #1). Their dramatic rise has them trailing Southwest division leading San Antonio by one game and Conference leading LA Lakers by 1.5 games.

Most fans and experts had Houston left for dead after star Center Yao Ming's season ending injury. Head Coach Rick Adelman has worked wonders with this squad. Team leader Tracy McGrady has led the scoring attack with a season average of 22/game. Only one other active player has averaged in double digits (Rafer Alston, 12.8/g). The Rockets success has been a complete team effort from top to bottom in large part due to a stifling defense.

How far can this team go? Last season, Golden State stunned NBA Playoff teams by advancing all the way to the Conference Finals. This seasons Rockets will have a tough road and shouldn't be counted out. Nobody expected this sort of run from a team missing its' big man (Ming). Even while turning heads during this 19 game streak, Houston will have a rough time against the leagues best once Playoff hoops begin.

Nineteen in a row with nineteen remaining. Up next is a trip to Atlanta (26-37) before returning home for three beginning with Charlotte. Then they'll take on the Lakers & Boston who will certainly have their big guns ready to try extinguishing Rocket flames.

Good luck Houston...

03/10/08

Money in the Bank: Baseball Disses Barry Bonds

Permalink 03:06:38 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

73 Single Season Home Runs (All Time Record)
762 Career Home Runs (All Time Record)
.444 Career On Base Pct
.607 Career Slugging Pct
2227 Career Runs Scored
1996 Career RBI

Hundreds of millions (US $) in gate receipts.

Name the games greatest Free Agent without a contract? Answer: Barry Bonds

Has Barry Bonds spectacular stat filled career involuntarily ended? No fan fare by Major League Baseball? No final lap by San Francisco's biggest side show? Used by baseball to help create record revenues, and now tossed away like a used car rotting of rust. Has Barry Bonds played his final professional game?

Bonds arrived on the baseball scene back in 1986 as a scrawny-base stealing-free swinging star to be playing his first game for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Son of superstar Bobby Bonds, Godson of legendary Willie Mays, Barry was hyped to the hilt and exceeded beyond expectations.

For most of his rising career, there were only a few knocks against him. First, his unfortunate playoff ineptness haunted him in local headlines for many years. Second, his relationship with major sports media outlets was less then complimentary. Third, he was accused of being a me first player placing himself above the game.

Perhaps his biggest round tripper up, and what could rank as one of the greatest selfish acts sports history outside of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, will be if BB's proven to have knowingly taken performance enhancing drugs to break the games most sacred record. In the public's eye... it is more than obvious by his actions and first hand relationship to BALCO.

I was never a fan of Bonds the person based on his seemingly insatiable never ending thirst for individual greed. I was done rooting for Bonds when he severed ties with Major League Baseball Licensing because he felt more money was to be earned independently. This was a direct slap in the face to baseball fans everywhere. He placed himself above the game by becoming the first and only player opting out of the licensing plan. Many baseball affiliated game makers were no longer allowed to use the name "Barry Bonds" in their products unless they agreed to independent contracts. Suspicion surrounded his being linked to PED's became news of the day for years and countless denials. MLB allowed Bonds to shatter records. San Francisco created separate rules for Bonds and then for the rest of his Giants teammates. Now, he's under Federal investigation for Grand Jury perjury related offenses. Putting this aside for now.....

Baseball has turned their back on the games biggest player. He used them, they used him. Now, nobody wants this Free Agent superstar. An ironic twist of fate as spring training is in full bloom. Nearly every team in the league could use his productive bat. However, they have turned their back on Barry the person. During an era when GM's were openly talking of which player was using PED's or other related substances in preparation for trades or new contracts... Bonds finds himself standing alone once again. Many players have fallen by way of injury early on this spring... and still Bonds doesn't have a contract.

Thanks in large part to baseball's steroids issue finally being admitted to by league personnel... perhaps the game's biggest offender and symbol of how cheaters aren't supposed to prosper... finally rules the day. Think again!

Fans are still flocking to the gates in record numbers. It doesn't seem to matter if owners were knowing accomplices... or if MLB's Commissioner Selig conspired by silence to conceal the games greatest weaknesses... or how the Players Association stonewalled drug testing for years... or if Congressional hearings expose deeper problems in years to come. Baseball seems to live on no matter what happens. This has been true since it's invention. Baseball has survived World Wars, betting scandals, work stoppages from strikes to lock outs, collusion, hard drugs and I'm sure many other circumstances which were never vetted in public.

Most often than not, cheaters prosper in baseball. Baseball surviving is a must and it will no matter what happens with our great game. This is precisely what baseball owners count on... and feed upon daily. When will the owners be held accountable? At the very least, when will they be fined. As their cronie and hand selected Commissioner Selig proudly boasts of record revenues, these greedy owners should be fined tremendous amounts of money for collusion by ignorance. Make no mistake, these folks were all in the know for many years. Perhaps they've been given a clean slate by various investigative committee's due to heavy contribution campaign dollars thrown at corrupt politicians? When it comes to baseball, cheaters usually prosper. During the steroid era, player and owners prospered enormously while fans continue paying grossly outrageous ticket prices.

Now that baseball has used Barry Bonds to line their own pockets he's getting the royal kick to the curb. One problem is they waited too long, until after he set and perhaps falsified home run records. Now it's time for someone to step in and slap owners.

I will never defend Bonds or his selfish actions. However, his skills even before alleged juicing up were second to none. Barry had the best eye for balls and strikes, quickest swing, a great base runner/stealer, great fielder in his youth... perhaps the games greatest five tool player who ever stepped onto the baseball diamond. Bonds was also the games greatest distraction for better or worse.

Bonds' not being signed greatly illustrates our games hypocracy and irony. Plenty of teams could use his services. But, times have changed as our game tries to clean up its' act (for now). In some regards, many fans feel he's finally getting what he deserves... dissed by the game after he dissed fans and rules for years. Love him or love to hate him. He was far from the only player to circumvent rules... yet in the end... he's getting exactly what he wanted... to stand alone.

Bye-bye Barry... at least for now.

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