Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Morning Meissnervations












Happy Monday y'all! Here's what's up....

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The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Atlanta Thrashers yesterday 5-1, finishing the preseason with a record of 4-1-2. Of course, ya really can't tell how a team's really gonna be by preseason results, since a lot of guys who aren't going to be with the big club get a lot of ice time. But, early signs might just indicate that the Lightning will be in the playoff hunt, while the Thrashers may be having fans of Atlanta's NBA team thinking "We really aren't the worst, and most unappreciated team in town."

Speaking of the Lightning, check out their radio broadcasts sometime. Dave Mishkin does a great job calling a game, and Matt Sammon does a very fine job in the studio. The more time I spend here, the more I find myself rooting for them, both on and off the ice.

Speaking of which, the ownership situation is still in a bit of limbo, but if reports are to be believed, Oren Koules may well have the lead in being able to buy out Len Barrie and take control of the franchise. Things got so hairy over the summer, that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stepped in and directed Koules and Barrie to find someone to help them buy the other out and stop their bickering. The process continues.

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Speaking of NHL fiascos, the mess called the Phoenix Coyotes continues. Wayne Gretzky resigned as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations last week, after learning that he wasn't in the future plans of the two prospective owners. Of course, the NHL still thinks they can buy the team themselves, which everyone with 1/3 a brain knows is a move designed solely to keep the team out of the hands of Blackberry exec Jim Balsillie, who would promptly move them to Hamilton, Ontario. Undoubtedly, if the bankruptcy court overseeing this mess awards the team to either the league or Balsillie, the one who doesn't get it will sue like crazy. This may well be they only way that the team spends the entire season in the desert for sure. Ask those NHL players with the puppies on their shirts how much fun it's going to be playing in front of 5,000 fans a night. I really feel for the game night staff, who will have to carry on each home game like nothing's wrong. The situation there is likely to drag on for a long, long time. And it will leave a stink on the NHL crest that will be hard to get out.

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62,517. That's the number of people at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton Saturday, who watched the Saswkatchewan Roughriders edge the Edmonton Eskimos 23-20, to remain tied for first with Calgary in the CFL West. It is the largest regular season crowd ever for a CFL game, for which the fans and staffs of both teams deserve a great big pat on the back for. Scroll down for a complete recap of Saturday's game, okay?

The Riders are at BC this Friday. There could be a pretty big crowd at BC Place for that game too. CFL games will never draw what NFL games do, but it's good to see the crowds getting bigger.

My local cable provider's sports channel is showing the game this Wednesday. A bit late for sure, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. But why, tell me why we have to watch the same high school games replayed three or four times, while waiting four days for this game? Play at 3a.m. Sunday, I don't care. That's why I have a DVR!

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The Riders and Calgary are tied for first in the CFL West. They're both 7-5 for 14 points. Edmonton is 6-6 for 12 points, while BC is 5-7 for 10 points. In the East, Montreal is crusing at 10-2 for 20 points, Hamilton, who was blasted by the Als over the weekend is 6-6 for 12 points. Winnipeg is 4-8 for 8 points, after breaking a five-game skid with a win over Toronto, who is 3-9 for 6 points.

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The Oregon State Beavers dropped their second straight home game Saturday, losing their conference opener to Arizona 37-32. A glaring example of how it's much harder to win games when you can't block or tackle. Beavers at Arizona State this Saturday, 7:00p.m. EDT on the Versus network. This game suddenly is much bigger for the Beavers, if they'd like to avoid going 2-3 on the season, and 0-2 in the Pac-10.

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Baseball is in the stretch drive for playoff position. In the AL East, The Yankees have clinched their first division title since 2006. In the AL Central, Detroit leads Minnesota by 2 and in the AL West, the Angels lead Texas by 6. Boston leads Texas by 6 in the AL Wild Card. All other teams have been eliminated from post season play.

In the NL West, the Dodgers lead Colorado by 5. St. Louis has clinched the NL Central and Philadelphia leads Atlanta by 5 in the NL East. All other teams have been eliminated from the division title races. In the NL Wild Card, Colorado leads Atlanta by 2 1/2, with Florida and San Francisco 5 back. The Cubs are still alive, but trail by 6 1/2. All other teams have been eliminated.

BTW: The Tampa Bay Rays continue to struggle, sitting 20 1/2 games behind Boston in the East. Staggering to think about, considering they were fighting for the East pennant just a month or five weeks ago. They are 6-4 in their last 10, and recently gave up 11 runs with two outs in one inning against Texas. They sit at 79-76, with 7 games to go. They did beat Texas 7-6 yesterday, and host Baltimore tonight. The game could be a sell out, but only if the remove around 19,000 seats. They still fail to come up with a reason to get me out to the ballpark, a situation I don't expect to change anytime soon. And amazingly, they still seemingly have no clue as to why the average weeknight game draws fewer people than a gut wagon draws buzzards. But yet they think all will be well if they can just get a new ballpark.

Yeah, good luck with that thought.

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Play on the small lawn, a/k/a the NFL continues. Last Monday, Indianapolis beat Miami 27-23. Yesterday, Miami lost to San Diego 23-13. (I just don't like the Dolphins. Their fans think they really rebounded last season, after winning just one game the year before. Well, they haven't and they won't make the playoffs.) Detroit beat Washington 19-14. (Lions broke their 19-game losing streak, while Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn put one foot firmly on the banana peel). Baltimore blasted Cleveland 34-3(Larry the Cable Guy's joke about a bathroom visit is taking the Browns to the Super Bowl just might be more fact than joke).

The Jets beat Tennessee 24-17(I wonder when Jets fans are going to start calling their new QB hero Joe Willie Sanchez?). Jacksonville topped Houston 31-24(Yawn). Minnesota beat San Francisco 27-24, on a last-second desperation touchdown pass by Brett Favre, who passed for 301 yards(Jets fans are saying "Just you wait...."). New England steamrolled Atlanta 26-10(Suddenly, the Braves are once again that citie's best team).

Green Bay trounced St. Louis 36-17(My grandmother could trounce St. Louis, and she passed away 22 years ago!). Philadelphia beat Kansas City 34-14(My grandma reference applies to Kansas City as well. Michael Vick did play, but was nothing more than an afterthought. Kevin Kolb threw for 327 yards and this may just be the crack in the door the Eagles have been looking for to shove Donovan McNabb to the sidelines). New Orleans beat Buffalo 27-7(How's that Terrell Owens thing working out Bills fans?). Chicago edges Seattle 25-19(I'm not sure the Seahawks can win with Matt Hasselbeck out of the lineup).

Cincinnati upset Pittsburgh 23-20(No truth to the rumor that Roethlisberger asked McNabb's mom if she had any leftover chunky soup). Denver beat Oakland 23-3(Grandma's 3-0 this week).

And the mighty Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled up a staggering 86 yards total offense and five first downs yesterday, in losing a heart breaker to the Giants at Ray J, 24-0(Way too many empty seats showing on my TV -- when I managed to stay awake -- to make me believe that Bucs management didn't buy out the unsold tickets, so that the game wouldn't be blacked out locally. Trust me, they'd be better off with a black out. Grandma finishes the week at 4-0. Next week, they'll travel to D.C. in an attempt to save Jim Zorn's job).

The Monday Night game(Can you really believe this is the 40th season of Monday Night Football? Wow!) this week is Carolina at Dallas(The Cowboys just aren't that good, but TV seems to think they have to show off Jerry Jones's billion-dollar sandbox).

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Another attempt at baseballing is on the schedule for me this evening. Hopefully our daily thunderstorm will have passed long before that, so that the field will be dry enough to play on. We get the kind of rain here that people who have never been to the Northwest think that area gets 24 hours a day.

Jimmy is really cranky, as tooth #9 has come in. Poor widdle guy! He is officially a toddler now. He's walking more and more and is really into exploring. What a cutie! And he turned 16 months old yesterday too. Our little baby isn't a baby anymore!

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Someone tell microsoft, that if you're going to continuously bash people over the head with how wonderful a new product is, then they'd better make it more readily available. 12 days after launching the Zune HD, there are STILL no units in 32gb available in the two(Why only two?) retail chains they are allowing to sell their product. I really wanted one(I have owned a Zune 30gb "brick" for two years and really liked it), but the amazing lack of availability of what I wanted(the 32gn Zune HD) drove me straight to the iPod Touch. As my wife so succinctly put it: "Another foul-up by microsoft."

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Well, time to go feed Jimmy and grab some grub myself. Have a great day everyone!

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