Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dubnyk for the Hart? Why did Affleck cry?





“Reports that the Colorado Rockies had added marijuana brownies to their concessions menu this season turned out to be a website spoof,” Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times informs us. “There went the ‘Cheech & Chong and pray for rain’ marketing blitz.” . . . “Talk about watching an overmatched 16-seed taking on a 1-seed on national TV this week,” writes Perry. “But enough about Dick Vitale kissing Ashley Judd.” . . . The Harvard Crimson nearly advanced to the second round of March Madness on Thursday when it dropped a 67-65 decision to North Carolina. That resulted in this tweet from SB Nation: “A crushing defeat for Harvard fans, who will have to console themselves with running the world and being successful and stuff.” . . .

Is there a better story in the NHL this season than former Kamloops Blazers goaltender Devan Dubnyk? It isn’t that long ago when Dubnyk was being blamed for everything that is wrong with the Edmonton Oilers. Today, he has made 31 straight starts for the Minnesota Wild, a team about which people are starting to talk. Dubnyk is 22-6-1 with a 1.76 GAA and a .935 save percentage, and he should be in the Hart Trophy conversation. . . . CBS-TV’s David Letterman knows why New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter retired. “He wanted to spend more time with his money,” Letterman reports. . . .

“In the Notre Dame/Northeastern game,” Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, writes of an early round NCAA tournament game, “Brian Anderson did the play-by-play and color analyst Steve Smith kept calling him ‘B.A.’ It got to the point that I thought I was watching a rerun of The A-Team.” . . . “Graff Diamonds reportedly has designed a 150-carat diamond watch that sells for $40 million,” writes Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post. “That’s a lot of dough, but Kobe Bryant’s wife loves hers.” . . . “If Kentucky goes 40-0,” reports Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen, “there will likely be some changes to college basketball. They may install a salary cap.” . . .

“The Canadian team finished with five medals at the FINA Diving World Series in Dubai,” reports Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban, who has been fined by the NHL for his third diving infraction, was not part of the team in Dubai.” . . . One more from Chong: “The CRTC has decreed that cable companies must provide basic service for $25 a month. If you want sound and a clear picture that will, of course, be bundled with channels you’ll never watch.” . . .

“In the wake of the Chris Borland retirement,” writes contributor Bill Littlejohn, “Pittsburgh Steelers neurosurgeon and NFL medical consultant Joseph Maroon says that playing football is safer than riding a bike and that CTE's are 'greatly exaggerated’. I don't think he'll be Bill O'Reilly's next guest in the No Spin Zone.” . . . Here’s Littlejohn again: “Jennifer Garner said that after the Super Bowl, husband and die-hard Patriots fan Ben Affleck cried. She said it was the first time he'd done so since reading the reviews of Gigli.” . . .

A Tuesday note from Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald: “A quick tip to my co-workers: The green bread and milk in The World-Herald cafeteria have nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day.” . . . Dickson, again: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has re-emerged after disappearing for 11 days. Turns out he was waiting in line for toilet paper and food. You know what we call a politician who goes 11 days without being seen in the U.S.? ‘Vice president.’ ” . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: NFL launches new campaign warning players about long-term risks of retirement. . . .

Here’s Larry Brooks, in the New Yort Post: “You know what? It was better to the ear when Phil Kessel was saying nothing rather than the inane stuff he is saying now about this Maple Leafs team that is an insult to the sweater and a stain on the franchise’s heritage. . . . You would kind of have to say Randy Carlyle isn’t going to have much trouble getting a job next year, wouldn’t you?” . . .

“Artist Yuriy Alekseev is gaining fame for paintings done at the bottom of a Siberian lake,” claims RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “He specializes in waterscapes and portraits of Russian Olympians who didn’t medal in Sochi.” . . . “Michael Phelps is getting married,” Currie notes. “Keeping a wife happy is a lot like swimming — you take the plunge, try not to make waves, and once in a while you may have to crawl.” . . . NBC-TV’s Seth Myers has March Madness figured out. As he puts it, “That’s the big tournament where you start out with 64 teams, and in only three weeks you’re down to no girlfriend.” . . .

Texas had five teams in March Madness — Baylor, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas and Texas Southern — and they all were one-and-done on Thursday. As Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe, put it: “Last time the state of Texas had a day this bad, the Alamo was involved.” . . . Donald Trump, saying he is the only person who can make America great again, apparently is putting together a Presidential Exploratory Committee for 2016. That news caused Hough to write: “Make America ‘truly great?’ Trump can’t even do a great job with that furry thing that lives on his head.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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