-Ray Lewis' agent says he "might" return to Baltmo. Translation: "He's coming back with his tail tucked firmly between his legs."
- Orioles ran their spring training record to 2-2 with a 4-2 win against the Florida Marlins.
-Another one from the B-Mo Sun. Jeff Zrebiec has a nice story on the stable of young arms the Orioles hope will return them to prominence. I feel like I scooped the Sun on this one, since I had this item two weeks ago. Ok, I really didn't scoop anybody, I just wrote my amateur asshole opinion while Zrebiec did some actual reporter-age.
-THE Towson University hoops team lost to George Mason last night, 71-59.
-Couple major Caps related items from Tank before today's afternoon tilt with the Florida Panthers. First, Jose Theodore will get the call in net and Jay Beagle has been called up from Hershey to replace Viktor Kozlov, whose groin is giving him problems again. Second, there have been rumors swirling around that New York Islanders captain Bill Guerin could be headed to DC. However, Tarik says his sources with the team tell him that Guerin isn't coming and Bruce Boudreau all but intimated that the Caps have no need for Guerin.
"Asked about the Bill Guerin to Washington rumors -- which one of my sources shot down this morning, Boudreau said: 'We have Kozlov, Semin, Fehr, Bradley and Gordon as our right side. I think that's pretty good.'"
- One last bit of Caps news before I head down to the Greene Turtle to watch today's game (Thanks Easton F'n Cable!). Don Cherry of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ripped Alex Ovechkin for his celebrations. I won't give you the whole Cherry autobiography for those that don't know who he is, that's what Wikipedia is for, but in a nutshell, he's sort of like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly meets Howard Cosell. First, here's Cherry, nicknamed Grapes', comments..
Here's Coach Boudreau's take on it, once again, per Tank.
Now, I've been a fan of Grapes since I got his first Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Hockey video back in the early 90s. I think I know enough about him to know that anything he says must come with a grain of salt. His disdain of Europeans and guys with visors comes from a time when Euros, specifically guys like Ulf Samuelsson, Alexei Kovalev and Tomas Sandstrom, were known for taking dives, cheap shots and show-boating.
Now many of the commenters on the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada site, where you can watch Cherry's "Coach's Corner" segment, and on the WaPo's site are ripping Grapes a new asshole, and deservedly so. After all, it's clear this rant is either 1) xenophobic or 2) a very poor attempt to stand up for his buddy Sidney Crosby that came off as nationalist, racist and xenophobic. Because good old Canadian boys, like say...
and Mike Richards...
...would never celebrate excessively. Look, we've tried it the Joe Sakic way. Sakic is a great guy and a great player. But nobody outside the greater Denver area is saying, "Boy, Joe Sakic is in town, I gotta go see him!" Nothing against Sakic, but he doesn't exactly move the Q rating a whole lot. Hockey has had enough humble guys, it's part of the appeal of the sport for a lot of people. What the league needs is some oversize personalities. And no, I do not mean a bunch of Sean Avery's. I mean guys that aren't afraid to have fun, smile and show some flair. Everyone that watched the All-Star Game skills contest would probably agree that Ryan Getzlaf had a much better trick shot than Ovie. But Getzlaf treated it like a chore, whereas Ovie took the time to ham it up and have fun with the whole thing. That's what the league needs. If I haven't made my point yet, allow me to try to express it through this story.
On March 8 my friend and former co-worker Jermaine "Bunky" Murray will be attending his first hockey game. Bunk is a 25 year old African-American male that has maybe seen 15 minutes of hockey in his entire life. He's a football and basketball guy. Not exactly the type that gravitates towards hockey. But he willingly paid $80 to go to a Caps game because he WANTED to see Alex Ovechkin skate, hopefully score a goal and maybe do one of his celebrations. Isn't that what we, as hockey fans want? To get new fans and people interested in the game? I know that's what I'd like to see.
The bottom line is, Grapes is popular because he says stupid, ridiculous and outrageous things. No different than Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Olbermann or Cosell in his heyday. Anybody that says things that are that mean-spirited, bitter and jealous, it means that the person saying them is either an internet blogger or a someone that needs professional help. And while I'm not above making fun of someone, making fun of the insane just isn't my style. But Grapes, Mr. Ovie may want to have a word with you...
"I must break you."