Category Archives: NHL

National Hockey League

ESPN Cancelled Ron Burgundy’s Guest Spot On SportsCenter For Some B.S. Reason

Ron Burgundy, who was scheduled to appear on the 6pm edition of SportsCenter with Champ Kind, had his appearance on ESPN’s flagship program cancelled because of “breaking news involving the Jameis Winston investigation.” The show announced the decision last night via Twitter:

ESPN made clear why the appearance was cancelled, but what I’d like to know is why this was cancelled. The “breaking news” ended up being that Winston will not be facing rape charges a year after a female student accused the Florida State quarterback of sexually assaulting her. The decision was announced by Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, during a press conference at 2 p.m. this afternoon—four whole hours before Will Ferrell was to appear on SportsCenter as Burgundy.

The other thing I don’t understand is why this decision was made a whole day in advance. It’s as if ESPN was preparing (hoping?) for Winston to be charged, so they could cover the story, his arrest, his arraignment, and all that fun stuff over the next 72 hours, nonstop, in typical ESPN-fashion. Aaron Hernandez all over again.

Overreacting much?

Now with no charges being brought forth and this breaking news situation turning into a complete nonstory, ESPN just looks dumb. I’m sure they’ll find a way (they always do) to drag this thing through the mud for the rest of the night and well into tomorrow. Good luck getting people to stay tuned as you line up all of your legal experts to talk about a whole lot of nothing, and your college football experts to talk about how Winston still shouldn’t be considered for the Heisman after all of this. If you ask me, it would’ve been more entertaining had Ron Burgundy been hosting the show tonight with all of this going on, whether or not Winston was charged. Poo on you, ESPN.

But, hey, at least we got to see Burgundy get hit in the nuts on the Dan Patrick Show this morning.

Ron Burgundy Will Guest Host SportsCenter on December 5th

ron burgundy sportscenter

The cross promotion surrounding the upcoming release of Anchorman 2 has been absolutely incredible over the past few months. From Dodge commercials to late night TV appearances, and now to the World Wide Leader in Sports.

The Big Lead broke the story.

Will Ferrell will guest-host the 6 pm SportsCenter on Thursday, December 5th, two sources exclusively tell The Big Lead. The sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the appearance has not been announced, also say that there will be some sort of Ron Burgundy element to telecast.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment.

Ferrell will be SportsCenter’s third celebrity guest-host in five weeks. Actor Ken Jeong and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson both delivered bigratings, but Ferrell, an A-list actor who just so happens to have a movie coming out soon (Anchorman 2, December 20th!) is a significantly bigger star.

Set your DVRs, folks.

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ESPN’s Surprise-Returns Video Speaks for Itself This Veterans Day

So, What Do We All Think About This Russian Hockey Music Video?

ovi malkin singing

So there’s this to cap off your Friday.

Russia is having trouble containing their excitement for the Sochi games, which are less than one hundred days away now. In an attempt to focus some of those feeling towards doing something meaningful, the Big Red Machine decided to get some of their powerhouse hockey men (past and present and future) together to record a little music video, including Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk.

You’re welcome, in advance.

(ht CBS Sports)

Can This Please Be Rock Bottom?

Ray Emry beats down a hapless Holtby.

Ray Emry beats down a hapless Holtby.

It sucks to be a Philadelphia fan right now.

Between the Eagles, who came out of the gate looking great, completely falling off track, the Phillies just being the Phillies, the Flyers being plain embarrassing, and the Sixers not understanding the concept of tanking (though, from the looks of it, the future really is bright and I’m excited about that), there’s absolutely nothing to be proud of right now. And it sucks.

Case in point: Last night, the only thing that got people excited at the Wells Fargo Center during the Caps-Flyers game was this line brawl a few minutes into the third period, at which point the Orange and Black were trailing 7-0.

Embarrassing. The radio call is just as pathetic.

Is it nice to finally see some passion and emotion coming from the Flyers? Sure, but it’s sickening to watch a team so stuck in the past that they think winning a large-scale brawl is just as important, if not more so, than winning the actual game. And the way Ray Emry absolutely lit up Braden Holtby—don’t get me wrong, any goalie fight is a fight for the ages, but that was more of a mugging than anything else. Congratulations, jackass. You beat the shit out of a guy that wasn’t even looking to fight. And the fact that he was named third star of the game—clearly for the fight, because four goals on 15 shots is far from noteworthy—ought to be considered a giant slap in each fan’s face from big daddy Ed Snyder.

Broad Street Bullies, baby.

In Defense of the Bandwagoner

Let's not be so hostile to those trying to climb aboard.

Let’s not be so hostile to those trying to climb aboard. (Photo via Gridiron Goddess)

Any good sports fan can spot one, even if they were a mile away, wearing an eye mask, five sheets to the wind, and having just finished a game of dizzy bat (though none of that sounds like a good idea in any sort of way). Bandwagon fans stand out like a black eye. But why all of the hate?

In just the last 24 hours I’ve seen such harsh things written on the Twitters and Facebook about fair-weather fans—namely those in Boston (after the Red Sox clinched their 3rd World Series in the last decade) and the Philly (the upstart 76ers knocked off the Miami Heat last night). True, die-hard, loyal fans went above and beyond their “call of duty” to put down anyone who showed any amount of excitement about either team winning, and who they were absolutely positive was not a “real fan” of either team.

For anyone who partook in those shenanigans, I hope you’re reading, and listen closely: Stop it. Ripping on bandwagon fans makes you look like a jackass. Just let those “fake fans” enjoy whatever moment it is they want to revel in, and look the other way. They’re not hurting you. They’re not hurting your team. They should have little to no impact on your daily life as a fan, and how invested you are in your team. If anything, you should be proud and excited that other people—especially those born and raised in the same town as you—want to support and throw some passion behind the same thing you do (that sounded dirty, but I’m alright with it, and you catch my drift).

A few things to consider about bandwagon fans, that maybe could change how maliciously you act towards them.

1. Just because they don’t post social media updates after every inning, or bucket, or goal, or huge hit, doesn’t mean they’re not as big of a fan as you.

Lots and lots and lots of people use social media in lots and lots and lots of different ways. Some go way overboard with the things they post or how frequently the share things (I’m usually guilty of this), and others will make an update once in a blue moon. The Red Sox winning the World Series might’ve given people in the latter group cause to come out of the wood works and share in the moment of celebration. A huge win over the defending NBA champs might’ve given people in Philly a reason to get excited for a hot minute about the Sixers. I haven’t said much about the Flyers on Facebook, Twitter, or this blog during the first few weeks of the season—frankly because there hasn’t been much of anything nice to say—but that doesn’t make me a fair-weather Flyers fan. Every time I get a text from ESPN about a blown lead and eventually a loss, it still hurts. It hurts because I’m a fan. Bottom line: Don’t judge someone’s level of fandom by their social media engagement.

2. Yes, there absolutely are different levels of fandom, and as long as a bandwagoner isn’t a “bad fan” then I have no problem with them.

Every team in every city throughout the globe has a wide range of fans. You’ve got your die-hards who literally live and slowly die with their teams and show up to 90-100% of the games (home and away), and can recite the team’s entire roster down to the 7th bench player’s height, weight, wing span, where he went to school, what he majored in, and what his shooting percentage is in the 4th quarter with his team down by 1 with less than 10 seconds left on the clock. (These are mostly your beat reporters, retired old men, and the unemployed.) Then there’s your passionate fans who stay in tune with a team and follow them throughout the season, occasionally go to games and can hold a conversation. Casual fans (where most “bandwagoners” probably legitimately fall) know who the all stars are, they understand the game for the most part, and know how to have a good time if and when you take them to a game—but they don’t pretend to know everything about everyone like you, you die-hard Yankees-addict. Then we all know what a true bandwagoner is—the guy (or gal) who goes out and buys the championship t-shirt, their first piece of team apparel, and wears it for the next week. But hey, that’s more money to the organization, and as long as they aren’t showing up to games and causing a scene (like intentionally vomiting on people, or kicking girls in the face) who cares what they do? Embrace those folks, catch them up to speed, and convert them to die-hards.

We all had to become fans at some point. Sure they’re late to the party, but why are you going to try and shun them away and prevent them from having a good time? I’m a fan of that cliche, ‘The more the merrier.’ A packed Citizens Bank Park filled with 45,000 bandwagoners is a much better atmosphere than barely 10,000 unhappy, pissed off, grumpy ass die-hards. Invite those people into the “in” crowd and celebrate the fact that your team has a whole host of new fans.

3. Can bandwagoners be annoying? Sure. You know, deep down, that you were there through thick and thin, but crying about it only makes you seem like a douche.

Not much more I can say beyond that. Just know that whenever you complain about fair-weather fans, you’re just making yourself look like a fool. If you know in your heart that you are a real fan, that’s great for you. There’s no need to act all tough behind a keyboard (no, the irony is not lost on me here). You just sound all whiny and childish. “This was my team first! I love them more than you, and there’s no way you’ll ever be as big a fan as me! I have a different jersey I can put on for each day of the month. And they’re all authentic replicas that I spent my last seven paychecks on. How many jerseys do you have, (and t-shirt jerseys count for negative one)? Huh? HUH!?!? How many losses did you agonize through? How many dates with real girls did you pass up on so you could make it to each game of that big weekend series against the Mets? How many times have you sat in the 700 Level with the real fans? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Go back to being a fake fan, you fake fan, you.”

You with me?

I get that people are going to get passionate and want to act all macho about big of a fan they are, and they want to prove to themselves and others that they are, by far, the biggest fan in the world, but who are you really benefiting? Your ego? Maybe, but that’s all. People are going to be their own kind of fan at their own pace that they’re comfortable with, and everyone else should learn to respect that.

At the very least, learn to ignore those who you think are fair-weather in nature, and refrain from making yourself look ridiculous.

[Steps down from soapbox.]

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To Prove I Don’t Just Rag On Washington’s Football Team, Here’s An Incredible Poster Released By the National Congress of American Indians

ncai image(via @BuzzFeedSports)