January 2011

Hockey

Reconsidering the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan era

If you were to ask, many a Toronto Maple Leaf fan would tell you that the darkest days in franchise history came under the questionable guidance of the now infamous Harold Ballard. In his 18-year tenure as majority owner of the franchise, the Maple Leafs only managed to put together six winning seasons and set a club record with 13 consecutive losing ones. For a team that hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup an impressive four times…

Football

2011 Pro-Bowl: Someone cares

After a one-year hiatus in the Sunshine State, the NFL’s equivalent of an All-Star Game returns to Hawaii. Unfortunately, given that the Pro-Bowl is once again nestled in the off-week between the Conference Championships and Super Bowl, a noticeable 10 players currently vying for the Lombardi Trophy won’t be making the trip. The Steelers and Packers won’t be the only teams without representation, however, as both the Seahawks and Bengals failed to have a player…

Other Sports

Can Bleacher Report be saved?

If you want to write for Bleacher Report these days, you have to apply to get in. The internet’s most infamous sports writing website, the one that was supposed to liberate sports media and turn the opinion pages to the fans, now requires an application. It’s not going to save the site’s reputation, but it’s a great first step. Bleacher Report is probably best known for it’s many gaffes and mistakes, for articles which either…

Basketball

The Reinvention of Amar’e

Amar’e Stoudemire adds a sense of grace to an otherwise violent low-post game these days, an unexpected elegance especially noticeable considering the commanding physical frame with which he punishes his defenders and creates his own space. His shoulders, like battering rams, pound through unassuming opponents while the rest of his body pounces, springs and leaps like a fawn. To himself and those around him, he is an anomaly; a walking, breathing, bouncing oxymoron. He’s like this…

Movie Reviews

Secretariat (2010)

Rating: 4/10 They say what makes or breaks an effective tale is the way a storyteller portrays it. With the right storyteller, an explanation stating how one makes a peanut and jelly sandwich can be entertaining. The story of the racehorse Secretariat is an inspiring and extraordinary string of events. However, in this case of the film of the same name, director Randall Wallace turns this underdog tale into a very boring experience. Penny Chenery,…

Hockey

Jonathan Huberdeau: Draft stock on the rise

With projected top-three pick Gabriel Landeskog sidelined, and Adam Larsson ineligible as a member of the Swedish Elite League, the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game served as an opportunity for a handful of less talked about, yet equally skilled, future NHLers to shine. Although the other half of the consensus “top four” for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Canadians Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sean Couturier were at the Jan. 19 event, a few less…

Hall of Fame

The Epic of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the type of player that makes you reconsider what you stand for. The hockey prospect that makes midseason misfortune and sub-.500 seasons in general that much more bearable. Like few before him, he’s a future pro capable of turning fans against their very own team; of convincing life-long devotees to openly root against their idols and pray to the lottery gods that their respective general managers will be fortunate enough to land…

Basketball

Derrick Rose: MVP 40 games in?

Is Derrick Rose the best player in the NBA at the moment? No, but he may be the most valuable. Truth be told, Rose does not lead the league in Win Shares or PER or in anything, really. In fact, he’s 10th in the league in assists per game, behind Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Chris Paul, among others. His PER is 15th, behind players like Blake Griffin and Kevin Love. Rajon Rondo has more assists, Amar’e Stoudemire has scored more and the Chicago Bulls are not the best team…

Basketball

The Blake Griffin Messaging Service

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat have a lot in common, but when the Los Angeles Clippers put an end to the former’s seven-game win streak on Sunday, the two found yet another, slightly more embarrassing, similarity. Though each team sits second in their respective conference – trailing notable opponents that three months ago seemed far too old contend for an NBA championship – that’s not all the two consensus title favorites can bond over…

Basketball

The Cold War: The Nets, the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony

On Tuesday afternoon, a picture leaked of the new arena being built in Brooklyn; the one that’s been on the planning table for years and the one the New Jersey Nets are planning to move into once it’s ready sometime in the near future. It looks like it’s coming along nicely. There’s a shell of the stadium already and while the ground’s frozen (there’s snow bordering the site), it looks like they’ve dug out quite a bit of dirt. Now…