NHL Really Starting To Dig These Outdoor Games

One of the coolest sports innovations of the last few years has been the NHL’s Outdoor Classic, a hockey game held outside in the dead of winter. January 1, to be exact. As a matter of fact, if there were any problems with this year’s Wrigley Field tilt between Chicago and Detroit, it’s that, well, it was just the one game.

NHL Winter Classic
(If you seriously must be outdoors and this far north on New Year’s Day, this is probably the best way to spend your time.)

The NHL has realized the popularity of what it has created, thankfully. As ESPN.COM reports, with designs on reappropriating New Year’s Day for hockey instead of college football, the league may be expanding the spectacle to multiple citiesRead more…

Speed Read: Another Violent Day in LA’s Paradise

The baseball day in Los Angeles started on a solemn note Monday when the Dodgers held two moments of silence for fallen comrades in arms during Chavez Ravine’s opening day Monday (before a third passed later in the day).

Dodger Stadium tributes to Nick Adenhart and Harry Kalas

(Pictures from 710 AM ESPN’s Beto Duran)

By the end of the game (an 11-1 pounderation of the San Francisco Giants, who could not devise a hacky time travel solution with the USS Enterprise despite the cross-promotional gold), the area around Dodger Stadium hosted numerous instances of disrespect to human life through stabbings, gun-waving, fights involving dozens of people, and the stray auto accident.

Of course, we would never draw a correlation between the drop in beer prices at Dodger Stadium and violence around the ballpark. After all, fan-on-fan violence is still seemingly less likely than vendor-on-vendor violence or security-on-fan violence. The relative safety of MLB.com’s At Bat iPhone app is looking better all the time, especially now that it works occasionally.

Another object d’mocktastery best safely seen from a distance that works only occasionally: Isiah Thomas. He’s apparently found a reason to leave the house as Florida International University has shown interest in hiring him as their basketball head coach.

Isiah Thomas suit

(”Look! Look up at that paragraph! It says that someone wants me!  Do you see that?”)

FIU has found a certain comfort level with losing (five straight seasons) and could certainly use the limelight brought by a famous coach. Perhaps Isiah’s excited because he thinks he can ply his trade in a different country unfamiliar with his sordid past. (That’s what the “International” stands for, right?)

Another gentleman of leisure being paid by an NBA team to go away but still looking for a new home will also have to find a new place of leisure as well. At least two of Detroit’s casinos (current count: 439280410) have reportedly tossed Allen Iverson out on his ear for “boorish behavior”, including bodyguard-related scuffling, pouting after a loss, and being generally churlish.

Allen Iverson golfs

(There’s always golf to ruin one’s forced retirement)

So kudos to the MGM Casino and the Greektown Casino for standing up to Allen Iverson’s shenanigans after he’s left town and will likely never return unless absolutely forced to by contract. Also, way to leak the information once the coast is clear.

We once spotted AI in the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, taking over a section of  the open-air lounge and bar to play cards in the late afternoon with his buddies. He did not order from the bar; instead, he had the bellboy bring his crew a beat-up old cooler filled with their own special reserve.

We did not get a chance to see his favorite drink, but we bet he could get it for 25% less this season at Dodger Stadium. Better bring the bodyguards to carry the overflow.

And now our riot police-approved hail of rubber bullets reinforced by the near-certainty there are relatively few industries interested in “boy whisperers”

Which team is the best in all baseball after one week?

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Fan Phones In Threats to NHL Team During Game

And here I thought no one really cared about the Columbus Blue Jackets. But someone in central Ohio apparently feels passionate about the NHL club - passionate enough to make numerous threatening phone calls to the team during the middle of a game.

Steve Mason Blue Jackets Peter Stenzel

Last night, the Jackets doused the visiting Calgary Flames, 5-0, thanks in part to 33 saves by goalie Steve Mason. And it must have too much to take for Peter Stenzel (pictured above in one of the greatest mug shots ever). So, Pete decided to reach out and touch someone - with a whacked-out verbal assault.

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Cuthbert’s Latest Flame to be EA’s NHL Cover Boy

As long as hockey is still sort-of on the minds of the sporting public (thanks to some spectacular Stanley Cup games between the Pens & Red Wings), EA Sports figured the time was right to announce the cover boy for their upcoming “NHL 09″ game.

And the winner is: Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

Casual sports fans outside of southern Alberta may not know much about Dion, but they’re sure to know his current gal pal:

Elisha Cuthbert

Alluring actress Elisha Cuthbert.

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Faux Flames Fans Foolishly Beat Up On Oilers Fan

When we think of Canada, we think of maple syrup, moose, Molson’s, Bob & Doug McKenzie, Swiss Chalet and generally gracious & polite people. But such courtesy is toss aside when it comes to hockey. And just like surly sports fans around the globe, some can take a rivalry too far.

Oilers Flames female fans

The CALGARY SUN reports that an Edmonton Oilers fan was badly beaten by a group of Flames fans still simmering after a loss last Saturday evening.

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