Morning Link Dump - 04/26/11
Obligatory Sports Babe
"Ricky Romero is living the American Dream ... in Canada," writes Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
"He grew up in a working-class, Mexican-American family. He avoided the gangs in his East Los Angeles neighborhood. He earned a baseball scholarship to Cal State Fullerton and pitched his team to a College World Series title.
"He became the Toronto Blue Jays’ first-round draft pick in 2005. He signed a $30.1 million contract extension last year. He made the first of what could be many Opening Day starts earlier this month.
"Oh, and one more thing: He’s dating Miss USA Rima Fakih," who we see here.
Quote of the Day
"Would like to know why coach of the kings Terry Murray never shook our hands?? Might be a first??" - San Jose Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi, not shying away from controversy, via Twitter, after the Sharks eliminated the Kings in overtime last night. His teammate, game-winning goal-scorer Joe Thornton, on the other hand, skirted controversy when, according to LA Sports Central, he told reporters who asked about his many critics, "I don't really read what you guys write, I read Playboy and things like that."
A Franchise-Defining Game?
"Some cities are tortured by their heroes. Ottawa when the Senators were owned by Toronto; Buffalo when the Bills were great and when Brett Hull’s skate was in the crease; Toronto’s hockey fans for four decades; Cleveland in perpetuity. Some cities — Boston, Pittsburgh, even Detroit for a time — have all the luck. Some cities don’t," writes Bruce Arthur in the National Post.
Right now, Vancouver knows where it stands, and it knows the only thing that can change it. They had a basketball team and they lost it, but that was a blip, really. But the hockey team — that’s the sun in Vancouver, whether it’s raining or not. And with a Game 7 looming against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night — a Game 7 that could simply devastate the franchise — Vancouver is on the edge of a very deep municipal depression. The 3-0 lead and all the redemption it promised is gone, now; all that’s left is one game. One game, and handshakes.
So is Vancouver panicking? Some people are, and some people are probably pretending not to. TEAM 1040 morning host Scott Rintoul said he thought the defining mood was one of forced and willful optimism — that people were taking solace in the way the Canucks competed while losing Game 6 in overtime, rather than collapsing — because, as he put it, “I get the sense people have been disappointed so many times they can’t bear to imagine being that disappointed again.”
Writing About Luke Scott
"Luke Scott is a gun-humping birther survivalist lunatic who keeps a pistol in his sofa cushion and throws plantain chips at a black teammate when he acts 'like a savage.' Sounds like an asshole, right? But things aren't so simple, ESPN's Amy K. Nelson tells us in her recent profile of Scott, and she's absolutely right: Luke Scott is a gun-humping birther survivalist lunatic who's lucky to have ESPN acting as his publicist," writes Emma Carmichael as she begins quite an impressive piece of media criticism over at Deadspin.
"Nelson suggests in her lede that Luke Scott 'will require a deeper line of thinking' so that we may get past the simple perception that the Orioles outfielder is a 'a right-wing nut, a borderline racist and a loudmouth redneck ballplayer.' And then she proceeds to write a remarkably detailed profile of a 'a right-wing nut, a borderline racist and a loudmouth redneck ballplayer' who keeps pistols in his couch cushions. She devotes approximately 3,490 words to a story about an ignorant asshole and 10 words to trying to convince both herself and her readers that he is anything but.
"There is nothing especially wrong with being a colossally ignorant asshole; baseball, and the world, is full of them. It's not Luke Scott's job to be a sensitive guy, and it's not his job to be informed about anything other than how to play baseball. But nor is it an ESPN reporter's job to mislead her readers in what, to these eyes, looks like a clumsy attempt not to offend the sensibilities of some of them."
On The Occasion of Edwin van der Sar's Retirement
"One April afternoon in 1991, Ajax Amsterdam’s goalkeeper, Stanley Menzo, limped off injured. When his replacement bounded on, you wanted to laugh. The 20-year-old Edwin van der Sar was big-eared, rail thin and dressed entirely in purple with tiny shorts. By way of warming up, he literally skipped around the penalty area. He looked like a particularly camp gymnast. Then he began to keep. Twenty years on, as Manchester United’s keeper prepares to retire next month, he has redefined his profession," begins Simon Kuper in a great piece for Ask Men (granted, I'm completely biased).
"I’ve followed him all his career. We’re a year apart in age and grew up within five miles of each other in the Netherlands. He looks just like the villagers we used to play against on windy Saturdays by the North Sea. At 6'5", he is around average height for the region, and his long, pale, gloomy face -- that of a Calvinist pastor circa 1872 -- is typical too.
"As a boy, he never expected to play professional soccer. However, in 1988, Ajax summoned him for a trial match with its second team. The stadium was empty except for a gaggle of his friends who held up a banner that read, 'van der Sar in Oranje.' He would play a record 130 matches for the Oranje, Holland’s national team.
"It soon turned out that he was the keeper that Holland had been looking for since the 1960s. When Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels first dreamed up Dutch 'total football,' Cruyff had a vision of the perfect goalkeeper: an outfield player in gloves. It had always bothered Cruyff that keepers just stopped shots. It was a waste of a player, Cruyff thought. He wanted a keeper who could play soccer. Wouldn’t it be perfect, he mused, if you could combine with 11 men rather than 10, and it just happened that one of them could save a ball when necessary?
"Van der Sar was that keeper -- total football’s missing link. Two-footed, adept at the one-touch pass, he could have been a professional outfield player and perhaps more than that. During the 1994 World Cup, he played in outfield during Holland’s training sessions in Florida and looked like one of its better performers. Cruyff called him 'Ajax’s best attacker.' "
Quote of the Day II
"Tix to Yankee stadium: Free (lol) Foam fingers: 12$ Chicken tenders and drinks: 30$ Me n Fields getting booed on the jumbotron... Priceless" - Andy Rautins of the New York Knicks, describing his trip to the Bronx Zoo on Twitter.
GQ has a gallery of wicked-awesome sports-themed shirts.
The SI Vault shows us some classic photos of Evil Knievel.
After thousands of votes, the poll at the Vancouver Sun on which goaltender should start for the Canucks in Game Seven remains about as close to 50-50 you can get.
Stiff Upper Lip has dug up an incredible sheet of rules from a war-era golf club in England. Watch for shrapnel.
SportsGrid notices (via Wilbon's Twitter) how much ESPN's Mike Wilbon used to look like physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Crazy.
According to Puck The Media, the Buffalo Sabres have some crazy good ratings in their hometown.
Chicago Radio Calls The Blackhawks Game Six Winner
I'm not entirely sure how I managed to pick up WGN's signal while driving down the 401 outside of Toronto while the Blackhawks and Canucks were in overtime, but I did, and I can attest, John Wiedeman did not try to hide who he was cheering for, and made one hell of a call. (And then, #Canucks on Twitter exploded.)
(via Awful Announcing)