God bless the super senior.
Greatest Post-Fight In-Ring Interview Ever
I almost made this the Video of the Week, but it really deserves so, so much more. When I saw this I texted it to Phil and said: “This is why we started 1-2-3 Sports!” It’s quite possibly my favorite sports video of all-time. Quick background: British boxer Tyson Fury beat long-time Heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko last Saturday. It was a HUGE upset. Klitschko had been the champ for 10 years. In the ring after the fight, Tyson Fury (that name is pretty fantastic) took the mic and…just watch:
Tears in my eyes, man. -TOB
PAL: I cannot recommend clicking on this link enough. So absurd and hilarious.
Once Again, Navy’s Uniforms Are So Choice.
A few years ago, Navy unveiled these awesome uniforms for its annual game against Army. Those helmets remain SWEET.
Nothing about that is bad. Great job by Nike. Since then, Navy has moved to UnderArmour, and I do not often say this, but UnderArmour has bettered Nike on this one:
Look closely. Those are seven different helmets, with seven different hand-pained Naval ships, with one ship for each position group. Plus:
“Damn the Torpedoes” vertical down the leg. They’re gonna be so fired up, they’ll win by 50. Sorry, Army. And thank you to my own mother for sending in this story. We love reader submissions! -TOB
Source: “Navy’s Badass Helmets for Army Game Have Hand-Painted Ships, Custom For Each Position Group”, Jason Kirk, SB Nation (11/30/2015)
PAL: “Damn the torpedoes” on the pants is a half-step too far. Everything else about this jersey kicks ass.
The Greatest Season by The Great One
In the 85-86 NHL season, Wayne Gretzky tallied 215 points in 82 games. For some perspective, Gretzky had more assists in that season (163, or just about 2 per game) than the previous NHL scoring record-holder (Phil Esposito) had goals and assists. To be fair, the NHL in the 80s was kind of like the NBA in the 80s – that is to say, high scoring – and I’m trying to figure out what a good comparison would be. Jordan averaging 45ppg? Magic averaging 15 points and 20 assists per game? I don’t know, which is kind of the point of this story. It’s hard to find a comparison to how great Gretzky was, especially in that 85-86 season. – PAL
Source: “Assist by the Great One: How Wayne Gretzky redefined scoring in the NHL”, Colin Fleming, Sports Illustrated (12/02/2015)
TOB: I thought about Phil’s challenge for about 30 seconds before Steph Curry’s name popped into my head. And I spent much of the evening trying to formulate how I would make the argument that what Curry is doing as a shooter in basketball is equal to Gretzky’s prime as a scorer in hockey. Curry is shooting so many threes, at such a high rate, that the comparison is apt. But I wanted to find something to really make it stick. While trying to find an article to support my position, I had Sportscenter on in the background and heard Scott Van Pelt start talking about Curry. And he nailed it. I transcribed it, edited a bit for space:
“After our show last night a few of us were sitting in the office when something hit me: We’d done the highlight of the Warriors win, it’s 20 wins in a row to start the season; we’d shown the highlight where Steph scored 40 and we’d shown his latest monotone explanation about being more confident, and whatever else he said. And, here’s where I think we failed: We just acted like this is normal. Because this is what he’s done. Steph Curry has blinded us in short order to the fact that what he does on a nightly basis is completely out of order and outrageous.
An Ethan Strauss article on ESPN.com today began with a Klay Thompson quote: ‘This is normal. This is normal, now.’ Well, yes and no. Yes, this is what Curry does. But no, nothing about this guy is normal. He scored 28 points in a quarter. He had 14 points in the final 1:53 of the quarter on shots averaging almost 30 feet.
Tom Haberstroh had some insane stats on ESPN.com and on Sportscenter that framed the lunacy of Curry so very well. He’s 4 for 10 on shots of 30 feet or more this season. That’s legitimately his range. He’s gonna pull from a dribble over halfcourt sometime soon and I will expect it to go in. It will be effortless and it will be a reasonable shot for him to take. Haberstroh listed 17 NBA teams that have gone a combined 4 of 119 from 30 feet or more this season.
Another gem: Curry is on pace to make more 3’s over the course of last season and this one than Larry Bird had in his entire 13 year career. Larry Friggin Bird.
Whatever the volume of freakout is on Curry, it is still insufficient and it is not hyperbole. He’s the best shooter I’ve ever seen and it’s really not close. I want to make sure we do a better job of not being as nonchalant as he is about it. Because this is starting to feel like some once in a lifetime stuff, and acknowledging it, and appreciating it, as it happens is what ought to be done. So we will.”
Never Change, KG
Kevin Garnett is very nearly insane, and the stories are so damn entertaining. This is an anecdote by Jackie MacMullan, in a story about how KG is mentoring the young Timberwolves. It is set back in 2009, when KG was still with the Celtics. Coach Doc Rivers asked KG to sit out a practice, to give him some rest. Here’s what happened:
“Garnett, forbidden to take the floor by his own coach, had concocted his revenge: He would track the movements of power forward Leon Powe, the player who had replaced him in the lineup. As Powe pivoted, so did Garnett. As Powe leaped to grab a defensive rebound, Garnett launched himself to corral an imaginary ball. As Powe snapped an outlet pass, Garnett mimicked the motion, then sprinted up his slim sliver of sideline real estate as Powe filled the lane on the break. The players were mirror images: one on the court with a full complement of teammates, the other out of bounds, alone. Two men engaged in a bizarre basketball tango.
“KG,” Rivers barked, “if you keep doing this, I’m canceling practice for the whole team. That will hurt us.”
Garnett’s reverence for coaches was legendary, but still he turned his back on Rivers. He returned to his defensive stance, an isotope of intensity, crouched, palms outstretched, in complete concert with Powe. He was, in fact, becoming so adept at this warped dalliance he’d invented, he actually began to anticipate Powe’s movements, denying the entry pass to his invisible opponent before Powe thought of it.
Finally, an exasperated Rivers blew the whistle. “Go home,” Rivers instructed his team. Then he glared at Garnett. “I hope you’re happy.”
Hilarious. More KG stories, please. -TOB
Source: “Rookie Watch: The Cruel Tutelage of the Wolves’ Kevin Garnett”, Jackie MacMullan, ESPN.com (11/25/2015)
PAL: Just to be clear, this is not the endearing type of crazy. KG is crazy crazy, as in “ruin a career crazy”. Also – I know I’m in the minority on this, but I can’t help but think the picture of him sitting in front of Flip Saunders’ parking spot has a pinch of self-aggrandizement. Interesting read, to be sure, but what KG defines as leadership comes off as, well, a teenager’s misguided understanding of the concept.
Flip A Coin: The Sports Tradition Goes Way Back
The coin toss first shows up in a sport’s rulebook in 1774. No surprise here, it appears in a cricket rulebook. Many of us consider it a tradition that now carries little significance to the game it precedes, but this story outlines many instances where that was not the case. Sometimes it led to a rule change (Jerome Bettis, anyone?), and in other cases (the NBA Lottery) it likely changed a franchise’s destiny. Most interesting, however, is how important the coin toss remains in cricket (for now?). Fun read about something we hardly ever think about in sports. – PAL
Source: “Coin Toss Retains Its Place in History, if Not in Cricket”, Victor Mather, The New York Times (11/30/15)
Bench Celebrations Never Get Old
Monmouth’s basketball team is off to a good start. They got a win at UCLA, then beat #17 ranked Notre Dame and USC. They are 4-2 and were a on my radar a bit after those big wins. But now they’re really on my radar, thanks to this Deadspin article highlighting their bench celebration antics. My favorite has to be this one:
But click the link and watch the rest. These guys are having fun and not afraid to look silly. Isn’t this what college sports should be about? -TOB
Source: “Nobody in Sports is Having As Much Fun As the Monmouth Bench”, Patrick Redford, Deadspin (11/29/2015)
PAL: Would it be in poor taste to buy a keg and send it to the residence of where these perfect morons live in New Jersey? 100% love these goofballs.
Video of the Week:
PAL: Do any of our readers know this young lady? Asking for a friend.
PAL Song of the Week: Van Morrison – “Into The Mystic”. Dance with a loved one in the kitchen. Hold them tight, and don’t say a damn word.
Here’s the full playlist of all our picks. It’s all over the place, like you and me.
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