Monday, August 07, 2006

Great & Not So Great Long Weekend

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

The last long weekend of what we know as summer up here wrapped up today - and it was a great one...but that is not a story for here.

For those of you who haven't been here before, Monday night entries take a look back at the week or so that was in the world of sports, highlighting some of the more notable performances. To those who have risen above the rest, we award them with an honourary "Hazie" - the lucky few have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. On the flip side, there are the special few who make news for the wrong reasons - they get tagged with the "not so heroic" label. While Hazel hasn't officially approved this week's winners and "runners up", we'd like to think she would give her trademark smile and thumbs up.


The NFL welcomed six new members this past weekend, and as it should always be, two former Dallas Cowboys were part of the festivities. While Hall of Fame inductions normally start a debate about whether or not a person is "worthy" - this year's inductees all have solid cases.

Troy Aikman - the number 1 or 1A quarterback in Dallas Cowboys' history. He was the QB of the 90's - taking a team that was 1-15 to three Super Bowl victories. He was often overshadowed by Emmitt Smith, and to some extent Michael Irvin, but he was one of the best of his generation. The Hall welcomes one of the classier players to step on an NFL field.

Rayfield Wright - one of the key members of the great Dallas teams of the 70's. He went up against a number legendary defensive ends and won more than his share of battles with them. A member of Dallas' ring of fame in Irving, TX.

Warren Moon - Hazel has to like this one. Canadian football fans remember Moon as the QB for the great Edmonton teams of the early 80's (though Hazel was a kid back then). If you combined Moon's CFL and NFL stats - he passed for over 70,000 yards. New England football fans will hate this - but Moon was better up here than Flutie.

John Madden - BAM! When I first heard about Madden, I thought it was as much for his work in the booth than his coaching record. While often criticized for being a master at stating the obvious - Madden revolutionalized broadcasting in the NFL. A closer look shows that Madden had the highest winning percentage for coaches with over 100 victories. Oh yeah, his EA Sports games are good too.

Reggie White - the Minister of Defence. He played for two teams I hate - the Eagles and the Packers...a great player though. I will remember how he so eloquently told the world about how "those Asians...they can turn transistor radios into big screen TVs."

Harry Carson - the heart and soul of the Giants' teams of the 80's...given that he played for the Giants, I can't say too much. Good for him though, he was actually one Giants' player I didn't hate.

Hazel's pal, Orlando "the O-Dawg" Hudson was named the National League Player of the Week. Hudson hit .435, with 2 HRs and 10 RBI, with a slugging percentage of .935. For those of you in Canada, you'll remember that the O-Dawg finished out the 2004 as host of JZone when Hazel left for NESN.

What would a Monday entry be without mention of another one of Hazel's pals? David Ortiz was a co-winner of the American League Player of the Week. Big Papi hit .370, with 5 HRs and 8 RBI, with a slugging percentage of 1.000. For good measure he had his 5th walk-off hit of the season. Ortiz became the third Red Sox player to have three 40 HR seasons, and the first to do it three years in a row. One last thing - he was the American League Player of the Month...can you say MVP?

Travis Hafner was the other winner. Hafner hit .385 with 4 HRs and 9 RBI, with a slugging percentage of .962. If I don't sound too excited about Hafner's award - it was because he screwed one of my Pro-line tickets last week.

Two of Hazel's pals win PoW - shall we discuss Hazel Karma again? I guess it pays to be one of Hazel's buddies.

Other notable performances this past week were turned in by Greg Maddux of the Los Angeles Dodgers who threw a no-hitter for six innings against the Reds last week; and Canadian Adam Loewen limited the Yankees to 1 hit and no runs over 6.1 innings last Saturday.


Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis spoke out today for the first time. Landis was critical of Tour de France officials and the doping labs, and went on to backtrack on all the excuses initially put forth in his defence, blaming his lawyers and anyone else he had spoken to. Fear not American cycling fans - all 73 of you - Floyd vows that he will fight to clear his name.

England's Wayne Rooney stepped in it again last week. Rooney was shown ANOTHER red card for a challenge on F.C. Porto defender Pepe Ferreira. Imagine that, Rooney getting shown a red card in a game against a Portuguese team, and Manchester United Coach Sir Alex Ferguson dismissing it by saying "The defender made a meal of it..."

One of my best friend's father used to say to us "Go in peace - but for Christ's sakes just go." I hope Red Sox Nation will join me in passing along that nugget of wisdom to Baltimore Orioles' DH Kevin Millar. The Boston Globe reported last week that after the Javy Lopez trade was announced, Millar called Sox Manager Terry Francona to tell him that Lopez was really looking forward to going to Boston. If Millar concentrated a little more on his game, and a little less on what is going on in Boston...he might actually get back to what he was - a pretty decent hitter. Kevin, dude, they cut you loose - move on...the Red Sox have.

Controversy in the Hazelspeeps Fantasy Baseball Pool. My pal (I think it might now be "former pal") Renee announced last week that she was abandoning her team and the group (for a few weeks - possibly permanently) after yours truly questioned a trade she made with cellar-dweller Irish - and asked the Commissioner to keep an eye out for subsequent lop-sided trades being made by Irish. While I think she took my comment out of context, it is her perogative to leave her team be. As a result of her announcement, I have decided that Hazel Mae's Hackers will make no further moves this year...the team stays as is, for better or worse.

In her flamboyant, pull no punches, style - Renee announced her exit from the league thanking the group and bitch-slapping me. Ya just gotta love her sometimes.

For those of you keeping track - standings for the week ending August 6th.

83.0 - The Bronx Zoo - owned by Sparky.

70.0 - Shuggysux - owned by Pogue (the other Pogue).

63.0 - Hazel Mae's Hackers - owned by El Presidente (me).

59.0 - Naughty Girls - owned by Renee.

56.0 - Tom Sawyer - owned by Hubie.

54.0 - Tina's Team - owned by Tina.

52.5 - GB Steam Boys - owned by George.

43.5 - Banana Peels - owned by the Golden Banana.

42.0 - Fighting Bobcats - owned by Commish Drisc.

27.0 - Leprachauns - owned by Irish.

There you have it gang. That's about it for tonight - have a great one peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are "groovier" in your world than they are in the baseball pool these days.

Song of the day on Hazelspeeps -

The Grass Is Green - Nelly Furtado

Peesth Out...Buh Bye.


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