Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mad Max's Thoughts on The Ice Bowl

Good Friend of The Show Eric B. from the Sidney Crosby Spotlight hooked us up with two sweet links. The first story is from It covers Sid's appearance on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine which, by the way, hits newsstands tomorrow.
"Sidney Crosby exemplifies the combination of fitness and passion to which our readers aspire," said Men's Fitness editor-in-chief, Roy S. Johnson. "And he's the best hope for a sport that is in dire need of a star. If anyone can help hockey recover from its recent challenges, it's Sidney."
Indeed. I think he's already done the sport a world of good - considering that even my football loving parents will occasionally tune into a Pens game - especially if I'm in attendance - to watch Sid work his magic. (I don't know if I can convey how HUGE that is. They've never watched hockey before Sid, even though I've gone to dozens and dozens of games prior to his arrival in Pittsburgh.)

That's a lot of pressure for a 20 year old...

The second story Eric sent is from The Peru [Indiana] Tribune. Author Tom Davis takes yet another look at the Crosby v Lecavalier: Who's the best hockey player? battle. The two superstars are constantly compared to determine which man is the best player in hockey today. The problem that I have with the comparisons is that Lecavalier is seven years older than Sid, thus he has six more years of experience in the NHL (and one year in Russia, during the lockout). I always see sports journalists saying, "Sid will be better than Vinny." Okay then, a more accurate comparison would be made if Sid's current record would be compared to Lecavalier's record when he was 20 years old. Even the comparisons between Sid and Alexander Ovechkin make more sense, despite their 2 year age difference, because they entered the NHL in the same year, so they have the same number of years' experience. But the comparisons to Lecavalier seem ridiculous to me.

Don't get me wrong; Lecavalier is definitely one of the best hockey players in the league. But here is a little food for thought: Sid's point total for his rookie season was 102 in 81 games played, and his point total after his sophomore season last year was 120 in 79 games played. Lecavalier's point totals for his first and second seasons in the NHL were 28 points in 82 games played and 67 points in 80 games played. Enough said. You can weigh in and leave your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

Who's better? Who's best? Who cares!

Speaking of the Sidney Crosby Spotlight, while checking out his site, I noticed that Eric found this great article by Kevin Allen of USA Today talking about how Sidney has helped
"the Penguins plow through the league":
When Crosby scored that outdoor goal, it was if everyone suddenly remembered that this kid is going to own this sport for another two decades. He will beat you indoors or outdoors. He will beat you on a smooth sheet or rough ice. He will beat you with good or bad wingers. He will beat you when it snows. He will beat you when the wind blows. He will beat you like a rug. He will crush you like a bug.
The Seussical Allen goes on to list other reasons for the Pens' recent success - bumping Mark Recchi off the roster (and then the team) and starting Ty Conklin in goal, among other factors.

Another good Friend of The Show, Alex M. posted the link to this video of Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey talking about NBA megastar (the word "superstar" just isn't strong enough, haha) LeBron James's reaction to being compared to the Saint:

And finally today, I give you the inspiration for this post's title. I'm going to attempt to use the Google and the Yahoo! translation tools to figure out what Mad Max Talbot had to say about the 2008 Winter Classic. Between the two tools, I THINK I have a handle on what he's saying, but if any of our French-speaking Friends out there spot a mistake, feel free to post the correction in the comments section or shoot me a quick email. (Thanks to good Friend Mike H. for alerting me to Max's Winter Classic journal entry!)

Missed Appointment With Buffalo

My [high ankle sprain] injury not being healed, I missed the party outdoors in the football stadium of the Buffalo Bills on January 1st. It was a dream for me to take part in it, so there is no need to tell you that my disappointment was great.

I was really hoping to be able to take part in it. I worked very hard to be there and during my rehabilitation, I was anxious that I would not be able to be there. I started to relax when I realized officially and accepted foremost in my mind that I would not take part in it.

I had a glimpse of the experience by participating in the training the day before. It was super. Moreover, I am in the photograph of team. During the game, I was sitting near the players on the bench, so I felt like a part of this historical moment.

During the breaks, Marc-Andre [Fleury, also out due to his own high ankle sprain injury] and I bombarded the mascot of the Sabres with snowballs. [snoop: I personally did not see this happening. If I had, I definitely would have taken a picture or tried to get a video of it.]

Max (l.) and MAF (r.) take a break from torturing Sabretooth at the Winter Classic.

If it had snowed a bit less, it would have been perfect weather. I do not believe that the players were cold. Certain odd things occurred, in particular when shots were stopping on the ice. It was rather amusing to see Sidney Crosby losing the puck in snow.

The crowd was so involved in the spectacle. The guys told me that they were impressed by the fireworks and the flyover of the four large [blackhawk] helicopters before the meeting. It was a unique event.

I think that there will be possibly other games played outside. As [the] Penguins are very popular, I would not be surprised if we were invited to take part in more of them. I know that there are five or six interested cities, including Montreal. I also know that Penguins would like to play Heinz Field, the Steelers' home stadium.
Another Penguins outdoor game?! If it comes to fruition, whether it's at Heinz Field or at Beaver Stadium, I AM SO THERE, MAX!!! :)

Big thanks go out to our GOOD FRIENDS who sent me the links that made today's post possible!!!

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