Sunday, January 27, 2008

What's in a Name?

My last two blog posts started off with Steve Nash. Nash is in the news again. 14 points and 7 assists as Phoenix beat Chicago 88-77. But the better Nash on this day was Rick Nash. He had a hat trick in the NHL All-Star Game game. It was 8-7 for the East over the West. Rick Nash was on the West representing Columbus. The Sabres' Brian Campbell was a shining star as well with one goal and two assists for the East. Last year the Sabres' Daniel Briere was the MVP of the hockey game with five points. Some of the unique names playing in the game this year included:
Zdeno, Anze, Kimmo and Ilya. Those are all first names. Best funny last name: Getzlaf - or "Gets Laughs." Ryan is flyin' for the Anaheim Ducks! He has career-high point streak at 15 games and his next point will give him a career-best 59 points. He's got 29 games left to do it...

One of the best names in basketball is Hedo Turkoglu. He hails from Turkey and nailed a 3-pointer with time expiring to lift the Orlando Magic to a 96-93 victory over the Celtics today.

Spindrift sounds like something your washing machine or snowmobile would do...but that is actually the first name of this week's Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd" high school video face. Swimming is Spindrift's sport and her favorite TV show is "Lost." My daughter and I cannot wait for the 2-hour season premiere this Thursday night at 8:00 pm! Evangeline Lilly plays Kate and it is so cool that her bio on the ABC website actually mentions our city of Kelowna, BC.

No one creates quite as much hype (see previous post) as Oprah! Interesting to note we share four of five letters in our first I think it is safe to say Oprah and I are on a first name basis:)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Living Up To The HYPE!

Just like last time, I am going to start off with Steve Nash. He is the best passer in the NBA and had 16 assists last night against Minnesota. But the league's worst team beat the Suns, who have the third-best winning percentage in the NBA, 117-107. The league's best team, Boston, lost to Toronto, 114-112. Jose Calderon completed a game-winning three-point play with 10.5 seconds left and finished with 24 points and 13 assists. He is the #6 ranked player when it comes to assists for the season.

What those scores indicate is that old sports cliche:
On any given day any team is capable of beating another team.
You will find that cliche, along with many others, here. I just did a search for hype and got: The sports cliches are swirling in the week of hype before the Super Bowl. Here's a sample of stuff that came out of Atlanta (January 28, 2000; NFL Insider):
"Our offensive line is quick and plays with finesse," says Ram quarterback Kurt Warner. "So I think that helps us to match up well with them."
"A lot of teams seem to play him (Warner) kind of tentative, kind of soft," Tennessee defensive end Henry Ford says. "That's not our mentality. We're not going to change what we do just because we're playing the Rams."
Adds Titans defensive tackle Josh Evans, "This is the Super Bowl. Everything will go up another level."

The "Winter Classic" hockey game in Buffalo lived up to all the hype on NBC-TV and CBC in Canada on New Years Day! Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout to win it for Pittsburgh over Buffalo, 2-1. It was the first ever outdoor game for the NHL in the US! The openings I voiced for MSG-TV December 28, 29th and January 4th added to the hype (I hope). We even used that word in the first script! This is some amazing footage - especially the third intro! A few cliches are thrown in for good measure:) Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

4444cast 4 Phoenix

Tonight, Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-105. Nash slashed and dashed for 37 points and passed out ten assists. Two years ago today on January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points for the LA Lakers against the Toronto Raptors. It is the second highest single-game point total in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain's 100 over 40 years ago.

The Phoenix Coyotes hosted the Sabres yesterday and we lost 6-2. Another one of my favorite players is Shane Doan. He was the first star in the game. As team captain, he also extended his career-best points streak to 11 games.

Phoenix hosts Super Bowl 42 in a couple of weeks. Will New England go through the whole season undefeated? Yes is my answer. Let me be the first voiceover person you know to predict the outcome. I'll say 30-20 for the Pats over the Giants. Feel free to leave a prediction here:)

Earlier this month, I mentioned that Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings became the second-oldest player in NHL history at 45 years and 348 days when the Wings hosted the Colorado Avalanche. Well, when the Giants' Jeff Feagles appears in the Super Bowl, he will be the oldest participant ever at 41 years, 335 days. The previous oldest was another punter, Mike Horan, at 40 years, 363 days. Feagles began his career with the Patriots in 1988. I found that tidbit at the NFL site under XLII facts about Super Bowl XLII. Horan ended his career by winning the Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in 2000. I celebrated their victory - just like my main contact with the Buffalo Sabres, Matt Gould. He was a big fan of the Rams too!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fine 4444orm!

Yesterday, the Sabres slaughtered the Thrashers of Atlanta 10-1!! Click here for the wrap up of the game and a photo of a smiling #9, Derek Roy. He had three goals last night just like Drew Stafford. Roy was #5 in team scoring last season and is up to #2 this year, trailing only Jason Pominville, who was a notch ahead of him last year too at #4.

Unfortunately tonight, the Sabres came back down to earth - losing 4-2 in Toronto - but I don't really want to advertise that fact.

Yours truly is now advertising his business as a walking (skating?) billboard...Sometimes we just need to think outside the (penalty) box...

I had my company name put on two hockey jerseys and even put #9 on one. It is not for the Sabres' Derek Roy but the St. Louis Blues' Paul Kariya, as it is a Blues jersey I have owned for several years. It is Paul's first year on the Blues and he is leading the way by example!

One year ago today, the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Sabres. Our opener on MSG-TV could be considered a bit of a blooper as we promoted all-star Roberto Luongo - but he got a rare night off. Danny Sabourin played well for Luongo that night - and TONIGHT again. Sabourin shutout Montreal 2-0 as he was between the pipes for Pittsburgh. So look for Sabourin to be playing again on January 19, 2009...Some things are just meant to be...

This includes the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. February 12 - 28 are the dates. The Canadian Olympic Hockey team should be led by Roberto Luongo in net and I'm crossing my fingers for Vancouver-born Paul Kariya to get a shot too...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

4444ork in the ROAD

My Sabres opener went like this tonight on MSG-TV at MSG in the Big Apple: It’s been a while. In fact...the Sabres haven’t won a game since Santa made his rounds in December. But Buffalo isn’t the only team starving for a win.
The Rangers have hit bottom in the Atlantic...losing six of their last seven.
It’s Buffalo’s first glimpse of the Garden...and their former captain this season. Rangers...Sabres...NEXT on MSG!

Well, I am sorry to say the Sabres came out on the short end of the stick again: 2-1 win for the Rangers. New York jumped from 10th place to eighth in the East with the win, five points in front of Buffalo.
Don't worry...we'll catch up soon enough:)

Even more surprising lately at MSG (Madison Square Garden) is the play of the New York Knicks. The laughing stock of the NBA beat Detroit Sunday, 89-65, and Washington yesterday, 105-93. Tonight the Knicks won on the road in New Jersey, 111-105. Still, the Knicks record for the season is only 12-26.

Last night I enjoyed watching an old-timer light it up against Canada's Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. 38-year-old Sam Cassell scored 32 points against Phoenix as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Suns 97-90. The Clippers' history started in Buffalo in 1970. Back to Nash. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but grew up near here in Victoria B.C. In this week's Sports Illustrated Players NBA Poll, the question was:
Which player on an opposing team would you most like to play with?
Congrats to Nash! He came out on top at 31 percent. Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets finished second at 17 percent. Then it was Kevin Garnett of the Celtics and LeBron James of the Cavaliers tied at 9 percent. Ralph Hass does not appear on that list for some reason...??
Oh yeah, because I focus on football as a quarterback in Seattle...
False advertising?
Yes, you do need to look at all the fine print...
And please, don't hassle me about the Sabres...
I will support my team through thick and thin, snow or rain, '07 or '08...
I'm not one of those "bandwagon jumpers"...or bungee jumpers...

Monday, January 14, 2008

4444tune teller

I thought I was done with the four theme I had on 4 straight posts last month starting with Un4444gettable and ending with 4444 Sure! But here we are on the 14th and the Sabres have 44 points after 43 games. It is time for our 4444tunes to turn around! Enough of this "Close, but no cigar" stuff. We have lost three straight games in shootouts! We play the Rangers on Wednesday and I want to see the Sabres smoke them! Our highest paid player, Thomas Vanek, turns 24 on Saturday. Don't wait until the Toronto game that night to light it up Tommy!

My Mom celebrates a birthday on January 17th, while today a voiceover colleague and excellent hockey blogger celebrates his. Gary Kriebel runs Old Dominion Productions and is known as Gustafsson at the On Frozen Blog site. It is focused on the Washington Capitals. A recent post there took a shot at the media in Toronto. All Sabres fans are okay with that! Only the Tampa Bay Lightning and the LA Kings have fewer points than the Leafs right now. A recent call-up by the Leafs is 21-year-old goalie, Justin Pogge. His hockey roots are in this area. Pogge led Team Canada to a 5-0 win over Team Russia to win the gold medal at the world junior hockey championship two years ago and was MVP of the tournament.

The local rock station in Kelowna has a pretty awesome "Rocky Hockey Weekend" promotion going on and just for fun I sent the program director a couple of liners they could mix and use if they so choose:) Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thank you Juniors!...and seniors

This past Saturday, Canada beat Sweden 3-2 in the gold medal game of the world junior hockey championship. That makes four straight gold medals!

Eight members of Team Canada were from the Western Hockey League - including the Kelowna Rockets' Luke Schenn. Much like Roberto Luongo gets serenaded by chants of "LLLLOOOOUUUU" for the Vancouver Canucks, Luke will hear the loud and proud "LLLLUUUKKKKe" cheers from Kelowna fans tonight when the Chilliwack Bruins are in town. The Western Hockey League and the Rockets have sent a lot of talent on to the NHL! Read the details here.

I am proud to be doing TV voiceovers for WHL games on Shaw-TV this season. You can see some of the recent footage here.

Last night, the Detroit Red Wings' Chris Chelios became the second-oldest player in NHL history at 45 years and 348 days when the Wings hosted the Colorado Avalanche. 1,587 games in 23 ½ NHL seasons for Chelios!
But, Wings legend Gordie Howe holds the distinction of being the oldest player in league history, having played his final game on April 6, 1980. Howe was 52 years and six days at the time. "Mr. Hockey" is currently part of the ownership group of the Vancouver Giants.

Thursday, January 03, 2008