2018 World of Sports

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, National Sports,   From Issue 872   By: Richard Curry

20th December, 2018     0

In I Tonya the movie, Saginaw’s Paul Walter Hauser (my pastor’s brother) plays Tonya Harding’s body guard. The movie takes place in Detroit, Michigan for the 1994 US Figure Skating Championship.  I was there & I remember that it was cold as hell. Tonya won partly because Nancy Kerrigan got clubbed in the knee. I was staying 35 miles south of town for the event. My garage was closed for the night when I came out too late, so I had to take a cab back. My driver was from Afghanistan.  In the war with Russia he lost his wife, two daughters, mom, dad, and his grandparents.  He escaped with his two sons & he came to Detroit.  He was shot two different times on Jefferson Street.  He rose above it all, worked 24/7 and put his sons through U of M.

The Angels signed Shohei Ontani from Japan. He is 23, 203, 6’4” & a stud. In his first 2 weeks he has 7 hits, 3 HRs & .389 BA, pitching: 2-0, 18 K’s, & throws 103 mph. He only makes $2.25 million. Mike Trout made $34 million in 2018.  Show me the moneyClayton Kershaw $32 million, Justin Verlander $28 million, Max Scherzer $ 5 million, Zack Greinke $31 million, Lebron James $30 million, soccer God Critian Ronaldo $93 million a year. A ’52 Mickey Mantle card sold for $2.88 million. Ultimate at bat: Brandon Belt of the Giants saw 21 pitches from Jamie Barria-then struck out. QB money: in millions: Ryan 30, Cousins 28, Garoppolo 27, Stafford 27, Carr 25, & Brees 25.

The Philadelphia Eagles/Golden State Warriors wouldn’t go to the White House: screw them both. Warriors beat Cleveland 4 straight…boring. Washington beat Vegas four games to one (great hockey). Ovechkin waited 13 years (Yzerman waited 14). Ove was MVP. The Caps goalie Holtby was way great.  Coach Barry Trotz of the Caps did not resign (unreal) Barry did sign with Islanders & got a raise of 3 times what Washington was paying him. Jimmy Kimmel lost to Ted Cruz in basketball.  The US open 2018 was won by Brooks Koepka for the second year in a row (Woods didn’t even make the cut). The players said the course was too tough. OMG, shut up you sissies. Phil Mickelson acted like a spoiled child and 4 putted a green (what a dumb ass). Hubert Green died at 71. He won 19 times & 2 majors.

OMG: Cristiano Renaldo signed a soccer contract for $340 million for 4 years. In Tampa Jameis Winston, Buc QB, got a 3 game suspension for grabbing a woman Uber driver by the crotch (good he is not running for Supreme Court Justice). His replacement, a 35 year old Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in & goes nuts with success. Wins against New Orleans & the World Champion Eagles, 819 yards passing, 8 TDs. # 1 rated QB in the NFL (151.5). Now Jameis is being sued by the Uber driver, you go girl. 

New to the Hockey HOF (2018): Martin Brodeur, Marty St. Louis, Willie O’Ree, & Gary Bettman, I have met all four, all gentlemen.  The Red Wings hit the jackpot in the 2018 NHL draft: Filp Zadina, Joe Veleno, Jared McIsaac, & Johnathan Breggren. The draft tracker gave the Red Wings an A-plus and Tampa a C-minus). 

Unreal: Cleveland Brown coaching record (Hue Jackson): 1-29 as of 12/12/2017. The NFL extended Roger Goodell’s - contract:  $40 million a year, that would be $200 million for 5 years, (& a jet) no one is worth that amount. 

Oh happy days, Jack Morris & Alan Trammell are now into the baseball HOF.  Alan played short for 20 years (1918 games with Lou Whitaker), 2293 games, 185 homeruns, 1003 RBIs, 412 doubles, .285 BA, 1984 World Series MVP (.450 BA), .976 FA, 6 time All-star, 4 Gold Gloves, & 3 Silver Slugger Awards. Jack Morris: 18 years, 3824 innings, 254-186, 2,478 K’s, 3.90 ERA, 4 World Series rings, 175 complete games, 5 time All-Star, pitched a no-hitter (4-7-1984) & pitched a 10 inning 1-0 World Series shutout in a game seven at 37 years old. Sparky Anderson told me “If I want to win a big game, I’m starting Jack Morris.” 

NBC sports had to rain on the Morris parade by bringing up an incident from 1990 (27 years ago). A female reporter (Jennifer Frey) stuck a mic in front of Jack Morris after a shower in the locker room.  Jack said:  “I don’t talk to people when I’m naked, especially women. Unless they’re on top of me or I’m on top of them.” I did ask Ray Lane at a SCSHOF banquet “what was it like talking to Jack after a game, if he lost?” Ray, ”He wouldn’t talk to me”; what was it like when he won?”  Ray (with a pause) “He wouldn’t talk to me.”

2018 Baseball HOF class: Best speeches: Trevor Hoffman & Jack Morris (128 complete games) were great. Alan Trammel said Lou Whitaker belongs (together they had 1528 double plays in 19 years (all with the Tigers). 

2018 NHL Awards: MVP: Taylor Hall (this kid is great), Defenseman: Victor Hedman, Best Goalie: Pekka Rinne, Rookie: Matthew Barzal, Lady Byng: William Karlsson, Coach: Gerard Gallant, Defense Forward: Anze Kopitar, GM: George McPhee. NBA draft: #1: Deanre Ayton, #2: Marvin Bagley, #3: Luka Doncic, & #4: Jaren Jackson form MSU going to Memphis & he is only 18…show me the money $$$.  Tim Tebow playing AA ball for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies is hitting .273 with 6 HRs & 36 RBIs.  Looking back: Kirk Gibson hit a 540 foot home run out of Tiger stadium in 1985.

On the National Anthem the Virginia Tech basketball coach told his team with War Vets standing behind the players chairs, “You will stand for the anthem, respect it, and learn the words.” Thank you. Women’s basketball: there is Connecticut, then the rest. First round in women’s NCAA: Connecticut 140-St. Francis 52 (stupid), next U-Conn 94 USC (last year’s champ) 65—then (wth) U-Conn got beat by Notre Dame 91-9 (yeks), then Notre Dame won it all beating Miss. State on buzzer beater 61-58.  Back to Mens: UMBC (16) beat Virginia (1) 74-54 in men’s NCAA’s (never happened before). U of M run: beat Montana 61-47, Houston 64-63 (w/buzzer beater), Texas A&M 99-72, Florida State by 2 (made the final 4, they also did it in hockey), U of M 69 Loyola (w/nun) 57, Villianova 79 Michigan 62 (Michigan had the taste of the glory-then got killed). Frozen Four: Notre Dame 4 U of M 3-then Dame lost to Minn. Duluth 2-1 in final.

Red Wings/Pistons no playoffs in 2018. Bus crash in Sasatchewan killed 15-injuried 14 from the junior a Humbolt Broncos. Masters 2018: Patrick Reed -15, Rickey Fowler-14 (also hot girl friend of the day: Alexis Randock), Jordan Spieth -13 (came back 8 shots), Tiger Woods 2 (32nd place-he did win 4 million in 2018). Last year’s winner Sergio “Tin Cup” Garcia put 5 in the water on Hole 15. In a playoff hockey game during a fight, Brian Boyle of the Devils told Tampa’s Mikhail Sergachev, “I’m going to kill you.” Not good.   Goalie: Alex Lyon age 25, made 94 saves. It was the longest game in AHL history. His Lehigh Valley Phantoms beat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 in 5 over times. The game had 6,000 fans, ended with 300 @ 1:15 in the morning. Expansion hockey: 1974-75 Washington Capitals: 8-65-5, GF: 181, GA: 446, Ron Low: 5.45 GA & Murray Anderson got one point in 40 games. Update to the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights: 51-24-7, GF: 272, GA: 225, Andre Fleury: 29-13 -4, & GA: 2.24, the team was 12-3 in the 1st 3 rounds-overall record: 63-27-7.  Unreal. Show me the $$$$: LeBron James got $ 153.3 million for 4 years from the Lakers. Drew Doughty stayed with the LA. Kings for $88 million for 8 years (no agent). John Tavares (Islanders) jumped ship to Toronto for $77 million for 7 years.

American Ninja Warrior:  only two got to stage 3.  Drew Drechsel took home $100,000.00 Lions home opener: ass kicked 48-17 by the lowly Jets. Matt Stafford ($27 million dollar man) had 4 interceptions. Le Garrette Blount ran for minus 3 yards. US Tennis Open: Serena Williams lost her match and her mind arguing a call, 6-2 & 6-4. New golf stud: Bryson Dechambeau: won two Fed-X Tournaments. Keegan Bradley won the 3rd Fed-X tournament beating Justin Rose in a playoff. For the year Justin Thomas has won $8,400,000.00 & Bryson $8,000.000.00. 

Recent passings:  Zarley Zalapski (age 49), NHL Calgary defenseman. Tiger great Frank Lary passed at 87. A 12 year major league pitcher, his best year was 1961: 23-6, 3.32 era. Known as the Yankee killer: 28-13 vs Yankees in 56 starts.   B – World class sportscaster passed at 82. Born in Mt. Clemens and a CMU grad worked for 60 years in most every sport. He won 13 sports Emmy awards, awards from numerous HOFs, but above all he was loved by everyone he ever met. Johnny Bower (93) passed, Toronto goalie with 4 Stanley Cups.  Gene Conley (MLB-NBA), Babe Parilli (QB), Connie Hawkins -basketball great, Saginaw’s Craig Dill played with Connie on the 1968 Pittsburgh Pipers ABL championship team, and during that season Connie averaged 26.8 pts per game & Dill 6.8 (then Dill retired).

Al Luplow passed at 78. He was in the 1st SCSHOF class. Al was great at 3 sports in high school. On 6/27/1963 Gurt Gowdy said Al made the greatest catch in baseball history.  Dan Gurney (famous race car driver) passed at 87. Roy Halladay (2 time Cy Young winner), died in plane crash (morphine in his system) stupid…leaves wife & two boys.  He went to our church in Clearwater, Florida. Oscar Gamble 7 year major leaguer died at 68. I met the man-nice guy. Mike Ilitch’s son Ronald died of a drug overdose at 61. Rodger Bannister (1st – to break 4 min. mile) passed at 88. Rusty Staub passed at 73-6 time All-Star-3 yr Tiger-gave 17 million to firemen/police widows from his foundation. Coach Chuck Knox 86, Ed Charles (‘69 Mets), 84, Detroit Tiger Tito Francona, 84, & Keith Jackson - announcer, 89. Dwight Clark (famous 49’er Super Bowl catch) passed from ALS at 61.

President Trump, by the request of Sylvester Stallone, pardoned World Boxing Champion Jack Johnson, 72 years after his death. It is only the 3rd time in history that a Presidential pardon was issued. Jack Johnson was married to three different white women. Once jailed falsely for a year….. Way to go non-racist Trump. Angelique Kerber beat Serena Williams (recently with her 1st child) 6-3…6-3 to win the Wimbledon.   

College Basketball:  MSU opened the season at 15-1 (#1 ranking). My new top ten sports movies: The Natural, Rocky, Hoosiers, #9 Rocket, Raging Bull, League of Their Own, Titans, Pride of the Yankees, Secretariat, & Sandlot.  Detroit Pistons traded away the farm (& the future) for Blake Griffin. 

2018 Olympics: USA girls beat Canada in a shoot-out 3-2, not a good way to end a championship game. The Ferris State Bulldogs beat Northern State, SD 71-69 to win the div two national championships. The Saginaw girls Heritage Hawks won the State Class A Basketball Championship, beating East Lansing 57-36.

Nebraska beat Florida 3 matches to 1 in front of 18,000 fans to win the 2017 National Volleyball championship. Looking back:  Ted Lindsay made a comeback (7 years after leaving wings) with the 1964/65 Detroit Red Wings. After being traded to the Black Hawks, for trying to create a players union & 4 years away from the game, Ted returned home & led the Wings to a 1st place finish.  At 39 years of age, he scored: 14 goals, assisted on 14 & spent 173 minutes in the penalty box.  Ted added 3 more goals & 34 PM in the 1st round of the playoffs.  He is now 92 years old & works out with my friend 3 times a week. The NHL’s MVP trophy now honors his name.  Ted said when he began his NHL career “I had the idea that I should beat up every player I tangled with and nothing ever convinced me, it was not a good idea. I hated everyone on the Montreal Canadiens”. ‘Rocket’ Richard said, “Ted was our biggest problem not Gordie Howe” 

Tiger Woods played great at the TPC with a -11, but Webb Simpson was in at -18. Five years ago Tiger could have won any weekend, but today one of 20 golfers could. Tiger played well in the British Open, going minus 5 (tied for 6th), but an Italian won for the first time ever, Francesco Molinari (age 35), with a minus 8. Eddie Pepperell who tied Tiger, played hung over. Justin Thomas won the Bridgestone with a minus 15, and Tiger finished even & 31st place.  Gordie Howe was voted best ever Michigan athlete by the Detroit Free Press winning over Ty Cobb. Bruce Maxwell (A’s) knelt in protest of the National Anthem in 2017. He is now in the minors with the Nashville Sounds. He hit .182 with the A’s before being sent down. This is where the 6’1” 250 pounder belongs. J.T. Brown (Tampa Lightning) put up a fist during the anthem in a hockey game. Since then he has been on 2 different teams (47 games: 2 goals) see ya’. The NFL has no sound policy on the anthem-fans keep leaving.  

Jon Gruden signed $100 million dollar contract to coach Oakland-WOW. Detroit Lions dumped their coach after 3 years and he left a winner. NFL playoffs: Titans 22 Chiefs 21, Jaguars 10 Bills 3, Falcons 26 Rams 13, Saints 31 Cam Newton 26, Eagles 15 Falcons 10, New England 35 Titans 14  (Brady:35/53-337 yds, 3 TDs), Jaguars 45 Steelers 42 (Big Ben in loss: 37/58, 469 yds, 5 TDs), Minn 29 Saints 24, Tom Brady 24 Jags 20, Phil 38 Vikings 7 (Viking cruise),  Super Bowl: Eagles 41 New England 33: one awesome game…Nick Foles 28/43,373 pts,3 TDs….Tom Brady: 28/48, 3 TDs, 505 yards….Timberlake halftime show…boring.  

It took 635 days for the Cleveland Browns to win an NFL game.

Tiger Woods won the last FedEx Tournament and took home $4.7 million dollars.  Justin Rose won this year’s FedEx Tournament and took home $17.7 million dollars with Tiger Woods coming in second.

Saginaw Old Golds-Michigan Cup.   In the first game, Saginaw defeated the Lah De Dahs (2018 World Champs in Greenfield Village) 12-3, with Mike Endert going 4 for 4.  In Game 2, the Golds played and defeated the Flat Rock Bear Clan with John Piersall going 4 for 4.  In the final game, Saginaw trailed Bay City until Toby Larkin knocked out the winning run, winning 10-9 to give Saginaw this year’s Michigan Cup.  In the Championship Game, both Jon Smith & John Piersall were 4 for 4. The star of the weekend for Saginaw was John “Lumberjack” Piersall going 10-11, batting & pitching for all 3 games. This year’s team went into this tournament with a losing record. But with 5 of 12 players so injured they had to use runners after hits, tenaciousness, determination, and courage helped them go all the way.  This year was the 5th year the Old Golds have won the Michigan title; along with winning 5 World Titles in 11 years at Greenfield Village

Paulette and I once took Ed Litzenberger’s wife out to eat in Toronto during the time she had left her husband; I bought his ring.  They later got back together and stayed married till he died at age 78.  I sold the ring.  Bad idea.  He later won 3 more rings with the Leafs.  The Hockey HOF came to me for 5 years to authenticate their items.  Ed is the only player to 6 straight hockey titles: ’61, ’62, ’63, & ’64 Stanley Cups ’65 & ’66 Calder Cups.

Wayne Gretkzy rookie card sold for $465,000.

OMG: Football Game: Texas A&M 74 LSU 72…..Seven Overtimes.

Detroit Tigers: Hopeless.  2018 Record: 64-98….Finished 27 games behind Cleveland.  Saginaw Old Golds won their 5th Michigan Cup.  If it were not for one bad inning in the World Championship they would have been a 7-time World Champion at Greenfield.  Lions continue to suck as does their QB – Stafford (4-7).  Pistons are back (11-7).  Red Wings (10-11-3) respectable again: Athanasiou 10 G, Larkin 9, Mantha 9.


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