Just like that, I don’t hate Sidney Crosby anymore

I’ve never been a fan of Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby. I’d like to say I have reasons, but the truth is I just don’t like him.

My Sidney Crosby hating days are now over. What made me change my ways? It was the Pittsburgh Penguins at the New York Rangers game played Wednesday, January 2, 2019. The Penguins won the game 7-2, but that’s not what made me finally stop hating on Crosby. No, it was something Crosby did immediately after the game.

Rangers fan Nick Lipeika was in attendance sitting next to the penalty box and he was insulting Crosby all game long. Nothing mean-spirited, just good-natured chirps. I don’t know everything this fan said, but from what I’ve read, they were quite funny. For example, from ESPN:

“Hey Crosby, when Gatorade wanted a tough guy, Justin Bieber turned them down so they settled for you.”

“Hey Crosby, you were voted third-toughest Canadian, behind Celine Dion and a close second to Avril Lavigne.”

What Sidney Crosby did

How did Sidney Crosby, the man I’ve disliked since the Penguins drafted him and he entered the league in 2005 all of a sudden become such a model human being? By being a good sport and sending a personally autographed game-played hockey stick to Lipeika.

(Photo @marcus_mouning)

How can anyone hate Sidney Crosby after something like this? The normal thing to do was to just ignore Lipeika both during and after the game. He also could have signed the stick with a message telling Lipeika to look at the scoreboard. Instead, he wins in a blowout and signs the stick asking Lipeika to “take it easy on me next time.”

Sidney Crosby is a total class act.

I also have a lot of respect for Nick Lipeika

Nick Lipeika (Photo @marcus_mouning)

I have respect for Nick Lipeika. His beloved Rangers were getting blown out at home and he stayed for the entire game. Only a real fan does that.

Compare that to Washington Capitals fans who left early during Game Four of the 1998 Stanley Cup Final when it was apparent the Caps were going to lose the game and the series to the Detroit Red Wings.  Real fans would have stayed to support their team, win or lose. They had a great season and brought the fans a lot of enjoyment. How do they respond when it’s clear the Caps will not be Stanley Cup champions?

By getting the hell out of Dodge. They left the Caps to endure the spectacle of losing the Stanly Cup on their home ice alone and without fan support.

Kudos to Sidney Crosby and Kudos to Nick Lipeika.

Seattle is getting an NHL team for the 2021-22 season

Seattle, the city famous for its burnt coffee, rain, and the home of Frasier and Niles Crane, is getting a National Hockey League team. Unlike cities that steal teams from Canada, Seattle is getting an expansion team. This from Gary Bettman, the longtime commissioner of the NHL:

Today is an exciting and historic day for our league as we expand to one of North America’s most innovative, beautiful and fastest-growing cities. And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL.

If Seattle is so great, why did the NBA leave it for Oklahoma City?

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The Settle SuperSonics (Photo: NBC Sports)

What I find funny about this announcement is if Seattle is such a great place for a professional sports team to be, why did the NBA want to leave? The SuperSonics wanted out of Seattle so badly, they paid the city $45 million to move to Oklahoma City before the 2008-09 NBA season. Who would rather live in Oklahoma than Washington? The franchise then renamed itself after an AC/DC song. They not only wanted out of Seattle, but they also wanted to distance themselves from their own name.

The NBA can be really stupid sometimes

I think the NBA and team owners were stupid to leave Seattle. They should have stayed in Seattle. They should have retained the team’s name. The SuperSonics had a history.

Seattle is a great sports city. The NFL’s Seahawks seem to always sell out and they’re the only team in the league that considers their fans the 12th man. The soccer team, the Seattle Sounders FC, has a great fan base, one of the best in MLS.

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Ken Griffey Jr. (Photo: SB Nation)

I don’t know about the Seattle Mariners. Like most normal people, I haven’t watched a Mariners game since Ken Griffey Jr. left the team. I don’t even know if the Mariners are shown on MLB.TV. They may be blacked out for everyone’s best interest. Then again, they show Baltimore Orioles games. If they don’t blackout Orioles games, they won’t black out any bad team.

I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with Gary Bettman: a team in Seattle is good for the NHL. It will help promote the league in Asia. It will also help teams and their fans on the West Coast. They’ll have one more team in their own time zone to play. It means easier travel for teams on the West Coast as they’ll have one more team in their own backyard relatively speaking. It also means their fans won’t have to stay up late to watch their team play.

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer

I signed up for NHL.TV again. Unlike past seasons, this time I chose the monthly plan. I’ll end up paying more for the 2018-19 season as a whole, but this gives me the flexibility to cancel before the 19th of each month. This ability will come in handy if I find myself not watching it, something I’ve been known to do when it comes to paid streaming services.

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This is what normal human beings pay. I am not normal.

I’m paying $16.24 a month for NHL.TV compared to the $24.99 normal human beings pay. They gave me a discount because I’m a veteran and I signed up with ID.me, a free service that confirms a person’s military service and then provides a way of getting discounts with various vendors. It’s one of the few perks I get serving close to ten years in the Air Force. That, and a VA loan.

Blackouts are terrible and should be outlawed

NHL.TV blackouts are stupid, un-American, and anti-consumer - Bent Corner

One of the drawbacks of NHL.TV is you cannot watch live games in your geographic location. That means I cannot watch live Washington Capitals games. Thanks to the NHL’s blackout rules, I have to wait a whopping 48 hours to watch a Caps game. To get around this issue, I could get a subscription to Yonder. It allows you to change your geographical location to get around those pesky blackout rules. The only problem is I have a Roku connected to the living room TV and Roku is the only streaming device that doesn’t work with Yonder.

Blackouts are stupid and un-American. I’m paying for a premium service albeit at a discounted price. I should be able to enjoy all the premium service I’m paying for. I don’t even get the TV channel Washington Capitals games are normally shown on. Even though I pay Dish extra to get local channels, the local sports channels are not included. It get access to the local sports channels, I have to pay for a national sports package filled with channels I don’t want and would never watch.

Cable and satellite will soon join Toys R Us in the ash heap of history

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Eventually, we will all get our TV programming from streaming services. The current system is dusty and antiquated. The cable and satellite providers insist on bundling channels together, making consumers pay more for the product they really want. It would be like going to the store because you wanted to buy a new shirt. To get the shirt in the size you need, you’re told you have to buy not only the shirt, but a pair of pants, a pair of shoes, a tie, and a pair of socks. You can only buy the shirt in a bundle. When you try to explain to the store clerk the pants, shoes, and socks aren’t the correct size and you don’t wear ties, you’re told unfortunately they don’t sell shirts individually.

You walk out of the store with the shirt you need, but also with pants, socks, shoes, and a tie you don’t want or need.

Most if not all TVs sold today are so-called smart TVs. That just means you can watch streaming services on them without having to use an external streaming device like a Roku. I’ve never understood how that makes a TV smart. I can remember when you could buy 19″ CRT TVs with a built-in VCR. I don’t remember anyone calling those smart TVs. The thing is, those were just as smart as today’s crop of smart TVs.

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An old-school TV with a built-in VCR.

The point is, TVs today and in the future are built to stream. Eventually, they won’t even have a coax input connector protruding out the back. For me, that day cannot come soon enough.

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ alternate jersey is awesome

The Columbus Blue Jackets are using an alternate jersey for the 2018-19 season that is far superior to their regular jersey. They’re not alone. Most alternate jerseys are better than the standard jerseys in the National Hockey League.

I’m not even a Blue Jackets fan, but I’d love to own one of these. I think if I won the lottery, I would get a bunch of authentic NHL jerseys with my name stitched on the back. My chances at winning the lottery are not very good since I don’t buy lottery tickets. I think I read somewhere to win the lottery, you have to buy a lottery ticket.

Me, the day after winning the lottery.

The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions

The Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Medieval Times Golden Knights last night 4-3 to win the Stanley Cup in five games. It’s the first Stanley Cup for the Caps. The team was established in 1974-75. It’s taken them 34 years to win the Stanley Cup.

Las Vegas Medival Times Golden Knights were established in 2017-18. At least that is when they first pranced on to the ice and began playing hockey in the NHL. Yes, they went to the Stanley Cup their first season in the league.

I hate the Las Vegas Golden Knights

With all sports, there are teams I like, teams I feel indifferent towards, and teams I hate with the intensity of a thousand suns. The Golden Knights fall into the latter category. I hate them because of their stupid pregame shows that feature costumes and special effects. I also hate them because of their fans.

Golden Knights fans are the walking, breathing definition of bandwagon fans. They either never watched hockey before the 2017-18 season or they ditched their former favorite NFL team and latched onto the Golden Knights. Now that their season is over, they can go back to their jobs polishing slot machines or scraping gum off the floor of the gentlemen’s club.

I’m sure that’s all that is. Gum.

I hate the Golden Knights so much that if they returned to the Stanley Cup next year to play the Pittsburgh Penguins, I’d root for the Penguins.

Alexander Ovechkin named Stanley Cup MVP

Capitals’ captain and Russian Alexander Ovechkin was named the Stanley Cups MVP. He scored 15 goals in the postseason, making him the fifth player in the last 25 years to do so.  He’s also the first Russian team captain to win the Stanley Cup. Being that he’s Russian, he probably also helped get Donald Trump elected.

I’ve watched the Capitals since moving to Western Maryland in 1994. I’ve seen them play in at least 18 different uniforms. I guess winning the Stanley Cup in the current uniform means they won’t have to change this one any time soon.

Speaking of uniforms, this is the first year they’ve worn jerseys made by Adidas. The NHL switched from Rebook to Adidas beginning this 2017-18 season. I guess that’s all it took to break the 34-year Stanley Cup drought, a jersey made by a proper athletic clothing maker.

Washington Capitals and Las Vegas Golden Knights tied 1-1

The Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 last night to even the series at one win each.

I didn’t even know the game was on last night. It’s harder and harder to watch hockey when I can’t watch it on my NHL.tv streaming account.  I’m not used to watching games in real time. The Stanley Cup Final games float from one channel to another.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals:

  • Game 3 at Washington Saturday, June 2 – NBCSN
  • Game 4 at Washington Monday, June 4 – NBC
  • Game 5 at Las Vegas Thursday, June 7 – NBC
  • Game 6 at Washington Sunday, June 10 – NBC
  • Game 7 at Las Vegas Wednesday, June 13 – NBC

So after Game 3, the rest of the games will be on the regular NBC channel. That makes it easier. We only get NBCSN by streaming it, logged into it with my mother-in-law’s cable TV account. To get it on Dish Network, we have to pay for a bunch of other channels we don’t want. I’ve grown to really hate Dish Network.

After watching Game 1, I hate the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The pre-game show they put on was embarrassing to watch. It looked like something you’d see at a Medieval Times dinner show if you went to something like that. I would never go there. If you ever see me at Medieval Times eating a turkey leg and watching two guys pretend to knight fight, do me a favor and shoot me in the head. It’s not me. It’s probably a robot from the future pretending to be me.

I also hate the Golden Knights because of their fans. They are the epidemy of bandwagon fans. The team didn’t even exist until this season. The Golden Knights are an expansion team. That means every Golden Knights fan either never watched NHL hockey before this year and had a team they followed, or they ditched their favorite NHL team and latched on to this one.

Lifelong Golden Knights fans.

A Golden Knights fan doesn’t know what it’s like to experience the bad times. For them, it’s all been good. How do you establish an emotional bond with a team without the shared suffering? For them, it’s been nothing but good times. Good times at Medieval Times.

And what is a Golden Knight? It sounds like a prissy knight who probably avoids fighting other knights because they don’t want to mess up their fancy golden armor. Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather root for the knight with the banged up armor, stained and rusted from the blood of his enemies.