Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A little sports talk (B's are Stanley Cup Champs)

As Wednesday arrived, the Red Sox are still the best in all of the American League and still on top in the AL East, but the lead has shrunk just a bit, by one game.  (Edited Wed night:  Boston held on to its position as AL best with a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay Wed. night.)   Philadelphia (Edited Wed afternoon:  The Phillies won again today, beating Florida 8-1.) now has the best record in both leagues.

When this day is over, a new Stanley Cup Champion will have been named in NHL hockey.  (Edited Thurs. AM:  And that Champion is the Boston Bruins.  They beat the Vancouver Canucks 4 to 0 in Vancouver last night.)  It's the final game of the year and it's between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks being played in Vancouver.  It would be great if the Bruins win, but I must admit I won't see any of the game.  In fact, I don't normally watch two of New England favorite sports, the Bruins being one and the Celtics being the other.

My problem with hockey is the speed of the puck on the ice.  I also don't like what I think are cheap hits that go unpunished and with those that do get mild punishment.  Hockey on ice officials simply can't see enough to make good calls.  Too many times they catch something out of the corner of their eye and turn to look in time to see the retaliation. 

Reads like I'm knocking the refs, doesn't it?  That's not my intention.  I have been a sports official (baseball and swimming) in my other life and understand the difficulty of officiating.  It's a whole lot easier to make a call from a distance sometimes than when one is just a couple feet away from the official.  It always amazes me just how more often an umpire is correct than wrong in a close call.  And most of the time when the replay shows a bad call, that call was really rather obvious from afar.

I really like it when officiating crews get together, mostly in the youth and college sports, to discuss a call to do their best to be sure the call was correct.  National Football League officials do that frequently, also.  Speaking of the NFL, when both a college game and an NFL football game are on at the same time, the college game (especially if it's the Gators) wins out.

Usually it is the officiating that causes me to turn away from NBA games.  I absolutely do not understand the pro basketball rules.  Obvious charges, pushes, shoves, interferences, hits, etc., are left alone while a slight touch of a hand check gets a foul.  And where else can a player required to dribble a ball to move start at the half court line, pick up the ball, run to the basket, and get away with it?  Or take four or five little steps (without the pivot foot being planted) while under a basket.  I rarely watch pro basketball.

Now that doesn't mean I don't like basketball.  You've read here for a long time how much I look forward to the great high school tournaments we see on the tube each February.  I continue to watch nearly all the games in youth league (Little League, for example), high school, and colleges that get broadcast.  I don't watch soccer and a couple other sports, either, but not because they're dull; I simply haven't studied them enough to really know what's going on.

I didn't watch the Bruins last night, but I am happy  they came home from Vancouver with the Cup.  Congratulations to the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins!


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