Sports Outside the Beltway

Hockey fan buys dressing room toilet for $5,300

I’ve heard the people in Toronto are nuts about the NHL, now I believe it.

If the NHL decides to flush the rest of the season, Toronto Maple Leafs fan Jim Vigmond is ready.

The Ontario lawyer purchased a toilet from the home dressing room of Maple Leaf Gardens for $5,300 at an auction, according to the Toronto Star.

Vigmond had been trying to score a 1967 Stanley Cup banner but he said the bidding became too steep, so he went for the toilet. And he was willing to go as high as $10,000 on the commode, which his friends thought was a little out there.

“They thought I had money to burn, and surely there was something that I could have better spent my money on,” he said, according to the newspaper.


Maple Leaf Gardens was home to the Leafs from 1931-99. More than 100 items from the arena were up for auction. Vacant for several years after the Leafs left for the Air Canada Centre, the Gardens was recently converted into a small arena for nearby Ryerson University and a grocery store.

Vigmond told the Star that the toilet will go in his sports memorabilia room. He’d like to sit on it, light a Cuban cigar, drink some single-malt scotch and watch a Leafs game, if the season doesn’t go down the drain.- ESPN

As it stands, I don’t expect an NHL game to be played between now and December 31st 2012. The player lockout imposed by team owners is over two months old and no resolution is in sight at present.


Waffle throwing fan banned from Toronto Maple Leaf games

Were they with or without syrup?

A frustrated Toronto Maple Leafs fan who threw waffles on the ice at the Air Canada Centre will have to admire his team from afar.

Joseph Robb was charged with criminal mischief and barred from the arena for throwing waffles on the ice at a Maple Leafs game to protest the team’s performance this season. The 12-17-4 Leafs were 28th out of the NHL’s 30 teams entering Wednesday’s games.

Robb, of Oakville, Ontario, says he’s “just a normal Leafs fan, I love them to death.”

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment vice president Bob Hunter says Robb’s actions during Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers were inappropriate.- Associated Press

The waffles in question were uncooked Eggos, but we don’t know what flavor. No syrup was found on the offending waffles.

Robb has been banned from other sporting events because of his unruly behavior. He’s an out of control jerk, IMHO. Normal fans don’t throw uncooked food on the ice and disrupt games.


Hat Trick- Florida Panthers NHL Team fails to live up to free Yarmulke Promise

Oi Vei

SUNRISE, Fla. – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment announced today that the Florida Panthers Hanukkah Celebration presented by The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 7 during the Cats-Avalanche game at the BankAtlantic Center. Prime Time Stubs, Inc. is an associate sponsor for the event.

Fans are encouraged to join the biggest Hanukkah party in South Florida through a number of initiatives including:

- A giant menorah lighting on the JetBlue Tarmac at 6:45 p.m.

- Jewish music provided by Avimagic Entertainment

- Kosher food available throughout the game in select locations

- Panthers yarmulke given to all ticket-buyers

The Panther website clearly says all ticket-buyers. Fans arrived for tonight’s game and were told it only applied to group ticket buyers. I got wind of it at The Litter Box where one commenter let everyone know. George Richards of the Miami Herald has also confirmed it in his live feed of the game.

The Panthers don’t have a very good rep in South Florida and this sure isn’t going to help it. It is Hanukkah after all and this region has one of the biggest Jewish populations in the nation.

On a side note this particular Panther game isn’t supposed to be broadcast because it is NHL night on Versus. They have exclusive rights on these nights. Well, I’m watching a video feed with Florida Panther radio announcers doing the audio. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is in Sunrise tonight. Maybe he would be interested in knowing all of tonight’s screwups but he’s a screwup himself so I bet he’d shrug it off.


Vancouver Canuck Rick Rypien assaults fan

Some unscheduled boxing matches took place in Minnesota last night. From AP-

Vancouver Canucks center Rick Rypien pushed a fan in the team’s 6-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Rypien and Minnesota’s Brad Staubitz, who fought in the opening period, were about to square off in the second period before being separated by the linesmen in front of the Wild bench.

As Rypien, who was assessed a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct, was pulled by linesman Don Henderson toward the Vancouver bench, he appeared to push the official.

On his way down the tunnel to the dressing room, Rypien pushed a Wild fan who was applauding at the railing. Rypien was quickly pulled away by teammate Manny Malhotra. The fan was removed from the area.

Rypien was not available for comment after the game, but Malhotra thought the fan “got a little bit too involved.”

“There’s boundaries that should never be crossed. We’re in our area of work,” he said. “We’re all for the hooting and hollering and supporting your team and saying whatever is tasteful. But as soon as you cross that line and want to become physical with a player then we have to make sure we take care of ourselves. … We have no idea of what their intentions are.”

What a wimp Malhotra is. An NHL player perceives a fan as a threat? He should go run a child day care or something.

I don’t get this pushing BS in the Associated Press article. Watch the video I will post below and tell me its not assault.

What will be the length of the knee slap suspension the NHL hands down on Rypien? I bet its 10 games or less. The NHL suspension policy is a joke and has been since Todd Bertuzzi broke a player’s neck six years ago. Steve Moore suffered a career ending injury from the sucker punch. Bertuzzi is still playing in the NHL. Enough said about suspensions, right?

Hat tip- Litter Box Cats


Florida Marlins put unused perfect game tickets on sale

This sounds like a really bad idea to me. From the Sun-Sentinel-

So you decided not to buy a ticket Saturday and missed Roy Halladay’s perfect game, the 20th in baseball history. Thanks to some outside-the-box thinking in the Marlins’ front office, you can still obtain proof that you were there!

The Marlins are selling tickets to Saturday’s game at the Sun Life Stadium box office and through No discount prices just because you already know the outcome either. The Marlins figured they might sell a couple hundred. Theoretically, since 25,086 were on hand Saturday, they could disperse another 13,474 tickets. Baseball seating capacity at Sun Life Stadium is listed as 38,560.

These tickets aren’t going to be worth more than their face value at this. Some time in the future they could be worth more money. Some people collect all sorts of weird shit. A person who has bought one of the tickets may be able to fool a collector with the tickets.

Another possibility is a person using these tickets as a possible alibi for their real whereabouts. All of this sounds like a twisted television crime drama or novel but successful crooks are some of the most imaginative people around


New York Mets and Florida Marlins to play 3 games in Puerto Rico

It sure isn’t New York Met fans who will be losing three popular home games. From AP-

A three-game series between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins in June has been moved from Miami to San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico.

Major League Baseball made the official announcement Thursday.

Florida will remain the home team, and the games will be played June 28-30.

Hiram Bithorn hosted 22 Montreal Expos home games in each of the 2003 and 2004 seasons before the franchise relocated to Washington and was renamed the Nationals. Average attendance dropped from 14,000 in 2003 to 10,000 in 2004.

I have never liked these transplanted games. Not when the Miami Dolphins played a home game in London or when the Florida Panthers played a game in Helsinki. Why are South Florida sports fans being needlessly penalized by pro sports leagues. We only have so many home games against popular teams in a given year. The New York Giants have played in South Florida a grand total of twice in 40 years since the AFL and NFL merged. The Blackhawks haven’t been to South Florida in over 3 years, and the Mets when they visit down here are one of the biggest draws for baseball fans. We get screwed, and I’m sick tired of it.

Up yours Bud Selig. Why not a Brewer game in Puerto Rico?


New Jersey Nets newest fan promotion- free tax preparation

Is everyone sure this is major league basketball team. From ESPN-

The New Jersey Nets will do anything to sell tickets … except win.

In the wake of their NBA-worst 6-53 record, the Nets have come up with yet another ploy to fill seats — free tax returns.

The team has partnered up with Roni Deutch Tax Center to give every New Jersey resident 18 years or older a coupon for a free state tax return if they attend the Nets’ game against the Orlando Magic at the IZOD Center on Friday, March 5.

Fans in attendance will also receive a discount on their federal tax returns if they choose to have Roni Deutch prepare them, as well.

The Nets are dreadful this year(They haven’t won 2 games in a row all season) and are trying to bring in fans any way they can. I don’t really think this is a dumb fan promotion but at the same time believe it won’t bring more fans to see a New Jersey game.


Hold the relish- Baseball Fan claims injury by hot dog

And it isn’t because he had to pay $5 for some rubbery food. From AP-

Baseball fans who sit six rows behind the third-base dugout at the Kansas City Royals’ stadium know they might have to duck a few foul balls.

But a Kansas man says it was a flying hot dog, not a baseball, that almost put his eye out last year.

John Coomer has filed a lawsuit against the Royals seeking more than $25,000 for injuries he sustained Sept. 8 when he was smacked in the eye with a hot dog chucked by the team’s mascot, Sluggerrr.

Coomer said the wayward wiener caused a detached retina and the development of cataracts in his left eye.

The Royals declined to comment Tuesday.

The team denies this suit is a promotional stunt. As for the suit, it is a joke. All sporting event tickets come with a disclaimer. That a team won’t be held responsible for injuries that take place at the stadium or arena. I guess that covers hot dog throwing mascots too. They’re part of the entertainment.


Meadowlands bettors to get more handicapping info

A betting establishment that wants to make customers happy. Isn’t that a oxymoron? From

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 24, Meadowlands bettors will be given additional handicapping information for each race. In most races, there are several drivers who are named to drive more than one horse when entries are made. Drivers have to decide which horse they will drive a few days prior to the printing of the racing program. A new television graphic will now show these choices.

If a driver was listed on multiple horses in a race, the graphic will list those horses and indicate the drivers choice.

“Many bettors feel driver choices are one of the most important handicapping angles at the track and several of our fans have requested a way to obtain that information,” said director of simulcasting and track announcer Sam McKee.

This is probably more related to simulcast rather than live racing. When I’ve been to the horse races, any change of driver or scratches were announced as betting opened on that particular race.

It is very important to know who is in the sulky when betting a harness race. In my early betting days, my father laughed when he heard I bet on a horse driven by Al Olori(?). Dad said to me “He can’t drive around the track without the help of a map.” The horse I bet on finished 6th or 7th and I learned an important lesson.


No end in sight- Comcast/Versus dispute still unresolved

A game between two top 15 schools is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus this Saturday. From KRQE-

Saturday’s game between the New Mexico Lobos and the BYU Cougars may be the biggest game of the season and an estimated 1/3 of Albuquerque TV viewers will not be able to see it.

The No. 10/12 ranked Lobos are heading for a huge showdown Saturday in Provo, Utah against No. 13/11 BYU.

The regular season conference championship will most likely be on the line.

But, because the game will air on the Versus network, DirectTV subscribers will not be able to see it.

A money dispute between Versus and DirectTV has kept Versus off DirectTV.

On their network, DirectTV claims the parent company of Versus, Comcast, is asking too much money to carry the network on DirectTV. As a result, DirectTV does not carry Versus.

The Mountain West Conference’s tournament championship is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus next month.

I sympathize with Mountain West sports fans. This dumb dispute has dragged on far too long and NHL fans are about to get screwed even more than they have already been up to now. The playoffs are less than two months away and some of those games are carried exclusively by Versus.

The NHL’s decision to sit on its hands is mind boggling to me. The league doesn’t have a big United States fan base. Marginal fans are going to find something else to watch and perhaps permanently. Is Commissioner Gary Bettman too dumb to realize that or does he simply not care?


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