Archive for the ‘ Women’s Sports ’ Category

Hockey at Fenway

Happy New Year from The Sports eXpress!

It is appropriate that the first TSX post of the year starts with a yearly tradition: The 2010 NHL Winter Classic. Last Year from Wrigley Field in Chicago was pretty special, and actually brought the NHL on NBC some of the best television ratings in years. This year’s Classic should bring even more ratings, as it comes from what is billed as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”, Fenway Park in Boston.

Fenway Park is special. It has its aura that has been standing for 88 years in April, from the manual scoreboard and Green Monster in left field, Pesky’s Pole in right field, and the famous “Triangle” in Center Field; it has seen numerous moments in those 88 years, including six World Series pennants (including in its opening year of 1912 and the Curse of the Bambino for 86 years), and will now serve as a hockey venue for the first time ever when the Boston Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers Friday afternoon.

The outdoor hockey game has brought together NHL fans and even has drawn non-NHL fans to the game, even if for just a day, and what better way to draw general sports fans into the game then to have it at what is concered one of the most hallowed venues in all of sports. The only thing that would have made this game a little more special is to have put the original New York NHL team in Fenway Park, and give it a Red Sox/Yankees (or Yankees/Red Sox) rivalry type of feel, and two Original Six teams going at it, similar to last year’s game between the Detroit Red Wings & Chicago Blackhawks. The Winter Classic won’t be the only hockey game at Fenway this year. Two college hockey games (one men’s, one women’s) will take place Jan. 8th. The first game will feature the first NCAA women’s hockey game outdoors between the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern, and the second game will feature big-time crosstown hockey rivals Boston College (2008 National Champions) and Boston University (2009 National Champions)

Expect a good game between the Flyers and Bruins though. Both teams are physical, they love to play hard on defense, They have good leadership from their coaches, Claude Julien for Boston and Peter Laviolette for Philadelphia. Forward play advantage goes to the Flyers, led by Mike Richards (16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points), and Jeff Carter (14G, 18A, 32P). The Flyers can score on offense, but they are facing a tough Bruins defense led by captain Zdeno Chara, and one of the best goaltenders in the game, Tim Thomas. With the game in Boston, and the spirit and magic of Fenway Park, it’s hard to go against the Bruins, but expect a great game, just because it’s outdoors, it’s the NHL’s biggest game of the season (no All-Star game due to the 2010 Winter Olympics). Hockey purists and general sports fans alike are in for a very big treat in this game on Friday from Fenway.

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Marion Jones: Redeeming Herself

She was on top of the track world at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, winning three gold medals and two bronze medals.

Now she’s trying to redeem herself in a new arena of sports.

Marion Jones, who was regarded as one of the best track and field stars of her time, has been working on her skills in basketball and is looking to try out for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She is planning this a year after she spent a six-month jail term for lying to a grand jury for her part in the BALCO lab scandal, and also lying about her performance-enhancing drug usage at the 2000 Sydney Games. She was stripped of her five medals (three gold) and her image was tarnished after she vehemently denied using any kind of performance-enhancing drugs.

But now she is looking to make a comeback, just in a different arena. Jones was the point guard on the University of North Carolina’s 1994 National Championship team, and although she has not played basketball on a competitive level in 15 years, she believes she still has what it takes, so SilverStars head coach Dan Hughes is giving her the opportunity to showcase her skills and begin a new career, and is not looking towards her past, but what, if anything, can she bring to the SilverStars’ future

But there are things that stand in the way of that:

The length of time between playing competitive basketball. Jones is 34, and she last played at a high level in 1996, but the good thing is that she is going to try to play in Europe to get in basketball shape again and then join the WNBA in the summer when the season begins. Also, there is the scrutiny of the fans, who will question her every move if she plays, but all she will have to do is look at baseball figures, such as Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, all of which resurrected their careers after performance-enhancing drugs nearly derailed their careers. If a team does sign Jones, it will attract attention and press their way, and boost the bottom line at the ticket office.

So at the end of the day, will this work out? It will depend on if she makes a team in Europe. If she can play among a team there before the WNBA season start, the prospects of a team picking her up will increase greatly. After one of the best WNBA seasons in recent memory, the league and one of its clubs will want to pick her up to keep the good press going.

Either way, Jones will get the redemption that she is seeking.

Videos of the Week

New feature from TSX, some of the best videos of the week will be put on display. Here were the three best. If something was left out, leave a comment, tweet it at thesportsxpress or leave a comment on the Facebook fan page here:

courtesy: AP

Elizabeth Lambert… Credit has to be given to you despite the fact you displayed very poor sportsmanship. If The Mtn. was not televising this game, she would’ve ACTUALLY got away with all of this. The way she did it was very sneaky, and underhanded, but she did get an indefinite suspension, and maybe anger management should be thrown in there.

Jahvid Best… I hope you have a speedy recovery because that was an ugly play, looking at this play over and over, Cameron Collins of Oregon State did NOT have to throw him the way he did. Fortunately that was a concussion, because it could have been so much worse than that.

This dunk by Dwyane Wade on Anderson Varejao is hands down the dunk of the year, and what makes it even better was the block by Jermaine O’Neal on LeBron James that set it up. Poor Varejao, he will have to go through that dunk on posters and highlights for many years to come. Did you see Wade step over Varejao after the dunk. Clearly we know who’s house it is. The Cavaliers won the game, but still, it’s Wade’s house.

Hope this will be a good feature to do every Friday. Keep an eye out and send feedback.