Seminoles Win This, Too

It’s a foregone conclusion that Florida State is going beat the hell out of the University of Miami football team Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

But the burning question this week at the Golf Channel was which of the two schools could produce the more impressive array of trick shots?

Here are the videos, posted today by the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show. We’ll share our preference below.

Both are pretty cool.

But yeah, FSU wins this, too.

Florida State
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When Tarps Attack: Kansas City Tarp Strikes Back

The tarp at Kansas City’s Kaufman Stadium is a menace. Just ask the guy who was devoured while preparing for a rain delay Thursday during Game 1 of the ALDS between the Royals and Astros.

Here’s a GIF clip from Deadspin (look away if you’re squeamish; this gets real ugly, real fast):

It was not the first time the dreaded KC tarp went after a member of the grounds crew. Remember this, from a few years ago?

This is no benign, field-protecting expanse of plastic and fabric. This tarp is a predator. This hideous creature even has its own Twitter account: @KC_Royals_Tarp.

It’s an outrage that baseball hasn’t banned the Kansas City tarp for conduct detrimental to the health of the grounds crew. I mean, compared to the mildly hungry tarp that ate Vince Coleman during the 1985 NLCS, the tarp in Kansas City is a ravenous beast.

We’re seeing a pattern all over the country, in fact. If not for a couple of alert Pittsburgh Pirates this past summer, the tarp at PNC Park would have enjoyed a tasty grounds crew snack before making its escape on the wild winds of the Allegheny Mountains.

Remember this?

Stay alert, baseball grounds crews. Watch the skies, but keep an eye on the tarps.

They’re alive … and they’re hungry.

Where the Hell is the Red River, Anyway?

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops pretty much eats the Longhorns for dinner. Smack Apparel illustration: Steve Hill.

By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor

Three words that get two states’ collective blood boiling: Red River Rivalry. This weekend marks the 110th edition of this matchup between Oklahoma and Texas.

In its glory years, this game used to decide who won the Big 12. Now, it is just another game between two schools that hate each other. Texas is to blame for that, considering how bad they have become this year.

And don’t get us started with the name of the game, “Red River Rivalry.” I mean, Red River? Really? How many people in this country know where the Red River is? Or even care about it? At least make it a cool name. Florida and Georgia play in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Now that’s a game worth going to! It’s not even the only Red River in the world. C’mon man!

This rivalry has seen both teams go on long winning streaks. Texas went on a six-game winning streak in the ‘30s and an eight game streak in the ‘40s. Oklahoma won six in a row in the ‘50s and five in a row in the ‘70s. Texas has the all-time edge with a 60-44-5 record against Oklahoma.

Superstar players used to play in this game. Not anymore. These teams now don’t have the caliber of players they used to. Oklahoma had Adrian Peterson, Mark Clayton, Keith Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Lee Roy Selmon and Roy Williams. Texas had players such as Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, Vince Young, Stanley Richard and Bryant Westbrook.

Now, outside of Texas and Oklahoma – or the Red River valley, whatever and wherever that is — this is simply another game on the schedule. There will be no championship implications. These teams definitely hate each other still, but it just doesn’t have the juice it used to. Hopefully, one day, it gets back to being one of the top games of the year.

But that day is not Saturday.

Why Does Kershaw Suck in the Playoffs?

Clayton Kershaw- Postseason Flop

By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor

Now that both wildcard games have been played, it is on to the division series. The most intriguing matchup looks to be the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams boast ridiculous pitching with pop in their lineups. The opening game pits Jacob deGrom against Clayton Kershaw. If you like 1-0, 2-1 type of games, you will want to tune in to this one.

On the other hand, maybe not.

Kershaw is one of the most proficient and dominant regular season pitchers of this generation. If he can figure out his postseason struggles, he can be considered one of the all-time greats. That is a big IF. For whatever reason, Kershaw doesn’t show up in the playoffs. He has a 1-5 career record in the postseason with a 5.12 ERA. No that is not a typo, Clayton Kershaw has a 5.12 ERA in the postseason.

The Dodgers have home field against the Mets and are favored to advance. This will be a big test for the team, and for Kershaw’s psyche. The Mets have arguably the best young pitching rotation in baseball, with deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and Matz. The worst thing that could happen to Kershaw is to yet again fail in the postseason, and also get outdueled by these young hurlers.

We are close to finding out what Kershaw’s legacy will be. So far, he and Andy Dalton look to be very similar players in their respective sports. Kershaw isn’t getting any younger, he needs to step up now.

Regular season accolades are nice, but postseason wins and performance mean more. In sports, the postseason is where a player’s legacy is made. So far, Kershaw’s isn’t looking too pretty.

Noles-Canes: a Faded Rivalry?

Hey, everybody! It's FSU-Miami week! Um ... hello? Anyone? Hello?
Hey, everybody! It’s FSU-Miami week! Um … hello? Anyone? Hello?

They say a contest can only be considered a true rivalry if both teams have a realistic chance to win any given year. Oh, the tide might shift in favor of one team or the other every decade or so, but in general, rivalries tend to balance out over time.

It is with this truism in mind that we remind everyone that this is, in fact, Florida State-Miami week.

Cue the crickets.

Florida State
Click to get the shirt, Noles fans!

It used to mean something. It used to mean a hell of a lot, in fact.

Now? Meh.

The No. 12 Seminoles bring a five-game win streak against the Hurricanes into Saturday’s meeting in Tallahassee. That’s two shy of the longest win streak by either team in the 59-game history of the series (Florida State won seven in a row in 1963-72).

The most newsworthy thing about the U these days is Al Golden’s immediate future with the program. In fact, a victory at the Doak might be the only thing that saves Golden’s job.

Um … yeah. Good luck with that.

Still, the Hurricanes can claim with pride the all-time lead in the series at 31-28. And Miami’s five national championships still make the Canes the Kings of the Sunshine State.

Oh, and Noles fans, lest you get a little full of yourself heading into the weekend, here’s a little reminder of one reason why the Canes have won those five national titles.

Two words: Wide. Right.


The 10 Most-Heated NHL Rivalries

10 Hottest NHL RivalriesBy Bob D’Angelo, Smack Zone Contributor

The NHL season is back, and that means the renewal of some intense rivalries. Some are as old as the National Hockey League itself, while others have become more prominent over the past few years.

Here is a look at 10 of the top rivalries in NHL history:

Canadiens vs. Bruins — Mark your calendar for Saturday. The NHL’s most contentious rivalry resumes when Montreal travels to Boston to face the Bruins.

Not only are these teams regular-season rivals, meeting for the first time on December 8, 1924. They also have clashed 34 times in the playoffs, beginning in 1929. Throw in the fact that they are two of the Original Six teams, with passionate, provincial fan bases, and that makes for a bubbling, boiling feud. The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times, which makes them the New York Yankees of hockey, or more ironically, the Boston Celtics of hockey. Take your pick. The Bruins have won the Cup six times.

Between 1965 and 1979, either the Canadiens or Bruins (and on two occasions, both) appeared in all but one Stanley Cup Finals. Montreal won Lord Stanley’s Cup 10 times, while Boston won twice. The Canadiens swept the series in 1977 and won in six games the following season.

There have been plenty of on-ice incidents, but two stand out. After all, how many players have had a riot named after them?

On March 13, 1955, Hal Laycoe high-sticked Maurice Richard, and the “Rocket” retaliated by trampling Laycoe and slugging a linesman. He was nearly arrested by the Boston police, and would be suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs by NHL president Clarence Campbell.

When Campbell appeared at the Montreal Forum on March 17 — the Canadiens’ first game after the suspension was announced — for a March 17 game, the partisan fans rioted. Smoke bombs and property damage exceeding $100,000 resulted in 37 injuries and more than 100 arrests.

On March 8, 2011, Zdeno Chara’s late hit on Montreal’s Max Pacioretty resulted in a neck injury for the Canadiens player. Pacioretty suffered a concussion when Chara rode him into the boards and shoved his head into a stanchion. Pacioretty suffered a concussion and a fractured vertebra.
Some good did result, as the NHL mandated that stanchions be replaced with curved glass to lessen the blow.

Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs — It’s the oldest rivalry in pro hockey and even predates the NHL. The teams first met on December 26, 1917. Nearly 800 games later, the Canadiens lead the series 389-314-88-8 (including the playoffs) and have met in the postseason 15 times, including five times in the Stanley Cup Finals. Interestingly, the Leafs have won three of those finals, but the last time came in 1967 and the two teams have not met in the postseason since 1979.

Even though the rivalry has cooled off on the ice, it has not between the two cities. On the one hand, there is Old World, French-speaking Montreal. At the other end of the spectrum is cosmopolitan, English-speaking Toronto. Quebec vs. Ontario. Sparks are inevitable. Continue reading The 10 Most-Heated NHL Rivalries

If you LIKE that kind of thing

It’s preseason still in the NBA, man. Why would Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler even bother trying to stop a dude from sailing coast-to-coast after a silly steal?

But bother Butler did, and now he’s part of Bucks’ forward Khris Middleton’s Dunk-a-Rama Poster Set, soon to be available in fine retail outlets throughout the greater Milwaukee area.

Or just in Butler’s future nightmares.

Enjoy a little preseason posterization, ballers. It’s almost time for the association to resume business.



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