Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Russians represent (and other Monday morning musings on a Tuesday)

Random observations from a busy weekend in sports: say what you will about Alex Ovechkin as as NHL playoff bust - he answers the call and gets the job done for Russia at the world hockey championships, which is more than can be said for Canada's Stanley Cup also-rans. Ovechkin embodies a patriotic streak among post-Soviet era Russians for whom winning at the international level is at least as important as professional success, even if losing no longer means two years of garrison duty in Vladivostock...If it pains you to watch Lanny McDonald score on Patrick Roy and celebrate Calgary's 1989 Stanley Cup win at the Forum in that Scotiabank commercial, watch for a fleeting glimpse of McDonald's teammate, Brad McCrimmon, and think about what's really important, like the families McCrimmon and 43 others left behind when they were killed in a plane crash in Russia last year...Score another one for baseball nostalgia: those 1920s-era uniforms the Pirates and Tigers were wearing in Detroit Saturday were so authentic, it felt like the game should had been played in fast motion black-and-white with ragtime piano music instead of commentary...Every time I watch an NBA game, I regret that I didn't name my sons LaSam and DeCharlie...The US Army Brass Brigade played God Bless America before Saturday's Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, apparently while on leave from torturing terror suspects with off-key oom-pah waltzes at Guantanamo Bay...Meanwhile, perpetually-excited NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip described the race as "no bars hold." Also, their walls are to the back, there's no yesterday and it's every self for his man...This just in: Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister is an early 7-2 favorite to be in my dog's dinner bowl if he doesn't win the Belmont Stakes.

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