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Two girls, one sports blog. YYEESS Please!

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California Hockey in all forms

Sat, 05/07/2011 - 11:35AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

I have been a Californian for 6 years now. Coming from Hockeytown, it took some time to get used to fact people here just don’t live for hockey the same as they do in the great state of Michigan.

I have many things to be grateful for in my life – health, amazing friends, a caring family, my precious Izzo, and….NHL Center Ice.

I attended 6 NHL hockey playoff games in all 3 California arenas in just over two weeks – as well as 5 MLB games in 3 different stadiums (which included both American and National League teams) during the same time period. Crazy about sports? Perhaps, just a tad.  

Ducks Territory - Disney Hockey

My friend Rysa – a self-proclaimed “hockeyholic” and I attended two Predators v Ducks games.

My initial observations –

What’s up with the security? I have been to the Pentagon – post 9/11 and I don’t believe they had that much muscle!

Holy newborns! I don’t know if I have seen a newborn at the Joe, let alone several. This is definitely Anaheim – hence Disney Hockey!

People – it’s a hockey game, not golf. Their lack of enthusiasm at times reminded me of SF Giants baseball fans. CHEER. SHOUT. It’s ok, they won’t kick you out – in fact, it’s encouraged! I suppose another reason why I see the correlation is because they also have a player who prides himself on looking like a total douchebag.

 

The last interesting observation is they cover entrance where the zebras come out – so that no one throws anything on them. I know the refereeing in the NHL this season has come under tremendous scrutiny but I didn’t realize Disney Hockey fans were dangerous. How can these fans possibly throw anything at them with their newborn in tow?

Now for my favorite part! The 2nd game I was in the company of future hockey superstar, 5 year old Tory Pitner.   Growing in Hockeytown, I am accustomed to seeing and knowing kids who were essentially born with skates on. I’d bore any reader with the list of NHL players who are fellow Michiganders. J It was a welcomed pleasure to see a So Cal child so in love with this sport. (He is also quite smitten with the Duck’s ice girls too!) For a little guy, Tory is well versed in hockey – whether it is the players, their stats, the rules or partially knowing the components of a “Gordie Howe hat trick”. His infatuation for this amazing sport has officially turned the Pitners into a hockey family. Even the patriarch, Tom was sporting a playoff beard! This particular game went into OT and given the wee Pitner was up at 6am ready for the game – the poor guy just ran out of gas!

Kings Territory – Fairweather Hockey

I attended more Kings playoff games than the others – makes sense given my homebase. I saw all 3 Sharks v Kings games.   If it’s not obvious to you yet, my blog partner Alyssa is a die-hard Sharks fan our fellow love for hockey – an invite to join her? YYEESS Please! Don’t worry fellow Wingys, I represented us by wearing Wings gear!

I have been to regular season Kings games but playoff hockey does have a different feel – even in fair-weather La La Land.

Alyssa and I first attended Game 3. Yes, THE GAME 3 of 2011.  The Sharks down 3-0 in the first period. Alyssa was devastated. Her first playoff hockey game. Her team getting their ass handed to them. I tried to console. “There are two more periods of hockey left” I say. I am sure my consolation had little impact – given I am a Red Wing fan wearing Red Wing gear and simply hoping for a very physical 7 game series between these two teams.

As expected, the LA fans just suck.   I realize (only a few that I know) a segment exists that are dedicated, knowledgable and are sans bitchassness tendencies but they appear to be as common as finding a 4 leaf clover. We had fries thrown at us. Um, how old are we? And sadly, when it was communicated to the “fan” in front of us that Alyssa and I probably have seen more Kings games and know more about their own team, they pathetically answered, “Probably”.

Food ordering – people it is a hockey game, not a restaurant. I don’t think you would survive at the Joe if you started focusing on serving food than hockey. And remember, Detroit is one of the fattest cities.

The Kings choked during the second period, allowing the Sharkies to tie it up. All tied at 5 at the end of the period. After a scoreless 3rd period, OT came and unless you were buried under sand, you know the outcome. Sharks win – 6 to 5. The Sharks became only the 4th team in NHL history to overcome a 4 goal deficit during a playoff game.

This was an amazing game. As a hockey fan period – I cannot deny it was truly an honor to witness it. (And thankfully this was the Kings and not the Wings – otherwise I may have been hospitalized)

The second game contained another Sharks win and more annoying King fans. Ironically, I found the Kings fans I met at the Yardhouse prior to the games very enjoyable. Something must happen when they enter into the Staples Center.

This third game had two favorite memories.

Using the Kings towel as a “doormat” - brilliant Kiel.

Seeing Alyssa’s face as her team put down the Kings

As expected, we had a bottle thrown at us as we walked out. Apparently LA fans don’t think the incident at Dodger Stadium was enough bad behavior. Shame.

Sharks Territory – 3 Wings and a Shark

While at the A’s v Angels baseball game, the 7th game of the Blackhawks v Canucks game was also happening. If the Canucks win, it meant a Wingys v Sharkies second round match up. After what was coined as another hella crazy playoff game – it was decided. We would face one another in Round Two. Alyssa and I looked at each other and said “Bring it’.

I flew up to Northern Cali early Saturday morning. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Rickey Henderson bobblehead day at the Oakland Coliseum. Rickey Henderson is my all time favorite baseball EVER. I knew the coincidence was just meant to be. But, back to hockey…

The game on that Sunday was the most meaningful playoff game I attended – for reasons that should be obvious to you. RED WINGS!

They served Molson at the Shark Tank. Canadian beer at a hockey game – in California?!?? YYEESS Please!

Although we didn’t win – it was special to enjoy this game with Alyssa and to complete the 3 arena “sweep” of CA-based hockey. I was also joined by two special, Detroit native friends, Chris and Asia.

Although I do consider the Sharks rivals and I am definitely not a Sharks fan, their fans made me proud to know that somewhere in CA people have the ability to –

Show up on time to see their team play

Actually CHEER! I couldn’t hear a pin drop!

Don’t throw objects at opposing fans - They may not LIKE us, but they RESPECT us.

Sharks winning this series still remains to be seen.  Clearly, they have the advantage.  One thing is for sure - the Sharks weren't going to get their first NHL sweep against us - and sure as hell not in the Joe.

If indeed Game 4 is the last game of the Red Wings’ amazing Captain Lids wins – and this is in fact his last season, let us take time to briefly reflect…

6 Norris Trophies

1 Conn Smythe Trophy

180+ career playoff points - second all time among defenseman (Paul Coffey is 1# one – another <3, yes I am showing my age…)

4 Stanley Cups

Oldest defensiveman to earn 60+ points in a season

12 NHL All-Star games

Olympic Gold winner

I am sure I am missing a few more accolades.

In other words, you are fucking amazing. Any true hockey fan undoubtedly should respect what you have accomplished. The ice won’t be the same without you on it.

This is also most likely our last entry under the Sugar blog. We will be moving to a different platform shortly. Stay tuned!

-          D



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Fat, Ugly and Dangerous

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 11:49AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

What’s with the title you ask? It’s the groundwork for how I became a Phillies fan. My philly-born and fellow baseball die-hard lovely, Erin and I bonded over the fact that Detroit and Philly, for lack of a better description, get shit on as cities and tend to be ranked in the top 15 of some of the most negative categories in the US.

In a nutshell, we're -

The fattest!

The ugliest!

And dangerous!

BUT - we happen to also be one of the most dedicated fans to our teams and are one of the few cities that offer all 4 sports. Fortunately for us, there was also little or no rivalry between respective teams too.

There have been quite a few memories with watching the Phils with Erin – most notably…

Watching playoffs in my old Hollywood apartment to allow a visiting Grandmom Dolly to rest peacefully at Erin’s pad.   Snacks included Lean Cuisine pizza and White Castle cheeseburgers with plenty of beer and wine, of course. (yes, I am quite the cook)

Having a bottle thrown at us at Dodger Stadium during the 2008 NLCS – oh, and being told as we walked in that “we should really watch our backs” Given recent events there, clearly they weren’t lying!

Spending evenings at the local Philly bar during the playoffs – even settling for seats on the pool table just to get a head on look at the biggest TV in the bar – the bar is the size of a broom closet, mind you and seats are hella limited.

Both having the luxury of catching the Phils play the Giants in Game 3 in last years NLCS at AT&T Park as part of business trips for work. We learned that Dodger Stadium is not exclusive to the tactic of throwing bottles at opposing fans. And we were nice to enough to include a Giants fan.

Last year, we took the short trip down to San Diego in August to see them battle the Padres. This was the start of the Padres’ “operation shit the bed” as the Phils swept them and they would only go on to win 16 out of 33 of their remaining regular season games, eventually allowing the Giants to win the pacific division. We had 5th row behind the Phils dugout. Erin caught a ball thrown by Schneider.   One of the funniest incidents would have to be Erin looking at me in horror as my blonde ass just stood there while Ryan Howard was trying to toss a ball at me as he walked back to the dugout. The old man in front of me snagged it first.   I distinctly remember her saying along the lines of “He was throwing it right at you, you could have been a tad more aggressive, you know!” J

We sat next to two guys who offered us free beer the whole game if we promised to email them our game pictures as they forgot their camera. Free beer? YYEESS Please!

 

We even had the courage to go back to Dodger Stadium – but brought some reinforcement! Ryry nailed a 3-run homerun deep to center field – ending his HR drought since July 27th. Phils won 8-4.

Because by now, I definitely consider myself a fan, I went to Wogies solo during a business trip to NYC to catch Game 1 of the playoffs – and had the pleasure of witnessing Big Roy’s “NO NO” amongst a packed room of fellow Phillies Phans. To date, that remains one of my top 10 sports memories.

I have had the pleasure of meeting other Phillies fans throughout the years – you all know who you are and I how much I enjoy our friendships!

Tomorrow, Erin and I leave for the 2nd annual San Diego trip to see the Phillies. We’re catching both Saturday and Sunday’s games and will see Blanton pitch on Saturday and Big Roy on Sunday.   Like last year, I expect this weekend to be filled with shenanigans and endless conversations about Ryry, Mr. Utley, Chooch, J Roll, Big Roy, Lil Roy, Colster, Cliffy, Turtle (yes, we made that one up ourselves) and the dearly missed Mr. Werth (drool)

See you next season at Citizens for the Phanatic’s birthday – I can’t miss that!

 

But, fingers crossed I will make a cameo prior to then….NLCS 2011 or better yet, the World Series! GO PHILLIES!

- D



 

 



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History Ain't Over Until It's Over

Thu, 04/21/2011 - 12:54PM by yyeess 0 Comments -

Confession: I am a cryer. Happy or sad, angry or elated. The 2007 USC Trojan 24-23 upset at home vs. NorCal rival Stanford brought tears to my eyes as I watched the USC football empire unravel before my very own eyes, among a just-as-awestruck student section at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. I get choked up during Olympics opening ceremonies and when I see commercials like this. I was angered to tears when I first saw Nick Swisher in a Yankees uniform. Thankfully, I'm a girl and I can get away with this (even though it is embarrasing when I am at a bar or something).

If you saw Game 3 this week when the San Jose Sharks visited the Los Angeles Kings (coming off the devistating 4-0 shutout from Saturday's game), you can imagine my emotions went through the wringer, likely taking years off of my life. Denise and I were there among a rowdy LA crowd (who no doubt brought the noise despite being compared to "more of a Kenny G experience" ). To make a long story short, it was THE best sporting event I may ever be able to experience. EVER.

So, Wednesday morning following the game, I tried not to gloat as I walked into my office as the handful of Kings fans (who were also at the game) avoided making eye contact with me. I opened up my computer and natrually caught up with the Sharks hype via the internet and found this video:

History Ain't Over Until It's Over

I had no words. I only had chills as my eyes welled up with so much pride for this team.

I might be crazy for crying after watching things like this. I might be crazy for planning my days around what game I need to catch later. I might be crazy for reading articles and watching SportsCenter instead of reading People Magazine or watching Gossip Girl or American Idol. I might be crazy for driving 45 minutes to buy an A's shirt because I "needed it" for spring training. SO WHAT? I am a fan. I have pride--for my city, my school, for my country and the players who devote their time to representing the things I love.

It's who I am, and it'll never change. Go Sharks.

-Alyssa

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/DS6RnOAnDfJ/San+Jose+Sharks+v+Los+Angeles+Kings+Game+Three/bU18rFjCTj2

 

 

 

 



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Denise and Alyssa do Playoff Brackets - First Round

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:14AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

The big day has arrived!  Here are each of our playoff predictions. Do work Hockey Gods!

 


Photo Cred: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_xqU8aCV8ADc/TNJBC1kBdFI/AAAAAAAAAS0/i38WZ-h-NJo/s320/hockey+gods.jpg

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DENISE'S BRACKET



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ALYSSA'S BRACKET






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Playoff Predictions

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:44AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

Sunday Shenanigans (and beer) birthed the official YYEESS please playoff prediction bracket. See below.

 


Clearly, the next couple of weeks will be filled with smack talk (Sharks eat kids? Really Denise? haha), and some great hockey. We can't wait. We're going crazy in these 48 hours without hockey.

GO SHARKS!

-Alyssa



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My afternoon with the most hated man in Detroit - Updated!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:47AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

If you asked that question in 1996 – that answer would have undoubtedly been Marc Crawford.

On March 6th of this year I deviated from my normal Sunday Funday in Hermosa Beach to small, local watering hole in Manhattan Beach.   As my friend and I cracked open beer #1, I noticed a group of men walk in and requested that a bartender change one of the TV’s to the Caps v Panthers game. Hockey? No one EVER requests hockey in So Cal – this immediately got my attention.   Eventually the group disbanded, leaving a sole member behind, sporting an unassuming baseball cap. He noticed I was watching and talking about the hockey game. He inched his way to our table and kindly said, “I’m not trying to creep up on you, I am just trying to get a better view of the game”

We invited him to join us and he introduced himself as Marc. He asked what we did for a living and when the question was asked of him, he simply said “I coach the Dallas Stars.” Ok, that makes sense why he’d be in So Cal – the Stars were scheduled to play the Kings the following evening I thought to myself.   And then it dawned on me – Marc. As in the Marc Crawford? I coyly smiled and said, “Ah, I know who you are….and I must admit something to you before this conversation goes any further – I am a die-hard Red Wings fan” Clearly that got a reaction.

For those who don’t know, the Avalanche and Wings had quite the rivalry in the mid – 1990’s. Many would say the pinnacle of that rivalry came on May 28th, 1996, in the form of one of the dirtiest hits in hockey history, by the Avalanche’s Claude Lemieux on Kris Draper during the Western Conference finals. Marc was the head coach of the Avalanche.

The Avalanche would go on to defeat the Wings that season – and eventually win the Stanley Cup. (assholes)

It’s been stated many times, that “hockey players have long memories”. One thing was certain – Darren McCarty does. On March 27, 1997, during the 4th and final regular season game between the Avalanche and Wings, this went down.

The hottest part about this fight is Shanahan. (<3)   I just love how he takes Roy out so that McCarty could finish what he started, but I digress…

Over the course of the next several hours (and beers), Marc and I chatted about everything under the sun but it always kept coming back to that Avalanche/Wings rivalry.

It was hard to admit at first but getting to know Marc was a real pleasure. He’s a dedicated family man, happily married and proud of his two children’s accomplishments.   He also expressed his love for the family Goldendoodle. Is it possible for a dirty coach to have these admirable qualities? I kept wondering.

I asked Marc for a picture, as proof to show a Stars friend/fan that I was indeed talking to his team’s head coach – Marc kindly agreed.

 

I impressed Marc with my extensive hockey knowledge and love for the game overall. He requested to someone at the Kings head office that I have tickets waiting at will call for Monday’s game. Free hockey tickets? Yyeess please!


At the end of our 9 hour conversation, he stated that I was the most unique and enjoyable Red Wings fan he’s had the pleasure of meeting. I’d like to think that is because of my stellar personality but maybe it was just simply because I didn’t rip his balls off in honor of all my Detroit peeps.

Despite liking the real Marc Crawford, I am proud to say that since meeting him, the Stars went 8-9, which included a 6 game losing streak.. And because of my Red Wings’ current woes, it help allow the Blackhawks to cling onto the 8th and final playoff spot. I hope my friend, Marc is enjoying his summer vacation somewhere fun.

On a side note, March 27th is now known in Hockeytown as “Darren McCarty Day”. I celebrated this year.

-D

UPDATED - 4/12/11

Dallas Morning News just reported that my pal Marc has been "relieved of his coaching duties"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Five For Fighting

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 10:53PM by yyeess 0 Comments -

At this point in the season—having just clinched the Pacific Division and securing a playoff spot—spilling blood on the ice is just downright stupid.

The Sharks found themselves in the all-too-common scenario of getting caught up in a series of fights in tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Doug Murray (<3) in all of his enormity, crushed on Brad Winchester just twelve minutes into the first period as tensions quickly arose in this SoCal/NorCal rivalry. Another fight plagued the third period as Brandon Mashinter, fresh off the plane from Boston, was welcomed back to California by the fighting machine that is George Parros. That didn’t end pretty, as Mashinter lost his balance and Parros fell on top of him, which resulted in a gnarly bash of head to ice. (Side note: why he even wanted to touch Parros with his heinous porno ‘stache is beyond my comprehension). At this point, it is probably for the best I was sitting in bed watching this game alone, because the expletives that were screamed at the screen of my computer (yes, I streamed this game illegally as usual) would have made a sailor cringe. For Christ’s sake Brandon, you are brought up from Worcester to fill in for Clowe who is out with an injury—so what do you do? Fight George Parros and risk an injury. Fan-fuckin’-tastic idea!

Just the other day Denise even said—fighting is going to get the best of us in the playoffs if we continue the way we’re fighting now. Now, normally I try to ignore Detroit’s opinion of my boys--we can only typically see eye-to -eye in hockey when we are admiring the physique of hockey players--she has a point. A good point at that. According to one of the best websites out there, the Red Wings have gone the entire season tallying up only 13 fights, the least of all the NHL. Where has that got them? They ice-danced (haha) right into playoff contention, despite their old and injury-plagued roster. (Just for fun, the St. Louis Blues lead the league with 78 fights this season; Sharks sit pretty at #11 with 48 fights.)

So, if I had the opportunity to give my Sharks a little pep-talk tonight, and granted I didn’t do something lame like forget how to talk (that one’s for you Denise), it would go a little something like this:

Don’t waste your time on energy on pussies like Parros and Winchester. These are the “mighty” Ducks for crying out loud! They can’t even fill the Honda Center with one more week remaining in the regular season against the Pacific Division Champions! Save your energy and get your head right to prepare for the real fight—for the Stanley Cup. Players are coming at us because they know we’ll fight—and they know our penalty kill isn’t exactly the best. Play smart. Pick your battles. Forget this game and let’s move on to beat the Coyotes.

……and then I’d tell Ryane Clowe to call me.

 

-A

 

photo cred: http://www.hockeyfights.com/forums/f9/san-jose-anaheim-4-6-11-a-158356/



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April in the D

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 11:07AM by yyeess 0 Comments -

For those who don’t know, April in the D is a term used to kick off several sporting events in Michigan.

- Tigers baseball begins

- Red Wings being their playoff run

- Lions prepare for yet another NFL draft with high hopes…

- Pistons are in the playoffs (not this year or anytime soon, oof)

- Either Michigan State or Michigan playing in the Frozen Four (Michigan in 2011!)

- And the occasional Final Four game with Michigan State J

It is also an opportunity for people to enter a contest to have their song designated as the official theme song of the current year’s April in D. Here is this year’s winner - WARNING – listen at your own risk...

And lastly, it’s usually yet another chance for my girls and I to discuss our favorite subject, sports!

Let’s get is straight, we follow the actual game, know a lot of the stats – in some cases more than most men (but I digress, that blog is forthcoming) but sometimes we can’t help but let the “woman aspect” take over an occasional conversation. I call it the best of both worlds syndrome. In case anyone ever wonders what one of these conversations between sports-loving chicks may look like – I give you an example from this past weekend…

Denise - “Is it wrong of me to want Kindl to play over Salei based soley on looks for the playoffs?”

Denise – “Clearly, you can tell where my mind is at”

Amy – “Kindl played great these last two…let him play for Big E”

Denise – “Two minutes in the penalty box for you for that comment. Esp given he took a puck to that beautiful face today”

Amy – “I was wondering how you’d react to that hit. If they mess up his face he ain’t got nutin’ left”

Denise – “Why can’t we commentate?”

Amy- “I’d slur too much. We’d talk too much about the size of the mule’s stick”

Denise-“I could hear it now – ladies more about the game, less about the stick. And stop swearing!”

Amy – “lol. Oh the swearing. Yeah. That’d be a huge issue.

Denise – “So foking agree”

While the above can be a typical at times, there are plenty of conversation that strictly entail stats and strategy. On that note, I leave you with the 20/11/9 hockey stat -

The Red Wings continue to have the longest playoff streak in professional sports – 20 years!

The Red Wings have reached 100 point seasons for 11 straight years

The Red Wings have won their division 9 times in the past 10 years

As the official hockey season comes to a close and the madness of hockey playoffs begin, I want to wish my Red Wings the best of luck. LET’S GO RED WINGS!!!

 


Spirit of Detroit


UPDATE - For whatever reason the link to the winning 2011 April in the D song did not transfer...for your audio pleasure -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZGUkFV0wsg&feature=related



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Opening Blog on Opening Day

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 10:30PM by yyeess 0 Comments -

It’s a great time to be a sports fan, especially here in California. Beer is flowing and hot dogs are grilling as all of the ballparks are opening their doors to their freshly mowed lawns, ready for the new season. Every single one of our hockey teams are in contention for the 2011 NHL playoff season. Sports bars everywhere are packed with raging college basketball fans for the final days of March Madness, and Lakers fans are gearing up for their own playoff berths.

It’s an even better time to be a GIRL sports fan. I get giddy excited thinking of getting tan and drinking beer in the warm sun in the bleachers of Oakland Coliseum. Retailers like Victoria’s Secret are FINALLY getting women’s sports attire right. And for me, I’m glad the playoff beard is coming (there’s something about cute guys and players with beards!).

So stay tuned with Denise and I here at YYEESS as playoffs approach and baseball season gets into full swing. We’ll bring you the best of sports from a girl’s perspective—but don’t lower your expectations just because we are females. On top of the OBVIOUSLY drool-worthy pictures of our favorite players, we will have analysis and commentary on games and athletes in the media. YYEESS!!!

-Alyssa