Archive for November, 2011

Is Sidney Crosby a Hypocrite?

sidney-crosbyIt’s been almost a full year now that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been the face of concussions and concussion recovery in the NHL. He is the reason why so much attention is given to head shots now and when Sid the Kid was taken out for 10 months due to a concussion, it was time for the league to sit up and take notice. During those 10 months, Sidney went from looking at retirement to full recovery, all the while in between touting the importance of head shots, and how seriously they need to be taken. But, is Sidney now eating crow, after a highly debatable hit on Nick Foligno of the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

The hit came after Foligno knocked into Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, three times, after which the Penguins were a bit fed up and took matters into their own hands. Sidney Crosby came up to meet Nick Foligno on the ice and swiftly gave him an elbow to the head. The play wasn’t called and the game continued. Afterwards though, harsh words were exchanged by all.

Bryan Murray, GM of the Senators, said after the game that everyone thought it was fair game, and that’s fine with him. He also pointed to the fact that his tough players weren’t on the ice that night saying, “We didn’t have enough toughness, so when we play Pittsburgh that’s something you can bring up to me again.”

Dan Bylsma, coach of the Penguins, blamed the hit completely on Foligno harassing their goalie all night, saying that “he can expect more than Sidney Crosby coming at him and talking to him during the game. That’s how we feel about those situations.”

The problem doesn’t seem to be with the play itself. With NHL disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, stating it was a good hit; the refs on the ice at the time saying it was a good hit; and just about everyone but the Senators saying the same thing, that much seems clear. But while the biggest question in the NHL a week ago was whether or not Sidney Crosby would get special treatment on-ice post-concussion, it’s a different question they’re asking now: is Sidney Crosby a hypocrite? Where is the Sidney who, while undergoing concussion recovery, talked about how important it was to respect players? And urged players to remember that at the end of the day, it is just a game?

It seems that Sidney may have worn off along with that white no-contact helmet he was wearing for a little while. And while he may be back, it’s fairly obvious that from here on out, Sidney Crosby will be given no special treatment when he takes the ice. And that’s probably just the way he likes it.

Some WWE Wrestlers Know When to Quit…and Some Don’t!

kevin-nashSome guys in the locker room know when it’s time to hang it up.  Think the difference between Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair.  One guy knows how to bow out gracefully while the other sort of…just…hangs around.  It appears as if the same thing is happening with two newer age WWE superstars (newer in the sense of 1990s, not 1980s).  Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho.

Kevin Nash is being a Flair with his “flair”, and most recently returned to the WWE, causing many reporters and fans to speculate that he may be on the Wrestlemania card.  Nash returned in a big way, by attack CM Punk at the SummerSlam Pay-Per-View.

Nash went on to blame Triple H for his interference, and eventually attacked the WWE executive and boss’s son in law.  An altercation recently happened involving Triple turning on Nash; Hunter went so far as to attack him with a sledgehammer.  (Yes, it is hard to maintain a friendship after someone beats you with a sledgehammer!)  Nash recovered and began assaulting Triple H with his own weapon and put him out of commission.  The latest news is that WWE agent John Laurinaitis signed Nash to a new contract.  It looks as if the big “grey” wolf is here to stay.

Meanwhile, Chris Jericho is taking the other route–he’s claiming early retirement.  At just 41 years of age, he announced that he will never wrestle for the WWE again.  Of course everyone says this at some point in his career, so how do we know Jericho is telling the truth?  He is not featured in the upcoming WWE 12 game, which does not bode well for his McMahon-controlled future. 

However, Jericho didn’t actually say that he’s done with wrestling.  Some insiders believe he may be joining the TNA alternative soon, perhaps reuniting with many of his old WWE alumni.  Neither party has commented, but it remains a possibility.

In that case, we can expect Jericho to wrestle for TNA for a few years and then return to the WWE, like everyone else does.  Now if Jericho actually retires in his 40s that would be unprecedented in the wrestling world.

Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark Playing Now with New Cast!

spidermanIt’s gained a lot of buzz, with six months of preview showings and the official opening this past June. But now Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark has returned to the Broadway stage and it’s brought some new cast members along for the ride!

This version of Spider-Man has become extremely popular among audiences, being one of the only shows where not only props come flying through the air — but actual characters too! Yes, as you sit in your seat you’ll be up close and personal with the actors like with no other show, as Spider-Man zips around the tall buildings of Manhattan trying to stop the Green Goblin in his tracks – and win Mary Jane’s heart.

The play, which has been described as everything from a “rock musical” to a “pop-up, pop-art opera,” had a hard time getting off the ground due to production delays and budget concerns. Neither was a huge surprise, as it’s also been called “the most technically complex show ever on Broadway.” Now it’s been playing regularly on Broadway for the past six months, and the issues have been ironed out.

The unique elements that make this show what it was are still there, and audiences will still be delighted with the zigzagging characters and the incredible musical score created by U2’s Bono. But, they also get some fresh faces such as Rebecca Faulkenberry, who stepped into the role of Mary Jane on November 8; and Christina Sajour, who replaced Arachne on November 15.

And for those who have already seen it, now is a great time to get tickets for another showing as Spider-Man Reeve Carney has taken some time off this year to work on a television project. He will be back but during his leave, understudy Matthew James Thomas will be stepping into the role. It’s one that Thomas is familiar with as he’s played the part two shows a week, due to the high physical intensity that the role requires.

Same great music, same great action, and a few new faces thrown in — get your Spider-Man tickets today!

These Three NFL Teams Need Your Cheers!

nfl-teamsThe NFL season is underway and three teams are falling from grace. In fact, they’re in danger of blowing the whole season! Of course, there’s nothing too shameful about a 5-3, especially when compared to appalling records earned by the likes of the Dolphins, the Rams and (sob) the Colts.

However, coming from the New England Patriots, we expect a little more than 5-3 (as of November 7th, 2011) since this was, at one time, the “dynasty” of the NFL. The Patriots have slipped to number nine in the rankings after losing two games straight, most recently to the New York Giants. What’s the problem? The Patriots are suffering from defensive problems, and are attempting to coast through the season with powerful offense. While this strategy worked at least three times, it’s getting to the point where other teams are starting to study New England in advance and exploit their defensive problems.

What about the Washington Redskins? At one time, one of the most valuable franchises, and at one time a contender, now the Redskins have fallen four weeks in a row, taking them to a 3-5 record. This is all the more discouraging since they started out strongly at 3-1. However, offense problems are significant, including the flawed performance of quarterback John Beck.

The Buffalo Bills are also suffering, maintaining a 5-3 loss, but losing a significant game to the Jets. Besides turning the ball over three times, there were also offense problems. In fact, they didn’t even start scoring major points until the third quarter of their game with the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, this season is becoming increasingly “Bizarro World” in terms of top playing teams. After all, the Bengals are now the #1 ranked team in the AFC North, followed closely by the Ravens, both maintaining a 6-2 record. The Houston Texans are holding their own at 6-3 of the AFC South, while the New York Giants are controlling the NFC East.

The only lack of surprise this season is the tank-like performance of the Green Bay Packers who are maintaining an 8-0 win-loss record. However, your dreams of seeing a Packers vs. Patriots, or a Packers vs. Bills are slowly deteriorating. Now is the time to root on your former champions and get them back in the competitive season!

Paramore Releases Prototypical Single

paramoreEver since their formation in 2004, Paramore has become known to their fans for their somber, despondent notes and lyrics. It’s made for a good backdrop not only to teenage angst, which many of their fans are going through, but also to many eerie creepy movie scenes such as those in Twilight and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

But they’re coming back with a new album, and it holds some surprises for fans. They’ve kept those soulful notes and some of those downbeat themes, but their newest single Hello Cold World is set against an upbeat, near-skater tempo while Hayley Williams belts out encouraging (dare we say, uplifting?) lyrics, “You can’t just stay down on your knees, the revolution is outside, you want to make a difference, get out and go get it.”

That’s not surprising, seeing as how this is the first album the band has released without Josh and Zac Farro, but it seems as though they’re getting along just fine.

Another surprising (and maybe somewhat disappointing) thing about this newest single is that it’s not available for download on iTunes, or anywhere else. Only members of the band’s “Singles Club” will be able to buy the song, as they were the only ones lucky enough to get a preview of “Renegade” last month. December will see “In the Mourning,” as the final Club release before the album goes public for sale.

In order to get the band’s newest single, as well as the other two included in the exclusive singles trio, become a member of their Singles Club on their official website here.

Kelly Clarkson is Coming to a Live Event Near You…But Not for Long

kelly-clarksonIt’s hard to imagine American Idol winner and touring superstar Kelly Clarkson as the lonely type, as she has legions of fans, and just as many male fans as female fans. However, she recently told People Magazine that she is looking forward to a calmer, married life. “Hopefully I’m married with four kids,” she said regarding her future. “I love what I do right now, but I live a very single life…I don’t plan on doing this forever.”

Kelly Clarkson has just released her fifth album Stronger, but the more she talks to the press it seems as if she’s feeling the exact opposite. She stated that though she may not retire, she certainly looks forward to taking things much slower after starting a family life. Perhaps she is taking a cue from fellow American Idol sensation Clay Aiken, who has stopped recording new music and is now focused on raising his son Parker.

It’s inevitable that Clarkson will not be entertaining the masses for long, so it’s best you buy a ticket now to experience her wild youth in person. The latest concert tour “Stronger” includes classic Clarkson like “Mr. Know It All”, “Dark Side”, “Einstein” and “You Can’t Win.” Clarkson stated that her inspirations for the new album, and new musical direction, included Prince, Tina Turner and Sheryl Crow.

One thing you have to give Kelly Clarkson as a performer is that she can actually sing! She has the vocal range of what is called a spinto soprano, meaning she can easily hit high notes but can also achieve dramatic climaxes and darker timbres without straining her voice. Her above average singing talent is one reason why she remains a favorite of music fans (who follow any hot young superstar) as well as critics who appreciate the brilliance demonstrated in her work.

Remember, this is the Burleson, Texas girl whom Simon Cowell once compared to Celine Dion, saying that she had the best voice of the competition “by a mile.” Rolling Stone stated that she is capable of being sweet, sexy and “bone-shaking” all in the same breath. She came from obscurity and now is one of music’s greatest contemporary voices.

The world loves Kelly Clarkson. The question is, what lucky guy will she turn out to love more than the world?

Rod Stewart Signs on for Year #2 in Las Vegas

rod-stewartRod Stewart has rocked the Colosseum at Caesars Palace during his premiere year in Las Vegas. And with the wild response he’s gotten, he’s now signed on for another year; and has announced the first set of performance dates.

The show is appropriately called “Rod Stewart: The Hits” and fans can sing along for about two and a half hours as Rod belts out classics like Maggie May, Do You Think I’m Sexy?, and Some Guys Have all the Luck. Stewart began his Las Vegas career this August and he’s already sold out many of his shows next month. He will then take a short break over the holidays, after which he and his husky voice will be back for more.

The new set of dates includes four new shows in March and four more in April. You can find a full listing of dates on Rod’s official website here, as well as ticket price information. Tickets range from $49 – $250 and they go on sale tomorrow.

In other Rod Stewart news, the music legend was also thrilled to announce recently that his band from the 1970s era, The Faces/The Small Faces, was recently nominated as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rod, who was inducted as a solo artist back in 1994, posted on his website “If the Faces make it in, I can’t think of a more befitting opportunity for the band to finally reunite and perform. I know I’d definitely be up for it.”

We think fans would be too!

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