"You're Dead, Messier! We're Gonna Get You, Messier!"
Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes on winning the Stanley Cup Championship in a 3-1 Game 7 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers. While most people I know who were following (or attempting to follow) the Stanley Cup Playoffs were supporting Edmonton's bid to bring the Cup back across the Canadian border for the first time since 1993 (when the Montreal Canadians defeated Wayne Gretsky's LA Kings), I had adopted the Hurricanes as my favorite playoff team, and was glad to see them ultimately prevail. Due to a hectic work schedule (sorry for the light blogging) and a birthday dinner, I was unable to catch most of the game, but I did see the 'Canes hold onto their 2-0 lead through the third period and add an insurance goal with just over a minute left in the game.
Even without a thrilling finish, the game was far more exciting than the NBA debacle that occurred Sunday night. Not only did Game 5 not end until after 12:30 a.m. EDT (with the game being played in Miami on the East Coast, very considerate of your fans, David Stern), but thanks to the NBA rules permitting teams nearly unlimited times out in the 4th quarter and officiating designed to guarantee the best players at least 20 gift free throws on their home court, the last 2 minutes of each of regulation and the OT were excruciating to sit through. Forget everything I wrote about being interested in the NBA again. I won't suffer through another minute of the farce known as "The Finals." Nope, for me, the rest of the summer will be about the Mets, Team USA's bid to advance in the World Cup and preparing for the 2006 Gator Football season.
Anyway, I can bitch about the NBA in another post. Congratulations are in order for the newly minted hockey fans of the Carolinas and the old and probably embittered fans of the Hartford Whalers. Kudos are also in order for Rod Brind'Amour, Glen Wesley, Doug Weight and Ray Whitney, each winning their first cup after many seasons and playoff runs, left unfulfilled. Finally, special mention goes out to defenseman Brad Hedican (pictured, with his family and Lord Stanley's Cup), an American NHL veteran winning his first cup, who, in addition to having a name that sounds eerily similar to Kramer's favorite scotch, is now able to hold his head high at the breakfast table in his house with wife, Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi (this also being a pop culture blog, I thought it appropriate to single out the Hurricanes' player with the wife most likely to appear on the pages of Us Weekly). Mrs. Bookie was particularly inspired by the couple, who are practically living in the story book world of one of her favorite movies, the 1980's chick flick (and random cable channel staple), The Cutting Edge. Finally, congratulations to the NHL for finally putting the pieces back together and putting on the 2006 season. I understand that the ratings are as low as ever, and that's too bad. I told them they should have fixed the draft lottery for the Rangers, but nobody would listen. Where's David Stern and his frozen envelopes when you need him?