Saturday, September 24, 2016

2008 NCAA Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship

It’s that time of year again. Time to enjoy the smell of a freshly lacquered hardwood court, to hear the roar of a rabid and wasted crowed, to hear the Xeroxing of office brackets, and to enjoy the madness that is men’s basketball in March. What better way to prepare for the excitement that is the NCAA Tournament, then to sample the delicious appetizer of conference tournament play. This year, one of the most compelling and competitive tournaments will be the Big 12 Championship (Thursday, March 13th – Sunday, March 16th… TV Schedule). Take a look, won’t you, at the projected outcome of this completive conference tourney:

Round One – Thursday, March 13th

Game One – Texas Tech (8) vs. OklahomaState (9)

Although the two teams boast an identical record in and out of conference (7-9 and 16-14), and the split their regular season meetings, Oklahoma State comes out the winner here. They showed a lot of heart this past weekend by narrowly losing to Texas 57-62. Oklahoma State finished the year strong by going 5-2 in conference, two of those wins being of the ranked teams of Kansas on 2/23 and Texas A&M on 2/16. Tech on the other hand limped to the finish line, amazingly losing to Kansas by 54 last week, and 44 to A&M the week prior. Winner: OklahomaState

Game Two – Baylor (5) vs. Colorado (12)

Baylor (21-9 and 9-7) should handle Colorado (11-9 and 3-13) relatively easily in this first round match-up. Baylor has proved that they can put up big offensive numbers, averaging 81.3 points per game for the year. Colorado, on the other, has struggled, averaging a conference worst 61.9 ppg. Baylor shouldn’t’t break too much of a sweat in this game, and should waltz right into the second round. Winner: Baylor

Game Three – Nebraska (7) vs. Missouri (10)

Nebraska (18-11 and 7-9) and Missouri (16-15 and 6-10) split their regular season series. Although Missouri averages 10 points more per game than Nebraska (77.8 vs. 67.5), the Huskers have shown to be the better team (showing more in games like their wins over A&M and Kansas State in February). This game, however, will not be a breeze for Nebraska, they’ll have to squeak this one out. Winner: Nebraska

Game Four – Texas A&M (6) vs. IowaState (11)

Texas A&M (22-9 and 8-8) matches up with Iowa State (14-17 and 4-12) in the last game on Thursday. A&M won by 18 points in their only regular season game and the Cyclones will struggle to keep up with the likes of DeAndre Jordan and Joseph Jones. The A&M front-court should dominate this game. The Aggies are second in the conference in FG% at 46.7%, while Iowa State is last at 42.1%. A&M should move on to the second round with relative ease. Winner: Texas A&M

Round Two – Friday March, 14th

Game Five – Texas (1) vs. Winner of Game One – OklahomaState (9)

Both of Texas’ (26-5 and 13-3) regular season contests with the Cowboys went down to the wire: winning 62-57 on 3/10 and 63-61 on 1/21. This time, however, the Longhorns should prove to highly motivated with the memory of last weekend’s narrow victory very fresh in their mind. D.J. Augustin should score in the 20’s (as he did in the teams previous meetings) and Texas should roll along to the semi-final round. Winner: Texas

Game Six – Oklahoma (4) vs. Winner of Game Two – Baylor (5)

Oklahoma (21-10 and 9-7) is poised for an upset in their match-up against Baylor. The Sooners took both of the regular season meetings by a combined total of 7 points. Just like Colorado, Oklahoma will struggle to keep pace with Baylor’s 81.3 ppg (Oklahoma averages only 69.5 per game), and Baylor will pull out the narrow upset in this game and proceed to the next round. Winner: Baylor

Game Seven – Kansas (2) vs. Winner of Game Three – Nebraska (7)

Nebraska will really have no answer for Kansas (28-3 and 13-3) in this match-up. The Jayhawks won the first regular season meeting of these teams by 21 points on 1/12 and the second by 36 points on 2/26. This second round match-up should play out like both of those games, with a blow-out win for Kansas. Winner: Kansas

Game Eight – KansasState (3) vs. Winner of Game Four –Texas A&M (6)

Michael Beasley and Company (20-10 and 10-6) shouldn’t’t have too much trouble with the Aggies here. Kansas State won their only regular season match-up 75-54 on 1/19. A&M has been streaky and frenetic all year long, and in this game their lack of composure will show. Winner: KansasState

Semifinals – Saturday, March 15th

Game Nine – Texas (1) vs. Baylor (5)

Baylor will meet their match at this point of the tournament, falling to the very tough Longhorns. They’ll put up a fight, however, and they game should prove to be high-scoring, but the Bears will have to return to Waco as Texas moves on. Winner: Texas

Game Ten – Kansas (2) vs. Kansas State (3)

Kansas will be out for revenge after their 84-75 loss to K-State on 1/30. Beasley can’t do it all, and the Wildcats will fall in this competitive inter-state match-up, which should prove to be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining games of the tournament. Winner: Kansas

Championship Game – Sunday, March 16th

Game Eleven – Texas (1) vs. Kansas (2)

After losing to the Longhorns by three points on 2/11, the Big 12 Championship Game will give the Jayhawks another opportunity to exact vengeance. In their only regular season match-up, Kansas was leading 42-38 at halftime, but scored only 27 points in the second half and lost 72-69. That game, however, was held in Austin, TX. The “neutral site” in their hometown state may prove to be only difference needed for Kansas to take the title and claim their number one seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Champion: Kansas

“NCAA Basketball Stats”, CBS Sportsline
“Big 12 Conference – Official Athletic Site”, Big 12 Sports
“Big 12 Conference Standings 2007-2008”, ESPN

Tags:2008 NCAA Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship

2008 NFL Draft Preview: Cincinnati Bengals' Wishlist

The Bengals have been a flashy team in recent years, but that hasn’t translated to success. After a disappointing 7-9 record in 2007, the Bengals will draft 9th in April and look to turn around a struggling defense once and for all. Cincinnati gave up 385 points, most in the division, and started the game 2-6 (one win against the 4-12 Jets). The Bengals have all kinds of weapons on offense – Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Palmer had a down year with 26 touchdowns and 20 Interceptions. Willie Anderson and Levi Jones are bookend tackles, but the rest of the offensive line needs to be upgraded. The defense has been a long time problem in Cincinnati despite Marvin Lewis being a defensive-minded head coach. Justin Smith and Deltha O’Neal are play makers, but have little help around them.

In the 2008 draft, the Bengals need to target defensive tackle, another pass rusher, linebacker, safety and the interior of the offensive line. With the 9th pick in the 1st-round, Cincinnati will have multiple options at defensive tackle and end. The Bengals would jump at the chance to draft USC’s Sedrick Ellis (6’1″, 305, sub-5.0), but he will likely be gone by then. Chris Long, Derrick Harvey and Calais Campbell are the trio of defensive ends projected in the 1st round. Cincinnati will take a hard look because nothing helps your defense more than a consistent pass rush in the NFL. Long may go in the top-5, so Harvey may be the more realistic choice. Keith Rivers and Xavier Adibi are speedy linebackers also likely to be on the board at #9.

In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, the Bengals can look towards Frank Okam (Texas) and Pat Sims (Auburn), both huge defensive tackles that can stuff the run and form a great tandem for years. Going another way would be top guard Roy Schuening (6’4″, 320 lbs.) and Michigan’s play making linebacker Shawn Crable. Safety Ryan Mundy (West Virginia) and LSU corner Jonathan Zenon can be decent sleepers in the late rounds for Cincinnati.

The Bengals had a down year in 2007 and don’t need to change much on offense. Don’t be surprised if all but one or two draft picks are on defense and for good reason. A little better play from Palmer in 2008 and a defense that plays middle-of-the-road and Cincinnati could return to the playoffs.

Tags:2008 NFL Draft Preview: Cincinnati Bengals’ Wishlist

2008 NFL Draft: New York Giants on the Defensive

The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants lost four of their “G-Men” defensive starters to free agency, but had guys to replace them. Going into the 2008 NFL draft, the Giants were looking to add depth back into those defensive positions (after all, it was that defense that won them those rings). According to the Sports Network, the Giants were looking for some much needed strength in the defensive backfield and the offensive line.

First Round (31): The Giants got the last pick of the first round (31st overall), choosing safety Kenny Phillips of Miami (FL). Phillips runs the 40 in less than 4.5 seconds and is able to follow the ball well. However, he is caught out of position a lot as well. He will need work, but the Giants believe that Phillips’ athletic ability will see him through.

Second Round (63): New York went to the defensive backfield for the second pick as well, choosing cornerback Terrell Thomas of USC for the last pick of the second round (63rd overall). Thomas is not very fast, but he is a great defender up close and has versatility as a safety or on defensive special teams.

Third Round (95): For their third round pick (95th overall), the Giants picked up wide receiver Mario Manningham from Michigan. Manningham averaged nearly 100 yards per game with Michigan and was ranked 10th in the nation. A big play guy, Manningham can also double as a running back (which he did at Michigan for 31 carries during his career there).

Fourth Round (123): The Giants went back to defense for their fourth round pick, outside linebacker Bryan Kehl of Brigham Young. Although reports show him not very good at man-to-man, Kehl is fast and a threat to rush the passer. He can also be used on special teams.

Fifth Round (165): The Giants picked up the balance for Kehl with inside linebacker Jonathan Goff of Vanderbilt for 30th pick of the fifth round (165th overall). He’s big and can get across the field to make key open field tackles.

Sixth Round (198): Quarterback Andre Woodson of Kentucky was the Giants 198th pick overall in the draft, coming in the sixth round. He is slow to release and telegraphs his passes, but he’s strong and accurate.

Sixth Round (199): The Giants picked up defensive end Robert Henderson of Southern Mississippi right behind Woodson in the sixth round (199th overall). He’s good against the run and pressuring the quarterback, but reports make him a questionable choice for NFL play.

The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants picked five defensive players in their first seven draft picks, looking to replace that which they lost after the Super Bowl and to plug the hole they have in the defensive backfield. They did not, however, address their issues on the offensive line and this could prove troublesom, especially with some of those bonecrushing defensive ballplayers making a nasty habit of coming in to attack Eli Manning. The Mario Manningham pick gives Manning another target besides Toomer, Tyree, and Burress. But will it be enough to get them back to the Super Bowl? Maybe…

Sources:

Tony Moss, “New York Giants 2008 Draft Preview,” KansasCity.com

ESPN.com

Tags:2008 NFL Draft: New York Giants on the Defensive

2008 NFL Playoffs: Quarterback Rankings

These rankings will go beyond the statistics to break down each QB’s tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses as a player.

The rankings are as follows:

8. Eli Manning, Giants

Eli has been stuck in Peyton’s shadow his whole career and struggled to measure himself against such lofty expectations. Refusing to play for San Diego didn’t help peoples’ perceptions of him, either.

Manning has a very good arm and can make just about any throw on the football field that he wants, but he tends to stare down his primary receiver too much and is turnover-prone. He often throws deep at bad times and ends up getting intercepted on a jump ball. When Manning is in a rhythm, however, he can be as good as just about any quarterback. A lot depends on his running game when it comes to his confidence.

7. Philip Rivers, Chargers

Rivers was the QB the Chargers got in place of Eli Manning when Manning refused to play for them. He has kind of an unorthodox delivery that he’s had since his days at N.C. State but it doesn’t affect him that much. His arm strength and pocket awareness are both solid but not great. Rivers doesn’t really excel in any one area but he does throw a pretty accurate, catchable ball that allows his receivers to catch it and run in stride to create big plays. He just needs to play within himself and keep San Diego in the game by eliminating mistakes.

6. David Garrard, Jaguars

Garrard is an excellent athlete, a good game manager who’s smart with the ball, and a very accurate passer as well. He is untested in the playoffs at this point, however, and hasn’t had a lot of time as a starter. Plus he has had the benefit of the NFL’s 2nd-best rushing attack all year so I can’t put him much higher on this list for now. Still, keep an eye on Garrard as he continues to progress in his career as he has a chance to be one of the best QB’s in the NFL.

5. Matt Hasselbeck

Despite his “We want the ball and we’re going to score” overtime blunder from a few years back, Hasselbeck’s teammates still rally around him and see him as a great leader and very good QB. He fits well in the West Coast offense because of his accuracy and ability to hit receivers in stride, although his arm strength is nothing spectacular. Hasselbeck also has experience from his trip to the Super Bowl two years ago and has proven to be a good player in the clutch. He’s just no quite good enough to win a game by himself most days.

4. Tony Romo

Romo is driven to make up for the mistake he made in last year’s playoffs when he fumbled a snap on a crucial extra point then tried unsuccessfully to run it in for 2 points. Romo has very good awareness in the pocket and is adept at buying time with his feet. He can also take off and run for a first down and is not afraid to fight for an extra yard when necessary. He is a tough, instictive player who has a little bit of Brett Favre in him and seems to be at his best when a play breaks down and he can buy time for a receiver to get open down the field. He should be one of the league’s best for at least a few more years.

3. Brett Favre

Even though it seems like every year is going to be his last and grey is setting into his beard, Favre continues to play at an extremely high level. He has become better at eliminating the silly mistakes that plagued him in the past and has led the NFL’s youngest team to a #2 seed. Favre is very tough to beat at home because his superior arm strength allows him to power the ball through the wind and/or snow at Lambeau Field and make any throw at any time, and his improvisational skills are just about unmatched with the football. He can pretty much do everything you need a QB to do except run a lot.

2. Peyton Manning

Even though he finally won a Super Bowl last year, Manning still has to answer to some critics who say the Colts won mainly on the strength of their running game last year. But with Manning keeping the defense honest the run game never would have been so successful. He has top-notch arm strength and throws a beautiful spiral every time so the ball is easy for his targets to catch. His play-fakes and pump-fakes freeze defenses so easily that Manning gives himself tons of windows to fit the ball into and he does that just about every time with ease. Manning will be in the Hall-of-Fame very soon and should continue to break records as the years keep coming.

1. Tom Brady

With 3 Super Bowl titles already under his belt, Brady accomplished more than most QB’s do their entire careers in just a few short years. Now that he finally has weapons on the level of what Peyton Manning has had we’ve all seen just how dynamic and dominating Tom Brady is capable of being. He throws the best and most consistent spiral in the game and has bulked up and refined his mechanics so well that even the deepest pass seems effortless for him. His footwork in the pocket and awareness of where defenders are is what makes him so great, however, as Brady always seems to buy just enough time to get his passes off even in the face of the rush. His ability to stay calm and deliver the ball under duress is what separates him from Manning in the clutch and what makes him #1.

Tags:2008 NFL Playoffs: Quarterback Rankings

2008 NFL Wild Card Hunt; Dallas Cowboys Must Win Out

NFL Wild Card, the best hunt in football… Sure the teams that have the fortune to have the division hold are few and far between. The fight for the top spot is really under the radar fighting for the wild card. 8 divisions and the most comfortable lead probably belongs to the Arizona Cardinals with only an 8-5 record. Their division is probably the worst! Their closest opponent the San Francisco 49ers at 5-8, they are not in the wild card hunt. The best records belong to the Tennessee Titans at 12-1 and the NY Football Giants at 11-2 and a heavy division win ratio with their first loss coming this weekend to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Every other division is coming down to the wire and no one team is in control, no team! The three teams in the NFC that are wild card hopefuls are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons (Michael Vick who?), and the Dallas Cowboys who’s staggering 13-6 lead dissipated with 6:00 minutes left in the 4th quarter against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that will have their own hands full with the Baltimore Ravens winners over the Washington Redskins. The Dallas Cowboys are now left with little option other than to win out, and their opponents are mighty, the NY Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, ouch!

The AFC has yes, the Miami Dolphins with a side order of Tuna, in the playoff hunt, vigorously hunting for a wild card playoff spot. Their final three opponents, San Francisco 49ers, K.C. Chiefs, and the dreaded NY Jets. This could be a team in the mix for sure. The team to watch in the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts, with their remaining schedule, they should be a shoe in. The Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jags, and finally the playoff tune-up the Tennessee Titans.

The Denver Broncos despite shabby defensive play, have a three game lead over the San Diego Chargers who have simply imploded this year, not unlike past teams coached by Norv Turner. Their final three games include the Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, and those same San Diego Chargers.

The wild card will belong to the top three teams with the best record in each division, that are not division winners. This year promises intense as well as frustration as there will likely be many teams over 500 not making the playoffs. Notable collapses this year in the wild card race, how about the Green Bay Packers, so sure they had made the right move with Brett Favre, guess not! The Jacksonville Jaguars, their quarterback move of a year ago, has not been sharp since then, and finally the New Orleans Saints that had high hopes of division or wild card and now sit in last place in that division, with only three games left and three teams to jump, they are out.

The wild card teams will not envy the division winners this year, I expect to see a Superbowl winner come out of the wild card!

Tags:2008 NFL Wild Card Hunt; Dallas Cowboys Must Win Out

2008 Oakland Raiders Draft Results

The Oakland Raiders came into the 2008 NFL Draft with holes at many positions and a huge need for a major upgrade. At the #4 spot in the 1st round, they were able to plot out many different possibilities for their first pick. The following is a list of each player they picked and how each person will impact the team.

Round 1 – pick #4
Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

While the Raiders certainly could have used more beef on the defensive line, they simply could not pass up the best overall playmaker in this year’s draft. McFadden brings game-breaking speed to the plate, and will easily fit in a Raiders’ offense that does not have anyone close to his ability. Not only will he be utilized in the backfield, but he can have a field day catching screens as well. Lane Kiffin worked with Reggie Bush at USC, and I’m sure he’s salivating at the different ways he can draw up plays for McFadden. Even with plenty of running backs on the roster already, adding a huge threat like him is a plus.

Round 4 – pick #100
Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut

The Raiders did not even need to watch the rest of the draft on Day One since they were done until Round 4. Branch has a great body and will most likely be mainly a special teams player early on. With the departure of Fabian Washington to the Baltimore Ravens, he could see time on defense if he proves to be reliable. If he’s as good as advertised on special teams, it’s a solid pick.

Round 4, pick #125
Armon Shields, WR, Richmond

Acquired in the Washington deal from Baltimore, Shields will have a great opportunity to fit in at WR on a team that lacks a true go-to guy. He sustained a knee injury that cut short his 2007 season, but worked hard to run a 4.38 40-yard dash as the NFL Combine. Described as a fearless player, he has a chance to make a splash.

Round 6, pick #169
Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo

Much like Shields, Scott fills a major need and will have an immediate chance at significant playing time. The Raiders were one of the worst teams at stopping the run last year, and that was with the now-retired Warren Sapp. Scott’s calling card is getting to the quarterback, something only Derrick Burgess has proved he can do. With the cornerback combination of DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha, if he can help the line pressure the QB more, the defense is automatically better.

Round 7, pick #226
Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego St.

Schilens has good size at 6’3″ and runs a 4.34 40. Like many other WR’s taken this late, his route-running ability will need to improve. But, he has the necessary tools to make the team with improvement. A good pick this late in the draft.

Final Tally
Offense: 2 WR, 1 RB
Defense: 1 DE, 1 CB

Overall Grade: B+

The grade could have been an A if not for the lack of overall picks and passing up a stud DE like Glen Dorsey or Vernon Gholston. But, drafting McFadden could prove to be the most memorable pick from this draft based on his overall ability alone. The other areas of need were addressed in WR and DE. Shields and Schilens are Al Davis-like guys in that they can run faster than their opponents. Scott is an intriguing pick if he can prove to be a good pass rusher. With more picks, they could have addressed their DE needs even more, but will have to hope that the resigning of Tommy Kelly and more improvement from within is the answer.

Tags:2008 Oakland Raiders Draft Results

2008 Oscar Nominations Get it Wrong: Snubs Take the Fun Out of This Year's Race

In a year when the Oscar ceremony is in peril because of the ongoing writers’ strike, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to save us the back and forth will-they or won’t-they drama and just killed the Oscars themselves. In a year of groundbreaking film and breakout performances, the Oscar nominations went to old favorites and left out several deserving nominees.

The historical British film “Atonement” was nominated for Best Picture, but the major players in the film, director Joe Wright and leads Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were all snubbed by the Academy. George Clooney’s overhyped performance in “Michael Clayton” took what should have been McAvoy’s nomination

Ryan Gosling’s critically acclaimed performance in “Lars and the Real Girl” also failed to turn the Academy’s head. The film wasn’t widely seen, and while Gosling has been overshadowed somewhat by Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem his name had been listed by some critics as a possible contender. Denzel Washington also gave a strong performance in “American Gangster.” His snub is one that will likely leave movie-goers scratching their heads, but it is an example of a role that resonates with the public but not the Academy voters.

In the Best Actress category, the biggest shocker was the exclusion of Angelina Jolie for her role in “A Mighty Heart.” It was Jolie’s finest performance since her Oscar-winning turn in “Girl, Interrupted.” The Academy instead inexplicably chose to honor “Juno’s” Ellen Page, Page performance was wonderful,but it lacked the strength and emotional resonance of Jolie’s turn as Marianne Pearl, the widow of murdered reporter Daniel Pearl. Many critics also thought Amy Adams had a chance to secure her first nomination as Princess Giselle in the Disney fantasy “Enchanted.” Cate Blanchett was a dual nominee this year, with a nomination in this category for “Elizabeth” and a nomination for Supporting Actress as Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There.”

In the Best Picture category, “Sweeney Todd” was left out in the cold, as was director Tim Burton. Johnny Depp received an Best Actor nod for his turn as the title character, but Burton’s adaptation of the Broadway musical may have proven too bloody for squeamish Academy voters. Burton wasn’t the only big name left off the list of Best Directors. Sean Penn was expected to be a shoe-in for “Into the Wild,” but he found himself on the outside looking in.

Source: http://www.oscars.org/

Tags:2008 Oscar Nominations Get it Wrong: Snubs Take the Fun Out of This Year’s Race

2008 NFL Super Bowl Commercials

Super Bowl commercials are always some of the best commercials of the year because so many people watch the Super Bowl. This makes the ad spaces expensive, which means companies work the hardest on these commercials. However, to my displeasure, the 2008 Super Bowl commercials were not so great. Let’s just say that less people will be getting bonuses for making great commercials than people getting fired for making the company waste 1.2 million dollars (the average price of a Super Bowl ad slot.) Still, I was able to find 10 commercials that were decent or even better out of this year’s unimpressive batch.

10. Ability to breathe fire is no longer included in Bud Light

What happened: A voice-over guy was saying how the ability to breath fire was now included in every bottle of Bud Light. Then it shows this guy on a date with his girlfriend, lighting a candle with his breath. He then starts talking to his girlfriend, but starts sneezing and ends up burning the entire place. The voice-over guy then says the ability to breath fire is no longer included in Bud Light and then goes on to say what Bud Light does include.

What I thought: I thought it was decent, a decent beginning to the Super Bowl commercials. This was one of the first ones and those are never good, but this one was decent. I did expect more from Budweiser, but I’ll take it. it was good. Especially when you consider the fact they had another commercial like this later on about the ability to fly.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2d8grYc

9. Dwyane Wade/ Charles Barkley fave 5

What happened: The Dwyane Wade/Charles Barkley Fave 5 saga continues. However, this time, Sir Charles adds Dwyane Wade to his Fave 5. The twist, Barkley doesn’t leave Dwyane alone, calling him at all hours of the day just because he can.

What I thought: It was good. It wasn’t as good as some of the other Fave 5 ones, but this one was interesting and ironic too.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2cvryMU

8. Etrade.com baby II

What happened: A baby with a semi creepy voice-over is using Etrade.com to save himself some money. He then talks about what he is doing with the money he saves, saying he bought himself a clown, which has been in the background for the entire commercial. The baby says, something about it wasn’t until now that I fully understand the creepiness factor of the clown.

What I thought: This was the second of two Etrade.com baby commercials. In the first one, the baby just threw up which I didn’t think was funny enough to cancel out the creepy voice-over, but this one did. The shot the innocent baby takes at clowns I thought was pretty funny.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2d8gbbJ

7. Fedex Birds

What happened: From the FedEx guys who brought us the prehistoric FedEx of a few years ago now brings us this one. The guys who don’t have FedEx need ways to ship things. One guy comes up with the idea of shipping things by pigeon mail. When the boss asks how they will send larger packages, he shows him a gigantically oversized pigeon. The boss thinks it’s a pretty good idea, until he looks out the window and sees that the giant birds are dropping all the packages on the people below and packing at them, causing major havoc below.

What I thought: I liked it. First FedEx made a commercial with dinosaurs, now they use giant birds wreaking havoc; I like it.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2cvt8ym

6. Planters with unibrow lady

What happened: A very ugly lady with a hairy mole and a unibrow is walking down the street with planters and they make her seem attractive to all the guys.

What I thought: This commercial was a bit disturbing looking back at it, that’s just how ugly they made her look. It also was very unrealistic and made no sense, but I thought it was pretty funny.

5. Doritos mouse

What happened: A guy is trying to trap a mouse in a mouse hole so he puts a mousetrap with a Dorito in it. Nothing happens. The man starts eating some of the Doritos and then out of the wall some this giant mouse who tackles the man eating the Doritos and steals them.

What I thought: This was really funny. Especially with the calm beginning music, I did not this giant mouse to come out of the wall. This came at a time after three of four really lame ones, so it was a breathe of fresh air.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2d8gIKM

4. Shaq on a horse vitamin water

What happened: In the spirit of the Vitamin water “try it” slogan, Shaquille O’Neal tries horse racing. Shaq pushes the other jockeys off of their horses and wins.

What I thought: This was hilarious. Just seeing the gigantic Shaq on a horse was hilarious. He was the size of the horse. The end part was funny too where you see him near all the other tiny jockeys that are like a fourth of his size. This commercial continued the Vitamin water, athletes doing things you wouldn’t expect them to do theme, after Brian Urlacher and David Ortiz played badminton in a commercial last year.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2cvrv3K

3. Justin Timberlake Pepsi

What happened: You see Justin Timberlake being pulled suddenly across the ground in unison with straw slurping sounds coming from a voice-over. He gets sucked across many places, including into a fire hydrant, injuring him where it would hurt him the most. Then it shows a lady drinking Pepsi through a straw and a voice-over says “every sip gets you closer to Justin Timberlake,” advertising the Pepsi grand prize of winning a trip to see him in concert.

What I thought: I thought this was clever. It intrigued be just to wonder why he was being pulled across the ground, and then the whole “every sip gets you closer” thing I thought was very clever. I also thought it was funny when Timberlake is pulled groin first right into a fire hydrant.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2d8hdEF

2. Carlos Mencia Bud Light

What happened: Carlos Mencia is showing foreign guys how to use their accent to get women at a bar. After all of them fail, Mencia shows them how it’s done. However, to his surprise is already with a guy, the “bood light” guy from last year’s Super Bowl commercial.

What I thought: This was pretty funny. I was laughing really hard at the irony of the guy who Mencia could not teach to say “bud light” in last year’s Super Bowl commercial stealing Mencia’s girl this year.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2cvrwEQ

1. Wheel suck

What happened: Another great one from the Bud light guys here. Cavemen (always funny in the Super Bowl) are trying to take Bud Light to a party, but the square rock they are pushing is frustrating them. Then, the guy who invented the wheel decided that they should try to use that to transport the Bud Light. However, instead of rolling the Bud Light on the wheel, they use the wheel as a table, a really heavy table. This prompts one cavemen to grunt something, which is says in the subtitles was “wheel suck.” After the voice-over guy talks about Bud Light for a little while, it goes back to the caveman at the party, this time trying to open the bud light. One smashes the entire bottle with a rock, and grunts ‘bottle opener suck.”

What I thought: This was the best one. It combined beer, cavemen, and stupid humor to make the ultimate Bud Light Super Bowl commercial.

Watch it: http://ift.tt/2d8fIWX

Tags:2008 NFL Super Bowl Commercials

2008 NHL Season Preview: New Jersey Devils Have High Hopes for Young Talent

The New Jersey Devils are happy with their crop of youngsters going into the 2008 season. Going into the 2008 NHL Entry Draft they knew they had to address the lack of depth at center, so they selected 4 centermen at the draft. The Devils like the size and skill of their defensemen and wingers and have some players who could step into an NHL role this coming season.

One of those players could be center Petr Vrana. Vrana can play on both ends of the ice, providing scoring, but also being responsible in his defensive zone. The 2003 prospect was selected 42nd overall and spent last season with Lowell of the American Hockey League. He posted 20 goals and 61 points there, and could fill the roster spot that departed Sergei Brylin left behind.

Much like Devil John Madden, Patrice Cormier is a big, strong, and physical center. Cormier has a bit more skill than Madden, but with the offensive punch to back up his physical play. He is projected to be a third or fourth line center for the Devils and likes to play in traffic and in front of the net. At 6-foot-2 201 pounds, Cormier led the Rimouski Oceanic in scoring in the playoffs with 4 goals and nine points in just nine games. He also tallied 18 goals and 41 points in just 51 games because of missing time due to minor injuries. Cormier is one of those players how is hard to play against. It is hard to knock him off the puck and his board work is excellent.

On the wing, the Devils have Russian Alexander Vasyunov. The Devils have high hopes for the 5-foot-11 189 pound winger who could be one of the best players available to the Devils in the near future. Vasyunov plays for his home town, and problems have arisen as to whether he is ready to make the move overseas to the NHL. Ultimately it will be up to Vasyunov as the Devils are definitely ready for him to step into an NHL role. Vasyunov played only 39 games in the last two seasons with his home team of Yaroslavl of the Russian Super League. Taken 58th overall in the 2006 Draft, Vasyunov posted only 4 goals in 22 games with the Russian Super League last season and an injury kept him out of the 2008 World Junior Championships. The Devils are hoping that Vasyunov thinks long and hard about making the jump to the NHL, they would like to have him sooner rather than later.

On defense, the Devils are very happy with the development of their first round pick in 2006 Matt Corrente. Corrente was selected 30th overall and will someday play against some of the best forwards in the world. The 5-foot-11 189 pounder had 15 points and 64 penalty minutes for the Ontario Hockey Leagues Niagara Ice Dogs last season. He was limited to just 21 games due to injury but returned in the playoffs and posted 5 assists in 5 games. Corrente is making strides every day to crack the roster of the Devils, but with their depth on defense, Corrente will likely have to wait. Once he does though, look for him to be a solid defensemen for the Devils for a long time.

No one is going to question Martin Brodeur’s role as the number one goaltender in New Jersey. The future Hall of Famer seems just as good now as he has ever been which can be discouraging for any young netminder trying to make the team. Jeff Frazee is the goalie who is trying to do just that. The Devils have not had much luck with goaltending prospects because of the dominance that Brodeur holds on the number one spot. Frazee is coming off a disappointing season at the University of Minnesota where he went 6-7-1 and lost the starting spot. Frazee decided to sign with the Devils at the end of the season and will begin his pro career in the fall.

Tags:2008 NHL Season Preview: New Jersey Devils Have High Hopes for Young Talent

2008 Oregon Dove Hunting Season

The 2008 Oregon Dove Hunting Season, which is set by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and is approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, opens September 1, 2008. But, just because the season opens on the first day of September, hunters who wish to take these birds should have already taken steps to prepare for this opening day. These steps must include brushing up on their knowledge of what they must do and what they must have in order to legally hunt doves in Oregon. This would include having the proper licenses and permit, the proper weapon and of course, they must have the permission of the land owner where they wish to hunt doves.

Before any person can legally hunt doves during the 2008 Oregon Dove Hunting Season they must have a valid Oregon hunting license or a combination license. They must also have a HIP (harvest information program) registration and if the dove hunter is under the age of 18, they must have proof with them that they have successfully taken a hunter education program. These requirements are necessary for both residents and non-residents of Oregon. However, Oregon residents who are landowners do not have to pay for their hunting license to hunt doves on their own property as this license for them is free of charge.

After the dove hunter has successfully obtained all the necessary licenses and registrations that make them legal to hunt doves in Oregon, they will need to know when the 2008 Oregon Dove Hunting Season actually is scheduled to take place throughout the state of Oregon. This begins on September 1, 2008 and continues on through September 30, 2008 and extends from ½ an hour before sunrise until sunset on each of these days. During these days, dove hunters in Oregon can have a daily bag limit of 10 doves and a possession limit of 20 doves.

Dove hunters in Oregon will also need to know what weapon they can legally use to take these birds during the 2008 season. They can use a shotgun that is 10 gauge or smaller. This shotgun can be conventional or a muzzleloader and must be fired from the shoulder. Also, the barrel of this shotgun must be at least 18 inches long and the overall length of the shotgun must be at least 26 inches long. This shotgun must only be capable of holding three shotgun shells.

Shotguns are not the only weapons that can be used to take doves in Oregon. Dove hunters can also use recurve, compound or long bows or they can use falconry.

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2008 Olympic Military Weather Modification Program

In a small village located outside of Beijing lives a widow known as Chi. Three months before the 2008 Olympics, if you were driving past her flat you probably would not even notice it. Now if you drove past it you would see an anti-aircraft rocket launcher decorating the yard. Miss Chi is one of many voluntary participants in the 2008 Olympic Military Weather Modification Program. The program’s goal is to stop all rain from coming down on Beijing during the Olympics. The 2008 Beijing Organising Committee promised no rain on the opening parade by firing over 1100 rockets from 21 sites around Beijing to disperse storm clouds. They kept their word. For the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony they worked to scatter the rainclouds before they hit the stadium. Using rockets fired from over 21 sites in the Beijing, a powerful rain belt was attacked, which triggered premature showers before they reached the capital. Baoding city, south-west of Beijing, received about 4 inches of precipitation but in the capital the rain held off.

To someone unfamiliar to weather modification, it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. But it has been around since the 1940’s. It was developed by US chemist Vincent Schaefer. It works by firing Silver Iodide into clouds which cause water to freeze into rain or snow. China has been manipulating weather for years. China’s weather modification technology has received most of its attention during Chinese public holidays when they try to keep it from raining nationwide. China’s Weather Modification Office is a government department that employs over 35,000 people. They have an arsenal of over 7,000 cannons, 5,000 rocket launchers, 30 planes and a budget of over $US260m.

Unlike science fiction, this is not fiction. It is a common practice around the world. It is used in especially dry parts of the world year round. It is used to attack rain, snow, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes and local storms. Statistics and research studying about its effectiveness have shown it to be a very worthy investment. Due to the necessity of rain, especially in famine weary countries the United Nations has banned large scale weather modification. Despite its history and well documented success, the widely accepted opinion of western scientists and meteorologists is that weather modification is limited or non-existent. Weather modification has been a topic in many books and movies. There have been many fears, rumours and conspiracy theories based upon it. In western countries it is largely viewed with suspicion and not taken seriously by the scientific community. But there is a growing consensus in favor of the technology including numerous corporations who provide weather modification services. The 2008 Olympics have helped bring this technology to the mainstream but it may take decades before the western world accepts it enough to turn money into researching it. Until then, China and emerging countries will continue to have the upper hand on this technology.

Tags:2008 Olympic Military Weather Modification Program

2008 Tax Law Changes: You May be Eligible for a Bigger Refund

The Internal Revenue Service has come out with new tax laws that will help families receive more of their tax withholdings when they file their federal income tax return for 2008. These new tax laws, passed by congress, were put into place to help taxpayers overcome the economic slump.

Recovery Rebate Credit: The Recovery Rebate Credit is a one-time benefit for taxpayers who were not eligible for the first economic stimulus check distributed in 2008. Since the stimulus check was based on your 2007 tax return, any changes in 2008 may get you more money.

If you did not receive a stimulus check or if your check was less than the maximum $600 then you may qualify for a rebate up to the initial $600. Also, if you had a child in 2008 that was not a dependent in 2007, then you are eligible for the $300 child credit. You can use the Recovery Rebate Calculator to see if you are eligible.

Alternative Minimum Tax: The Alternative Minimum Tax has been a thorn in the side of the American middle class for years. This tax came about with The Tax Reform Act of 1969. This tax was initially set up to ensure that some wealthier tax payers did not use every possible deduction in order to get out of paying taxes. The problem is that it was set to 1969 wages so every year congress has to increase the exemption amount in order for the tax not to affect the middle class.

The Alternative Minimum Tax kicks in at a calculated wage and completely eliminates deductions and tax credits causing the taxpayer to pay more taxes to the government. Luckily, congress has increased the allowable income amount again this year so fewer Americans will be affected by this tax.

First Time Homebuyer Credit: Anyone who bought a house between April 9, 2008 and June 30, 2009 may be eligible for up to $7,500. This is an interest free loan from the government. Homebuyers have to pay back the money within fifteen years but it will only cost them $500 per year.

First time homebuyers may borrow up to ten percent of the purchase price of the home up to $7,500. If you sell the house, then the remainder of the loan is due that year. You can claim this credit with your 2008 federal tax return.

Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief: More relief is pouring into the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. If you live in one of the counties that was declared a disaster area due to severe storms, tornadoes, or flooding you may be eligible for an increase in the housing credit. People in these areas can also expect a decrease in restrictions on deductions.

The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief also provides an additional exemption for someone who provides housing for a person displaced by these natural disasters.

The tax laws change every year. This year there a few positive changes that will help Americans keep more of their tax money. For a complete list of the 2008 tax law changes you can visit www.irs.gov. You can also view the highlights here.

Sources:

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Tags:2008 Tax Law Changes: You May be Eligible for a Bigger Refund

2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total (Day 8, August 15)

2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count for August 15, 2008:

For the listings: rank – gold – silver – bronze – medal count total:

1 – China – 27 – 10 – 6 – 43

2 – United States – 15 – 14 – 19 – 48

3 – Germany – 8 – 3 – 5 – 16

4 – South Korea – 6 – 9 – 4 – 19

5 – Italy – 6 – 5 – 4 – 15

6 – Japan – 6 – 4 – 4 – 14

7 – Australia – 5 – 7 – 10 – 22

8 – Russia – 4 – 8 – 8 – 20

9 – Great Britain – 4 – 2 – 3 – 9

10 – Ukraine – 4 – 0 – 4 – 8

11 – France – 3 – 9 – 8 – 20

12 – Slovakia – 3 – 1 – 0 – 4

13 – Czech Republic – 2 – 2 – 0 – 4

14 – Georgia – 2 – 0 – 1 – 3

15 – Cuba – 1 – 3 – 4 – 8

16 – Zimbabwe – 1 – 3 – 0 – 4

17 – Netherlands – 1 – 2 – 4 – 7

18 – Azerbaijan – 1 – 2 – 1 – 4

19 – North Korea – 1 – 1 – 3 – 5

20 – Romania – 1 – 1 – 2 – 4

21 – Mongolia – 1 – 1 – 0 – 2

21 – Poland – 1 – 1 – 0 – 2

23 – Brazil – 1 – 0 – 4 – 5

24 – Switzerland – 1 – 0 – 3 – 4

25 – Spain – 1 – 0 – 1 – 2

25 – Finland – 1 – 0 – 1 – 2

27 – Ethiopia – 1 – 0 – 0 – 1

27 – India – 1 – 0 – 0 – 1

27 – Thailand – 1 – 0 – 0 – 1

30 – Hungary – 0 – 4 – 1 – 5

31 – Kazakhstan – 0 – 3 – 2 – 5

32 – Sweden – 0 – 2 – 1 – 3

32 – Turkey – 0 – 2 – 1 – 2

34 – Belarus – 0 – 1 – 3 – 4

35 – Austria – 0 – 1 – 2 – 3

36 – Algeria – 0 – 1 – 1 – 2

36 – Kyrgyzstan – 0 – 1 – 1 – 2

36 – Norway – 0 – 1 – 1 – 2

36 – Slovenia – 0 – 1 – 1 – 2

36 – Uzbekistan – 0 – 1 – 1 – 2

41 – Columbia – 0 – 1 – 0 – 1

41 – Ecuador – 0 – 1 – 0 – 1

41 – Serbia – 0 – 1 – 0 – 1

41 – Vietnam – 0 – 1 – 0 – 1

45 – Armenia – 0 – 0 – 5 – 5

46 – Indonesia – 0 – 0 – 3 – 3

47 – Taiwan – 0 – 0 – 2 – 2

47 – Denmark – 0 – 0 – 2 – 2

49 – Argentina – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Bulgaria – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Croatia – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Egypt – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Lithuania – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Mexico – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Tajikistan – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

49 – Togo – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1

See 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total for Days 1 and 2 (August 8 and 9)

See 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total for Days 3 and 4 (August 10 and 11)

See 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total for Day 5 (August 12)

See 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total for Day 6 (August 13)

See 2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total for Day 7 (August 14)

Source:

ESPN.com

Tags:2008 Summer Olympic Medal Count Total (Day 8, August 15)

2008 New York Asian Film Festival Review: Yoshihiro Nishimura's "Tokyo Gore Police"

Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite comedians, and one of the best currently working, has a great routine about movie titles. According to Oswalt, the greatest movie title ever created is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, because it is perfectly descriptive of the film it is attached to. You can practically see the film in your head as you hear the title. The same goes for Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Tokyo Gore Police, a delirious and (mostly) entertaining blast of J-horror excess. There’s no ambiguity, or any chance that you will be fooled when you sit in the theater. As the title promises, and which it delivers and then some, there is lots and lots of gore in this film, and there is no chance that you will instead be confronted with, say, a sensitive Merchant Ivory-type romance. The film stars Eihi Shiina, a model-turned-actress who is best known to Western moviegoers as the bride from hell in Takashi Miike’s Audition. In Tokyo Gore Police, she is one of the titular keepers of the peace, on the trail of mass murderers who specialize in mutilating their victims in gruesomely creative ways. In the near-future Tokyo of the film’s setting, the police force has been completely privatized, freeing the police to go after criminals with impunity, and outside the realms of judicial scrutiny. Ruka (Shiina), a cop specializing in catching “engineers,” criminal masterminds who compel others to kill, and use their own wounds as weapons. Ruka’s father (Keisuke Horibe) was killed when she was a young girl, as he was protesting the privatization of the police force.

But this film’s raison d’être is bloody excess, and lots of it. Chainsaws cutting through flesh and bone, viscera spilling out of stomachs, geysers of blood spraying from wounds, a turret of severed hands used as missiles, a woman whose legs are replaced by alligator-like serrated teeth, and the piece de resistance, a huge penis gun: all that and much more can be found here. The film’s main attraction, of course, is the exquisitely gorgeous Shiina herself. On the evidence of this film, however, to describe her as an “actress” may be a tad generous. To call her performance minimal would be wildly overstating it. The very few times that emotion is called for from her character, it doesn’t quite come off. But considering the outrageous nature of most of what happens in the film, this may be the best performance strategy. So much blood and guts, though, can be somewhat enervating after awhile. And this may be me becoming an old fogey, but I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’ve outgrown this type of thing, and seeing people sawed in half, and drawn and quartered, doesn’t thrill me as much as it used to. And I’ve especially become more and more sensitized to the depiction of violent acts directed towards women, and it has become ever more distasteful to me. In one scene, a very unlucky call girl is gored between the eyes, dismembered and stuffed in a box. At the screening I attended, there were a few enthusiastic whoops and hollers in the audience at this, which bothered me greatly. That this kind of thing is considered cool or fun disturbs me quite a bit. But to Nishimura’s credit, he counteracts this with his tough-as-nails female protagonist, and he proves himself to be an equal opportunity goremeister. In one of the film’s best scenes, Ruka gets her revenge against a molesting subway pervert by pulling him off the train, taking him outside, and cutting off his hands with a samurai sword. Ruka then walks away from him in slow motion, making full use of her fashion runway training, using an umbrella to shield herself from the geysers of blood emanating from the subway groper’s hands. This image is a brilliant perversion of clichéd Japanese iconography.

So with Tokyo Gore Police, you know going in what you’ll be getting. And if you’re into that sort of thing, you most certainly won’t be disappointed.

Tokyo Gore Police screens at IFC Center on June 27 and July 3 as part of the New York Asian Film Festival. To purchase tickets, go to Subway Cinema’s website.

Tags:2008 New York Asian Film Festival Review: Yoshihiro Nishimura’s “Tokyo Gore Police”

2008-2009 New Jersey Devils Hockey Season at a Glance

The 2008-2009 NHL season officially started for the New Jersey Devils on Friday October 10, 2008. Every die-hard Devils fan was either at the game or glued to their television set to see how the team looked in the home-opener. They were hosting the Islanders, which seemed like an easy win. Unfortunately, the game was not as easy as everyone thought. The final score was 2-1, with a Devils win. Although it wasn’t an easy win, it was a win in the Prudential Center, which excited fans. The season was rolling until the New Jersey Devils faced a heart-breaking loss that nobody knew how to deal with.

Hosting the Atlanta Thrashers on November 1st, the Devils already had a 5-2-2 record on the season. The game was going great, and the Devils were up 3-0. At 6:38 into the second period, Martin Brodeur, arguably the best goalie to ever play the game, the backbone of the Devils, made what seemed like a routine glove save. Unfortunately, though, he was slow to get up, clutching his left arm. At this point, every Devils fan everywhere around the world stopped. The announcers were also confused, as Martin Brodeur is such an important factor to the team. Shortly after the game, Brent Sutter made a comment saying that it seemed like a routine glove save, and he did not know what the extent of the injury was. The Devils and their fans were all just hoping for the best.

An announcement was made that Brodeur would need surgery to repair the bicep tendon in his left arm, and that he could miss 50 games. So many thoughts were going through Brodeur fans’ heads, thinking about the potential of the current season. He was within reach of Patrick Roy’s all-time record for wins and shutouts.

At this point, the Devils seemed to hit an all-time low with injuries, already missing veterans Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik. Kevin Weekes was the backup goalie, and Scott Clemensen was called up from Lowell (AHL). The next game, the Devils lost 2-0 to the Buffalo Sabres and lost five of their first six games without Brodeur. They were hitting a slump that they had to get over. Throughout the next couple of games on a losing skid, there were a couple of players that emerged to make their team get back on track, including Captain Jamie Langenbrunner and Zack Parise.

On Friday Nov 14, 2008, the Devils came up short once again to the Capitals in Washington. The next day, the Devils hosted the Capitals for a rematch in the Prudential Center. The game was very exciting, and the Devils were playing desperate hockey. The game was tied five times, with two lead changes. The result was great for the Devils and their fans; a 6-5 win in a shootout. This was a much needed win, as the Devils were slipping in the Atlantic Division standings. They put together a little winning streak, and confidence was being built game by game while the Devils did not lose more than two in a row for the next four months.

From here on out, Devils fans were seeing what seemed like a Stanley Cup Champions team. Towards the end of January, the Devils put together an eight-game winning streak. On February 26, 2009, the Devils hosted the Colorado Avalanche. This was the game everyone was waiting for. Martin Brodeur coming back into the line-up from injury, getting a standing ovation as his name was announced at Prudential Center. From his first save, the crowd went wild. Everyone wanted to know how he would respond to being out for so long, but it seemed that he somehow became even better. The Devils had four straight wins, two of which Brodeur recorded shutouts.

On Tuesday March 17, 2009, Martin Brodeur had one more thing to prove: breaking the all-time record for wins by a single goaltender. Patrick Roy was at the game where Marty tied his record 551 wins, watching as the Devils ousted the Canadiens of Montreal. The game was close the entire time, but the Devils got out to an early lead. The game ended as a 3-2 victory for the Devils, and Brodeur breaking the record for most wins by a goaltender in NHL history.

Towards the end of the season, Devils fans were refreshed as the Devils continued to climb in the standings of the Eastern Conference. The Devils once again were the Atlantic Division Champions, and would play the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The first round of the playoffs started well for the Devils, as they had home-ice advantage and won game one 4-1. From here on out, the series was back and forth, with the Hurricanes forcing a decisive game 7 with a win in game 6 4-0.

Game 7 had all the excitement any fan would like to see, unless they were fans of the Devils or Hurricanes. It was purely nerve-wrecking for each team. The game seemed to be going the Devils’ way, while they played a solid game and seemed to be close to advancing to the next round. At the start of the third period, they were up 3-2. They started to play a little defensively, which seemed like it could work for the win. With about two minutes left in the third period, Devils fans were estatic, thinking that they were going to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, with 1:20 left in the third, the crowd fell silent. Jussi Jokinen scored a goal that really took the life out of the Devils. With 31.7 seconds left to play in regulation, Eric Staal buried the Devils with a shot from the right circle that just got by Brodeur. This loss was stunning. All Devils fans were upset, as they also lost game 4 with 0.2 seconds left to play.

Such a promising Devils season all came crashing down with late goals by the opposing team. After hitting a rough patch in the beginning of the season and rising from that, fans just think, “How can the Devils regain confidence and be a Stanley Cup contender next year?”

Tags:2008-2009 New Jersey Devils Hockey Season at a Glance

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