There were a couple storylines to come out of the Penguins-Sabres game Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
Former Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, who now coaches Buffalo, returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since his not-so-smooth firing back in June of last year, Pittsburgh won 4-3, but it wasn't an impressive performance against an inferior Sabres team, and this happened, too. You've probably seen this already. I showed my dad this video when I saw met him for lunch Friday. He thought it was awful, and he's almost as old as the guy in the video.
Yes. The classic case of an adult snagging a puck (or in most cases, a baseball) from a kid. He's that guy. A balding, probably in his 60s, adult. What's even worse, the man turns and sees the kid after snagging it out of the air, and instead of going "I'm sorry son, here you go," he puts it in his pocket. Probably next to a couple salt packages he took at the condiment table on the concourse.
Now, the Penguins saw this and gave the kid a puck and a Sidney Crosby jersey. Bylsma also gave him another puck. If you didn't know, the team has a good public relations team.
I could imagine that the old man received some grief from the fans sitting around him and he had to be humiliated when the organization had the mascot Iceburg bring a puck and a $150 hockey jersey down to the kid, so that 18,000 plus people could shame him even more. If you have seen the South Park episode "Safe Space," and the scene where Randy is shamed into donating a dollar to hungry children at a Whole Foods, you may know how the old man might have felt after that moment. Or maybe he doesn't give a damn. Also, the woman right behind the Sabres bench who reached out for it too was probably really happy she didn't catch it.
When it comes to getting items like balls, bats and pucks at games that come into the stands, why do some adults have to be, how do I put this nicely? Jerks. Why do theses jerks fight a kid for something like a foul ball or one that is lobbed to them by the ball boy or a player in the stands?
Every so often, stories like the one in Pittsburgh Thursday night appear. A selfish adult intercepts a baseball intended for a kid and won't give it to them.
For example, this adult woman who took a ball intended for a three year-old, wouldn't give it to him as he cried, and then had her friend take a picture of her with it. She should've just looked at the kid and said "f*** you, crybaby". It's just as bad as what she originally did.
How about this one? This woman is worse than the one in Texas. Takes it right out of her hands and shows no remorse.
Here's another one from Miami. A grown man taking a ball from a girl. Is there something in the water in South Beach?
Wanna feel even worse, adults? Here's a young fan, giving a ball to a younger fan.
Now, these moments of adults being horrible human beings are shown on television and make it onto television, and I would suspect that there are moments when adults do give kids a ball or puck that goes into the seats. Unfortunately, those don't become viral or get the media's attention.
Either way, don't be the guy at the Penguin game and don't grab baseballs and other items out of a child's hands. You are only a kid once in your life, and they will have more than enough time to be a miserable adult like some of you out there. Also, why not teach kids how not to be jerks? In a world full of them already, why not make an effort to limit those numbers from increasing in the future?
Drink your overpriced beer, eat your $15 sandwich and give the damn ball (or puck) to the kids.
I have learned to loathe politics over the year, but I have always loved comedy. Especially Seinfeld.
If you've been following the presidential election, you may know about Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He's the quirky, Democratic, socialist running for president, and he's closer in the polls to Hillary Clinton than any of the other candidates running (or at least trying to), and looks and acts a lot like Larry David, who co-created the "show about nothing," and had his own show on HBO called Curb Your Enthusiasm.
David and Sanders are very alike in their mannerisms and Saturday Night Live brought back David, who was a writer for one season on the show back in the 80s, to play the eccentric Senator. It's right up there with Tina Fey's Sarah Palin and Will Ferrell's George W. Bush.
Lorne Michaels, PLEASE invite Larry back to do Sanders for as long as he's around during the race. Everyone though Donald Trump was a joke, but he's still around, so why not keep Bernie around a little longer? It might do wonders for ratings.
Root, Root Root for the Cubbies?
When you're known as the lovable losers, you tend to grow on baseball fans, even if those folks aren't fans.
The Chicago Cubs were expected to be this good...a year or two down the road. Instead, they've arrived early and look like the favorite to win the National League pennant as they will face the Mets in the National League Championship Series.
Chicago went 97-65, which was only good for third place in a tough, National League Central, that boasted the top three records in baseball. They began their playoff run by beating the 98-win, second place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game 4-0, thanks to Jake Arrieta's complete game shutout and runs driven in by Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler.
With their victory, the Cubs had a date with the first place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. It was said by many that whoever came out of the one-game wild card in the National League, Cubs or Pirates, would be a favorite to beat the Cardinals, who slowed down in the final stretch of the year after a really strong start. That projection proved to be right, as the Cubs disposed of St. Louis in five games, clinching a series at Wrigley Field for the first time ever.
There's a lot of mystique around the Chicago Cubs franchise. They have the second-oldest ballpark in baseball, with that ivy on the outfield walls, the rooftop seating, and the fanbase has been loyal through all the ups and downs they've experienced over the last century. Oh, and if I may add something else you may already know, they have not won a World Series since 1908 and have not won a National League pennant since 1945. Of course, they came close to making it to fall classic in 1984, 1989 and that infamous 2003 series with Steve Bartman. Also throw in the goat from the 30s and the black cat from the 1969 season for good measure.
Just having the Chicago Cubs in the playoff mix makes it more interesting. Television ratings should be good for the NLCS,, and if they make it to the World Series, it might be one of the largest audiences to watch a series in the last 20 years.
If the Red Sox could end their drought, the Cubs shouldn't be too far away...right?
Oh, and one more thing: The Back to the Future Part II prophecy! There is a scene when Marty McFly travels to the year 2015 and sees a news bulletin announcing the Cubs have won the World Series. By the way, the date was October 21, 2015, which is less than a week away. No hoverboards or hovercars just yet, but maybe a Cubs World Series title will come this year?
I lied. One more thing. I promise. A commercial from the Playstation game, MLB 12: The Show, gives us an idea of what might happen if the Cubs win the World Series at Wrigley Field.
USC football is in turmoil again. This time, you can't blame it on Mike Garrett.
Garrett brought in Lane Kiffin before being replaced by Pat Haden. Haden fired Kiffin after a loss to Arizona State and many would say it was Haden cleaning up the mess that Garrett created.
The current mess at USC involving Steve Sarkisian is Pat Haden's, and Haden's alone.
Steve Sarkisian, who was Haden's hire, was fired a day after being put on temporary leave after showing up to practice in no condition to work, which is related to a drinking problem he has. Also, some assistants said that Sarkisian appeared to be drunk during the game at Arizona State back in September.
While alcoholism is a serious issue and hopefully Sarkisian gets the help he needs, it appears that his problems with alcohol didn't just start recently with the incident at a booster event in August. The L.A. Times has an article that chronicles Sarkisian's drinking habits from his coaching days at Washington.
More than 800 pages of receipts, hotel folios and expense reports obtained by The Times from Sarkisian's tenure at Washington show alcohol was a constant presence.
Along with the accounts of his drinking, former players at Washington said that they were not surprised about this.
Now, the L.A. Times can gain access to all this information for their story. Didn't Pat Haden has access to this info?
When USC hired Haden in 2010, it seemed to be a "spirited" hire. Haden is an old Trojan, just like his predecessor Mike Garrett. The former quarterback led USC to two national titles back in the 1970s. Oh, and like Garrett's hire of Kiffin, Haden hired one of Pete Carroll's former assistants.
Was this a "buddy hire"? One of those hires where Haden thought he knew enough about Sarkisian where he did not need to do an extensive background check or did he know about his drinking problem and tried to keep it under wraps?
Either way, Pat Haden failed miserably with this hire and his job should be in jeopardy.
It appears that Southern Cal wants its athletic department and football program to have close ties with the university, particularly players from the glory days of USC and past assistants during the Pete Carroll era. Having coaches or athletic directors with past ties to the college doesn't guarantee you long-term success. Just ask Notre Dame about Charlie Weis.
Speaking of Notre Dame, USC travels to South Bend to play Notre Dame this weekend. The Irish will have seen four different coaches on the Trojan sideline since 2012 after Saturday night's game.
It might pain some at the university to hear this, but Pat Haden should be fired and the next head football coach and athletic director should be outsiders. It feels like Haden either tried to keep this information under wraps, or half-assed the background check on Sarkisian.
In the end, you can either root for the red-hot Chicago Cubs, or you can root for the team who was expected to lose, that has nothing to lose.