NBA vs NHL playoffs

If you’re a fan of professional winter sports, this time of the year is like the Christmas season. After many meaningless regular season games, the playoffs are here and teams in the NBA and NHL are battling for those coveted trophies to be awarded sometime in mid-June. In my household, I find myself on many occasions staying up well past my bedtime to watch an exciting playoff game or games. When I am out and about, I closely monitor my Android to get caught up on the latest scores and updates. Yes, you could consider me one of those radical fans who loves this time of the year! It is playoff time!

Being that both sports, professional hockey and basketball hold their playoffs at the same time, my question to all you sports fans out there is this, which sport has the better and more exciting playoffs? If you’re a passionate fan of either league, obviously your answer will be biased. However, if you’re a lukewarm fan of both leagues, what is your take on which playoffs is better to watch. I have some interesting personal takes that I would like to share.

I consider myself to be a rather huge fan of the NBA and have been for many years. Basketball is a passion of mine and it would only be naturally for me to follow a league with the best and most talented players in the world. Hockey on the other hand is something that I only occasionally watch during the year. The NHL and hockey is general is not something that I relish watching because of the low scoring and my lack of a background in the game. You could say that I am a very luck warm fan of the sport.

Having said that, I find myself surprisingly watching more than my share of NHL hockey games during the playoff season, even more than the NBA. There is just something about the NHL playoffs that seems to draw me towards watching a sport and league that I would otherwise neglect. First of all, it really helps that our local franchise is a strong contender in the playoffs. It’s only naturally that any sports fan from my area would have somewhat of interest in seeing how our local team is performing with the national spotlight on them. Second of all and perhaps the most important reason that I watch is unpredictability of the NHL playoffs. It is never uncommon for a lower seeded team to advance far into the playoffs even go as far as winning the championship (Stanley Cup). Now compare that with the NBA playoffs. The higher seeded teams nearly always advance deep into the playoffs. Very seldom will you see a number 8 seed knock off a number 1 seed. This year’s NBA playoffs have started off with a total lack of drama. At the time of this writing, there are potentially four series sweeps that could take place. In basketball, the better team normally wins a playoff series. In hockey, sometimes the better team does not always win a series. A team can dominate another team and lose the series because of a hot goalie. Or there may times a bad bounce goes against a team. Those things happen a lot in hockey. Furthermore, there is nothing more exciting than watching a NHL game go into overtime, especially if it a game 7. Knowing the next goal will either advance your team into the next round or send them home for the summer is one of the most nerve-racking feelings a sports fan will ever go through.

Based on what I said, I think the NHL has a slight in overall excitement and may be more exciting to watch and follow. The NBA and basketball is just a far more predictable sport. As I said earlier, the better teams usually win a series. The unpredictable nature of the NHL playoffs makes it so appealing to so many, including myself. Even so, both leagues have great playoffs that any sports fan should enjoy watching.

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Climate change or terrorism, which is the bigger threat?

The President recently made a statement that really got my attention. In an interview, he stated that climate change is the biggest threat the planet is facing right now and we MUST take action before it is far too late. Never mind that a nation, who is one of the leading supporters of terrorism, is close to making a nuclear weapon, or that a ruthless terrorist group is spreading around the world and knocking at our doorsteps. No, we have to do something about that doggone climate change before our planet burns up and civilization will cease to exist.

Count me as one of the many skeptics of those Al Gore disciples who run around in a panic mode declaring doom and gloom to our world if climate change is not immediately dealt with. I certainly believe in climate change and everyone should. Just a few months ago, I was shivering in sub-zero, freezing winter weather. Today with the arrival of nice spring weather here in Minnesota, I am tempted to dig out my shorts and flip-flops. In fact the climate has been changing since the beginning of the earth. We go through stretches were the earth is unusually warm followed by a cooling down. The same scientists who are warning us about climate change have been wrong so many times in the past 50 years. Remember when they were warning us about global cooling in the early 70’s? They were wrong then and they continue to be wrong now. Going around and sounding the alarm about global climate change is just plain fear mongering. Please!!! There is very little man can do about controlling the weather, period!! If there are going to be more temporary bouts of severe weather, then we need to find ways to cope with the new cycle of weather. People have been doing that for thousands of years There is no reason at all to increase the size of government at the expense of tax payers to deal with climate change. Why are we trying to deal with something like the weather which we have absolutely no control over?

Terrorism on the other hand is something that is an increasing problem in our world. Just last week, several young men were arrested in my city for wanting to join the ISIS terrorist group, yes, these young men resided right in my back yard! Who knows how many other radical people like them are living in this country. One of these days and it is very inevitable, someone from the group will act on our soil and kill many innocent people. It could be me or you or our loved ones. The thought of that happening sends shivers of horror up my spine. It would be terribly naive to think that those thugs are not already in this country now planning attacks. The same can be said of other peace-loving nations. The goal of this group and others like them are to control the earth. We must stop them immediately before it is too late.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel strongly that we should be good stewards of our earth and make it clean and livable as possible. Excess pollution is harmful to every human, no question. However, going around and telling people the sky is falling if we don’t deal with climate change now is just plain foolish. We simply cannot control something like the weather. We can control those radical people who threaten a peaceful world. Terrorism and the threat of terrorism is what really keeps me up at night. I will not or ever lose sleep because it is a few degrees warmer in the summer for a temporary period of time.

Jordan Spieth vs. Britt McHenry

A couple of high-profile sports figures were front and center of the news this week, and their mannerisms and actions could not be more different. A young 21-year-old golfer named Jordan Spieth won the prestigious Masters golf tournament and tied the tournament record in the process. For many of us sports fans, we appreciate, not only the fact that Spieth is an up and coming superstar in the world of golf, but who he is personally and the way he carries himself. I find him to be a very welcome relief in this day and age of arrogant athletes. Spieth is someone who any parent would dream of having their daughter date or even marry. He is a good-looking young man who is much more than just another pretty face on the public scene. He seems to have a lot of class and humility. Believe me, I became an instant fan of him last weekend. He is someone who is very easy to root for unlike many golfers who act that they are a God on the golf course and us low life peons should bow down to them!

Another sports figures got plenty of attention for a totally different reason. If you don’t know who Britt McHenry is, you should by now. She is a sideline reporter for ESPN and yes, she is a very attractive young woman, at least on the outside. A video surfaced this past week showing McHenry at an impound lot after her car got towed. She was far from being in a cheerful  mood (who would be!) and her words captured on the video were downright appalling! It is one thing to be angry and upset with getting your car towed, I totally understand that. It is another thing to verbally abuse the poor attendant who works at the impound lot. It wasn’t her fault that you got your car towed, Britt! The attendant has one of the worst low paying jobs you could ever imagine. You should feel sorry for her and show some compassion!

In her rant, McHenry tried to make it clear that she was some special goddess and the worker was some low life scum. What kind of pompous attitude is that? Someone might remind McHenry that she is not some special sideline reporter who is very well-known and famous .Until this incident, I had not really heard of her and I watch ESPN quite frequently. Sideline reporters like her are certainly a dime a dozen. There are probably thousands of women who could do her job. What makes her think that she is so special just because she appears on television?

Putting down other people like McHenry did is beyond the description of classless. Just because someone is overweight, has a missing tooth and works at some crummy job does not mean that they are not special and decent people in our society. Perhaps this impound lot attendant is working 3 jobs to help get her through college so she can become someone. Not everyone can have a perfect body like many female sideline reporters. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? In a few years from now, McHenry and the rest of the pompous young hotties will lose their looks and appeal as they age.

Should McHenry get fired? I don’t believe so. Perhaps ESPN should force her to work at one of those impound lots for a month instead of doing sideline reporting. Maybe it will open her eyes what many people have to go through on a daily basis. After that, she could hang out with Jordan Spieth for a while and see what class is really about.

What is so great about Hillary Clinton?

In one of the biggest shocking announcements in recent memory (please pardon my sarcasm!), Hillary Clinton announced that she is will be running for President in 2016. You would think from the coverage of this announcement that she is the next female messiah of this country. The media are following her like a hawk all over the country. We are even given updates to where she dines and what she has. Judging by the polls, Mrs. Clinton seems to have a fair amount of popularity at this time. Many of her supporters give similar answers when asked why they support her. “Well, it is time that we elect a woman president, the time is well overdue”. My question to her supporters is this, take away the fact that she is a woman trying to be the first woman president, the former first lady and wife of a very popular president and a well know name in the political field, what is left? What major accomplishments has she ever had? What makes her so qualified to be the president?

Her recent term as Secretary of State has been viewed by many as a failure. The Benghazi attack took place under her watch and Clinton tried to brush that attack under the rug by blaming it on some video and not mentioning that it was a terrorist attack.. 4 Americans lost their lives in the attack including our ambassador to Libya. A person would be hard pressed to find any accomplishments during her term. About the only thing valuable she accomplish was picking up many frequent flyer miles and giving many speeches. She seemed to be way over her head in that job.

Don’t you get the impression that Mrs. Clinton’s middle initial should be S as in scandal? She has been involved in countless scandals during her career and every time, she seems to find a way to wiggle away and out of them. Her recent email scandal is a classic example. Government officials are supposed to use government computers to run government business, They even have to sign a document stating they will uphold this agreement. Mrs. Clinton apparently felt that is above the law by using her own personal computer to do government business and running the risk at putting our nation at risk. Imagine if a hacker from a foreign country hacked into her computer and viewed some confidential document? Suppose a Republican had done the same thing? The media would be all over him or her. I find it very hard to trust Clinton as my president with her very deceiving nature.

Clinton stated during her announcement that she wants to be the people’s champion, more specifically, the champion of the middle class. How exactly are you going to accomplish that, Mrs. Clinton? Is she going to be just another tax and spend Democrat who talks a good game but instead hurts the middle class with their policies. Perhaps she should take some advice from her husband on the value of cutting taxes for the investors of this country. It worked well about 20 years ago and it will work well again. She is sounding more and more like the president in talking about ways to help improve our economy. How is that working out for us? Do we want another 4 years of failed economic policies for this country?

The Democratic party would be well suited to find other candidates to challenge Clinton. There has to be some very formidable opponents who could defeat Clinton in a primary. Why should the party put all their eggs in one basket? Forget about trying to elect someone just because they would be the first of a gender to be the president. That is a very shallow way of picking a candidate. I would rather have a lesser known candidate, male or female, who is more about substance and ideas and who we can actually trust as a leader. I just feel that Hillary Clinton has some issues with deception and trust that need to be looked into before we get all giddy about electing her to be the first female president. I guess I join many folks in having serious doubts about whether Mrs. Clinton is ready to be our next president. I wish more Democrats would have those same doubts.

A new low in journalism, the Rolling Stones rape story

Like many people, I enjoy reading newspaper and magazine articles about various issues and events in our society. Those articles give me a clearer understanding of what the situation is about and I expect the author of the article to do their homework and dig up info from all angles of the story. Sadly, this is becoming less and less likely these days in journalism. It seems as if reporters have their own personal narrative to fulfill or that of the particular newspaper/magazine they work represent. The recent Rolling Stone article about the University of Virginia rape case is a classic example.

There are certain people in this country who seem to think that gang rape is a very common occurrence and growing epidemic at many colleges around this country. Some are even foolish enough to believe the made up statistic that 1 out of every 5 women attending college will be raped at some time. According to many sources, the real figure is less than 1 percent. The author of the Rolling Stones story apparently is one of those gullible people who believe that gang rape is a terrible epidemic on our campuses. This so called event was the perfect opportunity to further her agenda. In doing so, she neglected to dive deeper into the story and get ALL SIDES OF THE STORY!! The fact that none of the accused were even interviewed is almost laughable and a serious breach of journalism. Why only the accused was interviewed just shows that the author was totally biased in her reporting. She probably believes that we the readers are just too stupid to see through this. Many of us can sense bias and poor researching a mile away!

Probably the most disturbing part of this journalism debacle is the revelation this week that the author of this story will not be fired nor will the editor of the magazine. So apparently it is okay to write fictitious story for a rather well know magazine and damage the reputation of several young men in the process? Is this what journalism has come to? Why is this woman not  held accountable for her poorly written story? That is total crap in my opinion! She should have been fired immediately. Writers are often fired for far less serious things. This magazine has totally lost all credibility with me!!

The men being accused of rape in the story will sue the magazine and I hope they sue the living daylights out of the magazine. An example must be set so that other biased reporters will think twice about writing stuff which only fits their own personal views and agenda. I hope this will serve as a wake call for all of those journalist out there to cut all the biased crap out. A good story is FACT BASED!!! Sadly, many media outlets could care less about any facts, only if it fits their own biased views of the story. They seem to forget that their readers represent people of various views, not just their own.

A fantasy for the average golfer

Chances are that anyone who has plays sports fantasizes or dreams of doing something big in their sport. For myself who has played many sports, those fantasies are many. I would love to play 5 minutes in an NBA game at Madison Square Garden. Or I often dream about representing my country in the Olympics as a track and field star. As an avid golfer, this weekend is about my biggest golf fantasy, playing in the Masters golf tournament.

The Masters golf tournament, in my humble opinion, is the premier golf tournament in the world. There are many other tournaments around the world, but how can you beat the Masters with all that tradition? It is played at probably the most famous golf course in the world, Augusta National. Sometimes I wonder if God is showing millions a television viewers a glimpse of heaven while watching the tournament.on the television. Those beautiful flowers, creeks and trees lining the course makes for some serious viewing pleasure. Now imagine if your playing in the tournament? What an honor that would be to play at such a beautiful place with so much tradition and history. It would be an honor of a lifetime to play at the Masters. Now lets take it one step further; suppose you were about the win the tournament. Imagine walking down the 18th fairway with the crowd cheering and that green jacket within your reach. It gives me chills up my spine just thinking about! I often fantasize about making a 15 foot putt to win my first Masters in dramatic fashion. It is safe to say that many golfers of all levels dream about playing in the Masters and winning it.

I personally would be happy to just play a round at that course. There are 5 golf courses that I would love to play before I die and Augusta National is at the top of the list. I could care less if I was playing bad. I would be in awe from just being there. Perhaps some day, I will pull some strings and get that much coveted chance of a lifetime. Unfortunately, my game is not quite up to par, pardon the pun, to qualify for the Masters tournament. It is my understanding that 14 handicap golfers do not qualify and get invited to play. Oh darn!!

In the meantime, I will just have to be happy and content with playing at my little local course where I am a member. I can always pretend that the little creek off the 6th hole is Ray’s Creek. Or the final 3 holes is like playing Amen Corner. Yes, watching the Masters golf tournament this weekend is giving us a chance to watch what would be the ultimate experience for any golfer. There is no other place I would rather play than at Augusta National. To win the golf tournament and put on the green jacket would be my ultimate fantasy.

Thoughts on the Indiana’s Religous Freedom Act

The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!! How could anyone pass such a discriminatory piece of legislation? If you happen to listen to the biased media in the last week regarding the new Indiana Religious Freedom Protection Act, this law is the worst thing to ever happen in this country. From coast to coast, people have been said to be totally outraged. Many demonstrations have taken place, business such as Angie’s List are canceling plans for expansion in the Indiana; the governor in Connecticut is banning travel to the state for all non-essential employee’s; some sports knuckleheads like Charles Barkley are calling for the big Final Four event this weekend in Indianapolis to be moved to a different location. My thoughts on this issue is why? Why all the outrage? This story is a classic knee jerk example of people jumping to conclusion before all the facts are known.

A federal law, very similar to this law, was signed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. It got very strong bi-partisan support. A guy who many of these outraged people love to worship, President Barack Obama, voted in favor of a similar law while senator in the state of Illinois, There are already similar laws in 19 other states. So why are people suddenly so upset and misinformed over a law which gives simple basic rights to people of certain religious faiths? I simply do not understand. It have absolutely nothing to do with any type of discrimination towards gays.

All I keep hearing from those misinformed people who are against this law is how the rights of gay people are being trampled on. Well what about the rights of Christian people? Why are rights of gay people much more important than  rights of Christian people? Why does the elderly couple, who own a bakery, suddenly have to go against their deep held religious beliefs and be forced to make a gay couple a wedding cake? That is totally not right in my opinion. A decent gay couple will respect the religious beliefs of a business and just take their money and business somewhere else. What is so difficult about doing that? Furthermore those so-called predictions that gay people will suddenly have to endure a lot of discrimination is totally hogwash! Many businesses in this country go out of their way to serve all people, even those who they cringe to see walk into their business. Turning away a certain group of people in this day and age is a very risky business move. With the rise of social media, a business can take a tremendous reputation hit and no owner wants that to happen to them.

My theory of why this outrage is so big is simply this. It boils down to a couple of targets that the media loves to go after. Christians and Republicans. They want to label the Republicans as a party of extremists and bigots. If the governor of Indiana was Democrat, I highly doubt that we would see even half of this outrage. Furthermore, many left-wing lunatics, not all but many, have a very negative view towards Christians and Christianity. It is very interesting to note that many of them seem to be very quiet when terrible atrocities towards gays take place overseas like in the Middle East. It is unbelievable to hear CEO’s speak out against this law when they have businesses in countries which are very harsh towards gay people.

The outrage over this law has nothing to do with any type of equal rights for gays. It is all about politics and gaining control. Sadly, our religious freedoms are taking a hit by those who preach tolerance but are the most intolerant people in this country.