Archives for February 2016

As The Trade Deadline Approaches…

Nick Colletti

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 27, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images

during the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series Alumni Game at Coors Field on February 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Red Wings 5-2.

during the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series Alumni Game at Coors Field on February 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Red Wings 5-2.

Teams throughout the NHL are either buying or selling as the trade deadline looms over general manager’s heads during a pressure-packed part of the season. Teams such as the Capitals, Blackhawks, Stars and Kings are looking for an extra piece they can add to their team and are considered as buyers. Sellers such as the Habs are looking for a prospect or draft pick that can help shape a positive future for their club. The Devils are going to push all the buttons they can to clinch a playoff seed and have a good team that can go far into the spring.

 

 
With Detroit trying to keep their amazing 24-year playoff streak alive, don’t be surprised if the Wings’ try to break there current losing streak with a big splash of a trade. General manager Ken Holland will do anything he can to insure that octopi will be thrown on the ice this spring. This is Detroit’s last season in Joe Luis Arena and you know the Wings want to finish in style as they move out to their next barn.

 
The Capitals made one key move in an effort to add blue line depth. The Caps picked up Mike Weber, a Pittsburgh native, from the Buffalo Sabres for a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. The Capitals, who have had an excellent season up to this point, are still looking for extra improvements to help their run in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. Don’t expect that Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan is done yet as rumors have persisted that he is interested in acquiring Andrew Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets. Ladd, the captain of the Jets, is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Hurricanes and the Blackhawks. MacLellan has shown over his tenure in Washington that he wants experience and leadership on his roster, something that was missing under his predecessor.

 
Most deals don’t get done until the very last day so there will be a lot for NHL fans to witness and ponder come February 29th. One of the most entertaining parts of the regular season, the trade deadline instills a lot of drama amongst the league and can either make or break teams at this crucial part of the season. Expect many moves to be made and many statements to be made by all teams in this terrific and competitive league that will do whatever it takes to drink beer from Lord Stanley.

Brian MacLellan- Already Better Than McPhee

Nick Colletti

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 25, 2016

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

When George McPhee was rightfully relieved of duties following the cataclysmic 2013-2014 season, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis hired Brian MacLellan as the next Caps general manager. With only one season under his belt, MacLellan has shown he understands the game of hockey more than his predecessor and has already made key decisions on improving the roster.

For 17 years George McPhee made some very questionable decisions to say the least. Signing Jagr to a massive contract (Leonsis may have pressured him to do that), extending Semin’s contract, and trading away first-round pick Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for Martin Erat, a healthy scratch for most of his tenure here in Washington. McPhee built some great teams that thrived in the regular season, but failed to make any significant postseason runs due to lack of chemistry in lines and lack of leadership in the locker room, something that a general manager is accountable for.

Once MacLellan took the saddle in the summer of 2014 he immediately made key moves in the attempt to build a team with chemistry and cohesiveness. Acquiring both Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen were vital decisions to help improve Washington’s blue line and add more than just depth, but premier talent that deserves spots on the D’s top two lines. Orpik with his intimidating and edgy physical play and assaulting opponents as they try to gain territory outside of the crease. Niskanen with his supreme stick work and fatal fast slap shot from the point, shows that the Caps blue line could easily rival any other line in the league (I’m pointing at you Keith and Seabrook).

The next offseason exhibited an even better performance by MacLellan. Snatching TJ Oshie from the Blues and Justin Williams from the Kings has shown nothing but positive results. Mike Richards would later be picked up, adding yet another player with an impressive resume and another voice in the locker room. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the best Caps team in history. But in order to be truly special they’ll need to win the big prize in June… and if they do, MacLellan deserves all the credit in the world for putting them there.

 

Arsenal’s “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” 2-0 loss to Barcelona

Becker Alshowk

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 25, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images

 
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LONDON, ENG. —  “Baby I swear it’s Déjà vu.” Who knew that Beyonce was referring to Arsenal’s same old ways, rather than her affection for Jay-Z back in 2006. Well, since 2006 was the last and only time Arsenal was a Champions League runner-up, and ‘Déjà vu’ was only nominated for a Grammy, it fits.

Arsenal’s Round of 16 troubles are no secret, having been knocked out there 5 straight years and counting.

 

After miraculously making it out of this year’s UCL group stage, and defeating Premier League top-seeded Leicester City before their Round of 16 date with Barcelona, momentum was on the Gunner’s side.

Since Arsenal haven’t won a major trophy since winning the Premier League in 2004, praying and counting on unnatural forces to produce a miracle, seemed obligatory for Gunner supporters going up against the defending UCL Title holders.

The game was at Emirates Stadium. The North Londoner faithful’s packed the stands. It’s the 10-year Anniversary of that Arsenal lone UCL Final appearance. The man that led them there in 2006, Thierry Henry, was in attendance. Alexis Sanchez was stressing all week, leading up to the game, how hyped he was to be playing his former squad.

The only problem is that Thierry Henry, who may be the greatest player in Arsenal’s history, never won a UCL Title as a Gunner, but did in 2009 as a member of Barcelona.

But wait, it gets worse. In that 2006 UCL Final run for Arsenal, Henry became the 1st player on an English Team to score in the historic Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid. How is that worse you ask?

First, Real Madrid are Barcelona’s arch Spanish League rivals.

Second, to briefly go off topic, this year’s Copa Del Rey Final (Spanish Domestic Cup) between Barcelona and Sevilla, was originally scheduled to take place at the Bernabeu. But now reports say that Real Madrid are forbidding it because a ‘last minute concert’ is scheduled to take place there on the same day.   

Oh and by the way, a minor detail was missed. In that 2006 UCL Final, Arsenal just so happened to lose 2-1 to, drum roll please, wait for it, BARCELONA.

You can’t script this stuff.

Sure, coming into game Barcelona were heavy favorites, having won 4 of the last 6  head-to-head meetings against Arsenal.

But the Gunners had Ozil this time, who has caused Barcelona trouble in the past when once a member of Real Madrid. Most memorably, when ‘Owl Eyes’, as BeIn Sports color Commentator Ray Hudson, refers to Ozil as, made a mesmerizing assist to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2012 vs. The Catalonians to secure the La Liga   Title.

Only problem was Ozil was a non-factor in the game. The Gunner playmaker was restricted to limited touches thanks to Barcelona’s domination in possession.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a chance to put the Gunner’s up in the 1st half, with an open shot in pinpoint range. But he slipped. I guess we can safely say that no one will be mistaking Oxlade-Chamberlain for Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 100 points in one game.

Halftime finished 0-0. There’s still a ‘Gunner’s’ chance. Arsenal Goalkeeper Peter Cech had his sights on a clean sheet.

Let’s not forget to mention that Messi had never scored against Cech in his career. Key word is ‘had’.

Arsenal put up a valiant effort defending throughout the game, but the Barcelona pressure finally broke through.

Messi finally scored against Cech.

Arsene Wenger post-game called his team ‘naïve’ for giving up that 1st goal on a counter attack.

Wait, it got worse.

Flamini came on as a substitute in the 2nd half for defensive purposes. Try to keep up because this is going to be quick.

Falmini subbed on in the 82nd minute, gives up a penalty in the 83rd, and Messi converts in the 84th .

2-0. Game over. 2nd leg back at the Camp Nou on March 16th .

Arsenal fans, it’s not over yet

Like actor Jim Carey said in one of his movies, “So you’re saying, there’s a chance?!”

Arsenal realists: that quote from a movie called Dumb and Dumber.

Caps Weekly: Another Winning Streak

Mitchell Westall

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 24, 2016

Photo credit: Getty Images

during their game at Verizon Center on February 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

during their game at Verizon Center on February 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The Capitals won all four games last week to jumpstart their latest winning streak. Their most recent loss came in Dallas (the team the Caps haven’t beaten in eight years) ten days ago. The Caps have won nine of their last ten games including a couple of thrillers last week against the Kings of Los Angeles and the New Jersey Devils. Even the game against the New York Islanders went to Overtime.

Against LA, Phillip Grubauer played his best game as a Washington Capital and held the Kings to only one goal on forty shots. Their lone goal came on a shorthanded goal from Anze Kopitar. The Capitals were outplayed everywhere last Tuesday night in what could very-well be a preview of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Capitals tied the game on a deflection from Andre Burakovsky. The game winner came from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jason Chimera sealed it with an empty-netter.

Last Thursday in Brooklyn, the Capitals got off to a 2-1 lead early in the second after a pair of Alexander Ovechkin tallies. Upon doing so, it seemed the Caps were on cruise control for the rest of the game but they allowed a late goal to Frans Neilson. Both Islanders goals were rather leaky for Vezina hopeful Braden Holtby. They both went into small spaces on Holtby’s glove side, shots he most likely wanted back. In overtime, however, the Capitals quelled the Islanders rally with a long rage slap shot from Justin Williams beat Thomas Greiss.

After Reid Boucher gave New Jersey the lead just past the half way point of the third period, the Devils seemed poised to knock off the first-place Capitals. However, in typical 2015-16 Caps fashion, they did not back down. A somewhat lucky goal by TJ Oshie tied the game about three minutes later. Oshie was on his knees with his back turned to Devils goalie Corey Schneider when he attempted to shoot the puck with his back hand. The puck was going to go wide left, but the skate of Devils defenseman Seth Helgesson deflected the puck behind Schneider and the game was tied. Two minutes later Evgeny Kuznetsov made another perfect pass, this time finding the stick of Brooks Orpik who scored to give the Caps the lead and they never looked back. The Caps downed the Devils 4-3. That goal turned out to be Orpik’s first ever game winning goal in his 798th game. The hard-hitting Orpik also assisted on the Oshie goal.

Monday night, the Caps extended their latest winning streak to four games after a victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The highlight of the game was Mike Richards’ first goal as a Capital. Richards was having his best game so far this season. He centered the third line in the absence of the ill Marcus Johansson between Tom Wilson and Jason Chimera. The goal came when the referee failed to blow the whistle after Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue appeared to cover the puck with his glove. Before a whistle ever came, Tom Wilson poked at the glove with his stick and that left an easy shot for Richards who buried the puck behind a confused Domingue. Ovechkin and Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist in the contest.

 

Trade Alert

 During production of this edition of Caps Weekly, the Capitals announced that they have traded for Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber. The Capitals gave up a third round pick in the 2017 draft for the 28 year old blue liner. The Sabers are also withholding half of his $2 million salary, meaning he will only count $1 million against the salary cap for the Caps. For those that remember Tim Gleason, Weber is a very similar player with better possession numbers. The move is confusing to most as Orpik is healthy and Nate Schmidt has played well. They also just recently re-signed Taylor Chorney for a few years. Depending on the matchup, he could sub in for Dmitry Orlov or Nate Schmidt. Overall, he was acquired to be a depth defenseman for the stretch of the season. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season. It has also been reported that the Washington Capitals have interest in Andrew Ladd from Winnipeg. However, this trade leaves the Caps at fifty players, so a trade for Ladd would require the Caps to move a player or two to free up space as well.

 

Plays of the Week

  1. Evgeny Kuznetsov sets up Alexander Ovechkin on the doorstep for easy goal against New York

https://vine.co/v/ivEnYblMeQJ

 

  1. J. Oshie ties game from his knees

https://vine.co/v/irePJFA1TLP

 

  1. Alex Ovechkin snipes Domingue (look at Domingues face after he realizes the puck is behind him)

https://vine.co/v/irxBXhI2uXp

 

  1. Richards’ first as a Cap

https://vine.co/v/irxepJveqe0

 

Three Stars of the Week 

First Star- Alexander Ovechkin (4 Goals, 2 Assists, 6 points)

Second Star– Evgeny Kuznetsov (3 Goals, 3 Assists, 6 points)

Third Star- Brooks Orpik (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

Orpik is mainly included because his return has been a huge boost for the blue line. He brings a physical game every night and that was surely missed. He has mainly played on the third pair with Dmitry Orlov but should soon find himself in the first pair with John Carlson soon.

 

Next Week’s schedule

 Wed. 2/24 vs Montreal Canadiens 7:00 pm CSN+

Fri. 2/26 vs Minnesota Wild 7:00 pm CSN

Sun 2/28 @ Chicago Blackhawks 12:30 pm NBC

 

 

If The Caps Win The President’s Trophy… No Need To Panic

Nick Colletti

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 21, 2016

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

at the Barclays Center on February 18, 2016 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.

at the Barclays Center on February 18, 2016 in Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Caps fans are all too familiar with the agonizing defeat at the hand of the Montreal Canadiens the last time the Capitals earned the Presidents Trophy. Blowing a 3-1 series lead in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs still stings both the fans and this proud franchise. One can’t help but brace for heartbreak if the Capitals possess the best record in the regular season. But this team is different, so much different.

With Stanley Cup Champion experience in Justin Williams, Mike Richards and Brooks Orpik, the Capitals now have a sense of calm in their locker room and a quiet humble confidence that is a trait much needed if one team wants to win it all. This Capitals team has an impeccable mental stamina and has already put past playoff disappointments in the past. The general media has been very impressed with the consistent winning efforts that Caps have displayed and according to Craig Laughlin this is the best team in the franchise’s long history.

The depth throughout all facets of the roster is a luxury the Capitals have never had before, even during their 2009-2010 Presidents Trophy season. When a player like Mike Richards is on your fourth line, you got something special. Barry Trotz has made gambles all year in manipulating and changing his lines and have had many positive effects throughout the entire season. General manager Brian MacLellan should be given all the credit in the world for being an architect of this special roster and allowing Trotz to do his job.

Even with all these qualities, Caps fans are still understandably bracing for a heart crushing playoff loss, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be confident. The boys in red are playing better than ever and have a swagger that can intimidate any team that opposes them. It is one of those Stanley Cup or bust seasons in which the pressure and high expectations are mounting on the Caps shoulders, but one should not be surprised if they finally get that coveted Cup and cement themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time.

Keep The Outdoor Games Coming

Nick Colletti

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 21, 2016

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

prior to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

prior to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Ever since the 2008 Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium, outdoor NHL games have remained consistent as the leagues marquee event. Many thrilling moments in historic landmark locations such as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field have created memories and reminds us what makes this game so great. The first Winter Classic was a gorgeous spectacle and a mythological wonder within outdoor nature itself. It remains as a towering accomplishment for the NHL, a league ailing for more popularity in the United States.

Many hockey fans may think that adding additional outdoor games outside of the Winter Classic would dilute the mystique of the celebrated event, I disagree. Every outdoor NHL game has had a special personality to it and a level of entertainment that is hard to be duplicated. HBO’s 24/7 series captured these outdoor moments with riveting clarity and raw real hockey was displayed to the world. 

The upcoming matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild will be the latest installment in the Stadium Series (the outdoor games outside of the Winter Classic). Two teams on the exact opposite side of the pendulum will face off at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Twins. Many including myself expect a blowout victory for the Hawks, but it still should be a game worth viewing and respected by the general public.

Minnesota residents have a deep love affair with outdoor hockey, due to outside rinks formed by icy ponds. Hockey is in all Minnesotan’s blood and expect them to be still be passionate for their team who have been in a free fall over the last few months of this season. Facing the Stanley Cup Champions is a tough task for any team but the Wild may just be able to put their recent past behind them and earn two points. Either way it will be an event that deserves to be garnered by fans of all teams and non-hockey people as well who want to witness an event that should be cherished and respected.

 

The Guys From Plugs Interview

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Listen in the guys from plugs as they interview Brandon Parker of The Washington Post!

PART 1

PART 2

 

Costly Tickets at a Costly Price: Protest Rise in Ticket Prices

Michael Revollo

Sports Blogger, WGMU

February 17, 2016liverpool                                                                (Getty Images/Mike Hewitt)

Liverpool F.C. supporters are some of the most loyal soccer fans to a club you will find on the face of the earth. With tremendous passion and cohesiveness, the fans religiously sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in unison, minutes before kickoff at every match. If it is something you have never witnessed, it is a site to behold.

From beating the odds by winning the Champions League title in 2005 and having a stellar 2013-2014 Premier League campaign thanks to the 52 goals from Daniel Sturridge (21) and Luis Suarez (31), to not qualifying for the Champions League for a number of years and performing at a subpar level, the fans have faithfully been behind their team through thick and thin.

Most recently, however, these same supporters felt their loyalty for the club being put to the test. Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the notorious MLB franchise Boston Red Sox, announced a plan to raise ticket prices to £77 ($112) for seats in the rebuilt Main Stand section of Liverpool’s stadium, Anfield. This plan was scheduled to take effect at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season, but faced intense opposition from Liverpool supporters.

To express their discontent toward a ticket price raise they considered “morally unjustifiable”, the supporters took a stand. Literally.

On February 6th, ten thousand Liverpool fans in attendance at the match against Sunderland A.F.C walked out of their seats and into the concourse in the 77th minute.

Principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, John W. Henry, and chairman Tom Werner, were reportedly surprised at the sight of thousands of Liverpool fans walking out to protest the change in ticket prices. Reports also indicated their shock at the abuse they faced when supporters chanted, “Enough is enough, enough is enough, you greedy bastards, enough is enough.”

FSG released a lengthy letter published to the club’s website, apologizing “for the distress caused by our ticket pricing plan for the 2016-2017 season.” In addition, FSG stated ticket prices would remain unchanged for the next two seasons.

The Liverpool Supporter’s Committee, an elected group formed in response to the club’s takeover by FSG in 2010, had been in negotiations with the sports group for 13 months to provide affordable and accessible options to young and local supporters.

FSG acknowledged the meetings that took place with LSC, stating, “We met directly with representatives of LFC’s Supporters’ Committee and along with LFC management, wholeheartedly agreed with major concerns raised, notably: access for local and young supporters; engagement and access to Anfield for local children; access to Premier League matches for those in Liverpool most challenged by affordability” (liverpoolfc.com).

Spirit of Shankly, a Liverpool supporters’ union, took FSG’s apology as “a positive step in repairing the relationship between owners and supporters.”

“We welcome these changes from the owners and that they have recognized the mistake made and apologized for it. We take no delight in them being wrong. It helps no one. What is important though is that a lesson is learned and that proper engagement and taking note of supporters’ concerns occurs and those views are taken more seriously” (Spirit of Shankly).

Only a few days later in Germany, Borussia Dortmund was visiting Stuttgart in a DFB-Pokal match when Dortmund fans decided to stage a protest themselves, disagreeing with the €70 ($78) tickets for the match set by Stuttgart.

For the first 20 minutes of the match, Dortmund supporters did not go to their seats. The supporters’ group present at the game, ‘Kein Zwanni’ held out a banner that read, “Fussball muss bezahlbarsein”, meaning “football (soccer) must be affordable.”

Once Dortmund fans started heading to their seats, they began to throw tennis balls onto the field, forcing the referee to stop the match so the balls could be removed from the pitch.

 

dortmund

    (Getty Images/ Alex Grimm)

Marc Quambusch, a spokesperson for the Kein Zwanni (No to €20) campaign responsible for the protest, elaborated on why fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch as their form of protest.

“We have a German saying: ‘Das ist ganz grosses tennis!’, it roughly translates to ‘that is great tennis,’ and in an ironic kind of way, the prices at Stuttgart are great tennis. Should the price hikes continue like that, only tennis fans will show up in the stadiums.”

German media took the tennis ball protest with a sense of humor, but unable to fully comprehend its meaning. Quambusch went on to say, “Of course, people feel disturbed when you disrupt their event. And that’s a good thing. It’s a way of civil disobedience.”

For those outside of the Bavarian nation, the situation was difficult to understand as the Bundesliga was considered a league that provided affordable tickets to its fans.

“Indeed, the prices of standing tickets are very low compared to the cheapest tickets in England. But there aren’t many standing tickets, and the prices for seats are not far from those in England by now,” said Quambusch (ESPN FC).

Whether the trends of walking out of the stands during a match or throwing tennis balls onto the field are able to replicate the discussion and concern thereafter remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, the supporters of both clubs, and many other clubs who may follow suit if posed with similar circumstances, will not let ownership do as they please.

If there is any way to phrase the message supporters would want to send to owners of their clubs, it could be summed up by one Liverpool fan holding a piece of paper with a message directed to the club’s chief executive officer, Ian Ayre, during the match against Sunderland. A brief, yet commanding statement that lets ownership know money can buy world class players, but not world class fans:

“Mr. Ayre, I am not a customer. I am a fan.

notacustomer(Reuters)

2016 NBA All-Star Weekend Recap

Becker Alshowk

Sport Blogger, WGMU

February 17, 2016

Photo credit: (Getty Images/ Nathaniel S. Butler)

drake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORONTO, CAN. – Let’s look at this year’s all-star weekend in how the ‘Star Wars’ movie series was released, from end to beginning. The major storyline coming into this year’s NBA all-star break, was that it was Kobe Bryant’s last. Most NBA fanatics wanted ‘The Black Mamba’ to win the all-star game MVP, which would’ve been his 5th, and most all time. It would’ve been a fairytale ending to a legendary career full of highlights for a lifetime. Apparently nobody sent the memo to Russell Westbrook.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star stole the show Sunday night with 31 points. In the process, Westbrook won his 2nd straight all-star game MVP, or how Drake would’ve put it, winning ‘back to back’. Yes a Drake reference was necessary since award winning music artist is technically the ‘Ambassador’ for the Toronto Raptors, a Canadian native, and the host of  all-star weekend, being that it was in his hometown.

But in an all-star game that defined ‘no defense’, as obviously as LeBron James receding hairline, with a 196-173 score line in favor of the West, Saturday night was truly the highlight of the weekend.

The NBA Dunk contest coming into the weekend felt like an afterthought. You had the defending champion, Timberwolves rising star guard, Zach Lavine, who dazzled the crowds in a solo dunk show last year, and a bunch of ‘under the radar’ contestants who average basketball fans probably didn’t’ even know.

Sure, Andre Drummond has been a force in the resurrection of the Detroit Pistons this year, but what’s a ‘heavy’ big man doing in a flexible and athletic event? Nobody’s heard of Aaron Gordon since his days of catching lobs for the University of Arizona as a freshman a few years back. Last, you had Denver Nugget’s Will Barton, who would’ve been on Inside the NBA on TNT’s game ‘Who he play for?’ if it were still going on.

But, the Dunk Contest this year not only exceeded expectations, it may go down as the ‘greatest of all time’. Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon put on a show in the final round, each hitting at least 2-3 dunks that had never been seen, and excited the crowds in a way we haven’t seen since ‘Half man, Half amazing’, Vince Carter, razzle-dazzled fans in the 2000 contest.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget the 3-point contest that took place before the dunk contest. The final round came down to who most people expected, the Golden State Warrior ‘Splash Brothers’, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Each breaking 3-point and shooting records on a regular basis the last few years, it only seemed fitting.

Since Curry won it last year, Thompson told reporters before the contest that he wanted to beat Steph ‘badly’ in this contest. ‘Bragging rights’ were on the line. Let’s jusy say, it lived up to the hype. Klay Thompson captured his 1st 3-point title in dramatic fashion, needing to hit the last shot on his last rack to overtake Steph. He did just that.

But even as exciting as the dunk contest and 3-point contest were, Friday Night’s Celebrity game may have even been more entertaining. You had reigning 4-time Celebrity Game MVP, and comedic, Kevin Hart, this time coaching against All-Star Weekend host Drake. Forget who played in the game, the matchups were Team Canada vs. Team USA this time around. And yes, believe it or not, the Canadians beat the Americans in basketball. The 1992 ‘Dream Team’ are rolling over in their graves.

Did I forget to mention that Kevin Hart got ejected about midway through the game?

It was a great weekend none the less. Although the lasting image of Kobe in this year’s All-Star Game was him signing Steph Curry’s jersey in the locker room post-game, his fellow NBA colleagues made Toronto’s 1st All-Star Game, one for the ages.

Album Review: Fight Night Underground EP

My last review of this group was before the release of their whole EP. Call Me Back and Follow Through were already released, and both were flawless. The release of Fight Night’s EP Underground comes with three more songs: Living a Lie (ft. ChooKy), Forever, and Keep Me in Your Heart (ft. ian).

Now I don’t know anything about ChooKy, or ian, but god bless their addition to these songs. They would have been great songs regardless, but adding more talent never hurts.

Living a Lie is a song about a relationship falling apart, two people no longer knowing each other. It’s about abuse and how it came between them, about how they aren’t what they were. A super uplifting theme, right? Whatever, it’s really good. The passion behind the singers voice is incredible and will absolutely get you caught up in your feelings (in a good way). This is one of those “post-breakup listen to loudly in your car” kind of songs that sometimes you just really need to hear.

Keep Me in Your Heart starts with a more uplifting beat, then with the artist recognized as “ian” coming in with her stupidly great voice. I don’t know much about her, but I’ll definitely figure that out. The contrast between her voice and singer Andy Gruhin’s is absolutely beautiful. The connection between their lines and their voices is incredibly moving. About the song, music blog Milk Crater says “Keep Me in Your Heart catches your ear from the very first beat and holds on tight until the final vocal run, where it leaves you wanting more.”

Forever is the last addition to this EP, and it’s really pretty. The song starts softer, not as much power as the other ones. It’s about the singer thinking about getting their life together, and hoping everything workds out. Kind of like a lot of us do, especially in college (except maybe with a little less intensity).

“The two have developed a really dope and original sound by combining punk-inspired vocals with lush, electronic-influenced instrumentals.” – Good Music All Day says about Fight Night musicians, Josh Grant and Andy Gruhin.

“With under 3k fans on Soundcloud, Fight Night is the definition of upstart. These early cuts are a sign of big things to come.” – EDMTunes on Fight Night being up and coming.

 

When I hear EDM I want to hear super cool beats, and moving lyrics, which is exactly what this EP delivers. Read my last review on Fight Night here, and download their EP for FREE on their website here.

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