Shooting from the Lip/Monday edition
Five best hockey movies all-time
The New York Times reports that New Line Cinema has a working title for its biopic on hockey player Sean Avery: Puckface. And the name alone already puts it in the running for one of the best hockey movies ever. That, and the fact that there haven't been that many great hockey movies.When The Mighty Ducks makes the list, you know it's a weak genre. Here are the top five hockey movies of all-time:
1. Slap Shot. The undisputed king. Not only the best hockey movie ever made, but perhaps the best sports movie ever made.
2. Miracle. Kurt Russell's spot-on impression of the late Herb Brooks is scary good.
3. The Mighty Ducks. Sure, it's a PG-rated hockey version of the Bad News Bears, but it's still not bad. And the hockey scenes work.
4. Miracle on Ice. Immediately after the 1980 Olympics, ABC slapped together a movie-of-the-week with Karl Malden as Brooks, Andrew Stevens as Mike Eruzione and Steve Guttenberg as Jim Craig. It's so corny, it's good. But the best part is the movie uses actual game footage from the Olympics.
5. The Rocket. The producers brought in a slew of real NHL players to make this accurate biography of the legendary Maurice "Rocket'' Richard as accurate as possible.
Thoughts on the weekend of televised sports ...
Worst analysis: The biggest gripe about Clark Kellogg, CBS’s new lead college basketball analyst, is that he’s a little too bland. Friday, he had a chance to offer some strong analysis and instead gave credence to those who believe his opinions aren’t strong enough. In this particular case, he didn't have an opinion at all. During the Gonzaga-North Carolina game, announcer Jim Nantz asked Kellogg if he was surprised Kentucky let go of coach Billy Gillispie. It was a perfect chance for Kellogg to go strong to the hoop, so to speak. But all he said was that the sides had a "short relationship'' and it was "turbulent and bumpy,'' and that Kentucky didn't make the tournament this season, all things we knew. Not many people miss former CBS lead analyst Billy Packer, but at least Packer would’ve had an opinion. Kellogg is not a bad game analyst, but if he wants to be good, his opinions need to get stronger. Strong opinions are the point of having an analyst.
Best analyst: Know who has evolved into ESPN's best NFL analyst? Believe it or not, former Bucs quarterback Trent Dilfer. ESPN is building a nice little stable of analysts with former Bucs quarterbacks, including smooth Steve Young, middle, and opinionated Shaun King.
Best interview: The most entertaining 10 minutes over the weekend was ESPN's Bob Ley interviewing three legendary coaches -- Lou Holtz, Bob Knight and Don Shula -- about the difference between the athletes of today and a couple of decades ago. All three talked about how players seemed to care more about their teams years ago and seem to care more about themselves today. However, it wasn't three old guys sitting around talking about "the good old days'' and how "these darned kids today are no good.'' All acknowledged that today's athlete is bigger, stronger and better, and deals with much more pressure than the athletes of the 1970s and 1980s.
Worst feature: ESPN wasted five minutes of everyone but Gators fans' time on various SportsCenters by showing a feature on the relationship between quarterback Tim Tebow and coach Urban Meyer. It's March! There hasn't been a college football game that mattered in nearly two months, and there won't be another for six. And it wasn't even a compelling feature. Tebow and Meyer are close. We get it. Heaven forbid ESPN used that time to mix in a couple of NHL or spring training highlights.
Best line: "Just get out of the way. We don't have a hospital nearby.''
-- CBS's Bill Raftery, after 6-foot-7, 270-pound Pitt forward DeJuan Blair took a steal and rumbled in for a basket, knocking down Villanova guard Corey Stokes en route to a three-point play. How can you not love Raftery?
Tiger talk: The coolest thing about Tiger Woods winning on Sunday? Him greeting host Arnold Palmer as he walks off 18 and us getting to hear it: "Hey, AP." Man, that's Paul Newman cool. How many people you think get to call Arnie that? I'm thinking one.
Best idea at strangest time: Former Lightning tough guy Chris Dingman spent Sunday's game offering analysis for Sun Sports from between the benches at the Lightning-Sens game. Overall, the experiment worked, but the timing was curious, seeing as how there is only a handful of games left in the season and most people were probably watching the NCAA Tournament. Anyway, based on Damian Cristodero's story in the Times, it sounded like Dingman would've been better used on the ice.
So long: The death Sunday of former NFL/college coach Lou Saban surely reminded all NFL Films fanatics of a classic sound bite: Saban, in a pregame pep talk, telling his Buffalo Bills, "You can get it done. You can get it done. What’s more … you gotta get it done!'' Is he a Hall of Famer? The NY Times weighs in here.
What to watch tonight ...
Slim pickings tonight. Magic-Heat on Sun Sports at 7:30. A couple of women's NCAA Tournament games on ESPN. Rays-Twins play this afternoon (1 p.m., Sun Sports). Best bet might be Devils-Rangers on Versus at 7 p.m. Oh, in case you missed it, check out New York Post hockey writer Larry Brooks, who seemed none too pleased about Rangers (and former Lightning coach) John Tortorella blowing a gasket after a game last week.
Tweet of the day
This is from the Twitter account of Mavs owner Mark Cuban after he was fined by the NBA for something he wrote on Twitter: Maybe I should set up an "incogtweeto" account. Think they would figure out it was me. Yeah, my lousy grammar would bust me :)
Speaking of Twitter, check out the St. Petersburg Times new Twitter guy: TBSportsDaddy.