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Phillies Should Hold Miami-Style Pep Rally Introducing ‘The Big 4’

 

Just replace the fat guy and the nobody.

We received another shocker in what could be the most surprising off-season in recent baseball memory last night when highly sought-after lefty ace Cliff Lee unexpectedly decided to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee, who pitched for the Phillies in the 2009 World Series (and lost) also pitched for the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series (and lost). Clearly he prefers the bridesmaid status, and by signing with the Phillies he’s pretty much guaranteed another World Series loss this season.

Lee joins NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Hallday, three-time All-Star Roy Oswalt, and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels to form the most intimidating foursome since Tombstone. Now the question becomes…how is Philly going to introduce their “Big Four”?

This is 2010, remember. A press conference no longer gets the job done. What’s exciting about a guy trying on a jersey and addressing the media with the same, cliche, “I’ll do anything to help the club” responses? Just watch the first three minutes of Carl Crawford‘s introduction to Boston…I think I just drooled on my keyboard. Even my man-crush Theo couldn’t spice that one up.

What we need is action — something that tells the fans “we are the greatest collection of talent ever assembled in any single place in the history of mankind.” Luckily for us, the Miami Heat already set the template for us.

Why can’t us, Philadelphia?

Just think, a capacity crowd of 43,647 pack into Citizens Bank Park. The entire stadium goes dark as the cheers begin to crescendo. Suddenly the video starts on the JumboTron:

  • Cliff Lee strikes out Nick Swisher looking on an 2-2 breaking ball.
  • Roy Oswalt pounces off the mound to field a bunt and throw a strike to second base to nail the lead runner.
  • Cole Hamels nearly picks off Matt Kemp at first base with a deceptive move.
  • Roy Halladay makes an extraordinary catch in right field while shagging fly balls during batting practice.

After that, the Philly crowd is in a complete frenzy as they try to decide whether to throw batteries or iceballs onto the field. Suddenly, the spotlight goes onto the left field bullpen entrance and you hear the familiar guitar riff and clapping intro to John Fogerty’s Centerfield. From the back of the bullpen, the Big Four emerge in full uniform and slowly start walking to the mound, each with his jacket draped over his pitching arm. They refuse to wave to the crowd as they walk toward the mound, quiet and focused on what they have to accomplish.

When they finally arrive at the mound, they each take their place on one of four rubbers located side-by-side in front of the mound. They each get into the stretch to throw a pitch. Behind the plate are four of Philadelphia’s sports heroes: Michael Vick, Rocky Balboa, Allen Iverson, and Eric Lindros. The Big Four simultaneously throw two-seam fastballs to their celebrity catchers as fireworks go off in center field.

After that they sit in chairs in a circle around the mound, where they field questions from this guy. He asks questions such as, “So, how many homeruns ah yous gonna hit dis yeah?” and reminds the Big Four to say hello to their mothers for him when they get home.

After about an hour of fielding questions, manager Charlie Manuel heads out to the mound to talk to his aces. After a few head nods and glove-covered utterances, Manuel finally pats each of them on the butt and they make the slow walk to the dugout– being sure to tip their caps ever-so-slightly to the roaring crowd.

If that doesn’t get you pumped up for this season, Philadelphia, check your pulse.

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YouTube Clip of the Day: Kobe Bryant Live Rap Performance with Tyra Banks

 

Obviously listening to his own beats.

Because he has evolved into quite a refined gentleman, most people forget that in his younger years Kobe Bryant was, well, just a kid. He was young, cocky, and not afraid to showcase all of his talents. And I mean all of them…

Kobe’s 2001 single “K.O.B.E.” featuring none other than Miss Tyra Banks (who has a few YouTube gems herself) took the country by storm. And of course the country I’m referring to is Tajikistan, where it went platinum…last year.

Needless to say Kobe retired rather abruptly from the rap game. That is one area where I’m afraid Shaq will always have the edge. Although, I’m pretty sure Shaq was never introduced by Ahmad Rashad and the Ying Yang Twins. So he’s got that going for him…

YouTube Clip of the Day: Best Celebration Ever?

This one came out a couple of months ago, and I have to say that Chad Ochocinco has nothing on Icelandic soccer players. The boys from FC Stjarnan come up with a celebration that, well, is just too great for words. Enjoy.

So is this the best celebration ever?

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Man Crush of the Week: Theo Epstein

 

I wouldn't go this far, but Theo did some work this offseason.

The Boston Red Sox were able to trade for Adrian Gonzalez and sign Carl Crawford in the matter of a week, pretty much securing their position as a serious World Series contender in 2011. As a result, former “wonder boy” GM Theo Epstein is already being called “unstoppable” by certain Boston media outlets.

I’m not going to go that far but Theo has, for at least a few days, made me like the Red Sox…and for that he certainly deserves the MCOW this week. Since the whole 2004 thing, the Red Sox have really supplanted the New York Yankess as my least favorite team in baseball. They took on that air of pretension after winning the World Series and Red Sox fans immediately became more annoying than Yankees fans.

But you have to applaud Theo for what he’s done, getting two of the best players at their position in the game…who also happen to be two like-able guys. Now you’re looking at a team core of Crawford, Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis. As much as I can’t stand Youkilis, that’s a team that I can not only watch, but also root for (just a little…quietly).

What’s even more awesome about the Crawford signing is that, by all accounts, Theo just swooped in out of nowhere to make this deal. Apparently he was blowing smoke by throwing money at Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee, all the while secretly wooing Crawford. In a world where we always get unverified stories by “sources close to the situation”, it’s amazing that Theo was able to pull this off with such stealth.

Plus I had to give out some Yale love, and Theo had a much better week than the Whiffenpoofs.

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Weekly SportsPod – Colin Talks to Sow and Rass About the Red Sox and the Sports Movie Character Hall of Fame

 

The Red Sox surprised everyone by swooping Carl Crawford.

With the Boston Red Sox making some serious power plays in the last couple weeks, I had to bring on Northeast baseball expert Eric Rasmussen to get some insight. We’re also joined by Josh Sowers, and all three of us discuss which sports movie characters would have a shot at the Hall of Fame in their respective sports.

Finally we conclude with a little college hoops talk, where Rass gives us his Final Four picks and Cinderella Upset Alert. You don’t want to miss it, believe me. Enjoy.

Weekly SportsPod – Colin Talks To Rass and Sow 120910

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YouTube Clip of the Day: Ivan Drago Does His Best Elvis Impersonation

 

"I must break ice blocks..."

One of the great actors of our time, Dolph Lundgren (check out his IMDB page if you don’t believe me…He-Man: Masters of the Universe…need I say more?), is probably best known for his role as Rocky Balboa‘s Soviet adversary Ivan Drago in 1985’s Rocky IV. Surely Rocky’s Sylvester Stallone‘s Hall of Fame selection and my subsequent list of characters that belong in the Hall of Fame had Drago on my mind.

It reminded me of this clip, which I originally saw on The Soup. Not only is Dolph an awesome performer, but he takes several breaks while singing to 1) perform an awesome drum solo and 2) destroy wood and blocks of ice with parts of his body. Plus he’s in a tuxedo the whole time. Marvelous.

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