A Father’s Voice

Yesterday, Nike unveiled a new ad featuring Tiger Woods – the first such ad since his numerous infidelities became public. It features the voice of his late father, Earl Woods, speaking in a very fatherly tone to his son. The original context of the elder Woods’ words to Tiger are unrelated to his recent troubles, but the implications are unmistakable. As a father this ad really stirs a lot of emotions in me. I love how stern, yet gentle, Earl’s voice is as he’s speaking to his son. He is aware of the multitude of sins his son has committed, … Continue reading A Father’s Voice

Countdown to “Opening Day”

Don’t tell my dad this, but when I was a kid I would occasionally go without food at school so I could spend my lunch money on baseball cards. With the money my mother gave me for lunch each day, I could buy three packs of 1987 Topps cards. At the time it seemed like a pretty sweet trade in exchange for some lousy cafeteria food. I was obsessed. I just loved holding those cards in my hands and reading all the stats. I would spend hours learning all the players names, what teams they played for and what town they grew … Continue reading Countdown to “Opening Day”

With Glowing Hearts – Vancouver 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics kick of with tonight’s opening ceremonies and I couldn’t be more excited! I really enjoy the winter games. I think much of it comes from the fact that you get to see so many sports that don’t get much attention during other times of the year; Bobsledding, Speed Skating, etc. But this year I have a few other reasons to be excited about the games. For one, the host city is Vancouver. It’s a city that’s pretty high on my list of  “favorite-cities-I-have-yet-to-visit.” Partially because of my fondness for Canada, but also because of the breathtaking … Continue reading With Glowing Hearts – Vancouver 2010

Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

Tim Tebow’s accomplishments on the football field are well documented. During his tenure at the University of Florida he led his team to two National Championships, won the Heisman trophy and will be remembered as arguably the greatest player in Gators history. And while the jury is still out on whether Tebow has what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level, it’s something he’s done off the field that is creating buzz as we head into Super Bowl weekend. The Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family has produced a commercial that is set to air during the … Continue reading Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

Syracuse Orange: “Shut it down!”

The Orange put up an impressive win over Georgetown last night to advance to 20-1 on the season. They’re currently ranked #4 in the country and have wins over five teams that  are ranked in the AP Top 25. The average margin of victory against those ranked opponents is 13 points. There’s an emerging sense among Syracuse faithful that we are witnessing something truly special with this team. They’re getting solid veteran leadership from seniors Arinze Onuaku and Andy Rautins, as well as a youthful spark from underclassmen Kris Joseph and Brandon Trische. And let’s not forget their stud forward … Continue reading Syracuse Orange: “Shut it down!”

Breaking the Ice

When you read the match report from the January 18th, 1958 game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens the team rosters are a “who’s who” of some of hockey’s greatest players. The two teams had a combined 13 players who would ultimately be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, including legendary Bruins winger Johnny “Chief” Bucyk and the immortal Jean Beliveau whose name has been engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup a remarkable 17 times. Another name on those rosters that has special meaning to local hockey fans is that of Bronco Horvath, who lead the Bruins in … Continue reading Breaking the Ice

It’s Classic time!

Ever since that one magical, snowy New Years Day in 2008 – when the Sabres played the Penguins outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo – the Winter Classic has become a tradition in the Bertou household. We fire up the deep frier, cook a few batches of wings, toss back a couple of Labatt Blues and watch the game. This year is extra special because our buddy Tim is going to actually be at the game cheering on his beloved Bruins, seated right behind home plate! I know we have a bunch of sports fans who come around here. … Continue reading It’s Classic time!

Game on!

The World Series kicks off tonight in New York. By most accounts I’ve read this Series looks to be a toss up when you look at the teams position by position. We should see a great pitching matchup tonight as CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees against Cliff Lee for Philadelphia. So it’s time to make your predictions. Who will win? How many games will it take? Who will be the World Series MVP? Continue reading Game on!

Did Rivera throw a spitter?

So a little controversy has been brewing today over some video captured during last night’s ALCS game that has been posted on YouTube. In the video Yankees closer Mariano Rivera appears to look around to see if anyone’s watching and then unleashes the most unholy of loogies on the baseball. Now granted, we never actually get to see where the spit lands, but the evidence sure does appear damning. It’s impossible for me to believe that his entire 15-year dominance of Major League hitters has merely been the result of some performance enhancing saliva. So I don’t think he’s a … Continue reading Did Rivera throw a spitter?

Pick ‘Em and Win!

We do it every year, and it’s that time again. Simply pick the winners of each game on the NFL schedule each week. At the end of the year the winner gets the satisfaction of knowing how unsurpassingly awesome they truly are. This season the winner will also gets a prize! We have room for fifty so sign up today! In order to join the group, just go to Pro Football Pick’em and enter the following information. You will a Yahoo account to register: Group ID#: 50903 Password: bertou Continue reading Pick ‘Em and Win!

A rush to reserve judgement?

Earlier this week the Associated Press reported that a civil suit had been filed against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, alleging that he sexually assaulted a woman last June. As one would expect, news of the allegations spread quickly around the web and sports talk radio.  It’s not every day that a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback is accused of rape. But there is one media outlet where the story never surfaced – ESPN. The self-glossed “worldwide leader in sports” issued a “do not report” order to their staff forbidding them to discuss the allegations. For more than two days … Continue reading A rush to reserve judgement?

Worst case scenario for Stanley Cup Finals

Here’s what could have been. On Saturday night the Pittsburgh Penguins suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings to go down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals. They head back to Pittsburgh for game six on Monday night. It’s a do-or-die game for Sydney Crosby and the Penguins. If the Red Wings win, they’ll take home their second straight Stanley Cup. There’s buzz and excitement on sports talk radio. Monday night’s game is a thrilling game six in which the Penguins hold on for the win and force a seventh game in Detroit. Because the … Continue reading Worst case scenario for Stanley Cup Finals

Play ball!

On a whim I took Josiah to the Red Wings game last night. We hadn’t been since Opening Day, which is downright shameful. It was “Kids Eat Free” night too, so I figured what the heck. He was randomly selected to be the honorary coach of the Red Wings for the night. That means he was able to go out on the field with the Wings manager before the game and turn in the lineup to the umps. He had a blast slapping high-fives with the managers and umps. He got a free t-shirt out of the deal too. Good … Continue reading Play ball!

Who let the dog out?

According to reports Michael Vick has been released from prison in Kansas and will serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement in Virginia. He is expected to be released from federal custody on July 20th. Vick has been serving out a sentence for a dog fighting conviction. This, of course, has stirred up speculation regarding his return to pro football. In order to come back to the NFL, Vick must first be reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been strict in his attempt to rectify some of the league’s behavior and character issues. Others have speculated that … Continue reading Who let the dog out?

I’ll see your Jacoby Ellsbury and raise you a Jayson Werth!

When Jacoby Ellsbury stole home against the Yankees a couple of weeks ago a little piece of me died. But I still had to give the man his due props because it’s such a rare thing to see in a baseball game. But what’s even more rare is what Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth did last night. After reaching first base in the seventh inning, he then proceeded to steal second, third and home! Only 49 players have done that in Major League history. Only nine have done it since 1949! (The last Phillie to do it was Pete Rose in 1980.) … Continue reading I’ll see your Jacoby Ellsbury and raise you a Jayson Werth!

Pick the Derby and win 100 Grand!

Today is the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. And each year we have a little friendly contest to pick the winner. You don’t have to know anything about horse racing. Just pick a name and root for your horse to win the derby! The winner get’s 100 Grand so claim your horse now! 1 West Side Bernie (30-1) 2 Musket Man (20-1) 3 Mr. Hot Stuff (30-1) 4 Advice (30-1) 5 Hold Me Back (15-1) 6 Friesan Fire (5-1) 7 Papa Clem (20-1) 8 Mine That Bird (50-1) 9 Join in the Dance (50-1) 10 Regal Ransom (30-1) 11 … Continue reading Pick the Derby and win 100 Grand!

So long Frank Caliendo!

Ok, so as a sports fan I should probably be waxing nostalgic over today’s announcement that John Madden has retired from announcing. Hall of Fame coach, top-selling video game, color commentator for 30 years… I mean, the guy is pretty much an institution and all. But I’d much rather revel in the fact that it (hopefully) means the immediate end of Frank “One Trick Pony” Caliendo’s comedic career. Let the heavens rejoice! Continue reading So long Frank Caliendo!

J-Mac is pretty “G”

I gotta give some love to local celebrity hero Jason McElwain. Some of you who have been around here for a long time might remember the story of a Rochester kid who made national headlines when he scored 20 points in the final four minutes of a high school basketball game. It’s worthwhile to note that McElwain, or J-Mac as he’s known locally, has autism. He had served as the team’s manager for his entire high school career. But during the team’s last home game the coach told J-Mac to suit up. If he could get a chance to put … Continue reading J-Mac is pretty “G”

Which was worse?

Here’s one my wife and I kicked around last night. A bit of a social experiment if you will. In the past two weeks there have been two seperate cases where superstar atheletes – both arguably the greatest of all time at their respective sports – got caught in a situation involving illegal drugs. So here’s my question. From your perspective, which was worse? “Neither” and “both” are not options, you have to choose one. . Continue reading Which was worse?

A-Rod: “I did it.”

A few minutes ago Yankee third-baseman Alex Rodriguez confirmed a Sports Illustrated report which claimed he tested positive for steroids in 2003. A-Rod admitted to using “performance enhancing drugs” during his three year tenure with the Texas Rangers. According to Rodriquez, it was the pressure to perform after signing his record breaking deal with the team that led to his decision to cheat. I’m not surprised by the news. But I am disapointed. I’ve always kind of liked A-Rod – as a Yankee anyway. The reason my son doesn’t have an A-Rod poster on his wall has more to do … Continue reading A-Rod: “I did it.”

Diversity on Ice

I mentioned last week that our oldest son Josiah recently started playing ice hockey, but I neglected to mention anything about the program he joined. Which is a shame, because the story behind it is pretty cool. The Genesee Valley Youth Hockey Club is an instructional program for children ages 6-12. (They’ve been kind enough to allow Josiah to enroll a year early.) It is a not-for-profit organization that provides an opportunity for underprivileged kids to learn to play ice hockey. The program is free for city kids, which includes their equipment which is mostly donated. It is staffed by … Continue reading Diversity on Ice

The agony of defeat …

It seems a bit absurd for me to be disappointed by the Dolphins loss to the Ravens yesterday. After a 1-15 season the year before I guess I should be elated that they won the division and made huge strides toward turning the franchise around. The Dolphins success this season came from taking care of the football and smart, efficient play from Chad Pennington at quarterback. The polar opposite of the effort they put on display in yesterday’s debacle. I was very disappointed. I could have lived with a loss, if they had bothered to show up for the game. … Continue reading The agony of defeat …

Gators’ Tebow goes for two!

My boy Tim Tebow has a chance on Satruday to join Archie Griffin as the only other player in history to win back-to-back Heismans. The other finalists for college football’s highest individual honor are both quarterbacks; Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and Texas senior Colt McCoy. Tebow’s numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as they were last year, when he became the first-ever sophomore to win the award. But he has lead the Gators to a 12-1 record in the brutal SEC and their second national championship game in three years. Some speculate that his leadership in their big win over Alabama … Continue reading Gators’ Tebow goes for two!

C(ha) C(hing) Sabathia is heading to the Bronx!

The New York Yankees are reportedly close to a deal that will bring thundering left-hander C.C. Sabathia to the Bronx to the tune of $160 million over the next seven years. Sabathia single-handedly lifted the Milwaukee Brewers into the playoffs this season before bringing a gas can to his only post-season start. The potential for success and disaster are both huge – C.C. Sabathia huge! Continue reading C(ha) C(hing) Sabathia is heading to the Bronx!

Sayonara Juice!

O.J. Simpson got a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for decapitating his ex-wife holding a few dudes hostage at gunpoint in an attempt to reclaim some (allegedly) stolen property. In the world of sports we call that a “make up call.” It’s probably bad karma to revel in another person’s demise but let’s be honest, “The Juice” is a Grade-A schmuck and he deserves whatever he has coming in prison. Now hopefully Buffalo Bills fans will gather up their collective dignity and demand that #32 be removed from the “Ring of Honor” at The Ralph. Continue reading Sayonara Juice!

NFL Recap: Week 12

Ouch. The Dolphins loss to New England this week stung a little extra. Had the stars aligned, the Dolphins would have swept their series with the Pats while Tennessee took care of business against the Jets and the Bills continued their losing streak against the hapless Cheifs. Then they would have been tied with the Jets for the lead in the division with their week 17 matchup looking epic. The stars, however, did not align. The entire division gained ground on them yesterday. And the way things line up right now, they’re on the outside looking in on the playoff … Continue reading NFL Recap: Week 12

Score one for the little guys

Lap it up Boston fans because it’s about the only time I’ll ever give the Red Sox love. But it’s tough for me not to give big props to Dustin Pedroia – all 5 foot 9, 180 pounds of him – for winning the American League MVP yesterday. Dude is my size and he’s binging home some of the most coveted hardware in all of sports; the Gold Glove, the Silver Slugger and now the MVP. Well, ok. He’s got two and a half inches and ten pounds on me. But still. 😆 Not only that but he’s the first … Continue reading Score one for the little guys

NFL Recap: Week 11

The Miami Dolphins have won four straight. Granted, they had to come from behind to beat the lowly Raiders in the fourth quarter. But a win’s a win! I actually got to watch yesterday’s game with my sister and some friends, don’t get to do that too much. They just opened up a new place around the corner from my house that has all the games and 25 cent wings. Word. I think I’ll have to make my way over there again for next week’s game. Next up: New England Patriots Continue reading NFL Recap: Week 11

NFL Recap: Week 10

I’ve been lousy at keeping up with the NFL season on the blog. But I do feel the need to revel in the fact that, for the first time in what feels like a bazillion years, the Miami Dolphins have a winning record! The thing that’s even more crazy is the fact that this team is two plays away from being 7-2! If they had stopped Houston’s last second QB sneak and caught a pass in the endzone against the Jets they would be leading the division right now. But – as the cliche goes – I guess that’s why … Continue reading NFL Recap: Week 10

The saddest sentence I’ve ever read…

Anyone remember Ickey Woods and his patented “Ickey Shuffle?” In his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals he rushed for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns – leading his team all the way to the Super Bowl. The following season he shredded his ACL in the second game and was pretty much never heard from again. While following a rabbit trail online the other day, I found myself wondering what ever happened to Ickey. That’s when I checked his Wikipedia entry and read what could quite possibly be the saddest sentence ever written about a former star in the NFL. … Continue reading The saddest sentence I’ve ever read…