Stuff I Liked (and Didn’t Like) in 2012

bettmandevilBack when I worked at a different magazine (no longer in business) we always did that thing that magazines do to fill space to inform the reader: the year-end review. I miss those halcyon days of arguing whether the year’s “Worst Plot Twist” was a child a woman didn’t remember giving birth to, or a the latest perfect doppelganger in town. So I’m going to indulge a little a make up a Best/Worst List of Stuff I’m Interested In – which, if you’ve been reading along at home, could be just about anything.

Worst Stalled Negotiations: Forget the so-called “fiscal cliff” – we still haven’t had any NHL hockey! I hope the league owners will realize what greedy idiots they have been in the coming days and back the hell off their unreasonable demands. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is the devil.

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The Kings Are Dead, Long Live the Kings

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©JOE DILIBERTO

My beloved New York Football Giants won their last game of the season today, but were eliminated from playoff contention when Chicago defeated Detroit. (Also, Minnesota beat Green Bay, but that was just overkill.) My brother and I were at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., this afternoon, cheering with our applause muffled by gloves as Big Blue plucked the hated Philadelphia Eagles, 42-7.

Of course the Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions, and now will not get a chance to repeat last year’s exciting run to the Lombardi Trophy. They just did not play well enough.
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NYC Cancels Marathon, But Mayor Bloomberg, Some Runners Don’t Get It

Not this year….

The 2012 ING New York City Marathon had been scheduled to be run today through all five boroughs of a New York City that was flooded by Superstorm Sandy last week, but was canceled by the city and its sponsor, the New York Road Runners.

It took a long time and a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally made the correct call and canceled the race Friday, but not everyone was happy about putting the welfare of Superstorm Sandy victims above the competitive impulses of the runners.
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Olympics Open Under a ‘Cloud of Suspicion’

The Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012, get under way today, and that’s mostly good news – except that I recently became aware of a grave injustice that was perpetrated just days before the opening ceremony: The competition to choose the official cheer squad for the UK Olympic squad, or Team GB, was rigged!

Yes, the bombastic squad of hard-working and highly talented young ladies known as The Crystals – who cheer for the Crystal Palace Football Club – won two public votes to select the squad, but the voices of the people were overruled by the person in charge, Alesha Dixon, who is a judge on BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT, who selected another group of girls – the North London Wildcats, who perform a more modest and stunt-oriented routine. (Does this have anything with the Roman numeral for the 30th Olympiad being three X’s?)

Needless to say, we should not let this tyranny stand! In solidarity with The Crystals, I present their audition number, set to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” so that these young professionals can get the proper exposure they deserve!

The Crystals showed what a class act they were by Tweeting to their supporters:

“Thanks everyone who voted for us to be Team GB cheerleaders. Despite winning both votes, we did not win. Congrats to North London Wildcats! We won the public vote but unfortunately didn’t get chosen.”

Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist Captures Vezina Trophy

Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers was finally awarded the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding goalie for the 2011-’12 season. Lundqvist capped his seventh pro season by winning the accolade on his fourth nomination.

It’s hard to express how proud I am of Hank, who was like a brick wall in backstopping the Rangers to their best finish since the 1993-’94 season, when they won it all. In my book, he should have won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP, because the Blueshirts would have gone nowhere without the King between the pipes, let posting the best record in the Eastern Conference (and second in the league) and surviving deep into the conference finals.
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Happy Anniversary, New York Rangers!

It was on this date in 1994, a mere 18 years ago, that the Blueshirts ended a 54-year drought quest and brought the Stanley Cup back to New York at last. This feat was accomplished by the Messiah, Mark Messier, whose leadership of the Rangers crowned one of the most incredible careers in NHL history.

But the Captain didn’t quite do it alone; he had help from the Rangers other stars, Brian Leetch and Adam Graves — who scored the other two goals in the 3-2 victory — and all-world goalie Mike Richter. And let’s not forget the contributions of role players like Steve Larmer — who took so many crucial faceoffs in the final moments of the game. I can remember watching this at home with my brother and our good friend Brian, agonizing over those final ticks of the clock! And then… jubilation! I’ll never forget that win. As the sign said, “Now I Can Die in Peace.”
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Matt the Torch-bearer

It’s the big Memorial Day holiday weekend here in the States, so I don’t have much time to fulfill my blogging obligation. (Plus, I know those of you not in the USA couldn’t care less about our holidays and want a new post!) I saw this fun photo and thought it would be appropriate.

Current Doctor Matt Smith carried the Olympic torch through Cardiff, Wales, today, though not in character — he was acting strictly as himself. I think he looks like he’s having fun.

There was significant clamor in the fan community to have David Tennant not only carry the torch but light the flame in the Olympic stadium in character as the Ninth Doctor, since he’d already been seen doing it in the much-maligned second season episode Fear Her. I hear that David was offered the chance to carry the torch but nixed it. So I’m glad Matt literally took up the torch and carried on for Whovians everywhere.