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 on: June 24, 2011, 04:55:03 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
Bulls, Butler a perfect fit
In Jimmy Butler, the Bulls found a player with the skills Tom Thibodeau covets
Comments30 Jon Greenberg
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Andy Katz sits down with NBA Draft prospect Jimmy Butler to talks about his rough beginnings in Tomball, TexasTags: NBA, Draft, Jimmy Butler, Andy KatzJimmy Butler In His Own Words
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Andy Katz sits down with NBA Draft prospect Jimmy Butler to talks about his rough beginnings in Tomball, TexasTags: NBA, Draft, Jimmy Butler, Andy Katz
Fantasy Hoops: NBA Draft
Fantasy Hoops: NBA Draft
Adam Stanco and Keith Lipscomb put the fantasy spin on the 2011 NBA DraftTags: Adam Stanco, Keith Lipscomb, Fantasy, Fantasy Hoops, Fantasy NBA
Call Me Metta World Peace
Call Me Metta World Peace
First Take discusses Ron Artest's decision to change his name to Metta World PeaceTags: Ron Aretst, Andy Katz, Ric Bucher, Skip Bayless, First Take, Metta World Peace
Thompson Excited To Go No. 4
Thompson Excited To Go No. 4
Tristan Thompson talks about being selected No. 4 overall in the draft and is looking forward to playing with Kyrie IrvingTags: First Take, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson
CHICAGO -- On Wednesday evening, as Tom Thibodeau prepared to throw out the first pitch at the Cubs-White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field, Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney was asked which players blew them away in pre-draft workouts.
Pinckney stared ahead, shrugged his shoulders and looked toward his boss, as if to say it doesn't matter how high these hopefuls jumped or how many jumpers they hit in a practice gym.
"They have to be able to play for him," he said.
  • Enlarge\l ""
Anthony Gruppuso/US PresswireJimmy Butler has overcome tremendous obstacles to reach the NBA.That's no easy task. As the Bulls found out last season, Club Vinny was closed and Camp Thibs was no vacation. Playing for Thibodeau is a man's job, and the Bulls were looking for a rookie who could fit into a championship-caliber team.
The Bulls might have found their guy in Jimmy Butler.
Yes, for the 30th straight year, the Bulls were elated the guy they targeted fell to them, in this case, a 6-foot-8 swingman who played three years just up the road from the Berto Center, at Marquette.
The Bulls took Butler with the 30th and final pick of the first round, after trading the 28th and 43rd picks to grab 6-foot-10 small forward Nikola Mirotic with the 23rd pick. (The deal has yet to be approved by the NBA, but league sources told ESPN's Nick Friedell that is a mere formality.) While Mirotic will remain in Europe (he plays for Real Madrid) for the time being, Butler was chosen for the present.
The Bulls see Butler, who averaged 15.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a senior, as a small forward on offense with the ability to defend every position except center, and the 21-year-old is saying all the right things already, talking defense and shutting down LeBron James.
"I think I'm a guard; that's how I'm going to make my mark in this league," he said. "I'm going to put in that work to be able to guard LeBron, Dwyane Wade and all those guys so the Bulls can get to that championship.
"I'm working on my outside shot, so I'll be able to knock it down, but I think the biggest thing is defense," he continued. "I'm going to be a pest, take up everybody's space and make them work for every little thing. I think that's where everything is going to go for me. If I want to get out there, it's going to be on the defensive end, getting stops and running after defensive rebounds."
Why not just buy Thibodeau flowers and chocolates while you're at it, Jimmy.
Of course, that's the kind of attitude the Bulls were targeting, and Bulls general manager Gar Forman allowed that they were thinking about a big swingman who could defend James, so he doesn't act like Michael Jordan again next June.
"It was discussed as we went through the process," Forman said. "And that's not to put pressure on a guy that just got picked, that we're going to throw him out there and expect him to guard LeBron, but we think got a lot of versatility defensively and we think that's a real plus for us."
Bulls draft pick Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler, whom the Chicago Bulls drafted with the No. 30 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, joined "Chicago's Gamenight" on ESPN 1000 minutes after he heard David Stern call his name.
More Podcasts »
The Bulls did their homework on Butler. Forman knows every junior college coach in the country, and Butler's coach Mike Marquis is a close, personal friend. So he had been on their radar before he went to Marquette.
"After following him for several years, we got the chance to meet with him a couple times during the process," Forman said. "When we did, each time we met with him, he really kind of blew us away. We really feel he's going to fit in the locker room and the culture of this team, and fit on the floor."
The Bulls, as expected, will look for a true scoring guard in the free-agent market whenever the labor situation is figured out. But Forman thinks Butler's midrange game will help spread the floor at the 2 or 3 spot, while he contributes on defense.
Butler's story goes beyond the box score, though. As ESPN's Chad Ford recounted last week, Butler was essentially homeless at 13 after his mother kicked him out. He eventually found a surrogate home with a classmate's family and persevered, spending a year at Tyler Junior College before winding up at Marquette.
Before you get carried away, don't insult him by comparing his story to the Michael Lewis book-turned-tearjerker movie "The Blind Side." Butler's story is his own and should be treated as such. Trust me -- you're going to hear more about it in the coming months, especially if he turns out to be a legit player and not another James Johnson.
Butler said he was hesitant to share his background story during college, but he knew he had to open up to the NBA talent evaluators, and he's happy for it.
"It was tough for me because I never really talked about it," he said. "I kept it inside and tried to keep it a secret, but I knew it had to get out at some point. It just happened to get out now. I'm glad it got out, to tell you the truth, because I've been holding it in for a very, very long time. Everyone was inspired by it, but that's just me. This is my story, this is my family and I wouldn't change anything for the world."
Butler watched the draft with his surrogate family in Tomball, Texas, as his past and future intersected. When his name was called, his head was clear.
"The thought that ran through my head was, 'My dream came true,'" he said.
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for

Bulls draft bio: Jimmy Butler
June, 23, 2011
Jun 23

Player: Jimmy Butler
Position: SF
Pick: 30
Background: A native of Texas who played his college ball at Marquette
Birth date: Sep 14, 1989
Strengths: On paper, Butler appears to be a Tom Thibodeau type of player. He is a versatile perimeter player who defends effectively. As a senior with the Golden Eagles, he averaged 15.8 points per a game, scoring both inside and outside. He has overcome great adversity in his life to get where he is. That obviously speaks very highly of both his determination and his character. He could be used as a backup for Bulls small forward Luol Deng next season. ESPN's Chad Ford rated him as the eighth best small forward in the draft.
Weaknesses: At 6-8, Butler is a bit of a ‘tweener. He lacks great quickness and explosiveness, according to Ford. He's not a great outside shooter, having hit 20 of 58 3-point attempts as a senior.
Career highlight: Butler had 30 points and six rebounds in Marquette's loss to Cincinnati this past March. He also scored double digits in all three of Marquette's NCAA tournament games this season.

 on: June 24, 2011, 04:54:33 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
Jimmy Butler finds a new home, hope

Homeless as a teen, Jimmy Butler lives out his hoop dreams with a new family Chad Ford
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Andy Katz sits down with NBA Draft prospect Jimmy Butler to talks about his rough beginnings in Tomball, TexasTags: NBA, Draft, Jimmy Butler, Andy KatzJimmy Butler In His Own Words
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Jimmy Butler In His Own Words
Andy Katz sits down with NBA Draft prospect Jimmy Butler to talks about his rough beginnings in Tomball, TexasTags: NBA, Draft, Jimmy Butler, Andy Katz
Fantasy Hoops: NBA Draft
Fantasy Hoops: NBA Draft
Adam Stanco and Keith Lipscomb put the fantasy spin on the 2011 NBA DraftTags: Adam Stanco, Keith Lipscomb, Fantasy, Fantasy Hoops, Fantasy NBA
Call Me Metta World Peace
Call Me Metta World Peace
First Take discusses Ron Artest's decision to change his name to Metta World PeaceTags: Ron Aretst, Andy Katz, Ric Bucher, Skip Bayless, First Take, Metta World Peace
Thompson Excited To Go No. 4
Thompson Excited To Go No. 4
Tristan Thompson talks about being selected No. 4 overall in the draft and is looking forward to playing with Kyrie IrvingTags: First Take, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson
"I don't like the look of you. You gotta go."
Those were the last words Jimmy Butler says he remembers his mother saying to him before, according to his recollection, she kicked him to the curb.
He was 13 years old. There was no family to run to. No place to call home. No money in his pocket.
Most kids his age are concerned with school, sports, girls. Butler was just trying to survive. Alone.
Butler pauses as he speaks to me from a hotel room in Cleveland. He sounds unsure about doing this interview. For years, he's kept the story out of the headlines. Several times he tells me he's not sure it's the right time to talk.
He's focusing on NBA draft workouts. He just flew in from New Jersey, where he worked out June 8. Two days later, he tried out with the Cavs. His coach at Marquette, Buzz Williams, always told him to take everything one day at a time.
"That's literally what I live by," Butler said. "One day at a time. The NBA is a goal of mine. But I'm not there yet. I can't lose my focus."
Butler has 13 days until the draft, when he's likely to hear his name called somewhere between the late first round and early second round.
His workouts, by virtually all accounts, have been stellar. He won the MVP award at the Portsmouth Invitational. He impressed scouts with a strong performance at the Chicago pre-draft combine. He's drawn praise from virtually every NBA scout and GM who has worked him out.
But it's been the interview process that has created the most buzz. Representatives from team after team told me he was one of the most impressive young men they've ever met.
"His story," one GM said. "is one of the most remarkable I've seen in all my years of basketball. There were so many times in his life where he was set up to fail. Every time, he overcame just enormous odds. When you talk to him -- and he's hesitant to talk about his life -- you just have this feeling that this kid has greatness in him."
Butler is fine with that interpretation. But there's another one that he fears.
"Please, I know you're going to write something. I'm just asking you, don't write it in a way that makes people feel sorry for me," he said. "I hate that. There's nothing to feel sorry about. I love what happened to me. It made me who I am. I'm grateful for the challenges I've faced. Please, don't make them feel sorry for me."
Pity hasn't gotten Butler anywhere in life. Courage has.
Butler finds a family
After leaving his Tomball, Texas, home at 13, Butler did his best to keep his head above water. With his father out of his life since he was an infant, he stayed with friends as long as he could. Usually within a few weeks, he was moving on to a new place -- anywhere to lay his head down at night.
Basketball became his life, and Butler showed a lot of promise. The summer before his senior year in high school, he was attracting attention as a potential star in Tomball -- but not from the usual suspects. Division I coaches had yet to make contact, but a ninth-grader named Jordan Leslie was scouting him.

Courtesy Michelle LambertSoon after Jordan Leslie (left) challenged him to an impromptu 3-point contest, Jimmy Butler became a part of his family.
Leslie was from Tomball, too, and was following Butler closely. At the end of a summer league game he approached Butler and challenged him to a 3-point-shooting contest. Butler was taken aback by the brashness of the kid. He agreed to the contest. Leslie was an athlete too, an up-and-coming hoops and football star.
After the game, the two became fast friends. Leslie began inviting Butler to his house to play video games and to stay the night. Butler's life would never be the same.
Leslie's mother, Michelle Lambert, paused at first. She had four kids of her own from her first husband, who had died. Her new husband had brought three children of his own with him. Money was tight. The word around Tomball was that Jimmy was trouble. Her new husband finally told the kids that Jimmy could stay, but only for one or two nights at a time. But each night when Butler would come to stay, a different kid would say, "Tonight's my night to have Jimmy stay." After a few months, the Lamberts gave in, and Michelle told him he could stay for good.
Butler needed a family, and Lambert was offering hers.
But not before she set some ground rules. For the first time in his life he'd have a curfew. He had to attend class and improve his academic performance. He'd have chores around the house. Most importantly, Michelle told him, he had to be a role model.
"I told him my kids looked up to him," Lambert said. "He had to stay out of trouble. Work hard in school. He had to set an example. And you know what? Jimmy did it. Anything I asked him to do, he did it without asking questions."
"They accepted me into their family," Butler said. "And it wasn't because of basketball. She was just very loving. She just did stuff like that. I couldn't believe it."
With some family support for the first time, Butler became a star for the Tomball High School Cougars. As a team captain his senior season, he averaged 19.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and was named to the all-district first team.
But it wasn't enough to draw the attention from colleges he had hoped. Scouting services didn't rank him. He didn't play AAU ball, which hurt his chances of being seen. He had an outside shot at playing at Mississippi State, but didn't get a scholarship offer. With nowhere to go again, Butler took the only route he could and enrolled at nearby Tyler Junior College.
Once again, with his back to the wall, Butler not only survived; he thrived. In his first conference game for Tyler, he scored 34 points.
"After that I had a few 30-, 40-point games," he said. "It gave me the confidence that I can play at a high level."
As a freshman, Butler was Tyler's leading scorer and was an honorable mention juco All-American. College coaches around the country began to notice. By April of 2008, Butler had offers from Marquette, Kentucky, Clemson, Mississippi State and Iowa State.
Once again, Lambert became a guiding force in Butler's life.
"He had a lot of offers, but I was impressed by Marquette for academic reasons," she said. "That's a great academic school. I told him he should go there because basketball may not work out long-term. He needed a good education and a degree to fall back on. "
Soaring to new heights

Rick Osentoski/US PresswireButler could always score. But the versatility he showed at Marquette drew scouts' attention.
Butler listened and became Williams' first recruit for Marquette. But things didn't start as well as Butler may have hoped. He was used to being the man, but in Milwaukee, he had to sit and watch from the bench as a sophomore. At times, he was frustrated. He'd call Lambert and tell her he wanted to come home.
"Buzz was tough," she said. "He had never had a man tell him no. I did all the time. But often his coaches just enabled him. It was another chance for him to mature."
Said Williams: "I've never been harder on a player than I've been on Jimmy. I was ruthless on him because he didn't know how good he could be. He'd been told his whole life he wasn't good enough. What I was seeing was a guy who could impact our team in so many ways. "
Butler averaged just 5.6 points in 19.6 minutes a game for the Golden Eagles, coming off the bench behind two future NBA players, Wes Matthews and Lazar Hayward. Again, a difficult situation became a positive experience.
"I was tutored by the best," Butler said. "Those guys taught me so much about how to play and how to be a man. I knew that to be successful, I had to be more than a scorer. I had to become a leader. It's not about scoring. It's about doing what my team needs me to do. I wanna be that glue guy, I want to be a guy my team and my coach can count on. That's what I want to be."
By his senior season, Butler had shed the "scorer" label and drew attention from NBA scouts because of his versatility. He could still score -- Butler averaged 15.7 points in 2010-11 -- but he could also rebound, handle the ball and defend multiple positions. He played without ego. He was a winner.
"I saw him at a game versus Providence. He did everything," one NBA scout said. "He guarded Marshon Brooks. He was special. So many guys come into the NBA with role-player talent and think they're a star. I knew this kid could come in and fit, right away, on a good team. That's the appeal."
Scouts were coming to watch him play all year, but Butler was totally unaware. He said he had no idea he was projected as an NBA player until after the college season had ended.
"I was just so focused on our team, on us winning," Butler said. "It's not that it wasn't a dream. Like I said, I was just trying to live one day at a time."

Maggie Casey/Marquette AthleticsOn Marquette's senior night, Butler was surrounded by his new family and coach Buzz Williams.
The highlight of Butler's college career came on senior night when Lambert walked him out on the court.
"That night was a complete blur," Lambert said. "I cried the entire time. He had accomplished so much. I was both happy and proud. Everyone doubted him. His coach and principal in high school said he'd never amount to anything. And there he is, with the crowd cheering.
"But I was also sad and scared. Your baby is gone and now he faces the horrible world. Jimmy always talks about what we did for him. I'm not sure he understands what he did for us. He changed our life, too. We are better people for having him in our family."
Said Butler: "We are all attached at the hip. I give her the credit for helping me become who I am. I love her. You would think that she gave me birth. I talk to her every morning. She's very loving. That's my family. That's Michelle Lambert. She is my mom."
'I know I can overcome anything'
So don't feel sorry for Jimmy Butler. He's about to make a career out of the sport he loves. He has a loving family that's given him a place to belong. And any doubt that he had in himself is now long gone. He believes.
"It's taught me that anything is possible," Butler said. "My whole life, people have doubted me. My mom did. People told me in high school I'm too short and not fast enough to play basketball. They didn't know my story. Because if they did, they'd know that anything is possible. Who would've thought that a small-town kid would become a halfway decent player in college and now has a chance to be drafted in the NBA? That's my chip. That's what motivates me. I know I can overcome anything if I just take everything one day [at a] time."
"I hope someone gives him a chance," Lambert said, trying to fight back tears. "No one gave him a chance. I guess we did, and look what happened. He finally had someone to make [proud of him]. If an NBA team gives him a chance, he'll do the world for them. That's what he did for me."
On June 23, Butler will return to the Lambert home in Tomball to watch the NBA draft with his family. There will be no fanfare. No entourage. No fancy suits. Just his mother and seven brothers and sisters. Sharing a meal. Holding hands. Believing.

 on: June 17, 2011, 04:55:01 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
I just came back from a midnight showing and as far as I'm concerned, this is a ***½ movie. If you like Green Lantern, you'll love this movie. Also, a bit of advice: Don't leave when the movie ends, there is more. A lot of people got up as soon as the credits rolled and they missed a key scene.

 on: June 17, 2011, 04:54:27 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
Lantern or Hornet: Films about emerald-hued heroes are no gems

'Green Lantern' -- 3 stars

Ryan Reynolds stars in "The Green Lantern."    
Michael Phillips Movie critic
9:01 a.m. CDT, June 16, 2011
Green just isn't the superhero color this year.

Ryan Reynolds, above, who had yet to headline a major franchise effort, has the action-star stuff to shoulder a product launch such as this.
He does. Even with his somewhat reedy voice he's an easygoing, charismatic presence, and a real actor. But the film itself is disappointingly routine, as well as jarring in its violence. Only in fits and starts, mostly in the most earthbound scenes between Reynolds and /topic/entertainment/blake-lively-As test pilot Hal Jordan, destined to become an intergalactic "space cop" sporting a ring that does a lot more than decode, Reynolds has a way of playing a hotshot — who's also a self-defeating screw-up — that seems plausible and likable. The actor's lightly sardonic comic touch matches up well with Lively's; she plays fellow pilot, ex-girlfriend (though the spark remains) and aerospace heiress Carol Ferris, who is thrilled with the superhero developments (wee green mask and all) in her unreliable ex's life.
"Green Lantern" is a relationship picture, in which the man learns to be a better, more vulnerable and honest man en route to saving the planet from a fire-breathing, soul-sucking whatzit called Parallax. All the other 3,000-plus Green Lanterns, the sentinels of the universe, cannot find a way to deal with this punk, not even Hal's fellow Green Lanternite who goes by Sinestro (/topic/entertainment/mark-strong-
Mark Strong, a credible and compelling presence). In this end of the cosmos those who slip on the evil yellow ring represent and promulgate fear, yucky and addictive and destructive. Green is good — pure, valiant willpower, like the next generation of energy drinks.
Those unfamiliar with "Green Lantern" mythology, begun by DC Comics in 1940, may experience the film's chaotic, exposition-larded first 30 minutes as pure homework for the test to come, with quick bullet points about planet Oa, the universe's 3,000-plus sectors, the oath … it's a load. The faraway planets of Oa and others look like all the other places we've been on screen lately, from /topic/entertainment/movies/thor-%28movie%29-
"Thor" (which I enjoyed, even in its squareness, more than "Green Lantern") on back.
If the movie's a popular success, it'll be because audiences dig Hal's ability to turn anything he can think of into adversary-vanquishing reality. Meaning: In a training sequence (/topic/entertainment/michael-clarke-duncan-
Michael Clarke Duncan voicing a computer-generated badass) and later, in real battle against the infected, sniveling, yellow-eyed scientist played by /topic/entertainment/peter-sarsgaard-
Peter Sarsgaard (largely in full Elephant Man makeup), the trouble keeps coming, via death bolts or whatever. And Hal simply thinks of a brick wall, or a ridiculous machine gun, and poof: It's made manifest, and the problem is momentarily solved. In the most bombastic of the action scenes, a careening helicopter carrying the U.S. senator played by Tim Robbins transforms into a Hot Wheels vehicle steered clear of carnage on a green, sky-borne track. This saves the day, certainly for product placement.
Realizing this isn't a very sophisticated argument, I find the "Green Lantern" selling point — think it, and it happens! — to be a bit of a dead-end. If everything's possible, then somehow everything's a little less magical. And "Green Lantern" isn't much fun; the head-bashings and pummelings pile up high, and harshly. Reynolds and Lively and their unforced, considerable chemistry got me through the rough stuff. But barely. Take this review with a grain of salt. As I said, I enjoyed "Thor."
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan); Blake Lively (Carol Ferris); Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond); Mark Strong (Sinestro);Angela Bassett (Dr. Waller); Tim Robbins (Sen. Hammond)
Credits: Directed by Martin Campbell; written by /topic/entertainment/greg-berlanti-Greg Berlanti, /topic/sports/michael-green-PESPT002766.topic/topic/sports/michael-green-

 on: June 17, 2011, 04:53:05 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
Two Bulls teams voted among NBA's 10 best of all time

4:12 p.m. CDT, June 16, 2011
It's certainly no surprise that the 72-win Chicago Bulls team of 1995-96 has been voted the greatest NBA team of all time in a Sporting News poll. But which other Bulls' championship team also made the top-10 list?

According to a panel of current and former coaches, players, executive and media members, the 1991-92 Bulls team that bested the Portland Trail Blazers in six games in the NBA Finals ranks as the ninth-best team ever. That team, which won the second of the Bulls' six championships, shot an NBA-high 50.8 percent from the floor and was led by Michael Jordan (NBA-best 30.1 points per game) and Scottie Pippen (21 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7 assists per game).

Two other franchises are represented twice in the voting, part of the "Great Sports Debates" series that celebrates the Sporting News' 125th anniversary. The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won a record 33 straight games, are ranked second and the Magic Johnson-led 1986-87 Lakers are third. The Philadelphia 76ers claimed both the No. 6 (1966-67) and the No. 7 (1982-83) spots.

 on: June 17, 2011, 03:43:19 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Volitzer
Now if we can get you to see the Globalist traitors in the Democrat party... 

 on: June 17, 2011, 03:42:31 pm 
Started by Lisa Wolfe - Last post by Volitzer


 on: June 16, 2011, 01:18:13 pm 
Started by Michael Terranova - Last post by Michael Terranova
Vancouver fans as stupid as the Canucks --- gotta love it, eh?Steve Rosenbloom The RosenBlog
9:31 a.m. CDT, June 16, 2011
Eternal hockey question: Do the Canucks’ many moronic acts on the ice spark their fans’ city-wide moronic acts off it, or vice versa?

Either way, you have to feel good that the dirty and stupid hockey team choked away its best chance at the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in a manner almost as excruciating and embarrassing as a hater like me could script.

Steve Rosenbloom
/sports/columnists/cs-steve-rosenbloom,0,4796157.columnist /sports/columnists/cs-steve-rosenbloom,0,4796157.columnist
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Unfortunately, the dirty and stupid Canucks didn’t blow a three-games-to-none lead and a 3-0 lead in Game 7. That would’ve been sweet. The best.

But still, the dirty and stupid Canucks gagged a series in which they led two games to none.

And three games to two.

And had home-ice advantage for the final game.

AND got shut out.

And then suffered through the Boston Bruins’ parading the Stanley Cup around the Canucks’ ice in a series that turned on a Canucks cheap shot that finally earned a suspension after the NHL choked on so many other heinous acts.

Hope the Canucks got a look at Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, the Conn Smythe winner who was as perfect as the Canucks’ $10 million head case at the other end was flawed. Luuuuuuuuser.

It might not have been my perfect mean-spirited ending, but it was good enough. Hope it hurts up there.

One thing I know for sure: It hurts the stupid and dirty Canucks a lot more than Patrice Bergeron’s finger that cheap and gutless Canucks forward Alex Burrows bit in Game 1 of the series.

And then the fans rioted. Of course, they rioted. They’re the same fans who defend and rationalize suspendible acts by their “heroes.’’

So, they rioted and set fires and broke windows, generally marauding about the city streets acting as moronic as their “heroes’’ in uniform. One of the best cities in the world was getting torched by some of the biggest idiots in captivity.


The Blackhawks came close to inflicting similar unspeakable pain on the Canucks two months and four series ago. You know the story: down three-games to none, forced a Game 7, scored short-handed late in the third to tie it, got a power play early in overtime, then pffft.

The Hawks couldn’t complete the miracle. They couldn’t finish the utter humiliation of the Canucks. Their fans couldn’t revel in that.

But this feels pretty good, eh?

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

 on: June 16, 2011, 01:17:03 pm 
Started by Michael Terranova - Last post by Michael Terranova
Canucks no match in Game 7 as Thomas blanks them 4-0

By Helene Elliott, Tribune Newspapers
11:17 p.m. CDT, June 15, 2011
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Canada's Stanley Cup drought continues, as the gritty Boston Bruins cruelly dashed its best hope in years.

Defying the odds and a historical record that strongly favored the home team in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins played a patient and near-perfect defensive game Wednesday night to defeat the Canucks 4-0 at Rogers Arena and win their first Cup title since 1972.

/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-100610-blackhawks-homecoming-pictures,0,617568.photogallery /sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-100610-blackhawks-homecoming-pictures,0,617568.photogalleryPhotos: Stanley Cup travels with the Blackhawks
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/sports/chi-vancouver-canucks-fans-riot-photos,0,1492909.photogallery /sports/chi-vancouver-canucks-fans-riot-photos,0,1492909.photogalleryPhotos: Canucks fans riot in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss
/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-chicago-blackhawks-flyers-playoff-photos,0,2100813.photogallery /sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-chicago-blackhawks-flyers-playoff-photos,0,2100813.photogalleryPhotos: Stanley Cup finals: Blackhawks vs. Flyers
/sports/hockey/blackhawks/sns-nhl-boston-vancouver-finals-pictures,0,6369971.photogallery /sports/hockey/blackhawks/sns-nhl-boston-vancouver-finals-pictures,0,6369971.photogalleryPhotos: Photos: NHL finals: Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks

The Bruins raced off their bench at the end, mobbing goaltender Tim Thomas and hurling their sticks and gloves in the air as they embraced. Winger Nathan Horton, who suffered a concussion in Game 3, skated out in uniform to join the celebration. Thomas, who had two shutouts in the finals, was voted the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.

"I think they got really cocky and they thought they were going to roll over us," said Bruins rookie forward Brad Marchand, who scored twice Wednesday and 11 times in postseason play.

"But we took pucks and bodies to the net and we were able to pull it off. It's surreal. I don't know if it will ever kick in. It was unbelievable. I'm lost for words right now."

The Bruins became the first team to win three Game 7s in a playoff year and only the fourth road team to win a Game 7 in the Cup finals in 16 tries. This was also the first victory in the series for a visiting team.

Theirs was a tense and grueling road, but it ended with a victory over the team that had the NHL's best record this season.

"I would like to do it again. It was amazing," Boston defenseman Tomas Kaberle said. "I have great teammates here. I would love to do it again."

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo called the loss devastating.

"We obviously didn't get the job done in Boston," he said. "These playoffs were the hardest thing I've gone through in my professional career. It's just a grind, mentally and physically."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't disclose which of his players had been playing injured — it's thought Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin were hampered throughout the finals — and said the Bruins were worthy winners.

"You have to give credit where credit is due. Their goaltender was real tough to beat," Vigneault said. "The way they played in front of him was real tough to beat."

Patrice Bergeron also scored twice, the second time a morale-breaking short-handed goal. Mark Recchi, the oldest player in the NHL at 43, earned an assist and finished as the top scorer in the Cup finals with three goals and seven points. Knowing a good exit line when he saw one, he announced his retirement while still on the ice.

No Canada-based team has won the Cup since 1993 when the Montreal Canadiens prevailed over the Kings. That has become a sore point here but the high-powered Canucks seemed to have a good chance to change that. But they couldn't solve the Bruins' defense or their physical play.

Twin forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the NHL scoring champions last season and this season, respectively, combined for two goals and five points.

The Bruins scored the only goal of a fast-paced and physical first period, when Marchand threw a pass toward the slot to Bergeron, whose shot found space inside the post to Luongo's right at the 14 minute, 37 second mark.

The suddenness of the goal deflated the crowd for several minutes but fans quickly regained their voices and restored the pulsating energy they had been creating.

The Bruins broke things open in the second period with two goals, the second short-handed. It got so quiet in Rogers Arena you could hear the Stanley Cup being polished.

After taking a pass from Recchi, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg took a long slap shot that Luongo saved with his chest. But Luongo couldn't control the rebound and Marchand pounced on it, controlled it and took a wraparound shot that eluded Luongo at 12:13.

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was serving the game's first penalty — for interference called at 16:07 — when the Bruins scored again. Bergeron broke in alone on Luongo and was impeded by defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The referee raised his hand to signal a penalty, but the puck slid into the net at 17:35. The play was reviewed and the goal stood, a stunning blow to a team that was being outscored 22-8 in the Cup finals. The final goal tally was 23-8 for the Bruins — and one Stanley Cup.

 on: June 09, 2011, 04:55:10 pm 
Started by Trent - Last post by Trent
More fraud from the Republican Party of Walker
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The Republican Party of Wisconsin is actively and aggressively backing an effort to commit election fraud by urging on efforts to have Republicans file their names as Democratic primary candidates for the seats of GOP state senators who face recall.
The point of the GOP effort is to create confusion among the voters, force even higher levels of campaign spending, and delay the recall election process.
Top Republican operatives have acknowledged the strategy.
So how did they get so comfortable with the art of defrauding voters?
Perhaps they got some ideas from the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of Scott Walker, who campaigned as a mainstream Republican, promised to steer away from his party’s extremes, and pledged to focus on getting Wisconsinites working together to expand the economy.
Walker never outlined the militant anti-labor agenda that has become the central tenet of his administration.
He never detailed plans to undermine local government and shift power to unaccountable political cronies in Madison.
He never explained that he planned to attack SeniorCare and BadgerCare, to dramatically slash funding for public schools while shifting money to the school choice and charter school programs favored by his out-of-state campaign donors, and to barter off public utilities in no-bid deals with friendly corporations.
Walker’s 2010 campaign was a fraudulent one.
So it makes a certain amount of perverse sense that the state’s once proud Republican Party would employ fraudulent tactics to defend Walker’s crumbling mandate.
After all, with the purging of mainstream and moderate officials (a process so ambitious that it has now targeted even former Gov. Tommy Thompson), this is no longer the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
It is the Republican Party of Walker.
And Walker does not play politics by any standard known to Wisconsinites. His is a win-at-any-cost politics that has only two purposes: to advance himself and to enrich his cronies.
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