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June 19th A Date Slavery Ended And The Rosenbergs Were Executed–Oh The SHAME!!

Simply put, the date (June 19th/today) that slavery–original American sin, frankly, a shame this country can not overcome via Federal holidays, but by lowering its horribly high, ignorant, stupid, mean level of prejudice–IF THEN–ended and the Rosenbergs Julius and Ethel were executed, (a barbaric event), is one and the same.

Read regarding the Rosenbergs, the fact that in New York City, with the world’s largest Jewish population, there was not one Jewish juror.

Clearly, the blacklist, a product of the ridiculous, tragic, overblown so called Communist threat, ruined many lives, and was not so veiled, if at all veiled, anti Semitism.

In an attempt to be positive, let’s cite two people who happened to be Black/black (capital in this usage?) the indomitable Paul Robeson and James Cheyney. Let’s add two young men, who happened to be Jewish (IMAGINE no religion, countries or possessions, WKRP in Cincinnati did via the Gordon Jump character and to complete the tangent, “KRP” cast member, Frank Bonner passed away) Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, who with Mr. Cheyney tried to enact voter rights in the bigoted south (I can put up, or can I with my “micro horror,” however, how is it possible that this country still has such issues nearly 60 years later?!) and were killed for doing so. 

It is hard, especially for tangent crazy me, to tackle a subject of this enormity and in a tragic vein. So let’s try harder to lower, if not completely eradicate our levels of prejudice!

 

Andrew Goodman, James Cheyney and Michael Schwerner left to right. Somehow on this earth, we must go on.

Lightning Lead, Habs “Squared” vs Vegas Notes

Last night, the Lightning “returned the favor,” doing what the Isles did in the series opener, namely winning on the road by a (2-1) score, and in doing so took a (2-1) “semis” lead.

The Islanders have been in 10 previous “semis” with a venue home/road situation. They went (5-5) in those semis, winning 5 straight en route to 4 titles and one final round loss from (’80-’84), and losing in the semis to eventual champion Montreal Canadiens’ teams in ’76,’77 and ’93 and a Flyers’ “such” team, their last to date, in ’75. They lost to the Rangers in ’79 and it was Montreal in 5 vs the Rangers in the subsequent NHL final.

Additionally at a neutral site/”bubble,” the Lightning 6’d the Isles in last year’s semi and then did the same to the Dallas Stars to win a second title, the other in ’04.

In the 5 semis series wins, the Islanders were a sensational (12-1) at home, the lone loss, up (3-0) vs the Buffalo Sabres (remember them, I ask, as they have 10 straight ‘offs “misses”) in game 4 of the ’80 semis. In the 5 semis series losses, they were (6-7). Additionally, the winner of the first Isles’ home “semis” tilt, (T.B. last night did that) won 9 of the 10 series. Only in ’77 when the Isles battled an incredible 60 wins, 12 losses, 8 ties (remember them?!) Montreal team to game 6 (on VSiN, “game 6’s was said as I typed), did a team (the Isles in game 3) win the first Isles home “semis” tilt and not win the series.

The Lightning (2-3) in home/road venue semis, (3-3) overall in semis, were involved in five, 7 game semis in all previous home/road venue semis. In the first 2, the Lightning win vs Philly in ’04 and the Bruins’ win en route to their ’11 title (the only one for the Bruins in 48 completed seasons ’73-2021 with no NHL season in ’05), the home team went (5-2) in each series (10-4) combined.

However, in the last three, the Lightning win in ’15 before losing to a third “Chi” (Blackhawks) title team in 6 seasons in the subsequent final, and in ’16 and ’18 when Pittsburgh (Penguins) and Washington (Capitals and under current Isles coach, Barry Trotz) won en route to titles, the road team reversed ’04 and ’11 and somewhat shockingly went (5-2) in all 3 of those series.

Meanwhile Montreal squared their semi vs the Las Vegas Golden Knights with a game 2 road win, marking just the 10th time in 40 Montreal “semis,” that the series “stood” (1-1) after two tilts.

I believe and maybe I will check (I think there has been enough of the esoteric), only in ’87, before 2 nights back, did Montreal win a road/game 2 semi to even the series.

Las Vegas is in a third semi in their first 4 seasons, a bit incredible. Also incredible: The Canadiens made the “semis” in 33 of the 37 seasons from (1943-1979), failing only in 1948 and 1970 when they failed to qualify for the ‘offs and in ’72 and ’74 when they were “quartered out” by the New York Rangers.

Recalling the incredible last day of the1970 NHL “reg,” when the Rangers benefitted from a goals tiebreaker and denied the Canadiens an ‘offs spot for just the second time in at least 28 seasons, I checked and saw that it was the Rangers, who finished fourth and beat the Habs out for the final playoffs spot in 1948.

Thus all four times the Canadiens were denied a “semis” berth in those aforementioned 37 seasons from (’43-’79), it was the Rangers, who directly or somewhat indirectly denied a Montreal “semis” berth.

Shocking Victories For The Hawks And Clippers

Two franchises, the Los Angeles Clippers (this counts (0-3) as the Buffalo Braves) and the Atlanta Hawks (this only counts their 19 “quarters” as the Atlanta Hawks), with a combined quarterfinal series record of (3-24), the Clippers, 8 plus point(s) underdogs, playing without Kaw Leonard are (0-8).

The Atlanta Hawks, 7 plus point(s) underdogs overcame a 26 point deficit and though I stayed up (a rarity), for the Montreal Canadiens, another huge road underdog, getting 11 to 5, who got even vs 10 to 1 series favorite, Las Vegas (Golden Knights), I did not check back and it took time to realize the “phone” “said” the Hawks first.

Meanwhile sans Leonard the Clippers prevailed and roughly,4 the “parlay” of Hawks/Habs and Clippers paid out at 42 to 1.

Never A Title, Given So Much Charles Barkley Is An Almost “Guaranteed” WRONG AND Undeserving

The Nets, who years back annexed Julius Erving, annexed again and one they annexed, a brilliant player, Kevin Durant, hit for 49 points and had a great overall game as the Nets, who are (6-0) at home in these ‘offs, and bet from (plus 4 to plus 1) (114-108) vs about to be highly criticized Milwaukee (Bucks, never for me because I can not watch, I can not follow but if I knew Barkley “guaranteed” a Bucks’ win, I would have).

In fact, just going vs Barkley, a never title winning and while great, he was even more over rated, is a money maker. Why this man can just throw and rarely stick and almost never be right is beyond me.

I no longer can fight it!!

 

Kevin Durant (Wizards v. Warriors, 1-24-2019) (cropped).jpg

Why did the great player, Kevin Durant, pictured above while helping the Warriors win 2 of their 3 recent titles, have to leave the Warriors? 

Then again, in fairness, why did this 2 time “jumper,” have to pick his team, as he did in choosing the record breaking, but final round losing, Warriors, after the ’16 season?!!

NHL Update

The overwhelming series favorites, (the) Las Vegas Golden Knights and opening series line underdogs, (the) New York Islanders, won “semis” openers, allowing one goal vs the Montreal Canadiens (the Habs have either won the title, compiling a (17-2) mark in that round or lost in the semis 9 times in their 28 semis appearances since losing 2 straight final rounds to the Detroit Red Wings in ’54 and ’55, each in 7 games) and defending champion, Tampa Bay Lightning respectively. Some history notes, regarding the teams in “semis,” follows.

Ten of the 11 previous opening game/semis winners in Isles’ semis went on to win the series. (only in ’84, when the Isles won the last 4 to “6” the Canadiens, did a game 1 Isles/semis, loser win that series).

Las Vegas won (4-1) in game 1 vs Montreal, maybe, (though L.V. is now a  10 to 1 series “fave” now, having “opened” 5 to 1), not a good sign for them, as I note the Canadiens lost game 1 of both the ’79 and ’93 final rounds by that (4-1) “tune,” only to win the next 4, including home, (4-1) Cup clinchers in game 5.

 

Shea Theodore 2018-02-06 1.jpg

Shea Theodore, pictured above, not only “opened” for Las Vegas ending the 7 plus games streak of the Canadiens not trailing, but also had the primary assist on Alec Martinez’ goal, which expanded the Vegas lead to (2-0).

Martinez, of course, scored in overtime in game 5 of the ’14 final, giving the L.A. Kings a second crown in three seasons.

Remembering Jim “Mudcat” Grant

Sadly, news came that the excellent pitcher and fantastic man, Jim “Mudcat” Grant passed on at age 85 over the past weekend.

I will post again what I wrote regarding Mr. Grant (wow Minnesota was where and for whom, Mr. Grant won 21 games and 2 more in the ’65 World Series and where another Mr. Grant, played by Ed Asner on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, would have in extended fiction, cheered for Mudcat) 2 years ago.

Once I called Claude Osteen and then years later repeated that I thought he and not Howie Reed, who sadly died far too young) gave up the #6/’65 W.S. home run to Jim Grant.

Maybe Reed can pitch to Grant again in the sky.

Click below as the link and my post includes Jim “Mudcat” Grant singing in tribute to the great Twins player, Harmon Killebrew, accompanied by Ric Oliva, the son of another “Minne” great, Pedro “Tony” Oliva. See Mrs. Killebrew’s truly moving reaction.

 

 

Djokovic The Great, And Krejcikova Win French Open Tennis Crowns

Novak Djokovic  won his 19th major tennis title, “just” his 2nd in the French Open (Mr. Nadal has 13 and was denied by Djokovic in a 5 set “semi,” his buddy (Nikola) Jokic on Denver (Nuggets) won the MVP, however, his TEAM is down (3-0) to Phoenix (Suns), Djokovic an individual was not to be denied, overcoming a 2 sets deficit in the final vs Stefanos Tsitipas) denying non “hedgers”, that “had” Tsitipas.

Mr. Djokovic is now just one behind both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the latter two with 20 major crowns apiece. 

Tsitipas missed a golden opportunity to win his first major crown.

Meanwhile Barbora Krejcikova also won a maximum sets (3) semi and final, defeating Anastasia Pauluchenkova in the final, to win her first major tennis title.

 

NBA Update

Though each team still has a chance (the oddsmakers demur), the quarterfinal series woes of both the Los Angeles Clippers (0-8 in such series, before losing the first two of a 2021 version vs the top ranked Utah Jazz) and Atlanta Hawks ((3-16) in such series since moving to Atlanta and starting with victories in the second and third years of best of NBA “qtrs” in both ’69 and ’70. Thus they have lost 15 of their last 16 such entities and trail the East top seed Philadelphia 76ers 2 games to 1. They have won less than a third of their 102 quarterfinal games, the record standing at (33-69) after last night’s loss) continue.

Elsewhere the Phoenix Suns are almost certain to go over the .500 mark by winning a 10th “quarter” in 19 such, as Chris Paul and Devon Booker have led them to a (3-0) series lead vs the Denver Nuggets, who again, almost certainly will fall to (4-7) in NBA quarterfinal series.

The overall favorite, Brooklyn Nets have a (2-1) series lead vs the Milwaukee Bucks.

NHL Update

After I would think an unprecedented 4 straight NIGHTS (capped by the Golden KNIGHTS doubling the top ranked Colorado Avalanche in a home 6th), in which a quarterfinal series ended, it will be L.V.(Golden Knights) and T.B. (Lightning) as heavy, heavy and heavy “semis”/faves respectively vs the two franchises, the Canadiens and Islanders (respectively), that each won 4 straight titles, encompassing all 8 titles from (’76-’83).

However, it has been 38 years since the last Isles’ crown while Montreal, which capped an incredible 15 titles in 24 seasons “run,” with that 4th straight crown won in ’79, from (’56-’79), has not titled (nor any other Canada based team), since “same calendar,” 1993.

As referenced above, L.V. doubled top ranked Colorado (remember the teams tied for the top spot in “reg” points) in #6, and won the last 4 to advance to their third “semi” in this, just their fourth season.

The night before (as cited here, on Monday the Canadiens completed a “qtr” sweep of the Winnipeg Jets and on Tuesday, defending champion Tampa Bay 5’d the Hurricanes) the Islanders repeated a 1983, #6 at Nassau Coliseum “wrap” of the Bruins. That was a “semi,” this a “qtr” and from ’68-’92, in 16 of 25 seasons the Bruins either lost to the champion (14 times) or titled led by Bobby Orr and current Isles opponent/Lightning (real homer, but I like Espo) analyst Phil Esposito. I will post TB/Isles notes from last season, T.B. opens over a 5 to 2 fave. L.V. over 4:1 vs the Canadiens is the other opening semis series line.

 

Alex Pietrangelo during the 2019 Stanley Cup parade.jpg

Las Vegas coach Peter DeBoer, who guided the Carolina Hurricanes to the ’06 title, called Alex Pietrangelo, pictured above and who was the Blues captain, when they won their lone Cup in ’19, the best player on either team in the Golden Knights 6 game triumph vs the Avalanche.

Coincidence Amidst The Sadness Of Abuse(s)

Yesterday, I happened to view a tape (remember those?!) from September 1987 and on it, from the days before ESPN was the all powerful monolith it is now, was a Penn State football show on which their last title season, the second of two under the “sanctimonious” Beano’s (Cook) word for him, Joe Paterno, was reviewed, before a preview of the new season, now nearly 34 years into the “rear window.”

The impact and perspective  sharp,  a degree, as though shards of glass from said mirror.

After Paterno talked about the game, a (14-10) Penn State win for which I still do not “forgive” Jimmy Johnson, Vin Testaverde and favored Miami, for losing, though along with Beano and Jim Lampley, who called me at Score Phone Turkey Day night to state Penn State would at least cover vs what would be “an off the juice” Miami team, I cashed some.

My dad, who surely at least related to the successful Paterno, (Beano thought he was an outstanding football coach, but alas, what always goes along with that–the souls strewn aside the veritable road) talked of how I was so often vs “successful people.” I never liked Paterno and as with M.L. Weiner, saw through him.

After Paterno, on comes Gerry Sandusky the defensive coordinator talking about his game plan and how effective it was vs Miami and it was. Of course, Mr. Sandusky later, much later and far too late, was found to be one, who sexually abused others.

Now this morning, all powerful ESPN reveals that the son of Bo Schembechler, another all powerful football coach, who also fired the great Ernie Harwell, when he ran the baseball Tigers, knew his son had been sexually abused and as with Paterno, did not respond properly. An understatement!

Again to Beano and a rant/notification, that I so often have been right as I see through the hypocrisy and “indict” not just the sexual abusers (I know this is advanced, but if you have that problem check in, get help and the system can take measures to help. The way it is now will only make things worse, as with almost any other undetected PROBLEM!!) but also the ESPN’s, which hype these coaches, players and worst of all, no talent “bags of wind,” such as S.A. Smith and to a lesser degree, Dick Vitale, he of the enormous bank account and Tampa Bay teams enjoyment.

When Schembechler died, Beano appeared on ESPN Radio. I asked him what he said and in a hurry he said as he often did that “he had to go.”

However, before getting “off the line” (even I am too young for that phrase) Beano said they praised Schembechler, adding “the only one they say something bad about when he dies is Hitler.”

Sorry Bo, but Beano also added that as a coach he lost too many big games and the hype for his life and career, I add was out of whack. Typical and so help me this happened, another sign, but alas, where and how to go anywhere with it?!!