Olympic women’s gold medallist Shannon Szabados practices with Oilers
It’s not so unusual for an NHL team to occasionally have a guest goaltender in net for practice, even for a few minutes. But the Edmonton Oilers had a very special guest Wednesday, none other than Canadian Olympic gold-medalist Shannon Szabados.
Szabados got the opportunity to face NHL players after the Oilers’ newly-acquired goaltender, Viktor Fasth, was traveling to join his teammates. Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins knew ahead of time Fasth wouldn’t arrive on time for practice, so he asked Szabados to suit up.
“I’m on Cloud 9 right now,” Szabados told reporters in Edmonton. ”It’s been an amazing couple of weeks and I’m enjoying every single moment of this.”
As for the competition?
“The guys were good about it,” she said of her practice partners. “They were chirping me and I was giving it right back to them.”
There has only been one women to play in net in the NHL, Manon Rheaume, who played a pre-season game for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992.
Allen Iverson spoofs ‘practice’ rant in new commercial (video)
“We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice.”
Despite all of Allen Iverson’s NBA awards and accolades, those words from his infamous “practice” rant may be Iverson’s greatest contribution to popular culture. (Can you imagine if that had happened during the Twitter era?)
Fortunately, Iverson has a good sense a humor about the whole thing and has even made reference to it in his retirement speech in October.
In a new Reebok commercial, Iverson further spoofs his rant while starring alongside Shaq and Shawn Kemp.
It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane for NBA fans.
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Neymar scoops up pitch invader for an adorable photo session (video)
Usually, when a fan runs onto a soccer pitch, his actions are met by onlookers with an eye-roll. When you’re a little kid running onto the soccer pitch, however, you just might be in for the coolest memory of your life.
Meet Ayo Dosumu, a 7-year-old who ran onto the field just after Brazil cruised past South Africa in a friendly Wednesday.
Brazil made Ayo Dosumu’s dream come true, and lifted him. Hope they make ours true, and lift the World Cup, same way. pic.twitter.com/v0zNBn8nlA— Sele o Brasileira (@BrazilStats) March 6, 2014
As security approached the lad, Brazilian superstar Neymar scooped him up and carried him over to his celebrating teammates. The boy’s father was greeted rather angrily by security when he tried to follow his son onto the field, but he managed to stay out long enough to pass his cellphone off to one of the players so he could take pictures of the 7-year-old with his favorite players.
The Brazil team even hoisted Dosumu up on their shoulders.
The boy’s dad: I didn’t even realize when he entered the pitch. He ran away from me but I’m delighted it went well.” pic.twitter.com/V1hNQDbMa3— Sele o Brasileira (@BrazilStats) March 6, 2014
Not surprisingly, the young Dosumu was pretty pleased with how things turned out. From Yahoo:
Globoesporte managed to track down the boy, who they identify as seven-year-old Ayo Dosumu.
“I felt very happy,” Ayo said of the experience.
“My son is now an idol,” his father, Shola, added. “I didn’t even realize when he ran out.Then I had to go and get him. It was a great thrill.”
Ayo Dosumu, the boy who invaded the pitch and his dad Shola: My son is so happy. Neymar has now become his idol.” pic.twitter.com/06BtZgVDwP— Sele o Brasileira (@BrazilStats) March 6, 2014
Here’s the full video, though it should come with the disclaimer Josh Elliott gave on “Good Morning America” on Thursday morning: “Folks, don’t try this at home. Unless you’re under 10 and totally adorable.”
Tiger Woods ready for WGC-Cadillac Championship, but questions remain (video)
A smiling Tiger Woods spoke with the media Wednesday, bearing no resemblance to the man who was forced by back spasms to withdraw from the Honda Classic on Sunday.
Woods has been doing exactly what he said he’d need to do -- getting “treatment every day until Thursday to try to calm it down” -- when he walked off the course with his daughter, Sam, with five holes left to play. Now, he says he’s ready to play in the WGC-Cadillac Championship starting Thursday.
“I was telling Sam when I was walking off that, ‘Hey, daddy can handle pain.’ But I just couldn’t move out there,” Woods said. “I got to a point where I couldn’t twist. So trying to explain to your 6-year-old daughter why you quit is certainly a very interesting concept and topic.”
Woods addressed three main questions swirling about him: his condition, whether he’s played enough as the Masters fast approaches and whether he has focused too much on the sport’s four major tournaments.
His back problems, he said, have bothered him on and off since college. It was visible last August when Woods, 38, fell to the ground after taking a swing at the Barclays. “I think we have to take a more global look at it, absolutely, because it comes and goes,” Woods said of his issues. “We’ve got to make sure that we do preventative things to make sure that it doesn’t happen and adjust certain things, whether it’s swing, lifting [weights], whatever it may be, you have to make certain adjustments. We’ve done that throughout my entire career and this is no different.”
He’s running short of practice time, with the Masters starting April 10. He took six weeks off after 2013 ended and has struggled in the three events he’s played in this year. All told, he’s had only 10 rounds of competitive golf so far.
“I want to be strong and fit and healthy to be able to play that golf course and give it my best,” he said. “So looking at scheduling and practice sessions and training and all that stuff, we have taken a really good look at it and really tried to come up with a plan so that I can compete and play and be ready and try and win my fifth [green] jacket.”
Woods has not won a green jacket since 2005 and his hold on the sport’s No. 1 ranking is growing tenuous. Ryan Lavner of GolfChannel.com writes that “Adam Scott likely would move to world No. 1 for the first time in his career if he wins this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship and Woods finishes outside the top 5-7, according to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robison.” Woods has relentlessly focused on the four majors and his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record.
“They’re big events. They’re the biggest events we have,” he told ESPN. “The Olympics come around every four years. We have four Olympics a year. Those are the ones you’re basically judged by, in our sport. Same thing [as] tennis. People have no idea how many tournaments Jimmy Connors has won. He’s won the most of all time -- over 100 events. But they know many [Grand] Slams he has. Or they know how many Slams it took for Fed [Roger Federer] to pass Pete [Sampras]. But no one can name the [number of] titles they won.”
Russell Westbrook logs NBA’s second-fastest triple-double in Thunder victory
If there’s any question on whether stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can coexist on the court, Tuesday night helped answer it.
Granted it was against the woeful Philadelphia 76ers, but Westbrook logged the NBA’s second-fastest triple-double in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 125-92 win.
Westbrook finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in less than 21 minutes of play for his eighth career triple-double. The NBA’s quickest triple-double belongs to Jim Tucker of the Syracuse Nationals, who did it in just 17 minutes in 1955.
“I never go in looking to shoot first, pass first, rebound first,” Westbrook said (via Associated Press). “I just come in and play off instincts.”
Durant added 42 points for good measure and sent the 76ers (15-46) to their 15th straight loss.
Westbrook played his first game since Dec. 25 just two weeks ago after undergoing knee surgery in October.
During his absence, the Thunder (46-15) went 20-7 behind MVP candidate Durant, who is averaging a league-leading 31.7 points per game this season.
As Durant thrived, some observers wondered how Durant would respond once Westbrook returned.
It appears the two will function together just fine.