Stunt Granny Audio Show #247

US-olympic-mens-hockey-team-rosterJeremy & Kevin are back for another week. They start off talking about why Kevin likes the Winter Olympics. I mean, other than the fact that hockey is the main event of this half of the Olympics. Jeremy brings the show to a screeching halt minutes in by talking about “My 600 Pound Life”. As usual, they finally get around to talking about wrestling. This week’s main topic is the athleticism being shown in the WWE. Being agile isn’t just for the little guys any more. Luke Harper is Jeremy’s main example but doesn’t forget to include Bray Wyatt. Does Erick Rowan get into this grouping or is he being protected too much? The Wyatts took on Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Rey Mysterio? We know that Cody can go in the ring but are the two old guys fitting into this new mold? Were they a look into the WWE’s future during their heyday? Did Cody really need to do the moonsault off the top of the cage? The Wyatts are also ready to take on the Shield at the Elimination Chamber. Roman Reigns is showing off some serious in ring skills that are being highlighted by the Superman Punch and the Spear. Is it more incumbent on the victim than the hitter to make that move look good? These moves look good but what is Kevin’s favorite move that Reigns does? How good is Seth Rollins? Good enough to not talk about his in ring skills? And where does Dean Ambrose fill in with this theme? And how do Jeremy & Kevin squeeze John Cena into this conversation? Find out when you click the link below!

Russian Propaganda Is Hilarious

A Russian reporter by the name of Dmitry Chesnokov, who translates for Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy blog, tweeted this video for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Propaganda usually evokes a more sinister idea behind it so you could call this an advertisement, but either way it’s hilarious. Current Russian hockey players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin join legends like Pavel Bure to sing a song for the upcoming Winter Olympics. They splice in old video from the propaganda era along with more current videos. It’s fantastic.

If that isn’t quite your speed, enjoy this ridiculous goal that was scored on Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo last night during their game with the San Jose Sharks. Joe Thornton doesn’t deserve to be credited with this goal but they all count. I’m still waiting for his four goal game when he pulls out his rooster and strokes it on the ice. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio #235

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Freed from the shackles of audio ban, Dusty is back once again to join Kevin for another rousing edition of Stunt Granny Audio. The fearless duo talk about whether TNA is really up for sale or not, and if so, who might be among the potential buyers. And does it even really matter since TNA doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for knowing what to do with their product anyway. And might this be just another business acquisition for Vince McMahon to add to his tape library?

They then switch gears to talk about the goings on in the last episode of Monday Night Raw. Dusty talks about how he thinks Jay Briscoe is the best thing about professional wrestling right now. Kevin expresses his sadness for the state of his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers right now. Dusty grills Kevin about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal. And a whole lot more fun and nonsense, including Dusty challenging the listeners to come up with an example of a good song about dinosaurs, and it will only cost you an hour of your life and your cold black soul, so why not listen!

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

BandwagonI had a full weekend but my favorite part came Saturday evening when exiting the Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Bluejackets game. Two things really amused me during the game. My girl and I walk past the sign up area to sign up for the “Arch City Army”, which is a faction of hard core Jackets fans, going to our seats every game. Since this game involved the Penguins, there were plenty of Pittsburgh fans in attendance including myself. The first derogatory thing told to me was to “Go home…to Pittsburgh.” After living in Columbus for 14 years, I still get this comment. I’m not going anywhere people. Deal with me rooting for the Penguins. The full season ticket holder that sits beside me seemed shocked that I wore my colors even though I told at Opening Night that I would be dressed in black and gold. What an idiot.

The second part was why I mentioned walking past the Arch City Army. After the Pens won 3-0, the best chant they muster was “Bandwagon! Bandwagon!” which is hilarious on multiple levels. You’re the only Bluejackets fans left in the arena. Looks like your bandwagon already left the arena so you’ve got no back up. Second, do you realize that the last time the Penguins won a Stanley Cup was 2009? That’s four years ago if you can’t do the math. You don’t stay on a band wagon for that long. When you’ve been rooting for a team for that long, you’re just a fan. The Pens have enjoyed a great regular seasons but have been terrible in the playoffs. Even last year ended with a miserable sweep to the Boston Bruins.

The “Bandwagon” chant also got me thinking after the Pittsburgh Steelers got dismantled by the New England Patriots. I wore my Pirates hat to the game because it used to be the best way to say “I’m a hard core Pittsburgh fan. You can’t call me a band wagon fan.” I’m starting to think now that I’m going to have wear Steelers gear since they’re the only losers in town. Time to review Raw after that rant which really could have been it’s own post. Let’s roll.

Lenny-Squiggy-laverne-and-shirley-19107748-640-480CM Punk kicks off the show then we get more review from last week. The Wyatt Family gets their entrance. Evidently, this is good for business. Luke Harper is Punk’s opponent. Jerry Lawler isn’t buying that it’ll stay a 1 on 1 match. Smart man. I’m not sure why Punk is going with the Squiggy look. Not surprised Harper got the call. He was good when I’ve seen him. Holy cow, Mitchell Cool is an idiot. Rowan doesn’t look like Michael Myers. Break time. Punk finally makes a come back. His neck breaker looked really bad. Punk ends up “stealing it” with a roll up. Rowan attacks Punk. Bray Wyatt joins in. Daniel Bryan makes the save with a chair. HHH gets more air time because the WWE makes content for their website. If it’s important, it makes it to TV. Could you imagine the CEO of Apple being taped saying “Finish him” to people mugging one of their employees, JBL? They’d be in as much trouble as Richie Incognito.

Renee Young talks to CM Punk. He knows that he’ll always be out numbered. Punk knows he’s not the only one who has a problem with them. Weird that Bryan didn’t pop in. Paul Heyman is on the phone. He appears to be in a Russian gulag because this interview isn’t on Skype. Heyman cries and hangs up. Ryback gets to take on the Great Khali to get some heat back. We get a break first. Lovely.

Khali is out powering Ryback early. I guess Ryback isn’t strong enough to give Khali Shellshock. Meat hook clothes line for the win. Ryback drags Santino out of the ring. He tosses Marella into the barrier. Just what the doctor ordered. We get more Big Show tape. JBL makes the same claims about jail. Evidently the authorities in those municipalities and the WWE don’t feel the same. Kofi Kingston shows up for Eric Nelson’s birthday, if he’s still alive.

Alberto Del Rio is his opponent. Del Rio is putting the boots to Kofi early. He needs to get heat back too if he’s going to take on Super Cena again. The crowd is still pulling for Kofi even though he’s been MIA for a while now. Del Rio misses the enziguri. Del Rio makes one of the lamest kick outs ever. Kofi goes for the SOS. Del Rio turns it into the cross arm breaker for the win. Nice counter. Dear lord, they go through Big Show’s charges with video packages. JBL has no answer for the charges other than he hates lawyers. That’s some weak sauce.

Randy Orton comes out first. Lawler is ready to announce his opponent when Orton gets on a mic. That was as bland as it could be. Big E Langston is his opponent. My boy Dolph Ziggler & the Miz got crushed. No surprise really because the only thing Orton had right was that the WWE Universe didn’t truly have a choice. We got 3 guys the WWE wants him to face. (Next Day Edit: Well, it’s really 1 guy that the WWE wants Orton to face and 2 guys that aren’t a stretch to face Orton.) Langston shoulder blocks him out of the ring. After tossing Orton to the outside a third time, we get a commercial. Orton finally gets control shortly after the break. Big E missed a spear. Yikes. That is a large gentleman doing that. Orton gets to bore us with a reverse chin lock. Big E shoulder blocks Orton in the corner. JBL gets no sold on a comment. Splash by Big E for a near fall. This is some bizarro world baby face match. Dominant showing by opponent, baby face makes a heroic comeback for the win. No way Big E wins this one. Hanging DDT by Orton. The ladies are loving the “New face of the WWE”. RKO out of the Big Ending. Why is Big Show getting so much air time?

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Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

I watched this clip earlier today after Jim Leyland announced his retirement. It is barely proof that Leyland has aged as a manager since he has a little more color in his hair. It would have been nice for the Pittsburgh Pirates to get him for a second round but the Detroit Tigers decided to steal him along with just about the entire roster of the 1990 Pirates as coaches. As I watch the Penguins play the Colorado Avalanche, I’ve found out that the fans of Pittsburgh decided to steal something from the Detroit Red Wings fans. They’ve decided that their team has been so good for so long, that they can come to the arena dressed as seats even though the game is “sold out”. That’s not quite an even swap but it’s the best I got for now. Let’s roll.

Oh goody, we get HHH & Big Steph to start the show. Steph sets the table for the HIAC PPV. Steph wondering how the feed is there is the most believable part of HHH & Big Show shouting at each other. Steph cutting it though at the flip of a switch means it should have been killed earlier. Daniel Bryan shows up instead of Dean Ambrose. The later gets to show up after a commercial break. Not exactly a sizzling start. Ambrose has been downgraded to not getting an entrance. JBL isn’t making any sense, asking his fellow announcers why Big Show isn’t in jail is bad for two reasons: 1 – They barely ever argue with you. Why do you expect them to do it now? 2 – HHH & Stephanie should answer that question. What the hell is that pin combo called that Bryan just did? Holding an arm down with one leg and digging the elbow into his waist. Looked cool but seemed a little too convoluted to me. Dean Ambrose takes control before the break in TV land and my column.

Ambrose is still in control after it. Since JBL revisited the criminal line of thought for Big Show, I have a third point for him. You always say that you’re the best journalist in the WWE. How about you ask around as to why Big Show isn’t in jail? Mitchell Cool seems to be having fun with JBL. Too bad my ears aren’t. OH my lord, JBL just asked if he said something factually in accurate about Armstrong & Bryan working together for the quick count. Cool decided to answer after his own soliloquy. Ugh. Daniel Bryan wins with the Yes Lock. Fancy reversal into the move.

CM Punk comes out to run his mouth. That is as nondescript a promo as I’ve heard from him. It wasn’t bad. HHH and Big Steph are talking to Vickie about running Raw like she hasn’t done that before. Shawn Michaels brings up power suits and does his silly schtick. He brings up Vince McMahon who has got to be behind Big Show, right? I want to spill water on my lap top again after Hornswoggle, Santino Marella & the Great Khali show up dress in Elvis wigs. Gauging out my eyes would work too.

Santino is taking on Heath Slater. They do a kung fu comedy to start the match. It’s definitely time for a #SippyTimeBeer. “This is entertainment!” from Mitchell Cool who deserves to be put thru the paces by Ivory again for that line. Elvis Cobra gets a big hoot from the commentators and no one in the crowd. A Sneak Cobra attack later wins it for Santino. He sings to Lawler after the match. JBL fakes laughs more. I hope he’s paid well to laugh at that garbage.

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Kevin’s Blog: Open Letter To The Columbus #Crew96

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I might not have any pictures like this on my Instagram account any more. Thanks Crew Sales team for being a bunch of tone deaf morons.

Kevin,

We value your commitment as a Crew season ticket holder and want to ensure we are helping you maximize your season ticket holder experience. To date, your membership score is 65.3 (out of a possible 100 points) of your membership. There are many factors that contribute to your Membership Score, so I wanted to share some suggestions to help you take full advantage of your season ticket holder experience.

I got an email yesterday from the Columbus Crew. After the part of the letter above, they decided to list the ways that I could become more involved with the club. I think their intention was to tell me “You have more stuff you can take advantage of” but I can’t get around the score part of this email. I know I shouldn’t be insulted by it, but I am. Even after getting a “clarification” today, I am still mad because the problems still persists in the apology. We, the fans, were at blame for misinterpreting their email. I didn’t misinterpret anything, you told me I was 65.3% of a fan. How about someone speak up at the sales meeting and say “This is an awful idea that insults the people we are trying to get to purchase more tickets.” Evidently a bunch of spineless cowards works under Mike Malo, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Tom Bowden, Director of Client Services, who sent the initial email.

The first major purchase I made after my financial crisis was to purchase a full season ticket to the Crew because they are the only team in Columbus that I truly root for. I didn’t go to school at Ohio State. I didn’t even grow up in the state. Though hockey is my favorite sport, I don’t truly root for the Columbus Bluejackets. In fact, I have told their reps, many of them over the years, that I am a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and am purchasing tickets solely to see them play. I am currently holding a pair of half season tickets and a PSL at Nationwide Arena. They realize that the job of a salesman is to be nice to the customer who is forking over his hard earned dough. The Bluejackets to this date have not sent me an email this insulting despite the fact that I tell them I’m actively rooting against their team.

Speaking of hard earned dough, one of the reasons I can afford to have both season tickets to the Crew and the Bluejackets is because I take my job very seriously and work on Saturdays to finish jobs that need to get out of our office. Does that cause me to miss some of the events that the Crew and the Bluejackets host? You better believe it does. It’s pretty clear that Mr. Malo & Mr. Bowden don’t work hard enough at their jobs or else they wouldn’t have sent out such a boneheaded email. Also falling under the hard earned money concept is the fact that I’ve bought tickets for my girlfriend the last two years to multiple games even though she doesn’t like soccer. She wanted to spend more time with me. I went from purchasing single game tickets last year to upgrading her to a 10 game package this year. Maybe since I’m only 65.3% of a fan, I’ll stop purchasing her tickets. Maybe since I’m closer to only being half a fan than a full fan, I’ll down grade to half a season plan. That will help you get to your goal of 10k full season ticket holders, right? Since you have been working on that plan for 3 years now, I’ll go ahead and give you a 0.00 for your rating as a sales team. –Kevin Gold Level Member #2425281 (Not For Long)

The Pittsburgh Penguins Dilemma

Poker chips, large sum conceptJeremy thought this topic would be more interesting than another ROH bashing. I’m not sure his level of surprise when he IMed me this article from Deadspin but he did get me riled up enough to do this article. Here’s my take on their questions.

As I noted back on March 28th, the Pittsburgh Penguins decided to go all in during the trade deadline. I hoped they wouldn’t go bust but here they are. My beloved Penguins went down in flames in four short games in the Eastern Conference Final to the unheralded Boston Bruins. They scored a measly two goals in four games. Two goals might not even allow you to win a game much less a series. I’m going to break this down into a couple of categories for what happened and what needs to be addressed.

The Games

One pivotal moment came in the Penguins first round series against the New York Islanders. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the franchise goaltender since being picked with the number one overall in 2003. He started at the NHL level for a majority of that time. The guy even backed the team that went to back to back Stanley Cup Finals in ’08 and ’09 and winning the later of the two match ups against the Detroit Red Wings. Fleury wrapped up the Stanley Cup victory with a diving save on Niklas Lidstrom. In those years, he had a save percentages of 93.3% and 90.8%.  For those that don’t watch hockey, anything below 90% is bad. Ever since that save though, he has fallen apart in the playoffs starting with a terrible showing when they played Montreal in ’10. He had a save percentage of 89.1%. The hope of playoff success was low in 2011 because Evgeni Malkin had blown his ACL and Sidney Crosby was sitting with a concussion. Fleury could have stolen a series against the lowly Tampa Bay Lighting but he posted an 89.9% and the Penguins got booted in the first round. Last year is when things went to hell in a hand basket. Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins decided that playing defense was no fun so they turned the playoffs into an All Star game by potting goals at a ridiculous pace. Fleury gave up 4.33 goals a game for a 83.4% save percentage. He couldn’t even stop basic shots and when the defense is that bad you need that to happen.

He rebounded from the terrible offseason (I’m going to skip over that whole lock out thing because it isn’t relevant to this discussion) and helped to lead the Penguins to a first place finish in the Eastern Conference. The problems looked resolved with a first game shut out of the Islanders. Unfortunately, he gave up four goals in the next three consecutive games. Fleury’s stats aren’t online now but you can’t win many games giving away four goal. The Penguins did pull out one of the three games. Former starter Tomas Vokoun played Game 5 and never looked back. Vokoun had one bad game though and it was Game 2 against the Boston Bruins. The Pens went down 3-0 in the first period. Dan Bylsma, the Pen’s coach, decided to pull Vokoun and send Fluery back in for the first time in a round and a half. Pens Center Brandon Sutter came streaking down the right wing and sniped a shoot over Tuuka Rask’s shoulder to make it 3-1 with a minute left in the first. Brad Marchand, who scored a goal earlier, came down less than thirty seconds later and floats a goal over Fleury’s glove hand which broke the Pens back. All Fleury had to do was make a damn save on a wrister from about the middle of the circles and the Pens have momentum going into the second period.  The guy let’s a floater go over his glove hand? Christ on a pony.

Game 3 in Boston had a bad moment too. The Pens needed a win. Despite playing well, they played their way into overtime knotted 1-1. The referees called three penalties in the first overtime. Mike “Doc” Emrick, NBCSports play by play man, noted with each penalty how long it had been since that number of penalties had been called in a playoff overtime game. Evgeni Malkin got the third while tired and trying to flip a puck up over the defense of Boston for a streaking, fresh Sidney Crosby. It went over the glass half a rink away. The Pens finished the first OT with some penalty time to kill still in the next OT. They killed the penalty. Later in the period, Malkin steals the puck from Jaromir Jagr, an ex-Penguin, who then clearly hooks Malkin to regain the puck. The Pens didn’t have time to recover as Jagr dished it to Marchand who scored the game winner. Former referee Kelly Fraser was asked whether this call should have been a penalty and he ripped the referees for not calling the penalty. Even my room mate Baby Momma Drama, who was born and raised in Boston, had to admit upon seeing a replay that Jagr committed a penalty. None of that matter though because the referees on ice didn’t call it. The Bruins are up 3-0 and pretty much all hope is gone.

The Coach

Dan Bylsma has been under fire at various points in his tenure in Pittsburgh because he’s at the helm of a team that boasts two of the most talented players in the world, Crosby & Malkin. He won a Stanley Cup after Michel Therrien had been fired in February or March of ’09. From what I’ve read, he has had some innovative strategies that he’s brought into the NHL as far as puck retrieval, especially for defensemen, go.  Ever since then, it seems other coaches have adjusted to his strategies. Last year’s debacle against the Flyers landed Bylsma on the hot seat. Crosby wasn’t playing well against Claude Giroux so instead of getting away from that match up at home when they have the last change, he stuck with it. Malkin was getting frustrated by Sean Courturier but he stuck by that match up too. Jordan Staal, the defensive specialist amongst their elite centers, sat by twiddling his thumbs. It may have been for the “better” considering that the Pens penalty killing, number one during the regular season, which was anchored by Staal was stinking out the joint too. Did Bylsma change strategies on the PK? Nope.

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