In break with Meast and Least tradition, this weekend’s Measts and Leasts come from all manner of places since there is not much football to discuss this Monday morning.
The Sean Taylor Memorial Meast: Despite the completely different settings and temperatures, 70s in LA, 20s in New York, both the Ducks-Kings and Devils-Rangers NHL Stadium Series games turned out to be pretty entertaining matches. The Rangers roared back after trailing 3-1 to win 7-3, the Ducks soundly beat a Kings team that still is having problems scoring midway through the season. Sure the puck bounced around a little more than usual, but if this game had been played down the road at Staples, the result would have been the same. Cries that the games appeal to the casual fan should be ignored. Ever sit in an arena with 20,000+ hardcore hockey fans? What a bunch of assholes.
Also considered: Alcohol, gravy fries, Woody Harrelson (he’s got a 2-0 lead on Wooderson in the lady department on “True Detective”), the fan that ran into the field during the Pro Bowl, Deion Sanders white beard.
The Jeff George Memorial Least: The Pro Bowl. All of the rules changes made the Pro Bowl worse, not better. This was one of the slowest moving games in years, plus while it was harder hitting, it was harder hitting not in a fun way. Chief-on-Chief violence that made you cringe. The game two years ago that pissed of Lord Rog was actually more fun to watch because it was goofy, the players were actually having fun with each other outside of the game. This year? Serious coverage. Forced drama about who was going to be picked in what order during the draft. No hijinx around on the sidelines. Sure they didn’t care, but they also didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves either. Producers using Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice for reaction shots, not the actual Pro Bowlers.
What made the Pro Bowl special each year was that you got to see NFL players relaxed with each other for a change. For all the talk about sportsmanship over the past week, the league managed to scrub away what last vestiges of it ever existed by making the Pro Bowl a serious event.
Also considered: Batista winning the Royal Rumble, injuries incurred handling hot peppers making chili, second to the last weekend of football, the Grammy Awards show.