Kerry Fraser was a referee in the NHL for 37 years and is now an analyst for TSN. In a recent question and answer post on his blog, Fraser discusses the art of the dive in the NHL and how the league goes about trying to look out for repeat offenders. All interesting stuff. But there is an anecdote about a game in which Wayne Gretzky was doing a bit of diving while playing the Flyers that had some amazing history in it.
Some of you may have heard this one before, but it's certainly worth pointing out again for those who haven't.
The Philadelphia Flyers were the guests that evening and Wayne Gretzky
started "falling down" very early the game and looked my way before he
hit the ice to see if my arm was raised. The more Wayne dove and the
crowd yelled, the more secure the whistle remained in my pocket.
With under a minute to play and the Flyers up by one goal, Wayne was
in his "office" behind the goal. Pelle Lindbergh caught the puck and I
whistle play stopped. Gretz, standing all alone behind the net, leaped
into the air and threw his hands forward, his feet stretched out behind
him, and executed a belly flop worthy of a perfect score. Bobby Clarke
skated up to Wayne and said, "Get up you $%& baby."
Bobby Clarke and the Bullies, one of the few groups of guys who could call The Great One a "&$% baby."
Fraser goes on to tell about how he dealt with Gretzky that day, which is interesting in and of itself.
>>FRASER: DO REFS HAVE ACCESS TO GAME TAPES OR 'DIVING REELS' [TSN]
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.