Detail: Gajin Fujita's chi_town mural under the Lake Shore Drive Bridge near Navy Pier features this rather fetching Chicago Blackhawks fan. D'you think she's got season's tickets?

Chicago, post #1: Graffito

Did you know that the word ‘graffiti’ is the plural form of ‘graffito’? Well, now you do.

Can I interest you in a graffito? Howzabout if it looks like this?

Gajin Fujita’s chi_town mural includes this detail of a rather fetching young Blackhawks fan. She seems nice. Think she has season’s tickets? (Photo by Jason Kurylo / Pucked in the Head. All rights reserved.)

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As appeared at www.royalcityrecord.com, Milla and me with the Cup last week.

Congratulations, Mr Ranford

Yes, they’re Kings fans, but that doesn’t make them bad people. Photo by Jason Kurylo.

Before Bill Ranford ever played an NHL game, before he won two Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, before he retired to spend more time with his young kids or re-entered the bigs to be the Los Angeles Kings goaltending coach, he played junior hockey for the New Westminster Bruins.

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Soccer Bronze

It’s strange how our reactions to results vary depending on when we’re asked to respond to them.

If you’d told me after the 2011 Women’s World Cup that Canada was going to win bronze in the Olympics next year, I likely would have giggled and asked if you’d been watching. The Canadian ladies failed spectacularly in that tournament, crashing out after losing all three games in the group stage. That was a dark time. Continue reading

Rally caps, baby!

Rangers win!

Much like Ichiro Suzuki and other Japanese superstars in the major leagues, pitcher Yu Darvish draws hundreds of his countrymen and women to Texas Ranger games. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

I had the good fortune of catching a game at Ranger Stadium in Arlington, TX this week, and it was one hell of a game. Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish started well, earning four strikeouts in the first two innings, then imploded. He gave up six runs in the third and another in the fourth before more than 42,000 hometown fans.

Interesting note for those of us who have experienced the phenomenon of Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle. While Darvish is a popular young pitcher amongst Ranger fans of all nationalities, there were a considerable number of Japanese fans in the crowd, almost all of them sporting Darvish jerseys. It’s a considerable market for MLB teams to tap into, and we’ve seen it with Dice-K, Godzilla and a few other import stars. For anyone who has heard entire sections of gleeful college-aged Asian girls squeeing for Ichiro, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As an ex-ESL teacher, I’m interested in things like this.

But I digress. Back to baseball.

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Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China embarrassed the entire Olympic movement when they intentionally threw a match to draw a more favourable quarter final opponent. They were disqualified along with three other teams.

Shuttlecock Scandal!

Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China embarrassed the entire Olympic movement when they intentionally threw a match to draw a more favourable quarter final opponent. They were disqualified along with three other teams.

It’s obviously not the first time anyone has tried to lose a match for a better draw in a tournament, but these badminton players are by far the highest profile example of match fixing to be caught in the social media age.

Check out this video of the world champion Chinese women’s doubles team “competing” with a highly ranked South Korean pair at the London Olympics:

 

Both of these pairs, as well as another from South Korean and one from Indonesia, have been thrown out of the 2012 Games. And rightly so.

The countries these women represent should be ashamed, and willing to make an example of their unsportsmanlike conduct.

Sad to say, my good friend Ryan Kesler has taken more than his fair share of dives over the last couple of years. Get up, RK17, GET UP.

Now if only we could suspend or disqualify players in soccer and hockey who dive. Yes, that includes Ryan Kesler. Play the damned game, people, every shift, every point, every time. Play, and to every South American soccer player, I echo the same thing I yell at Kes when he pulls this kind of crap: “GET UP!!!”