Archive for May, 2013

An Open Letter to Eugene Melnyk

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Sports

Melnyk

Dear Mr. Melnyk,

It’s been almost a week since another NHL season has come to a close for your Ottawa Senators. The lockers have been cleaned out, handshakes and well wishes have been exchanged, and for many it’s a time to look back on “what was”. Despite the major injures the team saw this season (including the loss of Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Craig Anderson, and Erik Karlsson all  for periods of time), you have to be proud that everyone kept their composure and made it not only to the playoffs but to the second round. A lot of the credit should go to “The Walrus”, Coach Paul MacLean, who (deservedly so) has been nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy for Coach of the Year. But the main reason for this letter is not for your team, Mr. Melnyk. It’s for you.

You see, as a fan of one of your “rivals” (you can ask anyone who knows me and they will vouch that I am) I cannot help but grow an appreciation for having you around. Whenever I hear you in an interview, I’m locked in because you always say what’s on your mind and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get your point across (even if it means going ahead with your own investigation and people taking shots at you). I admire that and I am willing to tune in to hear what you have to say no matter what the medium (which is why I started following you on Twitter; so I won’t miss out on things like this: ).

 With the season over, my fear is that Eugene Melnyk will go away but until when? The draft? Free Agency? Training Camp? Hopefully not, because I have a solution: Podcasting.

Here’s how it will work: once a week, you and I sit down and we talk about whatever is on your mind. It could be Senators specific, hockey specific (such as the state of the junior or minor game in Canada), or even give us some insight to Eugene Melnyk “the man”. What movies/shows did Eugene catch this past week and what does he think of them? What did Eugene do for vacation? Over/under the number of flower-print Hawaiian shirts he has in his closet and which is his favourite? (If I had to guess, I’d say 14 and there’s probably one from your first trip down to Barbados that you’ve kept this entire time. You seem like the sentimental type.) These don’t have to be long (maybe 10-15 minutes, once a week will still equate to 52 weeks of Eugene a Year) and the format could be kept loose. If there’s ever a week that you can’t make it, have a player or coach step in. Keep it loose, give some insight to what they’re like as a person and put it on the web for everyone to hear.

I know you have a lot on your plate but take some time and think it over. I just want you to know that we should never wait long to hear from the mind of Melnyk (actually, that’s not a bad name for the show; “The Mind of Melnyk”).  I’ve reached out to you, Mr. Melnyk and hopefully you’ll accept.

Sincerely,

-Chris Fudali

P.S. If not, Go Leafs Go!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

Advertisements

YouTube Advent

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

YouTube Advent 1Here’s the deal: I’m trying something new for this blog entry (born out of either sheer genius or sheer laziness…most likely laziness) where I pass along a five YouTube clips that you must see. I repeat: MUST SEE (according to me). Actually, this was originally going to be called “Work Week’s Worth of YouTube” but I felt that was a little long which is why it’s been shortened to “YouTube Advent”. The reason is simple: you can treat this like the Advent Calendar you get during the holiday season. You can eat one treat per day (as god intended) or you can binge and eat all the treats at once (as I have been known to do). Let’s get started.

Will and Jaden Smith with Special Guests

Why Watch? – Magic happens. That’s what. Will and Jaden Smith are out promoting “After Earth” on the BBC’s “The Graham Norton Show” when Graham asks if they’ve ever rapped or performed together and then the clip takes off like a rocket. The appearances (which I won’t ruin in the synopsis) is amazing but the clip is sold when you see Bradley Cooper do the “White Guy Claps to the Beat because He Can’t Really Dance” thing and Heather Graham shake her head back and forth like she’s on a trip from something she took during the making of “Boogie Nights”.

 What’s Missing? – Certain production things that we in North America take for granted (like a *expletive* curtain! Hell, Conan had a drawback curtain when he did the “Tonight Show”; hide the surprise guests and really make the crowd go nuts). Other than that, it’s pure gold.

 

Russian Delivery Guy

Why Watch? – If you can’t read the title of the video (and I’m in that category) I won’t ruin it for you but it gives me little faith of ever ordering pizza again or just going to Europe. I can’t tell if they’re the more or less advances than North America when it comes to things like video cameras everywhere (remember the meteor that hit and everyone in Russia seemed to have video because dash cams because people are, well, read this.  That, and I’ve already seen Fast and Furious 6, so I know I could never pull off a heist in London).

What’s Missing? – Sound/Subtitles. This video could be so much better if you could hear the delivery guy say something relating to either his job, the pizza, or even if he’s cursing out the country.

 

K-Mart Gas

Why Watch? – There’s a good chance you’ve seen the second in (what I can only imagine to be) a series of K-Mart commercials that use the same puns/ humour that we used back in the third grade. Here’s the thing: if a third grader comes up to you and says these types of jokes, you’ll still laugh because you’re immature like the rest of us.

What’s Missing? – K-Mart in Canada. I haven’t seen one in ages let alone one with a gas bar! But, we are on our way to getting more American stores (if only we can convince them to call it “Targé”…).

 

The Simpsons/Robot Chicken

Why Watch? It’s The Simpsons and Robot Chicken! COMBINED! (…and there’s a “Fast & Furious reference!)

What’s Missing? – Lenny, Milhouse, Chief Wiggum, Smithe-oh, I’m just nitpicking now.

Under Siege – Silent Movie

Why Watch? – It’s Steven Segal in the role of his life: as Casey Ryback in a silent movie with old-timey music and in black & white! Same plot as the original but trimmed down to just over eight minutes!

What’s Missing? – Maybe Vern and Johnny, but then it’ll turn into a talkie and, thus, ruining the film.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

The Forging of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Posted: May 20, 2013 in T.V.

Agents of SHIELDIn the middle of a dark lit room is a semi-circular table with three chairs. Behind it is the cryogenically frozen body of one Walter E. Disney; hands folded in front and looking at peace. In walk three figures that acknowledge the deceased Disney by bowing in front of him before standing behind one of the available chairs. A silhouette of a large duck stands behind the chair farthest on the right. At the chair farthest to the left, a large dog. In the middle, a mouse. In unison, the three utter the phrase “Tat ho, tat ho! Ut enim ad operamini!” (when translated from Latin roughly means “Heigh ho, heigh ho! It’s off to work we go.”) The heads of the dog, duck and mouse are then removed to reveal that three males in their mid-60’s dressed in three-piece suits. They take their seats…

Executive 1 (sitting in the middle) – Gentlemen, thank you for coming on such short notice. The reason why I brought you all in here is because I worry about this upcoming television schedule. I know that it’s great we’ve secured “Jimmy Kimmel Live”…

Executives 2 & 3 (in unison) – Hail Kimmel!

Executive 1 – but with us pulling “Bachelor Pad”, I fear our ratings might drop outside of sports. Now, I was looking at the numbers and couldn’t help but notice how much “The Avengers” brought in for us!

Executive 2 (sitting to the right) – Wasn’t that really expensive to make though?

Executive 1 – Yes, it was. However, when you’re able to make back that kind of money, and I’m looking at just the domestic because the international cash is off the charts, I say we strike while the iron’s hot! We need to make a television show that can really cash in on this “Avengers” thing for us. *pushes button in the middle of the table* Get me Joss Whedon!

A chair rises up from the floor with a man shackled to it in arm and leg restraints. He’s wearing a black pillowcase on his head and a T-shirt that reads “I discovered Christina Hendricks.” Executive 3 walks behind the man and pulls back the pillowcase to reveal Joss Whedon.

Executive 1 – Joss! So good of you to join us.

Joss Whedon – Was all this really necessary? We could’ve just done a conference call or Skyped me or…

Executive 1 – Joss, listen. We wanted to tell you that we loved your work in Avengers. It was well written, had some great elements of comedy, it was just a huge success.

JW – Why, thank you.

Executive 1 – Now, Joss, we were wondering if there would be any chance that you could take The Avengers and somehow turn them into a television show.

JW – You mean to tell me that Robert Downey Junior, Samuel L. Jackson, all of them want to do a television show for The Avengers?

All three executives laugh.

Executive 1 – No, no, no. Let’s not kid ourselves. They’re movie stars. BIG movie stars at that. We want you to make The Avengers but without those names.

JW – I don’t think that’s possible. Those actors are attached to the characters. The public will probably get upset if they see someone other than Robert Downey Junior as Iron Man, or Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow…

Executive 2 – Or Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye?

JW – Um, yeah. Right.

Executive 1 – What do you propose then, Joss? We need to keep this Avengers train going.

JW – Well, we could always do a spinoff of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The three executives mumble amongst themselves.

Executive 3 – I’m afraid that we’re not quite familiar with S.H.I.E.L.D. Care to elaborate?

JW – S.H.I.E.L.D. is the agency that brought The Avengers together. It’s what Samuel L. Jackson worked for in the movie.

Executive 1 – Yes! Okay, I like it so far. Who do you think you could get for this? And what would be the premise of the show?

JW – Well, we could get Clark Gregg who played Agent Phil Coulson to star in it.

Executive 2 – Didn’t he die in the movie?

JW – Yeah, I’ll fix that. And we can get them to search for superheroes or people with special abilities. And-wait. What kind of budget would I be looking at? Anything close to what I had for the movie?

Three executives laugh hysterically.

Executive 1 – I’m sorry. No. Nothing like that. But I must say, we are all thoroughly impressed with what you have so far. Tell you what: run along and report back to us once you’ve finished the pilot episode.

JW – Does this mean I’ve already got the green-light?

Executive 1 looks down at a day planner titled “Fall Television Schedule”; Monday through Friday primetime slots are marked with “Stuff Needed – NOW!”

Executive 1 – Tell you what: you return with the pilot and we’ll talk. Okay?

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – Airing Tuesdays, this fall on ABC (for now)

 Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

VikingsYou know that feeling where you keep hoping for something to happen but it never does? And then when you realize why it didn’t happen, you get disappointed even more so? Recently, the History Channel’s new show “Vikings” wrapped up its first season. I didn’t realize it was short going to be that short (only nine episodes) and I kept waiting for it to come back. But, I’m VERY excited for the fact that it got picked up for a second season, which will begin filming this summer!

If you’ve never seen it, the show follows the story of Ragnar Lothbrok; the Norse legend that travelled to England for treasures and may or may not (but most likely may) have pillaged along the way (maybe more than once; you’ll have to watch to find out). The show has been great in its first season and here are five reasons to watch.

1) Katheryn Winnick – Right out of the gate, she’s been spectacular. Winnick plays Lagertha, Ragnar’s wife, who was dubbed “shieldmaiden” because she kicks ass and takes names (should she so desire, of course). Winnick does a great job at showing how Lagertha will grow into the role as Lady (spoiler alert: Ragnar kills an Earl) and deal with the community as well as personal problems while her husband is away (seriously, when you watch her dealing with hardships and then get upset the next time your internet is down, it’ll make you think). If that can’t win you over, just read her IMDb profile. I need to know where she’s been hiding! I need to know why she hasn’t been made a bigger star by now! I need to…stop gushing. Let’s move on.

2) The Overall Storylines – Watching Ragnar disobey an order from the Earl only to later defeat him and take his title, the use of Nordic gods (and laughing at the Christian for only having one god), the fact that this tries to take you into the lifestyle of a culture that existed so long ago and see how advanced they were (and also behind the times) in such a well written fashion is absolutely amazing.

3) The Haircuts – Yes, I am a sucker for bad hair cuts. I never thought anything could’ve topped Jaromir Jagar (even though Al Iafrate is a VERY close second), but this show as a whole has renewed my faith! Ragnar (who I should mention is played by Travis Fimmel) looks like he’s secretly holding back the world’s greatest ‘hawk and his son, Bjorn (played by Nathan O’Toole, who is doing a great job) looks like he’s rocking the best white-guy fade of all time.

4) Katheryn Winnick – I-okay, I’ll stop…

4a) Floki – Here’s how I can basically describe Floki: take Tim Roth’s character from “Four Rooms”, send him back in time, shoot him full of adrenaline to make him MORE super-hyperactive, get him to believe in multiple gods and sorcery, and give him unlimited eyeliner. That’s Floki and Gustaf Skarsgard does a great job playing a character where, when he’s put in any situation, you’re glued to the screen because he’s capable of anything.

5) The Known-Unknown Factor – Yes, this does bleed into point #2 a little, HOWEVER, what I mean is that not since “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” have I ever wanted more from a series even though I can find the outcome just by Googling it. History (or the producers) did a great job at keeping this first season short, packing in a lot of action and drama, and making you want more. Nine weeks have never gone by so quickly by so quickly and I know the outcome (because I looked it up) but I still want to see how this story gets told.

In short, I cannot wait for season two of “Vikings” and if you’re able to catch up with season one, do it now.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

Leiweke IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT ANYTHING I PPREDICT AND SUGGEST, I DO SO WITH NO INSIDE INFORMATION; IT IS PURE SPECULATION BUT SOMETHING THAT I FEEL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.

A couple weeks ago, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) announced the appointment of Tim Leiweke as the new CEO of the company. Leiweke comes to MLSE after being President of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AGE) for 17 years. AEG has many similarities to MLSE; it owns both sports teams (the L.A. Galaxy, the L.A. Kings and part ownership in the L.A. Lakers) as well as a number of buildings (including the Staples Centre and O2 Arena in London to name a few), so it should come as no surprise that Leiweke is a good fit for this position. But him coming over to MLSE raises a number of questions but none is more glaring than “What does he have in store?”

Although MLSE recently came under new ownership, that doesn’t mean that it’s no longer a business. When MSLE was being looked after by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, they basically printed money because of all the assets that they had invested in. With the new ownership, you would think that they would want to make back some of the cash they spent (after all, MLSE cost Rogers and Bell $1.32-BILLION).  So, they have a couple of options.

 Option 1 – Win

Yes, a winning team will generate revenue and let’s take a look at the teams they have and where they’re at as far as winning starting with the Crown Jewel:

Toronto Maple Leafs – first playoff appearance in nine years (they made it but, ugh..)
Toronto Raptors – missed the playoffs in five straight years (double-ugh)
Toronto FC – never made the playoffs (this is a horrible, horrible trend)
Toronto Marlies – made playoffs 5 of last 8 years; last year made it to the finals (wait, a winner?)

So, overall it’s easy to say “I want to win” like Leiweke has basically said here, here and here but it’s not so easy because other guys have come in and said it and the results haven’t been good to say the least. Let’s explore the other options.

Option 2 – Build

As it stands, MLSE doesn’t actually own any undeveloped land; I’m sure there’s a STRONG possibility that MLSE will one day become a global company like AEG in developing arenas overseas, but for the immediate future (within the next five years or so) the chances of getting two companies that just invested over $500-million each to invest more right away may not fly. So, this gets tricky.

They would have to buy more, build, and hope that they could somehow sell the naming rights to offset the costs involved in the initial build. Even then, they’d be responsible to the maintenance of the buildings in question (just like they are with the ACC). But, wait a second…

Option 3 – Sell

Okay, not “sell” in the traditional sense but sell what they can for what they already have. Here’s what I mean: Leiweke helped put together a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) deal during his time with AEG for something that doesn’t even exist: Farmers Field. Farmers Insurance agreed to contribute $700-million towards the new football arena in exchange for the naming rights over 30 years. Granted, that’s for a brand new arena and is being built from the ground-up. But still, $700-million over 30 years?! That grabbed the attention of everyone involved and people on the outside. But how can MLSE really benefit from this? Sell!

There are two pieces of property in Toronto that MLSE has their hand in and they’re both very valuable in their own right: BMO Field and The Air Canada Centre.

BMO Field – Technically, the City of Toronto owns the field BUT MLSE owns the naming rights (which they then flipped to BMO for a profit). However, those rights expire in 2017 because it was a 10-year deal. Hmm….

The Air Canada Centre (ACC) – MLSE owns this building outright and when it was initially built back in 1997, they sold the naming rights to Air Canada at a rate of $30-million over 20 years. (Wait a second! A 20 year contract issued in 1999?! That means, in 2019 the rights will have expired! HMMM….)

Yes, we can all agree that “building a winning team” should be on the front burner of any new CEO for a company, but at the same time the CEO has to make its Board of Governors happy by maximizing profits. AEG has a 20-year/$116-million deal in place with Staples for the Staples Centre and even Delaware North Companies have a 20-year/$120-million deal with TD for the naming rights to the Garden in Boston. We might be on our way to one of the biggest naming rights deals in North America, let alone Canada, because when you’re name’s MLSE all you care about is “winning”.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

Ottawa MontrealI considered doing a recap of the Leafs/Bruins series (hold your ‘boos’) because the Maple Leafs are my team (okay, now you can boo). But after last night when this happened, which was followed by this death stare, and then this (yes, a STATEMENT ISSUED OVER A GLARE!), I thought that if this has been the best and worst that my team has to offer, I must consider covering the most penalized series at least ONCE because it could all end tonight.

Before the game, it was announced that Peter Budaj would be getting the start because Carey Price was hurt. As soon as I found out, I sent out two text messages: one to a die-hard Senators fan, another to a die-hard Canadiens fan. Damian (the Sens fan) replied with “Good, just throw pucks on net” and Matt (the Habs fan) replied with “Glah!” I’m no rocket scientist but when your fan base responds to that news by trying to write out your physical spasm, it can’t be good. (To be fair to Matt, I asked if he wanted to elaborate and he said “We’re starting Ned Flanders. We’re screwed.”)

Pre-game – The crowd is JACKED and Bob Cole drops an interesting fact: Craig Anderson has NEVER WON A PLAYOFF ROUND. (Another interesting fact: Bob Cole may or may not have begrudgingly accepted the assignment of the Sens/Habs series with the open-ended threat of “You’ll pay for this!” knowing the Leafs were in the playoffs. Okay, never happened. Still fun to think he did, though.)

First Period /Prèmiere Période (wouldn’t want to get people upset by ignoring the other official language)

18:22 – LOTS of pressure by Montreal; were all over Ottawa early on.
17:41 – BIG rebound for Zack Smith and he scores. Ottawa leads 1-0. (Guess this would be a bad time to remind Habs fans that Budaj played Ottawa earlier this season and let up 5 goals.)
16:06 – “THIS TIME Budaj is very careful…” (I’m sure they wanted him to be careful the last time, and every time going forward, Bob.)
15:03 – Gallagher with a shot on goal but Anderson holds on (FYI: every time Gallagher comes up, I’m going to link Oasis to him. Just because.).
13:40 – LOTS of pressure by Montreal! Here’s the problem: this now has the feeling of a “they threw everything at them but the kitchen sink and fell up short” game. Habs fans, be ready to get disappointed.
10:56 – CBC feed is cutting in and out (and I’m ready to yell “MY TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR THIS!!” Yes, ladies. I’m single.)
7:42 – Budaj couldn’t find the rebound and Cory Conacher (the name Kaz can’t pronounce) pops it home to the wide open net. 2-0.
5:51 – First penalty of the game is against Montreal. (Apparently, Bouillon didn’t know that you can’t DDT an oncoming player.)
2:02 – Gallagher tried to poke it in from the side of the net. (GALLAGHER!)
0:36 – Daniel Alfredesson (be careful how you handle this, Chris) takes a penalty near the end of the period…because that’s never deflating to a team. (Trust me, I’m being VERY nice.)
0:14 – P.K. Subban fires a BULLET and beats Anderson. Just under the crossbar and it’s now 2-1 going into intermission.

Intermission Thought – Colby Armstrong appears to wear his wedding band when getting interviewed by Cassie Campbell-Pascall which makes me wonder: does he actually wear it when playing or did he put it on because he knows his wife is watching? If it’s the former, I didn’t think you could. If it’s the latter, that makes me laugh.

Second Period/Deuxième Période

18:55 – Jakob Silfverberg takes an interference penalty for taking down Raphael Diaz (and if you want to hear something great, have Garry Galley say “Raphael Diaz”!).
16:47 – Reason #88 Why Bob Cole is Amazing: he just contradicted his own opinion about whether or not Montreal is in trouble!
14:41 – Chris Neil (again, be careful here Chris) takes a high sticking penalty by smacking P.K. Subban (am I the only one who wants to see a Neil/Subban fight before this series is up? Doubt it but still want it to happen!).
14:02 – Gallagher with a couple shots but Anderson stands tall.
11:45 – Montreal just got a “Too Many Men on the Ice” penalty. (I highly doubt this will get brought up on the next Coach’s Corner. I mean, Don Cherry RARELY discusses that call.)
10:38 – Colby “Weddin’ Band” Armstrong hit the post!
10:10 – Ottawa now called for too many men. (Did the Roughriders coaching staff somehow get hired by these teams?)
8:31 – Kyle Turris scores by banking in a shot by Erik Conrda but Montreal feels Budaj was interfered with by Turris…after Tomas Plekanec shoved him INTO Budaj. (Moral of the story: DON’T PUSH GUYS INTO YOUR GOALIE!) 3-1 Ottawa.
4:43 – Montreal goes back to the power play on a Sergei Gonchar holding penalty but are looking a little deflated.
1:06 – Bob Cole made the proclamation that you’ll hear the announcement of one minute remaining and then disgruntled fans. Announcement made, nothing changed and he followed up with he can hear them. (I have nothing to add to this.)

Intermission Thought – Elliotte Friedman tried to get some chatter going about reminding people that Bryan Murray was criticized for Anderson’s contract extension. Here’s what he basically got to work with from the rest of the panel.

Third Period/Troisième Période

18:45 – Ottawa’s just trying to protect the lead now; send one or two guys in deep and force turnovers. This could be a very quick and boring period. (Well, until the five-minute mark when the crowd goes nuts and may burn the place down.)
15:54 – Montreal finally gets a couple shots on goal. Yes, over four minutes have gone by and THAT was their best chance down 3-1 in an elimination game.
14:53 – Michael Ryder takes a hooking call in his own zone (which HAS TO be the reason why Montreal grabbed him. I’m 99% sure of it.)
13:38 – Alfredesson scored from the top of the circle and Colin Greening provided the screen. 4-1 Ottawa. (Trying to remember what happened the last time the score was run up on Montreal…hmm….)
10:41 – Hearing Bob Cole say “Ottawa has FOURR!” before going into commercial sound like his subtle way of telling Montreal to “eat it.”
9:04 – Max Pacioretty called for high sticking on Handsome. I mean, Erik Karlsson.
8:48 – Bob Cole reminded us all that Jason Spezza is still out with a back injury. (If Spezza picked up the phone tomorrow to say he’s good to play, I’m pretty sure Bryan Murray will shove another pin into that Spezza voodoo doll he keeps in his lower, left-hand desk drawer.)
7:33 – Conacher with a goal and now it’s 5-1 Ottawa. (On the plus side, Budaj’s Goals Against Average when facing Ottawa this season doesn’t drop!)
4:41 – P.K. Subban takes a roughing penalty for dumping Silfverberg. (and here’s how you know that the Habs fans are deflated: they’re not even booing!)
3:48 – Condra gets his first of the series standing alone at the side of the net. 6-1 Ottawa.
1:16 – “Olé” is now being played. (Really?! This has to be worse than when the Red Sox are down but continue to play “Sweet Caroline”.)
0:33 – WOW! Stat of the Night: Ottawa 20 Goals for, Montreal 9. That is NOT how you win a series.

That does it! Ottawa is off to Round Two and could very well be the only Canadian team left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @c_fudali

Shreddin’ the Banner

Posted: May 4, 2013 in Sports

Growing up, I was really into Jimi Hendrix and one song that stood out was his rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock. That performance is now over 40 years old and guitarists today are still trying to emulate it! Recently, Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet played the anthem at the opening of a Dodgers-Giants game which got me thinking: what other really good anthems played by great guitarists at professional sporting events exist? Here’s four other performances you should be aware of:

Mike McCready – Pearl Jam – L.A. Angels vs. Seattle Mariners
A very good Hendrix-esque version of the anthem but still felt like he’s had better performances (just look up any “Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner” clips and you’ll know what I’m talking about)

 Ace Frehley – KISS – New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The first (and only) performance to involve pyrotechnics! Wait until the 1:17 mark in the video when you see Ace jump over the explosion (which is probably what makes it great).

 Zakk Wylde – Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society/All-round Bad Ass! – L.A. Kings
Ho-lee CRAP! This is just a great video for so many reasons. Zakk in a Kings’ sweater with the sleeves rolled up, the fact that many people in the states view hockey as a niche sport and it’s now combined with metal, and his exit. (HIS EXIT!!)

 Slash – Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays 
This is probably the best performance for the simple fact that Slash had to play TWO national anthems (and he transitions seamlessly), is wearing a half & half jersey (ugly as sin but he’s Slash so it works) and to hear Jamie Campbell at the end is what makes it all worthwhile.

 HONOURABLE MENTION – Seether – Baseball Tonight Theme
Here’s the deal: a couple years ago, ESPN and SportsNation asked musicians to come up with covers of the “Baseball Tonight” theme song. I thought Seether hit it out of the park (see what I did there?). They ended up losing but they really cranked it up and it’s forever stuck in my head (thanks, ESPN!).

 Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @c_fudali