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New season, new traces and evidence

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One of the longest summers breaks I ever had this year. Felt very good for the spirit.

Normally, whatever that’s supposed to mean, I’d be glued to the front of the TV and watching the Olympics but I’d chosen to stay away.

Some more words about the Olympics, from a sport and historical view: it has been a blessing to have seen Usain Bolt, for example, taking the 9th gold of nine attempts during three Olympic Games.

>>>From another angle, I have felt sick after reading about all the doping cases; it felt that there was or there is no end of it.

Honestly, how amusing is that? I suppose the answer is more obvious than crystal clear, in other words: not that much.

I mean, I can’t turn and look away from that clear fact of how much the doping has destroyed the fun and the sportsmanship in each sport where there has been a case.

And, think that no one can and every possible thinking and feeling sport interested human feels the same.

The Olympic commission has a Mount Everest of issues to deal with, that is for sure and I am not envious.

Well, that’s that and enough ranting about the Olympics.

I took also a vacation from the hockey but I have been awake enough to notice –as we all somehow suspected before the end of the last season – that we do have a Chinese team in the KHL-circus, a Chinese team for the first time on this level.

Good or bad?

Well, I have been saying this a lot before and I find it worth mentioning it again:

I find it great that the hockey as a sport expands to other countries. We need more contributing countries in one way or another at the highest levels. There is no other way to make the sport grow.

Las Vegas, for example, is also a big thing but that is inside the United States. It would have been another thing if Bettman & Co. had expanded the NHL to Mexico, but they haven’t done so (yet?).

In this case, the KHL made a huge deal for their account and for the league. Perhaps bigger than the Las Vegas deal?

In Beijing and Shanghai, there is a load of people, which means a huge hockey market and the magic word in a business world: money.

If this also means a growth for the Chinese hockey players and the domestic hockey in China as well, that would be an awesome bonus, but we’ll see what happens.

As I said before, where there are people, there is potential, and hockey needs people.

Well, the hockey season in the KHL rises again where it set last, with the last season’s epic final battle between Magnitogorsk and CSKA.

I think Magnitogorsk will be up there at the top and fighting for the title as last year, as I don’t see any reason for them to let the position go as the powerhouse of the east, but what about CSKA?

It has been a tough thing to deal with the fact that they have been so close in recent seasons, and they were closer than ever and for the first time had the hands on the Cup and medals. But, Magnitogorsk has learned how to steal and they stole the title from CSKA like the foxes they are.

Are they ready to fight for the title for real another season or do they try to refresh themselves and find new winning formations in a longer perspective?

Time will reveal the answer to those questions.

I was also thinking about the word “evidence”.

You see, I am as interested in the changes in a single game as I am in trends and the change of them in a longer run, and I try therefore seek the answer why  team rises or falls during the season.

The most obvious trend last season was the fall, rise, and fall again of the SKA Petersburg. And, the most obvious evidence for such a roller-coaster voyage as they had was one single player, Ilya Kovalchuk.

If the same route continues for the SKA and Kovie this year, we’ll see, but I’d like to believe that the map for this season is clear where new roads will be drawn and new events will happen.

Yes, it is a new season, new traces and evidence.

Notable coming and ongoing hockey highlights:

  1. The KHL season
  2. The Champions hockey league, the group stage
  3. The World Cup in Toronto.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

-Seneca

Michael Phelps at SteinerSports.com

 

 

 

 

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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