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IIHF Worlds: Au revoir Paris, Auf Wiedersehen Köln  

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The IIHF worlds are over for this year, therefore I wave my hand and say Au Revoir Paris and Auf Wiedersehen Köln.

Quite a mediocre tournament when we look at the whole picture, despite some shining highlights every now and then from the actions on the ice.

Fans from Latvia, Switzerland, Russia and the home fans of Germany in Cologne and the home fans of France tried their absolute best to make it to a party though.

Well, it is always fun when the IIHF worlds are around and it is a quite familiar event, which is a nice opposite to the FIFA World Cup for example, and the UEFA tournament.

Although, this shared tournament between the cities of Paris and Cologne we won’t probably talk about for a longer time after today, only mentioning it (if it ever happens) over a cup of coffee.

But, I have made some rankings here in these following categories:

Were you even here?

Belarus, Italy and Slovakia, you were hardly noticed except for being an annoying part of the tournament, like a mosquito in the face while camping outdoors in a tent.

Italy I can myself understand; they lack the skill to challenge any nation really as they are still struggling to build their hockey culture beyond Bolzano.

But Belarus and Slovakia were truly a disappointment…again.

A friend might say “What about Slovenia?” Well, I’d say that Slovenia at least tried to do their best.

The biggest blow

Which one? Swiss – Slovenia? Finland – Czech Republic? Russia – Canada? Swiss – Canada? There are some games to choose from and those have been the most fun and made the tournament a bit more interesting than it actually was.

A small rise and a small fall

Latvia had a great start of the tournament but fell back, not too hard though. But even so, I was myself very pleased with their game and action on the ice, as I do see them “every day” in the KHL and know their potential.

Refuse to die despite being dead since a long time ago 

Fourth place in such a tournament as the IIHF Worlds for the Finns is essentially a win, certainly if we look at the first round and how their game was then. Horrible, disastrous, disgustingly awkward, you name it.

So, it’s a big wonder that they even reached the semis after beating the USA, which was also another mystery: how they could lose against Finland? God knows what really happened in that game.

Finland became that guy who just refuses to die despite being dead since a long time ago.

Good for the tournament

Some words about the home nations and their effort. It was good that Germany at least reached the knockout stage, for the home crowd and for the IIHF tournament.

France had potential but Bellemare, Fleury, the Da Costas and Huet didn’t really make it. Close perhaps but yet far away.

In general, a good effort from both hosting nations.

No big surprise

No big surprise that Russia, Sweden, and Canada end up as the medal nations this time.

Russia defeated a toothless Finland despite the fact that Finland scored 3 times when Russia had a 4-0 lead.  Kucherov closed the game finally with a fighting goal from in front of the Finnish net and Säteri.

A less strong Canada reached the final but Sweden, with a better keeper in Lundqvist than Canada’s respective, Pickard, drew the longer stick in the shootouts, and therefore are the World champions for the 10th time.

The final game was a very entertaining game, a game worthy of a final, and that saved the mediocre tournament a bit at the end.

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

-Seneca

Derek Jeter Day 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.

MLB

Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith

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The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.

Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”

The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.

The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):

“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.

“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”

Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats. 

Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.


“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.

There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.

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MLB

The New World of Sports Betting in the United States

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Earlier this year a monumental breakthrough was achieved when the United States Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, allowing each state in the nation to decide if it wants to allows legal sports betting or not.

That led the nation, and all of the states, on a new path, with a lot of lucrative opportunities in an industry that has operated underground for decades.

With casinos and eSports thriving, sports betting adds a brand new element to the gambling industry and presents one of the richest outlets for businesses, the government, and the nation.

There will likely be a boost in employment rates, a growth spike in business, and an influx of money that no longer has to be hidden from the eyes of the government.

As of now, a number of states have already started their journey, and another, Utah, has decided not to act on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of sports betting, opting to maintain their stance on forbidding sports betting, at least for the time being.

As the world of sports, eSports, and gambling embark on this industry shifting journey, let’s take a deeper look at what has been going down so far, and what is in store for the sports betting industry, thanks to an info graphic from NJGames.org.

The info graphic will take a look into the impact that sports betting legalization is expected to make on the nation’s economy.

The info graphic takes into account that the United States’ gambling industry already generates around $28 billion. The legalization of ports betting legalization is expected to increase tat number dramatically.

Additionally, sports betting operations will also result in a higher number of jobs, and the info graphic will provide you with an estimated number of both direct and indirect jobs that will open with the introduction of sports betting.

As the fantasy football season is ready to kick off for many of you, we should start seeing a lot of changes to the sports betting landscape and it will be interesting to see just how companies in fantasy sports navigate through the implementation of these changes.

The future of the sports betting industry seems bright, and there seems to be quite the trickle down effect that will have an immediate benefit to numerous industries.

Whether you’re ready or not, legalized sports betting is on the way, if it hasn’t arrived in your state already, and big things are on the horizon.

 

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NHL

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis Pays for 200 Employees to go to Stanley Cup Final Games

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Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is celebrating the team’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the 1st time in 20 years in a special way.

According to the Washington Post, Leonsis surprised 200 employees of Monumental Sports & Entertainment with tickets and a chartered flight to Vegas for the first leg of the Stanley Cup Final.

The employees were chosen based off how closely they work with the Capitals, as well as seniority, and they received an email last week from a senior VP that had the subject line: “Let’s go to Vegas.”

The selected employees received tickets to Games 1 & 2.

“It’s truly amazing and out of this world,” Omar Castro, a guest relations manager, said.

“I never expected an owner of the company to do this. We get to share in this with them. … He’s thinking of us as part of a family, as part of the experience. There’s no reason for him to do it. All I can say is a big thanks to Ted and his family for the opportunity, and for truly making this into something memorable for all of us here in the company.”

Not only did Leonsis provide tickets, but he also organized two chartered flights and is putting the employees up at the Excalibur.

 

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