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The Olympic hockey drops dead if the KHL withdraws



Those who remember the hockey tournaments in the Olympics before 1998 know that they were what they were, not the best hockey but far from the worst.

At least, it was something you could watch without wanting to shut the TV down, especially when the top-tiers played against each other.

Many upcoming superstars we could see as well in some of the teams, like Peter Forsberg, Saku Koivu, Paul Kariya, yes, even Jaromir Jagr.

When the NHL decided to let all the players go to the Olympics from 1998, the game changed totally, for the better of course.

The previews and the talk among fans before the tournament also increased, with all the comparisons between the teams, rankings etc.

Soon enough, no one could think anything other than the obvious, that the best players always should be in the tournament, and the best players (not always but mostly) are the NHLers.

But here we are, with another reality again, when the NHL for the first time since 1998 won’t let any of their players, no matter to which nation they belong, participate in the Olympics because of the economics.

>>> As if the NHL organizations would suddenly lack money….

The sticking point was the question of the insurance of the players, and the resulting arguments that they could get hurt and it would cost too much.

>>> That’s an “oh wait…” moment as if the NHL players wouldn’t get hurt at all in the league…? No?

Well, the NHL decided to be a big ridiculous child in a sandbox and moaned that they won’t contribute and will continue with the league season instead.

Another thing and much more worrisome matter has turned up though, as a dark cloud in the sports sky.

Too many Russian winter sports athletes, particularly in the cross-country skiing, have been exposed for massive doping for many years and some of the athletes have been therefore forced to give back some of the medals or be removed from the result lists.

All this means that Russia as a nation can be excluded from the Games in Pyeongchang in South Korea, which also might mean that the KHL won’t send any player to the Olympics.

It was bad enough actually that the NHL turned down the Games, but if the KHL declines, it goes from bad to worse.

The Olympic Games drops dead if the KHL withdraws, that is quite clear.

Some further thoughts about the doping:

Doping has been a major problem in the sports, unfortunately. But I am not sure if it is the best to punish an entire country for what some athletes have done.

On the other hand, the doping issue in Russia is not a new thing at all, and it has been more or less as it was during the Soviet era in recent years.

I don’t know, it’s a hard question how to deal with the issue, but it has to be stopped at some point I am sure.

Perhaps it is best to cancel any kind of tournament, winter or summer games, for some years, if it is so hard to just build up the physique and practice well without pills and injections?

In a bigger view, we all can only blame ourselves for this, because it is our common uncontrollable instinct to do anything to win and at whatever cost, because there is after all way too much fame and money at stake.

So, in order to deal with the matter, we have to begin with the roots of the problem and they are long because it stretches to our common mind about competing.

Many have forgotten these words, many also choose to ignore them, but these words below were once upon a time the essential of the Olympic Games and when we see these major problems that we have with the doping, these words are most welcome back to the Olympic stage:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.

Pierre De Coubertin, leader 1863 – 1937 


Pierre De Coubertin’s words are inspired by a speech given by the Bishop Ethelbert Talbot.

If you want to know more about Pierre De Coubertin, you may read the curiosa here, click on the link.

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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.


Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith



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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The New World of Sports Betting in the United States



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

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



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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