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The last column: thank you for the hockey



We all come to some turning point in our lives where we change direction and we do that through feelings, interests, and experience.

I have come to the point that I want to continue with something other than writing columns about sport and hockey, something that engages me a lot more.

During the summer the first insight came to me, but I gave this season a chance. However, I couldn’t deny anymore what I am feeling and what I want to do instead, therefore I choose to resign from my position as a columnist and give the place to someone else who is more engaged than I am.

It has however been a wonderful time and of course, a great experience to dig deeper into the game, expressing my thoughts to you, my dear reader, and to the audience out there, such as my thoughts were.

I have made a lot of great connections and friends through hockey, some I have learned to know deeper and some are just awesome, and I hope that those will keep in touch despite the fact that I won’t write about the game anymore.

On the other hand, the discussion about sports and hockey in the sphere of the social media such as Twitter has run out of everyone’s hand and mind.

It’s pretty much impossible to jump into or start a conversation that may keep any line of sense, as too many just want their voices heard. Nothing wrong with that, but it is wrong if the main goal is to make the voice heard and not adding an adequate thought about the game.

Needless to say that it feels tiresome.

And, it is hard to talk about the actual game, what’s happening on the ice and the very idea behind all actions on the ice, instead of the coach and players moving between the clubs and leagues.

Well, I leave it there such as it is and give some words of the Olympic hockey tournament in Pyongyang instead:

Of course, I followed the Olympic Games as much as I could follow despite a lot of other things that draw my attention:

I can agree that Germany’s road to the Olympic gold medal game was one of the best things that could happen to the tournament and for the game.

Germany broke the Northern and Transatlantic hegemony this time to knock out both Sweden and Canada from the path on their way to the final.

And they were, as we all could see, very, very close to making an even a greater upset than the victory over Canada in the semi-finals, but Kaprizov’s overtime goal ended the German dream of gold.

I am glad for Sergei Mozyakin’s sake that he achieved a gold medal at the end of his stunning career as one of the greatest and the most humble players we’ve seen the last 15 years on the ice.

Mozyakin is a true role-model for every youth on how to score and how to keep the mouth shut from yapping and let the game talk instead.

My last words:

I am going back now to being any random Joe and watching a game every now and then, but just as pure entertainment as it should be.

My last prediction on the hockey as a game in the future:

I think the game will endure as a great game for everyone if certain associations and leagues stop talking with sentences that start with “I” and begin every discussion with the word “we”.

As you may feel, the word “we” should be used as a starter in every other discussion in most of the subjects around the world, not only in sports and hockey.

But whether that ever happens, that’s up to all involved to choose.

Thank you, my dear reader, thank you for the hockey.

Whatever you want to do, do with full passion and work really hard towards it. Don’t look anywhere else. There will be a few distractions, but if you can be true to yourself, you will be successful for sure.

Virat Kohli, Indian athlete born 1988.

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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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