I am almost done reading what I think is one of the best sports books ever written. Boys Will Be Boys by Jeff Pearlman. It’s an in-depth look at the Dallas Cowboys of the late 1980s and early 1990s and their incredible off-field antics during that dynasty. Sex, drugs, booze, strippers; you name it, the Boys were into it. While they were winning those three Super Bowls, the Cowboys took debauchery to a whole new level and Pearlman weaves it all together in a brilliant piece of writing. I highly recommend it. It will make your Transition Time feel even sweeter than it already does.
And now, onto this week’s questions; Actually, the first question is a response from last week’s mailbag blog, The Hybrid Edition.
Jim, never miss your Q&A and have another one for you. I will be going to my first NFL game in Detroit on the US thanksgiving versus the Packers and was wondering if you had any tips or suggestions. Also do you know anything about tailgating?
Thanks – TC
Hi TC, thanks for the question. First off, you will love Ford Field. I was there for Super Bowl XL and thought the stadium was a top-notch football facility. There is one caveat, though: unlike the old Silverdome, Ford Field does not have acres of parking to set up shop for tailgating. In fact, this is what the Lions say about tailgating on their official website: “Tailgating and re-entry access is prohibited in parking facilities adjacent to Ford Field.”
In other words, if you want to tailgate at a Lions game, you have to be parked in the right lot. Check out this link for helpful tips as to what lots to park in downtown Detroit that will allow tailgating.
Here is one more reminder. Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. is huge so expect traffic chaos at the border. Make sure to give yourself a lot of extra time getting to the stadium. Once you do that, find a lot, crack open a beer and enjoy the NFL experience; it’s awesome!
From: Darcy from The Blood Reserve near Cardston, Alberta
Hey Jim, in your honest opinion, who do you think was the best hockey player of Native American decent?
Hi Darcy, I love this question. In my honest opinion the finest player of Native American decent has to be former Flyers sniper Reggie Leach. His numbers are incredible. Leach scored 381 goals in his career including a 50-goal season and a 61-goal season. As a matter of fact, in 1975-76, Leach’s incredible 61 goals led the entire NHL, more than even the legendary Guy Lafleur. To be honest Darcy, I wonder why Leach hasn’t received more consideration for the Hockey Hall of Fame. I would put him in over Clark Gillies seven days a week and twice on Sunday.
Gillies had 319 career goals and never had reached 50 goals in a season. Gillies had 47 playoff goals in 164 games. Leach also had 47 career playoff goals; however, he only appeared in 94 post-season games. As well, Leach scored 19 goals in the 1976 playoffs. It’s time for the Hall to do the right thing and induct Reggie Leach.
With Mats Sundin’s retirement, only 22 players remain in the NHL that were in the greatest hockey video game of all time, NHL ’94.
1. Rob Blake
2. Rod Brind’Amour
3. Chris Chelios
4. Adam Foote
5. Bill Guerin
6. Roman Hamrlik
7. Curtis Joseph
8. Alexei Kovalev
9. Slava Kozlov
10. Nicklas Lidstrom
11. Brad May
12. Mike Modano
13. Scott Neidermayer
14. Owen Nolan
15. Michael Nylander
16. Mark Recchi
17. Mathieu Schneider
18. Teemu Selanne
19. Brendan Shanahan
20. Darryl Sydor
21. Keith Tkachuk
22. Doug Weight
Joseph and Chelios appear to be the next to go. Who will be the last one to retire?
Hi Darrell, awesome question. Of course, when I think of EA Sports NHL ’94, I always think of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau in the move Swingers; “I’m gonna make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed for super-fan No. 99 over here.” It is really amazing to think how many of these names on your list are still productive players. Guerin is fresh off winning a Cup with the Penguins; Blake, Brind’Amour, Kovalev and Niedermayer are still invaluable members of their respective teams. And Nik Lidstrom is still one of the most-respected and talented defencemen in the NHL.
As far as who will be the last to retire, that’s a tough one. Guys like Adam Foote, Mark Rechhi, Dough Weight and Geurin love the game so much, I can’t see them retiring until they have no other choice. But if I have to pick just one, I will go with Rob Blake. That guy is the ultimate hockey player and now that he’s captain of the Sharks, I don’t see him retiring any time soon.
Hey Jim! Everyone always wants to find out who the best athlete is in each sport. So I thought I’d ask, who’s the worst in sports history? Please include hockey, baseball, football, and wrestling. Thanks for doing this …
Hi Shawn, this is a question I have been waiting for a long time. Here is my unscientific list of some of the worst players all time in their respective sports.
Hockey — Right near the top of my list is the Human Pylon, former Leafs defenceman Alexander Godynyuk. Then again, the Leafs also signed Mike Craig at one time. And he was awful. Of course, you can go back to the mid-1970s and look at half of the players on the expansion Washington Capitals and they would be worthy of that list.
Baseball — When it comes to baseball, my choice is Rob Deer. Mainly a Brewer, Deer bounced around the big leagues with a few teams. His career batting average was .220. In 1991 while with the Tigers, Deer had 539 at-bats and his batting average was .179. He struck out over 1,400 times in his 11-year career. That works out to almost two strikeouts for every hit in his career.
Basketball — It’s a three way tie between Will Perdue, Shawn Bradley and Manute Bol.
Football — It’s a close tie between Akili Smith and Ryan Leaf. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. should get an assist on Akili Smith. The day the Bengals drafted him, Kiper went on and on about how great Smith would be in the NFL. Not so much. Ryan Leaf’s career needs no explanation.
Wrestling — The Ultimate Warrior. Oh sure, he could double-stack Dianabol and Deca-Durabolin with the best of them (allegedly), but as a wrestler he was awful. He had no wrestling skills in the ring whatsoever. I can’t think of one redeeming quality that the Ultimate Warrior possessed.
It was definitely a big day for the underdogs in Week 6 of the NFL season. The Chiefs beat the Redskins on the road for their first win over the year. The Raiders shocked the Eagles at the Black Hole. Then to top it all off, the Bills beat the Jets in overtime in the Meadowlands. What a wild day of football!