King James Curse or Just Coincidence

Posted in The Quick Hook on September 29th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

Could the epic collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox be yet another manifestation of the “King James Curse” as conjectured by The Bench Jockeys back in April and May ?

It wasn’t the “shot heard ’round the world” or Kirk Gibson’s remarkable one-handed home run off of the Eck in the 1988 World Series, but last night was most definitely one of the most memorable nights in baseball history as the fate of four teams trudging through the marathon of a 162-game season weathered the perfect storm of rain delays, improbable comebacks, momentum shifting plays and managerial “stick it to yas.”   The Rays down a hockey stick in the 8th comeback to force extra innings and beat the Yanks who opted not to trot out their closer Mo Rivera, while Red Sox in control of their game against the O’s with the taste of victory one out away give up three consecutive base hits in the bottom of the 9th and lose 4-3.  The Cards pound the hapless Astros 8-0 and wait through extra innings for the results in Atlanta where the Braves jump to a 2-0 lead only to lose at home in 13 against Philly.  The Divisional races long settled, baseball needed last night’s drama to kick start the Playoffs.

Boston, which held a 9 game lead in the wild card race on September 3rd, limped to a 7 -19 record over the ensuing 26 days, losing to the AL East doormat, Baltimore Orioles, 5 times in 7 games.  The “2011 Fold” as it will come to be known by the Red Sox sets the new standard for “failing to close” as Boston became the first MLB team to miss the postseason after leading by as many as nine games for a playoff spot entering September.  In the yin/yang of baseball, Atlanta proceeded to cough up the second largest September lead – 8.5 games – as the Cardinals passed them for the NL Wild Card.   Is it also possible that the unholy alliance between LeBron James and the Fenway Sports Group has so skewed the balance of Boston lore that karmic forces also impacted the 2011 Atlanta Braves (formerly of Boston)?  Could be….

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Wild Saves Blackhawks from Complete Collapse

Posted in Professional Sports, The Quick Hook on April 10th, 2011 by Ian Paregol

We are giving ourselves another “Pat” Riley.  The Bench Jockeys saw this coming a mile a way.  Or rather, the rest of the hockey-covering media just gave up a shortie to the upstart Bench Jockeys who posted….

Tonite the Dallas Stars almost stole the 8th and final playoff spot from the Chicago Blackhawks.  All the Stars had to do was get a win against the Minnesota Wild.  Toews and the boys better send a case of bubbly to Jose Theodore and each of the Minnesota goal scorers who played an inspired game and prevented the Stars from displacing the Blackhawks from the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.   The schedule could not have been more friendly to the Stars and more ripe with stumbling blocks for the Hawks.  Earlier this afternoon, Chicago gave a lackluster effort in a 4-3 loss to Detroit which was all too happy to do their part in trying to knock out the 2010 Stanley Cup Champs.  Dallas could not keep up with the lowly Wild and lost 5 – 3 playing from behind all evening.  The Hawks escape the regular season, back into the playoffs and will play President’s Trophy winner, Vancouver, in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Karma Factor:  Medium High.  Dallas’ opponent, Minnesota, was once represented by the North Stars franchise which was sold to Dallas in 1993 and became the Stars.

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