The last time I checked, and correct me if I’m wrong, an all-star game usually features the best, at least for that season, performers of a particular sport. In the case of the NFL All-Star game, add to the mix a few well-endowed sisters from our 50th state with the word “aloha” flowing freely from their sensuous mouths in low provocative undertones then presto, success can be almost guaranteed. When I traveled to Honolulu for the 2005 and 2006 Pro Bowl, I considered those “working” vacations as a reward after covering long and grueling seasons. Hey, almost every season is long and taxing because I cover the AFC North and am forced to observe Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis emerge from the fog of eternity howling at the moon as if he is auditioning to be featured in the sequel of “Twilight.”Speaking of fog, whatever neurosurgeon came up with the idea of holding the Pro Bowl a week prior to the Super Bowl, with the players representing the NFC and AFC champions appearing in street clothes, must have been in possession of a few bowls of their own or at least a hookah filled with the finest marijuana imported straight from the “streets of San Francisco.”Wasn’t the “Streets of San Francisco” a television series starring Michael Douglas before he starred in the weirdo movie, “Fatal Attraction?” Well, if it isn’t, forgive me for having a few bowls of my own medicine. But back to the “problematic” bowl. An all-star game is supposed to be a reward for above average performance. What if the NHL all-star game were held a week before the Stanley Cup finals? Or baseball held their contest a week before the World Series? Would that scenario possibly cause a nightmare or two for the marketing gurus on Madison Ave.?First and foremost, MLB has it right. The all-star game means something. The reward for winning is very important. If the American League wins, then the World Series begins in an AL city. Ditto for the NL team. The Super Bowl is only one game that this is not possible but what if another system was in place?Let’s say whatever conference loses the Pro Bowl the teams in that conference, starting with the playoff qualifying franchises, would have to play the toughest schedule the following season. A format such as that would motivate the owners, coaches and players to get out there and “bust a few grapes” in order to win.Also hold the game after the Super Bowl as before so the athletes chosen to compete could have a brief respite to heal up because as we all know football is a violent game and bodies need to heal because unlike baseball, basketball or hockey, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to play an NFL game on Monday and play another contest on Tuesday.Now let’s get to the game itself. The AFC beat the NFC, 41-34. If you watched the game, you more than likely did not need a sleep aid that night. If the game was still played in Honolulu, before, during or after the game you would not be bored, trust me. What happens in Honolulu stays in Honolulu! The contest was a rainy, drizzly sort of affair that ended up being not too much more than OTAs (organized team activities) or at best, a spirited mini-camp.NFC linebacker Brian Orakpo said, “Everybody came out here trying not to get hurt and give the fans a good show.” Well Brian, as far as defenses representing the AFC and the NFC were concerned, it was not by any stretch of the imagination a “good show.”Thirty-four players chosen missed the game because of injury or because they were getting ready for Super Bowl XLIV.I remember the sunsets on Oahu and Waikiki and the food.The Pro Bowl needs a little re-tooling but not a complete overhaul. Maybe Hawaii was a bit too far to travel for some folks to observe a game that didn’t end up with a Lombardi, but for us guys in the trenches, the Pro Bowl in Hawaii is the Super Bowl.Instead of scrambling to get media to cover the Pro Bowl, maybe the NFL should whisper in the ears of the news organizations that if they don’t cover the Pro Bowl after the season then the distinct possibility might exist that unless the team in their market advances to the Super Bowl, the following year that organization may very well be denied credentials to cover the big game. As far as flights to Honolulu being booked the following year, book ’em, Dano.What the NFL All Star game needs is not a new location. It needs a new meaning.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: email@example.com. Come listen and participate on Press Pass airing on www.blogtalkradio.com beginning Feb. 11.)
Facebook14Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of SheltonMeet Mya! This beautiful girl has had a rough start in life but is now in the loving environment of Adopt-A-Pet! She has spent all of her life tethered to a 30-foot runner so imagine her joy at being able to run free for the first time at the Shelter. Mya is very sweet and friendly with a beautiful fawn and white coloring. Mya needs to have a very patient and consistent family who will work on leash and basic commands with her. She would also do best in a calm and quiet adult home with no other pets. Should you have it in your heart to give her a loving home, please schedule an appointment to meet her soon!Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit www.adoptapet-wa.org, Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington” or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-432-3091.
PLETCHER’S UPSTART DAME DOROTHY, WHO IS OWNED BY WORLD-RENOWNED CHEF, BOBBY FLAY, STRETCHES OUT IN SEARCH OF SIXTH WIN FROM SEVEN STARTS ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2015)–Fresh off the biggest win of her career, California-bred Warren’s Veneda heads a field of seven older fillies and mares set to go 1 1/8 miles in the 78th running of the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes this Saturday at Santa Anita.Conditioned by Craig Lewis, Warren’s Veneda followed up on an off-track win in the 1 1/16 miles Paseana Stakes Jan. 11 with an emphatic 2 ¾ length win at the same distance in the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 14, which was her first graded victory. A 5-year-old mare by Affirmative, out of the Flying Continental mare More Cal Bread, Warren’s Veneda is owned by her breeder, Benjamin Warren.Although Warren’s Veneda will try a mile and one eighth for the first time Saturday, she is at the top of her game and the way she won the Santa Maria would indicate the extra sixteenth of a mile should be well within her grasp. With an overall mark of 21-7-3-5, she has earnings of $587,612.A winner of the Grade III Monmouth Oaks six starts back this past August, trainer Larry Jones’ Cassatt ships west from New Orleans on the heels of three consecutive gate to wire scores at three different tracks, having won the Zia Park Oaks on Nov. 26, the Tiffany Lass at Fairgrounds Dec. 21, and the Houston Ladies Classic on Jan. 24.A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Tapit, Cassatt appears to be the speed of the Santa Margarita field, although she could get pace pressure from Bob Baffert’s Tiz Midnight. Owned by Fox Hill Farms, Inc., Cassatt is 9-6-1-0 and has earnings of $603,033. Like the favorite, she too will try 1 1/8 miles for the first time.A close second to the mighty Beholder four starts back in Santa Anita’s Grade I Zenyatta Stakes Sept. 27, Tiz Midnight won the Grade II Bayakoa two starts back at Los Alamitos Dec. 6, but bombed on a wet fast surface as the heavy 3-5 favorite in the Paseana Stakes Jan. 11, finishing sixth, beaten 15 ½ lengths by Warren’s Veneda. A 5-year-old mare by Midnight Lute, Tiz Midnight has come back to train well for Baffert and she’ll try to rebound on dry land Saturday.Bred in Kentucky by Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Tiz Midnight is owned by Watson, Weitman and Mike Pegram and she has an overall mark of 10-4-3-1, with earnings of $334,970.Todd Pletcher’s upstart Dame Dorothy, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Bernardini, ships west from South Florida following a two length win in the seven furlong Sunshine Millions Distaff at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 17. Owned by world-renowned chef, Bobby Flay, Dame Dorothy was a Grade III winner going 1 1/16 miles three starts back at Belmont Park Oct. 26 and has won five of her six lifetime starts. Based at Palm Beach Downs training center, she has earnings of $357,460.Off at odds of 52-1, trainer Keith Desormeaux’s California-bred Uzziel was second, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Warren’s Veneda in the Santa Maria. Well beaten two starts back in the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea Stakes Dec. 26, Uzziel has sprinter-type speed and could be dangerous contesting the early lead along with Cassatt and Tiz Midnight.A 4-year-old filly by Harlington, Uzziel is owned by her breeders, James and Tammy McKenney and will make her second start in the care of Desormeaux. She is 12-4-1-2 overall with earnings of $199,138.The complete field for the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Saturday, all horses assigned 118 pounds, with jockeys in post position order: Legacy, Joe Talamo; Cassatt, Kerwin Clark; Dame Dorothy, Rafael Bejarano; Thegirlinthatsong, Mike Smith; Tiz Midnight, Martin Garcia; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, and Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze.First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
There are few thrills as exhilarating as the rush of a winning bet at The Great Race Place, and now Santa Anita wants to reward you for sharing your winning ways with us.Introducing #SAWinningBet, a fun new social media contest that pays!For every Saturday of the Autumn meet (October 1st – October 29th), share your winning ticket via Twitter or Instagram and you could be chosen to win an additional $100 from Santa Anita Park. Win, then just keep on winning with #SAWinningBet!It’s as easy as 1-2-3:Each Saturday, take a picture of you with your winning ticket. Get creative and make it stand out!Post your picture on social media and use the hashtags #SAWinningBet and #SantaAnitaPark to be automatically entered to win a $100.A winner will be randomly selected and contacted via their social media handle* to receive the voucher.And that’s it! The Santa Anita Autumn Meet is right around the corner, so get ready to share your first #SAWinningBet with us on October 1st.*Santa Anita Park reserves the right to cancel #SAWinningBet contest at any time. Winners must respond in a timely fashion in order to receive prize.
zoomIllustration; Source: Pexels Greek ship owner and operator Euroseas has secured a charter contract for its 5,600 TEU container vessel, the Akinada Bridge.Built in 2001, the ship would be deployed on the charter for a minimum of ten and maximum of thirteen months at a daily rate of USD 16,500.Euroseas said that the charter would commence upon completion of the vessel’s special survey and drydocking and the installation of a ballast water treatment plant at a total cost of about USD 2.5 million.The company added that it expects to fully recover the above-mentioned cost over the duration of the charter and to finance it via a loan from an entity affiliated with the company’s CEO.“The strength of the intermediate size containership market has provided us with an opportunity to charter our only non-feeder vessel at rates that justified the investment required to complete the fourth special survey of the vessel and installation of a BWT plant. After the completion of the announced charter, we expect to have the vessel available for employment until its fifth special survey due date, i.e. for four additional years, with minimal incremental investment required beyond its operating cost,” Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said.“We are cautiously optimistic about the prospects of the containership market across all segments as fleet growth over the next couple of years is expected to be low by recent trends.”