Archive for February, 2015

Coach’s Corner Rewind: February 21, 2015

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Get to Know the Venue: Levi’s Stadium

Levi’s Stadium: the house that the DeBartolo/York family built, a $1.3 Billion icon in the heart of the Silicon Valley built right next to an amusement park. The new home of the San Francisco 49ers will host the 2015 NHL Stadium Series game tomorrow, and this game will be a litmus test for two major events that will be held at this stadium in the future. Built to replace San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Levi’s Stadium was designed as an open stadium with a natural grass field. It has a seating capacity of 68,500, but can expand to hold 75,000 for major sports and entertainment events. The seating design of the stadium places approximately two‐thirds of the fans in the lower bowl, which is one of the largest of its kind in the NFL. The seating configuration places luxury suites at one end of the field, similar to the design of Detroit’s Ford Field. For those who have upper-deck seats, you’ll be closer to the field than you actually think.

Much like Nationals Park, host site of the 2015 NHL Winter Classic, Levi’s Stadium is the first NFL stadium to earn the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for construction. The water used to create the rink was recycled, and all the energy to power the stadium is housed in the green roof. And being in the heart of Silicon Valley, Levi’s Stadium was built to be the most technologically advanced sports venue in the world. During football season, the goalposts retract. The gameday operations room has equipment that is compatible to show 4K resolution video: that’s ultra-high-definition! And with 40 gigabits of available internet bandwidth, Levi’s Stadium is one big wi-fi location with information coming in a jiffy.

Not only is Levi’s Stadium the home of the San Francisco 49ers, this new wonder of the Bay Area is the host site of the Pac-12 Football Championship, and those two major events that will be held at this stadium in the future? Next month, Levi’s Stadium will host the biggest event in wrestling, WWE’s WrestleMania 31. And next February, the stadium will host Super Bowl 50.

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Hockey Day in America 2015 Preview

For the first time since 2013, Hockey Day in America will emanate from a central location: one that is of historical significance.

Hockey Day in America 2015 is held on February 22: the 35th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. So it is no surprise that Hockey Day in America — the day dedicated to the sport of hockey across the United States — will emanate from Lake Placid, New York: the host city of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

The NHL on NBC crew of studio host Liam McHugh and studio analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones. and Jeremy Roenick will take fort in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains for 11 hours of NHL coverage on NBC and NBCSN that begins in the City of Brotherly Love and ends in the Twin Cities. In the first game of the Hockey Day in America tripleheader, the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers renew divisional acquaintances as both teams continue their push for playoff berths. TSN’s Chris Cuthbert and NHL on NBC analyst Anson Carter will call the game from South Philly. After that game, the on-ice action shifts to the Windy City and the Madhouse on Madison, where the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Boston Bruins in their final meeting of the regular season. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike “Doc” Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk (who is calling his second game of the weekend in the span of 16 hours), and Emmy Award-winning”Inside the Glass” reporter Pierre McGuire will call the second game from Chicago. From there, the action concludes on NBCSN, where the red-hot Minnesota Wild host their Central Division rival, Dallas Stars. TSN’s Gord Miller and San Jose Sharks radio analyst Bret Hedican will call the final game of the tripleheader from St. Paul.

During NBC’s Hockey Day in America broadcast, there will be special features about hockey in the United States, which includes feature reporter Jimmy Roberts and his interview with Miracle on Ice member Mark Wells, Pierre McGuire’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, and an inside look at the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, and much, much more.

Hockey Day in America 2015 begins at Noon ET on NBC.

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Growing Up with Wayne’s World

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It was the late 1980s-early 1990’s, and when you grew up in Suburban Chicago, you’d stay up late on Saturday night and watch Saturday Night Live. One of my favorite SNL skits was Wayne’s World. How did I get hooked on Wayne’s World? For one thing, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s characters of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar were from my neck of the woods (even though they were supposed to be from Aurora, Ontario). They made me laugh. They made me think. They made me smile. When I grew up, I wanted to be like them. I even wanted to hang out with them at Stan Mikita’s Donuts (which is actually Tim Hortons in real life). And when they appeared on Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Special that aired tonight on NBC, it just rekindled all of those memories. In college, I bought the Wayne’s World “Schwing! Schwing!” DVD, which contained both Wayne’s World movies. But what does this have to do with hockey? Wayne and Garth played street hockey. They hung out at Stan Mikita’s Donuts. There’s actually a story from 2009 on how Mike Myers actually lured the Chicago Blackhawks legend to be in the first Wayne’s World film (click here for the rest of the story). And yes, they even hung out with Wayne’s namesake: The Great One, Wayne Gretzky. The impact of the sketch became a part of the fabric part of my being. After the skit, Wayne and Garth hung out with both Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. The last time the world saw Wayne and Garth before tonight was when Dana Carvey hosted SNL in 2011. Even before that, their last appearance was at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, where Myers was the host. It has been over 20 years since Wayne’s World 2 came out in theaters. It’s about time Wayne’s World 3 comes out on the big screen. I still wonder if Wayne and Cassandra (played by Tia Carrere) become parents or if Garth finally gets a girlfriend. There are questions from fans like me that desperately need to be answered!

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Photo above courtesy of @KimKardashian

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Coach’s Corner Rewind: Hockey Day in Canada 2015 Edition

Since it was Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada yesterday, this edition of Coach’s Corner comes from the Emera Oval in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Gronk Spike the Puck: Super Bowl Champ Steals Show Before Bruins Game

Just seven days ago, the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played. Three days after the win, the Patriots rode on duck boats and celebrated with the fans — all 750,000 of them that braved through the snow and the cold to see the Super Bowl champions. Then came last night. The Patriots were honored by the Bruins before their game against the Islanders. Before we get to that, flash back to the days after last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl. Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who’s famous for spiking the ball after scoring a touchdown (which was actually invented by former New York Giants Wide Receiver Homer Jones), Gronk Spiked the puck for a Worcester Sharks game.

Now back to last night: after the ceremonial puck drop, Gronk once again, stole the show.

Not bad for a guy who couldn’t spike the ball in high school in suburban Buffalo, New York (Williamsville) or in college at the University of Arizona.

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Coach’s Corner Rewind: February 7, 2015

This week’s edition of Coach’s Corner features, above all else, Evander Kane’s attitude towards the Winnipeg Jets.

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