The Opossum-Palooza

It's okay. We don't know what the name means either.



Courtesy of UniWatch, I present to you the most amusing picture you'll see all day. Let us all take a moment and thank god that it happened to someone wearing a Minnesota Vikings uniform.

(Siobhan's Note: Say, is that a whizzinator or a Smoot?)

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The Most Beautiful Thing You'll See All Day

This is already up over at Off Wing Opinion, but I couldn't resist posting it here, too. All 52 of Alex Ovechkin's goals in the 2005-06 season. Enjoy.

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RFK Part II: The Pictures

Okay. Sorry for the delay there. It looks like we've finally worked through all the technical difficulties, so now on to the pictures.

(Siobhan's Note: As Biff drinks beer, his hand grows less steady. Some of these shots look as though they were taken by Katharine Hepburn)

The Hat

The View From Our Seats

The Steam Cleaned Concourse

The Wave

The Corporate Suite

The Closest Thing to Improved Concessions That Biff Could Find

The Reason Biff Couldn't Find Burrito Brothers Next to Section 120

The Douchebag With the Popped Collar

Siobhan's Ass - On my way to smoke and get more beer

The Red Carpet After the Game

And last but not least...

The President Race!!!

For further coverage of all the Grand ReOpening fun, go here and/or here.

Also, huge thanks go out to BigTDog for providing the photographic equipment needed to make this happen. His selfless act makes him the first official Friend of the Opossum Palooza (FOP for short).

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"Get Your Red On"

As promised, the O-P team attended Friday night's Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Grand Reopening Red Carpet Extravaganza. Needless to say, we arrived late like the quality journalists that we are. We walked past the inflatable wonderland that was the Nats' Fan Zone on East Capitol Street and arrived at the red carpet just in time to hear the fireworks that accompany "rockets' red glare" during the national anthem. Unlike other nights, though, the anthem was also accompanied by a flyover and a bevy of fireworks at the end of the song as well. (Biff's theory: Extra unused "Nats Win!" fireworks.) Standing in line waiting for tickets, we were at least able to see, via television screen in the Team Store, the first pitch being thrown out by the "US Armed Services" (whatever that means).

Upon entering the stadium, we were each handed a (surprisingly good quality) red "W" baseball cap (sponsored by (Siobhan's Note: These hats smelled like what I remember Wal*Mart smells like: shoddy workmanship and cheap child-labor) After finding our way to our seats (we entered the seating bowl to the tune of Ridin' Dirty, thanks in no small part to Ryan Zimmerman), the rest of the evening proceeded more or less as usual.

As far as the "improvements", a quick rundown of the concourse by Biff found very little to get excited about (Siobhan's Note: Burrito Brothers is next to Section 120, if you're interested - and I think you are.)

All in all, it was a pretty exciting evening, but the fact of the matter is, nothing will do it justice like pictures. Pictures are what you need, and pictures are what you'll get. As soon as we figure out how to make our computers work.

Siobhan's Note: There is still a shockingly small number of beer vendors in the 500-level seats; Budweiser was in troublingly short supply. Cotton candy more your thing? (If it is, I have no idea why you're reading this blog, by the way) I saw roughly 5 vendors of the cloyingly sweet confection to every beer vendor.

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Run, You Stupid Fecking President, Run!

This is what I'll be seeing tonight at the RFK "Grand Re-opening."
How great is that?

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Wee! An RFK fieldtrip!

Tomorrow night marks the "Grand Re-opening" of RFK Stadium and the Washington Nationals here in Washington, and we here at the Opossum-Palooza would be remiss if we failed to cover the "event". Thus, we will be attending tomorrow night's game and reporting on all the exciting goings-on. You can expect a full report on the new and improved RFK (if not a new and improved team) sometime over the weekend. There may even be pictures.

Siobhan's note: What with the steam-cleaned concourse and the large-headed presidential mascots running the bases, it may be too much excitement for me.
Any and all are welcome to join us. If you want a piece of the action, email me: bosoxsiobhan(at) - I promise not to get as drunk as I was at the Deadspin field trip. Saturday is my old man's birthday, which means happy fun family day in VA. That'll be bad enough without a raging gin-based hangover

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Go Lilywhites!

Bill Simmons' decision to start rooting for a (as of yet undetermined) team in the Premiership (that's proper football, a.k.a. soccer, for you uncultured vermin out there) seems to have helped spark a minor revolution. I've seen several other blogs (most notably The Mighty MJD) ruminating over how they would decide which Premiership team they'd be getting behind. Well, I'm already one step ahead of them, having decided over a week ago on Tottenham.

Why Tottenham, you ask? Simple. Siobhan told me to.

Okay, its a little more complicated than that. She simply suggested I look into the Hotspurs (or, as they are affectionately known, the "Lilywhites") and, after doing a little Wikipedia research I decided to go for it, based on the extremely arbitrary critereon that their name was also that of a Shakespearian character I'd really like to play someday.

I've found that, in situations like this one, its always best to use as arbitrary a method as possible when choosing a new team. Frankly, the way most of my favorite teams were chosen was simply by proximity to my place of residence, which is as arbitrary as anything else if you think about it. Especially when you consider that, at the time, the "Washington" Capitals played in Landover, MD. So why should I get the luxury of picking the team I would like the most just because I came late to the party? Would I like to have rooted for France during the World Cup? Yeah, it would have been nice. I genuinely liked Zinedine Zidane. But, I had already decided that Portugal was my team, on the fact that my good friend Chris is part Portugese. I then found myself defending indefensible bullshit flopping by the Portugese team. And defending the indefensible in the name of team loyalty is what being a fan is all about.

(Siobhan's note: I am in no way a Tottenham fan. I back the mighty Liverpool Reds, but I thought it would be fun if Biff were to cheer for the Lilywhites because they are the natural rivals of Arsenal. And for reasons that pass understanding, you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a Gunners fan. BTW - what the hell kind of name is lilywhites? Sounds awfully pussy to me. Biff's fucking Portuguese team summarily ran through my Dutch and English teams and for that I hate him a little)

Update: Simmons has picked the Hotspurs as his new EPL team. Let the record show that I was here first.

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Welcome, My Lithuanian Brother

Let me be clear here, I use “brother” in only the broadest sense of the word. I don’t have a drop of Lithuanian blood in my veins. But, I do have a soft spot for young Lithuanian men – remember my in-depth thoughts on Dainius Zubrus (I’d hit it). Additionally, Songaila is a fellow alumnus of Wake Forest University in lovely Winston-Salem, NC (actually I’m an alumna - thanks for that catch, CC - and he is an alumnus, but I fear that distinction is lost on most folks). While the numbers of Wake alum continue to grow in the NBA, I’m always happy to have a fellow Demon Deacon here in DC.

I also freely admit that the NBA isn’t even in my top 4 sports - Christ, even soccer comes in higher – but I am pretty excited about this trade for more than prurient reasons. Songaila adds some strength to the frontcourt. He isn’t afraid to take it inside and also has a pretty sweet mid-range jumper which makes him more verstaile and valuable than most of the Wizards' other big guys. Welcome to DC, Darius. We’re glad to have you.

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What The Hell Is Wrong With The Strahan Family?

So it started out with his estranged wife claiming Strahan is possibly gay. Now we hear that Michael Strahan filmed his then-fiancée’s sister while she undressed. Then he paid her (the fiancée, not her sister) $30,000 to make it go away. I presume the cash bought her silence. Mind you, this is before they even got married. He says she spent exorbitant sums of money. She says he cheated on her and beat her. I'm telling you, when all is said and done, these two deserve each other. If I'm Strahan, I just pay her the cash to make all this shit go away. Unbelievable.

Thank God I'm single.

On a completely unrelated note, I went to see Drive By Truckers on Saturday and half the crowd looked like Adam Morrison - fuzzy porn stache, floppy hair in need of a good shampoo. (Biff's Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with floppy hair in need of a shampoo.) Mostly covered with John Deere hats. Urban hipster irony is alive and well in Washington, DC. And I want to kick their asses.

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Shameless Self Promotion

It's that time again.

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DC Sports Bloggers Happy Hour

Just wanted to point this out, since hardly anyone reads blogs devoted to hockey.

Not that many people read this one, since it's a lot of hockey. But still...

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Summer Doldrums

Like any true Washingtonian, the months of July and August are dead to me. I am reduced to a sweaty, ill-tempered, frizzy-haired version of my normal self and am incapable of getting anything accomplished. Is it the heat? The D.C. humidity? The summer interns? No. My problem with these months is the lack of any good sports. Yes, there's baseball, but I just can't get into it night after night after night, and if I miss too many games, I feel disconnected and become unenthused. So what to do? I could concentrate on the offseason goings on for the NHL. Or the NFL. Or, in a pinch, the NBA. But as I've said, these things mean nothing to me. If it ain't happening on the field, as far as I'm concerned it ain't happening at all. Unless it involves drunken porn watching while driving and masturbating.

If you're like me, and are stuck with nothing to do but count down the days until the opening kickoff of the NFL, here's a list of things to do with your summer to kill the time:

- Start training to become a competitive eater. You'll probably be eating too many hot dogs anyway.

- Spend some time on YouTube. (This is only on the list as an excuse to pull out my current favorite television commercial.)

- One word: Kickball.

- Something I always enjoy is dressing up like an eskimo and walking around in the 90-plus degree weather and asking people "Hot enough for 'ya?" (Yes, I am aware that I am kind of a loser.)

- Spend some time shamelssly sucking up to other bloggers, hoping that they will link to your own blog. Works for me.

- Whatever you do, do not watch the MLS. I know you're still worked up about soccer after this year's World Cup, and I don't care. If soccer is "the beautiful game" then MLS is the ugly game that soccer brings with it to the bar to make it look better so guys will be more likely to buy it drinks.

(Siobhan's Note: I went to see DC United against Celtic FC and I have to say, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Small but very rabidly engaged crowd. Freddie Adu scored a beautiful goal after a hideous offside trap by Celtic, who, it appears brought their AAA squad to DC. I hadn't seen an MLS game in person since back in the day when my boy John Harkes played for DC United and they won the three of the first four MLS Cups. I might be hooked again. And don't forget Biff. Sometimes the plain girl at the bar with the beautiful dim one is more interesting - and will probably let you have butt sex with her....OK - that analogy just took an oddly disturbing turn.)

Anything you'd like to add? That's what the comments section is for.



Welcome Home, Richard

Ordinarily, offseason stuff doesn't really interest me. I can't be bothered to keep track of who is signing where and what players are getting traded. If its not happening on the field (or, in my case, the ice) I just can't bring myself to care. As such, I hadn't planned on talking about any offseason NHL stuff on the blog, but today, something glorious happened.

The Washington Capitals traded a second round pick in the 2007 draft for RW Richard Zednik. Zednik was a fan favorite in Washington until he was traded, along with Jan Bulis, to the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline in 2001. To this day, I can still tell you exactly where I was when I heard the news that he had been traded (In a car headed north on Georgia Ave, at the intersection of Georgia and Shorefield Rd in Wheaton). At the time, it seemed like a terrible trade, netting only a washed up Trevor Linden and a prospect named Dainius Zubrus, neither of whom contributed much to the teams 1st round playoff exit at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, here we are five years later, and Zubrus has finally developed into a pretty good player (with a lot of help from his more notable linemate) and it doesn't seem so bad, especially as he is now one of the longest tenured, most well-respected vetrans on the team. (Siobhan's Note: Dainius Zubrus. Jesus, I wonder what's Lithuanian for "I'd hit it.") Hopefully, this means a chance to see a line consisting of Ovechkin-Zubrus-Zednik, if only because I could call it the OZZ line. Because I like pointless acronyms. And goal scoring.

Once again, much thanks to DCSportsChick for the heads up on this one.

EDIT: It was actually a third round pick. I guess I just put too much value on Richard Zednik.

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RFK Make-Over?

So I awake to news that the Nationals' new owner is going to make some changes to that old piece of shit, RFK stadium. These changes include, but are presumably not limited to:
"...planting flowers and improving the landscaping outside the stadium, steam-cleaning the concourses, adding banners outside the ballpark and staging races between innings around the perimeter of the field by costume characters resembling former U.S. presidents...(Biff's note: Run you stupid fucking president, run!)"
I'm speechless really at the absurdity of it all.
This to improve the flagging attendance numbers? How's about putting a team on the field that doesn't suck, Kasten?
Lipstick on a pig, friends and neighbors. That's what this amounts to.

(Biff's Note #2: Pigs wearing lipstick racing around the field? I would absolutely pay to see that.)

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The home run derby is insufferable

I've mentioned lately that I would like the Opossum-Palooza to be a little less hockey-centric, but try as I might, I just can't seem to get away from it. I'm sure this will change once football season heats up, but that still leaves several other sports unattended to. The solution? In addition to some minor changes to the link section as well as the color scheme, the most important change...

Ladies and gentleman, I give you the newest contributor here at The Opossum-Palooza: BoSox Siobhan. Those of you who patronize the Deadspin will recognize her unique brand of vulgar smart-assery (to which I vow to remain the erstwhile straight man) Think of it this way: If Kissing Suzy Kolber is "Deadspin: All Stars", The Opossum-Palooza is sort of a "Deadspin: Honorable Mention" (Siobhan's note: Speak for yourself, Biff. I think of myself as Deadspin's drunken, indecorous princess). First up: The excitement of the MLB All-Star Game. Siobhan, take it away...

OK - I was going to wait until tomorrow to write about the All-Star game and how full of shit it is, but I am compelled to weigh in here during this damnable HR Derby. I'm bored in a way that no drinking game I can concoct will alleviate...I don't even care if David Ortiz wins or not. I will say this: if that douchebag Berman would quit pronouncing "Papi" like "Pap" smear, I'd be a happy woman. What the hell is the matter with Berman that he can't even get THAT right? But it has been fun to watch the Yinzers in the Allegheny River fighting each other with oars and nets for the long balls. So rather than watching any more of this (and having to watch the ESPY commercials ad nauseum) I'm going out for a beer. So ends my first ever blog post. That didn't hurt a bit.

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More Blog Love.

I would just like to take a minute to once again point out one of my favorite blogs that doesn't have my name attached to it. In this case, it'd be DCSportsChick. Not because she is a woman who likes sports (something that it always sure to tug at my heartstrings, as it were) or because she is the closest thing I have to a regular commenter on The Opossum-Palooza, but because I find her's to be the best Washington-centric sports blog on this here Interweb (yes, its because she gives hockey a fair shake). If you live in Washington, or have any interest in anything DC sports related, you should absolutely be reading her blog before anyone else's.


Why Hockey is Better: Part 23

Erik Johnson, the first overall pick in this year's NHL draft, has opted to go to college rather than sign with the St. Louis Blues.

There. Now that I've gotten rid of most of you by leading with a sentence about hockey, I can talk about how this relates to the NBA and the NFL. Back in April, I ranted a little bit about one of Dan Wetzel's columns on Yahoo! Sports, in which he decried the NBA's and NFL's age limits for being inherently unfair. I proposed an easy solution, that being letting young guys declare themselves eligible for the draft without losing their amateur status until they sign an actual contract with a pro team. As you can see, this is already the case in hockey, where the Blues will retain Johnson's rights even while he plays "amateur" hockey at the University of Minnesota. If I'm not mistaken, the same sort of thing happens in baseball as well.

The irony of the situation, of course, is that both MLB and the NHL have well-established, legitimate minor league systems set up to develop young players who aren't quite ready for the big time. Whereas, in the case of the NFL and NBA, college athletics basically are their minor leagues. (Yes, I know about the NBADL. No, I don't consider it a legitimate minor league, but at least they're trying a little.) Imagine if, back in 2001, the Washington Wizards could have allowed Kwame Brown to play at Florida without losing their exclusive rights to him, rather than sticking him on the bench at the age of 19. How different would his career have looked?

One of the strongest arguments for an age limit is that the bevy of players leaving college early or, in basketball's case, skipping college altogether, is hurting the quality of play in the college ranks. Kind of a selfish argument from college sports fans, but there's no arguing against it. This year's NCAA Tournament was certainly entertaining to watch, but I doubt you would find many people who would argue it was high-quality basketball. Especially compared to years past. Allowing drafted players to continue in the NCAA would not only solve this problem, it would actually increase interest in the college game. It gives NBA fans who might not watch a mid-season college game a reason to be interested. If you're a 76ers fan, and your team drafts a guy in the first round and now he's playing for the University of Texas, you are much more likely to turn on a Longhorns game. (This also, unfortunately, poses the unique challenge of what to do if your team picks a guy who then goes to play for Duke.) Personally, I virtually never watch college football, but if there was a player on the field who was a Redskins draftee, I would certainly turn on a game, if only to check him out and see how he's coming along.

The thing I don't understand is: Why the different rules for different sports? If a hockey player can get drafted by an NHL team and still play in college, why is the same not true of football and basketball? Doesn't the NCAA make the rules for all college sports, and, as such, shouldn't it be consistent across all of them? Am I just missing something that is completely obvious? If not, why hasn't anyone else thought of this?

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The Lesser of Two Evils

Much has been made (and will continue to be made) of Redskins' safety Sean Taylor's off the field troubles. While I'm not here to argue that Taylor isn't batshit crazy, I do wish that people would remember one thing about him. He is not, nor will he ever be, Kellen Winslow Jr., the player the Skins' very nearly picked in 2004.

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Because They Need My Help So Much

If you're reading this blog, you are probably already aware of the greatness of Kissing Suzy Kolber, which is as fun and exciting as it is brand new. But I figured I'd mention it anyway, since I just now finally got around to adding it to the links on the left hand side. And also to make sure that those guys know what a bang-up job I think they're doing. On the off chance that one of them reads this.

If, by some strange miracle, you've come across my site and have never heard of Kissing Suzy Kolber, go there now.



A World Without Sports

I really enjoyed this piece over at Forward Progress. I can relate to numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 14.

And I can also especially relate to this:
Will I someday care about how my lawn looks instead of how Mark Prior managed to on the DL for an infinite number of days? I would like to speculate that my new conception of a sports fan would be able to endure the pressures that inevitably come as life progresses but perhaps I am just fooling myself. Perhaps it starts with one missed season because of work/family issues and one begins to realize that sports goes on without you – a thought that is entirely alien to most hardcore fans.

This always scares me, especially as I start missing more sporting events in favor of "having a life" or "having an acting career".


Saying Goodbye

As sad as I was to see Steve Yzerman retire, I'm probably more sad to see that Jeff Halpern signed with the Dallas Stars. Halpern had spent several seasons as the Caps' captain, and was a great guy to have around. He was a fan favorite just as much for his status as "local boy making good" (Halpern is a native of Potomac, MD) as his play on the ice.

And therein lies the rub. His play on the ice was never all that great. He got away with alot because of his local hero status, and I applaud George McPhee for doing the right thing and letting him go. Especially if the reports that his contract was for $8 million over four years.

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Hello. Welcome. Make yourself at home.

If you were ever wondering what might be a good way to get more people to read your blog, I can tell you the secret. Go out drinking with Will Leitch. Today, this blog has had more hits in the five hours since Deadspin linked to my Stevie Y entry than every other day combined.

So, to those of you who are newcomers, I say welcome. Unfortunately, the Stevie Y entry was not my best work, so I'm kind of sorry you had to see that. Also, I mostly talk about hockey, so many of you are probably sorry you came here in the first place.

If you're still with me, though, feel free to check out the archives for some of my better work. Stick around, because I promise that the hockey talk will fade a little as football season heats up. Then we'll have lots of fun. And feel free to e-mail me (you can find e-mail info in my profile) if there's something you think I should be talking about, or at the very least, leave your opinion in the comments section.



A Sad Day For Hockey

I was never a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. In fact, I loathe them. I cannot forgive them for what they did to my beloved Capitals in the summer of 1998. Nor can I forgive them for having the most obnoxious fans in the NHL. Or for being the NY Yankees of the NHL for so many years, seemingly landing every marquee free agent on the market most offseasons.

However, in spite of this, I can never have anything but the utmost respect for Steve Yzerman, who for 22 years embodied everything that it means to be an NHL player. He was, and still is, a shining example that all hockey players should aspire to. I place him in the category of "Enemy Players Whom I Can't Help But Respect" along with the likes of Derek Jeter, Donovan McNabb or Emmitt Smith.

So it is with a hint of sadness that I note that Steve Yzerman today scheduled his Hall of Fame induction for the year 2009.

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If I Can Make It There, I'll Make It Onto the All-Star Game Roster

As part of my ongoing effort to make this site less hockey-centric, I've decided to posit my opinion of the MLB All-Star game, for which the rosters were announced tonight.

Here it is: The All-Star Game rosters, especially the starting lineups, are a bigger joke than (Pick One (1): Mike Cooper, Carl Monday, Isaiah Thomas, this guy)

By my count, six out of the sixteen starting position players (that's 37.5% for you statheads) play for a team in New York (that's 6.67% of the league's teams for you statheads). Add to that the fact that there are three more from Boston and more than half of the starting rosters come from three teams. I know I'm not the only one bothered by this, and there are a myriad of other reasons to bitch about the Midsummer Classic, but I'm too lazy to do so. I just wanted an excuse to use my snappy headline and include a silly picture.

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The Good Old Days

Because sometimes, during the NHL offseason, I get bored, I decided to do a little YouTube hunting and found what is possibly my favorite television commercial of all time. When I compare this to the current "myNHL" campaign, it makes me sad.

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