Sports

Ratings Crash for NBA, MLB After Protest-Filled Debuts

As the NBA and MLB return from their coronavirus-imposed hiatus, it appears TV viewers are not interested in what the increasingly woke leagues have to offer. With both baseball and basketball draped in all sorts of Black Lives Matter and social justice symbolism for their opening games, a substantially smaller number of fans tuned-in to the rest of the week’s games. According to Outkick.com, neither league did well. As for the opening games, Outkick reported that the return of the NBA on TNT saw the following numbers: Lakers-Clippers: 3.4 million Pelicans-Jazz: 2.1 million ESPN’s MLB return numbers were also underwhelming: Yankees-Nationals: 4.0 million Dodgers-Giants: 2.8 million Outkick’s Ryan Glasspiegel added more ratings numbers on Twitter. “To be fair since I compared MLB vs NBA return night 1, here is night 2,” (July 24) he wrote, adding: MLB (last Friday, ESPN) Mets-Braves (4p) – 922K Brewers-Cubs(7p) – 1.0M Angels-As (10p) – 797K NBA (last night ESPN) (July 31) Celtics-Bucks (6:30p) – 1.3M Mavs-Rockets (9p)- 1.7M The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss also noted that the numbers continued to fall off for MLB: For good measure, Strauss also pointed out that baseball can’t blame the coronavirus. The virus didn’t stop people from watching Tom Brady golf with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson back in May. Indeed, the charity golf match earned record TV ratings in May. Dubbed “The Match II,” the game featuring Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, and Tiger Woods peaked at an amazing 6.3 million viewers and raised more than $20 million for charity.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Remember when the NFL started all this crap with Colin K. and his kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem?  The ratings for NFL games and “NFL Ticket” dropped like crazy as a result.  We documented that, and how many stadiums looked empty after the NFL allowed that crap to continue.  Now, in the Wuhan virus era when we can’t even physically go to games (and therefore that revenue for professional sports is not there), the NFL and MLB are seeing a similar effect…but it’s even worse because they’re playing in empty stadiums.  So, we see these whiny, self-serving, self-righteous, spoiled-brat, entitlement-minded, millionaire athletes doing this kneeling crap and wearing social justice clothing…and Americans are over it.  They’ve had it.  So, they’re just changing the channel.  What these obnoxious athletes and their coaches aren’t getting…..is that we just want to watch our sports without politics being rubbed in our faces.  If they want to protest, or speak their minds about BLM, or how oppressed they feel living in America and all…then they need to do that on THEIR time; NOT ours.  Sports used to be that one time where we could all go (regardless of political party affiliation or beliefs) and take a break from politics and just have a beer, a hotdog, and watch a ballgame and have a good time.  Not anymore.  These professional sports organizations, pandering to the liberal mobs out there, feel they have to rub their politically correct social justice politics in our faces whether we want to hear it or not.  And THAT is why more and more Americans are saying to heck with that, and changing the channel.

NFL will play black national anthem prior to Week 1 games, report says

The NFL will reportedly play “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” which is also known as the black national anthem, before every Week 1 NFL game in the 2020 season, according to ESPN. The decision to play the song comes following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, which led to nationwide protests over racial inequality and police brutality. According to the ESPN report, the song will be played before “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Many players have been vocal about their stance on this topic. Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield already have said that they will kneel for the national anthem. The league and the NFL Players Association are also contemplating listing the names of victims on uniforms through decals on helmets or patches on jerseys, ESPN reported. The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims. They also have other plans that haven’t been identified. The league hopes it demonstrates “a genuine commitment to the public, players and coaches and that player voices continue to be heard,” according to ESPN’s source. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put out a video last month admitting that the league was wrong for not listening to their players when they knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. “We, at the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter,” Goodell said in the video. “I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. “Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players, coaches, fans, and staff. We are listening, I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  And no, you are not reading The Onion.  This is the absolute worst form of ankle-grabbing pandering we’ve seen yet.  Roger Goodell has single-handedly destroyed the NFL with this politically correct pandering gone wild.  Remember when we could watch pro sports free of politics?  Remember those days?  Now, it’s thrown in your face.  It kinda started with an entire month when all the players and coaches wear pink to support Breast Cancer.  Now, I’ve known survivors of this dreadful disease.  But, ALL cancer is dreadful.  And, breast cancer isn’t the #1 killer of women; not by a longshot.  It’s like 4th or so.  The #1 is heart disease.  But, that’s not as sexy/cool/politically correct as talking about boobs.  Right?  So, yeah..  The NFL makes all their athletes wear pink shoes, towels, and on and on…ALL MONTH.  Then, came that idiot Colin K. and his kneeling.  And, as if that highly offensive kneeling by these spoiled-brat millionaire athletes during the playing of our National Anthem wasn’t enough, they’re gonna elevate this so-called “black national anthem” right next to our actual National Anthem.  Disgusting.  We, of course, won’t watch this crap, and encourage everyone to vote with their remote and NOT watch this.  If enough folks tune it out, then maybe…just maybe…Goodell and the rest of the overpaid gazillionaires at the NFL will see their ratings tank and maybe…just maybe they’ll get the message.  We won’t hold our breath.  And, even if they DO get the message, they probably won’t change anything.  But, voting with our wallets, and our tv remotes, is about all we can do at this point.  Screw the NFL.

Federal judge rules U.S. Soccer did not violate Equal Pay Act

A federal judge ruled Friday in favor of the United States Soccer Federation, dismissing a claim it violated the Equal Pay Act by allegedly discriminating against female athletes. District Judge R. Gary Klausner granted in part a motion for summary judgment sought by the U.S. Soccer Federation, siding with its lawyers in a dispute involving athlete pay. He allowed other aspects of the lawsuit to move ahead, however, setting the stage for lawyers representing members of the Women’s National Team to pursue different claims in court. An attorney for the team said they would appeal the dismissal of their equal pay claim, and Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden said he would get involved if elected. Lawyers for members of the women’s team filed the suit against U.S. Soccer in March 2019, seeking more than $66 million in damages for alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Judge Klausner, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ultimately dismissed the suit’s claim that athletes on the Women’s National Team have been underpaid in comparison to players on the Men’s National Team in violation of federal anti-discrimination law. “In sum, Defendant has offered evidence in support of its Motion for Summary Judgement that the WNT has been paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the MNT over the class period,” he ruled from U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. But he did not dismiss allegations that U.S. Soccer violated Title VII, which protects employees against discrimination based on characteristics such as sex. He said the plaintiffs can move forward with its claim that female athletes have been subjected to unequal working conditions, paving the way for their argument to go to trial as soon as next month.

Sounds like Judge Klausner made a reasonable and prudent ruling here, and should be commended for it.  The only question we have is..  Who the hell does Joe Biden think he is?  A dictator?  What on earth could he POSSIBLY do as a President to “intervene?”  Someone needs to remind crazy ol’ Joe that here in America we have three SEPARATE branches of government, and that presidents (executive branch) cannot interfere with the judiciary; basic American civics 101.  Either he’s too senile and forgot that, or he really thinks his base is too stupid to not know that.  For the rest of us, we’ll just roll our eyes and call him out for his outrageous, inappropriate and very UNpresidential comments.  For more on this story, click on the text above.

XFL Lays Off All Employees, Suspends Operations Due to Coronavirus

What began as a promising reboot for a spring time football league looking to fill the void for football-crazed fans after the NFL season, has just taken a turn for the worse. The XFL has laid off all their employees and suspended operations indefinitely. According to Pro Football Talk: ” Several XFL employees confirmed on social media today that the whole staff of the XFL was informed that they’re being laid off during a conference call. Although there has not been an official announcement about the 2021 season, it certainly looks like there will be no more XFL at all.” The league got off to a very strong start in its first week. While the numbers fell significantly in the weeks following, the league was averaging over 1.5 million viewers before it suspended play in response to the coronavirus. While 1.5 million is certainly not a large number compared to the NFL, it was a solid performance matched up against other major sports. For example, college basketball was typically pulling in roughly a million viewers on ESPN. In addition, English Premier League games on NBCSN, typically brought in 800 or 900,000. The XFL initially signaled its willingness to resume operations in 2021, but, the lay offs and suspension of operations certainly casts doubt on that idea.

Hopefully once things are back to normal, or as normal as can be expected, the XFL will return.  Go St. Louis BattleHawks!    🙂

The Big Question for Sports: When Will You Feel Safe Around 20,000 Strangers Again?

Sports will be back. At some point in the possibly distant future, athletes will head back to work in arenas, ballparks and stadiums, and leagues will promise a return to normalcy. There will finally be something to watch on television again. But there are some people who might not be ready so quickly: the fans. What happens next in sports may be beyond the control of leagues and the television networks that pay them billions of dollars. The people with the power are the ones who packed the stands. And sports will only be normal once the public decides it’s socially and psychologically acceptable to be around thousands of strangers again. When they can even begin to think about that is impossible to say. The novel coronavirus has caused so much damage and behaves so unpredictably that major events are canceled deep into the summer. It’s no longer a given that play will resume this year. “Until you’re widely vaccinated,” Bill Gates said last week of mass gatherings, “those may not come back at all.” President Trump told the commissioners of sports leagues on Saturday that he wants fans at games “soon—very soon.” “I want fans back in the arenas,” Trump said. “And the fans want to be back, too.” But the primary challenge for the business is not a political or financial one. It’s behavioral. “The overall biggest long-term problem for sports is the fear associated with public interaction,” Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in an email. “When does that go away? When will society decide that it is once again safe to interact in public? That is the big question for sports teams and leagues.” “The good news is that this virus will be beat and things will return to normal,” he wrote. “We know the enemy, and medical knowledge and capabilities are greater than ever in history.” How long that will take is a question that no one in sports is qualified to answer—and epidemiologists, immunologists and infectious disease experts are still trying to wrap their minds around. What they do understand, as the year slips away, is that how sports fans behave mirrors the behavior of large groups in society as a whole. Even if people were allowed into offices tomorrow, it’s uncertain when they would have the appetite to surround themselves with anywhere between 20,000 and 100,000 other fans at stadiums. Some leagues, governing bodies and even the International Olympic Committee have stopped trying to predict the future. The Olympics were postponed until next summer. Wimbledon will skip 2020. Belgium’s top soccer league simply declared a champion last week. The only thing for the rest to do is search for alternative dates and keep waiting. The NBA is exploring the concept of hosting the playoffs in a fan-free bubble if they get clearance from public health officials, while the English Premier League is contemplating a shift for the last quarter of its season to the middle of summer. But there are many skeptics in the NBA, including LeBron James, and the most ruthless soccer league on earth acknowledges that matches will be on hold until the conditions are “safe and appropriate.” Even if they manage to finish this season, they could find themselves in the same position next season. They could also find themselves running into ferocious competition for eyeballs with the NFL and college football—if those seasons begin on time. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Saturday that he doesn’t believe his state’s three NFL teams will be playing in front of fans come September. Amy Huchthausen, commissioner of America East Conference, said that she’s already noted small shifts in her own life that foreshadow larger ones in society. She notices the nearest person on the sidewalk when she’s outside now. That sense of heightened attention figures to be common in crowded stadiums. “I think we’re naive to think that’s not going to persist in a long-term way even when we’re past the virus and past the pandemic,” she said. “I have a hard time believing that once an order is lifted, people are just going to flock to go back to a 50,000-seat or 100,000-seat stadium like they did before.” That would render plans for near-term comebacks as useless as a face mask made of tissue paper. The basketball and soccer leagues in China, where the virus appeared to be dissipating under strict controls, hoped to return to action this month in empty venues. They quickly abandoned those hopes. South Korea canceled the rest of its basketball season. Japan has postponed baseball’s opening day—twice. Players and coaches are reluctant to rush back anyway. Not only do they balk at the prospect of playing in empty stadiums, but they also understand that the globetrotting nature of their jobs is a recipe for constant exposure. “I think we’re going to have to draw a line through the entire 2020 tennis season,” tweeted Amélie Mauresmo, the 2006 Wimbledon champion and former coach of Andy Murray. “No vaccine = no tennis.” Imagining a return to packed stadiums is even harder when the stern lessons of recent mass gatherings are only beginning to be understood. It isn’t just because fans will have less disposable income to spend on sports tickets. It’s also become clear that the outbreak of coronavirus in Northern Italy was turbocharged by a soccer game between Atalanta and Valencia in Milan on Feb. 19. Fans who attended other matches are now wondering if they are sitting on their own time-bombs. Matthew Ashton went to see Liverpool play Atlético Madrid on March 11 at a time when other European countries were already in lockdown. He persuaded his father, a 72-year-old season-ticket holder, to skip one of the club’s biggest matches of the season. But since he was young and healthy, Ashton made a different calculation for himself. “I think it’s the last chance I have to go see Liverpool play this year,” he told his father, who is also a public health expert. “It probably was the wrong decision. In retrospect, you think: Was it really worth it?” The weeks that followed saw a spike in cases in Liverpool that Ashton believes was accelerated by the Atlético match. Once people realize the consequences of being around each other, he said, they might have an unsettling thought: “Oh my God, perhaps I’m not as safe as I once thought I was.’” There’s a reason this is now on Ashton’s mind: Last week he was named the city of Liverpool’s director of public health.

Our thanks to Joshua RobinsonBen Cohen and Laine Higgins for that sobering piece.  

Tokyo Olympics Officially Postponed Until 2021

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers. The IOC said the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in a statement. Before the official announcement, Abe said Bach had agreed with his proposal for a one-year postponement. “President Bach said he will agree ‘100%,’ and we agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said, saying holding the games next year would be “proof of a victory by human beings against the coronavirus infections.” On Sunday, Bach said a decision on postponing the games would be made in the next four weeks. But pressure grew as national federations, sports governing bodies and athletes spoke out against having the opening ceremony as planned on July 24. Four-time Olympic hockey champion Hayley Wickenheiser was the first IOC member to break ranks with Bach’s stance that the games would go ahead as planned when she publicly criticized the body’s unwavering strategy. After the announcement to postpone the game, she wrote on Twitter that the decision was the “message athletes deserved to hear.” “To all the athletes: take a breath, regroup, take care of yourself and your families. Your time will come,” she wrote. The decision came only a few hours after local organizers said the torch relay would start as planned on Thursday. It was expected to start in northeastern Fukushima prefecture, but with no torch, no torchbearers and no public. Those plans also changed. “For the time being, the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima,” organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. The Olympics have never before been postponed, and have only ever previously been canceled in wartime. Organizers will now have to figure out how to keep things running for another year, while making sure venues are up to date for possible another 12 months. “A lot can happen in one year, so we have to think about what we have to do,” said Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee. “The decision came upon us all of a sudden.” The IOC and Tokyo organizers said they hope the decision to postpone will help the world heal from the pandemic. “The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC statement said. “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

First Saturday in September: Pandemic delays Kentucky Derby to late summer

As a global coronavirus pandemic spreads, Churchill Downs Inc. says it will move the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby to Saturday, September 5. The late-summer Derby would mark the first time the race isn’t held the first Saturday in May since 1945, when it was postponed to June during the waning months of World War II. The move comes amid growing concerns about large public gatherings in the coming weeks and months. President Trump on Monday urged Americans to restrict their discretionary travel and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days. Churchill Downs Inc. CEO, Bill Carstanjen said the racetrack and gambling company didn’t consider canceling the iconic race for 3-year-old horses, the first leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. “Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community,” Carstanjen said. “As the situation evolved, we reached the difficult conclusion that we needed to reschedule.” Churchill now plans to run the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, September 4. In a conference call Tuesday morning, Carstanjen said the Derby would run this year and didn’t address any contingency plans if the virus is still spreading or begins to re-appear at the time of the race. The Derby routinely has more than 150,000 people in attendance. “We are determined that we are going to run the Kentucky Derby, and we are going to run it with a crowd,” Carstanjen said. The Derby is a participatory event.” Carstanjen said NBC Sports is in talks with other racetrack operators to move the Preakness and Belmont. The Derby is a consistent $400 million economic boon for Louisville with two weeks of events and celebration in the city, including Thunder Over Louisville. The race is just the latest event to be delayed in America’s rush to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Every major professional and collegiate event has been canceled or postponed, and many states have outright bans on gatherings of above a few hundred people.

Bouwmeester back in St. Louis, ‘on the road to recovery’

Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is back in St. Louis after collapsing on the bench during a game in Anaheim last week and said in a statement Tuesday that he is “on the road to recovery.” Bouwmeester, 36, collapsed during the first period of the Feb. 11 game after going into cardiac arrest. He had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted into his chest at UCI Medical Center in Orange County, California, where he had been hospitalized until returning to St. Louis on Sunday. In a statement issued by the Blues, Bouwmeester thanked team trainers for both the Blues and Ducks, along with first responders and the medical staff at UCI Medical Center. “Our family has felt the support of the entire National Hockey League family and the city of St. Louis during this time,” Bouwmeester said in the statement. “We have all been greatly comforted by your genuine concern. On Sunday evening, I returned to St. Louis and I am on the road to recovery. My wife and daughters are forever grateful for everyone’s support and we will continue to have a positive outlook for our future.“ The game was postponed and will be played March 11. It will begin with a 1-1 score, as it was at the time of the postponement, but still follow a full 60-minute format.

Glad you’re doing better, Jay!  This story broke last night as the Blues shut out the NJ Devils 0-3 at home in St. Louis.  GO BLUES!!!      🙂

NASCAR star Hailie Deegan poses with Trumps ahead of Daytona 500: ‘Goal complete’

Hailie Deegan, the 18-year-old driver deemed “NASCAR’s Next Big Superstar,” posed for a photo she’ll likely remember for the rest of her life, standing next to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Deegan and the Trumps were all smiles ahead of the race in Florida. The driver posted the photo to Twitter, adding, “Goal complete,” with a check mark. Earlier Sunday, she tweeted: “Today’s goal. Get my helmet signed by Trump.” That earlier tweet got the attention of Donald Trump Jr., who responded: “DM me… I may know someone.” Deegan proudly held her helmet as she posed for the photo. She was not slated to drive in Sunday’s race. Deegan made her stock car debut at Daytona earlier this month, finishing second to Michael Self in the ARCA Series season opener on Feb. 8. President Trump spoke ahead of the Daytona 500, calling it “the legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years.” He later gave the command, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” and rode for a lap in the presidential limo known as “The Beast” before the race got underway. When asked about her rising profile in NASCAR, Deegan said earlier this month: “I think there’s that aspect of being a girl that does help. But, once you get in the car, it don’t matter. No one knows. Most of the time I have the most aggressive-looking, guy-looking car on the track.”

What a great story!     🙂

St. Louis Blues’ Jay Bouwmeester hospitalized but in ‘good spirits’ after bench collapse

Jay Bouwmeester remains in Southern California, but the veteran St. Louis Blues defenseman was alert and talking with teammates one day after collapsing on the bench during a game. “He was in good spirits with us, typical Jay, so I think it certainly made us all feel a lot better knowing that we had the opportunity to talk to him. Typical Jay is a very good Jay,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. The 36-year old Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode during the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. General manager Doug Armstrong said during a news conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday that Bouwmeester was unresponsive after collapsing on the bench. A defibrillator was used and he regained consciousness immediately before being taken to an Anaheim hospital. “He is doing very well and is currently undergoing a battery of tests. Things are looking very positive,” Armstrong said. Pietrangelo — who was one of the first to call for help after Bouwmeester slumped over with 7:50 left in the first period — said he visited Bouwmeester in the hospital Tuesday night and the rest of team got to see him via FaceTime. The team stayed overnight in Southern California before taking a chartered flight to Las Vegas, where they will play the Golden Knights on Thursday. Bouwmeester’s father was at the game as part of the team’s annual dads trip and accompanied his son to the hospital. The team had a meeting at the hotel in Las Vegas before the media was allowed in. Several players remained for the news conference and appeared shaken and tired after a long night and morning. “It’s hard to even explain, it happened so fast, it felt like it was an eternity for us,” Pietrangelo said. “It’s not easy to see anybody go through it, let alone your close friend and teammate that you spend every day with. Certainly, we’re lucky to have each other anytime you’re going through something like this.” While Bouwmeester remains hospitalized, the Blues are trying to refocus on hockey. The defending Stanley Cup champions lead the Western Conference with 73 points but the gap between the top three teams in the Central Division was only four points going into Wednesday’s games. Armstrong and players lauded the Ducks and Blues medical staffs for their quick work. “How quickly they got on there to revive Jay to get him back is a testament to the work that is done and a testament to the NHLPA and the NHL for making sure that teams do all the proper work behind the scenes and have the people in the right spots, that are there to help the guys if anything happens,” Armstrong said. The NHL has had standards in place to deal with potential life-threatening cardiac problems for several seasons. They include having a team physician within 50 feet of the bench. An orthopedic surgeon and two other doctors are also nearby. Defibrillators must also be in close range. The home team has one on its bench and the away team must have theirs no further away than their locker room. Each medical team regularly rehearses the evacuation of a severely injured player before the season and all players are screened for serious cardiac conditions. The last player to collapse on an NHL bench before Bouwmeester was Dallas forward Rich Peverley in 2014. Peverley had an irregular heartbeat, and the quick response of emergency officials made sure he was OK. Detroit’s Jiri Fischer had a similar episode in 2005. “The Peverley and Fischer incidents and now Bouwmeester reminded us all how important it is to have team doctors close to players’ benches and defibrillators easily accessible in short notice,” said Edmonton Oilers general manger Ken Holland, who was with Detroit in 2005 when Fischer collapsed on the bench. “It has probably saved all their lives. Incredible job by league and team medical people.” Bouwmeester — who is in his 17th NHL season — was skating in his 57th game this season and the 1,241st of his NHL career. He had skated 1:20 in his last shift before collapsing and logged 5:34 of ice time as the game got going. The Blues and Ducks are talking with the league about making up the game, which was postponed. Armstrong said a full 60 minutes will be played and it will resume with the game tied at 1.

And that’s so great that they did that!  We’re all pullin for ya, Jay!  The Blues will play in Vegas tonight playing the Golden Knights.  GO BLUES!!!!     🙂