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Happy Kreter

Happy Kreter

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website URL: http://www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

The Vancouver Canucks have emerged as one of the top teams in this year’s NHL. But long time fans of the Canucks are wary of getting their hopes up. With two exceptions in their 40-year history, the Canucks have routinely underachieved. But some key moves in the off-season have the team at the top of the heap in the West, and in position to make a deep post-season run in the 2010-11 season. Roberto Luongo, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler all play big roles.

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Blake Griffin has had a tremendous impact in his rookie campaign so far. He’s averaging a double-double on one of the NBA’s worst teams, and looks like he was born to dominate a basketball game. Who could top Griffin as rookie of the year come season’s end? And more importantly, could Griffin launch the L.A. Clippers, and turn one of the most sad sack franchises in sports history into a contender at last?

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It started slowly, but the finish of this year’s BCS National Championship game was one for the ages. The Auburn Tigers defeated the Oregon Ducks 22-19 with a last second field goal by Wes Byrum to capture college football’s greatest honor. With the win, Cam Newton becomes part of a small group of players to win the Heisman Trophy and the big game in the same season.

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Nightmares For a Week are a band with a name that is instantly recognizable to fans of ‘90s punk rock. The phrase is taken from a line on Jawbreaker’s final album, 1995’s Dear You, widely considered to be one of the most influential albums of the decade. But for listeners unfamiliar with that now classic band, the name Nightmares For a Week might conjure to mind a style of music somewhat more foreboding than the New York State trio’s brand of roots-influenced punk rock.

This weekend kicks off the 2011 NFL playoffs and the road to the Super Bowl. The wildcard match ups offer some intrigue. Do the Seattle Seahawks have a hope against the New Orleans Saints? How will Aaron Rodgers stack up against Michael Vick when the Green Bay Packers meet the Philadelphia Eagles? Have the Baltimore Ravens got what it takes to make a deep run, or will the Kansas City Chiefs stop them in their tracks? And when the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts meet in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship, who will have the upper hand?

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2010 was an incredible year in sports, especially if you are a basketball, hockey, or MMA fan. But other sports had plenty of drama as well, both good and bad. Phil Mickelson, Serena Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Sidney Crosby, Manny Pacquiao, Georges St. Pierre, LeBron James and Roy Halladay were all in the headlines for the right reasons. Meanwhile some characters, like Tiger Woods and Reggie Bush were in the headlines for the wrong reasons. All in all, it made for an exciting year in the NFL, PGA, NBA, NCAA, UFC and just about any other league you can name. So without further delay, here’s my list of the best moments of the sports of 2010:

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Mac Danzig stepped into the caged octagon at UFC 124 in front of 23,000 fans in Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday and delivered one of the greatest MMA performances of his career. Danzig was the underdog against fellow Ultimate Fighter tournament winner Joe Stevenson, but delivered an incredible knockout less than two minutes into round one of the lightweight match. It’s quite a month for Danzig, who also has a gallery of his photography featured in the December issue of Rosebud Magazine.

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UFC 124 from Montreal delivered one of the best MMA cards in a long while. It was a night of incredible, fast-paced fights, headlined by the greatest welterweight to step in the cage, Georges St. Pierre, versus Josh Koscheck. Once again, GSP looked untouchable in his unanimous decision victory over Kos, which demands the question – is St. Pierre the greatest pound-for-pound MMA fighter of all time?

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With Manchester City’s recent win over West Ham United, they reached first place in the Premiership, tied with Arsenal for top spot. Leading scorer Carlos Tevez sat out serving a suspension due to accumulation of yellow cards, but it was the perfect game to miss, as lowly West Ham have managed just two wins all season. The question is, how many more games will Tevez play for City? The top of the Premiership is hotly contested, with Manchester United and Chelsea both nipping at first place, just one and two points back, respectively. Internal turbulence is not welcome, and couldn't come at a wors time for Manchester City.

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Steve Stamkos started the 2010-11 NHL season on an absolute tear. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward racked up 38 points in 22 games, including 21 goals. The question on every hockey fan’s mind was whether the Markham, Ontario native would be the latest to join the elite club of NHLers who have scored 50 goals in 50 games. But in his last six games, Stamkos is without a goal, and has just two points. What has changed? Will Stamkos prove to be one of the game’s greats along with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux?

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For the moment, the battle to save Fish Lake is over. The Tsilhqot'in Nation led the campaign to protect the area and their traditional territory, and won a reprieve when Canada’s federal government put the kibosh on Taseko Mines Limited proposed Prosperity Mine. The project was proposed for an area just outside of Williams Lake, British Columbia, home to endangered Grizzlies and a variety of other wild fauna and flora. But the war may not be over.

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When FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively, the sports world was set on its ear. FIFA claims that the choices are part of the organization’s desire to move the game forward into the world, expanding beyond the traditional borders of soccer power – South America, Western Europe, and occasionally the USA. But for heavy hitting bidders like England and the U.S., the decisions don’t sit well.

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Convicted felon Michael Vick has not only found his way back to the NFL, but has resumed his position as one of the league’s top quarterbacks. But just a few years ago, Vick was one of the most detested celebrities in North America due to his role in a dog fighting ring. Now, all anyone seems to talk about is his amazing play on the field. Have we forgotten the quality of the man’s character? Or do we just not care?

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In previous installments of RosebudMag.com’s series about Taseko Mines Limited’s attempts to turn a pristine lake and wilderness area near Williams Lake, British Columbia into a toxic waste dump, we’ve looked at the big picture and the history of the battle over Fish Lake. In Part 3, we look at the role of both the provincial and federal governments in giving first the thumbs up, then the thumbs down to the proposed Prosperity mine.

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BJ Penn and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson both made successful outings at UFC 123 on Saturday. Jackson defeated Lyoto Machida via split decision, while Penn knocked out his old rival Matt Hughes 21 seconds into round one. Each fighter was coming off a loss – Jackson to Rashad Evans, Penn to Frankie Edgar – that set him back significantly. And each fighter seemed noticeably relieved by his win. Now the question is, what’s next?

... in Sports
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