On her final victory lap, Pia Sundhage hopped and high-stepped her way around the field. As the U.S. women’s national soccer team coach soaked in the cheers from the capacity crowd, her team began serenading her by belting out, ‘You are my sunshine’.
Prior to puck drop on the last game of the 2010 season, Henrik Sedin was one point behind scoring leader, Alex Ovechkin, in the race for the Art Ross Trophy. The team rallied together to help him rack up as many points as possible. Unfortunately, Kevin Bieksa, who only had two other goals that season, got one past Vesa Toskala without Henrik touching the puck. Bieksa then skates back the the bench visibly upset about the play, and complains to trainer Mike Burnstein that he was “looking for the pass” to Henrik.
“Too many touches after Henrik?” "Yeah, it’s interesting, you just watch the body language of the players, it’s almost like you don’t want to shoot the puck… And this one, Bieksa almost feeling bad. He doesn’t want to to go in.“ "Excuse me for scoring I wanted a rebound.” "Yeah, look at him, he didn’t want to score. He’s like, ‘I’m trying to get a pass across.’ That’s what great teammates are all about.“ -Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson
"I’ve got to thank the guys. I mean, there’s a lot of guys who had to play less here, the last six or seven games. They’ve all done it with a smile on their face. They’ve been really great, so there’s a lot of people to thank.” -Henrik Sedin
“It’s always nice to score your first goal at Anfield - and even nicer when you come off with a victory as well. Both Jordan and Charlie will get a lot of satisfaction from their goals, but they’ll get more satisfaction from the victory… Goals are more important to some people than others, but for us the performances are more important than individual glory.” - Kenny Dalglish
You may recall seeing this video of the Canucks’ pre-game routine from the locker room prior to their March 8th game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Like me, you may have wondered why in the world part of their pre-game routine included every player in the room performing an awkward synchronized kick. Well wonder no more. I got the story straight from Dan Hamhuis when he paid a visit to CLA Church a little over a week ago.
Apparently, that kick is part of Manny Malhotra’s ritual that he performs prior to every single game. If you watch the video again, you can see everyone in the room looking in his direction with a smirk, waiting for him to stand up and kick so they can do it with him. He had no idea they were going to do it.
If everyone wants to bring out these polls, then put your name on it. Don’t be anonymous, don’t be a coward. If you have something to say, then say it publicly. Everyone in the league has an opportunity to voice their opinion with a microphone. Just say it, don’t hide behind an anonymous Sports Illustrated poll. It’s cowardly.
While some pull on their headphones and lose themselves in pre-game focus, O'Reilly prefers to dance around. (“She’s not good at dancing, but she tries,” midfielder Megan Rapinoe said.) On the sidelines, her shouted words of encouragement carry over her teammates.
“I’m pretty laid back,” she said. “A lot of the girls like to prank me and get me riled up.”
Or at least they try. HAO, as she is known to her teammates who pronounce it “heyo,” is so easygoing that she often does not even know when she is the victim of a prank.
On a recent trip, she and her traveling roommate, Yael Averbuch, noticed a pungent stench in their hotel room, but never investigated it. O'Reilly did not think it was even worth mentioning it to the front desk. She just thought an odor was coming through the vents and would dissipate eventually.
Amazed that their prank had yet to pay off after several days, her teammates ended the joke. They revealed that they had planted a dirty diaper in her room, provided courtesy of Rampone’s baby. Rapinoe said they had no idea why she never bothered to look for it.
“They know that I’ll just keep smiling,” O'Reilly said.