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Video: What Goes Around Comes Around

This is easily the most random post I’ve ever put on here, but I just couldn’t help myself. I was scouring around YouTube for hockey videos, and I came across this gem. If you don’t believe in karma, you might after you watch this clip. I’m not sure how long ago this happened (somewhere between 1999 and 2004), but it doesn’t really matter. The message is the same now as it was back then — what goes around comes around!

In a linked video on YouTube, Steve Sullivan (the Chicago Blackhawks player featured in the video) asked, “What are the chances?” I really hope some mathematical genius finds this post online and breaks down the numbers for us. Let’s just say we’ll never see something like this happen again (and thank goodness it was caught on tape and posted on YouTube).

In the same interview, Sullivan, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins (he hasn’t played in Chicago since 2004 — hence my earlier timeline), said that it’s common courtesy to not heckle someone when they’re injured. I know hockey players are tough dudes (they’ll take a puck to the face, lose three teeth, get 25 stitches, and jump right back on the ice), but you never kick a man when he’s down — because karma will kick you back.

I always love to read your opinions and questions, so don’t be shy! Leave your comment below, connect with me on Twitter @lewissports, reach me on Facebook, join the conversation on my new Google+ page, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com. You can also check out my YouTube channel for more fun videos!

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Hockey Fight Videos (If You Like Them Or Not)

There’s a great debate about hockey fights (if they’re necessary or not), but I’ve made it very clear which side of the line I stand on. I think hockey fights are an important part of the game. I played hockey growing up, so I feel like I have a better understanding than others. Most of the people against hockey fights have never stepped foot on the ice, and I think that says a lot.

I showed a clip of one of these hockey fights that I’m about to share with you on my sportscast the other night, and one of my coworkers rolled their eyes at me. Needless to say, that person is against hockey fights (no matter how much we debate about it), and they thought there was no reason for me to show it. I’m not the type of person who pushes my opinions on others, so I respect their argument. That person just disagrees with me — like some of you reading this right now.

These are a couple of hockey fights my photographer shot the other night in a minor league game between the Spokane Chiefs and the Kamloops Blazers. Believe it or not, there’s an art to hockey fights. Players actually work on their craft during practice. The two players in this first video are considered heavyweights in the world of minor league hockey. The player in red is Spokane Chiefs forward Darren Kramer (an Ottawa Senators draft pick) and the guy in white is Kamloops Blazers defenseman Josh Caron (signed by the Minnesota Wild as a free agent):

If you ask me, Caron got the better of that battle, but I’m sure the two will tussle again in the future. That’s just the way it works. The funny thing is: these guys don’t hate each other…they actually respect each other.

As for this next fight, it involves two guys that don’t drop the gloves very often. It’s Spokane’s Steven Kuhn (in red) against Kamloops’ Colin Smith (in white). If you compare their fighting skills to the fight above, you’ll notice the difference in styles. To me, these guys are just throwing haymakers, hoping a few of them will land. You can tell they aren’t as refined as the players in the first bout:

There’s no question that Kuhn prevailed in that tilt, but I think both guys are better off focusing on scoring goals than picking fights.

If you liked those videos, you’ll love this hockey fight. It’s called the “Punch-Up In Piestany”. This is an all out brawl (that included some big name hockey players) that got so bad, the workers at the arena turned off the lights off in hopes of stopping the madness.

On top of that link, you can visit http://hockeyfights.com for even more hockey fight videos.

I would honestly love to know which side of the hockey fight argument you stand on. Do you think they’re a good part of the game or are you against hockey fights? Leave a comment below, connect with me on Facebook, reach out on Twitter @lewissports, find me on my new Google+ page, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com. You can also leave a comment on my YouTube channel if you want to. Your opinions are more than welcome!

P.S. If you think hockey fights are outrageous, you definitely won’t like this crazy baseball brawl.

Football Cheerleader Freaks Out On Sideline

When you cover as many sporting events as I do, you’re bound to catch some hilarious moments on camera. That’s exactly what happened when we captured this high school cheerleader freaking out on the sideline when a football player came running her way:

I think the cheerleader’s reaction is priceless (and it looks like her friends got a good laugh out of the incident as well)! I actually saw this moment unfold in person. It took the cheerleader a little while to gather herself after her “near death experience” (or so she thought).

It’s moments like this that really make me appreciate my job. You never know what’s going to happen next. It might be a cheerleader freaking out, a crazy baseball fight, or an amazing goal. There’s always the unknown waiting around the corner. That’s why I love sports so much!

Let me know what you think of this cheerleader video. Please tell me you laughed as hard as I did (and still do when I watch it). You can leave a comment below, email me at tim@timlewissports.com, reach me on Twitter @lewissports, or connect with me on Facebook. You can also watch more great videos right now on my YouTube channel!

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Caught On Tape: Crazy Baseball Fight

I got to cover a lot of cool events this year as a sportscaster in Spokane, Washington. I was with the Gonzaga men’s basketball team as they travelled to Denver for the NCAA Tournament, I saw the Eastern Washington football team win the FCS national championship first-hand in Texas, on top of many other amazing games. With all of the good, there has to be some bad. This baseball fight is one of those negative events, but it also proved to be one of the wildest things I’ve ever covered:

This crazy brawl happened on July 11th in a game between the Spokane Indians and Vancouver Canadians. I’ve seen hundreds of baseball fights by now, but this easily one of the craziest baseball fights I’ve ever seen — and it happened in my own backyard.

Video the melee quickly spread all over the country. We received calls from ESPN, MLB Network, CBS News, and many others looking for the goods (as they say, “If it bleeds, it leads”). Our video of the baseball fight also appeared on websites all over the globe (CBS even posted our video on their YouTube channel). It wasn’t just the raw video of the brawl that people posted either. The clip of me covering the fight on our newscast was also plastered on the world wide web. I got a bunch of phone calls from friends saying that they saw video of me online.

As a result of the baseball fight, the Northwest League suspended seven players and handed out a record 51 fines. The coaches and franchises walked away unscathed though (aside from a ding to their reputation). The Spokane Indians even issued an apology to the city and started a community sportsmanship award/fund with the fines collected for the brawl (probably the only positive thing to come out of this melee). 

For those of you who are wondering, the Spokane Indians are the minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers and the Vancouver Canadians are the affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays. On top of the suspensions handed out by the Northwest League, the Rangers also suspended pitcher Matt West an additional four-games (to make it ten total) for his involvement in the brawl. He sucker-punched two Vancouver players during the scuffle, including the guy you see on the ground and checking his teeth at the :42 mark of the attached video.

I would love to know what you think about this crazy baseball fight. You can leave a comment below, email me at tim@timlewissports.com, find me on Twitter @lewissports, or connect with me on Facebook. You can also watch more of my video on the Tim Lewis Sports channel on YouTube.

My Day With The Chicago White Sox

I just got back from an awesome trip to Chicago. I fell in love with the city, and I’m already pondering when I can get back there again. We were only in town Friday night-Tuesday afternoon, so we slammed a lot into a little bit of time. The highlight of the vacation was my day with the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

This was actually my second trip to the Windy City since April. The first trip was for my grandma’s memorial service in Tinley Park (located about 40 minutes outside of Chicago). She passed away in February, but the service was set up at a time when our entire family could get together (we’re a little scattered all over the country). It was a really quick trip. We flew in on Friday and flew out on Sunday.

Even though she’s gone, my grandma is the whole reason our second trip came about. She was a huge White Sox fan. I have several memories of her watching the Sox on television. She especially loved catchers (namely Carlton Fisk), which is probably a big reason why I became a catcher myself. Plus, most of my favorite big leaguers suited up behind the plate (I was partial to Lance Parrish, Dan Wilson, Terry Steinbach, etc.)…I’m sure that came from her as well.

My grandma was such a big White Sox fan that when she died my dad wrote a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times about her passion for the Pale Hose. A few days after the letter was published, my pops received a call from the newspaper wondering if they could share his contact information with the White Sox. The article became an instant hit with the team, so the vice president of communication Scott Reifert wanted to reach out to my dad. The letter was brought to his attention several times, including a mention by owner Jerry Reinsdorf (pretty cool, eh?). Their conversation turned into an invitation to come to Chicago as a guest of the team. We jumped at the opportunity!

We weren’t really sure what to expect when we showed up at U.S. Cellular Field. It was a small group made up of my dad, my brother, my uncle, my cousin, and me. Right when we walked in the door we were welcomed by a friendly host, Laina Myers. She immediately took us on the field where the White Sox were taking batting practice. Not much later we met Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel. I didn’t hesitate to get their autographson my old, beat up White Sox hat. A few minutes after our introductions a storm hit and rain started dumping from the sky. That didn’t ruin our visit though.

We quickly moved inside the ballpark…right outside of Chicago’s clubhouse. The players started to file out. First it was Brent Lillibridge, then it was John Danks, Adam Dunn, and Jake Peavy; Chris Sale and Brent Morel were next on the list, with a visit by A.J. Pierzynski to cap it off. I was so caught in the moment I didn’t take any pictures (my brother did, but he hasn’t sent them to me yet…I’ll share once I get them).

NOTE: I’ve met a million athletes in my life. I deal with them everyday. On this trip I allowed myself to be a fan…not a sportscaster…just a fan. I soaked up the moment like I was a seven-year-old kid. I’m sure my jaw even dropped a few times.

We also got to hang out with some retired players as well. Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson are now radio broadcasters for the White Sox (a view from the broadcast booth). On top of that, we met Moose Skowron. He had a few funny things to say about the current players autographs (let’s just say he doesn’t like that you can’t read them very easily). Harold Baines started to come out of the clubhouse, but he quickly ducked back inside when he saw our group. It sounds like he’s a man of few words.

After meeting the players (all of them were great dudes), we toured around U.S. Cellular Field, and then found our seats for the game against the Detroit Tigers (luckily the storm didn’t last long, so the game was played as scheduled). Miguel Cabrera broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run blast that landed in the Tigers’ bullpen. The Sox couldn’t battle back in the bottom half, falling 4-2. That was the only negative thing that happened all day.

A day after the game, my cousin posted this to Facebook:

“Was kinda wishing i would wake up and have a groundhog day experience.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! It was an amazing experience that I wish I could live all over again. I don’t say that because I got to meet the players and get their autographs. I say that because I got to spend quality time with my family in tribute to a very, very, very special person…my grandma.

I want to close with a huge thanks to the folks at the Chicago White Sox (even though they’ll never read this). They didn’t have to invite us to Chicago for a game, but they did. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Sox, but it grew three sizes that day. They created unforgettable memories for people they’d never met and never had to. THANK YOU! 

As always, I love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, get in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!