Get psyched for Qatar 2022!


Get psyched for Qatar 2022!

By Adam Hart

"Qatar?!" you might be saying, pronouncing it like this robot lady.

Yes, this Middle Eastern countryemirate landed the title of host of the 2022 World Cup, beating out Bill Clinton and the United States of America. Here's why:

1) Sure, it's parked in the same neighborhood as Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen. But I hear they all recycle.

2) They're running out of ways to spend our oil monies.

3) You remember those female Dutch fans tossed out for rogue advertising? Tell them to stay home. The most reliable source in the world, The Internet, explains: "It doesn't need a very deep understanding of the culture here to realise that showing your stomach and thighs here is deeply offensive to locals." Finally, soccer fans won't be distracted by any of this. Or this. Except they might be, because the internet is a dirty, rotten liar.

4) Things promise to get weird -- two Vuvuzelas.

5) Average highs range from 106 to 111 degrees over the month-long span of June 11th to July 11th. "Woah, that's wicked hot!" Don't fret, it bottoms out at a cool 84 degrees. All start times will be from midnight to 5 a.m. local time, which means a more productive workday for Americans pretending to be interested in soccer.

6) The Qatari bid committee asked the right question:

7) Just kidding. They obviously replaced "Philly" with "Qatar" in this Southwest spot. Who could ever turn down the "Well, there's a lot, a lot of culture here" line?

8) Just throwing them a bone. The world won't be around to celebrate any type of cup -- World, Stanley or Solo -- in 2022 anyway. You know it, I know it, Lil' Wayne knows it:

"The world about to end in 2012 anyway. 'Cause the Mayans made calendars, and they stop at 2012. I got encyclopedias on the bus. The world is gonna end as we know it. You can see it already. A planet doesn't exist: There's no more Pluto. Planes are flying into buidlings -- and not just the Twin Towers, but dudes who play baseball Cory Lidle are flying planes into buildings. Mosquitoes bite you and you die. And a black man and woman are running for president!"

Encyclopedia don't lie.

9) Red Sox ownership bought Liverpool, an EPL team. Maybe this'll teach those pesky Americans to stick to their puny MLS.

10) The Middle East has never, ever hosted a World Cup. Sharing is caring.

That about wraps it up. There's no life lesson or snarky closing line. Go in peace and read something else on Wicked Good Sports.

Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?


Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.

The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.

Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.

Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.

Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.

“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.

“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”

As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.

Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.

“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].

“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”

One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.

Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all.