Playing the Field: Hockey rules (finally) and so does Alex Trebek

For $200, name this Super Bowl-winning quarterback ... Who is Aaron Rodgers?

It always boggled the mind that a sport that condones fighting, equips players with gladiator-like weaponry and rewards you for losing teeth hasn’t been more popular among the masses. Alas, hockey perennially rents the basement apartment in the pantheon of the four major sports — or at least it used to.

This year, puck heads can puff out their chests as their sport is shattering ratings records and beating up on the NBA like Amare Stoudemire locked in a room full of fire extinguishers.

The NHL conference semifinals are up 48-percent from last year, averaging 1.227 million viewers per game. Compare that to the NBA, which is down across the board. So with that in mind, we present a few ways David Stern can improve the postseason experience for fans:

1. Bounty time. Charles Barkley openly admitted that he often paid big bucks to have teammates lay opponents out who were showboating or starting stuff. With no pads, no helmets, no rules … this is what Julius Caesar had in mind.

2. Bring back short shorts. Before Michigan’s Fab Five ruined it for everyone, basketball players, like John Stockton, were fashion plates, best known for their ball-hugging trunks. Bring ‘em back! Guys love to laugh at them, girls love to inspect the goods.

3. Hologram MJ. Tupac Shakur’s extremely lifelike 3-D animation was an internet sensation and re-defined what it meant to commemorate a legend. Ummm, Michael Jordan. PLEASE. Can you imagine MJ rising from center court, wagging his tongue and making it rain on Bryon Russell again? We can. Do it, Stern.

Or … we could just let PA announcers, like this guy in Miami, ad-lib everything …

Teabagging was the case they gave me

Brian Downing is back in the news. You don’t remember him? Yes, you do.

He’s the gentleman that was forced to turn himself into police after “placing his testicles on the LSU fan’s neck” after Alabama won the national championship in college football. Downing was never charged with a crime, but now the victim is seeking damages in a civil law suit.

Apparently, in New Orleans — the murder capital of the United States — the act of teabagging is a serious offense. Gone are the days when you can stroll down Bourbon Street carrying a pretzel jug full of suds and chuck pointy beads at exposed breasts. Wait, you can still do that?

What is, ‘I’m dumb, Alex?’

One of our favorite off-the-radar (nerdy?) pastimes is watching Jeopardy! Alex Trebek is a pimp, right? He’d be in serious consideration if they ever gave Mount Rushmore a face-lift. So maybe teen idol Kevin was a little intimidated when he recently buzzed in to answer a seemingly easy $200 question about sports.

Kevin quickly dings in after seeing a photo of Eli Manning and shouts, “Who is Aaron Rodgers?” to which Trebek swiftly retorts, “No.” Look, we realize not everyone is into football. Some people — even players, right Tebow? — go to church on Sundays … but surely this kid watches Saturday Night Live? Or has the internet? If not, then don’t buzz in, Billy Madison!


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