LBS back from vacation (and one of us is now married)

If you read the site regularly, you probably noticed the lack of content over the past few days. That’s because your two main writers were both out of commission for the weekend.

I traveled to Boston on Thursday and was in town for the weekend to celebrate with Steve DelVecchio, who got married to his longtime girlfriend on Saturday. Despite working together and talking with each other nearly every day over the past two and a half years, this past weekend was actually the first time Del and I met. Yes, I know it’s kind of weird that we had been working together for so long before meeting, but that’s how it went.

The wedding was great and we had a fun weekend. Del may take a day or two to wind down from his wedding, while I’m so jet-lagged I feel like my head was slammed into a brick wall about two dozen times. The point is LBS will be back and humming like usual before too long, so thanks for patiently sticking with us.

Anyway, in true, old-school blogging style, I’ve included a few pictures from my trip below. (Of course we all know I’m just including these pics so I can write off my ridiculously costly Celtics tickets as a business expense).

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Larry the Cable Guy hits the road for Prilosec OTC’s Wild American Flavor Tour

***This post is sponsored by Prilosec OTC***

Yardbarker has partnered with Prilosec OTC to promote the new Prilosec OTC Wildberry, which is the same Prilosec OTC but in a candy shell. Prilosec OTC national spokesperson Larry the Cable Guy will be attending four different sports events over the next few months as part of the Wild American Flavor Tour.

Larry the Cable Guy is headed to Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega on Oct. 7 to look for some of America’s wildest flavors. He’ll also be attending the following three events:

Michigan at Nebraska on Oct. 27
NASCAR at Phoenix on Nov. 11
Lions at Packers on Dec. 9

With the way the fans in Green Bay tailgate, there will be plenty of folks who could use some of the Prilosec OTC Wildberry to treat their heartburn.

If you’re still reading this post by now, then I know for sure you’re dedicated to what I have to say, or to Prilosec OTC. Your reward is a reminder to go to www.WildberryFlavor.com to register for an opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime sports prize pack.

Are you Smarter than a Couple of Wanna-be NFL Experts? Join the LBS Picks Pool

If you’ve been following LBS for a while, you know LB and Del pick games each week during the NFL season. We profess to be a couple of experts and actually pick at a pretty high percentage (peep the stats!). Now it’s your chance to show us who the real expert is and win some prizes if you’re able to beat us.

We’ve set up a pool at Yahoo! Sports and would love you to join. Follow this link and click “join private group.”

League ID: 51892
Password: superbowl

Join up to see how you stack up against the experts. Here’s how the prizes break down:

1st place at end of season – $100 gift card to Best Buy
Weekly winner – LBS T-shirt courtesy of ooshirts.com
Top 10 people who beat Doc and Del in the end of year standings – copy of NBA 2K12 (watch the trailer here), LBS shirt, or other prize TBD by LBS staff (likely a gift card).

Scared of LB? Challenge Match with Bethanie Mattek-Sands Postponed by Injury

It is with much sadness that I inform you my scheduled challenge match with tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands has been postponed. In case you’re not up-to-speed with the story, Mattek-Sands was upset with my criticism of her during Wimbledon. The 30th ranked woman in the world flagged me down on twitter and challenged me to a tennis match, saying “put up or shut up.” You can read about the entire story here.

We had planned to play next week at the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, but that has been postponed. Bethanie’s shoulder, which has been bothering her the past few months, began acting up again during practice this week. She decided not to play in the Carlsbad tournament but she plans to play in Toronto and Cincinnati before heading to the U.S. Open.

The news of her injury comes as a great disappointment. I’ve spent the past month training for the match, practicing my game and working on my cardio. I was in tip-top shape and my skills were sharp, so the time off is going to be a killer.

So what happens now?

I’ll be waiting to hear from Bethanie about a better time to play the match. She is working on plans to run a tennis camp in Arizona in December. She may also run a camp in California in November. If she’s able to organize one in California, that would be an excellent opportunity to make it happen.

So yes, I’m every bit as disappointed by this as you are. We’ll keep you updated over the next few months to let you know when it will happen, and rest assured I’ll be ready to kick some butt.

Brown Bag it, Baby

Oh yeah, also take a listen to my interview with Marcas and Cacique from New Era Radio. My segment starts at the midway point and we talk mostly baseball.

LB, Del Contributing to New Olympics Blog

Yup, you read the headline correctly — your boys LB and Del will be bringing the Brown Bag to the new Yardbarker Olympics blog. Yeah, yeah we know the Summer Games in London are a year away, but that’s no reason we shouldn’t get you warmed up for things. And don’t worry, we won’t be slamming stories down your throat about who will win the spot for seventh alternate on Albania’s kayaking team or who’s favored to win the badminton competition. The stories will fit in with what we already do at LBS, which is to say mindless idiocy we hope will entertain you.

So, with that being said, we’ll probably be writing 1-2 Olympics-related stories per week for the blog and we’ll likely re-post them here. You can also check out the Yardbarker Olympics blog here.

Brown Bag it, Baby.

Bruins-Canucks, Playoff Beards Meet in Stanley Cup Finals

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, there were 64 different possible combinations of teams that could end up in the Finals. Yes, there was a 1.5% chance the Canucks and Bruins would be the last teams remaining. Low and behold, Boston and Vancouver each reached the Finals and now we’re left with a matchup of dueling playoff beards between myself and Chad Margulius of IntheOT.com.

In case you’re unfamiliar with what’s going on, back on April 14th three men decided to grow out their playoff beards in support of their hockey team. Our buddy Arsen dropped out early on and his Red Wings lost in the next round. But Chad Margulius from IntheOT.com and I continued to grow out our beards and the superstition has paid off. Both of our teams have reached the Finals.

I don’t know about Chad because his beard looks smooth, but I feel like a total schub with mine. I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I feel like the ghost of a total stranger. Hopefully I’ll be able to shave in two weeks as a proud champion.

Chad has predicted the Canucks will win in six games. I’ll go with the Bruins in seven. Chad thinks the goaltender matchup is even, but he thinks Vancouver has the better scoring first line and that the Canucks are faster. He thinks Boston’s forwards 3-6 are better but that Boston is much weaker at less than even strength. For the rest of his analysis of the series, check out his site IntheOT.com.

I think the Bruins need to get inside Luongo’s head early in the series to rattle him. He almost fell apart a month ago against Chicago, and if the Bruins can do the same thing they’ll have a major advantage. I’m not as worried about the speed advantage for the Canucks because Tampa Bay was also faster than Boston. As long as the refs don’t call many penalties, leaving the teams at full strength, Boston should be fine.

In case you want to go back and look at the progress of our beards over time, here’s the background:

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Playoff Beards Move on to Conference Finals and Hopefully Stanley Cup Finals

On April 14th, three cleanly shaved men vowed to toss aside their razors and grow a playoff beard in support of their hockey teams. Our buddy Arsen dropped out after two weeks and as Karma would have it, his Red Wings lost in the next round. As of two weeks ago, both myself (a Boston Bruins fan), and Chad Margulius of IntheOT.com (a Vancouver Canucks fan) had mostly stubble. Now, as you can tell in the pictures above, we both have full on beards going.

Chad has been cleanly manicuring his beard as you can tell, but it’s getting pretty long for him. Regardless, it’s worked; his Vancouver Canucks have represented the top spot in the Western Conference well as they have beaten the Blackhawks and now the Predators. The Canucks will begin their Conference Finals series with the San Jose Sharks on Sunday in Vancouver. Be sure to stop by Chad’s site IntheOT.com for fun sports commentary (and don’t tell him I predicted a Bruins-Sharks Finals either).

As for me, this beard is just getting out of hand. I’ve never had a beard before in my life and when I started, I figured I might have to keep it for like six weeks but I didn’t realize it would be this hard. The beard is getting all bushy and nasty, and I have hair growing on my neck, cheeks, and all around my chin. It’s coming in brown and gold and red — just colors I never knew my body could produce. I desperately want to shave, and I’m embarrassed to go out in public … but the Bruins keep on winning, so it’s paying off. And if there’s one thing Bull Durham taught us, it’s you don’t screw with a winning streak, so I won’t.

Anyway, here’s to a Bruins and Canucks Finals, and in honor of the playoff beards, we invite you to grab a free razor courtesy of Gillette and take the Fusion Pro Glide Challenge. We have 350 free razors to give away, so pick yours up!

Gillette Fusion ProGlide : Sign-up to get a FREE PROGLIDE