Celebration marred by turnover

The Baltimore Sun

The poor NHL. Even when the league ties a hard-rocking outfit to its opening games, some kind of glitch happens.

As part of the champion Detroit Red Wings' first game, the NHL set up to televise a piece of a Def Leppard concert, also happening in Detroit on Thursday night, in NHL Face-Off Rocks.

During the show, the Stanley Cup was handed to the band's singer, Joe Elliott, who held it aloft for the benefit of the crowd and then proceeded to put it on a pedestal - upside down.

At least he didn't try to pour some sugar from the Cup.

Fertile thinking

Helen Barnes wants to compete in the Olympics. She also wants to be a mother someday. While she works on getting to the Games, Barnes has decided to put hopes of motherhood on ice.

Barnes, an Irish canoe competitor, narrowly missed qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. She plans to give it another shot for the 2012 London Games, by which time Barnes will be 40. Concerned that waiting so long could hurt her chances of having a baby, Barnes planned to have 10 to 15 eggs removed from her body and stored in liquid nitrogen until she's ready to give up full-on dedication to athletics and start a family.

"When I missed out on Beijing, I didn't feel ready to finish and wanted to continue and go to the 2012 Olympics," Barnes said. "... All I am doing is maximizing my chances of having a baby in the future. I am really lucky the science is out there for this to happen."

(Tips of the Flip to fark.com.)

Sign of the times

What is the explanation for Todd Heap's performance this season? Forget any talk about lingering injury or an altered offensive system. Mr. Flip knows what's wrong - it's the billboard jinx.

If you drive on the Jones Falls Expressway, you can see Heap pictured on a billboard advertising AirTran Airways. Last year, you might recall, the Raven featured on an AirTran billboard was Steve McNair.

Whichever Raven is approached before the 2009 season might want to think about passing for something safer, like the cover of the Madden video game.

Going yard

For just half a million bucks, you can put the Texas Stadium end zone behind your house. With the Dallas Cowboys moving into a new stadium next season, Neiman Marcus is offering an end zone for $500,000. Part of the description reads:

"To honor battles won and heroes lost over 38 glorious years, you can put 530 square yards of sporting history into your own backyard: an entire Cowboys Texas Stadium end zone. Our exclusive package also includes the VIP treatment for the last regular-season Cowboys game in Texas Stadium. Your crew gets pre-game photos in your zone with Jerry Jones, a luxury suite for the game, and a once-in-a-lifetime post-game tailgate party on your soon-to be new backyard [with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, no less]."

The Cowboys will donate the purchase price to the Salvation Army.

Mr. Flip has a couple of questions, though: If you install this behind your home, does your front yard become the red zone? And could you rent out the end zone to amorous couples who want to "score" there?

Compiled from news service and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who would like to buy the end zone just so he wouldn't have to cut the grass.

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