In a Game Full of Stars, Craig Sager Shines The Most

It’s amazing that after 17 seasons covering the NBA, Thursday night’s Game 6 was Craig Sager’s first time working the Finals.

Sager joined the ESPN/ABC broadcast team, working the sidelines along with Doris Burke while rocking another one of his iconic suits. In 2014, Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. For the past couple years, he’s gone through multiple treatments including chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants.

After a few returns, covering marquee games and events for Turner Sports, Sager revealed in an interview with HBO that his leukemia was no longer in remission. Recognizing his juggling of work, travel and treatment, ESPN will present Sager with the Jimmy V Perseverance award in July. It’s even cooler that they and Turner could team up to give him his first NBA Finals assignment

On the court, LeBron James was the star. He recorded 41 points for the second straight game and has willed the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to Game 7 on Sunday. Cleveland could be the first team to win a Finals after being down that much, and it would be even more impressive to do so against the 73-win Golden State Warriors. Off the court though, literally, it was Sager getting standing ovations from the Cleveland crowd.

Before the game, Sager spent time FaceTiming with University of Pittsburgh running back and Hodgkins lymphoma survivor James Connor. A mentor of Connor’s was shooting the game for WJET and connected the two on the phone.

After the game, James shared a really special moment with Sager.

“First of all, let me ask you a question: How in the hell did you go 30-plus years without getting a Finals game? That don’t make no sense. But I’m happy to see you, man. Much love and respect, and I’m happy we were able to win this in front of these fans. We really appreciate you.”

Leave it to Richard Jefferson to add some more humor to it. Game 7 tips off at 7 PM Sunday on ABC.

Follow for more on Facebook or Twitter. You can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

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Piffcast: Saved by the 90’s Nostalgia Pop-Up Cafe

TIMEOUT!

Listen as we take you on a “wild ride” of Game of Thrones reactions, Lord of the Rings comparisons, Ghostbusters needing better NBA Finals promotion, TJ’s men’s fashion rants, wedding registries, the Saved By the Bell pop-up diner in Chicago, other TV or movie restaurants we would like to try, and then some…

We also take a moment to discuss Muhammad Ali and the tributes to his life, career and impact over the weekend following his passing. Simply The Greatest.

Follow for more on Facebook or Twitter. You can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

#TBT Year in Review: 2010

“Half a decade ago” sounds like a while ago, right? 

  • The tallest man-made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa, opened in Dubai.
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada.
  • WikiLeaks leaked over 90,000 internal United States documents to the public.
  • Dennis Hopper passed away at the age of 74. 

Hopper was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor (Hoosiers) and Best Writing (Easy Rider)

And here’s what happened in Movies, Music and Sports…

Movies

Comedy

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Easy A, Date Night, Grown Ups, Due Date, Hot Tub Time Machine, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Get Him to the Greek, Life as We Know It, Dinner for Schmucks, Flipped, Valentine’s Day, She’s Out of My League, Morning Glory, The Backup Plan, Killers, The Bounty Hunter, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Greenberg, Love & Other Drugs, Death at a Funeral, Leap Year, The Switch, Going the Distance, Super, MacGruber, AND…

The Other Guys

Action/Thriller

Shutter Island, The A-Team, The Expendables, Salt, Red, Predators, Takers, The Tourist, Machete, Green Zone, Devil, Unstoppable, The Next Three Days, Iron Man 2, Insidious, Edge of Darkness, The Losers, The American, Saw VII, 13, The Ghost Writer, Unthinkable, Buried, Piranha 3D, Repo Men, The Crazies, Monsters, The Book of Eli, Paranormal Activity 2, Knight and Day, From Paris With Love, Dylan Dog, AND…

Inception

Animated

How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Tangled, Shrek Forever After, MegaMind, Legend of the Guardians, The Illusionist, Arrietty, Alpha and Omega, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Yogi Bear, AND…

Toy Story 3

Dramas

Black Swan, The Social Network, The Fighter, Dear John, Remember Me, The Town, 127 Hours, Robin Hood, Submarine, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, All Good Things, Let Me In, True Grit, Cyrus, In A Better World, Winter’s Bone, Trust, Charlie St. Cloud, The Way Back, Animal Kingdom, Last Night, The Tempest, AND…

The King’s Speech

The 83rd Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Javier Bardem, Biutiful
  • Jeff Bridges, True Grit
  • Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
  • James Franco, 127 Hours
  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech – Winner

Colin Firth was nominated the year before for “A Single Man”

Best Supporting Actor

  • Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
  • John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
  • Jeremy Renner, The Town
  • Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
  • Christian Bale, The Fighter – Winner

Christian Bale was nominated again in 2014 for “American Hustle”. 

Best Actress

  • Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
  • Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  • Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan – Winner

Natalie Portman was nominated once previously for “Closer” in 2004.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams, The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter
  • Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
  • Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter – Winner

Melissa Leo was nominated once more in 2009 for “Frozen River”. 

Best Picture

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone
  • The King’s Speech – Winner

“The King’s Speech” won 4 of the 12 Awards it was nominated for, including Best Directing and Writing.

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Songs

01. “Tik Tok” – Ke$ha

02. “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum

03. “Hey, Soul Sister” – Train

04. “California Gurls” – Katy Perry

05. “OMG” – Usher

06. “Airplanes” – B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams

07. “Love the Way You Lie” – Eminem featuring Rihanna

08. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga

09. “Dynamite” – Taio Cruz

10. “Break Your Heart” – Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris

11. “Nothin’ On You” – B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars

12. “I Like It” – Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull

13. “Bedrock” – Young Money featuring Lloyd

14. “In My Head” – Jason Derulo

15. “Rude Boy” – Rihanna

16. “Telephone” Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce

17. “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry

18. “Just The Way You Are” – Bruno Mars

19. “Cooler Than me” – Mike Posner

20. “Imma Be” – Black Eyed Peas

21. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z + Alicia Keys

22. “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” – Usher featuring Pitbull

23. “Billionaire” – Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars

24. “Not Afraid” – Eminem

25. “Replay” – Iyaz

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders

Offensive

Average: Josh Hamilton (TEX) – .359

Hits: Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) – 214

Home Runs: Jose Bautista (TOR) – 54

RBI: Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 126

OPS: Josh Hamilton (TEX) – 1.044

Stolen Bases: Juan Pierre (CHW) – 68

Pitching

Wins: CC Sabathia (NYY) & Roy Halladay (PHI) – 21

ERA: Felix Hernandez (SEA) – 2.27

Strikeouts: Jered Weaver (LAA) – 233

Complete Games: Roy Halladay (PHI) – 9

Shutouts: Roy Halladay (PHI) – 4

Saves: Brian Wilson (SF) – 48

MVP

AL – Josh Hamilton (TEX)

NL – Joey Votto (CIN)

CY Young

AL – Felix Hernandez (SEA)

NL – Roy Halladay (PHI)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Neftali Feliz (TEX)

NL – Buster Posey (SF)

World Series

San Francisco Giants over Texas Rangers (4-1)

Basketball

NCAA

(1)Duke, (5)Michigan State, (2)West Virginia, (5)Butler

National Championship

(1) Duke over (5) Butler 61-59

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Kevin Durants (OKC) – 30.1

Rebounds Per Game: Dwight Howard (ORL) – 13.2

Assists Per Game: Steve Nash (PHX) – 11.0

All-NBA Team

Kobe Bryant (LAL)

Kevin Durant (OKC)

Dwight Howard (ORL)

LeBron James (CLE)

Dwyane Wade (MIA)

MVP – LeBron James (CLE)

Rookie of the Year – Tyreke Evans (SAC)

NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers over Boston Celtics (4-3)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy – Cam Newton, Auburn

National Championship

(1)Auburn over (2)Oregon 22-19 in BCS Championship

NFL 

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Phillip Rivers (SD) – 4,710

Passing Touchdowns: Tom Brady (NE) – 36

Passer Rating: Tom Brady (NE) – 111.0

Rushing Yards: Arian Foster (HOU) – 1,616

Rushing Touchdowns: Arian Foster (HOU) – 16

Receiving Yards: Brandon Lloyd (DEN) – 1,448

Receiving Touchdowns: Dwayne Bowe (KC) – 15

Receptions: Roddy White (ATL) – 115

AP MVP: Tom Brady (NE)

Super Bowl XLV

Green Bay Packers over Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Sidney Crosby (PIT) & Steven Stamkos (TB) – 51

Assists: Henrik Sedin (VAN) – 83

Points: Henrik Sedin (VAN – 112

Hart Memorial Trophy: Henrik Sedin (VAN)

Stanley Cup

Chicago Blackhawks over Philadelphia Flyers 4-2

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2007

2006

2005

1999

1998

1992

1989

1988

1987

#TBT Year In Review: 1987

A new tradition on MichaelPiff.com…

We’ll be reviewing a different year each week #TBT…or Throwback Thursday…and we’ll do so by looking over what happened in the worlds of Movies, Music, and Sports!

For fun, we’ll start with 1987…my birth year.

Take a look and feel free to add on in case something was overlooked.

Movies

Action

RoboCop, The Untouchables, Lethal Weapon. Running Man, Beverly Hills Cop II, Over The Top, Adventures in Babysitting, The Living Daylights (James Bond) and…

Predator

Comedy  

Good Morning, Vietnam, Spaceballs, Plains, Trains and Automobiles, Dragnet, Overboard, Three Men and A Baby, Roxanne, Summer School, The Secret of My Success, and…

The Princess Bride

Horror 

Hellraiser, The Lost Boys, The Witches of Eastwick, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Jaws: The Revenge, and…

Evil Dead II

Also…

Wall Street, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Dirty Dancing, Full Metal Jacket, Fatal Attraction, La Bamba, The Last Emperor

The 60th Oscars Nominees/Winners

 Best Picture

            Broadcast News

            Fatal Attraction

            Hope and Glory

            Moonstruck

            The Last Emperor – Winner

             

Best Actor

            William Hurt, Broadcast News

            Jack Nicholson, Ironweed

            Marcello Mastroianni, Dark Eyes

            Robin Williams, Good Morning, Vietnam

            Michael Douglas, Fatal Attraction – Winner

  Best Actress

            Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction

            Holly Hunter, Broadcast News

            Sally Kirkland, Anna

            Meryl Streep, Ironweed

            Cher, Moonstruck – Winner

 

          

 

Best Supporting Actor

            Albert Brooks, Broadcast News

            Vincent Gardenia, Moonstruck

            Morgan Freeman, Street Smart

            Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom

Sean Connery, The Untouchables – Winner

 

Best Supporting Actress

            Norma Aleandro, Gaby: A True Story

            Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction

            Anne Ramsey, Throw Momma From The Train

            Ann Southern, The Whales of August

Olympia Dukakis, Moonstruck – Winner

Music

Rock Albums         

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 20 

  1. “Walk Like An Egyptian” – The Bengals
  2. “Alone” – Heart
  3. “Shake You Down” – Gregory Abbot
  4. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” – Whitney Houston
  5. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – Starship
  6. “C’est La Vie” – Robbie Nevil
  7. “Here I Go Again” – Whitesnake
  8. “The Way It Is” – Bruce Hornsby and the Range
  9. “Shake Down” – Bob Seger
  10. “Livin’ on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi
  11. “La Bamba” – Los Lobos
  12. “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – Wang Chung
  13. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House
  14. “Always” – Atlantic Starr
  15. “With or Without You” – U2
  16. “Looking for a New Love” – Jody Watley
  17. “Head To Toe” – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
  18. “I Think We’re Alone Now” – Tiffany
  19. “Mony Mony” – Billy Idol
  20. “At This Moment” – Billy Vera And the Beaters

Sports

Baseball

Offensive Leaders:

Average: Tony Gwynn (SD)  –  .370

Hits: Tony Gwynn (SD) – 218

Home Runs: Mark McGwire (OAK) & Andre Dawson (CHC) – 49

RBIs: Andre Dawson (CHC) – 137

On-base Plus Slugging Percentage: Jack Clark (STL) – 1.055

Stolen Bases: Vince Coleman (STL) – 109

Pitching:

Wins: Roger Clemons (BOS) & Dave Stewart (OAK) – 20

ERA: Jimmy Key (TOR) – 2.76

Strikeouts: Nolan Ryan (HOU) – 270

Complete Games: Roger Clemens (BOS) – 18

Shutouts: Roger Clemens (BOS) – 7

MVP:

AL: George Bell (TOR)

NL: Andre Dawson (CHC)

CY Young:

AL: Roger Clemens (BOS)

NL: Steve Bedrosian (PHI)

Rookie of the Year:

AL: Mark McGwire (OAK)

NL: Benito Santiago (SD)

World Series: Minnesota Twins over St. Louis Cardinals (4-3)

Basketball

NCAA:

Final Four:

(1) Indiana, (2) Syracuse, (1) UNLV, and (6)Providence

National Championship:

(1) Indiana over (2) Syracuse 74-73

NBA

League Leaders:

Points Per Game: Michael Jordan – 37.1

Rebounds Per Game: Charles Barkley – 14.6 

Assists Per Game: Magic Johnson – 12.2

All-NBA Team:

Larry Bird (BOS)

Magic Johnson (LAL)

Michael Jordan (CHI)

Kevin McHale (BOS)

Hakeem Olajuwon (HOU)

MVP: Magic Johnson (LAL)

Rookie of the Year: Chuck Person (IND)

NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers over Boston Celtics (4-2)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy Winner:

Tim Brown, Notre Dame 

National Championship:

University of Miami over Oklahoma – 20-14 in the Orange Bowl 

Jimmy The U

NFL

League Leaders:

Passing Yards: Neil Lomax (STL) – 3,387

Passing Touchdowns: Joe Montana (SF) – 31

Passer Rating: Joe Montana (SF) – 102.1

Rushing Yards: Charles White (LA) – 1,374

Rushing TDs: Johnny Hector (NYJ) & Charles White (LA) – 11

Receptions: J.T. Smith (STL) – 91

Receiving Yards: J.T. Smith (STL) – 1,117

TD Receptions: Jerry Rice (SF) – 22

MVP – John Elway (DEN)

Super Bowl XXII – Washington over Denver 42-10

Super Bowl MVP – QB Doug Williams

Hockey

NHL League Leaders:

Goals: Wayne Gretzky (62)

Assists: Wayne Gretzky (121)

Points: Wayne Gretzky (183)

Hart Memorial Trophy: Wayne Gretzky

Stanley Cup:

Wayne Gretzky aka Edmonton over Philadelphia (4-3)

Gretzky Cup

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.