Sports


Draper, Utah's Mike Weir

easportsIn this country, we're very proud of Mike Weir. The man won the 2003 Masters and he hails from Bright's Grove, Ontario. He's Canadian and we don't want you to forget it!

Those who play EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 will hear Weir announced as being from Draper, Utah. You see, they don't care about where you're from, only where you primarily reside.

Well that sucks!

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Bobby Clarke and Sweet Schadenfreude

thumbsupSchadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. It's a fairly obscure term, but I've used it twice before when writing about Lenny Wilkens' horrible performance in New York and Justin Gatlin getting caught using steroids. Now, I'm using it again.

Bob Clarke is out as General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. They're off to a horrid 1-6-1 start and have the fewest points in the NHL. After resigning, Clarke said, "I deeply regret not being able to bring a Stanley Cup here. I didn't deliver."

This isn't about Clarke as a player. Although I've only seen clips of him on tape, I'm sure he was a great little player and I know he led the Flyers to two Stanley Cups in the 70s. Although I've never been comfortable with what he did to Valeri Kharlamov in the Summit Series, I'm sure I would have liked Bobby Clarke the player. It's Bob Clarke the General Manager of the Flyers that I couldn't stand.

In the late 90s, he was ruthless with Eric Lindros and continually toyed with Pat Quinn throughout 2001. He's always been a grade A jerk from a previous era who didn't deserve any success as GM. Thankfully, the Flyers never won it all and now they're in the basement and Clarke is burned out.

Germans invented the term schadenfreude for incidents like this. Feel free to use it regularly, but always use it with caution.

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Shanny's Red Rocket to Power

hockeyBrendan Shanahan is off to a great start with the Rangers. He's got 7 goals and 2 assists in his first seven games in New York. In Shanahan takes Manhattan, a Damien Cox piece in today's Toronto Star, Shanny offers up this delicious quote.

Hey, growing up I got used to taking the GO train. Or taking the Red Rocket to Michael Power High School.

I may be 605 NHL goals behind Shanahan, but we do have something else in common. I too TTC'd it to Michael Power High School growing up. The Shanahan family was everywhere, teaching at St. Cecilia's, a primary school I attended for a few years, and teaching at Michael Power, the high school where I hung my hat for five years in the late 80s and early 90s. For a while I thought they might rename Michael Power High School. I was practically a graduate of Brendan Shanahan High.

605 to go to catch my former classmate. I'd better get crackin'.

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Why I Hope The Mets Win

mlbI can sum up my reasons for rooting for the Mets in the NLCS in two words. Carlos Delgado.

Delgado waited 1,711 regular-season games to make his playoff debut and now he's making up for lost time. He's batting .414 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs in seven playoff games. His slugging percentage is a whopping .931. He's kicking ass when it matters most, something he never had the chance to do in a Blue Jays uniform.

I'll always look upon Delgado fondly. He gave us 12 great years, setting Blue Jay career records for slugging percentage (.556), runs (889), total bases (2,786), doubles (343), home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), walks (827) and more. Furthermore, he's a man of substance who always has a smile on his face and gave his all for the good guys.

Lets hope Delgado wins a much deserved World Series title. It's just too bad it couldn't have happened with the Jays.

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Baseball's Lost Generation

baseballAs reported by the Los Angeles Times, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada were among the players that a former major league pitcher accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. It's just an allegation, but it's yet another one regarding the Rocket. I believe Rocket Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds to be the greatest pitcher and positional player of their generation. I wonder if history will look upon this generation of elite ballplayers as the lost generation.

My respect for the enormous talent of each has resulted in numerous entries. Regarding Bonds, there's this one, this one, this one and this one. Regarding Clemens, there's this one and this one both of which start with "Roger Clemens is an arrogant SOB but he's the best damn pitcher I've ever seen" by total coincidence.

If the career statistics of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are tainted by allegations and/or proof they used performance-enhancing drugs, what becomes of the Major League Baseball record book? How do we look back at the best of this generation? How do we recall the excellence we witnessed when telling tales to our children and grandchildren? What do we do?

There's no answer. Only time will tell. It's a damn shame.

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Terrell Owens, Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach

soccerThere are a few sports stories floating about that have everybody chatty by their water coolers. These stories have a lot of meat on them and are being addressed all over the place, but I surprisingly have little to say about any of 'em.

These big three stories are...

  • Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach
  • Terrell Owens' attempted suicide
  • The Blue Jays descent back to 3rd

The Tie story is what it is, and there's not much more I can add. The T.O. story is just sad and the Jays story is just depressing.

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The Great Tiger Woods

golfEvery time Tiger Woods wins another major there's talk of him being the greatest athlete of all time. Not the greatest golfer of all time, but the greatest athlete.

He won the PGA Championship with ease on the weekend and he almost won me my golf pool. I finished tied for first but lost the cash on some crazy tie breaker. I'm still a little ticked about losing on a technicality, but I digress. Tiger is thirty years old and he's won twelve majors. Many will argue there's been no one like him.

When I think of the greatest in sports, people who rose above it all and transcended their sport, I think of four men, in addition to Tiger. I think of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth. Removing any political and social significance, Gretzky, Jordan and Ruth were heads and tails above their peers, absolutely dominating their respective sports. Gretzky and Ruth essentially rewrote the record books and changed their sports forever. Woods is having a similar impact, but is Woods any better than Wayne Gretzky? I say no.

Upon his retirement on the 18th of April, 1999, Wayne Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records. These records include 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-star records. Check out the Wayne Gretzky's records Wikipedia page, if you dare.

Woods is unbelievable, a talent that comes around rarely, and we should appreciate him. He might just be the best golfer in the history of the game. Is he the best athlete ever? I'm not willing to give him The Great One's crown just yet. Would you?

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23 Canadian NFL Hopefuls

NFLFrom NFLCANADA.COM, here's the complete list of 23 Canadians trying to crack NFL rosters this fall. Only two hail from Toronto, but three others are only a stone's throw away.

  • O. J. Atogwe
  • Jesse Palmer
  • Jon Ryan
  • Dan Federkeil
  • Shaun Suisham
  • Mitch Berger
  • Nate Burleson
  • J.P. Darche
  • Israel Idonije
  • Nick Kaczur
  • Alain Kashama
  • Jesse Lumsden
  • Mike Labinjo
  • Kerry Carter
  • L.P. Ladouceur
  • Rob Meier
  • Steve Morley
  • Jerome Pathon
  • Brett Romberg
  • O.J. Santiago
  • Mike Vanderjagt
  • Josh Bourke
  • Teyo Johnson

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Not Carl Lewis, But...

needleAll Canadians of a certain age remember that sky high feeling in 1988 followed shortly by that disappointing plummet. I wrote about it last June. Ben Johnson went to Seoul and beat Carl Lewis, won the Gold medal in the 100m and set a new world record time of 9.79. The euphoria didn't last long as Big Ben tested positive for steroids and lost both the medal and the record.

Eighteen years later and an American sprint champion and record holder may suffer a similar fall from grace. Justin Gatlin, the world and Olympic 100m champion who shares the world record of 9.77 seconds with Asafa Powell, will appear before a United States Anti-Doping Agency hearing after failing a drugs test for testosterone. He'll get a lifetime ban if he's found guilty of doping.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have little doubt everyone in that 100m final in Seoul was cheating, but Ben got caught and he deserved what he got. Lewis somehow fooled the testers and managed to elude a similar fate. Lewis either got lucky or had smarter friends in higher places with lower morals.

It's not Carl Lewis, but another American 100m champion is going down, and there's a shallow, symbolic victory in there somewhere for Ben and each and every one of us. Sweet schadenfreude.

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The New Dream Team?

basketballThe world basketball championships take place next month in Japan. USA Today decided to compare the American team with the Dream Team from 1992. If we're to believe USA Today, USA basketball is in great shape, because the roster is just about as good as the team that was untouchable in Barcelona.

Dwyane Wade? Sure he's as good as Michael Jordan. LeBron James? He's Magic Johnson, no doubt about it. Gilbert Arenas? Without hesitation, he's your Clyde Drexler. Chris Paul? He's John Stockton, didn't you know that? Joe Johnson? Why, he's as good as Larry Bird. Heck, even our very own Chris Bosh is labelled the new David Robinson. That's awesome!

I'm old enough to remember the 1992 Dream Team, but apparently USA Today isn't. Except for Christian Laettner and maybe Chris Mullin, every member of that team is a Hall of Famer. As amazing as Wade is, he's not Jordan. As promising as James is, he's not yet Magic. The other comparisons are just plain silly.

I love good comedic writing.

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