Shamrocks And Shenanigans

ShamrockI don't watch or follow soccer unless it's the World Cup. With Canada unable to qualify, I've adopted Ireland as my team to root for. During World Cup action I'm more than a descendant, I'm the prodigal son.

A draw against Switzerland the other day means The Republic of Ireland will not qualify for next year's World Cup in Germany. Without Canada or Ireland, I'm left without a rooting interest. It's times like these that we turn to Monty Python...

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

  And...always look on the bright side of life...
  Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

  And...always look on the bright side of life...
  Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

  So always look on the bright side of death
  Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

  And always look on the bright side of life...
  Always look on the right side of life...
  (Come on guys, cheer up!)
  Always look on the bright side of life...
  Always look on the bright side of life...
  (Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
  Always look on the bright side of life...
  (I mean - what have you got to lose?)
  (You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
  What have you lost? Nothing!)
  Always look on the right side of life...

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New York-Boston Tie

MLBWhen the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox finish the regular season tied for first place in the American League East division, things could be awfully interesting. How interesting it gets depends upon how Cleveland does this weekend. If Cleveland loses another game, both the Yankees and Red Sox will make the post season, but if Cleveland wins their last two games and the Yankees and Red Sox tie, as I predict they will, we have a unique development on our hands.

Boston and New York will play Monday in New York for the AL East pennant. Then Tuesday, Cleveland will play the loser of the New York-Boston game Monday night for the wild card berth. I'm heavily rooting for this scenario because it would be awesome having the regular season go an additional two days just to figure things out.

Go Cleveland go!

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Jerry Rice

NFLI don't remember an NFL without Jerry Rice. For the past twenty seasons he's been one of the most exciting players, a huge part of the Montana and Young San Francisco 49er dynasties of the 80s and 90s.

A two-time NFL Player of the Year, Rice holds just about every league record for wide receivers, including 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards and 197 touchdowns. He also holds the record for total touchdowns with 208.

Perhaps the best wide receiver of all time, Rice deserves our supreme props.

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Mighty Decline

U of TThe University of Toronto Varsity Blues lost their 25th consecutive football game yesterday, a streak going back four years. How the hell did that happen?

During my first year at the University of Toronto, we had an exceptional football team. It was 1993 and Mario Sturino was leading the Varsity Blues to a Yates Cup victory. I remember the buzz and following the team very closely.

How the mighty have fallen. Ouch.

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The PGA Championship

The PGA ChampionshipTomorrow the PGA Championship tees off. Once again, I've entered the office pool and my fate is tied to the performance of these three golfers: Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.

Steve feels Tiger is a mistake and I should have gone with Vijay Singh. I don't feel I can go wrong riding the horse that has won two of the previous three majors and finished second in the other. Ryan, on the other hand, has an unhealthy obsession with Luke Donald. He speaks of Donald as if he is Tiger Woods and assures me every major that it's his time to break out. Here's hoping he's right, finally.

Follow the PGA Championship and my progress here.

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NFL Pool

NFL PoolWhen the Raiders visit New England on September 8th, the 2005 NFL season will officially be underway. That means it's time for our annual NFL Football Pool. If you are interested in joining our pool, contact me.

This pool is nice and simple. You make your picks on-line against the spread each week, and there are weekly winners and overall winners. It's only $45 and a lot of fun. Let me know if you're interested or want more details.

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Draft Lottery Results

NHLI was actually really nervous watching the lottery results. They're still at it, but my beloved Leafs just learned they'll pick #21. So much for Sidney Crosby in blue and white. Damn.

Edmonton and Calgary are already gone, so it's not looking good in terms of keeping Crosby in Canada. With my luck, the Canadiens will land him. I'll update this entry after they get to #1.

Update: The Pittsburgh Penguins will draft Sidney Crosby.

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Draft Lottery Streaming will be streaming the results of the draft lottery order selection for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft live at 16:00 EST. For those of us stuck in front of a computer, this is a very good thing.

2.08%... 2.08%...2.08%...2.08%...2.08%...2.08%...2.08%... Cross your fingers.

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U.S. Open

U.S. OpenThe 105th U.S. Open teed off this morning. I've entered a pool at work in which I own a group of three golfers. If my group of three all make the cut and shoot the lowest combined score, I win.

My brothers essentially picked my golfers for me, so if I lose they're to blame. If I win, however, I'm not sharing the spotlight with them. It's my five bucks on the line! I selected Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald.

Visit the leaderboard to follow my progress.

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Big Ben's 9.79

OlympicsA couple of Mikes, formerly on top of the world and now just falling from grace, were prominent in the news this week. There was Mike Tyson's loss and retirement from boxing and a verdict in the Michael Jackson case. Reading about these two got me thinking about Ben Johnson.

I don't have to remind my fellow Canadians that Ben was the fastest man in the world. In 1988, we as a nation gathered around televisions to watch him blow away Carl Lewis and the rest of the field to win the Gold medal in the 100m and set a new world record time of 9.79. I also don't have to remind my fellow Canadians as to what happened next. Ben's fall from grace was shockingly sudden and it broke our collective hearts.

Yesterday, Asafa Powell set a new world record in the men's 100 metres, registering 9.77 seconds. Here we are 17 years after Ben's run and the world record is just 0.02 seconds faster than what he ran that day in Seoul. 17 years to shave all that time off of Ben's best. What gets me is the fact Ben shot up his right hand in victory with a about ten feet to go. I distinctly remember yelling at the TV when he did that, knowing that if he ran it out that record could have been in the low 9.70s.

Of course, Ben was cheating, and deserved to lose his Gold medal and world record. I have little doubt everyone in that 100m final in Seoul was cheating, but Ben got caught. The high of that 9.79 followed by the low of his disqualification still makes me dizzy... and sad.

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