Sports


From One Mike To Another

BoxingWhen Kevin McBride beat Mike Tyson last night, Tyson said, "I most likely won't fight anymore. I'm not going to disrespect the sport by losing to this caliber of fighters." Assuming Tyson isn't lured back into the ring at some point so he can cash another paycheque, and that's a big assumption, Tyson has retired from boxing with a 50-6-2 record.

Last July, I wrote an open letter to Mike Tyson. Here it is in its entirety.

Hi Mike, it's another Mike here. Unheralded British heavyweight Danny Williams knocked you out in the fourth round last night. Your professional record is now 50-5-2, but this is your first ever loss in a non-title fight. I'm begging you to hang up the gloves for good before you've completely erased any memory of your glory years.

I realize this latest comeback was for purely financial reasons and that you're $38 million in debt, but losing badly to a no-name has further tarnished your already tarnished career. I'm old enough to remember when you were unbeatable. I remember when you were the baddest man on the planet and punished all challengers. I remember playing your Punch Out video game on the old 8-bit Nintendo console and having a heck of a time beating you. I remember you wasting your first 37 opponents, usually in the first or second round by knockout. Your 38th fight was against Buster Douglas and that was the begining of a splippery slope in the wrong direction. Now you're 38 years old and a pathetic shadow of your former self. End your career before it's too late!

It's been sad watching your tragic fall from grace. You could have gone down in history as one of the best but instead you're known now for your soap operatic lifestyle that's littered with prison time, court appearances and massive debt. End your career at 50-5-2 while I still have memories of the youngest-ever heavyweight champion of the world.

I pleaded with Mike last July to quit boxing but he went out last night for one last kick at the can. Here's hoping he keeps his word and stays out of the ring. Few remember those first 37 fights and that's a damn shame.

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Steve Nash For Prime Minister

CanadaWow.

ESPN.com is reporting that Victoria, British Columbia native Steve Nash will be named the Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball Association. The official announcement will be made Sunday during halftime of ABC's coverage of Sunday's playoff game.

Not only is Nash only the third point guard in more than four decades to win the award, but he's the first Canadian. Hell, lets call a spade a spade and say no other Canadian has even been close. Rick Fox probably finished in the top 50 at some point, but he left the country when he was two. Nash is all Canuck.

My campaign was a complete success and I'm deliriously happy. What a week for Canadian sports figures named Nash!

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My Masters Pool

The MastersI entered a Masters pool at work. I selected Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson in an effort to have the threesome with the lowest combined score. You can follow The Masters and my team on this leaderboard. At least you can when it stops raining in Augusta.

I consulted my bros before submitting my trio because they actually follow this sport week to week. I just jump on the big stories and the majors.

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Random Sports Shorts

SoccerSome people have told me they check this page daily but skip all the sports-related entries. Others have told me they do the opposite. This Ottawa Sports Blog even lists my site as a Hockey Blog.

The fact of the matter is I simply write about whatever I feel like writing about. I never stop to consider whether the entry is particularly interesting or appealing to others. I write about it because it's interesting to me and since nobody is donating to the cause, that's all that matters. Sports is a big part of my life and therefore well represented in these pages. Here are some random sports-related thoughts I have bouncing around in my head this morning.

  • The Jays almost swept. We were so close, dammit!
  • Our women can sure play hockey. Thus far we've beat Kazakhstan 13-0, Russia 12-0 and Sweden 10-0. A combined 35-0, not bad!
  • The Raptors are dead to me...until next fall.
  • I must remember to post something I wrote nine years ago about Roberto Alomar. It's an interesting read in light of his recent retirement.
  • When we need it most, there is The Coalition To Save Hockey - I particularly dig the theme song.
  • Raging Storm, my slo-pitch team, has voted on whether we should keep stats this season. The overwhelming response is "Yes", but many don't want our names listed in order from the highest batting average to the lowest.
  • I'm in a Masters Pool again this year. I'll write about that in a sec...

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The Big Mac and the Terrifying Truth

The NeedleMark McGwire ticked me off from the start. In his rookie season he hit 49 home runs for the Oakland Athletics beating George Bell by two to win the league crown. This was back in '87 when George Bell was my favourite player who I desperately wanted to win the title with his 47.

In '98 I forgave McGwire and closely followed his pursuit of Roger Maris' single season mark. I rooted for him, anxiously awaiting daily updates to hear if he went deep again. I wasn't going to miss #62 and watched each televised at bat until he hit it.

Yesterday, McGwire was asked repeatedly if he had ever used illegal performance enhancing drugs. At each and every turn, he evaded the question. He never said he didn't, but he wouldn't say he did either.

There's no doubt that if the answer was no he would have said "no". Clearly, the answer is yes. In my eyes, he'd be a bigger man if he just admitted he took steroids and apologized to the kids who believed he was swatting 500 foot homers clean. By refusing to take this responsibility, the Big Mac just got a whole lot smaller.

I'm reminded of Mark McGwire's cameo appearance in The Simpsons' episode "Brother's Little Helper" and his closing statement "Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me sock a few dingers?" Mr. McGwire, we want the truth. We're ready to handle it as we know what it will be.

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March Canadian Madness

Canada BasketballIt's March and that means the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament set to get underway. There are ten Canadians in the tournament, but we're focusing on one young man from Montreal. His name is Juan Mendez.

Mendez set the all-time Canadian NCAA scoring record this season while playing for Niagara and was named the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year. He's got them in the big tournament for the first time in 35 years. The Purple Eagles are seeded No.14 in what's known as the Austin bracket of the NCAA championship and will face No.3 Oklahoma in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday.

We'll be watching and rooting for the underdog Niagara Purple Eagles and their star from Montreal.

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The Crosby Show

A Hockey PuckPeriodically I like to check in on 17-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby and see how he's doing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. On Friday night, Crosby put on a clinic scoring three goals and adding four assists. Crosby's seven-point night lifted his league-leading point-total to 152.

Last night, Crosby followed up that performance with three more goals and a couple of assists. That's 157 points in 59 games. As Nikolai Borschevsky once said, that's unbelievable.

The Crosby Show is awesome, but how's his Rimouski Oceanic doing? They're now within two of the QMJHL record unbeaten streak of 27, set by Sorel in 1973-74 and tied by Quebec in 1998-99. That too is unbelievable.

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#7

Buffalo BillsThe San Diego Chargers have released quarterback Doug Flutie. This may mark the end of the 42 year old's career.

I only own one football jersey, and that's a #7 Buffalo Bills Doug Flutie. There were so many reasons to root for the diminutive quarterback. There's the hail mary pass while at Boston College. There's the years of MVP service in the CFL and the two Grey Cups he brought to Toronto. There's the glorious NFL comeback with the Bills when he guided them to back-to-back playoff berths. We all loved #7.

I've previously written about the moment and it involves Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson. Flutie was the man and he will be missed. If the NFL doesn't want him, he can always come back and play up here.

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The Crosby Show

A Hockey PuckPeriodically I like to check in on 17-year-old phenom Sydney Crosby and see how he's doing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last night he scored two goals and added three assists to lead the streaking Oceanic to an 8-3 win over the Quebec Remparts. What makes this all the more impressive is the fact Crosby had to serve a ten minute misconduct penalty during the third period.

For those of you following along at home that's 120 points for the season, and 22 goals and 23 assists during the Oceanic's season-high 14-game unbeaten streak.

The Crosby Show continues to entertain.

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Super Bowl XXXIX

The NFL LogoTomorrow at 18:30 EST, they'll play Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida. The New England Patriots are looking for their third title in four years while the Philadelphia Eagles seek their first-ever championship.

If I were putting a loonie down on the outcome, I'd go with the Patriots. They've been here before, are well coached and everyone knows defense wins championships. The T.O. factor is intriguing, but at the end of the day the Patriots are the better team.

Once again, I'll miss all the anticipated ads and will be forced to see a dozen or so commercials for "Falcon Beach" and "The Apprentice", but at least I'll catch the decent ones on the web. If you're looking for some pre-Super Bowl reading, I recommend the Snopes page on Super Bowl legends.

Don't turn off your televisions immediately after the game either. Homer seeks Ned's help when he is asked to choreograph the Super Bowl halftime show in "Homer & Ned's Hail Mary Pass". I'm so there.

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