This will be a quick zip through my sporting thoughts of the week, considering I haven't found the time to find a dark corner and write.
- Is it normal for me to dislike an athlete as much as I dislike Alex Rodriguez? Is there something wrong with me for wishing him such distress? I may need to seek help, because when I emerged from the woods on Monday and discovered that the Yankees had been bounced by the Tigers, and that A-Rod had been relegated to 8th in the batting order due to his playoff ineptitude, I felt a surge of unbridled joy that is unnatural. Anyone know a shrink I can speak to?
- It seemed as though everyone just rolled over their opponents in the Division Series. The only result I lamented was the Dodgers losing to the Mets.
- Anyone catch that one game in Minnesota where both teams were wearing their 3rd jerseys? For anyone who isn't yet aware, I'm something of a traditionalist when it comes to sports uniforms. I thought having both teams wear their 3rd jerseys looked
awful. Something was definitely "off", especially considering Oakland and Minnesota have some of the nicer jerseys out there. Forest green with grey bottoms, coupled with navy blue and white bottoms - yikes. Contrast those unis to the ones worn by the Tigers and Yankees on Saturday, and you'll know exactly where I'm coming from.
- In a way, I'm sad the Yankees kept the faith with Joe Torre. In which way is that? It would have made George Steinbrenner and the Evil Empire even more loathable. By keeping Torre, the man who has led his team to the playoffs for the past 10 seasons, George seems almost (egads!) sane.
- Some of those Tigers throw hard. 103 mph? Goodness. Even if the gun is generous by a few mph, that's still insanity.
- Can't say I'm surprised at the Sens slow start, but it's the fashion in which they are doing it that disheartens. There seems to be zero emotion out on the ice (except for flashes during last night's game in Montréal).
- Martin Havlat and Marian Hossa have 11 goals between them. Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza have two. Yes, it's a cheap shot. No, I will not relent.
- Am I the only one who gets a really good feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I see Guy Carbonneau behind the Habs bench? It just LOOKS right.
- 3 natural hat-tricks in one night. That's the great thing about sports - you never know when you'll see something that's never been done.
- Here's the problem when I don't blog regularly: people beat me to the punch. A few weeks ago, I scribbled down "everybody so eager to annoint McNair King of Baltimore...not so fast". What does McNair do next? Two weeks of near futility, and now everyone is on the "bash McNair" bandwagon. That'll teach me to be consistent.
- I was pondering the continued mediocrity of the Houston Texans, and couldn't help comparing them to the Senators early years. The Senators had 4 terrible seasons to begin their franchise history, while finding a glimmer of hope in season 5 (31 wins, made playoffs). The Texans have had a similarly time in their first 4 seasons. Although I don't see them matching Ottawa's 5th season playoffs appearence, I do see that glimmer of hope for them. The major factor in the Sens turnaround was bringing in a competent Head Coach for the first time, Jacques Martin. This mirrors the Texans acquisition of Gary Kubiak to replace Dom Capers. We've immediately witnessed a turnaround if not in their record, then in the play of perennial underachiever David Carr. I predict this season to be a springboard for the Texans which will lead them to be the dominant team in Texas in the next few years.
- Speaking of Texas football, how 'bout dem Cowboys!? You know, the T.O. Fiasco is exactly what any team deserves for signing him. It is only made sweeter by the fact that it's happening to Jerry Jones and his ego. The sports landscape is filled with these characters who have been so successful in every endeavour that they believe they can do anything, including bringing miscreants to heel. We are witnessing the third and probably final installment of the T.O. Homewreckin' Show. Savour it while you can.
- Admittedly, A-Rod and T.O. are not the same type of characters. Strangely, though, their failures bring about the same type of joy within me. Again, I need to see someone about this.
- With Paul Maguire's departure from the NFL commentator's booth, we have a new King of "I'm gonna tell you what..." His name: Steve Tasker. He is virtually unable to begin a sentence without telling me he's gonna tell me what. Steve, it's not a real sentence, and although I don't expect Nobel Laureates to analyze football games for me, I do expect a certain command of the English language. "I'm gonna tell you what..." grates on me like no other verbal crutch.
- Bruce Mr. Turk brought up an interesting point while watching one of the games a few weeks ago. The colour commentator (I forget which one) kept telling us something to the effect that "teams who come into this stadium will try and simulate crowd noise in practice all week". Bruce Mr. Turk's response? "We know already! Jeez, can't they talk to us like we've watched a few NFL games in our lifetime?". Bruce Mr. Turk was, as usual, bang on with is observation. I'm sick of being spoken to as if I was the lowest common denominator, as if I was flipping over to football during a commercial break for Desperate Housewives. These guys are supposed to be NFL experts, yet they talk to us like we're either 12 years old or have never watched a game before.
- My Dolphins have replaced Daunte with some guy who used to play for the Detroit Lions. He must have been good, because the Lions are 0-5 without him.
- I am slowly getting very excited with the addition of Toronto FC to Major League Soccer. They have now signed their first player in franchise history, Canadian National Team member and Toronto native
Jim Brennan. The National Soccer Stadium (recently renamed BMO Place) is quickly making its imprint on the Toronto cityscape, and the rumour out there is that by 2010 we might have 3 MLS teams in Canada (Montreal and Vancouver are apparently working overtime to get this done). Could we be on the verge of a new soccer revival in Canada? One can only hope.
- Manchester United are atop the league in England, against all odds considering what Chelsea FC is paying in player salary. What's wrong with the "Special One"? Also, Everton are looking good so far this season. I might have to get up next Saturday and watch some matches!
- Beckham to MLS? This is a constant wive's tale that surfaces every once in a while concerning Mr. Posh. Grant Wahl, however, makes a logical case that the timing is perfect for Beckham to make the jump right now. I'm on the fence concerning the arrival of Beckham to North America. On the one hand it would be great PR for the league. On the other hand, the league has been steadily growing at an organic rate since its inception. Introducing this foreign species to the MLS ecosystem might signal its extinction, à la NASL.