After two weeks in the literary wilderness, aimlessly wandering the modern cyber-sphere of sports and its related short form journalism, I can safely admit that there are a couple of issues that have been tugging at my kilt. And so, in the spirit of a man who is more than comfortable using that analogy, I present some of my first, unedited thoughts on said topics du jour - swinging freely if you will…
Who the Hell is R.O.Y.? While you’ve all been absorbed by the Main Stream Media’s obsession with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III and the battle for NFL’s Rookie of the Year, many 4-down Fans – excluding ESPN’s First Take who continue to focus on Tim Tebow – have spotted the early season favorite for the award quietly toiling away in Tampa Bay. Running back Doug Martin from Boise State has quietly put up 1,000 yards through 10 Games, averaging 5.1 YPC, has scored 7 TDs and has only 1 fumble. As a bonus, throw in 27 receptions for another 319 YDs and another TD and even the layman can understand that Doug Martin should be the talk of the town and not just the afterthought in the ROY discussion. The problem? No obvious comparatives… no bobble-heads spewing; “He’s the next Peyton Manning”, or “He’s the next Michael Vick without the PETA Warning Label”… and without those he’ll probably only be invited to the dance but that cute little Goodell girl with the freckles isn’t going to ask him to cha-cha.
A.A. continues to make life better for T.O. baseball Fans. Settle down, they haven’t banned beer at the ballpark, although it might be a thought in Miami where Marlins Fans will be witnessing a 2012/13 product of Royal proportions – you know, like in Kansas City where talent is put on public transportation out of the city limits whenever it exceeds the hourly minimum wage. This of course is largely due to the 12 player deal orchestrated by Blue Jay GM Alex Anthopolous to take advantage of the Marlins fire-sale – a deal that sees SS Jose Reyes, P Mark Buehrle and P Josh Johnson come north and Captain Eye-black himself, Yunel Escobar going to South Beach to test his creative facial writing skills. Add in free agent Melky Cabrera – he of the 50 Game suspension for ‘unknowingly’ ingesting synthetic testosterone – and the Jays starting line-up is looking revamped and dangerous. Although the fire-sale has yet to be approved by Commissioner Bud “B.S.” Selig – on the off chance that the deal is ‘unhealthy’ for the game of baseball or ‘not in the spirit of fair competition’ because it doesn’t involve either Evil Empire in New York or Boston - it appears that A.A. has struck while the iron was hot…the Yankees are old, the Red Sox are in disarray, the Orioles are a fluke and the Rays appear to be treading water leaving the AL East ripe for the picking. Meanwhile in Miami the Jeffrey Loria voodoo doll business is blowing up and the art dealer owner is wondering if anybody would like to buy a really creepy outfield fountain, 70% of which was paid for by the tax-payer…
Sometimes you’re the Spider, sometimes you’re the fly. Coming off his dominant but extremely hard-fought and bloody victory over a game Interim Welterweight Champion in Carlos Condit, GSP is being besieged by the inevitable questions regarding a “Super Fight” with Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Fans are clamoring for an answer to the Pound For Pound debate and while The Wizard Dana White will most likely push all the correct buttons to get the 2 men to walk the Yellow Brick Road, a catch-weight non-title fight would most likely be at or around the 178 Lb mark. Silva has already stated publicly that he wouldn’t be comfortable going any lower from a health perspective and while GSP typically re-hydrates to about 190 Lbs for a fight, the Spider could conceivably enter the ring a full 15 Lbs heavier than the Rush. Expect several copies of Sonnen/Silva 1 to be FedExed to the GSP camp if the T’s ever get crossed for this fight because our Canadian MMA superstar will need every ounce of his takedown mastery and ring savvy to avoid getting the next BBQ invite to the Silva mansion… Admit it, you thought I was going to say, “…caught in the Spider’s web” – sure, I thought about it, but really?
A note to the N.H.L. and N.H.L.P.A. from a Fan. Day 64 of the NHL strike/lockout and although the 2 week moratorium on talks suggested by Commissioner Bettman did not come to pass, hockey Fans have grown increasingly exhausted by press conferences to announce meetings to set up convenient times to discuss relevant talking points mentioned in previous memos between negotiators whose offices most likely have bathroom attendants whose salary falls under “Hockey Related Revenue.” You see, the average Fan has 5 Stages of Emotionally Dealing with a Strike/Lockout:
- Disbelief – characterized by the phrase – “Are you freaking kidding me, again?”
- Side Choosing – “They make way too much money to play a freaking game.”
- Anger – “They can all go jump in a freaking frozen lake for all I care.”
- Indifference – “Who freaking cares anyway? I’m a purist, I prefer Junior hockey”
- Financial Re-Assessment – “My freaking HRH will be spent on my family at Xmas.”
At present, what those well wiped negotiators are failing to notice is that John Q Public is at Stage 4 and rapidly transitioning towards Stage 5. The CHL and AHL have benefitted enormously from the ironically named Strike 3 of the Bettman era and while there is growing dissent amongst owners and players alike with the lack of light at the end of the tunnel, they continue to fervently cling to the inherent belief that Fans, for all their bluster, have a Stage 6 – Forgiveness – characterized by the phrase – “I have to give them one last chance… or the Canucks will never win a freaking Cup!”
Until next time Kelowna - in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln – “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”