Monday, July 28, 2008


Sports For Everyone!

Once I remove all of the cobwebs from the brain on Sunday morning, I am better prepared to watch a couple of the finest sports talk shows on television.

I have very little time for many of the talk shows that take up an enormous amount of time on my sports channels. I will repeat that---“Sports Channels”.

Lately, we have been presented with a wide variety of some of the greatest sporting events of all time on our sports channels: Dart Championships from “Over ‘ome”; Billiard Contests from around the globe; Sport fishing (would that be an oxymoron?); the North American Spelling Championship! Honestly! A little much to take!

The Reporters comes to us in two versions, American and Canadian. The Yankee edition features four top columnists and reporters south of the border. There are often changes in the lineup, but the quality is not affected. They simply review top sports stories, and add a little personal touch.

Last Sunday’s panel included: Mitch Albom, John Saunders, Rick Bozich, and Marcos Breton. Two of their main issues were the great Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and the plight of Marion Jones.

Jones is serving six months in prison for a variety of activities: perjury, drug-related usage of performance enhancing substances---the whole Ben Johnson thing. She is seeking a Presidential pardon. Poor thing. The panel advised her to do her time.

The Yankees were in Bean Town for the weekend in an American Division East race that is heating up all the time. The Yankees won the first three games, dropped the last. There are bits of controversy regarding a certain left fielder for the Red Sox-Manny Ramirez. The “Red Sox Nation” has adopted Ramirez as some sort of prodigal child, and, in their eyes, he can do no wrong. He fails to run out ground balls, he jogs after balls in the outfield, he defies authority. He is a coach killer. But he can whack the cover off a baseball, and so he stays, for now.

The Canadian Reporters naturally focuses on Canadian events. Last weekend, the Canadian Open Golf Championship wound up in Toronto. A relatively unknown golfer named Chez Reavie (one golfing enthusiast mispronounced his name as Chavez Ravine, which of course is a baseball diamond in California!).

Dave Hodge, Steve Simmonds, Dave Naylor, and Dave Feschuk all spoke well about sports in general. They reviewed the performance of Rafael Nadal at the Canadian Tennis Championships, winning the title in straight sets. They were in the process of anointing him the King of the Courts, but, at twenty-nine years of age, Roger Federer will have something to say about that. That will unfold soon at the U. S. Open.

Soccer had its day in the sun recently in Toronto. The North American All Stars, including David Beckham, took on one of the European teams in a friendly match. Beckham drives that league like no other player, and he will be missed when he heads back to Europe. The Montreal Impact, a soccer team which plays in a lower division, tied the Toronto Football Club to take the Canadian title, shocking soccer fans in the process.

In the meantime, we could also watch NASCAR and Indy Car races, Arena Football’s Championship game, rugby between Australia and South Africa, boxing, and various forms of wrestling.

The Canadian Football League also boasts its own panel of experts, supplying dialogue prior to, and during game telecasts. Dave Randorf, Chris Schultz, Matt Dunnigan, and Jock Climie are all well versed with the game, and “tell it like it is”. During a hail and rain delay in the Argonaut-Roughrider game, Randorf asked Schultz what the players might be doing in the locker room during the break. Schultz replied that they were likely readjusting their medication. There was a brief pause. Schultz was then chastised for making such a comment on the air. He added that he was just being honest. As a former star in the CFL and the NFL, he knows from whence he cometh.

Kerry Joseph, the Argos quarterback, received a respectful standing ovation from the Saskatchewan fans prior to the game. That love ended with the opening kickoff. Behind the spectacular running of Wes Cates, the Riders squeaked by the Argos for their fifth victory this year, a streak that has not been matched in 74 years. Let’s see. Yes, they were just edging out of the Great Depression when they first won that many games at the beginning of a season.

And they said it would never be done again!

The Buffalo Bills have two games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto this year. They will play the Steelers on August 14th in a pre-season game, and the Dolphins on December 7th. I have a few extra tickets for each game. Try me at 613-399-2278.

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