Some tidbits for you from the wacky world of sports!
Well, if you haven’t seen the video yet, here it is! Oscar-worthy performance by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk. It’s painful to watch! My first reaction was “Who’s the guy he brought along with him to do the staged interview?” Turns out to be Sens defenseman and resident tough-guy Mark Borowiecki who looked like he was preparing for the electric chair. Poor guy had to sit through that pile of dribble. Sens tickets went on sale the next day and Melnyk probably thought his little rant was actually going to help sell tickets. The Senators are down to about 4,000 season’s tickets so look for crowds of 6 and 7 thousand this year at some games this season.
So what happens this afternoon? The Sens finally pull the trigger and send Erik Karlsson to San Jose for a package of nobodies, draft picks and one ‘maybe’ prospect in Josh Norris. Mark Stone and Matt Duchene are next in line and then the team will be stripped down to the marrow. How could you trade arguably the best defenseman in the league for not even one ‘high impact’ young player? The draft choices will be a late first rounder and two late second round picks so the Sharks are making off like bandits. The other players involved were just middle of the road roster fillers. It has more to do with the fact Melnyk was not willing to pay Karlsson $10+ million a year.
Sports Illustrated published yet another article detailing the animosity and dysfunction that allegedly plagued the Seahawks over the past couple of years. Basically, the defense seemed to think that Russell Wilson received favoritism from Pete Carroll and the coaching staff. Sorry, but don’t you think every franchise quarterback gets special treatment? You don’t think Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady get special treatment? They are the ones who arrive at the team facility at 5am to study film. Here’s the deal. What the likes of Sherman and Bennett don’t mention is that, as a third round pick, Wilson was making $750K per year on his rookie contract which allowed the team to spend big bucks on the defense. They were able to re-sign Sherman and Bennett and Chancellor and Avril and others to big contracts because they weren’t having to spend 25 million a year on their quarterback. These bozos are quick to piss all over Wilson but they benefitted big-time from his contract situation. As soon as his new deal kicked in and his salary number jumped, all of a sudden he’s anathema. The real issue is those guys never forgave Carroll and Wilson for losing the Super Bowl to the Patriots on the last second call at the goal-line. Claiming they made the decision to throw the ball instead of handing off to Lynch in order to help Wilson win the Super Bowl MVP is a bunch of crap. The fact is they had tried to run the ball from the one-yard line on 10 occasions during the season and were only successful once. It says more about their confidence in the O-line and that’s not Wilson’s fault.
Speaking of the Seahawks, John Schneider may have hit the jackpot again in last year’s draft. He had two picks in the 7th round and selected Chris Carson and David Moore. Carsons is now the starting running back and looks like the real deal and Moore made the team ahead of last year’s third round pick Amara Darboh. Not bad for two seventh round picks.
Divas Part Deux
Nice performance by Serena Williams at the US Open Tennis Championships! She’s always been a diva so her act was not surprising. It’s sad to see someone who’s won so much money and who could have so much influence give so little back. The worst part about it was she completely took the spotlight away from the young Japanese gal who won the title. Instead of having her ‘day in the sunshine’, her win was completely over-shadowed by Serena’s act.
I watched the Nike commercial with Colin Kapernick that was getting so much buzz, more because I heard Alphonso Davies of the Whitecaps was in it than anything. It’s interesting how Nike can get on its high horse and do the preachy thing when they have made zillions off of child labour in third world countries for decades. I have never bought a pair of Nike running shoes in my life. The commercial shows handicapped athletes doing great things which is wonderful but come on – why not show 12 year olds in bare feet in Myanmar or Vietnam making shoes! There’s a story! How about putting that in your next commercial!
I see where several teams have been complaining about the Donaldson trade between the Jays and Cleveland. He immediately went on the DL after arriving there which should not be allowed to happen. If the player to be named later is who they say it is – a 27-year-old pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery – then something’s fishy. There were reports that at least four teams were interested in acquiring him at the deadline. If that’s the case, then you should be able to get a lot more for him. Methinks Shapiro and Atkins were doing their old bosses a favour.
Here’s a good lesson. If a player screws up in college, you might want to scratch his name off your draft board. Jameis Winston was accused of rape in college but managed to wangle his way out of it probably because he was the star quarterback. Well, he’s now going to miss the first three games of the season after being accused of inappropriately touching a female Uber driver. Perhaps he should call Randy Lee for advice. Memo to the Tampa Bay Bucs – don’t hitch your wagon to a QB with questionable character. DUH!
Ode to Mighty Stan
My Dad was a Black Hawks fan so I always had a bit of an affinity for the Hawks and I certainly took note of the passing of the great Stan Mikita. His real name was Stanislaus Gvoth. His parents came to Canada when he was 8 years old, escaping the Communists who had come to power in Czechoslovakia. He was only 5’9”, 170 pounds but he was known for his strong wrists and forearms, apparently the result of doing 100 push-ups every day. All I remember was he was a hell of a centre and the leader of those great Hawk teams in the early 70’s. I hated it when a rookie goalie named Ken Dryden kept the Hawks from winning the Cup in 1970. Late in his career and into retirement, Stan became known to a whole new generation of kids as the owner of an eponymous doughnut shop in ‘Wayne’s World’ thanks to Canadian comedian Mike Myers. His greatest legacy may be the fact he selflessly held hockey schools for deaf children for decades.
I love Bob McKenzie’s take on the Oilers. He’s been doing pre-training camp blogs on all the Canadian teams and said that it will be absolutely criminal if the Oilers don’t make the playoffs again this year when they have Connor McDavid in their lineup. To miss the playoffs with the best player on the planet in his prime is such a waste. However, they have done nothing to improve the team since last year so it may well happen. They are banking on better goaltending and bounce-back years from several players who stunk it up last year and I am not sure that’s going to happen. If you look at the West Division, at best they are probably going to be battling it out with 5 or 6 teams for the final three playoff spots because it looks to me like the Jets, Preds, Blues, Sharks and Vegas are locks right off the get go.
Till next time!!!