This weekend was made of the stuff that sports fans dream of, the entire weekend was a case study in why sports compels so many!
In Junior Hockey the Canadian squad started off strong in exhibition play all weekend long, providing excitement to the masses eagerly anticipating the start up of the tournament in just a matter of days.
This weekend's Football ticket was nothing short of intriguing, confusing and exciting all at the same time as the playoff picture become nothing short of muddier - the perfect compliment for the action that began the night before. Saturday night, the historic last game played at Texas Stadium, provided both a defensive showdown early with an offensive explosion in the final quarter, coming virtually right down to the wire to decide the outcome and close down the hallowed field.
While on the ice the professional ranks shone on Saturday night with two Canadian teams winning in dramatic fashion in OT, while another played the uncommon role this season of a dominant winning side for a change! There was also some Curling thrown into the mix as well as North America squared off against a World team, which was broadcast throughout the weekend (for those interested, I came back to it from time to time).
And in the world of Footy the FIFA World Club Championship (for those following) came to a close with Manchester United on top while an undermanned Arsenal drew Liverpool, once again giving Chelsea a chance to move atop the EPL - whether they take the bait or not is another issue altogether...
Suffice it to say, it isn't hard to assume that basketball was pushed to the side this weekend by many, even before Friday night's rather embarrassing Raptors loss to the worst team in the Association (well, those with TSN2 had that choice on Friday night anyways).
The Toronto Raptors may not have been the sports fan subject of choice on Saturday night, but if that is the case it's rather unfortunate because if one had been flipping back and forth they would've seen a flawed (yes) but spirited effort on the part of Toronto facing off against perennial giants the San Antonio Spurs. Yes, the holes were still apparent, but the desire was also apparent too - something missing the night before. An effort like that would have earned them a win on Friday night in Oklahoma City. Once again the team continues along on its common theme of the season thus far: hope is rekindled that the team can put it together after a more inspired effort against a top flight team, but then of course that one last point still lingers on - the game was still another loss.
Overall, a sports fan couldn't have asked for a better weekend - well for the most part, of course for the Raptors fans out there things could have been better! As football winds down and hockey picks up twofold it's likely basketball will take a seat over the next little while for many Canadian sports fans. Every once and a while though try and throw some hoops into the mix, you never know you may actually get a good game out of it!
Peter Karmanos replaced on NHL executive committee
6 minutes ago