Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mornings with Mr. Canoehead

... Not sports, but when high school students from your hometown beat Ducati and Kawasaki to building a biodiesel chopper that gets 150 miles to the gallon, attention should be paid. Anyway, stuff which will not affect your day ...

Johnny Damon already having 13 homers (nine have been at the joke of a new stadium in the Bronx).

Mark Crawford being hired as coach of the Dallas Stars. It's good to see they recycle in Texas, so what if he's been living off his reputation since coaching a Stanley Cup winner in 1996?

Getting geared up to go Fire Joe Morgan on a column entitled "Real Sportswriters Don't Cheer", only to find out the great thundering nit in question, Lowell Cohn, was FJM'd twice. For what it is worth (not much), anyone who writes, "My moral court is in session and he receives no mercy," has it coming on general principle. Knowing the infield-fly rule does not give you the right to be a one-man ethics commission or whinge, "I am not a fan. I can't afford to be. I root for no team. I have forgotten what it feels like to root or care which team wins or loses. I admit this with sadness. I also admit it with pride."

Whatever amount of money Pierre Karl Péladeau plans to put up to buy the Montréal Canadiens. Like Mitch Melnyk (Montréal's answer to Bob McCown) said, the anyone-but-him forces are lining up. It's hard to understand why people would not want a 100-year hockey tradition in the hands of someone who actually said of his employees at one of his newspapers, "Je prend des photos de mes enfants. Ça ne prend pas une expertise" -- "I take photos of my children. That does not take any expertise."

Not understanding what the hell Lisa Raitt did that was so newsworthy to begin with. There's a lot to be said for having given up on Canadian federal politics five years or six elections ago, whichever is shorter. Take it away, Fagstein:
"What gets me about this isn’t that the tears seem so scripted, as if a political analyst backstage told her to go out and cry. It’s that the people who are so naive about politicians to think that they don’t all put their political ambitions ahead of basic human decency, the ones who were so outraged about Raitt's candid comments as if they told us something we didn’t already know, those are the same people who are going to fall for this display, who think she will have learned her lesson and that either she didn't mean it or she's changed."
The USC football team likely avoiding any punishment from the NCAA while the school's basketball team gets sent up the river. Someone's skin is going on that wall and it won't be Pete Carroll's. C'est la vie.

Mark-Paul Gosselar's bit as Zack Morris being on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon instead of Conan O'Brien. Look at it this way: Not only was it meta, since it was on Fallon's show it was also esoteric since hardly anyone saw it.


Dennis Prouse said...

Peladeau would be the kind of owner who would make George Steinbrenner look like Mike Ilitch. No wonder there is an, "Anyone but Peladeau" movement afoot. One would imagine that Bettman would be quietly assisting it - Peladeau would more more of a pain in the backside for him than Balsillie ever has been.

Ottawa Sports Guy said...

Neate, we disagree once again about a "moral outrage" issue. Just read this from the Globe's Lawrence Martin, and it perfectly illustrates why it's important to make a fuss when even someone we suspect of being of lower moral character trips up:

"The latter rationale is one that permeates the Ottawa mentality. As in, this kind of crass calculation happens all the time in politics. Therefore, it's excusable. Therefore, let's move on. It's as if we shouldn't be in the pursuit of higher standards - as if the wrongs of past make it just fine today."

sager said...


With all due respect, you're conflating the two. Politicians are supposed to have morals, ethics, empathy, basic human feelings. Athletes are just supposed to go out and win some games.

Sports is sports -- entertainment. You're not looking for anything from Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez except for them to hit the ball to East Hell. They're hired by rich men to do a job, win some ballgames. We're not looking to them for moral guidance.

Politics and political reporting is a different horse. We the people are elect people to lead us and they, owe us not only their labour but also their judgment.

Lisa Raitt exercised very poor judgement, calling an issue related to cancer "sexy." Her misfortune was that it got out.

The big lie is presuming anyone becomes a changed person after such a public humiliation. If anything, they usually become bitter and vindictive.

Ottawa Sports Guy said...


agreed about Raitt. It's almost as if she's related to another Raitt whose mantra was "Let's give them something to talk about". (Ok, sorry about that, I couldn't help it. Next.)

I agree that sports is entertainment, but it's entertainment with rules: ninety feet between bases, three strikes you're out, crossing the plate counts for one point, you don't pump your body full of illegal chemicals to give you an edge. Without rules we don't have a game.

Once you stop caring if the players are following the rules or not, you are forever handing the game over to anarchy. It would still be entertaining, but I suspect it have as long a shelf life as watching a police car set on fire.

Athletes are not our moral compass, but I do expect two teams I'm watching to be playing by the same rules, and those that do not should be held to account.

sager said...

Why should I care who was taking steroids any time before 2005, since the owners didn't care and most of the media did not? Remember, it wasn't against the rules in baseball.

It's a similar story in tennis, which doesn't do blood testing. It's on the leagues to come around to do it.

Ottawa Sports Guy said...

Steroids were illegal in baseball just as much as cocaine. They're both illegal drugs. To say it wasn't against the rules is hogwash.

Not testing might be good enough of an alibi for the players or the owners who profit from the monstrous results, but it doesn't cut it for me as a fan. I don't let the owners, much less the media, determine what matters to me in terms of right and wrong.

sager said...

No one is saying you shouldn't have your own standard. That's admirable, in reality. My choice is that I don't bring my values to bear on people whose priorities and obligations are very different from mine.

It hardly absolves the leagues to say something's illegal when their enforcement was (is) lax to non-existent. You can't put people on the honour system in anything.

It's also slightly off base when you say you "expect two teams I'm watching to be playing by the same rules." There was no baseball team in the latter half of the '90s or early 2000s who didn't have someone using.

(P.S. Steroids are not illegal. They're illegal if they are not prescribed. Very beside-the-point.)