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Jays Promote Violence Against Children

April 3, 2007 @ 09:47

I sat down to watch the Blue Jays opener in Detroit yesterday and I was surprised by two things.

First of all, the weather, it was grey and miserable in Brampton, but just four hours down the road in Detroit it was sunny and 17 Celsius.

The second thing that surprised me was one of those Blue Jay commercials featuring the players. This one featured Frank Thomas, and I'm sure the Jays are going to hear about it.

It involves two kids standing on a bed having a pillow fight. Thomas runs up the stairs and into the kids room and says "I thought you guys were supposed to be asleep."

At that point he takes a pillow and whacks one of the kids knocking him off the bed.

Unbelievable, here it is 2007 and the Toronto Blue Jays are promoting violence against children.

It's sickening the way Thomas rears back with the pillow and lets the kid have it.

Children are no match for an adult even if it's just a pillow fight. The child seems to be alright at the end of the commercial but he surely could have been seriously hurt. It sends the wrong message on so many levels.

Pillow fighting is dangerous no matter who's doing it, but to display an adult hitting a kid with a pillow is just plain wrong.

What if other adults see this and think "if Frank Thomas can do it, so can I."

Pillow fights are something that took place in the last millennium, but thankfully we've evolved from such behaviour and hopefully this commercial will be pulled from the air before fathers right across Canada are engaging in pillow fights with their children.

The Blue Jays should know better. My God, I'm incensed... and quite full of shit.

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OK Blue Jays

April 2, 2007 @ 09:09

This is one of my favourite days of the year; opening day for the Blue Jays.

The first pitch is this afternoon at 1:00 in Detroit.

Baseball is my third favourite sport, but there's so much hope and rebirth attached to opening day for the Blue Jays, I can't help but love it.

When the Leaf season begins, it's October and it's a bit of a downer. It's nice that hockey's back but it also means the beginning of short days and cold weather.

Same with the NFL season - it's fun to start watching again, but the season starts on Labour Day and for a lot of people that pretty well means the end of summer.

But baseball is so much different. The first Blue Jay game means good weather, budding leaves, green grass, long days and good times. And it doesn't hurt that the Jays are going to have a pretty good team this year.

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The Invisible Man

April 2, 2007 @ 09:08

It seems to be the general consensus in Toronto that Mat Sundin gets a bad rap. Leaf fans have never really warmed up to the guy, and he takes a lot of unfair criticism.

I believe the opposite. I happen to think that Sundin, given his compensation and his over-all contribution to the franchise, has been given an easy ride.

Yes, he's taken some heat in Toronto, but why shouldn't he? Time and time again Sundin has failed to answer the call for this franchise and it's been dramatically highlighted during the Leafs current run for the playoffs.

He has one goal in the past 17 games.

Sundin apologists argue that scoring goals isn't the true measure of a hockey team or a leader and that Mats is contributing in other ways, but to that I say rubbish! What exactly is he contributing? He's supposed to be the most skilled player on the team and he's the captain but most of the time you hardly notice he's out there.

Not ounce over the past couple of weeks during this crucial stretch has Sundin taken control of a game, put the team on his shoulders and led the way. Not once.

If he wasn't he captain, or he wasn't the highest paid, it wouldn't be such a problem. But he was given, and accepted the position as "the guy", and he has failed.

There was a telling moment in Saturday night's game against Pittsburgh. Mats went behind the Penguin net to battle a guy for the puck and guess who came out with it

Gary Roberts.

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Raps Are Alright

April 2, 2007 @ 09:07

Meanwhile, MLSE won't be skunked of playoff revenue if the Leafs fail to climb over Montreal this week. The Raptors clinched last night with a 107-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Raptors will make their first playoff appearance since 2002, and their magic number for clinching their first division title ever, is three.

It's been a dramatic turnaround for this franchise, but to be fair it's a little easier in basketball when changing just two faces can make a huge different.

At the same time, it also highlights what can happen when you hire someone like Bryan Colangelo to run the show. They gave him free reign to run the basketball side because nobody in upper management knows the game.

Unlike the hockey side where everybody thinks they know everything so they go out and hire a general manage they can control.

Meanwhile, it was encouraging to read the reaction to my Raptors posting from Saturday. People do care about this team.

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Role Model

March 31, 2007 @ 09:33

Read this story about Tie Domi and the meltdown he had at hockey arena last night.

I find it interesting that anybody could defend this guy in such a situation. Forget the yelling and the swearing, the minute a hockey dad leaves the stands and confronts a coach in front of kids, it's wrong.

The coach shouldn't have to put up with it, and the kids shouldn't have to see it. Problems between a parent and coach can be settled behind closed doors, or done over the telephone.

I imagine those who defended Domi last night are star struck imbeciles who love having a former Leaf around them.

Nobody should yell and scream and carry on like this in front of kids over a bloody hockey game, but especially not a former NHL player and supposed role model.

How do you think Max Domi feels this morning? Why to go Tie!

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Team Choke

March 31, 2007 @ 09:32

I was listening to Leafs Lunch on am 640 yesterday and Jeff and Bill had Bruce Garrioch as a guest. He's a writer with the Ottawa Sun and often appears on the Hockey Night in Canada hot stove.

Garrioch started his segment by telling Leafs Lunch that Ottawa's All-sports radio station had a call-in segment yesterday morning and Senator fans were urging their over-rated, piece of crap, choke artist hockey team to throw their game against Montreal last night.

The reasoning was simple, Senators fans hate the Leafs and they want them to miss the playoffs. And to tell you the truth I'm not surprised.

On the surface you'd assume suck ass Senator fans would want this out of spite alone because you wouldn't figure the Leafs would pose much of a threat to anybody in the playoffs, but it goes beyond that.

Ottawa fans may be stupid, but they aren't dumb. They know what a spineless, gutless hockey team they have, and the last thing they need is another match-up with the underdog Maple Leafs in the playoffs.

It probably wouldn't happen in the first round, but Ottawa fans know that Toronto has a tradition of over-achieving in the playoffs and they don't want to take any chances of having the Leafs upset somebody, and then tangle with their gang of gag artists.

I don't have to go over the history because any hockey fan is well aware of the Senators miserable history when it comes to the playoffs - and it was deliciously highlighted last year when Daniel Alfredsson, with the Senators playoff life on the line, stood there and allowed Buffalo's Jason Pominville to skate around him for the series winning shorthanded goal.

No doubt the Senators are a distasteful team to begin with having developed players like Hossa the eye picker and Havlat the kicker - but their fans are even worse.

Senator fans are collectively sickening. Like that weasel you can't stand at work, the type that would give a tourist the wrong directions just for the fun of it, the type who would swear at your wife if she was wearing a Leaf sweater. Arsholes basically, big goofy arsholes!

To tell you the truth, I get to this point of this essay and I don't know why I even bothered. Ottawa fans will never change, and neither will their hockey team.

Now enjoy this video. Appreciate how Alfie takes a feeble swipe at Pominville while he swoops around him.

Given the situation, Alfie "the captain" should have done anything he could to stop the Sabre, including holding, hooking, high sticking or tripping - after all, the Senators were on a power-play, taking a penality wouldn't have hurt.

I guess Alfie wasn't thinking.

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Neglected

March 31, 2007 @ 09:31

Toronto Mike had a posting about the Raptors yesterday, and referred to a conversation we had a few weeks ago.

The Raptors are basically a non-entity in Toronto. In Toronto they're treated much like NHL teams are treated in a lot of American markets. They have a small nucleus of fans that go to their games, but that's it.

The Raptors get 18 to 20 thousand fans to every game, but their television ratings are embarrassing and virtually nobody listens to their games on the radio. And let me ask you, when was the last time you went somewhere and got into a conversation about basketball?

I agree with Mike, it's odd that the Raptors have all but secured first place in the Atlantic Division and have already nailed down a playoff spot, yet all anybody wants to talk about is the Leafs and hockey.

That's just the way it is in Canada, and I'm not about to apologize for it. If anything, Americans should apologize for choosing basketball over hockey.

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Sabres Won't Win

March 29, 2007 @ 09:02


I caught a few minutes of the Bullpen on the Fan yesterday morning and Buffalo sportswriter Jim Kelly was the guest.

The subject was the Buffalo Sabres and their attitude as the playoffs approach. Kelly said there's concern because of the way the Sabres have played lately, and even greater concern if they happen to meet the Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.

Kelly reasons that the Leafs have probably given the Sabres more trouble than any other team this year by controlling Buffalo's shot total and applying a physical style of play that bothers the Sabres.

Well I'm here to give a prediction right now, and it's got nothing to do with the Leafs because I still don't think the Leafs are going to make the playoffs.

This is strictly a Buffalo prediction - the Sabres will not win the Stanley Cup. I don't think they're big enough or strong enough to survive through four rounds of the playoffs, and knowing the way the NHL works, as soon as the playoffs start the officiating will change and the Sabres will be screwed.

All the goofy little calls that are made now, calls that benefit teams like the Sabres, will probably disappear in the playoffs and it will be back to the old ways and Buffalo won't be able to handle it.

This prospect doesn't make me forlorn because as I've stated on many other occasions the Ottawa Senators are the only team in hockey that I despise more that the Sabres.

As for Ottawa, I have big concern over them this year.

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Piss Off Zelkovich

March 27, 2007 @ 08:31

Somehow, some way about ten years ago the Toronto Star sports department decided to make Chris Zelkovich their radio and television critic.

I don't know how these decisions are made at newspapers because giving Zelkovich this mandate made about as much sense as the Toronto Sun designating Bill Lankoff has their so called funny man.

Anyway, I have no time for Zelkovich and made the point several times over the years on some of my radio sports commentaries. He's just another hack who's been protected by a strong newspaper union.

He wasn't a very good writer and probably a lousy reporter so they gave him the "media" beat so he could justify his existence.

Many times of the years I found myself pounding my desk over stupid, pointless and unfair things that Zelkovich had written about the media in this town. Zelkovich is a nit-picker, he takes one sentence or one comment from a broadcaster and turns it into journalistic crime with nauseating "newspaper guy" arrogance.

A few years ago he wrote something stupid about Don Landry of the Fan, and I got so pissed off I sent him an e-mail defending my fellow radio guy. I received no reply.

His latest load of bullshit was yesterday's column about Don Cherry and Ron McLean.

I admit I'm not a huge fan of Don Cherry's but the attack he took at the hands of Zelkovich yesterday just didn't make sense. Cherry is paid to be entertaining and controversial and get ratings and like him or not, that's exactly what he was doing on Saturday night.

The problem is, Zelkovich is a stuffed shirt nerd who wouldn't know funny if it slapped him on the side of his big dopey head.

He also doesn't understand dogged determination, the type that Ron McLean displayed on Saturday night with his questioning of Colin Campbell. I thought it was rather impressive.

Zelkovich didn't, but then again he was obviously sitting at home with pen and paper looking for ways to create a column for the newspaper that can't get rid of him because he's been there too long and they don't want the union hassle.

Piss of Zelkovich and take Rosie Dimanno with you.

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Door Mats

March 26, 2007 @ 09:01

I also listened to the Oakley Show this morning on 640 and John was talking with Bill Watters during Leafs Breakfast.

A lot of time was spent talking about Andrew Raycroft and his obvious shortcomings, but I maintain he shouldn't be the primary target. The bulls eye should be on Mats Sundin.

Once again I'm not going to go back over the years and recite all the situations where the Leafs actually played better without their captain, or all the times they really needed him to step up and he didn't, because I'm exhausted by it.

All you have to do is look back over the past 13 games while the Leafs have been battling tooth and nail for their playoff lives to see that Sundin has one goal. One goal.

Having said that, give the Leafs credit for rebounding on Saturday night even though it will do them little good.

Look at the schedule folks, the Leafs are done.

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