Saturday, September 4, 2010

Keeping Score

It isn’t held on Labour Day, but it still is called the Labour Day Classic. And it does strange things to fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. . . . “You’re talking about young kids using special words that would be rated R in a movie theatre behind you and they incorporate that into your name,” Saskatchewan guard Marc Parenteau, who played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2006, told Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post. “Let’s just say that ‘Parent’ was hyphenated with another word and then ‘eau.’ It was classy.” . . . Dan Goodspeed, Saskatchewan’s right tackle who played four seasons with Winnipeg, told Hamilton: “People said, ‘Get ready for this. You’re going to see some things that you’ve never seen before: People with watermelons on their heads, guys with spikes and shoulder pads.’ I said, ‘Like the fans of the (Oakland) Raiders do?’ They said, ‘Yeah, but worse.’ It was more than what I was led to believe was going to happen. That bench is definitely a bad place to be.” . . . The game goes Sunday in Regina. Game time, on TSN, is 1 p.m. . . .

Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: “There was a great call by the announcer at a race track in New Jersey (last) week when horses named My Wife Knows Everything and The Wife Doesn’t Know battled down the stretch. I think you can guess which horse won.” . . . Canada may have struggled — that’s putting it nicely — in going 0-5 at the world basketball championship in Turkey. But don’t underestimate what South Kam product Kelly Olynyk accomplished. To be 19 years of age and to be playing for the national team at a tournament of this calibre is no mean feat. . . . And, in case you missed it, Canadian head coach Leo Rautins has said that he isn’t the only one who can see the NBA in Olynyk’s future. . . .

Here’s another gem from the aforementioned Hamilton: “The divorce of PGA star Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren was finalized (last) week. Woods now is the favourite to win the FedEx-Wife Cup.” . . . And one more from Hamilton: “It’s being reported that Nordegren — who was a babysitter before meeting Woods — is to get $100 million US in the divorce settlement. Hecklers now have a new taunt for Tiger: “Who’s your nanny??!!” . . . Jenny McCartney, in the London Telegraph, after Elin Nordegren said she hadn’t watched golf since that day in November: “Watching golf — in effect, observing someone else taking a walk with a purpose — must be the purest soporific imaginable. The longer Miss Nordegren is liberated from having to pretend she enjoys it, the more sanguine she may come to feel.” . . . Mike Bianchi, in the Orlando Sentinel: “Tiger Woods shoots his best round of golf on the week his marriage ends. Reminds me of the old Henny Youngman quote: ‘Why do divorces cost so much? Because they’re worth it!’ ” . . .

The big winners in Wednesday’s announcement from the Kamloops Blazers’ office are the hockey fans of Whitehorse. They get to watch the Blazers and their biggest rivals, the Vancouver Giants, on Feb. 12. In return, Blazers fans get to watch Team WHL play a team that CHL and WHL news releases have billed as the Russian national junior team. If the team that plays here on Nov. 17 is the Russian national junior team, I’ll eat this column. . . . By the way, don’t be looking for a whole lot of Blazers-Giants on CBC-TV on Feb. 12. It starts at 4 p.m., the same time as the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Canadiens in Montreal. Blazers or Maple Leafs? Which way to you think CBC will go? . . .

After the Los Angeles Dodgers let Manny Ramirez go on waivers, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times wrote: “So it ends, without fanfare, without a big finish, without even a player in return. It ends with a white flag unfurled on their season, the Dodgers simply deciding to waive Manny Ramirez and let him go to the White Sox. Goodbye Manny, goodbye 2010 playoff drive. He gave the Dodgers an incredible two months for free, and precious little for two years and $45 million.” . . . In his last at-bat with the Dodgers, Ramirez pinch-hit with the bases loaded. He saw one pitch — a called strike — and promptly got tossed for arguing it. . . . Jeff Passan, of Yahoo! Sports: “Getting thrown out of his final game . . . was Manny’s one-fingered farewell to the team that embraced him when he was a leper everywhere else, to the city that deified him when he was outed as a steroid user, to everyone who engaged in the symbiotic ugliness. On Manny goes, dumped by the Dodgers and picked up by the Chicago White Sox, who are merely the latest Father Flanagan convinced they can tame him.” . . .

Jot down Oct. 16 on your calendar. On that Saturday evening, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues are scheduled to play. St. Louis enforcer Cam Janssen has issued a dance invitation, via Twitter, to Dallas toughie Krys Barch. If they do, indeed, duke it out, it will be interesting to see how the NHL reacts to that kind of premeditated scrap. . . . Six calls at home over a two-day period. One at work. I’m starting to get the feeling that no-call thingy established by the government in an attempt to stop telephone solicitors isn’t working. . . .

The St. Louis Rams have a rookie tight end in camp whose name is Michael Hoomanawanui. Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo calls him Illiniois Mike because, as he told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, “I have no chance at that name.’’ . . . A few reporters were gathered in front of a Vancouver hotel on Aug. 26, awaiting the arrival of the Calgary Stampeders, who were to play the B.C. Lions the following night. When the bus pulled up, a group of elderly women disembarked. The Vancouver Province reported one of the reporters as saying: “Maybe the Lions could beat them.” . . . I’d have taken the gals, by 12. . . . Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt’s new football coach, dropped 15 pounds during his first two weeks there. As he told The Associated Press: “I know it’s hard to believe, but a fat man forgets to eat.” . . . Meanwhile, tennis player Mardy Fish has lost more than 30 pounds in the last year. As R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com noted: “If he gets any smaller, they’re going to start throwing him back.”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.

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