Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “If Steve Nash plays a leisurely 10 minutes a game — even out of shape — Canada wins three of its first four games at the world championship, maybe all four, and nobody is saying ‘What’s wrong with Canadian basketball?’ ” . . . Roberto Luongo hasn’t even arrived in Vancouver — well, maybe he’s there this weekend — and already you don’t care who is the Canucks’ captain. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “Those guys who got into that old-fashioned bar brawl at the (U.S.) Open the other night showed more fight during one tennis match than the Mets have shown for two months.” . . . One more from Lupica: “The way Rafa Nadal picks constantly at his tennis shorts during matches, you have to say that he’s brought a whole new meaning to the concept of pulling one out by the seat of your pants.” . . .
The way comedy writer Alex Kaseberg hears it, things have been “a little awkward” at the Minnesota Vikings’ training camp. “Instead of yelling an audible at the line of scrimmage,” Kaseberg writes, “Brett Favre keeps telling the defence to get off his lawn.” . . . Here’s New York Jets running back David Clowney, on the HBO show Hard Knocks: “Coach calls me the butt back. You know what a butt back is? You go up to the coach (and ask), ‘Coach, can I get into the game?’ He’s like, ‘Boy, get your butt back.’ ” . . . Are you ready for some football? Don’t forget it’s the South Surrey Rams and Kamloops Broncos tonight, 7 bells, at Hillside Stadium. . . .
Fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders are able to get their hands on loonies that bear their favourite team’s logo. Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs have no such things. You have to wonder how that sits with followers of the Laffs. . . . By the way, Sunday’s Labour Day Classic — which, of course, wasn’t played on Labour Day — wasn’t great in terms of entertainment value. The Banjo Bowl — Sunday, 10 a.m., TSN — should be better. Maybe. . . . Quarterback Buck Pierce of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers got hurt again Sunday — this time he dislocated his right elbow — and that was only as predictable as rain in Vancouver, even if this one happened when he fell down. . . . You have to wonder if Pierce ever will understand that he isn’t indestructible. Hey, Buck, it’s OK to duck out of bounds on occasion. . . .
The Cincinnati Reds brought up Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman from the minors and it wasn’t long before he hit 103 miles per hour on a radar gun. As Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix noted: “In a related story, the New York Yankees asked the Reds if they can have him now or later.” . . . The most interesting part of the Vancouver Canucks’ 2010-11 season may be the back and forth between the traditional media and general manager Mike Gillis. There is no mutual admiration society there. Gillis, according to Matthew Sekeres of The Globe and Mail, plans on using social media, such as Twitter, to communicate with fans. “Social media is not something that is going to go away, and I think it’s a way to get a little bit of a different perspective out there,” Gillis told Sekeres. “We’ll test it out and see if it works.” . . .
The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund seems to start up earlier and earlier every year, not that there is anything wrong with that, of course. A couple of weeks ago, a gentleman handed two boxes of pennies to Mel Rothenburger, the editor in these parts. And just the other day, Melissa Bailey, whose desk is just over there, handed me an envelope that contained the proceeds of an in-house draw. Yes, the pot already is building. . . . Charities should know that the deadline to get in your application for a piece of the Christmas Cheer Fund is Sept. 30. For more info, visit www.kamloopsnews.ca and click on the Christmas Cheer logo. . . .
Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The Ryder Cup has a strong social element; it is very much a couples event for the players. I’m dying to see who Tiger’s date will be. Paris Hilton? Michael Jordan? Ida I-Hop?” . . . One more from Ostler: “FIFA chief Sepp Blatter believes the solution to slipshod World Cup officiating is not TV replay, but full-time officials. Sepp might want to check with MLB to see how that’s working for them.” . . . Kendall Langford of the Miami Dolphins lost an earring — a US$50,000 earring — during practice the other day. He and his teammates got down on hands and knees but weren’t able to find it. “$50,000?” Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw exclaimed to the Shreveport Times. “Go tell that to somebody that can’t pay for his kid’s education or can’t get them into a hospital room and get them treated properly. Here is a guy wearing a $50,000 earring to practice. I hope they stomped on it, and I hope he never found it.” . . .
Bill (Spaceman) Lee won a game on Sunday for the Brockton, Mass., Rox, which is news because he is 63 years of age. It seems that actor Woody Harrelson owns the film rights to Lee’s life story. As Dwight Perry noted in the Seattle Times: “The marijuana bill alone would bust that movie’s budget.” . . . Hmm, sounds like a film project that would be a good fit for Vancouver. . . . Alex Rodriguez and long-time agent Scott Boras have visited Splitsville. Which resulted in Budd Bailey of the Buffalo News writing: “Boras says they still care for each other and will share custody of A-Rod’s money.” . . . After her latest brush with the law, the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas banned Paris Hilton. To which NBC’s Jay Leno noted: “I’m not sure what Paris is banned for, but I think we can rule out card counting.”
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at email@example.com, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.