Saturday, March 19, 2011
If you didn't hear, our prime minister was in Vancouver earlier this week and he watched the Minnesota Wild play your beloved Canucks. "Most entertaining part of the game for me was watching Prime Minister Stephen Harper sitting nine rows up in the lower bowl with Trevor Linden," wrote Mike Russo of the Minneapolis-St. Paul StarTribune. "There was like no security. Linden talked the PM's ear off, they shared popcorn, girls leaned over the Prime Minister to get Linden's autograph. . . . Just a different country up here. Imagine President Obama sitting in the stands at a sporting event?" . . . Jerry Crowe, in the Los Angeles Times: "Mike Tyson's misidentifying the Michelin Man as the 'Michigan Man' (last) week reminds reader Geoff Strain of Redondo Beach that Tyson once refused to answer a question from UPI because, 'One of your drivers ran over my dog.' " . . .
Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, as he watched the Brier: "Seeing how athletic curlers have become makes me long for the days of Ed Werenich, Hec Gervais and Randy Ferbey." . . . One more from Hutchinson: "A study says men with low voices are more likely to cheat. Everybody sing along: 'Tiger sang bass; Elin sang tenor. Me and little brother would join right in there.' " . . . Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: "First Rachel Alexandra turns up pregnant, then Zenyatta. So when's the bridle shower?" . . . If you weren't aware, it's March/April Madness time again in the Excited States which means that, being a proud Canadian, I once again am rooting for Yukon to go all the way. . . .
I noticed a week ago that the Chicago Cubs split their spring training team in two and played a pair of games, losing both to the Cincinnati Reds. Which somehow is only fitting because it was former Cubs great Ernie Banks who said: "It's a great day for baseball. Let's lose two." . . . Congratulations to co-chairs Lindsey Karpluk and Brian Peters, along with the more than 150 volunteers, for raising the bar, again, with the provincial AA high school basketball championships that ended at the TCC a week ago. What a magnificent show! From the program, which is simply terrific, through the final game, this was a world-class event. Well done! . . .
Social note: Forward Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens and pro tennis player Katia Afinogenova are an item. In fact, they are engaged. She is the younger sister of former NHL speedster Maxim Afinogenov. . . . I'm thinking Katia was on Wheel of Fortune, bought a vowel and took it with her. . . . R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com notes: "The latest issue of SELF Magazine outlines a four-part exercise routine that will get you Minka Kelly's body. Playing shortstop for the Yankees also works." . . .
Bill Plaschke, in the Los Angeles Times: "In terms of perception, the current NFL labor dispute is the most one-sided fight since good first climbed into the ring with evil. Cheering for the owners is like cheering for the IRS, cable companies and Charlie Sheen. Cheering for the owners is like watching a televised police pursuit and cheering for the guy in the Escalade." . . . Len Jorgenson, who played for the Kamloops Blazers in 1988-89, is the head coach of the local midget Tier 2 team that is off to provincials in Salmon Arm on the weekend. A spy tells me that Jorgenson's old-school approach has worked wonders with this team. The same spy wonders if it wouldn't work with more teams in our city. . . .
Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: "New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was seen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (last) week with his hair pulled back into a ponytail. Asked if he planned to change his hairstyle before taking the field again, Brady said he'd mullet over." . . . One more from Hamilton: "Rhonda Lee Quaresma, a 42-year-old bodybuilder from Toronto, was arrested and charged with prostitution in Bonita Springs, Fla. Apparently, she's also a bawdy-builder." . . . There is a major flaw in the NHL's latest strategy aimed at cutting down on the number of concussions. The Vancouver Canucks are tied at two games with the Blackhawks and are playing Game 5 in Chicago. One of the Sedins takes a hit and is looking wonky. After an examination away from the bench, a Chicago doctor rules that the player should be held out of the game. . . . How does that go over with the Canucks? . . .
Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops played in his first spring training game earlier this week with the Philadelphia Phillies' AA roster. He singled, tripled, scored twice and drove in two runs in a 12-3 victory over the Blue Jays' AA hopefuls. . . . According to LeBron James, the players on Miami's NBA team call themselves The Heatles. Why? Because they draw fans wherever they go. . . . To which Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: "That's an insult to the greatest rock and roll band of all time. The way the Heat collapse down the stretch in big games, I'm thinking they need to borrow the name of another famous rock band: The Pretenders."
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at email@example.com, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.