Saturday, September 17, 2011
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “The new NFL deal signed with ESPN for Monday Night Football and no playoff games at all will pay each team in the NFL US$59 million a season for the next 15 years. That’s irrespective of the other deals the league has with FOX, NBC, CBS and its own NFL Network. Wanna feel tiny? One year of the ESPN deal could operate the entire CFL (all players, all employees) for 126 seasons.” . . . Ann Arbor, Mich., is home to the stadium known as the Big House, where the U of Michigan Wolverines play their home games. There were 114,804 fans in the Big House a week ago when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish came calling. The population of Ann Arbor is 113,934. . . .
Headline at SportsPickle.com: “1972 Dolphins celebrate Week 1 losses by Saints, Falcons, Browns, Steelers, Rams, Chiefs, Titans, Bucs, Colts, Panthers, Vikings, Seahawks, Giants and Cowboys.” . . . A tweet from singer Jann Arden: “a huge hawk just hit my window. yikes. he seems okay. as I feared, he appeared to have been texting.” . . . Gonzaga U hadn’t uttered a word, but when the U of Hawaii released its non-conference men’s basketball schedule, it showed the Rainbow Warriors meeting the Bulldogs at Rogers Place in Vancouver on Nov. 19. Game time, for all you Kelly Olynyk fans, will be 7 p.m. . . .
When Alexander Galimov died on Monday morning, it meant that the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team had been wiped out in that plane crash. Stop and think about that for a moment. . . . An entire hockey team. Gone. Just like that. . . . Through the wonders of modern communication, video of the memorial held in the arena in Yaroslavl was available live on YouTube in the early hours of last Saturday. If that didn’t make you tear up, nothing will. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “The more Plaxico Burress talked in that magazine article, no kidding, the more he sounded like the most falsely accused guy since Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive. I kept waiting for him to blame the shooting on a mysterious one-armed man.” . . . “The city of San Diego suffered through a 9-hour electrical outage,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “but everyone finally got their power back. Except for the Padres, of course.” . . .
Should we have been surprised that, while the rest of the U.S. was remembering 9/11, Serena Williams was playing the role of Ugly American in Sunday’s U.S. Open women’s final at Arthur Ashe Stadium? If nothing else, she is proof that a tiger doesn’t change its stripes. . . . Here’s Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail, who was at the match: “So the American lost on a court named after an athlete of uncommon dignity, and even on a day so ripe with emotion for this country, when you desperately wanted to cheer for the narrative of a home-court win, it was hard not to come away believing justice was done.” . . . The unapologetic Williams later was fined $2,000. She dug into her handbag and paid it with her loose change. . . .
Here’s hoping you have been able to catch at least some of the Rugby World Cup. Hey, these guys are tough! After beating Tonga 25-20 in a great game the other night, Canadian captain Pat Riordan was asked: “Were you worried at half time?” His response: “No. I was busy getting my head stitched up.” . . . There isn’t a more ferocious sport between the whistles than rugby the way it’s being played in New Zealand and, sheesh, there aren’t any fights. Imagine that. . . .
Calgary Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis was asked this week about the B.C. Lions’ improved play on defence. His response: “They were facing Toronto.” . . . Along the same lines, the Dallas Morning News asked Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon how impressed he has been with the fact that Texas Rangers pitchers have put up 18 shutouts. “With all due respect,” Maddon said, “they’re playing against Oakland and Seattle a lot.” . . . The Boston Red Sox have watched this month as Tampa Bay cut a nine-game deficit in the AL wild-card race to four games. As Boston DH David Ortiz told the Boston Globe: “Nobody’s to blame except everybody.” . . .
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber had been hoping to make a comeback at the age of 36. He reportedly was devasted that all NFL teams passed him over for younger players. Call it football karma. After all, as Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press put it: “Funny, his ex-wife had a somewhat similar experience a little while back.” . . . Fluto Shinzawa, in the Boston Globe: “With summer on its last legs, it’s a good time to remind readers that the best way to fire up a backyard grill is with several crumpled newspaper pages. Try that trick with your iPad.”
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.