Sunday, October 16, 2011





The NHL, as you may have heard, returned to Winnipeg on Sunday. How big a deal was it? Radio station CJOB’s pregame show was seven hours long. And CJOB doesn’t even hold the play-by-play rights. . . . Chris Johnston of The Canadian Press was in Winnipeg for the game and tweeted: “Eating lunch in downtown Winnipeg. Entire restaurant boos Habs fans who walk in.” . . . Prior to the game, Mark Chipman, one of the Jets’ owners, was asked about any pregame rituals he may have observed. "I had my usual lunch with the prime minister," he replied. . . .

Jeremy Roenick, these days an NHL analyst on Versus, took time the other day to offer his take on the concussed Sidney Crosby: "I don't wanna hear every day, 'How's your head? How's your head? How's your head?' I don't wanna watch Sidney Crosby tell me every single day how there's nothing new to report. Enough already." . . .  "LeBron James is now talking about taking his talents to the NFL," notes the Left Coast Sports Babe. "Wait until someone tells him they also play four quarters." . . . Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post: “Something is seriously wrong with this picture: The CRTC has approved The Karaoke Channel, yet ESPN is still not available in Canada.” . . .

Bob Raissman, in the New York Daily News, before an NFL game last Sunday: “Don't know how the Jets will do in Foxborough this afternoon. We do know this: Patriots, er, CBS voices Jim Nantz and Phil Simms won't have a discouraging word to say about Bill Belichick or Tom Brady. Especially when CBS boss Les Moonves is sitting with Robert Kraft in the owner's box.” . . . Her name is Ellie Reid, but perhaps you know here better as hELLbilly Deluxe of the Gapland Rollers, a Saskatchewan roller derby team. The other day she explained her involvement to the Moosomin World-Spectator: "You are totally against the other team and you're right at each others' throats for a whole hour, and then you go drink beer with each other afterward. It's kind of like being a guy for an hour." . . .

Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “Lost in the hubbub over singer Hank Williams Jr.'s comparison of President Obama to Hitler was this question: Why was Fox News soliciting pearls of political wisdom from Williams in the first place? Apparently regular senior political analyst Charlie Daniels was on vacation.” . . . Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Boy, is Hank Jr. going to be bummed when he hears that ESPN plans to open its MNF telecasts with Obama's karaoke version of East Bound and Down.” . . . One more from Ostler: “(Tiger) Woods is healthy, his new and improved swing is in place, he has put in the practice time, he has found emotional equilibrium, yet he still can't play great golf. The scientific term for this: lost mojo.” . . .

"Dustin Johnson says he isn't mad that Tiger Woods stole his caddie," writes Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va. "He is just glad he doesn't have a wife." . . . After Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers injured himself while hitting a home run in Game 3 of the ALCS, he told the Detroit Free Press he almost definitely would play in Game 4. "The only way I won't play tomorrow,” he said, “is if I wake up and I'm dead." . . . Kevin Paul Dupont, in the Boston Globe: “The (Pittsburgh) Penguins make a habit of gathering as a team to watch the Brendan Shanahan videos in which he explains his rulings on the kind of head shots that (Matt) Cooke helped turn into an art form. Wonder if Cooke sits alone in a corner, with ears plugged and blindfold in place, during that bit of cinema verite?” . . .

The Helena Bighorns of the junior A America West Hockey League hoisted their national championship banner at their home-opener last weekend and Logan Hawgood of Kamloops was there to watch. Hawgood, an 18-year-old defenceman, wasn’t with the Bighorns last season — he played for the junior B Kamloops Storm — but he’s there now. Through four games, he had one assist and was plus-7. His mother and sister made the trip to Montana last weekend for the home-opener. . . . Also with the Bighorns is defenceman Brandon Rumble of Ottawa, whose father, Darren, is an assistant coach with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .

While watching the Rugby World Cup a week ago, All Blacks versus the Pumas, the referee whistled the play dead with a scrum circling to the left. The play-by-play voice offered: “The referee has them for screwing around illegally.” To which, the LGIW, who was doing a Sudoku and not paying much attention, responded: “What kind of talk is that?” . . . Outfielder Tyson Gillies was to have played this season with the Class AA Reading Phillies. But hamstring problems limited him to three games. Now he’s in the Arizona Fall League, playing with other top prospects, and was 3-for-7 with five walks and four runs in his first three games. . . .

Uhh, do you suppose the Occupy Kamloops folks could occupy Interior Savings Centre during a Blazers game? Hey, just asking. It might do wonders for the atmosphere in the local hockey mausoleum. . . . Here is comedy writer Alan Ray: "Denmark has begun charging a fat-food tax on cheese, meat, and oil, or, as we like to call it in America, the three basic food groups."

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

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