Saturday, August 11, 2012





Watching that women’s soccer game between Canada and the U.S., from Old Trafford on Monday, it dawned on me that we hadn’t seen officiating that bad since 1972 and Josef Kompalla. . . . Perhaps the most impressive part of that soccer game was the intensity and the lack of diving. Gotta wonder if some of the international men’s teams were paying attention. . . . By the way, U.S. striker Amy Wambach could have played for Fred Shero’s Broad Street Bullies. She’ll do anything to win and she’s tough as nails. . . .
Not all Americans were enamoured by the U.S. women team’s victory in the Olympic soccer tournament. “It doesn’t smell good,” offered Michael Wilbon on the ESPN show PTI, referring to calls and non-calls that favoured the U.S. in its last two games. . . . Added co-host Dan Le Batard, in reference to the final game: “Japan was better in this game . . . and we were cheating in the penalty box. Not just that time (when an obvious hand ball went uncalled), but we Greco-Roman wrestled one girl . . . pummelled . . . pile drove one woman in the penalty box. Japan was pelting our goal. The U.S. women should be thankful they got out of there with the gold because I’m not sure how much they deserved it.” . . .
Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops is back in the Philadelphia Phillies’ good graces. His suspension for verbally abusing a bus driver has been lifted and he was back in the Class AA Reading Phillies’ lineup on Thursday. He went 1-for-4, with a solo homer, as Reading got past the host Trenton Thunder, 4-1. That was Gillies’ third dinger this season. More importantly, he reports that his oft-inujured legs are “feeling pretty good.” . . . If you’re in an NFL fantasy league, you should know that the Miami Dolphins are moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defence. That means that former B.C. Lions defensive end Cameron Wake is moving from outside linebacker to DE. . . .
Penske Racing revealed a while back that it is leaving Dodge and will run Fords on the NASCAR Sprint Cup next year. Dodge now says it is pulling out of the Sprint Cup Nationwide and Camping World Truck circuits. . . . Excuse me, but isn’t NASCAR without Dodge kind of like orange juice without the oranges? . . .
 In case you missed it, the CFL held its credibility-eating Braley Bowl on Monday in Toronto. That’s when the B.C. Lions, who are owned by David Braley, beat the Argos, who are owned by, yes, David Braley, 18-9. . . . There are eight teams in the CFL. The fact that two of them are owned by one individual can’t be good. . . . Bob Molinaro, in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “TV Timeout: Now that NFL teams have opened camp this week, ESPN has been working hard to pretend that something worth knowing is happening.” . . .
The Spokane-based Gonzaga Bulldogs men’s basketball team opens its season Nov. 9 with a non-conference game against the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Kelly Olynyk, the 7-footer from Kamloops, will be back in the lineup after redshirting as a junior last season. As a sophomore, he came off the bench in 34 games and averaged 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds. “I think people are going to be surprised as to how much Kelly has improved. He did a nice job with his redshirt year,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said in a news release this week. . . . Centre C.J. Stretch, who played five seasons with the Kamloops Blazers, has signed to play a third season with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign. He had 50 points, including 20 goals, in 45 games last season. He also played 23 games with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, picking up six assists. . . .
Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “And from the ‘Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves’ file comes word that South Korea sent sailing coach Lee Jae-cheol home from the Olympics for driving three sheets to the wind.” . . . Those who know say the Colosseum — yes, the one in Rome — needs a $30-million fix-me-up. To which Perry writes: “David Stern, simply out of habit, threatened to yank the city’s NBA franchise if a new arena isn’t built.” . . . Arthur Blank, who is one of the founders of Home Depot, owns the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. And he wants the Georgia taxpayers to build him a new stadium. Some free advice, then, for the taxpayers from The Sports Curmudgeon: “If the taxpayers pay to build the stadium, all of the tools and materials needed to build the stadium will be purchased at Lowe’s.”

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.com andtwitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays except when it doesn’t.)

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