Saturday, December 1, 2012
Here’s Bill Simmons of grantland.com, on NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s place in history: “He’s the worst commissioner in sports history and really, it’s going to remain that way unless Roger Goodell extends the NFL’s season to 20 games, adds Wednesday- and Friday-night football to the schedule, pays a hitman to murder Jonathan Vilma, and gets outed for having a heated affair with his biographer, Peter King . . . and even then, I’d probably still give the edge to Bettman.” . . . Iain MacIntyre, in the Vancouver Sun, after the NHL cancelled its 2013 All-Star Game: “This is the first good thing to come from the lockout because nobody wants to go to Columbus in January so the NHL, a league teetering on a very high ledge, can celebrate itself.” . . . And here’s MacIntyre, after decertification talk began surrounding the NHLPA: “In the short term, decertification would address the chronic and shameful shortage of slick litigation lawyers because NHL owners and players would be in court for a while.” . . .
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun, comparing the general managers of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Argonauts: “If Brian Burke had managed what Jim Barker did in one year — hire the right coach, trade for the star quarterback, go from last place to the championship game — he’d be larger than he thinks he is now. Barker, meanwhile, awaits a contract extension, isn’t certain to get one and has no assurance he will be with the Argos beyond next season.” . . . I had assumed that Leo Cahill was in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame until I read Simmons’ column on Sunday morning. I had to read it twice to make sure I hadn’t missed a word or two. . . . Cahill deserves to be in this hall of fame the same way Paul Henderson absolutely should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. . . . You should know that Henderson was inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame last weekend. . . .
Phil Mushnick, in the New York Post: “After Wisconsin-Penn State, stat-stupid ESPN reported Bill O’Brien is the first PSU coach to win eight games in his first season. Zounds! He’s PSU’s third coach in the last 62 years! And in 1950, they scheduled nine games, not 12!” . . . Centre C.J. Stretch, who played a franchise-record 341 games over five seasons with your Kamloops Blazers, is the ECHL’s reigning player of the week. Stretch tied Ontario Reign single-game records for goals and points when he scored four goals and set up another in a 7-3 victory over the host Bakersfield Condors on Saturday. Stretch, 23, also had an assist in a 5-1 loss to the Bulls in San Francisco. . . .
After it was revealed that race-car driver Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing, Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com wondered: "Would it be inappropriate to say their relationship hit a wall?" . . . You’re a real racing fan if you know Mr. Patrick’s name. . . . “Now that Colorado has voted to legalize marijuana,” comedian Argus Hamilton says, “Denver may change the name of Invesco Field back to Mile High Stadium.” . . .
According to 247WallSt.com, which tracks such things, the Seattle Mariners are No. 1 on the list of major sports franchises with declining attendance over the past 10 years. The top five: 1. Mariners, 51.4 per cent; 2. Cleveland Indians, 38.7; 3. Houston Astros, 36.1; 4. Arizona Diamondbacks, 32.0; and 5. Dallas Stars, 23.2. . . . “B.C. Lions fans have finally figured out why they lost to Calgary in the West final,” claims Richmond blogger TC Chong. “It’s all Luongo’s fault.” . . .
John Gagliardi, the head football coach at St. John’s, Minn., is retiring at the age of 86. In a conversation with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he remembered his arrival: “When I came to St. John’s, the monks told me there was a vow of poverty. I didn’t realize that included the football coach.” . . . Headline at Fark.com: Auburn football coach fired, will be paid nearly $50k per week for next 3 years to NOT coach / In other news, college football players still not allowed to get a free meal. . . . After Philadelphia 76ers centre Andrew Bynum banged up a knee while bowling, Janice Hough (aka The Left Coast Sports Babe) noted: “This is bad news for all NBA players thinking of taking up curling.” . . . One more from Hough, who lives in the San Francisco area: “San Francisco voted to ban public nudity. Can they work on Spandex next?” . . .
Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle, after the Toronto Blue Jays signed a particular free-agent outfielder: “Melky Cabrera, two years for $16 mil. That, friends, is a coffee-spitter.” . . . One more from Ostler: “Andrew Bogut is getting the Regenokine treatment, nothing more than Bogut's own blood, removed and centrifuged, then reinjected into his ankle, at about $7,400 per treatment. Let's hope Speedee Oil Change doesn't hear about this.” . . . And how about another one from Ostler: “Retired WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw allegedly smashes an ex-girlfriend's car window with a baseball bat, then fires a gun into the car. So Chamique can still crash the glass and shoot.”
(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at email@example.com, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn’t.)
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