Sunday, January 13, 2013





Who can figure out some hockey happenings? . . . In Everett, Garry Davidson, the general manager of the WHL’s Silvertips, fired head coach Mark Ferner this week. Both men agree there was a difference in hockey philosophy, Davidson being an offensive guy and Ferner having always been defence first. That being the case, though, we are left to wonder why Davidson didn’t make the move last summer. . . . And don’t try to understand why the Toronto Maple Leafs picked Wednesday to fire Brian Burke, their president and GM. That’s like trying to figure out why milk is white when cows eat green grass. . . . When LGIW, who is not a sports fan, heard that Burke had been fired, she responded: “They can fire God?” . . . “Only the Toronto Maple Leafs,” writes Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “would wait until after one work stoppage ends to tell their general manager to stop working.” . . .

“Why is there a University of Phoenix Stadium,” wonders Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “but no University of Phoenix football team?” . . . “Maybe next time Rex (Ryan) gets a tat,” scribbles Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, “he ought to just think about something, I don’t know, patriotic. Or maybe just ‘Mom.’ ” . . . Golfer Juli Inkster had elbow surgery last year and did a lot of walking in order to stay in some semblance of shape. As she told the San Francisco Chronicle: "The poor dog is walked to death. Every time I grab the leash, she just cringes." . . . Headline in the Seattle Times after Sophie Laboissonnier, Miss Congeniality in the 2011 Miss Coastal Vancouver beauty pageant, pleaded guility for her role in the 2011 Stanley Cup riot: Give Miss Congeniality the Miss Conduct award, too. . . .

Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “One reason to dislike Peyton Manning: He writes down his New Year’s resolutions, and then organizes them and files them so he can look back at last year and the year before, etc. Really, who wants to hang around with that?” . . . Here’s Simmons, after the WJC: “We don’t want junior hockey to be like women’s hockey, where the same teams win every tournament, every time. Competition makes sport better. We need to embrace the competition, frankly, as the Americans have, and now take it to the next level.” . . .

You may have noticed that football teams from Northwestern, Rice, Stanford and Vanderbilt all won bowl games. As Clay Travis of OutkickTheCoverage.com called it on Twitter: "Revenge of the nerds." . . . Former Kamloops Blazers defenceman Scott Niedermayer has signed on with the Anaheim Ducks as an assistant coach. The Blazers say that won’t have any impact on their plans to retire his number at a Jan. 25 game and that Neidermayer and his family will be here. . . . The NHL lockout officially ended on Wednesday morning. That’s when the Vancouver Canucks returned to what they do best -- managing the message. That’s when they informed injured centre Ryan Kesler that he isn’t allowed to talk with the media until he is healthy. Who knew it’s his vocal cords that are hurting? . . .

If you’re not paying at least a bit of attention to the Gonzaga University men’s basketball program right now, you should be. Why? Because Kelly Olynyk, a product of the South Kamloops Titans, is having one of those monster seasons. And how often does it happen that someone from our neck of the woods is a force in NCAA hoops? . . . A mid-week tweet from ESPN’s Bill Simmons: “Within 10 months, Seattle might have Russell Wilson, the Sonics and legalized marijuana. I'm putting my house on the market.” . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Report: NHL owners and players still not in agreement on when next lockout should be. . . .

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team visited Minnesota and lost 4-1 to the Gophers on Tuesday night. The Gophers’ fans, showing some imagination, sometimes broke into chants of “Alabama! Alabama!!” . . . A headline in Tuesday’s Tuscaloosa, Ala., News: Four-leaf clobber. . . . It’s Tuesday, 3 p.m., and visibility is poor in heavy snow. People, turn on your headlights. . . . Sheesh, is Lance Armstrong really going to visit Oprah’s confessional? He just needs to stand up somewhere and say what everyone knows: “I did it.” But, as Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., points out: “He just isn't used to backpedaling." . . .

“If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” wonders Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “why does every antisteroid program have its collections done by what seems to be a stoner pizza-delivery guy?” . . . Did you know that Brazilian prostitutes are signing up for free English lessons? Prostitution, if you didn’t know, is legal in Brazil, and the ladies are preparing for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament. As Len Berman of ThatsSports.com puts it: “Just another example of sports advancing the common good.”

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

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