Sunday, February 17, 2013





With next season’s Super Bowl to be played outdoors, Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot had a message for the NFL’s commissioner: “If Roger Goodell is so sure that the weather won’t be too cold for fans at next year’s Super Bowl at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, he should promise now that he’ll abandon his glass-enclosed luxury box to sit outside with the great unwashed.” . . . A Canadian will be elected Pope before that happens. . . . What’s that? . . . The annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is on its way. Some of the photos in this year’s edition were taken in Antarctica. As Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe noted: “Editors said it was too cold to shoot at the site of next year’s Super Bowl.” . . .

If you saw Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am a week ago and were wondering about the facial foliage, he is filming a movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, these days. He plays the hotel’s concierge. . . . The movie is scheduled for release in 2014. . . . The Baltimore Ravens have revealed that a statue of retiring linebacker Ray Lewis will be erected outside their stadium. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “I'm just wondering if he'll be depicted obstructing a ballcarrier during the Super Bowl or obstructing justice during a murder investigation?” . . . After those in charge of the Academy Awards telecast revealed that they will working to edit out the boring parts, Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, scribbled: “So should we expect a half-hour ceremony?’’ . . . At that, it would be twice as long as the Grammys, were it to get the same treatment. . . .

During the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, the modern pentathlon featured competitors from 26 countries. Wrestlers were represented by 71 countries. . . . You already know which sport the IOC pooh-bahs are trying to dump. . . . Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka the Sports Curmudgeon: “Would you be shocked to learn that Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC President, is simultaneously the vice-president of the international governing body for modern pentathlon and a board member of the IOC? Now that you know that fact, are you still surprised that modern pentathlon survived the cut?” . . . Headline at Fark.com: IOC president to meet with head of wrestling’s governing body to discuss how big of a bribe is needed to save its Olympic status.” . . .

Matthew Failor didn’t win the Yukon Quest, but he had some stories when he was done, including an explanation as to why he was wearing glasses when he got to Fairbanks. “I took my contacts out and put them in a glass of water one night when I was in Dawson,” he said. “I woke up in the middle of the night thirsty, drank the water and then realized I was out a contact lens! I didn’t have an extra pair either.” . . . “If Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez ever wanted to stack the proceeds of his new $175 million contract one crisp $1 bill every second,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “it would take him more than 5 1/2 years to finish. And his pile of ones would be nearly 12 miles high!” . . .

Here’s Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette after things got nasty late in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6-0 victory over the host Habs a week ago: “So Mikhail Grabovski decides to make like Marv Albert without the pink negligee and Colton Orr tries to splatter the knee of Tomas Plekanec, all this with Kelly Hrudey making like Max Pacioretty’s arm provoked Grabovski’s teeth and Orr was justified in trying to kneecap a player because someone had grabbed his stick. Human bites can lead to horrible, intractable infections and there should be no place for that in any sport — but it was just another night at the office for Hockey Night in Canada, which has become more and more an adjunct of the Leafs public-relations office.” . . .

The Saskatchewan representative in the Brier next month in Edmonton includes two players from Alberta — skip Brock Virtue and second Chris Schille. “I don’t want a team with two Albertans representing my province at the Brier,” Cam Hutchinson writes in the Saskatchewan Express. “More specifically, I don’t want Chris Schille wearing Saskatchewan green. I want a redo.” . . . “Prima ballerina Svetlana Lunkina may seek asylum in Canada, accusing the Russian Ballet of threats, hacked emails and an international smear campaign,” notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. ““Does that sound like Bolshoi?” . . . One more from Currie: “Ashley Judd is now the former spouse of IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti. Or as they say in racing, wife in the past lane.” . . .

Defenceman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators went down with a nasty skate cut on Wednesday night and the loudest squeals you heard were from fantasy hockey players. . . . Here’s Richmond blogger TC Chong: “American Airlines and US Airways have formally announced they plan to merge. This deal was supposed to finalize sometime in 2009, but delay after delay after delay . . .” . . . Tiger Woods had his private jet bring skier Lindsay Vonn home from Austria after she blew out a knee at the world championships. Which got Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times to wondering: “Can you just imagine the wall-to-wall coverage by NBC if Tiger travels to Sochi, Russia, next year to cheer Vonn on in the Winter Olympics? ESPN would have to start a new channel just to cover that.”

(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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