Sunday, March 24, 2013





In case you missed it, even the POTUS has taken notice of our own Kelly Olynyk, the centre with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. . . . While filling out his NCAA bracket, Barack Obama commented: "Even though Olynyk is a great big man, has great hair, does a great job, I think Wisconsin pulls the upset." . . . To which Olynyk tweeted: "Great hair recognizes great hair! #flow" . . . Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed and Wisconsin was No. 5 in the West Regional. Of course, we all know how that Wisconsin thing turned out, don't we. . . . Olynyk scooped another honour this week, too, as he was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America first team. . . .

You may be aware that the Baltimore Ravens have traded receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. That deal brought this response from Adam Rank of NFL.com: "There is a small part of me that believes John Harbaugh was forced by his parents to trade Anquan Boldin to his little brother after beating him in the Super Bowl." . . . Fark.com headlined that trade this way: "Apparently you can both beat 'em AND join 'em." . . . The Chicago Bears without linebacker Brian Urlacher? The Ravens without safety Ed Reed? The New England Patriots without receiver Wes Welker? The NFL really is having a Steve Martin kind of offseason. . . .

Pro golfer Bubba Watson must have a few hairs on his chest. As buddy Ben Crane told Orlando radio station WYGM: "If my ball landed in Bubba's chest hair, I'd have to take an unplayable lie." . . . Whose fans are more tortured these days, followers of the Toronto Maple Leafs or those who worship at the shrine of the Vancouver Canucks? . . . If you missed it, the Leafs announced that ticket prices are going up 2.5 per cent. It would have been more but the owners want to thank the fans for showing such patience during the lockout and such loyalty afterward. . . . As Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun put it: "I would naturally be offended by the Leafs raising ticket prices if I wasn't already offended by the prices they charge now." . . .

Three 16-year-olds from Kamloops, who are lifelong friends and were often teammates, each won a rookie-of-the-year award this hockey season. Forward Connor Brown-Maloski actually was twice honoured in the KIJHL, as the Neil Murdoch Division's and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks' top rookie. Forward Ryan Gropp of the Penticton Vees was named the rookie of the year in the BCHL's Interior Conference. Defenceman Joe Hicketts was saluted as the Victoria Royals' top rookie. . . .

It was only three years ago when skier Lindsey Vonn, in a story in Time magazine, was poking fun at Tiger Woods and his problems. This week, they announced on Facebook - as opposed to People or US Weekly, one supposes - that they are a couple. . . . It says something about the world we live in that this is considered news. . . . Of course, they came out of the closet on the same day that Lindsay Lohan headed back to rehab. . . . Sheesh! So much competition for the day's top story. . . . "Steven Ray Tickle, a star of the TV show Moonshiners, was arrested for public intoxication," writes Ron Judd of the Seattle Times. "He's been charged with two counts of felony cliché." . . . Woods and Vonn and Lohan and a TV show called Moonshiners. Is this a great time to be alive, or what? . . .

"Since one of the charms of the World Baseball Classic is the display of distinctive national flavors and styles," writes Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, "wouldn't it be better if the eligibility rules called for, say, the Italian team to have more, you know, Italians?" . . . One more from Ostler: "Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin was stung by a scorpion in his Cactus League condo (recently) and rushed himself to the hospital with alarming symptoms. That's just what I need to hear as I head to the Valley of the Sun & Deadly Insects for spring training. I hope my hotel room has rattlesnakes. I hear they eat scorpions." . . .

Norio Sakaki, Mr. Senior Hockey in these parts, and the city's senior players want to thank all of the officials who worked games this season - Jim Tateishi, Bruce White, Dave Costain, Ray Shindell, Ron Tenisici, Bob Reid, Cliff McBryan and Tim Araki. Gentlemen, thanks for an awesome job once again. . . . Norio, consider it done. . . . In case you missed it, visiting England bested San Marino 8-0 in a World Cup qualifying match yesterday. San Marino now has lost, uhh, 51 straight games. . . . San Marino's head coach, Giampaolo Mazza, is a physical education teacher in his other life. He doesn't get paid a salary, only expenses, so 51 straight losses isn't likely to cost him his soccer job. . . .

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald plays A and Q: "Answer: Snoop Dogg's son has a football scholarship to Duke. Question: Who'll be the only Dad invited to the frat party?" . . . It is almost summer, which means boating season is approaching. With that in mind, here's a thought from Cote that coincided with the end of the Miami International Boat Show: "I thought of buying a really nice boat once, then got smart and decided instead to cultivate a friend who owned a really nice boat."

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


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