Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saskatchewan pride takes a hit





There is a photo out there of Russian President Vladimir Putin holding up a 46-pound northern pike. . . . “Putin called it a crowning achievement,” said NBC-TV’s Jimmy Fallon, “while the manager of the aquarium said, ‘What am I supposed to do? He’s president?’ ” . . . Former Kamloops Blazers defenceman Tyler Hansen left his home in Magrath, Alta., this week and headed for Buenos Aires as he begins a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Hansen, 20, is eligible for a fifth season in the WHL, but chose to go on a mission instead. You are able to follow him via his blog at tylerhansen02.blogspot.ca. . . .

Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones had 333,529 followers when he closed his Twitter account. “Too much hate and too many trolls,” he reasoned. . . . On that subject, a gal named Brittni tweeted this at Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets: “u ain’t never getting a ring.” . . . To which Howard responded: “With that face (I don’t) think u getting one either lol.” . . . Yes, Chipper was right. . . . Left-hander Andrew Albers of North Battleford, Sask., threw a complete-game two-hit shutout in his second major league start for the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. TSN’s SportsCentre ran through 13 other stories and two commercial breaks before mentioning it. Come on, TSN, you’re better than that. Aren’t you? . . .

“My Amazon order just came to the door,” tweets Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register, “delivered by Bob Woodward.” . . . Goaltender James Leonard of Kamloops has had his KIJHL rights dealt from the Golden Rockets to the Nelson Leafs for future considerations. However, Leonard, 20, apparently is thinking about pursuing a trade rather than a hockey career. . . . Don’t ask why, but some guy has completed a 22-mile swim across Lake St. Clair in Michigan while pulling a barge carrying a ton of bricks. “One spectator says the feat reminded him of when LeBron James played for the Cavaliers,” notes contributor Bill Littlejohn. . . .

Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald has this royal family thing — there have been six King Georges along the way — all figured out. “It’s the same basic principle,” he writes, “as Uga at the University of Georgia.” . . . “Researchers say every man on the planet can trace his origin to a man who lived 135,000 years ago,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express. “To put that in other words, we are all related to Larry King.” . . . A Tuesday tweet from Hutchinson: "Sask. pride and joy: Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Andrew Albers, Graham DeLaet. No longer our pride and joy: Pamela Wallin." . . .

Headline at eTruSports.com: Putin to offer A-Rod asylum. . . . When a reigning political party has bad news to release, it often is done late on a Friday afternoon, the theory being that it will get minimal play as media outlets are all but closed for the weekend. . . . Which brings us to the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association and the news release it issued on Aug. 9 at 6:35 p.m., stating that “Tom McManus . . . is leaving the association to concentrate on his role as head coach” of the TRU WolfPack women’s team. Actually, McManus had been told in late June that KYSA’s board wasn’t going to renew his contract. . . .

I don’t know why, but whenever I’m flipping channels and come across Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, I always stop. . . . Damon is a huge fan of the New England Patriots and was asked during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Podcast about the departure of receiver Wes Welker. "He is irreplaceable in many ways,” Damon replied. “I sent an e-mail to (quarterback Tom) Brady telling him I was available." . . . Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops is on record as saying he is against paying NCAA football players. Stan Van Gundy, the former NBA coach, had this response to Orlando radio station WYGM: “Because if we start paying the players we can’t pay Bob Stoops $5 million a year.” . . .

Lee-Gaye and Mike Hicketts of Kamloops are putting on the miles as they travel to watch son Joe play hockey. They were in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last week as Team Canada won the U-18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. And it was just two winters ago when they were in Austria where Joe, a defenceman with the WHL’s Victoria Royals, captained Team Canada at the Youth Olympics in Innsbruck. . . . Here’s a tweet from TSN’s Craig Button, who also was at the Hlinka tournament: “Joe Hicketts would be my choice as unsung hero for U-18 Gold Medal at Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.” . . . Hicketts, an alternate captain with Team Canada, also captained Team Pacific at the 2013 U-17 World Hockey Challenge. He will be the Royals’ captain, perhaps as soon as this season. . . .

Vancouver comedian Torben Rolfsen, after Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timberwolves took a young woman to his room so was run out of the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program: “Wait a minute. I thought the whole point of this thing was to prepare for life in the NBA?” . . . Rolfsen, again: “It was cool that Jose Iglesias homered in his second game with the Detroit Tigers. But did he have to dedicate it to all the girls he’s loved before?” . . . . “Researchers at MIT have successfully planted false recollections in the brains of test subjects,” notes R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com. “So cheer up Cubs fans; there may be hope for a memorable season.”

(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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