Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some thoughts from the big smoke . . .

Some thoughts, as I sit and contemplate the meaning of life from a hotel deep in the heart of the city where we are all Canucks. . . .

1. From what I have seen, Vancouver doesn't have a vehicular traffic or a bicycle problem; it has a predestrian problem. Having been ensconced in the downtown area for more than two weeks now, I find it amazing how pedestrians simply ignore the 'don't walk' signals and proceed with impunity into crosswalks regardless of whether a driver is attempting to make a right-hand turn. The miracle is that more pedestrians don't lose battles in the middle of the crosswalks.

2. And we won't even get into the danger caused by pedestrians walking and doing whatever it is they are doing with their phones.

3. The Edmonton Eskimos' handling of brain-injured quarterback Mike Reilly is evidence of everything that is wrong with the way a lot of sporting organizations look upon this kind of injury. The Edmonton Oil Kings have as much chance of winning the Grey Cup as the Eskimos do, so why would the footballers rush Reilly back into action and start him Saturday against the visiting Montreal Alouettes? (BTW, how did the once-proud Eskimos get here from there?)

4. You're wondering: How did I spend Saturday morning?Actually, I walked down to Coal Harbour and did some yacht shopping. No, I didn't find one that fits our budget.

5. I'm thinking there might be room for a few more Starbucks outlets in downtown Vancouver. NOT!

6. Those people who are saying it's going to take a death on the ice for the NHL to get fighting out of its game need to do a Google search for Don Sanderson. No matter how you look at the issue of fighting in hockey, you have to admit that it is completely illogical to penalize a player for checking to the head and then allow him to beat that same opponent senseless in a fight.

7. If it comes down to Brian Burke versus Putin and his pals, who you got? After reading this piece by The Globe and Mail's Gary Mason, I've got Burke.

8. Mark Hunter, who is covering the Kamloops Blazers in my absence, has written a nifty piece about goaltender Bolton Pouliot and forward Aspen Sterzer, who one day will be brothers-in-law. It's right here.

9. I'll tell you what . . . Friday was a tough, tough day. Only four baseball games on TV. Cam Moon, I thought of you on more than one occasion.

10. I'm thinking Calgary Hitmen forward Pavel Padakin, who was Pavlo Padakin last season, needs to go back to his former name. He already is serving his second suspension of this season. He drew three games for a match penalty a month ago, and now is to be suspended for a boarding major.

11. The Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs played to a 4-4 tie on Saturday night. Sorry, I went back to baseball after watching Toronto's Mason Raymond prove once again that it's gimmick time after overtime in the NHL. . . . I wonder what Ron Hextall or Billy Smith would have done to a player pulling a two-bit spin-o-rama in gimmick time?

12. And what a terrific baseball game it was as the Oakland A's snuck past the Detroit Tigers 1-0 with a run in the bottom of nine. For the first time in MLB history, the starters of a playoff game -- in this instance, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Oakland's Sonny Gray -- each struck out at least nine and didn't allow a run.

13. Here's Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: "Leo Cahill, who has moved from Sarnia to Atlanta, won’t make his way to Toronto later this month to be inducted in the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. His health prevents him from travelling. He still isn’t in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and may never be, which remains a great injustice." . . . Whenever Simmons reminds us that Cahill isn't in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, I am flabbergasted.

14. Thanks to Sportsnet for bringing us Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro in the men's final of the Japan Open final. Watching that was a fine way to end Saturday and bring in Sunday.

15. The defending-champion Portland Winterhawks visited the Kelowna Rockets for a weekend doubleheader with the games, won 6-2 and 6-3 by the home side, drawing 5,003 and 5,010 fans. There was a time not that long ago when each of those games would have attracted more than 6,000 fans. This is a good Rockets side, so it will be interesting to see if attendance holds at 5,000 as the season progresses, or whether it increases.

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