Saturday, February 8, 2014





Let’s start with Vancouver blogger and comedian Torben Rolfsen: “Roberto Luongo said the Canucks ‘need to play 60 minutes.’ I'm not sure the CBS news show has a team, but I’m betting the Canucks could score five or six goals against them.” . . . One more from Rolfsen: “John Tortorella has returned from his two-week suspension. I’ve heard he spent his time off studying the layouts of North American arenas.” . . . Prior to every Canucks telecast, Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy informs one lucky fan that he or she could win $1 million if one of the Vancouver players should score five goals in that particular game. Uhh, when is the last time the Canucks, as a team, scored five goals? . . .

“I get the appeal of Sidney Crosby starring in Tim Hortons’ commercials,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, “but I’m not sure about the one with Ron MacLean sipping Maxwell House coffee.” . . . Here’s a question from Hutchinson: “How will we know what time it is in Sochi if Brian Williams isn’t there?” . . . Hey, Montreal, what if they gave you the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and no fans showed up? . . . The Seattle Times reported late Wednesday morning that "13,523 students (were) reported absent from Seattle schools today; 565 teachers absent." No, they weren’t at the Scotties; they were at the Seahawks' victory parade. . . .

Here's Donald Wood of BleacherReport.com, grading the Seahawks after the NFL's 2012 draft: "As if the day wasn’t bad enough, Seattle selecting Russell Wilson, a QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all, was by far the worst move of the draft. With the two worst moves of the draft, Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day." . . . “Brilliant was Hoffman's default mode.” That’s Peter Travers, Rolling Stone’s superb movie critic, on the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. . . . “The naming rights for Copps Coliseum have been sold to the First Ontario Credit Union,” noted the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons before flying off to Sochi. “Which gives them the perfect name to toss at the NHL, which won’t give Hamilton a franchise. The building is now the FOCU Coliseum.” . . .

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that city's sportsbooks showed a profit of US$19.67 million from Super Bowl-related wagers. In other words, whoever it was who said “there’s a sucker born every minute” was correct. . . . All told, the handle at those sportsbooks from Sunday's game was US$119.4 million, a 20-per-cent increase over last year. . . . You may find this hard to believe, but there was a bit of counterfeit merchandise floating around the Super Bowl. Here's Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "Feds announced Thursday they had seized $21.6 million of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise. Dear Gullible Consumer: That cut-rate T-shirt you bought with Broncos spelled with a ‘k’ — it might be a fake." . . .

Richmond, B.C., blogger T.C. Chong, after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford came to the defence of Justin Bieber when he was charged with assault in Toronto: “(Ford) said the Biebs was just an ordinary 19-year-old kid and would make a fine deputy mayor.” . . . Chong, after hearing about the dirty water coming out of some hotel taps in Sochi: “Staff have instructed guests to not wash their faces with this. Instead, guests have resorted to using vodka.” . . . Seattle Times reader Bill Littlejohn, on that water: “The yellow water in Sochi appears to be unsafe for drinking. All is not lost. Tour de France riders plan to use it for their drug tests." . . .

Last Sunday’s Super Bowl game? There’s a day and a half you can’t get back. . . . It could be that the highlight was Renée Fleming singing the U.S. national anthem. Now that was something! . . . As RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com noted: “Opera star Renée Fleming sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl. She’s the first diva to appear in the championship since Terrell Owens.” . . . If that wasn’t the highlight, maybe it was Joe Namath’s fur coat. And as soon as you saw Broadway Joe’s coat, you just knew we’d be hearing from PETA, didn’t you? . . . BTW, Namath and Phil Simms, another former NFL quarterback, handled the pregame coin toss. Namath stuck around for the game; Simms headed for home and arrived there about halfway through the first quarter. . . . The Denver Post won the headline-writing award after the Super Bowl with one word: Seasick. . . .

The NBA fined centre Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls US$15,000 after he cursed out each of the three referees during a recent game. “If the NBA had a sense of humor,” writes former Washington Times columnist Dan Daly, “it would have fined Noah two bills of every denomination.” . . . “Enough already about Steven Stamkos, his broken shin and not healing in time to play for Canada’s Olympic team,” writes the aforementioned Currie. “It’s turned into Shakespearean drama: tibia or not tibia?” . . .

Here’s Janice Hough, the Left Coast Sports Babe: “All of this Justin Bieber trouble in the headlines makes many Americans nostalgic for a kinder, gentler time, when the worst music export we could blame Canada for was Celine Dion.” . . . If you weren’t aware, some luggage belonging to the Jamaican bobsled team went missing on its way to Sochi. “Can’t imagine why Russian authorities might have delayed and/or searched bags from Jamaica,” notes Hough. “Maybe visitors from Washington and Colorado might want to do carry-on.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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