Saturday, March 1, 2014




With Canada winning both gold medals in Olympic hockey, Prime Minister Stephen Harper won two cases of beer from U.S. President Barack Obama. As Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post put it: “Harper had better be asking for cases of Molson Golden.” . . . With former NHLer Sean Avery having been selected to appear on Dancing With The Stars, Hamilton pointed out: “It’s ironic that Avery has agreed to compete on the show. When he played, he refused most of the invitations he received to dance.” . . . Tim Hortons plans on adding 500 outlets in Canada over the next five years. You mean there are 500 places in Canada in need of one? . . .

Michael Rosenberg, at SI.com: “Americans generally chafe at any sport that is judged, but judges contributed so much to the American medal count in Sochi, the USOC should pursue lifetime appointments, like we have for Supreme Court justices.” . . . LeBron James, who once worked in Cleveland, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo apparently chatted last week. During that conversation, James is said to have given Romo some advice on how to ignore criticism. According to James, he told Romo not to watch ESPN. . . . To which ESPN’s Bob Ley tweeted: “Help me here, @KingJames. ‘Don’t watch ESPN.’ -- except when you’re the focus of a 1 hr show announcing your free agent destination?” . . . Ley wins that one, with a slam dunk. . . .

Headline at TheOnion.com: Sochi’s Euthanized Dogs To Be Returned To Streets After Olympics. . . . If you were starting an NHL team and could have either Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews, which one would you take? . . . It’s nice that so many hockey coaches are using Team Canada’s defensive play as an example for their own teams. But how many of those coaches have access to that kind of talent? . . . “Now that Robinson Cano is making the kind of money he’s making with the Mariners,” writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, “I think he should just hire somebody to run out ground balls for him.” . . .

Here’s Will Leitch of Sports on Earth, with his take on curling after the Olympic Winter Games: “Curling is super fun, particularly on television, where its inherent goofiness is both intriguing and, ultimately, soothing. (I find it comforting and an easy transition into a pleasant nap.) But in person, there are four games going on at once, and if you think you have a hard time following one curling match, try understanding four. The games also take nearly three hours, the first two of which are almost entirely setup. And they do three of these a day . . . a full day of curling, with three matches, can last up to 14 hours. I like curling, but that's a lot of curling. Also, in Sochi, they didn't sell alcoholic beer at the curling venue, which defeats half the purpose.” . . .

After Adelina Sotnikova skated to gold in the ladies’ singles figure-skating event in Sochi, Conan O’Brien of TBS noted: “The Russian skater said she was inspired by her family, her coaches and what happened to the losing — and now missing — Russian men’s hockey team.” . . . It seems that New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and model Hannah Davis are an item again. As Fark.com put it: “Apparently he’s batted around and is back to the top of the order.” . . .

In case you think Major League Baseball’s pot of gold is running out consider that during the offseason the Atlanta Braves spent US$280.7 million on first baseman Freddie Freeman, right fielder Jason Heyward, closer Craig Kimbrel, shortstop Andrelton Simmons and starter Julio Teheran. . . . We should find out something about the Seattle Mariners in the early part of the baseball season. They will meet the Oakland A’s, the defending AL West champs, six times before May 8. As well, Seattle will play 11 of its first 27 games at home. . .

“Sadly unrealized was my Olympic dream,” writes Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “in which the U.S. men win the hockey gold medal, beating Russia 1-0, the goal caroming off Vladimir Putin’s forehead as he leans over the glass, and after the game the guy who scored the goal comes out as gay.” . . . Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, with, we think, tongue planted firmly in cheek: “By the way, how come the IOC has not jumped in on dogsled racing as an Olympic event? In fact, there could be multiple events from ‘sprints’ to multi-day competitions. If horse jumping can be an Olympic sport for the Summer Games, why not dogsled racing for the Winter Games?” . . .

During the Olympic Winter Games, Sir David Attenborough, a veteran British broadcaster who is perhaps best known for narrating documentaries, was asked to do some play-by-play during a curling game that involved Great Britain’s women’s team. Here’s part of it: “And off she goes: gently but flamboyantly launching the oversized walnut down the frozen river. The alpha female’s job is complete. It’s now up to the herd to frantically follow the walnut down the river, gently frisking the foreground.” . . . Take that, Vic Rauter!

(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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