Sunday, May 18, 2014





Let’s start with a Friday tweet from Ray Ratto of Comcast SportsNet: “(FIFA president Sepp) Blatter says World Cup in Qatar was a mistake, but in fairness, Qatar had a better bid than the surface of the sun.” . . . After ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is being held on a murder charge, was indicted Thursday on new double-murder charges, The Fake ESPN tweeted: “Aaron Hernandez passes Rae Carruth and Ray Lewis for the NFL’s all-time record in homicides” . . . Here’s Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: “General Motors has announced it is recalling three million vehicles in North America, increasing its total this year to more than 11 million. It’s the worst performance by a GM in Detroit since Matt Millen.” . . .

“Roger Goodell mentioned on NFL Network (last) week that the league is thinking of expanding next year’s draft to four days,” writes Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, in reference to the NFL commissioner. “A move perfectly in keeping with the league’s ‘too much is never enough’ philosophy.” . . . One more from Molinaro: “Even the NHL has had a rule for 25 years prohibiting players from coming off the bench to escalate a fight, but baseball continues to do nothing to discourage bench-clearing brawls. Must be another one of those unwritten rules that’s preventing Bud Selig from acting.” . . .

The other night at the Cannes Film Festival, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian got to see Grace of Monaco, the new movie that features Nicole Kidman. And what did he think? Well, he started by calling it “a breathtaking catastrophe.” He continued: “It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high. . . . A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic.” . . . To think that sporting teams often get upset with a little bit of criticism. . . .

“Russia's president played in a celebrity hockey game in Sochi,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “He recorded a Vladimir Putin hat-trick, with six goals, five assists and three foreign invasions.” . . . One more from Currie: “The San Jose Sharks have already announced forward Marty Havlat and blueliner Dan Boyle won't be back. Havlat has been cut while Boyle was lanced.” . . . Currie, again: “Saskatoon police say 70 per cent of local vehicles stolen in 2014 had the keys in them. I admit I've forgotten the keys many times in my 1990 Volkswagen; still no luck.” . . .

"Can a drone strike be far behind?" wondered comedy writer Tim Hunter after Oregon State fired Craig Robinson, the men's basketball coach, the other day. Robinson just happens to have connections -- his brother-in-law is U.S. President Barack Obama. . . . Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun points out: “The top six OPS hitters in the American League are two Venezuelans, three Dominicans and a Cuban. Seventh is a Korean.” . . . Sheesh! Wonder what Grapes thinks of that? . . . “California Chrome has shown all athletes that you can have a lot of success without Tweeting about it,” tweets Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register. . . .

Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, ripped the referees after losing Game 5 of a second-round playoff series to the host Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA then fined him $25,000. . . . “On the plus side,” noted Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “the league gave him back $50,000 for ripping his team’s owner.” . . . “It’s 81 and cloudy,” said CBS-TV's David Letterman, referring to the weather in New York City the other day, “just like Donald Sterling.” . . . “The Los Angeles District Attorney is now investigating Donald Sterling’s mistress after she allegedly threatened to release more audio recordings in order to blackmail him,” NBC-TV’s Late Night host Seth Meyers offered. “Sterling is very upset because he prefers to be whitemailed.”

Who is the last Canadian to hold a belt as a world heavyweight boxing champion? That would be Haitian-born, Montreal-raised Bermane Stiverne, who knocked out Chris Arreola in the sixth round last Saturday to win the WBC title that had been vacated by Vitali Klitschko, who has bigger things on his plate in Ukraine. . . . Two other Canadians have held the WBC belt -- Tommy Burns and Trevor Berbick. . . . After firing head coach Mark Jackson, who went 51-31 this season, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob said the deposed coach “probably could do a little better job of managing up and sideways.” . . . To which Perry wrote: "Coincidence? Jackson’s reaction to that comment probably included the words 'up' and 'sideways,' too." . . .

“Set to earn many millions of dollars playing football, (Aaron) Hernandez had to be, when he was playing, the first active serial killer in NFL history,” writes Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times. “No O.J. Simpson mentions, please.” . . . “Oscar Pistorius’s defence team now is arguing that the former Olympic star has ‘anxiety issues.’ ” Janice Hough (aka The Left Coast Sports Babe) wrote earlier this week. “Right, like Pistorius is anxious now that he may spend the rest of his life in jail.”

(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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