Sunday, November 6, 2016

Game 7? Now that was reality TV . . . Maddon came close to being goat . . . LeBron humble?


The seventh game of the World Series was a perfect example of why sports provides the only real reality TV. Anything else that is advertised as “reality TV” is only pretending. . . . The 2016 World Series also will be remembered as the time when John Smoltz placed himself near the top of the list of the great sports analysts on TV. . . . And if you listened to any of the games on ESPN Radio, it was reaffirmed that there isn’t a better play-by-play man around than Dan Shulman. . . . You realize, of course, that had the Chicago Cubs not won Game 7, manager Joe Maddon would have been wearing the loss. . . . The way Maddon used — abused? — closer Aroldis Chapman over the final three games, you would almost think the Cubs won’t be re-signing him. As Mark Whicker wrote in the Orange County Register: “Maddon is brilliant in so many ways, but he should be giving his ‘luckiest man alive’ speech right now. He almost replaced the goat forever.” . . .

“In the wake of the Cubs' World Series title, scholars say that at least 45 per cent of the prophecies of Nostradamus will have to be researched and re-interpreted,” notes Bill Littlejohn, our correspondent who hangs his hat in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. . . . With the Cubs having become the first team since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates to win the World Series by winning the last two games on the road, Littlejohn points out: “The Pirates song and motto was We Are Family; the Cubs’ should be We Are Finally.” . . . Tony Chong, the Richmond, B.C., blogger writes: “GM Theo Epstein has now guided the Red Sox and Cubs to World Series wins snapping the two longest droughts in baseball championship history. In related news, the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to hire him.” . . . 

Headline at TheKicker.com: Belichick trades sons to Browns after they ask for more allowance. . . . It was a marvellous Sunday in Kamloops. I went for a walk and timed it so that I would be home by 2 p.m., in time to watch Connor McDavid and his Edmonton Oilers meet the Red Wings in Detroit. Except that, as I discovered, it was another of the NHL’s regional telecasts. So it was back to watching the NFL while I pondered the NHL strategy in attempting to grow the game while keeping McDavid off national TV. . . . Thank you to whomever was responsible for nixing the NHL’s idea of holding an outdoor game on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. That is the last place the NHL should be allowed to take over. Besides, the NHL’s infatuation with outdoor games jumped the shark a winter or two ago. . . .

“The Philadelphia Eagles cut wide receiver Josh Huff after he was stopped by New Jersey police, who say Huff was speeding, drunk, carrying marijuana, driving with illegally tinted windows and packing a handgun with no permit, loaded with illegal hollow-point bullets,” writes Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But his tires were properly inflated.” . . . Ostler, again: “LeBron James says it’s ‘humbling’ to pass Hakeem Olajuwon and move into 10th on the (NBA’s) all-time scoring list. Humble, that’s the word I always associate with King James.” . . . One more from Ostler: “Warning to Ohio voters: If Donald Trump is elected, he plans to deport Chief Wahoo.” . . . 

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times also noticed the Huff story: “The Eagles released receiver Josh Huff after he was charged with DUI, possession of marijuana and carrying a gun without a permit. Or to put it in football terms, a bad three-and-out.” . . . Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe, chimes in: “Huff was allegedly speeding while in possession of a gun and marijuana. So is that the NFL arrest trifecta?” . . . There’s a study out there that claims climate change could turn Spain into a desert. To which Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., noted: “Promoters are already organizing the annual Pamplona Running of the Camels.” . . . Bill Cowher hasn’t coached a football game since the NFL’s 2006 season. So isn’t it about time that his pals on CBS stopped calling him Coach Cowher? . . . 

If you think the NHL is really — I mean, really — concerned about player safety, you need only watch the Saturday night hit by Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks to realize otherwise. It was a blindside hit that showed zero respect for Sedin. The NHL chose not to discipline Kadri because Sedin’s head wasn’t the principle point of contact. . . . Keep in mind that the NHL world is ruled by a commissioner who has yet to solve the dot-to-dot puzzle that shows the link between concussions, CTE and dead ex-players. 


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

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