A note from comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “The NFL is unsure why TV ratings are down 14 per cent. But for now let’s cut to the Papa John, Nationwide, GEICO analysis of all the penalties and injuries before we cut to a commercial.” . . . “Boise State and Baylor, in case you missed it, will be paired in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl on Dec. 27,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “And they will keep a light on for ya: The game doesn’t kick off until 8:15 p.m.” . . . Be honest. You tuned into that Thursday night NFL game, saw the Oakland Raiders dressed in white and thought: “I didn’t know anyone in the NFL office had a sense of humour.” . . .
A report from Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif.-based correspondent: “A day after trading starter Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox dealt outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. The White Sox haven’t seen this much upheaval since Disco Demolition Night.” . . . “Congrats to Mick Jagger becoming a dad again at 73,” tweeted Bette Midler. “Which reminds me, I need to pick up a pregnancy test, because I’m, like, 936 weeks late!” . . .
ICYMI, Dan Duquette, the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, says he hasn’t attempted to sign Jose Bautista because Baltimore fans don’t like the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder. Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, points out: “Well, that and maybe Bautista’s .234 batting average in 2016.” . . . “Won’t it be wonderful,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, “if Bautista and his inflated ego have to crawl all the way back to Toronto?” . . .
Here’s Hutchinson, again: “The biggest employers in the world are the United States Department of Defence, the People’s Liberation Army in China, Walmart, McDonald’s and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I’m guessing the Riders are still finding players in basement suites.” . . . One more from Hutchinson: “I flipped on TSN last Saturday and was treated to a U.S. college hockey game between Union, N.Y., and Quinnipiac. There is no punch line.” . . . Meanwhile, I flipped on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night and Cassie Campbell-Pascall was one of the analysts for a game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Flames in Calgary. She is married to one of the Flames’ assistant general managers. Hutchinson is right. There is no punch line. . . .
Torben Rolfsen, who hosts The Rolfsen Report on TSN 1040 Vancouver on Saturday mornings, has an idea for the NHL and its Vegas franchise, which finds itself caught up in a nickname controversy. “At this point,” Rolfsen notes, “the new Vegas NHL team should just call itself the Roughriders. After all, 25 per cent of CFL teams called themselves that for decades and there was never any legal problem.” . . . Headline at Fark.com: Colts coach Chuck Pagano: ‘There’s no trophies for second place.’ Banners conspicuously not mentioned. . . .
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “The NHL players who want Olympic participation most are the ones who won’t be playing in Korea. That way, they get two weeks off in the middle of the season. Who wouldn’t vote for that?” . . . Simmons, again: “I feel a whole lot better about Donald Trump, future president, now that Linda McMahon is involved with a significant posting (as head of Small Business Administration). Apparently, Jesse Ventura was otherwise engaged.” . . . Meanwhile, there was this reaction from Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald: “What next? Director of Homeland Security Sergeant Slaughter?” . . .
“Up to 30 inches of snow was predicted for mountaintops in Hawaii,” Dickson wrote early in the week. “Let’s hope we don’t learn that Hawaii has better snow removal than Omaha.” . . . Dickson, again: “The ‘mannequin challenge’ is when someone stands motionless and doesn’t move. In Omaha, this also is sometimes called ‘road construction.’ ” . . . Time magazine has named president-elect Donald Trump its Man of the Year. To which Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong wrote: “Not to be outdone, Twitter is expected to name Donald its Twit of the Year.” . . .
“New York City police say a thief snatched a pot of gold off the back of an unattended armoured truck,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “He was last seen being pursued by three leprechauns.” . . . Currie, again: “Emma Morano, reportedly the world's oldest person at 117, credits her long life to eating two raw eggs daily. Today she lives in an old yokes home.” . . . One more from Currie: “The New York Post is questioning why the NFL has failed to address ‘crass, uncouth social-media behavior’ by players. I think we can rule out lack of evidence.” . . .
After San Antonio dropped a 95-91 decision to the Bulls in Chicago on Thursday, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was asked whether he had his players ready to play. His response shows why he is who he is: “Guys get a lot of money to be ready to play. No Knute Rockne speeches. It’s your job. If you’re a plumber and you don’t do your job, you don’t get any work. I don’t think the plumber needs a pep talk. If a doctor botches operations, he’s not a doctor anymore. If you’re a basketball player, you come ready. It’s called maturity. It’s your job.” . . . Following the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, comedian Argus Hamilton noted: “San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick praised Castro as a great humanitarian, automatically triggering the NFL’s concussion protocol.”
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)
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