The Toronto Blue Jays are nearing a point of decision on a number of their highly paid players. Will the 2017 edition of the club be worth preserving? Or is it time to unload Josh Donaldson, José Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and others at the trade deadline for whatever they will return in trade?Read More
Looking for an NHL catch phrase to describe the third round of the playoffs? How about May Mayhem? Apparently the stick work of April is not enough. This month’s lawless behaviour permitted by the league is checking from behind into the boards. Games lately have been a festival of players being pitched face-first into danger by a cross check from behind.Read More
In criminology they call it recidivism— the tendency of criminals to re-offend, revert to the norm, as it were. While there is much noise about rehabilitation in society, a certain percentage of the usual suspects end up precisely where we found them. Bad to the bone.Read More
One week ago I was a Trubisky skeptic and a Chicago Bears fan. Today, I am still a Mitch Trubisky skeptic and a Chicago Bears fan.Read More
The NHL’s welfare system is successful enough to make even Bernie Sanders blush. The recent surge by the once-moribund Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs is the talk of the hockey world and promises great things in the future. Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are the new face of the NHL. It’s not preposterous to envision a Toronto/ Edmonton Stanley Cup final in the next few years.Read More
Among the thinnest books in history IDLM thinks we can safely add My Yuge Baseball Successes by Mark Shapiro. Were it not for the (now concluded) success of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the man who took over from Paul Beeston as the Toronto Blue Jays president in 2015 might currently be hot footing it out of town just ahead of an angry mob of fans in the Edwin Encarnacion jerseys.Read More
In sports, everything is subject to good timing. If the measure of champion is the measure of their opposition, that measurement depends on who they beat and when. So then, who had stiffer tests? Demetrious Johnson, Anderson Silva, or Georges St. Pierre?Read More
The emergence of dynamic young Canadian teams has been a refreshing aspect of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are chock full of skilled, speedy phenoms, and these enthusiastic squads are giving fits to the favourites in this year’s spring season.Read More
It is safe to go on with life. The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it to the NHL postseason in 2017. Hallelujah! After many years of futility, they’re back in the playoffs.Read More
Someone famous once sang of New York, “If you could make it there, you could make it anywhere." Apparently, the New York State Athletic Commission decided to put that one to the test in a wild, bizarre few days at UFC 210.Read More
We should probably be grateful. In the past two weeks we’ve seen governments at every level in Canada refuse to check their spending, driving deficits into the economic stratosphere.Read More
The biggest story of the NHL week was Sidney Crosby’s nasty amputation of the tip of one of Senator Marc Methot’s fingers with a slash. (Which produced this epic meltdown from Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk).Read More
In real estate, timing is everything. And location, location, location.
Which might go to explain the odyssey that has led sports anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole back to Canada after a few frustrating years in the Excited States. The pair are back at TSN, from whence they came, to the excitement of their many fans who missed them while they gamboled at FOX TV. The network says it’ll slap them back in their old time slot and add new duties on other formats that are intended to exploit their charms.Read More
It is less than a year now till the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Who knew waiting could be this fun?Read More
This time last year fans of the seven Canadian NHL teams were looking at a nuclear winter. Or maybe that should read a nuclear springtime.
None of the teams in the nation where hockey is religion was headed to the postseason. Think of the odds of that. Seven teams in three separate divisions and four time zones had found a way to wilt at the same time. The effects were costly for all the teams as they lost out on theprecious postseason revenue.Read More
In MMA, we don't want puzzles. We want Jenga. Yet the true tension of that game comes in the slow and methodical attempts at pulling out a piece to stack. The tension is in the anticipation of collapse at any given moment. It does not matter how high the tower goes when the stakes are always higher.Read More
Not so long ago, Pat Perez would have been writing his professional death obit by criticizing Tiger Woods. The PGA Tour is littered with people who had a golf fatwa issued on them for offering opinions on the inscrutable Mr. Woods. Ask Stephen Ames. But as Jason Isbell sings, those were different days.
A journeyman pro, Perez is best knowfor his incendiary temper on the course. In golf’s pecking order, his elevator wouldn’t get anywhere near Woods’ penthouse suite. But with the former world No. 1 golfer now struggling to restart his career after scandal and injury, Perez had no qualms in offering a withering assessment of Woods’ chances for a revival.
”He’s got this new corporation that he started, so he’s got to keep his name relevant to keep the corporation going," Perez was quoted by golf.com. "He’s going to show up to a few events, he’s going to try to play. He’s gotta go out there and show the Monster Bag, he’s going to show the TaylorMade driver.
“He’s going to get on TV, he’s got the Nike clothes, he’s gotta keep that stuff relevant. But the bottom line is he knows he can’t beat anybody. He knows it.”
As critiques in golf go, Perez was pitiless. He is saying that Woods knows he can’t compete anymore and is in it only for the money. Now anyone who’s seen Woods’ palatial home on Jupiter Island in Florida can tell you, Tiger is not buying at the consignment store. He has assets upon assets.
What Perez was describing is an alpha man transitioning to being the invisible man in middle age. Watching 150-pounders like Justin Thomas smash the ball 330 or 340 yards off the tee is a sobering reminder that, even if he does get off the tee box in good shape, Woods is giving up 20-30 yards to the young guys. In short, they’re doing to him what he did to the Tour for an astounding decade-plus.
It’s called intimidation. The withering gaze that sent players heading back to their cars in fear. (http://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/tiger-woods-clocked-stephen-ames-in-the-best-match-play-moment-ever/)
Tiger’s only consolation as the Pat Perezes of the Tour savage him is that while he’s been replaced atop the leader board, none of the young hot shots can deliver the TV ratings or the media eyeballs that Woods produced. Not Jason Day. Not Dustin Johnson. Not Justin Spieth. Even the rumour of Tiger teeing it up is ratings Viagra for the networks.
Perez aside, the Tour still needs a healthy, competitive Woods to generate the advertiser enthusiasm it enjoyed in the 623 weeks that he topped the world rankings.
There was hope that his Nike colleague Rory McIroy might assume the Tiger mantle when he sprang into prominence as a 20-year-old, winning majors on the course and headlines for his life off the course. The powerful Irishman was given a stupendous contract by Nike (which is now out of everything but golf apparel) based on the hope he might be the one.
McIlroy has flashed moments of that potential since the contract. He was clearly the best player in the world in the back half of the 2016 PGA Tour, winning the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize. But just as McIlroy seemed poised to finally get a full grasp on the brass ring, he injured himself at the start of 2017.
He has been unable to compete since then. (Although he did tee it up with president Donald Trump as he rehabbed an injured rib.) He was a no-go this past weekend in his own backyard at the Honda Championship in Palm Beach Gardens. He had to watch as Ricky Fowler, another local resident, won all the cheers as he produced an impressive win on the daunting PGA National course.
It was a missed opportunity for McIlroy and for the Tour. Rory says he’ll be ready in the next couple of weeks to make a run at winning the Masters in early April. But he’s missed valuable weeks while rivals such as Johnson, Spieth, Thomas and Fowler picked up momentum.
Still, nothing would stir the emotions of the sports world more than Woods taking his “Monster Bag… and TaylorMade driver” to the course where he cemented his reputation for greatness with four green jackets. If the Gods were really watching they might ask for a Woods/ Perez pairing at Augusta. Best of three falls.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy.is the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. He’s also a regular contributor three-times-a-week to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. His website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com)
The venerable New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who won eight World Series, was once asked the secret to managing. The Ol’ Perfessor replied, “The secret to managing is keeping the five players who hate your guts away from the five players who haven’t made up their mind yet.”Read More
Throughout his Hall of Fame-worthy career, Terrell Owens' (TO to his friends) name was always in the news, on the lips of fans and pundits alike. But to take a stance that Owens Hall of Fame snub was somehow a terrible injustice is to ignore that sports (as in life), you do not get rewarded for burnt earth policies.Read More
Long before there was the endless election in the United States there was extra-innings baseball. A never-ending extension of Major League Baseball games, extra innings can last as long as a bad date or end as quickly as a Vegas wedding. In a game that has no clock to run out, this can be a recipe for a long day’s journey into night.Read More