The NHL season better get here soon
The NHL season better get here soon or else I’m going to end up predicting that every team in the Western Conference will make the playoffs. During a long, long car drive across the continent, sports talk radio has convinced me that just about every NHL Western team is getting into the postseason.
Everyone knows about the Flames’ acquisition of Dougie Hamilton, the greatest heist since Ocean’s Eleven. But how about Dallas? Talents like Tyler Seguin are coming out the yin-yang, plus Patrick Sharp is now in green and black. Colorado? They should return to the postseason with all their top draft picks now maturing. With Joe Thornton around, San Jose is still in good position to resume its postseason streak after missing for the first time since 2003.
The Kings have too much championship jelly to not get back into the playoffs. Even Edmonton could take a giant leap forward with their new management team and Connor McDavid doing magic. And, outside Calgary, those are teams that missed the postseason last year.
Only one thing is sure. Vancouver will stink. So we have that.
If Major League Baseball is excited over the steady assault by the Toronto Blue Jays offence you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence. As the Battering Jays continue to play long ball with reality, the U.S. networks have kept them locked in a jar when it comes to national exposure.
While the Cardinals, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers litter the schedule, Toronto has a grand total of zero ESPN Sunday nights or FOX Saturday afternoon appearances. But then, who’s interested in a team that makes it rain baseballs?
In defence of the American broadcasters, the Canadian TV audience adds zero to the ratings’ bottom line. Still, you’d think the U.S. audience should get used to seeing the firm of Bautista, Encarnacion and Donaldson lay down the law on pitchers. The way things are going they’re going to see lots of them come October.
Some scenes are so CFL they defy description. As the captains for the Eskimos and Stampeders meet on Labour Day, Edmonton’s special teams’ captain snubs shaking hands with Calgary’s star QB Bo Levi Mitchell. You know, attitude and such.
Honestly, a guy on the hamburger squad getting all up in the grill of, arguably, the league’s best player. It’s like the backup goalie giving agitation to Sidney Crosby before a game. Where do they find these dudes?
Forty-four million doesn’t buy what it used to. In the case of the NFL, forty-four million gets you the Blunder King, Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL. In recent years, Goodell has been sacked by courts and arbitrators like RG III on a bad day. Whether it was going easy on domestic assault or playing hanging judge over deflated footballs, Goodell has been reversed faster than a cornerback beaten on the wheel route.
Relations with players have rarely been so bad. Heck, for eight million you could have Gary Bettman make all these mistakes without chest-bumping the top draft picks every spring.
Why does Goodell get to keep the big corner office after embarrassing the NFL so often? First, it reportedly will cost his bosses a tasty $150 million to dispose of their burly leader. Second, Goodell is able to keep the warring factions among the 32 NFL owners from ripping each other apart. And if you don’t think preventing Family Feud is an asset for a commissioner, you have not been paying attention to how billionaires roll.
And let’s face it, any league that can afford to pay an error-prone suit $44 million a year to take a pie in the face every few months probably doesn’t have to worry about what the media say.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy #notthepublicbroadcaster
Originally published on 08/09/2015 with Sportsnet.ca