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I Don't Like Mondays — September 14, 2015

It was like the return of an old friend on Sunday as the NFL conducted its first full weekend of play in 2015. No, not the return of the established stars on the field. Not the network TV stars on FOX, NBC and CBS. No, the old standby for NFL fans was the return of Mock the Mistake. Crush the Coach. Let’s face it, what’s more satisfying than ripping on the obscenely paid coaches and players for their gaffes and goofs?

Remember Super Bowl in February? The fun we had with the Seattle Seahawks and their inexplicable decision to pass from New England’s one-yard? Wasn’t it a riot to rip Pete Carroll for the slant pattern that ended up in the hands of the Patriots’ Malcolm Butler? The smug sense of superiority at seeing the mighty Seahawks’ strategy implode when Marshawn Lynch could have crawled into the end zone?

The good old days. But the NFL was never going to let a moment like that go to waste, were they? Of course not. We had to have Seahawks: The Return of Pete Carroll in the season opener. And just like your generic Hollywood sequel there had to be more, more, more madcap fun. Pete, you were ready for your closeup.

Tied at 31 with St. Louis starting overtime, Seattle tried an onside kick to surprise the Rams. Sadly for Carroll, the Rams were completely unsurprised by the move. The Rams quickly grabbed a three-point lead in OT with that gift. Unfazed, the Seahawks zoomed back down the field till… gasp… confronted with a fourth-and-one showdown.

Would Carroll double down on the futile Super Bowl XLIX pass? Or would he finally let Marshawn go Beastmode on the Rams? As everyone now knows, Carroll chose to hand the rock to Lynch who was pancaked well short of the first down. Game over. Seattle, the model franchise, had now lost two straight games on a final-play turnover.

Wait, that’s not the only punch line Carroll will hear all week. People will cut him some slack on Lynch. But in the postgame, Carroll tried to say that the kicker Stephen Hauschka had mis-hit the OT kickoff. Replays showed Hauschka clearly kicking the ball short on purpose. And Carroll went back into the Hillary Clinton Book of Lame Excuses. C’mon, Man…

You can’t write this stuff. And to think, we have all this every week from now till Groundhog Day!


Bad Idea Jeans: With NHL prospects in Penticton, Traverse City and other garden spots this past week hoping to make an impression, we were reminded that this time next year we’ll have a World Cup of Hockey, an international tournament featuring the top nations in the sport.

And one of the truly moronic ideas from the Gary Bettman Idea Factory.

In case you used therapy to block this concept when it was first announced, the World Cup is featuring a team of under-23 stars from North America as one of the entries. Connor McDavid, Jack Eichele, Shane Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and others will suit up against their home counties for the glory of… um, still being on their parents health care?

The NHL’s idea was that many of these young guns might not make loaded senior squads and, hey, we need to get Connor, Jack et al. out there for the TV sponsors. Ergo, under the under 23s. Had anyone given this the slightest thought they’d have figured out that you don’t put the future stars of your business in a position to aggravate their fellow Canadians and American neighbours.

Fast forward to the gold medal game as McDavid pots a goal to defeat Canada for the gold medal. Gee, that’ll be a winner back home in Newmarket. Can’t wait to see the parade honouring McDavid for denying Canada the top spot. They’ll line the streets.

Promotions like the Young Guns Spotlight make Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 look brilliant by comparison. No wonder when Bettman recently hung out the shingle for expansion, only truly desperate cities like Quebec City ponied up a ride on Gary’s Merry-Go-Round of Mirth.


Gibbons A Given: The Toronto Blue Jays took three of four at Yankee Stadium, turning the Bronx Bombers into the Bomb Shelters with an ungodly pounding of Joe Girardi’s pitching. New York scored 12 runs in Saturday’s doubleheader— and didn’t win either game. In fact they weren’t even close enough for horse shoes and hand grenades.

Toronto has virtually assured itself of some form of postseason play— even if just a one-game wildcard contest. Looking at a Yankee team without Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia andNathan Eovaldi, however, it’s hard to see New York winning enough and Toronto losing enough to make up the 3.5 games separating them. Yes, Troy Tulowitzki getting pancaked by Kevin Pillar hurts (it hurst Troy more), but we’ve reached Tiger Williams time.

Those Yankees is done like dinner.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy