Friday, July 29, 2011

It ain't the Four Seasons for a reason


Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin probably won't be surprised to learn that accomodations are less than five-star at Arizona's infamous Tent City Jail, where Khabibulin begins serving a 30 day sentence tomorrow for a drunk driving conviction. According to a former inmate, the place is overrun with ants and the food and sleeping conditions are terrible.
What? No foie-gras canapes or nightly turndown service with mint chocolate on your pillow?
Of course the place is a dump - it's jail.
Khabibulin should consider himself fortunate. Some vacationers who don't do their homework actually pay to sleep with ants and eat rotten food at budget resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.
And at least he didn't kill anyone, unlike Rob Ramage, who's on parole for a drunk driving accident that killed fellow NHL alumnus Keith Magnusson in 2003, and TSN analyst and former NHL player and coach Craig MacTavish, who served a year behind bars for killing a 26 year old woman when he was drunk at the wheel in 1984.
It might not make conditions in Tent City any more bearable for Khabibulin, but better 30 days of bad food and bedbugs on a threadbare mattress than a lifetime of guilt and remorse.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rommel's abbreviated Tour de France and other Monday morning musings


As ugly and distasteful as the demise of the Expos was, there are elements of the franchise's legacy that remain unstained by the carpetbagging and betrayal that characterized the team's last few seasons in Montreal. One of those elements is Dave van Horne's uninterrupted run as the voice of the Expos from their inception in 1969 until 2001, when he left an unsettled situation in Montreal for the relative security of the Florida Marlins broadcast booth. Van Horne was honored Saturday at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown with the Ford C. Frick Award, which doesn't include induction but is tantamount to Hall of Fame membership in light of the award's stature. When you're on a list with the likes of Red Barber, Vin Scully, Curt Gowdy, Jack Buck and Harry Caray - among others - you're a baseball legend...It's only fun until someone loses an eye, and while Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo still has both peepers, there was something ominous-sounding about what appears to be the internal nature of the eye injury that knocked Calvillo out of last night's loss to Saskatchewan at Molson Stadium...Too bad the Canadiens couldn't sign Josh Gorges to a multi-year contract, but if they can't use the time the agreed-upon one year deal bought them to figure out something longer-term, then it wasn't meant to be...It's a bit misleading to say that 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans is the event's oldest winner since World War Two, considering that Field Marshal Rommel, while 14 years Cadel's senior, won the 1940 Tour in a tank and only had to go from the German border to Paris.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tiger's gotta get a brand new bag carrier

After a 12 year ride on Tiger Woods' coattails, Steve Williams is officially off the gravy train. Williams has been fired as Woods' caddy, even though the two haven't worked together since Woods left the Tour this spring to rehab a knee injury.
I don't profess to know the exact nature of the golfer-caddy relationship at the PGA level, but it seems to me that Williams has accrued notoriety completely out of proportion to what might reasonably be expected for a glorified bellhop. He's got his own website, wrote a book and avails himself as a speaker at corporate functions and other public or private events, including a charity dinner in 2008 in New Zealand where Williams ran afoul of his boss and was forced by Woods to apologize for making disparaging remarks about Phil Mickelson. But let's be honest - the fact that his dismissal was headline news around the world has nothing to do with Williams being a good caddy and everything to do with Woods being the most famous athlete on the planet.
It's like if Batman fired Alfred the Butler. We all know Alfred's a loyal soldier who does a bang-up job keeping Wayne manor and the batcave in order, but it's still the caped crusader does the heaving lifting against the forces of evil, and it's still Tiger Woods who has to make the shot regardless of which club he's handed and who hands it to him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Putting the "pig" in pigskin


The NFL wanna-bes in Toronto are finally getting a US professional football expansion franchise, but it's not the one the vast majority of Queen City gridiron enthusiasts was hoping for.
The Lingerie Football League, which has been putting both the "pig" and the "skin" in pigskin since 2009, is bringing its unique brand of athletic pornography to Canada this fall by fielding the Toronto Triumph as its first franchise outside the US. The Triumph has already scored a minor publicity coup by recruiting linebacker and team captain Krista Ford, the niece of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, as part of a lineup that will also include such delicate flowers as Alexandra "The Animal" Grant, Gigi "Ironworker" Cignini and Momo Bonofski, who along with having a great football name even looks a little bit like Bronco Nagurski with boobs.
How a city that barely supports its CFL team is expected to support a Lingerie Football League franchise is beyond me. One can only assume its backers are gambling that in a metropolitain area of six million people, the Triumph can entice a sufficient number of sophmoric perverts to turn out on a regular basis to watch women play football in their underwear.
Not satisfied with offending a substantial portion of the female population by objectifying and degrading women, Lingerie Football League commissioner Mitch Mortaza has gone the extra mile by insulting the limited intelligence of his target demographic, claiming that while fans might initially come out for the T and A, they'll come back for the football.
Sure they will, Mitch, just like they come back to strip joints for the dancing and free buffet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tiger, schmiger and other Monday Morning Musings


The PGA needn't worry about waning interest in golf in the absence of Tiger Woods. The plot line in the last two majors has been as uplifting as anything Woods could have engineered. Likeable journeyman Darren Clarke's British Open championship and Rory McIlroy's win at the 2011 US Open on the heels of McIlroy's epic collapse at the Masters are two of the best feel-good stories of the year in any sport...I might have said this out loud before, but I'll say it again: why don't they hold the British Open in one of the warm weather Commonwealth countries like Barbados, Malta or the Seychelles? That way, it's still technically a British event, and nobody would have to pack a parka, hip waders or a life raft...Okay, so Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo's record breaking 395th career touchdown pass at Molson Stadium Friday probably wasn't a touchdown pass because Eric Deslauriers appeared to be out of bounds, but Calvillo's subsequent strike to Brian Bratton in the end zone was perfectly legit, so the point is moot...It doesn't matter whether or how Roger Clemens is ultimately judged in a court of law, because he'll always be guilty in the court of public opinion, thanks to his thoroughly unconvincing testimony during a cringeworthy appearance in front of a US congressional committee in 2008...San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Brian Wilson doesn't only look like Joaquin Phoenix. He's also either equally as crazy as the former actor-turned-rap artist, or he's as guilty as Phoenix is of creating a fake persona for self-promotional purposes. Watch the viral video of Wilson's dugout meltdown from a couple of weeks ago and judge for yourself whether he's a genuine loose cannon or if he's just bad actor playing to the camera...Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren is dating billionaire businessman Jamie Dingman, whom I'm sure she loves for his sparkling personality, just as she fell for Tiger's dashing good looks.