Friday, January 06, 2006

Hello.

I won't bother with an intro. If you wanna know more about me, check my personal blog, state of integrity, to the right over there.

Let's get to what this blog is all about: what I think about sports.

I'll start with the topic of the day: the Canadian junior hockey team winning gold just hours ago, soundly defeating Russia 5-0. This team was supposed to be an underdog? They decimated the competition with the physical brand of hockey that Canadians have come to love as their own. The defence was stout, and Justin Pogge was outstanding in net. Makes me feel (somewhat) better about the Leafs' future chance at a Cup, with Pogge and Tuukka Rask, who backstopped the Finnish team to a bronze medal and a victory over the favoured Americans, both in our farm system.

I'll thank whoever didn't peg these guys as the favourites at the outset of the tournament, because it must have lit a fire under their asses. They outscored their opponents 9-0 in the playoff round...doesn't get much better than that. Way to go boys.

On to baseball, and I'm itching for the Blue Jays to get going. Their team looks awesome on paper, and barring injuries they can take on Boston and New York, but that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the US media crapping on every move the Jays made. Apparently we're foolishly spending a lot of money for players that may not necessarily pan out. So we're supposed to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, but we're not allowed to operate exactly like they do? Fuck that. If it was New York signing B.J. Ryan, or Boston signing A.J. Burnett to those kinds of big-money contracts, no one would have batted an eyelash. But because it's the Blue Jays, it's suddenly a bad move.

The Jays did exactly what they needed to do to get the guys they wanted, because let's face it; professional athletes do not want to play in Canada. They have to pay a lot of taxes, it's out of the American media's myopic spotlight, and it's fucking cold most of the year. J.P. Ricciardi knows this, and so he did the only thing he could do: he got out the checkbook. He gave those guys the extra year on the contract and the extra 5 or 10 million, because that's what it takes to get players to come here. Baseball analyst Jeff Blair called it "the exchange rate", and he's right on the money. I won't feel the least bit guilty if and when the Jays succeed, because they're only doing what everybody else does, and if they have the money, they have every right to do it.

And lastly, congrats to the Texas Longhorns for winning the Rose Bowl. Even though I don't give two craps about US college football, I'm glad Texas won, so that everyone could stop talking about how fucking great USC is...man, in this age of parity, whenever any team strings together a couple of excellent seasons, it's like they're a dynasty. You wanna know what a dynasty is? Winning the majority of championships in a decade. The 1950s Canadiens did it, the 1950s Yankees did it, the Gretzky-era 1980s Oilers did it. What did USC do? They won two national titles in a row, and one of them was disputed/shared with LSU. That is not a dynasty.

And the worst part is that every GD announcer was calling for the three-peat* weeks before they even stepped on the field. This is goddamn ridiculous. We need to decide what we really value: parity or dominance. We can't have both. Do we want unpredictability and never knowing which team will rise and which team will fall, or do we want one team to clearly rise above the rest? I think we say we want the former, but what we really want is the latter. It's all well and good and warm and fuzzy to believe that everybody has an equal shot at the big time at the start of the year, but I think deep down we hope that one team just kicks the shit out of everybody else...and you know which team that is? Our team. You think anybody in New England or the Bronx wants parity? I don't think so, chuckles. People in Kansas City and Tampa Bay want parity, because their teams are shitty and/or cheap. So in conclusion, we want our team to dominate, and if we can't have that, we don't want anybody else to dominate, so that our team has at least a decent shot at winning. And then if we do win, we want our team to dominate.

*Fun fact: Pat Riley has the term "three-peat" trademarked. He gets cash money every time somebody uses that term. That dude is fucking brilliant.

That's all for tonight. There will be more to come, I have no doubt.

One little footnote: yes, I do work for The Score Sports Network (channel 53 on Rogers, www.thescore.ca, plug plug plug), and yes, I know a hell of a lot about what goes on behind the scenes there. But for the sake of my job and my budding sports broadcasting career, I won't be commenting on or mentioning any of that stuff, until it becomes public knowledge. If you really need to know something, I'll tell you, but not on here. I have bills to pay, and cats to feed. Thanks.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Suppa - Aces Man!! Very nice, very nice.