Leafs to open against familiar foe

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:43 PM ET

The NHL schedule is out.

The Truculent (formerly Toronto) Maple Leafs are set to open their season on Oct. 1, when they are scheduled to beat up the Montreal Canadiens.

Open season

It’s Open Championship week ... or, as we, the great unwashed, might refer to it, the British Open.

A native of Scotland was protesting over the phone the other day that we colonists aren’t using the proper name of the esteemed golf tournament, which starts today.

“It’s The Open Championship,” he brogued, suggesting that placing a “British” in front of its proper title somehow diminished the event.

He also wasn’t buying the argument that we use “British” to distinguish it from the many other national opens on the golf calendar, including the Canadian and U.S. Open.

(I didn’t dare suggest that it’s our duty to alter the King’s English, whenever it doesn’t suit us ... like referring to old-country football as soccer.)

As this week’s tournament is the “original” Open, it is historically correct in Britain to preserve the title, James Lawton, an esteemed writer at The Independent in the U.K. and a regular contributor to Sun Media, said in an e-mail.

“However, I think most rational Brits would accept that for clarity abroad, ‘British Open’ is quite reasonable and does not require anyone guilty of such a reference to be dragged off to the Tower, and then hung, drawn and quartered at the Tyburn gallows,” he said.

So, British Open it is.

We may reconsider when Brits stop referring to our national game as “ice” hockey.

Old flame throwers

Quarterback Brett Favre, 39, says he’ll decide by July 30 whether his throwing arm is strong enough to allow him to play for the Minnesota Vikings.

However, a sore arm isn’t stopping pitcher Pedro Martinez, 37, from a comeback.

He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday ... and reported directly to the disabled list with a shoulder strain.

Medicine jest

St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols doesn’t have any problem if drug-testers want to visit him during the off-season.

“They can come and check every place in my house, they can even come with me in my bathtub. I have nothing to hide,” Pujols told ESPN.com.

Hey, Albert, they’re not checking for rubber ducks.

Chilling out

Former NFL running back Travis Henry may be from Frostproof, Fla., but that’s not going to keep him out of the cooler.

Henry has been sentenced to three years for financing a drug ring.



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