October 21, 2009
Leafs' hopes balloon?
By GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA
The Maple Leafs' undefeated streak has reached four days.
Coach Ron Wilson has scheduled three more practices to try to whip this 0-7-1 team into some sort of a coherent group before the Leafs' next game, on Saturday.
Or instead, before the flight to Vancouver, Wilson could pull a “balloon boy” and hide his players in the Air Canada Centre attic.
Through four decades, numerous accidents on and off the track have fuelled rumours that Talladega Superspeedway is cursed.
Speculation has it the site of the NASCAR track in Alabama is:
a) an ancient burial ground;
b) where a Native American chief was killed during a horse race;
c) the home of a tribe that was forced out in a dispute with white settlers.
Whichever way you look at it, the land is sacred, the track is doomed.
Finally, tomorrow, NASCAR will act on this.
A medicine man — sponsored by Goody’s Headache Powder? — will bless Talladega and “restore balance to the historic track.”
The medicine man, who must have a lot of clout, will say a prayer, maybe wave a checkered flag, and the curses will be put to rest.
But if this is a publicity stunt, well, shaman on NASCAR.
Blow the lid off
Statistics suggest that, in the NFL, it’s dome sweet home.
The nine teams with indoor stadiums are 30-19 this season, the Wall Street Journal reports. The key: Designing a fast, precise offence that takes advantage of the good footing, windless conditions and crowd noise of playing indoors.
Easier said than done ... the Detroit Lions have been trying that for 35 years and are perennially out in the cold.
Roof no help
A closed lid at the Rogers Centre hasn’t helped the Argos this season.
They are 0-3 with the roof shut and 0-1 with it shut for half the game, the Argos’ Beth Waldman says.
They’re 1-2 with it open the entire game.
So, that Wall Street Journal story isn’t necessarily an open and shut case.
A couple of linemen are talking trash in the wake of Minnesota’s 33-31 win over Baltimore.
Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher said he thought he overcame two false-start infractions and shut out Vikings defensive end Jared Allen during the second half.
“There is nothing really special about him,” Oher said. "Guy makes like $100 million. I think I did all right.”
Replied Allen: “Well, that’s just some idiot trying to talk himself up. I beat that dude like a red-headed stepchild.”
And finally, we have Oher taking the high road: “I’m not a real talker and I don’t talk through the media. I have nothing but respect for Jared Allen as a football player.”
As usual, the real victims are the redheads, the stepchildren and/or the rented mules.