Tuning out the Leafs

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

Is it time for the rest of the country to separate from Leafs Nation?

Or is Leafs Nation really just a little principality ... a Leafs Liechtenstein, as it were?

CBC will consider bumping Leafs games off the national Saturday night telecast if the team continues its malodorous play, Sun Media's Rob Longley reported yesterday.

But what are the options, really, for the early game on Hockey Night in Canada?

The Montreal Canadiens, with only three wins entering last night — two in overtime and one in a shootout? Big whoop.

The Habs are led by a couple of fine gentlemen in Bob Gainey and Jacques Martin, but they’re about as exciting as contestants in a spelling bee.

And the Senators will never have a national following, being based in Ottawa, the lightning rod for national discontent.

Meantime, there is a unifying element about the Leafs that has evolved over the years. Across the country, Canadians feel strongly about them, like they do about Gary Bettman: If you don’t love ‘em, you hate ‘em.

Tall tale

Forward Jamal Mayers has referred to the Leafs as a “storied franchise” — a term that really has become overused in recent years, mainly in the media.

This once was a storied franchise, but that doesn’t apply now ... unless you mean storey-ed condos.

Furry rodent

The University of Minnesota is apologizing after its Goldy Gopher mascot poked fun at Jerome Hayes, a Penn State football player who was praying before a game last week.

The mascot mimicked Hayes as the player knelt in an end zone.

If I were Hayes, I’d hire Carl Spackler to straighten that gopher out.

Cut the freestylin’

Japan’s swimmers could be in hot water if they dye their hair, wear an earring or have decorated fingernails.

Officials say the swimmers could be banned for life ... or banished to the NBA.

Recliner racing

We may have a new sport for Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and Jeff Reed of the Pittsburgh Steelers, both of whom got in to tavern-related trouble in recent weeks.

A Minnesota man has pleaded to driving while intoxicated — at the controls of a motorized La-Z-Boy.

The chair was powered by a converted lawnmower.

The man was trying to drive home from a bar when he wiped out against a parked car.

Quick stats: We’re not sure what speed he was travelling but he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29. And an armchair quarterback rating of .000.

Say what?

“I apologize to the ladies, but not to those who talk about football on television.”

— A defiant Diego Maradona, referring to his profanity-filled tirade on TV that was aimed at critics of the Argentine soccer coach.

gary.loewen@sunmedia.ca


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