The Maple Leafs are a lot like Tiger Woods, in a way.
Both are staggeringly popular.
Certainly, Tiger scores more — wink, wink — but that’s another story.
With Woods in a clinic being treated for sex addiction, the PGA Tour is bracing for a drop in TV ratings. Numbers often fall by 50% if Woods isn’t in the field.
Conversely, or perversely, with the Leafs having a rare Saturday night off, Hockey Night in Canada’s viewership was down almost 50% from the norm — 1.169 million for an Ottawa-Montreal game.
TV viewers complain about the overexposure of Woods and of the Leafs, yet tune in nonetheless.
A theory: Woods and the Leafs both have legions of fans. However, there also are disproportionate numbers of Leafs loathers and Tiger detesters.
So for every couple of viewers cheering for the Leafs or Woods, there is an ABT fan — Anybody but Tiger, or Anybody but Toronto.
Throw ‘n’ smoke
Pitcher Tim Lincecum, who has been dominant since arriving in the majors with the San Francisco Giants in 2007, paid a $513 fine to resolve marijuana charges this week. He also filed a record $13-million demand in arbitration.
Imagine how much Lincecum could be asking for if he weren’t on performance-dehancing drugs.
Drink ‘n’ play
In San Diego, amid the hangover of the Chargers’ shocking loss Sunday to the New York Jets, there are reports that several players were partying hard at a club two nights before the playoff game.
Granted, it was 36 hours before kickoff, but David Wells — who, coincidentally once pitched a perfect game on a hangover — isn’t letting the Chargers off the hook.
“It looks bad. If you don’t do the job you look like a big, giant you know what,” Well told San Diego’s XX Sports Radio.
“But if you go out and do the job then all is forgotten.”
While Wells pitched perfectly on May 17, 1998 for the New York Yankees after a night of drinking, he said it’s different for football players.
“Baseball, you’re just out there throwing a damn ball. Football is a whole different story because that’s high-impact stuff — man, you just can’t do that.”
Wells doesn’t look back fondly on hurling with a hangover.
The morning of the perfect game, he got home about 5:30 a.m. after partying with the cast of Saturday Night Live.
“I drank about eight cups of coffee (upon awakening) and tried to throw a pancake or two down my neck.
“It’s one of the stupidest things I ever did. But I got away with it. I got lucky.
“It could have gone the other way. I could have got in a whole lot of trouble.”
Victoria Beckham once confessed that she called her soccer-playing husband “Golden Balls.”
With that in mind, an Italian TV personality this week attempted to grab David Beckham’s family jewels while he was being interviewed in Milan.
“’Off the pitch we have seen fascinating photographs of David Beckham in his underpants and seemingly very well endowed,” the TV star, Elena Di Cioccio, said, according to the Daily Mail.
“We wanted to find out if he was as well endowed as the pictures suggest.”
After Di Cioccio went in for the squeeze play, Beckham looked at her sternly and cut short the interview.
Later, Di Cioccio called out: “I touched it but it’s small.”