Small minds think alike

STEVE SIMMONS

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

It is so Canadian, so alarmist, and so backwards to listen to the Chicken Little over-reaction of CFL people to the possibility of the Buffalo Bills playing a regular-season game in Toronto.

The chief small-thinker himself, David Braley, owner of the B.C. Lions, went so far as to threaten there would be a backlash against Rogers products should Ted Rogers be part of a group that brings a NFL team to Toronto.

First off, there will be a pre-season game in Toronto and anyone who has ever seen pre-season football knows this can't be a good thing.

Second, there may be a regular-season game at the Rogers Centre, which is a sure sellout. How does that impact the CFL? At different prices, with a different audience, at a different time of year, how does a single regular-season game factor with all the CFL hand-wringing?

The Bills will also be up for sale when 89-year-old owner Ralph Wilson dies. The estate will be mandated by law to sell to the highest bidder. The NFL will have to approve the sale and any relocation.

Who is to say the Toronto people will outbid anyone else for the team, and who is to say the league will approve it? A lot of people are nervous about nothing.

THIS AND THAT

The Blue Jays have already had a wonderful off-season. Joe Torre fired himself as manager of the Yankees. Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera all are talking as if they are leaving New York.

A few more weeks like this one and who knows, maybe the Jays' playoff prediction of next season will come true ... Torre was so emotionally torn by his separation from the Yanks that he won't clean out his office. He'll send somebody to do it for him ... The redoubtable numbers of Carlo Colaiacovo: 73 games played as a Leaf, 85 games missed due to injury.

HEAR AND THERE

If do-overs were allowed, Sidney Crosby would still be the first pick in the 2005 NHL entry draft, followed now by Paul Stastny (picked 44th), Anze Kopitar (11th) and defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (35th) ... Stastny has more NHL points than the combined total of the 29 other players selected in the same round as him ... The Florida Panthers are looking for a tough guy and Wade Belak's name has been kicked around, which is kind of how the Maple Leafs have treated the big guy ... The Leafs tried to trade Matt Stajan last year. They tried to move him in the summer. Again, no takers. Now Stajan is playing about as well as he can. Makes them look smart in a Leafs sort of way ... Little-known NHL rules: All Leafs home contests must be played against teams coming off the second night of back-to-back games, and all opponents must start their backup goaltenders.

SCENE AND HEARD

The least attractive feature of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. is its mean side. It comes off as a big bully thanks to the prices it is charging small businesses to show Leafs TV ... If it was obvious to everyone in the free world last spring that the Atlanta Thrashers had quit on coach Bob Hartley, why wasn't it obvious to GM Don Waddell, until now? ... A quiet so long to Corey Koskie, the Canadian third baseman, who was let go by the Milwaukee Brewers after missing all of last season with concussion problems. Odds are, his fine career is over ... Why the Senators are smarter than the Leafs: The Leafs spent $625,000 on 31-year-old Bates Battaglia. The Sens just spent $625,000 on 32-year-old Randy Robitaille. One can play, one can't.

And another thing...

Last week's New England-Dallas game was the most-watched NFL regular-season game in 11 seasons ... Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian credits his Canadian scout, Cal Murphy, for bringing running back Kenton Keith to the Colts. The Colts have had success with Canadian-based players such as Mike Vanderjagt, Nick Harper and Dan Federkeil in the past ... There is free agency in our business: Rick Reilly is leaving Sports Illustrated for ESPN ... And hey, whatever became of Hubert (Pit) Martin?


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