Good side to these lockouts

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:21 AM ET

Tonight's CFL on CBC broadcast is brought to you by the new Whisper 2000. If you turn it up real loud, you can hear Chris Walby doing colour commentary from his basement.

LOCKOUT FEVER: First the NHL lockout proved to be a big success, creating a much more level playing field for the whole league and hopefully resurrecting small-market franchises. The CBC lockout is looking pretty good as well -- getting Sean Millington off the air has to be considered a victory in itself ... Millington admitted the lockout was the only reason he was returning to the CFL. If he plays as well in Toronto as he did with the Bombers a few years back, the rest of the league will owe the CBC a great big thank you ... Millington returned. Hank Ilesic might return. Can Dieter Brock be far behind? ... Good move by CJOB to put CFL games involving teams other than the Bombers on the radio. It serves as a reminder of just how much better Bob Irving is than all the other play-by-play men in the league. Irving is calm, cool and objective. The other guys? Not so much ... Montreal Alouettes receiver Terry Vaughn this week revealed he suffers from narcolepsy, which causes him to fall asleep in unusual situations. This is the same affliction apparently shared by all members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence last night ... We recently heard that Bombers quarterback Spergon Wynn underwent knee surgery and is out of action for a month. Until then we were starting to wonder if he had gone into the witness protection program ... The Mardi Gras Madness promotion put on by the Ottawa Renegades sure didn't last very long. Would that make it a flash in the pan?

HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL: In hockey news this week, defenceman Stephane Quintal retired from the NHL, which is impressive as few of us expected him to play even one more season after his stint as a human highlight reel -- for the other team -- with the Winnipeg Jets 10 years ago ... All you need to know about the Toronto Blue Jays pitching without Roy Halladay and Ted Lilly is this. In a blowout loss to the Detroit Tigers this week, the Jays used pitchers named Bush and League ... It's official: with his arrest this week, Lawrence Phillips has appeared more times on police blotter than in professional football games. A one-time sure-fire star running back, Phillips is likely done as a football player, but his recent arrest for running into three teenagers with a stolen car while on the lam for choking his girlfriend into unconsciousness should cement his spot in the sports jerks hall of fame ... Wasn't it fitting that a day after Phillips was busted, hockey's own Bob Probert got into the act and got himself arrested for a probation violation. The only thing needed to complete the bad boy hat trick was for a baseball player to show his stuff and, wouldn't you know it, Dwight Gooden came through in the clutch, driving away from police after getting stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. Adding in the antics of Terrell Owens, Antonio Gates and the usual assortment of steroid-gobbling baseball players, it was a banner week for the dark side of sports ... Say what you will about the same baseball teams succeeding year after year because of money, but sometimes great management trumps all. The Atlanta Braves, with 16 rookies on their roster, are well on their way to another NL East title, making us wonder if manager Bobby Cox has more magic up his sleeve than Harry Potter -- at least during every month except October.

FAIRY TALE LANCED: Lance Armstrong is going to have to do better than recycle a standard denial and accuse a French newspaper of "tabloid journalism" after it uncovered some startling evidence about his possible use of a banned substance. As much as people around the world want to believe Armstrong is clean, they've heard enough empty and untrue denials from doped-up athletes to know anything is possible. The truth here is somebody is lying and if it's Lance, he'll be starting a whole new uphill climb in his retirement.


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