Perhaps the best things the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have going for them this season are low expectations.
With a bottom-of-the-barrel forecast comes the possibility for pleasant surprise.
The Bombers have been picked to finish last by everyone except themselves and, truth be told, fan confidence is lower than Matt Dunigan's winning percentage as a coach.
That being said, the Bombers have an experienced, knowledgeable coaching staff led by Jim Daley, some star players, very little pressure and a lot to prove to the Canadian football world.
It wouldn't take much, say a nondescript 9-9 season, to make the fans of Winnipeg happy.
At this point, anything that separates this team from a return to the Reinebold years will look pretty good.
GOOFY NAME: Now that Disney is no longer involved in the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, isn't it about time the team changed its stupid name. It's not like name changes are anything new to that particular Southern California city ... If the Mighty Ducks really wanted to cut ties to Mickey Mouse, Goofy and all other things Disney, why did they hire Brian Burke, hockey's equivalent of Unca Scrooge? ... Korean baseball players have been told they can no longer keep coleslaw on their person during games after a pitcher was caught with some frozen cabbage under his cap. The player suggested he used the now-banned leaves after learning that Babe Ruth put frozen cabbage under his hat to keep cool. Not sure what's more shocking here. That Korean baseball officials find cabbage threatening or that Babe Ruth ever came that close to a vegetable ... Retief Goosen went all Van de Velde on us, Tiger Woods putted like me down the stretch and Jason Gore apparently ate his golf clubs before the final round of the U.S. Open. All that led to the rise of Michael Campbell, who can only hope he doesn't enter the 15-Minutes-of-Fame Club founded by Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton and Manitoba's own Darryl Wolski ... Memo to Beef: About the whole Hockey Enforcers thing. Give it up dude ... Is there any chance Bob Goodenow will have a job in three weeks? I mean, other than at Dairy Queen? ... Has anyone noticed that Derrek Lee of the Chicago Cubs is chasing history with a legitimate run for a triple crown? Never saw that one coming from a previously slightly-better-than-average player, but here are the numbers entering last night's play: First in batting average at a stunning .395 (chasing Ted Williams too?), first in homers with 22 and second in RBI with 64. Now that's something to cheer for ... How's this for rare parity in baseball? Ten American League teams have records of .500 or better and all are contending for either a division title or the wild card. Believe it or not, even the Detroit Tigers have a shot at a playoff spot and this from a team that was so bad in recent years, it couldn't have beaten an L.A. celebrity prosecution.
BURN BABY BERNIE: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone isn't making any friends in the United States this year after the tire flap at the U.S. Grand Prix and his asinine comments on Danica Patrick's recent breakthrough in Indy racing: "You know, I've got one of those wonderful ideas," Ecclestone said. "Women should be all dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances." You know, I've got a wonderful idea too. Big-mouth Bernie should be dressed in a loin cloth and carry a club like all other people from the stone age ... Jacques Villeneuve was one of 14 drivers who pulled his car out of the U.S. Grand Prix over tire-safety concerns, leaving just six vehicles in the field. That means the Canadian actually had one of his best results in recent years -- a tie for seventh ... In the news this week, a 95-year-old man broke the world record in the 100-metre dash in his age group, pulling it off in 22 seconds. It was impressive as many people predicted the only thing he would break was a hip.
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QUICK HITS: New Ottawa Renegades owner Lonie Glieberman, telling Sun Media about his biggest personal regret the last time he and his dad owned an Ottawa team: "When I lived here, there was this chick I liked for a long time. We always kinda flirted and talked. This one time, she put her hands in my pockets and I didn't pursue it. I regretted it the very next day, and I still do." ... From Randy Sportak of Sun Media: "If you've got money absolutely burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy shares in the fledgling WHA. While you're at it, you may want to buy stocks in Enron and Bre-X." ... From Sun Media's Bill Lankhof: "Jason Giambi lost endorsement deals with Nike, Pepsi and a deodorant maker. So, I guess it's true. He stinks now." ... Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, on Dennis Rodman getting a gig as boss of the Lingerie Football League: "Finally a sport has a commissioner who has worn the uniform." ... NBC's Jay Leno with a look at the final numbers from Mike Tyson's career: "50 wins, 6 losses, 21 felonies and 79 misdemeanors." ... Heavyweight boxer Kevin McBride to The Sun of London on claims Tyson bit his nipple during a recent bout: "He could not get up high enough to bite my ears. Good job he wasn't a midget -- otherwise he would have bitten something else." ... From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "Annika Sorenstam is halfway to winning her sport's Grand Slam but says she is feeling no pressure. Analysts attribute that to the fact so few people give a rat's rump about women's golf that Sorenstam could shoot a 97 while wearing a Carmen Miranda hat and hardly anybody would notice." ... Bill Simmons of ESPN.com on New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza's sullen demeanour this season: "What's going on? The guy had a great career! He's headed to the Hall of Fame! He married a Playboy Playmate! What am I missing?" ... Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw to the L.A. Times on fellow broadcaster James Brown being named the best power forward in Harvard basketball history: "That's like saying Prince Charles is the best-looking of Queen Elizabeth's children." ... Seattle Times reader Bill Littlejohn on L.A. Angels pitcher Brendan Donnelly getting suspended for having pine tar on his glove: "Upon learning the news, George Brett charged his TV set." ... Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the ridiculous naming of a recent auto race: "NASCAR ran its Batman Begins 400 in Brooklyn, Mich.; up next on the NEXTEL circuit is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 250, the Little House on the Prairie Season 8 DVD 300 and the Tom Cruise Loves Katie Holmes 500." ... From Ron Rapoport of the Chicago Sun-Times: "The more I'm looking at (Tiger) Woods' orange shirt, the more I can't decide whether it's the height of golf fashion or whether Nike dresses him funny." ... Finally, Bill Simmons on the recent feud between baseball managers Frank Robinson and Mike Scioscia: "Can you imagine if 69-year-old Frank Robinson had decked Scioscia? That would have dwarfed every baseball fight that ever happened. Nolan Ryan would have to find Robin Ventura at a baseball card show and beat him into a bloody pulp just to take his title back."