The Last Word

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Adultery, murder, lust, perjury and the Chicago Bears leading a National Football League division with a 3-3 record. But not necessarilly in that order.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Toronto is contributing $19.8 million (cash and land) to build a $63-million soccer stadium.

"The chances of this stadium losing money are similar to an earthquake hitting Toronto," deputy mayor Joe Pantalone said.

So I guess those tremors around Collingwood that day must've just been Jean Drapeau rolling over in his grave.

EYE CANDY

Reports indicate Mats Sundin won't need surgery on his eye. Doctors believe he'll recover his vision.

But nobody will know for sure until, oh, I don't know, until he can see himself clear to wear a visor.

LONG SHOTS AND POT SHOTS

Boston's Brian Leetch says Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe should be a Norris Trophy candidate.

Right-a-roonie.

And I'm a candidate to win the Pulitzer because I can type and Don Cherry is about to be named Canada's next ambassador to Sweden.

We can only hope it works out better than the annual "Leafs are Stanley Cup candidates" proclamation that we've been hearing about this time of year for the past 40 seasons.

I was going to look up the last time a Maple Leaf player won a major award -- other than Doug Gilmour earning the Selke Trophy -- but unfortunately I can't read Sanskrit.

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In the U.S., Olympic champions are featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Esquire or Cosmopolitan, receive mega-dollar commercial endorsements, get on Letterman and have their pictures on a Wheaties box.

In Canada, Olympic cycling champion Lori-Ann Muenzer gets $16,000, ignored and all the Wheaties she can buy.

So next time you're stuffing a pork rind in your mouth and moaning about another Canadian kid finishing with a lifetime-best 32nd whilst watching Brian Williams tell time from Turin remember: You get what you pay for.

The problem with amateur athletes in Canada isn't the athlete. The problem is, for too many, the poverty line getting in the way of the finish line.

BITS 'N' BITES

Phil Jackson has brought in Scottie Pippen to teach Kwami Brown how to be a second-banana to Kobe Bryant. This looks like it might work, considering Brown already has a reputation for acting like a fruitcake ... The trouble facing the Green Bay Packers is that the Cheeseheads used to be in the stands, not in the lineup ... Sylvester Stallone is proposing to appear in another Rocky movie. But first they have to figure out how to get his rocking chair in and out of the ring between rounds ... Two things the Raptors need: A centre, and Jalen Rose playing defence with the same enthusiasm he shows on offence ... Mariusz Czerkawski can't figure out why he's not in the lineup. But then you remember: He doesn't have to watch himself play. So it all starts to make sense.

PAPER TIGERS

Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald, on Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice's job security: "Hanging by a G-string."

Steven Wells in The Guardian of London, trying to figure out why North Americans think soccer is dull, writes: "And yet, every week throughout the summer, hundreds of thousands of Americans dutifully troop into state-of-the-art stadiums to spend three hours (or longer) watching baseball -- a sport so glacially tedious that it makes even the dullest MLS soccer game look like Topless Humans vs. Gorillas No-Rules Roller Derby on Crystal Meth."

CAN'T-MISS PROSPECTS

Last night. World Series Game 3. White Sox at Houston. Or, as this post-season is sub-titled, The Umpires Strike Back.

If there was ever an argument in favour of video replay in baseball this has been the year.

No wonder the baseball gods only let the White Sox into the post-season twice every century. First they give us Shoeless Joe Jackson. Now they become the first team to hand in a list of post-season eligibles that includes the umpires.

I've heard of teams being a sure thing, but this is ridiculous.

SMART 'N' SASSY

"I told the police, don't put him in jail, bring him to me in the dugout." -- Chisox manager Ozzie Guillen, angry at a White Sox fan who slapped Houston Astros' Craig Biggio's wife, Patty, following Sunday's game. 


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