Steve Taylor is coach of the Novice Milton AE Winterhawks, a team that has shown all good things in hockey are not necessarily reflected by the number under the win column.
"We're in a dogfight for sixth place but our big thing is our kids are having fun. Our big thing is that our kids are all about helping other people," Taylor said, yesterday. His team has won The Future Team Canada Contest.
It is sponsored by Hockey Canada and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation: One winning team is selected for each province based on an essay written by the team on team spirit and chronicling what the players, coaches and parents have done in the community. The Winterhawks have been busy. There was a Christmas food drive, bottle drives, they sponsored an eight-year-old player through the Halton Women's Centre. When a player on the team lost his father the parents got together and organized a car pool to help his mother.
"Everything isn't based on just winning. For Canadians hockey is a way of life. But it's more than just playing the game. That's the type of values we've tried to instill in the boys," Taylor said.
The contest awarded each of the provincial winners with sticks, hockey bags, gloves and $1,000 toward ice time. But, Taylor said, "the prizes were secondary. The looks on their faces when they found out they'd won this award was priceless enough."
HOLD THE SUGAR
Tim Hortons, the chain that owns 2,800 doughnut franchises in the U.S. and Canada, has declared a truce in a food fight. Last year, attorneys for the company suggested that Bassmaster Elite Series former Angler Of The Year, Tim Horton, stop using his name to promote his products or face a lawsuit.
"It's almost comical; I can't believe it. I told them in 1972 my mother didn't have a clue what Tim Hortons was when she named me," Horton said.
But, there he was -- like a fish out of water.
The conflict emerged last year when Horton registered his name and the number "1" with the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark. The coffee company's attorneys, looking a lot more like corporate meanies than jolly bakers, told him he couldn't sell his DVDs, lures and T-shirts with his own name on them.
Anyway, Horton, who knows a bit about going on fishing expeditions, offered to change his name to Timmy. The company's attorneys informed him they had that name registered, too. This prompted the company to become known by some other names, too. None apparently, that are registered or repeatable in polite company -- or, even a newspaper.
Seems, more than a few doughheads may have missed hooking on to one glorious marketing opportunity here. Instead of fighting with Horton maybe they should've just offered him a double-double and signed him up to do promotional work. This could've been the best match since doughnuts met coffee.
Instead, this week, the company's public affairs department, announced they're going to let Horton use his own name to endorse any type of product except foods that are sold by the company. Very sporting of 'em, eh?
It would serve them right if Horton found a corporate sponsor and still changed his name. You know, to something like Star Buck. Very Hollywood.
BITS 'N' BITS
Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston laughed off the idea of being able to sign a player like Calgary's Owen Hargreaves last autumn, citing the MLS salary cap of about $2 million US. Evidently he can't add and subtract as well as the L.A. Galaxy, who figured out how to make David Beckham and $250 million equal $400,000 under the cap. Must be the new math ... Bryan McCabe was mic'd and one of his comments as he sat on the bench during Thursday's game in Buffalo was: "Minute left boys, play smart." Toronto Sun reporter Jack Boland, somewhere between the chicken wing and blue cheese, is heard saying: "So, how does the old saying go: 'Do as I say; not as I play.' " But it was probably just the beer talking.
SMART 'N' SASSY
Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dating former American Idol Carrie Underwood: "Skeptics wonder if he'll be able to hold on to her for long."