Unless you live under a rock, everyone in North America is aware that the U.S. presidential race is upon us as the early November election day nears. This may be one of the most bitterly fought and bitterly divisive campaigns in the history of U.S. politics as two admitted arch rivals relentlessly take shots at each other -- as do their vice-presidential nominees in respective campaigns.
Yet, despite this gunfight at the OK Corral scenario, both combatants have managed to come face-to-face in the past two weeks and will do so one more time before election day. Their respective vice-presidential nominees have also managed to engage in face-to-face debates.
And all of these exchanges have occurred in front of television cameras for the entire nation. No doubt this has happened because the people care and matter and want to be kept informed on the issues each candidate espouses.
Now, before you think I lost my mind during my sabbatical, I'm not going to hop on a political soapbox, not entirely anyway.
Something else is going on that pits two fierce combatants who clearly do not like each other and are impacting many people in North America, with the majority being Canadian.
I am, of course, referring to the current labour dispute between the NHL and NHLPA, which has stopped the league in its tracks and, if you believe the doomsday proponents, will keep it stalled for many more months.
So what about those U.S. presidential combatants? Do Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow look eerily similar to John Kerry and George W. Bush in their political standoff?
However, the big difference is that Kerry and Bush are facing off against each other and doing so in front of the public.
Wouldn't it be productive -- and fun -- to force Bettman and Goodenow to debate their platforms on live TV, with questions from the public?
How about Bill Daly versus Ted Saskin? How about Jeremy Roenick versus Ed Snyder? Talk about hard-hitting entertainment.
Anyway, the two sides would at least be forced to talk face-to-face, something both appear unwilling to do while laying blame on the other side. As the prophetic words of the prison captain in "Cool Hand Luke'' sounded: What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Let both sides present their cases to the public, disclosing all the details that may even appear to be too confidential. Debate the issues, yell and scream at each other for all I care, but remember the great hockey fans throughout North America and start talking -- NOW!
Speaking of talking directly to the issues, count former world and Olympic figure skating champion Barbara Ann Scott among those not afraid to pick up the challenge and confront the issue and the people responsible for it. Osborne Colson is a former Canadian figure skating champion and a fine coach at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. One day he used some stern words against a young female skater who ran to mommy and complained. Mommy, an influential member of the club, succeeded in having Colson's picture removed from the club's wall of fame. When Barbara Ann, our first Olympic skating gold medallist, found out, she sent the club a letter. In it, she demanded that if the club removed Colson's picture from he wall, they should also remove Scott's picture. Wouldn't you know -- Colson's picture is back on the wall.... Red Kelly, hockey superstar of the 1950s and '60s, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club co-owners Jack and Lynn Dominico and journalist Frank Orr will be inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame on October 28 at the Old Mill.