SUN Hockey Pool

99 things to talk about

DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

I had a subject I wanted to discuss this week. Then it all of a sudden seemed silly. Then it didn't.

Triggered by reaction to something I'll get to in a bit, I was thinking of writing about the kind of decisions we make here - and that the media in general makes - regarding what we are going to put in the paper on any given day.

The Olympics was one subject I was going to briefly touch on, but when I first heard of the bombs going off in London, it suddenly seemed like an inconsequential thought.

Then, upon reflection, no it didn't.

That's exactly what was facing the editors of British newspapers yesterday.

They were, no doubt, fully prepared to swing into full gear about preparations and plans and the general buzz over their winning Olympic bid. Then - literally - boom.

Focus changed. The whole tone would have to change, especially in a country that has experienced war and terrorism in our lifetimes.

Early in the week, we had been discussing something of that nature, although in a distinctly less serious vein: What if the NHL lockout ends?

Well, our brethren in Toronto wouldn't want to hear about that. They've got the Molson Indy, one of the biggest annual events in a big city full of events. You can't be bumping the Indy to the back pages. But, in Leaf-land, you couldn't bury the NHL situation (where it, thankfully, has been).

And we here certainly don't want the NHL signing a deal next week. Perhaps you've heard that we've got a little race coming our way? One of the biggest events ever to hit an out-of-the-way place that has gained a reputation for staging bigger-than-you-thought events.

- - -

This all ties into where I was initially going with this: There's a guy named Wayne Gretzky coming to town for the race.

Perhaps you've heard of him.

We put him on the front page of our sports section on Wednesday. Consequently it became the hot topic on Team 1260's morning show: Is the Wayner still news in this city? The amount of phone calls answers that.

Should he still be news? Thus the discussion.

Morning man Bryn Griffith and his guest host Nick the American were looking over the paper, when, Bryn said, "Nick made a comment that 'He hasn't played here since 1988, yet every time the guy comes to town, it's incredible the amount of ink he gets. When are you going to let it go?'

"I said, 'Stop right there. Hang on until we get to open line and let's go for it. Trust me.' "

Bryn made the right call - the calls flooded in.

"Sometimes having someone who's only been in the city for five or six years, they have a little different perspective on things," Bryn said of his co-host for the day. "I said to him, 'Well, when you put a city on the map, that's to be expected.'

"Actually, I loved Nick's comments. Because I think that's refreshing. And I loved the response we got.

"One guy phones up and said he and his buddies were sitting around in a restaurant and they were talking about it."

As 99ers all the way, they were a little choked.

"And we had people that said, 'You know what, that's right, we hang on to the past far too long.'

"I thought, 'That's what this format (talk radio) is all about," Bryn said. "I knew some people would be upset. And I knew some people would agree with it."

Bottom line: Wayne's still news in this town.

The question is, will Champ Car let him drive their pace car?


Videos

Photos