SUN Hockey Pool

The Last Word

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Dick Pound is a screaming, annoying, contradictory alarmist and every once in a while he's even correct.

But only every once in a while.

The problem with Pound is that he has become the equivalent of the Boy Who Cried Steroids. The more he speaks, the more nonsense he spreads, the less effective he has become in his personal quest to rid sport of drugs.

It is becoming impossible to take seriously almost anything Pound says as president of the World Anti-Doping Agency when it seems as though he reacts to everything and anything -- and so often without any kind of factual documentation.

Go back to Salt Lake City four years ago when Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott finished a remarkable third in her race. Scott, knowing the sport from the inside, questioned the legality of the first- and second-place finishers.

Pound, in essence, told her to shut up unless she had proof (the same way NHL players told him to shut up this week). But both the gold and silver medal winners tested positive at the Olympics and Scott, after an elongated fight with little assistance from Pound, eventually was awarded a gold medal.

Now Pound asserts that 30% of NHL players use performance enhancing drugs -- when the league barely has had a testing program at all. He may be right. He may be wrong. That's Dick Pound now: You just don't know anymore.

THIS AND THAT

A quick Grey Cup rule: Always take the team with the better coach and the better quarterback in the championship game. In other words, groan, another ring for the jewelry collection of Don Matthews ... But don't take my word for it: I thought a Toronto-Calgary Grey Cup was a lock heading into the playoffs ... Nasty rumblings persist that Trevis Smith isn't the only Saskatchewan Roughriders player to have been diagnosed with the HIV virus and one or two others may be identified shortly ... Can you say government handout? Vancouver's Olympic committee already is predicting that the construction cost of facilities for the 2010 Games will be 40%-50% more than was originally budgeted for ... Leave it to The Don, forever full of love and joy, to throw some cold water on Damon Allen's most outstanding player award. "It's not a career achievement award," Matthews snorted and then he intimated that he hopes anyone who voted for Allen "can sleep well at night." Matthews thought his quarterback, Anthony Calvillo, should have won the award.

HEAR AND THERE

The previous time the Blue Jays paid this much for a closer he turned out to be Bill Caudill ... The new reality for the Jays in the baseball marketplace is this: If you want a free agent like B.J. Ryan badly enough, you have to overpay to get him ... Boy, that Sergei Fedorov trade has sure inspired the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are 0-5 since Fedorov got there, has been outscored 22-6 in that time. Heading into last night, the talented Russian had chipped in with all of two assists ... In other words, by the time you read this coach Gerard Gallant could be looking for work ... Prediction: Carlos Delgado will hate playing in New York. The pressure and the media will get to him ... On the very same day the NHL Players' Association re-confirmed the appointment of Ted Saskin as executive director it denied there is rampant drug use in its sport. Considering the size of Saskin's contract, players may have had to be enhanced with something to agree in such significant numbers .

SCENE AND HEARD

The all-Damon Allen team. His picks. Coaches: Jackie Parker, Pinball Clemons and Adam Rita; Receivers: Brian Kelly, Joe Horn (they played together in Memphis), Arland Bruce; Running backs: Millson Jones, Lucius Floyd, Robert Drummond ... Allen's quarterback coach in college, Steve Mariucci, is on thin rope with the Detroit Lions ... Funny thing, Milan Hejduck, a big goalscorer in the hooking and holding NHL, can't seem to get a sniff in the new wide-open game ... Now it's becoming clear: Only buddy-buddy politics and a closed mind can prevent Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal for playing for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics ... On the other hand, there's not a chance Alexander Ovechkin won't play for Russia in Turin ... The Leafs had a chance to pick up Martin Gerber cheap when the NHL was last in business and declined. All it would have taken was a second-round draft choice ... Hate those Midas commercials with Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble. They look like Fred and Barney, just don't sound like them.

AND ANOTHER THING

The experience of going to live sporting events is being ruined by modern marketers who wrongly believe that an assault on silence is necessary between every play in every sport to keep the audience interested ... Point to wonder about: With Jiri Fischer in peril, the Red Wings cancelled their game. When Steve Moore was in peril, the game went on ... The difference between star and superstar was evident in the Raptors-Phoenix game the other night. Chris Bosh tried to win the game but couldn't. With less of a lineup on the floor, Steve Nash did it on his own ... Of course, agent Don Meehan spoke out against Steve Larmer's letter of resignation that blasted the NHLPA. What Meehan didn't say, though, is he represents Trevor Linden, president of the NHLPA ... And this piece of wisdom from Bud Geracie of the San Jose Mercury News: "Ole Miss has a basketball player named Ashley Awkward and if she were to marry Fresno State defensive end Tyler Clutts, she could be Ashley Awkward-Clutts." ... The best player in the NHL that nobody talks about: Alexander Frolov of the Los Angeles Kings ... Any hey, whatever became of Moses Denson?


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