Hockey Canada and USA Hockey are talking about banning fighting, and there’s a movement to ban fisticuffs in the NHL.
Now, I may be a Neanderthal, but if they take fighting out of the NHL, I stop watching. I’m convinced that the majority of the media guys who rant against fighting, don’t watch NHL hockey on a regular basis and aren’t really NHL hockey guys. There’s been fighting in the NHL forever. If they ever get rid of it, count me out. And, I would suspect, a lot of my friends. Neanderthals all.
WHERE’S OUR STATUE?
I think it’s great that they unveiled a statue of Mario Lemieux outside the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh (though I’m not big fan of the statue itself, with the two guys coming out of his arse).
There are a number of great hockey statues outside of NHL arenas, including Bobby Orr in Boston, Wayne Gretzky in Edmonton, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita in Chicago, and at least four outside the Bell Centre in Montreal — Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau, Howie Morenz and Maurice Richard. So why aren’t there statutes of former Leaf greats, like Syl Apps, Johnny Bower or Dave Keon, outside the Air Canada Centre?
Then again, with all the MLSE-owned condos and restaurants crowding the ACC, there’s probably no room for any statues.
My buddy Rob Lamberti, the Sun’s crack police reporter, suggested that MLSE should erect a statue of ‘the all-mighty dollar’ outside the ACC. Perhaps a giant loonie, like the Big Nickel statue in Sudbury.
MY PAL AL
A hearty congratulations to Sun sports department copy editor Al Maffei, who retired this month after 28 years at the salt mine we call the Toronto Sun. Al’s a great guy, as well as a damn good golfer. As a fastball player and manager, let’s just say Al was doing adequate things. Anyway, years ago, some reader wrote a letter to our department, hammering me about some column I wrote, suggesting that I was a moron, incompetent, an idiot, didn’t know anything about sports, etc, etc, and should be fired immediately. In those days, like now, when the Sun publishes a letter to the editor, it’s followed by a reply. Al’s reply to this letter, after the guy killed me, was: “Thanks for setting the record straight.” Initially, Al denied writing the reply, but has since set the record straight himself. If Al wasn’t such a great guy, I would have been miffed. Instead, I thought it was hilarious. One last thing, Al. Why did you always bat me ninth? I’m still bitter about that.
WHILE I’M AT IT
* J.P. Arencibia has a career in television or on stage after his playing career is over. The Blue Jays catcher recently did a imitation of baseball reporter Tim Kurkjian on ESPN, and was dead-on.
* Brian Burke’s s..t list in Toronto is starting to look like Richard Nixon’s enemies list. There’s Steve Simmons, Dave Feschuk, Don Cherry, Michael Landsberg, NewsTalk 1010 radio guy John Moore. There may be more. This is a completely totally unscientific observation, but it seems to me, now that Ron Wilson is gone, Leafs Nation is starting to turn on Big Burkie. Hey, you gotta blame somebody.
* Can anyone be so naive as to believe former New Orleans Saints coach Gregg Williams was alone in offering bounties in the NFL? I’d bet NFL coaches are telling their players all the time to take out certain players, but on the QT. That’s the nature of the league.
* Jeremy Lin is still playing well, but Linsanity has died down as his numbers have dropped. From Feb. 4 to Feb. 22, during the height of Linsanity, the New York Knicks point guard averaged 23.9 points and 9.2 assists. Since then, he’s averaged 6.4 assists and 15 points. Still good numbers, but the hysteria has certainly lessoned. It’s no coincidence that Lin’s numbers dropped after Carmelo Anthony returned.
WEENIE OF THE WEEK
Former Blue Jay Jose Canseco proved that steroid use does kill brain cells. Canseco quit the Mexican baseball league a few days ago after admitting to taking testosterone and refusing a drug test. What a dolt.