The Last Word

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

The Maple Leafs have hung this season despite having almost every one of their main performers sidelined by injury at some point.

If it isn't Mats Sundin, it's Bryan McCabe or Darcy Tucker and Eric Lindros. Jeff O'Neill is banged up and Nik Antropov blows up so often he could make a suicide bomber look like an amateur.

So don't blame Pat Quinn, the coach. This season may be starting to look like another fractured fairy tale in Leafs' history but, all injuries considered, Quinn is getting the most out of his ability.

You know, kind of like Rene Angelil getting married to Celine Dion.

ROLL FILM

Bettors choice.

This just in -- take Seattle over the Redskins. Word is the Seahawks have figured out Washington's defence.

All it took was countless hours of watching Sean Taylor's game phlegm.

Budda-boom-budda-bing!

INJURY RETORT

The Leafs kept Maruisz Czerkawski out of workouts amid reports he was feeling lethargic.

Which might get a cynic to note the way he has played this season, how would they be able to tell?

HIS KIND OF TOWN

Baseball misfit Milton Bradley has signed to play in Oakland where sport's bad boys are not only tolerated but celebrated.

Talk about a match made in the bail bondsman's office.

Milton gets a one-year, $3-million deal.

The deal-clincher?

Available only in Oakland -- one Get Out of Jail Free Card.

HANG 'EM HIGH

Mark Messier had his No. 11 sweater raised to the rafters by the New York Rangers.

Meantime, across town, Islanders' fans may be thinking a similar move with Mike Milbury should be considered. Except when they hang it, they still want Mike to be inside it.

PAPER TIGERS

Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston Globe, after the Boston Bruins were booed off the ice in a home loss to the Los Angeles Kings: "CSI: TD Banknorth Garden.

"The Bruins were butchered in their own home last night, all but disemboweled in a 6-0 loss."

A sign posted by an Oregon fan outside a sheep pasture near Corvallis before the annual Oregon-Oregon State football game: "OSU football players, leave us alone! (Signed) The sheep."

CHEESED OFF?

Cheesehead flavour of the month? Blue.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre gave indications his return next season could depend on the moves the team makes. So they hire Mike McCarthy.

McCarthy is the guy who orchestrated the San Francisco 49ers' offence which, this year, proved to be as non-existent as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

You see something like that and you can only wonder: Do they even want Favre to come back? And, if he does, isn't that a little like signing up to fight for George Custer?

DEJA VU

And this contribution from a reader who can't remember where she read it.

But it's worth repeating:

"In the year 1981: Prince Charles gets married. Liverpool wins the European championship, Australia loses the Ashes tournament and the Pope dies.

"In the year 2005: Prince Charles gets married. Liverpool wins the European championship, Australia loses the Ashes tournament and the Pope dies.

"In the future, if Prince Charles decides to remarry ... please warn the Pope!"

LOSING AN EDGE

Canada will be sending Mira Leung and Joannie Rochette to the Olympics.

But don't get your hopes up.

A number of skating experts have not been impressed.

How bad is it?

Well, if their performances at the Canadian championships are any indication, we would have just about as good a chance of winning a medal if they sent the Zamboni.

SMART 'N SASSY

"I don't care what they look like. I'm in Iowa, for crying out loud." -- Champions Tour player Bruce Fleisher, participating in the Allianz Championships in Polk City, Iowa, wearing black tennis shoes instead of his alligator golf shoes to ease pain in his sore feet.


Videos

Photos