February 1, 2012
Burke can't win this fightGM won't get a free pass this time
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Is there anything more hilarious than two old rich guys feuding over sports? Itís fascinating and fun.
And while I loathe to sit on the fence, I can see all sides to this crazy Brian Burke-Don Cherry feud.
Starting with ... Burke is right to be pissed at Cherry for suggesting that Leafs coach Ron Wilson ďcouldnít care lessĒ about the Canadian Armed Forces ó a comment Cherry made when he noticed that Wilson didnít join in the mass applause for the troops during the Canadian Forces Appreciation Night festivities last month. Wilson may be a lot of things, but he is respectful when it comes to the military. It seems to me he always claps during those Lukeís Troops introductions.
However, that Burke accuses Cherry of being overly critical of his Leafs is laughable. Yeah, Cherry is hard on Wilson. Clearly he doesnít like or appreciate the man. Many Leafs fans donít. But to suggest that Cherry viciously attacks the Leafs is a knee slapper. Cherryís a homer when it comes to the Leafs. Heís been known to wear Leafs paraphernalia for Peteís sake. Ask an Oilers fan, or a Flames fan or, especially, a Senators fan, if they think Cherry is hard on the Leafs.
As for the issue of Burke going to the CBC with his complaints about Cherry ... well, if itís true, nobody likes a tattler.
Personally, I believe Big Burkieís motivation in lashing out at Cherry for Grapesí supposed ďviciousĒ attacks on the Leafs is ... well, heís trying to create a bunker mentality on his team ó the old ĎUs against the worldí deal. His Leafs are fighting for a playoff spot, and what better way to take some pressure off the players?
Itís a funny thing. When the Leafs lose, the majority of fans blame Wilson. Burke seems to get the benefit of the doubt in Leafs Nation, for whatever reason. But in this feud, more people seem to be siding with Cherry. For once, Burke isnít being given the benefit of the doubt. Heís learning that, in this country, youíre not going to win a pissing match against Cherry.
WOMEN VS MEN COMPARISONS HARDLY FAIR
That womenís Olympic soccer qualifier in Vancouver last week reminds me of the womenís hockey world championship ó two decent teams, the rest not very good. But thatís the nature of womenís international sports. In many, perhaps most, countries, girls are not encouraged to play sports. Or theyíre discouraged.
Because of that, the few nations that do encourage female sport participation, like Canada, tend to do well in international competition. And thatís why youíre going to see more Canadian womenís teams at the 2012 London Olympics than menís.
The depth of field is much shallower in womenís sports. Itís not that Canadian men arenít as tough or talented as the women. Itís just that they have a much tougher road to travel to qualify for the Olympics. And I say this because following Canadaís win over Mexico at the Olympic soccer qualifier, a number of people tweeted about how great the Canadian women are compared to the men. One tweeting twit suggested Canadian sportsmen were pathetic in comparison. Not fair.
THROW THE FANS A BONE
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos emphasized the point during the State of the Franchise gathering on Monday that he has lost out on free agents because some players simply donít want to play on the lousy Rogers Centre turf. Team president Paul Beeston, meanwhile, said bringing grass into the RC is feasible. So, if Rogers wonít spend money on a big time free agent to compliment the talent the Jays already possess, shouldnít bringing grass to the dome become a priority? Throw the fans a friggin bone.
WHILE IíM AT IT
From now on, when a hockey superstar like Sidney Crosby suffers an injury, Iím going to ignore every media update, particularly anything on Twitter, and wait for the official word AFTER the player returns.
WEENIE OF THE WEEK
Who else but Tracy McGrady for the clown act he pulled during the playing of O Canada on Tuesday night at the ACC. At the very least, it was unprofessional.