Hairy situation for hall-bound hockey fan

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Mike Brideau is going to the Hall of Fame -- and this time he's not going to have to pay to get through the door.

"I took my son about three years ago, but I guess when I go in November it'll be a bit different," Brideau says.

The 38-year-old sporting goods store assistant manager from North Bay was named yesterday as the "Greatest Canadian Hockey Fan" -- winner of a contest by Frito Lay and TSN.

Brideau was selected the winner from 1,000 entries in an online vote. A spokesman for the chipmaker says Brideau will be inducted into the Fan Zone during Hall of Fame ceremonies in November.

His favourite team?

"Toronto fans won't like this," he says. "It's Montreal. So it'll be special being there when Patrick Roy gets in."

Brideau played only one year of hockey, suffering a broken arm as a youngster. But he runs the Timbit program in North Bay and he coaches his sons, Michael and Zachary.

He stresses fun and he has the photos to prove it.

"We were sitting in the mall the other day and some guy walked up and asked if I was the guy (on the website where voting was conducted) with the green and yellow hair."

Turns out he took his team to a tournament in Kanata this year.

"Nine skaters. I told them to just have fun. They won the first game so I told them they could do anything they wanted to my hair if they won the next two games."

They did. And before the quarter-final (a 2-1 loss) they dyed his hair green and yellow.

"It's the team colours," he says, "and the best thing is they weren't even upset about losing."

So, his secret is out: How can you not vote for a guy who is willing to walk around for his team looking like a carrot!

PICTURE PERFECT

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal will be featured on a special edition box of Wheaties, with their NBA champion Heat teammates pictured on the back.

No word on whether General Mills is considering the Mavericks for an appearance on a box of Boo Berries.

GUTS 'N' GLORY

Matt Tosoni, a pitcher with the Oshawa Dodgers of the Intercounty League and St. John's University in the U.S., missed the entire season last year. Ulcerative colitis will do that.

Tosoni had surgery to remove his large intestine. He lost more than 80 pounds and the 21-year-old could barely walk.

St. John's players wore purple Got Guts bracelets in honour of Tosoni. "No one expected they would see Matt in the 2005 season and perhaps never see him play baseball again," Dodgers vice-president Kerri Drake says, "but he showed up to watch last year even though he could hardly walk. It was a shock ... to see what that illness could do."

This year he returned to St. John's and was named to the Big East second all-star team. With the Dodgers, who have their home opener against the Hamilton Cardinals today, he has a team-best 1.65 earned-run average in four starts this year

This is no ordinary home opener. In honour of Tosoni's comeback they will hold a Crohns and Colitis Day at the doubleheader (2 p.m. at Kinsmen Stadium). The team has announced any profits this season will be donated to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

BITS 'N' BITES

Odds of a golfer getting two holes in one in the same round, according to Golf Digest, are 67 million to one. Or, approximately about the same as the Stanley Cup being won by the Maple Leafs ... Headline on satirical website SportsPickle.com: "Brawling Soccer Fans Obviously Unaware That Soccer Unites the World" ... The bad news for Jose Theodore after partying with Paris Hilton is that his girlfriend kicked him out of the house. The good news is that he is the first goalie in history to be the early-line favourite for the NHL's top scorer award next year.

WORDSMITHS INC.

A Little League father from Kent, N.Y., has been charged with assault after he allegedly punched the coach of a team of 10-year-olds for suspending his kid for misbehaving. Writes Bob Reno of BadJocks.com: "If you kick a kid off the team for insubordination, you can probably assume the little acorn hasn't fallen far from the big nut tree."

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun, after the Lakers increased the price of a courtside seat to $2,200 US: "Just to put it in further perspective, consider that if Kobe Bryant averages 27 field-goal attempts a game next year (like he did this season), courtside fans will be paying $81.48 per shot. That's more than Jason Grimsley was paying for his HGH."


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