Some Tuesday morning musings on some of the things that amuse, confuse and even amaze a fellow in the wonderful world of fun and games.
CANADA MUST WIN
After the disaster of the Olympics the heat is on Team Canada in the World Cup. Our national psyche just couldn't stand another loss. Even coming second won't do.
I have news for executive director Wayne Gretzky and coach Pat Quinn: If you don't win don't bother coming home. Canada has the team that should win. But then the Americans went to Athens expecting to win in basketball. Instead the NBA stars had to settle for the bronze medal.
The Canadians have one big advantage the cagers didn't. The other teams haven't been playing together, either. Most of the games will be played on Canadian ice surfaces and with NHL officials. If the Canucks don't win under these conditions they should be ashamed of themselves.
WORSE YET TO COME
We might as well be prepared for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Canada will be hard pressed to get the 12 medals it won in Athens.
China which finished with 63 medals, behind only the U.S. with 103 and Russia with 92, served notice it is an emerging power. I wouldn't be surprised if it beat the Americans the next time. China is willing to spend the money to become a world power.
We might as well learn to appreciate the athletes who do well. It's easy to dump on the ones who bombed out. But we should appreciate the ones who came up with medals. They succeeded at great personal sacrifice.
We have to hope there are athletes out there who will do the same at Beijing.
CHEEK DESERVES IT
There was was a crowd of 44,072 at the SkyDome on Sunday to see broadcaster Tom Cheek honoured. The fact the New York Yankees were visiting the Blue Jays may have had something to do with it. Cheek deserved a big crowd.
Among the well wishers was Cal Ripken Jr. who holds the record for consecutive games played in the major leagues (2,632).
Cheek said his record pales when compared with Ripken's. I think Cheek is being too modest. Broadcasting 4,306 consecutive games is a mark to be proud of.
Things have come full circle for the Jays. During their early days they always had big crowds when the Yankees and Boston Red Sox came to town.
Watching Mookie Mitchell play for the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday, a fellow had to wonder why the Argos didn't keep him. Mitchell is a proven CFL receiver. You can't say the same for Andre Rison, who is supposed to make his debut Labour Day in Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats will be a stiff test for both the Argos and Rison. They will have a sellout crowd, which makes it even tougher for the Argos to play well. You can be sure there won't be that many Argos supporters in the place.The ones who are there will be well advised to shut up.
Now that the Olympics are over we can get back to other matters, such as the Canadian Open which starts at Glen Abbey on Sept. 9. Mike Weir again will be the sentimental favourite. Weir doesn't like the course, so chances are he won't play well. That could open the way for another left-hander, Phil Mickelson, who has yet to find a course that doesn't suit him ... I've been playing at Whitevale for more than 20 years and have yet to get a hole in one. I'm envious of Bob Tennyson who has aced three of the four par-3s already this year. Ol' Hunt missed out on the free drinks. It just isn't my year.