The Last Word

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

Sports Illustrated picks the Raptors to miss the playoffs and calls Vince Carter "a cancer."

But, hey, it could've been worse. At least SI didn't really diss Carter by putting him on the cover.

PARADE OF TROUBLES

Ottawa's Grey Cup organizers have announced there will be no parade prior to the Nov. 21 game. "It's just something we logistically couldn't pull off," Ottawa Renegades president Brad Watters said.

Instead, Watters announced there will be a Family Fun Day with things like face painting -- which should come in handy to hide that pinkish hue on their embarrassed cheeks.

I mean, all season long people looked at this team's performance and figured they couldn't organize a one-car parade. Who'd have guessed they would go out and prove it.

RIBBIN' OF DARKNESS

Montreal Canadiens' Mike Ribeiro says the NHL Players' Association and the league should resume talks and that free agent salaries need to be controlled.

Man down! Smelling salts for Mr. Goodenow! Hurry!

"The free-agent market is what drives up salaries for all players," Ribeiro told Le Journal de Montreal. "It's up to the owners as well as the players to try to resolve the situation."

Evidently Ribeiro is suffering from delusions of free speech.

The item moved across the Canadian Press wire services yesterday at 10:52 a.m. Of course that was before the Goodenow Bureau of Right Thinking explained to him what he really meant to say. Ribiero will be, ahhh ... "clarifying" his statement as soon as he stops choking on all those soapy bubbles.

Not that it was his fault, really. I mean, how's a nice boy with an Italian background supposed to know how those nasty reporters will twist things when they get translated twice over through French back into English? Yeah, that's it. He was misquoted, taken out of context. He really said: "Our glorious leader, Bob Goodenow is correct and all salary caps are evil.

"Our glorious leader, Bob Goodenow will lead us to victory over capitalist tyrants and defend us from the Great Satan. Long life the revolution! Long life our glorious leader!"

Memo to NHL players: Having a mind of one's own can be a dangerous thing. Pass it on. Now, everybody shut up and watch Ron MacLean introduce the next movie.

HANDS UP!

Organizers of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics are facing a $281 million budget shortfall and Olympic committee president Jacques Rogge is upset that the government hasn't raised a finger to help out.

Rogge is right. The Italians should be helping out. And, in light of the economic mess the Olympics left behind in Greece I could suggest precisely which finger the Italians should be lifting. But, fortunately, this is a family newspaper.

SHUT ME UP, BRO

Nik Lewis, a Calgary Stampeders player, says a CFL official told him, as he was arguing a play to: "Get off the field, I don't understand ebonics."

So that makes two things CFL officials don't understand: Languages and, judging from all the mistakes they make, football. But, not necessarily in that order.

LOVE-ALL

Tennis star Mark Philippoussis has been branded a cad by tabloids and radio callers for dumping Australian singer Delta Goodrem for party girl Paris Hilton.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph said Philippoussis had called it quits with Goodrem before he met Hilton at a party in Los Angeles, and that Rosanna Philippoussis defended her son.

"Mark was No. 9 in the world 10 months ago and now he's 106," said his mom. "Well, he wants to put his life back into tennis and with a relationship, he can't do that."

Hilton is quoted as telling friends she is "head over heels." But this can't go anywhere because everyone knows if it ever came to signing the marriage certificate, Paris would put out an "I" just trying to spell her new name.

IFS, ANDS & A BUTT

Hungarian hammer thrower Adrian Annus has finally returned the Olympic gold medal he had to forfeit because of a doping violation.

Annus says he's appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, evidently on the premise that if anyone would recognize a bum rap it would be him.

PAPER TIGERS

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News, on Barry Bonds' latest knee surgery: "Doctor, will he ever be able to walk again and again and again and again?"

HEY FANS! Do you have a quirky sports item? Include your name and city and e-mail it to me at: bill.lankhof@tor.sunpub.com or fax it to: 416-947-2454

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