|Christine Sinclair of Canada reacts after the Women's World Cup Group A soccer match against France in Germany last Thursday. (REUTERS)
Perhaps now that the national women's soccer team has been eliminated in the opening round at the FIFA World Cup, we'll stop hearing those ridiculous comparisons to the men's team.
You know the ones-- how great the women are and how highly ranked the women are compared to the men. Comparisons that are unfair and insulting.
The most infuriating part is that the comparisons are often initiated by the media, which is surprising, because the media should now better.
Listen, I'm all for the women's sports and our national team. I get excited when our women perform well internationally, even the hockey team when they defeat the only other decent team in the world, the Americans.
But it pisses me off to no end when I constantly hear the comparisons between the women and the men and the way the men's side is ridiculed.
The bottom line is this. The fact that the women do so well internationally has nothing to do with Canadian women being superior athletes to Canadian men. It has almost everything to do with the fact that, in Canada, we support female sports quite well, comparatively speaking, to most other nations. Sure, we still have a ways to go, but compared to the majority of nations, we support women's sports. And that's great. It's all about fairness. The fact is, in most countries, participation in sports for girls is not supported or even encouraged, at least at an organized level. In many countries and societies, it's not a girl's place to play sports, either because of certain traditions, or because of the limiting funding, which almost always goes to the boys. That may not be right, but that's the way it is. And that gives our women a major leg up internationally. When the field isn't as strong, you have better chance of succeeding.
Again, I'm thrilled that our women are ranked in the top 10 in the world in soccer, though they certainly tanked at this year's World Cup.
But to constantly put down the men's side in comparison to the women's team is wrong and unfair, and it should stop.
All right, who said this: "We can't have the Yankees and the Red Sox having a $100 million payroll more than the Blue Jays every year. That's not fair."
No, it wasn't me on one of my regular rants about how Major League baseball needs a salary cap, or realignment.
It was none other than Sir Charles Barkley, sports pundit extraordinaire. Barkley made the comment during a stop at the Rogers Centre this week. And he's dead on. As long as the Yanks and Red Sox spend $100 million more a season then everyone else, the Jays will never CONSISTENTLY make it to the post season. It's been 18 years since Toronto has had a sniff at the playoffs, and that's why attendance has dropped so dramatically. Sir Charles, who called Toronto his "favourite place in the world to visit", is often a clown, but always insightful.
FRenzieST FRenzy eveR!
TSN's Free Agency Frenzy program on Friday should been called 'The Brad Richards Good-time Hour'. Talk about overkill. TSN paraded out no fewer than 14 "experts" and hosts during the program, not to mention various correspondents sprinkled throughout the country. They even had poor Geno Reda parked outside the Toronto office of Richard's agent, literally in a parking lot. At one point, the TSN cameras caught two guys from the L.A. Kings standing outside the office, all cheesed off because they couldn't get inside the lobby. Now that's television drama.
Ole, Ole, Ole , Ole
Finally, kudos to Brian Burke for travelling to Afghanistan once again to visit the Canadian troops. However, did the Maple Leafs GM realize before departing that the majority of the troops in Afghanistan at this point are from the Royal 22nd Régiment, the Van Doos, from Quebec, who, I would suspect, do not like the Leafs very much? Be interesting to see what kind of reception Burkie received.