Belated retorts on Torts, cohorts and annoying old forts
Vacation mailbox spilleth over with ranting readers — and a Grass Hopper — requesting resourceful replies from Carn’s Corner
The B.C. Lions’ Andrew Harris gestures for the fans to turn up the noise in the final seconds of a game. Harris reminds one reader of a ‘Swaggerville’ lesson.
Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG
VANCOUVER — Full disclosure: Just after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, when I was a couple of years into my career at the Edmonton Journal, I was given a column called In This Corner, allowing the readers, for the first time, to glimpse my unsightly mug.
It wasn’t pretty. The column, I mean. It was more of a mailbag, me answering questions from readers about boxing and other stuff, except that very few readers actually wrote in, necessitating some ... well, minor fraud.
Colleagues in the sports department like Norm Cowley and Ray Turchansky and Terry Jones were enlisted to submit semi-serious questions under pseudonyms like “Pete Feest,” which a Ukrainian buddy thought might be kind of a crude expression in his language (but no one would ever guess it wasn’t a real name, so we ran with it.) Mr. Feest was, if I recall correctly, from Leduc.
In the spirit of In This Corner, then, having taken most of the last seven weeks off, playing a lot of golf and not getting any better at it, here is the best and worst from the staggering heaps of mail that gathered in my office mailbox (two press releases, one bill) and email inbox during my absence:
I am so sick of reading about Roberto Luongo, can’t you find anything else to write? There were 45 guys at the Canadian Olympic camp. Get a life.
— C. Crawford, Chicago
(CC, you’re absolutely right. But ... what’s that? Lou just showed up at UBC for the Canucks’ skate? Gotta run.)
Dear Cam Cole,
Next time you see Brian Burke, tell him we want him back here in Vancouver, because the team he and Nonis put together has just about run out of gas, and the new guy doesn’t seem to have a clue, and we could use someone with Brian’s acumen and sunny personality.
— I.M. Strombone, Yaletown
(I hate to be the bearer of bad news, IM, but Burke just signed in Calgary, so it could be at least a year before he’s available.)
Who told you the golf course Graham DeLaet grew up on in Sasky was a nine-holer? It’s a lovely 18-hole course and our community takes great pride in it. Don’t you ever check your facts?
— G. Hopper, Weyburn
(Thanks for writing, GH. The info came from Bob Weeks of Score Magazine and Score TV, who also said DeLaet learned to play on sand greens using a branch carved from a willow tree for a club and road apples for golf balls, and shaves with a hacksaw blade. When I asked him where he got his information, Weeks said: ‘Maybe I was thinking of Moe Norman.’ What can I say? He’s left-handed.)
What’s with Andrew Harris and the others in the Lions’ chorus line who preen like peacocks after every touchdown? Don’t they remember the Winnipeg team that labelled itself “Swaggerville” and laid an egg in the 2011 Grey Cup? In the words of an old Texas coach: “When you get to the end zone, try to act like you’ve been there before.”
— O. Geezer, Winnipeg
(On the bright side, OG, Harris hasn’t started celebrating and dropped the ball before crossing the goal-line yet — although there’s still half a season left — and got one of his teammates hurt as a result, like Denver’s Danny Trevathan did Thursday night. So he has that going for him, which is nice.)
What’s the new icing rule the NHL has put in this year?
— K. Fraser, Toronto
(Rule 81.6. A puck propelled by the attacking team from its own side of centre ice beyond the goal-line at the far end shall be whistled for icing upon being touched first by the defensive team, unless: (a) a defensive player skating at normal speed (i.e., not Douglas Murray) could have touched the puck before it crossed the line, (b) the attacking player was trying to pass the puck but was David Booth, or (c) the linesman has a date waiting at the Roxy.)
Hi, Mr. Cole,
Can you tell me what happens when a receiver leaves too early, and is 10 yards downfield before the ball is snapped?
— T. Higgins, Toronto
(That would be the Ray Elgaard Rule, TH, and to make a long story short, in the CFL nothing happens, other than the officials winking at each other and then looking at their shoelaces. But you really ought to ask the supervisor of officials.)
Dear Carn Corn,
(This was the actual salutation on a letter I received from Visa in August 2009, and which I still keep around for humility purposes, promoting the company’s sponsorship of Team Visa athletes at the 2010 Olympics. I can’t remember if they had better luck spelling the athletes’ names.)
I hear you’re a New York Yankees fan. You probably like the L.A. Lakers, too. Why don’t you ever cheer for a plucky underdog like the Dallas Cowboys? How do you sleep at night?
— P. LeBrun, Toronto
(Like a baby, Pete. I wake up every three hours, crying.)
I can’t wait for hockey season, because your beloved Canucks and Mike Gillis’ collection of whiners and divers and milquetoast Swedes and that nut-job coach, Tortellini, are gonna miss the playoffs now that they have to play in a real division. And now you’ve got Luongo back — hahahahaha!
— A. Homer, Boston
(I ... uh ... oh, hell.)
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