Items that may grow up to be columns, Vol. XIV, Chapter 9:
The idea of the Tim Tebow Sideshow becoming a football success story by relocating it to Canada is a pleasant fantasy for Canadian Football League scribes.
Only one problem: if hitting a wide-open receiver is about a 50/50 proposition for Tebow on the postage-stamp-sized National Football League field, imagine him tossing one of those wounded ducks of his toward the Canadian sidelines, miles away, without getting picked off.
Mobility, it appears -- and, to be fair, a penchant for the inexplicable big play out of nowhere -- are about the only assets Tebow possesses that would suit him to the three-down CFL game, where you get one fewer opportunity to miss the target before you punt.
Hamilton’s new Boss Of Everything, Kent Austin, has a better chance of turning Henry Burris into Mr. Steady than Marc Trestman, whose Montreal Alouettes own Tebow’s rights, would have of making Tebow into more than another Adrian McPherson or Jarious Jackson or (pick a third-and-short, running specialist).
It’s true, Trestman is a quarterbacks’ dream coach, and it’s also true that many a CFL star QB’s career has been kick-started by an ability to escape pressure and make something happen with the feet. So there’s just a chance Trestman and Tebow would discover some strange alchemy together.
But probably not.
Tebow, who couldn’t get off the sidelines with the New York Jets this season even though starter Mark Sanchez was an unmitigated disaster, was arguably the most famous football player -- or at least football “person” -- in the United States, but at 25, he isn’t a kid any more. If he could throw, he’d have shown it by now.
And any comparison to Doug Flutie is apples and ... well, road apples.
GUTTER LANGUAGE: Keglers of all ages and levels of ability must have winced when Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock expressed his fears Tuesday about the damage the NHL lockout could be doing to hockey.
"Hate to say it,” Babcock told Sportsnet.ca, “but we could end up like bowling."
Hockey should be so lucky. After the 2004-05 season was wiped out by the last lockout, ratings for the NHL on Versus (then OLN, now NBC Sports Network) were worse than those of poker, women’s basketball and ... yes, bowling.
SPORTS 101: The Associated Press has announced the results of its sports story of the year voting, based on a poll of U.S. editors. The big “winners” of 2012 are: 1. Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, 2. Lance Armstrong scandal, 3. NFL/New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.
In Canada, presumably, No. 1 would be the NHL lockout scandal.
So, to sum up: child molestation, performance-enhancing drugs, pay-to-injure, and labour relations. Isn’t that why we all love sports?
ABBREVIATED: There’s more than one reason, evidently, that the first four letters of everyone’s favourite social medium are T-w-i-t. Today’s reason can be found in former Vancouver Giants (now Winnipeg Jets) star Evander Kane’s Twitter feed: a photo of himself posing on the balcony of a Las Vegas hotel, holding stacks of what appear to be hundred-dollar bills in both hands while pretending to make a cellphone call to Floyd Mayweather, the boxer. His tweet: “Hey @FloydMayweather pick up your phone cause I’m callin #imdifferent @jduppal” The latter Twitter handle turns out to belong to Jeffrey David, identified as only “YVR” in his profile, who retweeted Kane’s message, adding the words “#moneyteam #keepstacking.”
Now, its a given that neither side in the current NHL lockout dispute is terribly concerned with optics, since they are equally bad for both. But the players just can’t seem to get it into their heads that conspicuous displays of wealth do not do anything for their cause, when there’s so much financial distress (this close to Christmas) among the ordinary working stiffs whose livelihoods depend on the NHL.
POOR PITIFUL ME: Then there was the Globe and Mail story featuring New Westminster’s Kyle Turris of the Ottawa Senators, with direct quotes -- not the kind a reporter makes up, folks, no matter how much backpedaling Turris is now doing -- complaining about his experience playing hockey in Oulu, Finland during the lockout: everything from the food to the language to the travel to the lifestyle.
“The travel here is horrendous. It’s worse than junior. We’ll fly into Helsinki then hop in a bus for four to six hours, meanwhile, we’ll make three stops on a six-hour bus trip for no reason.
“The food here is awful. On the road, we eat at truck stops. ABC truck stops. I’m not kidding. We file out of the bus and head off beside the highway for a buffet truck stop pregame meal. It’s ridiculous.”
There was more, but you get the idea. Turris released a statement Wednesday calling the story, by a freelancer, “erroneous” (he no longer is playing in Finland, so the writer got the tense wrong) and unnecessarily negative, and extolling the many ways he loved his teammates and Finland. However, nowhere in the statement did he claim to have been misquoted by the Globe.
IT’S CONTAGIOUS: A roundup of the player gaffes on Twitter since the lockout began, assembled by former Province blogger Mike Halford, now of NBC Pro Hockey Talk, makes for impressive reading: Derek Roy tweeting about how much noise his Lamborghini makes when he starts the engine, Paul Bissonnette raving about his favourite seamstress at Barney’s New York, Joffrey Lupul complaining that he was denied a dinner reservation at Maple Leaf-owned Real Sports because of the lockout (when, according to MLSE’s Tom Anselmi, the only reason Lupul and, on other occasions, fellow Twitter grousers Kevin Weekes and James Van Riemsdyk, got turned away was because the restaurant was booked solid).
In fairness, Lupul has been filing an amusing blog for AskMen.com on his culture-shock experience playing in Yekaterinburg, Russia, which appears to have given him a better understanding of the obstacles facing Russian kids coming over to North America. And he retracted his tweet about Real Sports, admitting that he’d made an error in judgment using Twitter to air such a (petty, he should have added) grievance.
So compared to the class average, he’s probably broken about even.
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