Perhaps you hadn't noticed it, because it went over with hardly a peep when announced last summer, but these CFL playoffs are the first to have a corporate name attached.
Back in August, Scotiabank and the CFL announced the naming rights deal. It's old hat across the pond where England's League Cup has for years been shunted between sponsors, from Milk to Littlewoods to Carling and on and on. Golf and tennis have sold the rug out from under their original backers like Hope and Crosby and replaced them with bland corporate monikers. College football in the U.S. too. It's even not that new for the CFL, which for many years handed out hardware called the Schenleys -- that's what everyone called them, the booze company footing the bill.
|Bally's Pinball Clemons holds up the Second Cup Cup.|
This is a little different, in that it suggests that the selling off of the Grey Cup, one of Canada's most venerated sports treasures, is just around the corner. Commissioner Tom Wright didn't rule out the possibility last summer, and I suspect the subject will come up again next week, when the national media, corporate schmoozers and fans gather in Vancouver for this year's renewal of the Grant National Drunk.
The possibilities are endless. The Hooters Grey Cup. The Second Cup Cup. Bally's Pinball Clemons. It's coming.
As we clear off the desk this afternoon, here's a few leftovers to take care of:
One last note: Congratulation to Beth Wightman of the University of Toronto's cross-country team. At last weekend's CIS nationals in Halifax, Wightman, a grad student at U of T, won her third gold medal to go with two she won at Queen's in 2001 and '03.
One last read: The best story going in the NFL, and you've barely heard about it: the latest in Clinton Portis Funkadelic press conference sportswear, from Deadspin, of course.
Sports around town: The Yeomen host MacMaster on Beach Luau Night tonight at alma mater York University, a place that often reminds me of Malibu. Tomorrow night U of Windsor is in town. Women's and men's doubleheaders start at 6 p.m. both nights. Go Yeo Go!
What I'm watching: Real Madrid at Barcelona, Saturday, 2 p.m., GOL TV. Just to hear the guy yell GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL! Oh, and all right, I'll admit it, someone might throw a pig's head on the pitch.
Not watching: Prokom Trefl at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Raptors TV. Was this part of the deal? We beat you on your floor, and you have to show our games?
Punters Corner. Here we are again. Little Johnny's lunch money is just sitting there on the counter, right next to the sheet. You could go to the Linebacker. Or Chris Schultz. But here's five Pro-Line picks you can't get anywhere else. And for good reason. (Entertainment purposes only, not to be used as the basis for any wagers -- not that anyone would want to, did you notice Pro-Line pulled the Colts game off the menu last week? Aye yi-yi, I think it's time to start pushing for an expansion jai-lai franchise for Toronto. Who's with me? etc.):
ARL-WIGN tie (3.0). Flush with newfound success, Latics to announce tour of Asia, new Latics perfume, Latics official shop and introductory brochures explaining what a Latic is.
NYG H+ win (1.8) vs PHI. Tired of being nagged, Giants switch post-game tub dousing of drill sergeant coach Coughlin from Gatorade to liquid ecstacy.
OAK-WASH tie (3.8). Al Davis announces a couple of new signings: Lord Black as official toastmaster of Raider Nation fan club, and James Woods in charge of pregame benediction and bat sacrifice.
TOR H+ win (2.3) vs MON. Good news: CFL to replace garish Tim Horton's logo on field. Bad news: CFL to replace it with picture of Guy With the Big Spoon from Tim Horton's ad.
EDM-B.C. tie (3.2). More details of CFL-Tim Horton's deal: "That's Really Steeped" mom and Guy Who Does the Really Lame Clint Eastwood Impersonation to headline halftime "Up With People on Caffeine" show.