Time to pack it up around here, following an eventful week. And this just in from Centennial Stadium, where the Lynx are playing a morning match: Romario has scored. I'm guessing if it wasn't a toe poke, it was a penalty. Bully for him. Now on to some real scoring.
One last read. This was a big week in Raptorland. Here's Dave Feschuk's fine read on how he figures all this Bargnani talk is just a smokescreen -- well, 'tis the season. What stopped me here -- what was a really big stop sign, actually -- was this bit:
Colangelo tried awfully hard to make it known that the Raptors like him more than anybody else on the shortlist. The GM mentioned that Sam Mitchell, the Raptors coach, and Wayne Embry, a senior executive, were jetting to see Bargnani play on the Continent this week. He mentioned that Larry Tanenbaum, the club chairman, had taken in one of Bargnani's games at Colangelo's urging. And he mentioned — surely only in passing — that the man with whom he is in talks to hire as an assistant, Maurizio Gherardini, is the top executive with the club, Benetton Treviso, that owns Bargnani's contract.
I guess if you own the team, even just a portion of it, you can do what you want. But isn't this where Colangelo is supposed to be left alone to do the job? Any owner scouting makes me shudder. An MLSE owner scouting is even worse.
One last look. Matthew McGough on the art of sport:
The art critic Dave Hickey builds his essay ''The Heresy of Zone Defense" (published in his 1997 collection ''Air Guitar") around another such moment of transcendent athletic beauty: Julius Erving driving baseline in the 1980 NBA Finals, veering though the air around Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, under the backboard, and then, somehow, reaching back under the glass for a reverse layup. After the game, Magic Johnson joked that the Lakers weren't sure at the time whether to inbound the ball or ask Erving to do it again.
''Everyone who cares about basketball knows this play," Hickey writes, and it's true: Even for sports fans like myself who were merely toddlers in 1980, the words ''Dr. J" and ''reverse layup" are sufficient to summon the precise mental image.
Hickey attributes the universal joy inspired by Erving's play to the fact that it ''was at once new and fair": within the rules of the game invented in 1891 by James Naismith, and yet impossible for Naismith (or anyone else, for that matter) to have anticipated until Dr. J actually pulled it off. The relationship between fair play and aesthetic appreciation may also explain why replays of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's record-setting 1998 home run chase felt breathtaking just a few years ago but now seem to have lost their capacity to inspire strong feelings.
Breaking news. No results in yet, but the Australian finals of the World Air Guitar Championships are today. Okay, some real news: Michael Ballack, following on this morning's WM Post, will miss Germany's friendly against Luxembourg due to a sore ankle.
Sports around town. The baseball Maple Leafs are off to a 4-1 start and host Stratford in an Intercounty League game, Sunday at 2 p.m. at Christie Pits.
Watching. The Memorial Cup final, Sunday, 4 p.m. A national championship on the line, Patrick Roy's Quebec Remparts against the winner of tonight's Moncton-Vancouver semifinal. I'm hoping it's Moncton for the home ice crowd, and the simmering back and forth between Roy and Ted Nolan.
Not watching. The Sopranos, off for a week before next Sunday's season finale (and judging from last week, all-out war is about to break loose).