Lighting the flame and walking memory lane
Yes, I know I’m a bit late but I was early the other day so it all evens out, right?
What the heck, let’s wade into uncharted waters for a minute.
That’s who should light the thing out in Vancouver on Friday night.
It was an idea first proposed by a friend who’d like to remain anonymous at the moment – and only one Irregular suggested when we first brought it up here – and I think it’s a perfect idea.
Local connections to Vancouver and a message that resonates worldwide in a global fight against a deadly disease.
He was a hero to millions, not just sports fans, and he’s a Canadian who should be celebrated and remembered and honoured.
He speaks to our nation, a willingness to fight for causes, to sacrifice for others, all the good qualities that embody Canadians.
He ran for hope and for others.
Now, you know me and technology (we’re not exactly kissin’ cousins) but surely to goodness it could be done, right? Some hologram or something?
I mean this with absolute no disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, who was a great hockey player and did a lot for the sport and had a gold meal win – and a seventh place finish or something like that – in his two Olympic things but no way.
He’s big, but he’s not that big. In hockey playing countries? Sure. The United States? Sure. A global icon? I don’t think so.
You need, as I said, a “wow” moment, and having Terry Fox somehow open the games would be stunning.
Might even make a grown grunt tear up.
So all the hullabaloo about Bryan Colangelo’s immediate future sure was dismissed rather quickly, no?
Never thought it was a big deal anyway and that he wouldn’t be going to New Jersey or New York next year. It was nice to find out that others thought the same way.
But you know what?
He should be with the Raptors longer than next year, too, and I think ownership would be smart to start talks about another, long-term extension right now.
Let’s say another four years, maybe with an option for a fifth?
There’s no doubt the franchise is better today than when he got here; the team’s headed to the playoffs for the third time in four years and there’s more promise than there’s been in a while.
Chris Bosh notwithstanding, all the key players – Jack, Calderon, Turkoglu, Bargnani, DeRozan – are under contract for years, the financial picture isn’t overwhelming and the GM has proven willing – and able – to fix any mistakes that may occur.
Why not send a message, to the fans and the players and the league, that he’s a valuable guy? Why not give him a new deal now?
Some bad news, folks.
For a variety of reasons – time of things down here more than anything – I’m afraid we have to pull the plug on any planned question-and-answer thing this morning.
We’ve got media availabilities with rookies and sophomores at one place, Saturday night guys an all-stars at another place, a union news conference and just general journalism to commit.
Sorry about that but we will be around for a usual in-game blog thingy on Sunday night.
List time, quickly:
I figure there has to be a cowboy component to the big weekend in Big D, right? Which makes a guy think about The Top Three Halftimes He’s Seen
Horses rambling through the Pepsi Center
Yes, it was quite a night in Denver when they rode out from right next to us. Nothing says NBA all-star weekend better than horses.
Mariah Carey serenades Michael Jordan
For pure over-the-topism (nice word, eh?) I don’t know that you can beat the songbird’s tribute to Jordan at halftime in Atlanta. It was like Happy Birthday, Mr. President (google it, young ‘uns) but not as good.
The wrong fashion choice
So Destiny’s Child is (are?) warbling at halftime in Philly in ’06 and when one of them – does it matter which one? – shows up in a Kobe Bryant jersey and there’s a smattering of boos, some are surprised. Me? I’m surprised no one threw anything at her, it was in Philly after all.
Kobe’s out. Iverson’s out. Roy’s out. Paul’s out.
Yes, this all-star game is becoming more and more about the stadium than the game with each passing hour, it seems.
And that’s okay with me because the game will follow the same old pattern: Pick-up ball and dunk contest for three quarters or so, and a passable shot at competitiveness down the stretch.
For those first three quarters, we’ll all be watching on the big TV screen.
You should have seen it here Thursday.
A guy lands right around noon to find more snow in Dallas than in Hazelville and it was still coming down around midnight when the social session finally ended.
Now it wasn’t “real” snow, it was big, wet flakes that didn’t really stick on the roads and there was no wind but you should have seen the panic.
The cabbie from the airport looked physically afraid of the drive. Maybe 40 kilometres an hour on three separate highways, a death grip on the steering wheel and no chatter whatsoever.
All right, we’ve seen all kinds of reasons for sports events to be postponed, or forfeited or just not played, right? Weather, travel, illness, problems with gyms and stadiums.
Well, you Hawthorn Hawk fans out there – and I know who you are – should know this: This week’s game was called off because too many of the players were on the bad “Homework Not Done” list (no, Super Son was not one of them, I don’t think) in the class room and that cost the team its game.
Pretty good message, no?
Oh, and to keep this all about me and mine, Super Son’s incessant saxophone practicing paid off, he passed an audition and aced an interview and is off to Mississauga’s version of Fame next fall.
Last call for mail. Send the queries here and I’ll putter away on them over the next couple of days.