Sometimes, it appears winning isn't enough
You know the deal: There are Grade 2 kids who don’t know the glory of a first-round playoff ouster for the Leaves; the HOTH haven’t been in the playoffs in half a decade; TOD haven’t sniffed a series since the early-90s and the TFCs have had almost as many coaches as seasons.
Nice city you’ve got there.
That, folks, sadly sums up the Argos, doesn’t it?
We long lamented the fact that team doesn’t get much attention from the general public and it was my point a while ago that some level of interest and respect would come with winning because this area seems starved for some kind of sporting success.
Well, it’s got it. The Argos are tied for first in their division, they’ve won four of six, they have some intriguing talent and yet remain so far off the radar for the general public it’s not funny.
I’ve seen more than a few games this year – or at least large parts of them – and the quarterback’s skilled, I really like this Inman kid our man Mitchell wrote about today, Chad Owens can make a big play at any time from anywhere on the field and the Running Back Who Is Not Cory Boyd seems quite good.
It’s a fun team, it appears, and, for now at least, is giving people around here what they say they want: A winner.
Guess I don’t buy that theory.
I wonder if Toronto sports fans aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy because a team having some success can’t capture enough imaginations to work its way into the casual conversations that sports fans have all the time.
I’ll just say I can watch Omar Vizquel field ground balls for hours quite contently and watching him make those two plays at second base last night just affirmed it to me.
There is little in all sports that’s more graceful and quick than good baseball defence.
And I know Vizquel’s destined for the Hall of Fame but, man, I’m glad he got to play a season here so we could see him more often.
Cat? Go among the pigeons.
Figured I’d get to this one early, maximize reaction (tee-hee)
Q: Hi Doug. There's so little BBall going on I have nothing to say/ask. Maybe as a Torontonian and sports fan you'll indulge me some local politics. What is your take on the heat Mayor Ford got for taking time out of the day to coach his local football team?
Some folks think he shouldn't use 'company time' for that, but personally I think it is great the City's leader would spend some time in the community doing grass roots stuff.
What do you think?
David W, Toronto
A: Well, you asked and since I’m not a Torontonian – I (heart) Hazelville right now – I’m not going to get into politics, per se. At least not today.
Look, I have no problem with anyone volunteering their time to coach kids, I do it myself and find it incredibly rewarding to see house league baseball players have fun and become better ball players from when they start in May and end in late August or September. It’s fun, it’s a challenge and I hope the kids get something out of it; I know I do.
That said …
There is no way on this Earth that the mayor of a city of 4 million or whatever it is, should blow off the majority of an executive committee meeting – long-scheduled, as I’ve come to know – to coach a practice, a game, a scrimmage or whatever. Those meetings are big, it’s the de-facto cabinet for the city, and can’t be blown off to coach minor football for goodness sakes.
I don’t, for a second, buy the line about the kids won’t play if he’s not there; that’s hubris to the worst degree, if there aren’t assistants who can handle one practice once a month, well, that team’s in bad hands.
Your dutifully elected Mayor, to these eyes, is a bully and a blowhard, small-minded and petulant and is enabled by his equally blustery, small-minded brother.
Yes, it’s good that he’s a coach of a kids team, all the power to him on that one. But work is work; big meetings are big meetings and he needs to govern when it’s necessary and not run away from his responsibility.
I get that being Mayor is a 24/7 job – heck, in some ways it’s like mine, you always have to be ready to work – and there’s a need to get away whenever you can and do something you love. But you have to pick your spots, and, shockingly, Ford made a wrong decision. Go figure!
Have at it.
Oh yeah, anyone got any more mail?
Raptors? Well, a couple of key guys – Lowry and Calderon – are due in today, there are already half a dozen or so guys hanging around town and I’m told the whole squad should be here by the middle of next week and the fun can begin.
It’ll be those informal workouts and scrimmages and drills to start and the two main things they need to get accomplished in the two or so weeks before the official opening of training camp is to get to know each other and get into some kind of better game shape.
None of them were totally slothful over the summer and will show up 20 pounds overweight but having a couple of weeks of hard work and time in the weight room should have them ready to hit the ground running when Dwane can officially get at them starting Oct. 2. Championships, or even playoff spots, aren’t won at this time of year but a foundation can be built and that’s as important as anything.