A clear and present danger exists every night
I haven’t seen an awful lot of gruesome things during games I’ve been at in person – the worst, by far, would have been Garbo’s ankle/leg injury in Boston – but I’ve seen all the same horrific stuff as you have on TV.
That shot that JA Happ took off the head during the Jays game last night was as bad as anything and underscores the inherent danger of near catastrophic injury that every athlete operates under every time they take the court or the field or the pitch.
It’s scary, isn’t it? You’re a young man doing what you love and being richly rewarded for it but at any split second it could all come crashing down through no fault of your own.
(Yes, the same “danger” exists for a lot of other professionals and people in every walk of life but the “public” aspect of sports makes it different and it seems to hit a lot more closer to home)
I don’t know that living with that thought is something any athlete does consciously, it would impede them far too much from doing what they can to the best of their ability.
And maybe because they don’t have it even in the darkest recesses of the minds, that’s what makes the able to go out and push their bodies as hard as they do each and every game.
A line drive to the head. A blown out knee. A head shot that causes irreparable damage in the short and long term.
All are things are clear and present dangers. Every single night.
JA Happ – and every pitcher at every level of professional baseball – know that they are exposed every time they throw the ball.
Every basketball player who gets four or five feet off the ground, helpless, knows what could happen.
Every hockey player who goes speeding into a corner or across the middle of the ice is vulnerable.
Every football player in a scrum with other behemoths is one missed step from disaster.
Yet they don’t think about it, can’t think about it. It what makes the good ones stand out from the not-so-good; it’s part of what separates them from mortals.
What happened to Happ was horrific, we can only hope for speedy and complete recovery from whatever damage was done; we can only wonder what his mind will be like when he’s back and able to pitch again.
How about that?
The Day of Reckoning – the “we have to have a decision and we have to have it now, this is the turning point in franchise history, how can they sit around and wait day” – came and went with the Raptors yesterday and was …
Business as usual.
There never was going to be a kneejerk immediate reaction to an annual end-of-season report, it’s not how things work in the real world, where major decisions are thought out and analyzed and taken after much consideration.
We might be a week, maybe 10 days, maybe three or four days from any resolution, all those breathlessly waiting to unload on whatever decision is made need to stand down for a wee bit longer.
One of the great joys of this little exercise is you never know what’s going to evoke response, either good, bad or ugly.
The little item yesterday about McDonald’s and how I’m going to have to go there today because I like to support their charitable endeavour (and because I know people who have urged me to try it more often of late) really got some of you going.
And it was quite fascinating to read; if you’ve got some time, go check the comments out.
I always find it fascinating which little item will get some of you going, and I think it’s a testament to the wide range of personalities that come to this little daily cocktail party. You never know when a cool conversation will pop up out of nowhere.
Oh and then figure out if you want to grab a big burger today, I’m pretty sure I will and I know others who enjoy them in the regular course of life are going to as well.
I honestly can’t remember where I heard this but someone mentioned it was Bob Seger’s birthday this week.
And since we share Birth Month, why not …
Speaking of fast food …
T-minus two days ‘til the gig as a judge at the Toronto Wing Fest (it’s Friday, the Rotary Club of Toronto Skyline raises funds through it and you can get all the details here) and I’ve got to tell you, I’m quite looking forward to it.
There’s two groups of wings – 10 “regular” ones if you will, 10 “specialty” ones – and while I go into it with an open mind entirely because that’s the right thing to do, here’s a list of …
Three Favourite Things About Wings
(Mind you, this will in no way impact any decisions made Friday)
Not too saucy
Sure, they can be messy, it’s what they’re supposed to be but too much goop takes away from the taste, doesn’t it?
If I had my preference, I’d take the little drumsticks all the time; not that the other parts aren’t tasty, just a bit more difficult to handle.
Lots of napkins
I hate – HATE – saloons that drop off a dozen wings and two scrawny little paper napkins. Irks me no end.
What have I forgotten?
Oh, and I cannot imagine this happening but if someone tries to pass off “boneless” wings, I’m suggesting the find the Toronto Chicken Finger Fest because that’s what they are.
This is going to be a hoot, hope to see some of you there.
Looks like Friday night is dead and who knows what the means for Saturday morning so let’s get started early, okay?
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Good and bad news emanating from Canada Basketball yesterday.
The good would be that things are going to start next week for the women’s senior team and they’ve got an ambitious schedule ahead, as you can see and a group of players that seem to present a solid mix of veterans and kids.
Now, given that they’ve been exponentially more successful than the men over the last half decade – a fact lost on too many – it’s going to be interesting to see how the changing of the guard rolls out.
The men, meanwhile, got a bit of blow now that Anthony Bennett, who still looks like a high lottery pick in June’s NBA draft, is going to be sidelined about four months thanks to shoulder surgery.
That shouldn’t have an impact on his NBA career – he’s still looking like a top 6 pick today – but I can’t imagine whatever team drafts him is going to look too favourably on him playing for Canada in this fall’s world championships qualifier.
It’s not a crippling blow – I still think Canada has more than enough talent to qualify – but it’s certainly not great news.
The men don’t get going for real until much later in the summer, too bad they won’t have a huge key future component available to them.