On Ricky Bobby and Such
Saw Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby over the weekend. Mildy funny to outrageously funny, and certainly light years more humorous than anything Paul Tracy dreamed up on the weekend. ... Geez, didn't know the Bridgestone Invitational had suddenly acquired the importance of the Masters and Wimbledon, all rolled into one. The gentle folks of Akron must be so pleased. ... Story of the week, or at least the early part of the week, will be Andre Agassi's final swings on the ATP tour. Here's an athlete and humanitarian who actually deserves all the kudos he will receive. Moreover, here's a sport that keenly understands what it is losing in this athlete and is feverishly dreaming up aggressive new ways to become a relevant force on the North American scene again. ... Every time they play one of these global competitions - the World Cup of Hockey, the World Baseball Classic, the world basketball championships - it makes one more keenly aware how none are even in the same league as soccer's enormous World Cup. ... Liked the combination of Sean Millington and Daved Benefield alongside Elliotte Friedman on the CBC's Hamilton-Saskatchewan broadcast Saturday night. But while Millington and Benefield had some forceful criticisms of the woeful Tabbies, they carefully avoided naming a single individual player or players. That's the hard part, guys. In general, the CBC broadcast was dedicated to making sure no viewer was left with the impression any of it was the fault of Jason Maas. He's just the quarterback and highest paid player who suddenly can't complete a pass for more than eight yards. ... Ah yes, the Tiger-Cats. None of this gets put on Ron Lancaster's shoulders. He's just being a team guy. It's interesting that Greg Marshall, Craig Yeast and Kwame Cavil, among others, all had to go. Joe Paopao was added Monday.Meanwhile, the team's general manager, Rob Katz, manages to continue being the only football boss in the league without a speck of football expertise on his resume. Gotta believe putting this guy up against Jim Popp, Hugh Campbell and the Wally Buono/Bobby Ackles combo in B.C. is one heckuva mismatch. ... There's always lots of talk about athletes being role models for young people. I'm thinking that seeing two men, John Gibbons and Ted Lilly, behave like gentlemen and professionals just a few days after a very public spat is a more than acceptable example for the youth of this world. ... Then again, maybe a little more soap opera stuff will help the Jays gate. After the Gibbons-Lilly dustup, the Jays had 30,000 fans or more for four of their next five home starts. ... To understand the frustrations of the Blue Jays of playing in the American League east, take a look at the records of the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, both first in their respective divisions. ... Love the argument that the Jays actually aren't mediocre, their starting pitching has just been poor. That's like having a great hockey team but a lousy goaltender or being great off the tee but a poor putter. The art lies in putting the entire package together. And when they get a brilliantly pitched game like they received on Saturday from Roy Halladay and can't scratch out a single run against the awful Royals, you get the message loud and clear.