Category Archives: sports

Calgary beats Vancouver

So Calgary beat Vancouver in six games.  I predicted they would and it’s always nice to be right.  I’ll leave this up to the Canucks fans to decide but I think this was a case of Vancouver lacking a killer instinct and grit rather than it was Calgary being a better team.  It happens sometimes in a series and this was one of them.

This is what I liked about this Calgary team.  For me it starts with them not firing Bob Hartley.  Either your coach can or can’t coach and if you have one that can, you don’t fire him because he misses the playoffs with a bad roster.  Instead Calgary stood by Hartley through the good and the bad and in the end he made the team into what he and also Brian Burke thought would win (and it did).

I don’t understand why teams don’t do more of this.  I look at the firing of Peter Chiarelli as Boston’s GM.  It seemed like the Jacobs were more angry and instead of going, “our roster aged more than we expected, we had some injuries and we still ended up with 96 points, it happens to the best of them,” that decided that someone has to pay and it’s the GM.  

Good franchises don’t do this.  They have a plan and they stick to it.  Bad teams like Toronto and Edmonton never seem to stick with a plan and instead replace the coach over and over and over again.  It is also his fault despite everyone (including the fans) knowing it really isn’t.  The next coach is always going to be the saviour.  In reality a hockey coach probably has less to do with wins and losses than anyone other than a baseball manager (I have read someplace that the difference between a good manager and a bad manager is about 5 games a season in baseball).

So back to my point, good job for Calgary sticking to the plan, good job for Edmonton getting a guy with a plan (and demoting those without one), and while I love Boston, I am really, really nervous about the move to get rid of Chiarelli.  The ownership transition from father to son is not going well.

Rehab for Johnny Football

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plains Dealer reports that Johnny Manziel has entered rehab

Johnny Manziel enters rehab

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who’s been photographed partying from coast to coast since the day he was drafted, entered a treatment facility Wednesday and is getting the help he needs, according to a family friend and advisor.

“Brad Beckworth, a friend and advisor to Manziel and his family, has confirmed that Johnny entered treatment on Wednesday,” a statement from Manziel’s publicist read. “Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate, and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step. 

“On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland.”

The Browns also released the following statement from general manager Ray Farmer:

“We respect Johnny’s initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players’ health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player.

“Johnny’s privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same.”

Manziel’s partying was chronicled over the last year, from floating on swans to rolling up a bill in the bar of a bathroom, which the Browns found most “disturbing,” sources told Northeast Ohio Media Group.

I am not a big fan of Johnny Manziel as a football player.  I think he is better as a CFL than a NFL qb but I am happy for Manziel as a human being.  His season was a train wreck last year in most part of his partying and alcohol consumption.

I also think that the jump from the SEC (or any team in the NCAA) is so big that only a few can make it.  The talent is one reason but also you are no longer big man on campus.  Coaches like Mack Brown, Kevin Sumlin, or Jimbo Fisher aren’t covering for you.  The school president isn’t there to make excuses for you and there are no more professors who just want to be part of the “team”.   Vince Young never made the transition from college star to professional.  Even Tim Tebow never seemed to get it (especially after he had some success in Denver).  Hopefully Manziel finds some answers in rehab.  Not about football but about life.

Mayor of Glendale, host of the Super Bowl, doesn’t get a ticket to attend Super Bowl

From the New York Times

Jerry Weiers lives less than two miles from University of Phoenix Stadium, where the New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Weiers also happens to be the mayor of Glendale.

Yet as politicians, chief executives and tens of thousands of well-heeled fans rub shoulders that day in the stadium in Glendale, a western suburb of Phoenix, he plans to watch the game on television in his living room, because he has not been offered a ticket.

“It was on my bucket list, but it’s not going to happen,” Weiers said. “If I had my druthers, I’d rather be in the stadium. I’ve had people say that if I was a team player, I might have gone to the game. But I’m a team player for my city.”

Weiers is not shy about making that point, so he is not surprised that he was snubbed. Critics have called Weiers ungrateful because the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will draw thousands of visitors to his city, and some of them will visit restaurants and hotels there. Glendale will also receive lots of free advertising during game broadcasts, though a vast majority of people visiting Arizona for the Super Bowl will visit the city only on game day.

James Cassella, the mayor of East Rutherford, N.J., was also criticized after he complained last year that his borough had been overlooked even as the Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium there.

But the friction in Glendale is acute because the city has a reputation for betting big on sports — and paying a price for it. In the last decade, the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build a hockey arena for the Coyotes and a spring training complex for the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The hope was that the facilities would prompt residential and commercial development. But when the recession hit in 2008, the Coyotes went bankrupt, the mall next to the arena foundered, and the city was overwhelmed by its debt payments and was forced to slash public services.

“The city of Glendale is the poster child for what can go wrong” when a city invests heavily in sports, said Kevin McCarthy, the president of the Arizona Tax Research Association. “You don’t want to be building stadiums and not be able to hire police officers.”

Glendale is by no means the first city to have sports facilities turn into albatrosses. Cincinnati and Miami, to name just two, built stadiums for wealthy owners in deals that backfired.

But the scale of spending in the city of 230,000 residents is unique. According to Moody’s Investors Service, Glendale’s debt is equal to 4.9 percent of its tax base, nearly four times the national median and twice the average rate for cities in Arizona. More than 40 percent of the city’s debt is dedicated to paying off sports complexes.

What the NFL does to Super Bowl host cities is a crime.  NFL owners want to host a big party and the taxpayers pay for it.  It is insane.

As for his Super Bowl ticket?

Whether that attitude gets Weiers invited is another question. Cassella, the East Rutherford mayor, said that after stories surfaced that he, too, had been unable to get a Super Bowl ticket, Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, invited him as his guest. John Mara, an owner of the Giants, sent him a parking pass.

Why is there no political opposition to the Boston Olympic bid?

If politicians don’t support the Olympics, the terrorists win.

Sunset in Boston

In fashioning a campaign dominated by locals, the committee also hammered in another cornerstone: opposition to the Olympics is seen as a display of insufficient civic pride. Even elected officials who harbor deep misgivings about the Games — due to its expected cost, security risks, or potential for embarrassing mismanagement — say privately that they keep their fears quiet so as not to trigger any backlash.

One state lawmaker likened criticism of the Olympic plan to speaking in favor of an enemy nation during a time of war, saying it seemed “unpatriotic.”

Just as adroitly, the Olympic organizers resisted the outcry from the disclosure and anti-secret-government crowd to release even a morsel of their formal planning before the US Olympic Committee decided on Boston. This provided a tactical edge, because there were no specific projects to oppose or price tags about which to kvetch. Potential critics had nothing at which to shoot. That ends next week when the bid documents become public, and 2024 organizers present their early thinking under a bright media glare in a public meeting.

And I guess politicians who only care about their own political self-interests.  I thought Boston reminded me of Saskatoon.

Boston 2024

I love Boston and I think it is an amazing city but why is doing this to itself?

The United States Olympic Committee has chosen Boston to be its entry in a global competition to host the 2024 Olympic Games, putting its faith in an old city that is brand new to the Olympic movement.

The USOC announced Thursday after a meeting at Denver International Airport that it will back Boston’s Olympic bid over those from San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and two-time Olympic host Los Angeles.

With the vote, Boston vaults into an unfamiliar, high-profile position on the international sports stage. During the next two-and-a-half years, it will be part of a competition that could include some of the most significant cities in the world: Paris, Rome, Hamburg or Berlin, Budapest, and Istanbul. There could be competition from South Africa, from Doha in Qatar, from Baku in Azerbaijan, and from other cities or regions attracted by new rules intended to make it easier to host the Games. A winner will be chosen in 2017.

Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive, said that the decision was “gut-wrenching” for the panel but that Boston came out on top in part due to the business people and elected officials who drove the effort.

“One of the great things about the Boston bid was that the bid leadership and the political leadership were on the same page,” Blackmun said, in an exclusive Globe interview at the Denver airport.

So Boston becomes the latest city to strive to go deeply into debt to build host a corrupt games.  Hilariously the say that it will be a privately funded games.  No public money needed.  I’ll believe it when I see it.