Bobby Clarke, Toronto Raptors, Steel Back Breweries
Thursday, October 26, 2006
In a league where most of the power executives tow the NHL line of political correctness, Bobby Clarke always practiced the exact opposite and love or hate him no one could ever deny that the man did not bleed the Orange and White of the Philadelphia Flyers. As a player, this ferocious centre from Flin Flon overcame diabetes to become one of the most valuable players to ever lace up a pair of skates. If it wasn't for his inability to sign a true long term big league goalie, Clarke would have had his fingers adorned with many more Stanley Cup rings than the two he won when he led the infamous Broad Street Bullies into hockey immortality back in the mid `70s.
Don't get too used to seeing both MLE big league properties, the Maple Leafs and the Raptors sporting winning records in the near future. Both teams are in the overachieving modes of success at the moment. With the Raptors rebuilding under the watchful eyes of head man Bryan Colangelo this is a team which is still a couple of years out of contention but should remain fairly competitive over the course of the season. The Leafs, who are playing a more disciplined style of hockey under the new reign of head coach Paul Maurice, should also stay fairly competitive but will remain hard pressed to succeed over the 82 game schedule to make the playoffs. I hate to say it as much as I've learned to enjoy the charged, gritty style of Darcy Tucker, this valuable team leader has absolutely no business being the blue and whites leading scorer.
Nice to see Montreal Alouette slot back Ben Cahoon nominated this year for outstanding player in the CFL. Hard to believe that this future hall of fame legend and two time winner of most valuable Canadian has never before been nominated for the prestigious award. The 34-year-old has proved over his lengthy career that he has been one of the finest receivers and clutch players to ever play the game in Canada.
Speaking of football, how the mighty have fallen with the reported benching of the one time bright light of NFL football, Dallas Cowboy QB Drew Bledsoe after the teams 36-22 loss to the NY Giants in the last Monday Night ESPN thriller. In my opinion the big robotic Bledsoe has never played to the high level of potential that he exhibited in his pre-Tom Brady days with the New England Patriots. With the high profile signing of troubled receiver Terrell Owens as the main potential recipient and benefactor of Bledsoe's vaunted rocket of a throwing arm the team has forgotten to build a big league offensive line to protect the slow of foot QB. In short the line being hired to protect the valuable investment of Drew Bledsoe has been completely true to name and has been consistently offensive so far this season. Never confused with Michael Vick or Doug Flutie for his swiftness of feet or skills of improvisational ability, Drew has to have adequate time to throw from the pocket to have any success.
Is there anyone in the city of Toronto that is a better self promoter than high profile media personality Frank D'Angelo. President of Steel Back Breweries, TV pitchman, restaurateur, talk show guest and signer of a few of Ben Johnson's more recent paycheques are just a few of this high powered and successful entrepreneur's many talents and truth be told it's a pleasure to see this guy's shtick than some of the local media hucksters who attempt to promote themselves by embellishing their thin credentials by lying to listeners and viewers about their life stories and accomplishments. Maybe it's time for some of our local media types to get off their duffs and stop looking for the easy stories and begin to take the time to check into the true credentials of these up to now unnamed "personalities".
For my true amateur "athlete" of the week it's the unwitting Sarah Mabee of Toronto who on Monday collected a giant payday from the Ontario Lottery Corporation, when despite never even seeing an NFL football game won an incredible record proline payout of 444,186 dollars by correctly choosing the 13 winners of last Sunday's scheduled NFL games. In comparison, I haven't been able to collect more than a measly twenty bucks for some of my "educated" lottery choices. My hats off to Sarah and I hope that this hard working waitress spends her new found wealth wisely.
My condolences go out to my great friend and outstanding local physician Dr. Mory Gutman, who lost his beloved father Zelik a few days ago after a lengthy illness. Even though I never had the pleasure of meeting the senior Mr. Gutman , if any indication of one's success in our mortal world is the accomplishments and great character traits of the ones we help bring into this world. than he was without a doubt a man who stood above the rest. A kinder and more sympathetic person than my friend Mory just cannot exist in our human form and from every indication it was a trait that he so graciously received from his loving, nurturing and hardworking parents. My most profound condolences go out to the entire Gutman family for their profound loss and to the beloved departed Mr.Gutman I sincerely bow to you sir, and congratulate you on a life well done.
This week's trivia Question and Answer
What Canadian heavyweight boxer defeated both Max Schmeling and Primo Carnera?
In the course of his long career, Toronto born and raised heavyweight Larry Gaines ko'd the soon to be world champion Schmeling in 1925 and out pointed the Italian giant Carnera in 1932 a mere year before the Ambling Alp won the prestigious world championship and lost a close to decision to number 1 ranked Tommy Farr in 1939. Gaines continued his successful career on May 18th 1934 when he won the British Empire heavyweight championship by defeating George Cook in London. The British Empire championship had been created especially for Gaines by his promoters due to their inability to receive a shot at the British championship because of a color barrier that existed in England at the time.
Glad to announce that my new radio program can now be heard daily at 4.30 p.m. daily on radio station AM740. They are radio vignettes based on my best selling Ultimate Canadian Sports Trivia Books, Volume 1 and 2. Give it a listen and let me know what you think of the vignettes. I'd love to hear from you
Copyright@ Edward Zawadzki All rights reserved
Reprinted with permission
Along with being Canada Free Press sports editor, Edward Zawadzki is also a best selling author and sports broadcaster in the Toronto area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org