Tough Break for Mats, breakup over breakup
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Tough break for the Maple Leafs losing their Captain and leading scorer Mats Sundin for up to a month with a slight tendon tear of the elbow. It could have been a lot worse and luckily it looks like no surgery will be needed for the big Swede. The rest of the team will have to step up and pick up the slack left by the absence of Sundin.
The world of Canadian football has lost one of its true legends with the passing of the great Jackie Parker the other day, of reported throat cancer, at the age of 74. One of the last great two-way players in the league, Parker won three Grey Cups in his illustrious 14-year career with the Eskimos, Argos and BC Lions. In addition to his three Cup wins, Parker also amassed 3 Schenley Awards as the league’s top player before turning his career towards coaching and then the business world. Born on New Year's Eve 1932 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Parker still holds the American high school record of an amazing 29 total points scored in a single game. It was after his college career that “Ole Spaghetti Legs” would venture up north to Canada to give three down football a try and it was here that this great ambassador of the sport would remain for the rest of his life.
Totally thrown for a loop watching CNN coverage of the American elections when the network had to break in with the fast breaking blockbuster that Britney Spears was divorcing her hubby Kevin Federline. Don’t know what we would have done without this earth shattering piece of world news. At least one good thing came of this bulletin and that was the picture of Spears was a hell of a lot easier to look at than the shot of Hillary Clinton that they kept putting up.
It really makes you realize how our society is made up of the haves and have not’s when reading of the news that it’s been 15 years since basketball great Magic Johnson went public with the fact that he was HIV positive. Along with former boxing heavyweight champ Tommy Morrison, both on the outside at least look like the picture of health due to their ability to buy cutting edge medicines and health treatments to not only prolong, but to normalize their respective lives. Don’t get me wrong, I'm glad for these two ex stars and I don’t begrudge them or their family’s right to a long and prosperous life, but it horrifies me when I watch the news and other shows that highlight the bleak painful existences of those who don’t have the ability to afford such treatments. Thank God that in our great country of Canada we have at least a fair basic medical system in place to help the poor unfortunates.
Separated at birth... am I the only one that has noticed the facial resemblances of Toronto born and raised American TV star Howie Mandel and Toronto Sun feature columnist Mike Strobel. Time to break out the DNA kits and take a test on these two.
It’s certainly not the first time I've had egg on my face when in my column of last week I predicted that the Argos would fall to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Eastern Division semi-final. The Argos definitely showed some real guts and explosiveness to come back in a big way in the fourth quarter to beat the Bombers 34-27 to move on to the division finals this weekend against the Montreal Alouettes. What amazed me equally were you the CFP reader’s ability to call me a moron in so many concise and imaginative ways when emailing me this this week on the subject. Now I’m impressed.
My amateur athletes of the week are the Canadian Women’s hockey team competing in the prestigious Four Nations Cup in the beautiful city of Kitchener, Ontario. Beating both the Americans 3-0 and the tough Swedes 7-0, the talented Canucks have looked absolutely dominant in their quest towards the acclaimed championships. Another winner in the tournament has been the on camera work of the recently retired team Captain, Cassie Campbell, who has done a thumbs up job as the colour commentator on the tournaments television telecasts. Also as no surprise was the choice of Haley Wickenheiser to fill Campbell’s big skates as team captain which Haley has done admirably.
The talk of the NHL at the moment is the slumping fortunes of predicted NHL powerhouses the Ottawa Senators. At writing the Senators who don’t usually fall apart till playoff time are riding a five-game losing streak a milestone they haven’t achieved in over the last decade. Of more concern is the teams blowing leads they’ve held into the last stages in the past three games to only see them eventually lose all. One of the questions that the team must have is whether their inconsistent goaltender Martin Gerber is truly the man for the job. Coach Bryan Murray must really be feeling the heat for his team to turn their fortunes around and help loosen the ever tightening noose around his neck. Anyone who follows the life of team owner Eugene Melnyk know that his virtues are many but unfortunately for the Senators staff patience is not one of them for the success driven entrepreneur.
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