The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firing

Petulant, indifferent young stars are in charge, thanks to their huge contracts. Coaches pay the price

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firingOn his voyage from coaching sage to the most ignorant coach to ever stand behind a National Hockey League bench, Mike Babcock learned a few important things. Principally, he learned that a coach’s job security is governed by winning. If you don’t win, you will be replaced. No news there. But he also understood that…

How can you replay a World Series?

Deciding what to do about rampant rumours of Houston Astros cheating isn't simple. But one of baseball's best teams needs to be punished

How can you replay a World Series?“I’ll take Baseball for $800, Alex.” “The answer is: paint your fingernails bright colours.” “Alex, what is, ‘What does baseball think is the best way for a catcher to signal pitches to the pitcher?’” That’s pretty much the sophistication level of a 21st-century sport being governed by 19th century technology. And, as a result, teams…

How to fill the void left by Don Cherry

How to fill the void left by Don CherryThe man voted the seventh-most famous Canadian has finally talked himself out of his job as hockey analyst/cranky old guy to the nation. To the utter confusion of people outside Canada, the removal of a TV figure has convulsed the nation. After 38 years, he is no more. Confession: I did an entire chapter on…

Don Cherry is long past his due date

As Sportsnet trims costs and their cantankerous commentator missteps, the outcome seems likely

Don Cherry is long past his due dateYou have to hand it to Don Cherry. Only the bombastic star of Coach’s Corner could give the cause of the war dead a bad name. Cue Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada. Cherry had exchanged his usual floral table cloths for a blazer with a military crest to recall Remembrance Day. Much to the…

Finally, NCAA must compensate its athletes

And it will have ramifications for Canadian student athletes and the hockey leagues that compete with U.S. colleges for talent

Finally, NCAA must compensate its athletesWhat were the burghers who run California doing instead of upgrading their power grid? Let me see. Banning fur? Check. Undocumented aliens on state boards and commissions? Check. Allowing college sports stars to get paid for the use of their likeness? Check. Really? After all this time, they’re going to let the top performers in…

Progress? Sport? The two shall never meet

From disputed strike zones to goal-line uncertainty to bloody high-sticks, major-league officiating can't seem to embrace high-tech

Progress? Sport? The two shall never meetIt’s Game Three of the 2019 World Series and the Washington Nationals hope to extend their surprising 2-0 lead in games over Houston. The Nats have revival project Anibal Sanchez on the mound to give Washington fans their first home-field win in a Series since 1933. But the Astros are off to a quick lead.…

Don Cherry belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Cherry has been synonymous with the sport and its popularity since he started mangling the language and hammering Ron MacLean upside the head decades ago

Don Cherry belongs in the Hockey Hall of FameTo those wondering about the demise of Don Cherry, the rumours of his disappearance from Hockey Night in Canada have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, the end is in sight for the man wearing his wife’s table cloths. Hell, he’s 85. But while others in the Rogers Communications constellation have gone dark, Cherry’s star survives. If…

The heavy burden of sports stardom

From Auston Matthews to Antonio Brown, the spotlight never seems to waver. Making a mistake can be very costly

The heavy burden of sports stardomIt doesn’t take much to send Toronto Maple Leafs nation into a tizzy. As the 2019-2020 season dawns, the supporters of the acer saccharum are consumed with whether their young franchise star Auston Matthews should be the club’s next captain. Distilled into a single sentence: can Auston wear the C when he’s acted like an…

Toothless Tigers: baseball’s basement is too crowded

Giving young players a chance to grow? More like a salary dump that turned into a dumpster fire. Too many MLB teams won't even strive for mediocrity

Toothless Tigers: baseball’s basement is too crowdedIt’s always exciting to watch history, to see once-in-a-lifetime performances. A show so notable you’ll tell your grandkids, “I saw them play.” The list should include the 1976-’77 Montreal Canadiens, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 2017 Golden State Warriors … the 2019 Detroit Tigers. The what? The Detroit Tigers? What’s that all about? To paraphrase…

Has hockey lost its one-for-all gene when it comes to contracts?

Welcome to the future of big-league sports, which will depend on a merger of sports and the star-making machine of the culture industry

Has hockey lost its one-for-all gene when it comes to contracts?Mitch Marner has signed. Someone wake Lord Stanley in heaven. A parade is coming. Okay, that might be a tad optimistic. But the hopes for any National Hockey League playoff success in Toronto hinge on Marner, who may not get the headlines but is the key to the Maple Leafs offence. Marner’s signing ended a…

For the indomitable Andreescu, it’s mind over matter

The precocious Canadian tennis star sets herself apart through her powerful will to win. Ask Serena Williams

For the indomitable Andreescu, it’s mind over matterThere was a time when it didn’t take much to get Canadians excited. In 1976, the nation nearly imploded when Greg Joy finished with a silver medal in high jump at the Montreal Olympics. In 1972, Karen Magnussen became a legend in Canada by winning silver in women’s figure skating at the Sapporo Olympics. When…

Sportsnet can’t dig out of hole created by NHL contract

As the media giant sheds pricey on-air talent, the league has been unsympathetic. Where will the bleeding end?

Sportsnet can’t dig out of hole created by NHL contractAudacious. That’s perhaps the best word to describe Rogers Communications’ attempt to supplant CBC and TSN as the go-to network for the National Hockey League in Canada in 2013. It committed $5.2 billion over 12 years to buy national rights to Hockey Night in Canada and the rest of the TV and digital product on…

The man who brought down Alan Eagleson

Russ Conway was an old-school journalist: principled, detail-driven and thorough to a fault. His tenacity paid huge dividends and taught great lessons

The man who brought down Alan EaglesonThe first time I spoke to Russ Conway, he wanted nothing to do with me. “I’m tired of reporters trying to steal my stuff,” he said in his chowderhead accent. “I don’t need any help.” I’d been recommended to Russ by National Hockey League legend Carl Brewer and his partner Susan Foster, who’d been pursuing…

Bianca Andreescu proves she’s adept on and off the court

Canada’s rising tennis star managed to turn Serena Williams’ injury into a moment to cherish

Bianca Andreescu proves she’s adept on and off the courtBianca Andreescu learned many valuable lessons in winning the title at the Canadian Women’s Tennis Association championship last weekend in Toronto. She leaned that she has more than enough game to win at the top level. She learned that her conditioning will be a vital piece of her success. She learned that the Canadian media…

Big shots in Toronto, long shots in Calgary sports markets

In both markets, money is an issue. That makes sense in Calgary, but not so much in Toronto

Big shots in Toronto, long shots in Calgary sports marketsThe week of infamy has begun for Toronto Blue Jays fans. Three years ago their team was a powerhouse, seemingly on the brink of a trip to the World Series. But the week before Major League Baseball’s 2019 trading deadline finds the Blue Jays gone from powerhouse to house of cards. The power and the…
1 2 3 7