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…

Coming to grips with the gay reality in sports locker rooms

Professional male sports teams are a cross-section of many cultures. But the idea that they agree about much beyond winning is a fabrication. It's time to open up.

Coming to grips with the gay reality in sports locker roomsOne former pro athlete recently observed that an athlete doesn’t mention three things in the dressing room: His playing time. His salary. And the first name of a teammate’s wife. He might also have added whether your favourite jock likes guys or girls when he gets home from the game that night. This prohibition has…

Call for equal pay for women for equal play falls flat

Let's face it: women's sports are second-tier entertainment, which even most women don't support

Call for equal pay for women for equal play falls flatThe men’s final at Wimbledon on Sunday took five immortal sets of tennis over four hours 57 minutes before Novak Djokovic finally outlasted Roger Federer in a stirring contest that ended in a fifth-set tiebreaker at 13-12. Saturday’s women’s final lasted just 56 minutes in two quick sets for Simona Halep to upset Serena Williams.…

Kawhi Leonard just rewrote the script for pro sports

There’s a new sports model taking over and it's all about best on best and relegation for the mediocre

Kawhi Leonard just rewrote the script for pro sportsOkay class. Construct a headline from the following: Kawhi Leonard spurns the Toronto Raptors in the middle of the night for his hometown team, the L.A. Clippers. At the same moment, southern California experiences a 7.1-scale earthquake. Toronto finds fault line with the Klaw? Star power tops Drake expectations? Toronto wakes, L.A. quakes? Entries will…

Canada’s great basketball awakening

The Raptors’ win was transformative for the league, the business of sport and for Canada in general

Canada’s great basketball awakeningYou don’t have to ask the impact of the Toronto Raptors winning the National Basketball Association title last week. Two million people on the streets of that city speak to the engagement created by the team’s dramatic process through the playoffs. Think of the public’s addiction to the games as Game Of Thrones – except…

Financial illiteracy on the campaign trail won’t serve Sanders

The U.S. senator is using baseball to decry the inequalities that crop up in capitalism. That’s just nonsense

Financial illiteracy on the campaign trail won’t serve SandersSomewhere in heaven, baseball pioneer Curt Flood is smacking his forehead with his palm. The reason for Flood’s exasperation? Comments from avowed socialist and Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. On the stump, the Vermont senator is using baseball to decry the inequalities that crop up in capitalism. “If we are a nation that can…

Tanking takes the heart out of statistical analysis in sports

Only the purity of competition assures that the resulting data has relevance and application in a sport

Tanking takes the heart out of statistical analysis in sportsSome call it analytics. Some call it statistics. Some call it trivia. Others call it a waste of time. But collating and interpreting the reams of data generated by pro sports teams is now an integral part of sport. On one hand, analysis of data is how players get paid the vast sums they receive.…
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