I got nothing in terms of cohesion here–just a bunch of random thoughts on a few sporting-related matters. I’m sure I could think of more, but I’ve got too much on the plate this weekend; apart from the usual deluge of schoolwork, my boys and girls from Thunder Bay are in town and looking for a good time, and I’m sure I’m contractually obligated to help provide one. Nonetheless, here are some ramblin’s:
- The Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of maybe the most spectacular post-season of any team in NFL history. Seriously, what could be better? Name one other team whose first month of the off-season has featured: a franchise player being swindled away; an owner claiming he almost fired the team’s coach in order to inspire said player to perform up to scratch…which according to said owner would have been five touchdowns a game; had said head coach busted for scalping Super Bowl tickets (a result, it has been said, of the aforementioned franchise player ratting him out); and quietly going about signing two of the best available defensive free agents and solidifying a porous defence. You probably can’t, which is yet another reason why Vikings fans are getting so excited for 2005.
- As expected, Manchester United bowed out of the Champions League after a second successive 1-0 loss to A.C. Milan. And as if that weren’t bad enough, we were also forced to endure ninety minutes of pointless drivel from ESPN’s resident footballing idiot, Tommy Smyth. Not since the 2002 Leafs/Senators series (the bulk of which I watched on the Deuce down in New Jersey) have I been subjected to such blatantly biased commentary. I mean, it wasn’t bad enough that Smyth was unabashedly pulling for Milan to crush United: it was that his insights into the game were so far removed from reality you’d have been forgiven for thinking you were watching a different match altogether. For instance, when his broadcasting partner Derek Rae broached the possibility of a United comeback–citing “that night in Barcelona” as historic precedence–Smyth was quick to reply with these ill-advised remarks: Roy Keane was six years younger (true…and he was also suspended for that game); Peter Schmmeichel was in goal (true…but since United needed goals at this point and not saves, I don’t see how that matters); David Beckham was supplying the crosses (true…but as everybody knows, David Beckham is also the most overrated soccer player ever to sport a fauxhawk); and Teddy Sheringham was playing (true…and since he scored the first goal and flicked on for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winner, I’ll grant Smyth this one). Still, one outta four ain’t so good. I guess I shouldn’t expect too much from a man whose buzzline is “the bulge in da back of tha ol’ onion bag”, but would it be too much to ask that he remove his head from his arse?
- Speaking of heads in arses, the Raptors last night lost 116-112 to the Atlanta Hawks–a team which came into the game sporting a 10-50 overall record and who had lost a staggering twenty-three consecutive road games. Which was just so predictable; in fact, Adam called a Raptor loss well before the game’s first few horrifying minutes in which Haffa gave up two quick baskets, missed a layup and picked up two pointless fouls…which is pretty much par for Haffa’s course so far this season. The final minutes of the fourth quarter were an utter farce, with Toronto missing at least two gilt-laden opportunities to salt the game away before giving Tyrron Lue an easy jumper to tie. Just an all-around awful showing from the Raptors.
- Remember when I said my high school midget basketball team could outrebound the Raptors? That point still holds true…and now add to it “defend against inferior opponents” as well.
- Speaking of the Hawks…just throwing it out there, but a team consisting of Lue, Josh Smith and Josh Childress is so unbelievably gangsta.
- Right now, I’m in the middle of watching another Manchester United/Southampton game which I hope will clarify which one of the two teams I actually support. I can’t stand this whole “second favourite team” b.s.: I need to figure this out. Seriously. At present the score is 2-0 United, with Saints having long resorted to pumping long balls up towards the towering figure of Peter Crouch.
Second half is on! Keep the faith.