No Mention of Sean Avery Here, Folks!

Firstly, a few quick points:

  1. Manchester United 1 – 0 Middlesborough. United haven’t allowed a Premier League goal in over eleven hours, but their wastefulness in front of the opposition’s net is troubling. For them, 2008 began the way it started, with a drab, uninspired 1-0 win over mediocre opposition. Tonight–today–they squandered chance after chance before Dimitar Berbatov stabbed home a late winner. And speaking of stabbed…
  2. Stevie Me G is in gaol following an altercation which, if The Guardian is to be trusted, might’ve stemmed from his awful taste in music. “One report suggested Gerrard and a group of his friends were involved in some sort of altercation after [a DJ] refused to allow the midfielder to play his favourite songs on the sound system. Gerrard is a big fan of Phil Collins and counts the singer’s greatest hits as his favourite album. He is also partial to Coldplay.” Brilliant story if true.
  3. The Minnesota Vikings, ten-game winners and NFC North division champions, are getting three points against the Philadelphia Eagles, nine-game winners and a wild card team by the skin of its teeth. Oh, and the game’s in Minneapolis; can you say “conspiracy?”
  4. I’ll be at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow and Thursday. Pray for me; more importantly, pray for the Leafs.

Secondly, as usual, Canada’s sports networks are busily churning out one awful year-end special after another (case in point: Sportsnet naming Georges St. Pierre its “athlete” of the year). Thus, I came up with an in-no-way-biased year-in-review of my own. You won’t find any fault whatsoever with this one!

  1. Manchester United’s Double. As if there was any other possible choice. May 21 was easily my best day of the year.
  2. Tiger Woods Winning the U.S. Open. His bum knee made it one for the ages.
  3. Nadal vs. Federer at Wimbeldon. John McEnroe called it the greatest tennis match ever played; who am I to disagree?
  4. Michael Phelps. What’ll he do for a repeat?
  5. Usain Bolt. He might yet break 9.5.
  6. Farewell to Yankee Stadium. Even if you were never there yourself (and I was, four times), you felt as though you knew the place. Not just a great sporting venue but an important historical building, as well.
  7. Flames vs. Sharks, Game #3. One of the wildest hockey games I’ve ever seen, let alone attended, with a Cujo cameo and a game-winning Owen “Silverback” Nolan goal making it extra-special.
  8. The Catch. It doesn’t matter how often you see it: David Tyree’s catch still doesn’t make any sense. Oh, and it led to one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
  9. Leafs vs. the Province of Alberta. Alright, so the 4-3 loss to the Flames was disheartening–but the road trip to Edmonton and back, which bookended a 5-2 win over the Oilers, was awesome.
  10. The God Squad Acquiring Jason Witten. Getting Witten for Boss, Williams, and the Vikings’ d won me $150.
  11. Minnesota Vikings, 2008 NFC North Division Champions. Like I said: no bias whatsoever.



11 thoughts on “No Mention of Sean Avery Here, Folks!

  1. I can only find one little thing, upsetting(?) with this one good sir (though you are neither good, nor a sir: discuss…) and that is you either do not agree with labeling George St. Pierre an athlete, or you don’t consider MMA a sport. Would either of those assumptions be true?

  2. Both assumptions would be correct. MMA isn’t sport: it’s vile, disgusting spectacle. Ergo, Georges St. Pierre isn’t an athlete: he’s a barbarian, or at the very most an especially skilled streetfighter.

  3. I wouldn’t expect such an ignorant comment coming from you. I suppose Mohamed Ali wasn’t an athlete either then by your rationale? If you want to be technical, taken from Webster’s:AthleteNounA person trained to compete in sports.Sport NounAn active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.If you want to just have fun with defining a sport: This taken from Dave Barry’s year in review.“Tiger Woods, in an epic performance, wins the U.S. Open playing on an injured and very painful knee, thereby proving, beyond all doubt, that golf is not a real sport.”MMA is (well, could have been) what boxing was before Don King. Unfortunately it has gone the business route of NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL etc. where the game (fight) is secondary.

  4. It isn’t ignorant–it’s an opinion. But tell me: if MMA is a “sport,” why is it banned in 9 out of 10 Canadian provinces?By your rationale/definition, playing the piano could be considered a sport. So could a bar fight…which is what MMA is, massive audiences aside. It satiates people’s appetite for bloodlust, sorta like public executions used to do.

  5. Oh, and boxing is a sport–and Muhammed Ali isn’t an athlete as much as he’s one of the five greatest athletes of all-time. I think we’re establishing the line between “sport” and “bloody, violent spectacle,” by the way: boxers don’t try and beat each other into bloody pulps.

  6. “boxers don’t try and beat each other into bloody pulps.”are you kidding me? Surely you aren’t serious. This is the sport where the term “Knock Out” was coined.

  7. There’s a big, <>big<> difference between punching someone with boxing gloves…and throwing someone to the ground, straddling them and then beating them to a bloody pulp with MMA gloves. So yes, I’m quite serious.

  8. Then you must think “bloody pulp” holds a different meaning than the rest of us. A boxer’s face can still be the colour of a prune with the texture of a raisin many days after a fight. You know… once the forehead stops gushing blood.So it isn’t fighting, but rather the technique used that defines legitimate sport. Gotcha. It is obvious you have chosen your judgments without ever watching or trying to understand an MMA fight. Whatever works for you is fine, but that sadly is an approach most people take to anything unfamiliar to them.These guys fighting over here are all good, but those guys fighting there have less padding on their hands so they should be outcasts. You are a truly backwards individual son. 🙂 BUT I STIL WOOOOOOOVE YOUUUUU!!! “Where’s my money. Where’s my money. I’m tired of you duckin’ man!”

  9. It’s not just the padding issue, Brad–it’s the mentality behind the entire non-sport. As for this…“It is obvious you have chosen your judgments without ever watching or trying to understand an MMA fight. Whatever works for you is fine, but that sadly is an approach most people take to anything unfamiliar to them.”…is a, bullshit (I’ve watched MMA), and b, somewhat offensive (the implication that I’m making this judgement without giving it any sort of thought). You disagree with me, and that’s fine–but just because you’ve watched more MMA than me doesn’t make your opinion “more right.” Just different.I’m also offended that you merely “love” me. The feelings I have for you could never, ever be published here.

  10. I’m not trying to be offensive, nor am I trying to say your opinion is wrong. It would come across that you are uneducated about the sport to disregard it, and the athletes that partake it, in such a general manner. If there is anyone to make a comment such as “This is stupid and makes no sence, but that guy doing it is doing a remarkable job.” it is you. That is why I am somewhat surprised by your attitudes towards fighters.Weather or not you like the sport or agree with it is one thing, but to deny it’s athletes of such a title is another. Fact is; they are highly skilled in many martial arts (some of which are Olympic sports) and completed the highest level (black-belt, etc.) of multiple disciplines. When they aren’t in the ring, they are constantly training. I would bet my paycheque that not a single NHL player could keep up with one of GSP’s training camps for more than a day.To compare GSP to a streetfighter is to compare a Ferrari F-40 to a wagon. Sure, you can say their are similarities in either situation, but they are too basic and small-scale to even warrant mention. FWIW, the last well known streetfighter to enter an MMA fight got beaten rather quickly by an under-skilled and all around poor MMA fighter.I used to be of a similar mindset to you until I actually started to watch the fights. I also went through a similar process with Nascar (believe it or not, their bodies go through hell and they are extremely athletic regardless of Tony Stewart’s former gut). On a safety not, tne thing some people don’t seem to consider (not necessarily you) is that the guy trained to throw the punch is doing so towards someone who is equally trained to take it, dodge it, and counter it. It is not exactly throwing someone to the lions or the noose. With 15 years of organized MMA in North America, there haven’t been any permanent or career-ending injuries (that I am aware of) besides cauliflower ear. There Has been only (I believe) one death that happened a month after a fight in a small league fight in Houston. Keep in mind a marathon runner dropped dead about a year and a half ago while training for the Olympics. The sport is as safe as any other. The fighters are the best in the world at what they do as with any other major professional sports athlete. The UFC is as organized and over-marketed as any other professional sports league. Weather or not you agree with MMA, it is a sport comprised of highly skilled, highly trained athletes. Just like Karate, Judo, Boxing, Wrestling (not that fake WWF shat), Tae Kwon Do, etc. It just happens to include all of those sports and then some, in a complete package.BTW, what’s wrong with love? If your feelings for me are that much more intense than please clue me in as to what the hell I did to impress you so much so I may try it out on the fairer sex. 🙂

  11. See the length of this page, this is exactly why we need to hang out more! I’ve got to start figuring out my holidays for 2009. Maybe I’ll take some time of “sans pay” during the slow season.

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