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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


There will be a sports related blog a little later on in the day, but I thought I would have some political fun today.   I watched the debates last night and chuckled at the lack of spontaniety by the candidates as they failed to actually answer any of the questions, choosing not to deviate from the usual political speak.  So today I thought I'd try some celebrity look alikes:





Monday, September 19, 2011


How does J-Lo, Marc Anthony, Justin Verlander and Alan Thicke all related to each other?  Read on to find out!!!

1. Taking into consideration last year, the Miami Dolphins have lost 9 out of their last 10 at home!  The team tried to hire another coach (Jim Harbaugh) before firing Tony Sparano, then signed Sparano to a 2 year contract.  They also openly tried to acquire QB Kyle Orton from Denver, and that fell through.   Things are a mess in Miami and that does not even include J Lo leaving Marc Anthony!!!

2. Do the Leafs open their exhibition schedule tonight?  Holy cow, there were at least 50 tweets breathlessly detailing the line up tonight.   There are 70 bodies in camp right now, so expect a lot of mixing and matching as the Leafs navigate the NHL's convoluted Exhibition dressed/not dressed rules.

3. Marc Crawford joins TSN as an analyst.  Good for him as me may need a pay check if the Steve Moore/Todd Bertuzzi lawsuit goes horrible awry.  Can't get the image of Crawford smirking as Steve Moore lay prone on the ice.

4. The Ice Dogs open their season in Peterborough on Tuesday and then get a much needed week off before the home opener.   As of this point in time, only David Pacan has been returned from his NHL affiliation (Florida)

5. Thumbs down to McMaster QB Kyle Quinlan who got himself arrested after a scuffle in a campus bar.  Quinlan has been suspended by the team, which is less than convenient in a year that McMaster was destined to some damage.  Gotta remember that as an elite on campus athlete, you are more visible and also a target!!

6. Non-Sports, but How I Met Your Mother returns with a new episode double shot!! Gotta love Neil Patrick Harris and the random Alan Thicke cameos!

7. Watched WWE Night of Champions at the movie theatre last night.  The show itself was pretty good, but the most fun was watching the signs that fans bring to the matches.  Some tasteless, some funny, but always creative.  Kudos to the man in full luchadore/Insane Clown Posse get up.  Good for you sir!!!

8. Dallas won 27-24 in OT yesterday, but the most telling stat was Dallas being favoured by 3.  A lot of bettors were left broken hearted as in OT Dallas completed a 77 yard pass to the one.  Dallas scores a TD and those who wagered on Dallas are very happy today....

9. Kansas City has been outscored a whopping 89-10 in two losses to Buffalo and Detroit, who subsequently are 2-0 to start the season.  Did anyone pick that????

10. Brandon Morrow continues to confound, confuse, frustrate and impress.  After getting rocked for the better part of the second half, he turns in a gem yesterday against the Yankees.  Do I go for the Morrow jersey, or do I hedge my bets and go for the much more safe Lawrie or Bautista one?

11. That sound?  Its the sound of the Red Sox season going down the tubes!!

12. Justin Verlander is 24-5 and he should be the MVP.  No one has made more of a difference to his team tangibly and via intangibles.  He gives the bullpen a rest, and his win percentage is far above his teams average.   I know the arguments about pitchers and position players, but if you take a look at a position player: Do his HR's and RBI's always make a tangible difference in a game or not?  My guess is not.  Verlander, Granderson, Bautista, Gonzales are my top 4.

Steve Clark


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Who Canada's next national basketball coach should not be up for debate.  It will not be grist for talk radio and there should not be a lengthy list of candidates.   One name stands well above the rest.  Simply put, he's a winner and his name is Dave Smart, Coach of the Carleton Ravens owner of numerous CIS Basketball Championships and author of the greatest dynasty in Canadian university basketball history, this side of Ken Shields' Victoria Vikes of the late 70's and early 80's. 

Smart was a former assistant coach with the national team as recently as 2008 and he was horrible miscast.  It was hard to imagine the fiery Smart holding a clip board and weaving his magic on a program.   He took a moribound Carleton program breathed life into it and made the model franchise for all of university basketball.  He teaches his players to win and settles for nothing less as a coach.   He is quick to give his players credit for winning while receding into the background.  He is a rare hybrid of intensity and humility, not seen in basketball where coaches egos are larger than life.  

I've had a chance to sit in on a coaching clinic with Dave Smart, and while many coaches are very good at this, they use as a forum to crack a few jokes, tell a few stories and run some drills. Smart brings his brand of intensity into coaching forums and you come out of his presentation truly believing in him, and his philosophy.

Canada basketball has tried university coaches in the past, and it has been a horrible failure.  Steve Konchalski, long-time coach of St FX had the job and it was not a good fit as Konchalski's teams at the time did not play under the FIBA rules.   These days the CIS follows a FIBA hybrid and its coaches are much more suited for games on the national stage.  Who better to get than the best coach the CIS has to offer?

This is barely worth an opinion blog.  It's Dave Smart's job to lose.  Any other choice would pale in comparison.

Steve Clark

Thursday, September 8, 2011


A woman mourns in front of the Arena-2000 stadium, the home venue of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the city of Yaroslavl, 300 kilometres northeast of Moscow. - A woman mourns in front of the Arena-2000 stadium, the home venue of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the city of Yaroslavl, 300 kilometres northeast of Moscow. | Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images
Picture yourself supporting and rooting for your favourite team.   You follow the team religiously, buy the merchindise, and attend the games.  Then all of a sudden its gone, completely wiped out about a terrible tragedy.  That's likely how you fell this morning if you support the KHL team Lokomotiv  Now multiply that  by about a 1000 times and you might scratch the surface as to how friends and family members are feeling this morning as they try to pick up the pieces left by 43 people perishing in a plane crash.   I could separate those who plied their trade for NHL teams in the past, but that would not do justice to the rest of the victims, each with friends, each with families, each with careers.  

Russian air safety has been thrust into the limelight already after this awful, awful tragedy.  Preventable? Early indications are that Russian air safety has been, well lets just say, lacking.  Time, and a thorough investigation, will reveal the truth, and hopefully the appropriate measures are taken.  It is just sad that it takes a tragedy such as this peel back the layers and thoroughly shine a light on what could have happened.

It is just so sad that we, as a society, tend to be more reactive than proactive. 

The NHL would do right by having players wear a patch for the whole year to honour those whose lives were lost.

It is another blog I wished that I did not have to write. In this off-season of bleak news in hockey, training camps cannot start fast enough so that the focus can be on the ice.

Steve Clark