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Monday, June 25, 2012


There is a lot percolating on this fine June Monday morning, so lets have at it.  By the end you maybe unsure of whether or not I wrote this from my waterfront property next door to the Unabomber.  There is a rant or two contained...

  • I was embarrassed to be an England fan yesterday.  While their talent level was marginal and their manager had only been put in place for five weeks before Euro, that is no excuse for their shameful display of football.  They should have lost by four or five goals yesterday and spent the day like a golden retriever in that they were entirely happy chasing the ball the whole game.   Lots of stars on that team, none shone brightly.
  • Dare I say that the Leafs had a very good draft on Friday night/Saturday morning.  The drafting of smooth skating, puck moving Morgan Rielly was one thing, but to get a consensus 1st rounder at #35 the way they did with Matt Finn was a coup.  They also got one of the agitating Rupert brothers from London in the 6th round, and invited his twin to prospects camp.  
  • It's official- you can call them the Niagara/New York Islanders as the team from Long Island grabbed Ice Dogs defenseman Jesse Graham after picking Mitch Theoret and Ryan Strome last year.  Congratulations to Jesse who was a steal at #155.
  • The Blue Jays lost three starting pitchers in four games last week and replaced with minor league retreads and two guys they plucked off the waiver wire whose names I have immediately forgotten.  I know that the price will be high, but can the team please go out and find a guy who has something of a track record
  • Lovely piece in the Toronto Star about teacher negotiations and how Dalton McGuinty is hoping to strike a deal with teacher unions. I had no idea that The Star wrote fiction now.   This article is so bloated with half-truths and inaccuracies it's not funny.  However, what is funny are the comments section, including the guy who groused about teachers working less hours and getting paid more.  Go figure, as you spend more years at your job, you get better at it and can manage your time wisely.  What a novel concept.   You find the article here
  • The NHL came out with schedule last week, beating the OHL to the punch for the first time in a long time.  At this point the Phoenix Coyotes are on the schedule, but as of right now the Goldwater Group is one impediment to the process, while the other is Greg Jamieson trying to find the necessary cash flow to close the deal.  I'm guessing that many of his investors are good to go, providing the Glendale sweetheart deal remains in place.  Oh to be a tax payer in Glendale.  I hear lots of "die hard" Coyote fans chirping on Twitter, but as of right now, none have claimed to have been from Glendale. 
  • Very happy that the lady who was harassed on the bus by a bunch of of Grade 7 students is set to receive a nice tidy windfall thanks to the generosity of a Toronto man who set up a fund originally designed for her to on vacation.  What is less than heartwarming are the hollow apologies that these ruffians have offered up.   They smack of insincerity.  Also, the bigger idiots out there are the ones harassing and threatening the family.  How does repeating what these clowns do make anything better?  

Thanks for reading
Steve Clark

Friday, June 22, 2012


A disclaimer for those expecting a light-hearted sports related fare, you can skip this posting.  

Perhaps you have heard of seen the lightest viral video out there entitled "Making the Bus Monitor Cry".  It is a 10 minute vicious mean-spirited verbal attack by middle school students on a 68 year old grandmother/bus monitor.  Personally, I could not watch the whole thing straight through due to the nastiness that spewed from the mouths of these students.   You will be shocked, and horrified by what is being said, and what is being threatened. 

The video is shocking, but not all together surprising in this day and age of societal coddling and entitlement.   I have been an educator for 12 years and have seen the slow downward spiral in terms of accountability and consequences for misbehavior and the temptation not only in school but also in society is to blame the victim as much as the perpetrator.   Sadly, my guess is that this will swept under the rug and not properly dealt with,  despite public clamoring.  The poor lady herself has declined to press charges.  Who could blame her?  The likely end result is a slap on the wrist, remanded to parents with a very good chance the cycle of behaviour beginning again. The fact of the matter is that bullying has been around forever in our schools and our workplaces, and it is rarely dealt with swiftly and appropriately. 

This video is also about the  viral video nature of our society.   This video is at 3.9 million hits and counting and this now unassuming grandmother has been thrust into the spotlight.   Yes, there will be sympathy and it is admirable to see a fund set up so this lady can retire, but it cannot be much fun seeing yourself get bullied in front of a large viral audience.   

Sadly I've seen it all before and I'll see it all again. 

Video is here: 

Steve Clark

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The blog has been pretty quiet as of late.  A little writers block, plus a desire to take a break for a couple of weeks had me hanging up the digital closed sign for a little while, but with so much going on in sports, time for a few musings. 

Damien Cox pens an interesting article talking about how precious draft picks are in the salary cap era.  In an era in which owners still cannot resist splashing big dollars for commodities do not necessarily yield the required production, young inexpensive talent helps both the team, and balance the bottom line.  Those teams who care to dabble in the Rick Nash sweepstakes may want to remember that as it is certain that the Columbus power forward will likely come at a price tag of a couple of NHL ready young prospects and a first round pick.  If you are Brian Burke, the gruff burly Irishman would likely have to part with his 1st rounder (5th overall), a 2nd rounder, Jake Gardner and Joe Colborne.  Is that a price worth paying?  It is one of many questions that will play out as Friday night in Pittsburgh approaches.   Nail Yakupov, the exciting but somewhat enigmatic Russian likely is the first pick overall, be it by Edmonton or whomever can entice the Oilers to move down.  Conventional wisdom says that the Oilers need defensemen but I just cannot see the steady, reliable Ryan Murray as a first overall pick.  The two most intriguing prospects are Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk and Quebec's Mikhail Gregorenko.   Galchenyuk offers a tremendous upside but played only a few games last year after a serious knee injury, while Gregorenko's attitude and work ethic have been questioned.  Galchenyuk, knee injury aside, offers up tremendous growth and potential and will not make out of the top five.  Gregorenko could prove to be the most valuable prospect.  Teams, I think, might trade down trying to grab another asset while thinking that Gregorenko will remain on the table.  Either way Friday night will offer must see viewing.  

You can find Damien Cox's article here

Last year at this time Ice Dog fans were salivating at the prospect of seeing two of their own go in the top 10 as Ryan Strome went 5th overall to the Islanders and Dougie Hamilton went #9 to Boston.  This years mood is a little tempered, but all fans will be watching to see when Jesse Graham, Luke Mercer and Joel Wigle will be drafted on Saturday, the 2nd day of the draft.   Good luck to all three.  

EURO 2012  
Story lines around the tournament have centred around racism and fan violence in Poland and the Ukraine, which is sad but not altogether unexpected.  Fortunately there has been enough surprise, intrigue and brilliant football to overshadow the off-field ugliness.   Russia and Holland, two pre-tournament favourites have been eliminated while Greece is trying to rewrite their 2004 success under the spectre of political turmoil and financial disaster.   This tournament offers better, more free-flowing football than the World Cup and arguably is a more difficult trophy to win.  Before the tournament the three favourites were Spain, Holland Germany.  I said that I would gladly take the field against those three teams and I'm holding true to that word.  As for personal pride, I have worn a wonderful array of England wear and proudly fly the St. George's cross and the Three Lions on my car! Vindaloo everyone!

  • My soccer hero Paul Mariner is new coach at Toronto FC and I sure hope he does not tarnish his legendary status with this mess of a team.  Only a week into the job and the team lost 2-0 to Sporting KC and then three players got arrested in Houston for public intoxication and resisting arrest.  Nice...

  • Love the golf pundits and media who were touting Tiger Woods and then quickly had to back-track when old Eldrick tanked late 3rd and early 4th round.  I do wonder what Tiger had done to the guy who interrupted Webb Simpson's victory interview with bird calls. 

  • By the way Roger Clemens, and his fans.  Not Guilty is a whole lot different than Innocent.  Clemens was found Not Guilty, which means the prosecution could not meet it's lofty burden of proof.  In this case if the needle fits....
Go England! and Sing Along to this one!
Steve Clark