Trump Denounces Those Who Kneed; Ignores Those in Need

Knee

Some kneed while others are very much in need

In the aftermath of the most recent hurricane to hit Puerto Rico President Trump has clearly opted to remain focused on the NFL players, coaches and owners protest.

How can a person who claims to be trying to unite the country act so divisively? Although I can understand one thinking it is mere stupidity, I fear Trump does these things precisely because they appeal to his support base. I imagine that a poll of his supporters would, sadly, yield very little in the way of concern for the people of Puerto Rico. They certainly are American citizens, yet they get the very short end of the stick on a daily basis. But they are now in great need of help.

The President should demonstrate some leadership by turning his attention to those in need, not those who kneed!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Sports Look Faster In Person – Usually

Ernesto Escobedo serves to Nikoloz Basilashvili

I am a fan of sports. But not being a fan of crowds I tend to limit myself to television coverage. Recently we were given a pair of “Prestige Passes” to attend the Rogers Cup ATP event in Montreal.

Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

With a sunny day forecast, free parking provided and fifth-row seats how could I say no. So off we went to Parc Jarry in the city’s northern section, a place I had not been to since I worked on the Pope’s visit in 1984. The new tennis facility which integrates the original home of the Montreal Expos is lovely.

We took our seats in the fifth row to watch a match pitting American Ernesto Escobedo against Nikoloz Basilashvili of the Georgia. Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats.

I have attended hockey games, football games, baseball games, Formula 1 races, even a few soccer matches.  What always strikes me, particularly in the case of F1 races, is how television coverage does not do justice to the speed of the event. In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats. A football running-back’s dart down the field and the physical contact of the game are impressive, to say the least.

Then there is tennis.

This was my second professional tennis match. The first was many years ago and featured Gabriela Sabatini. On both occasions, I came away thinking how slow the game is in person. With the exception of the delivery of services, or serves, which are tremendously fast. Tennis looks better on TV to this armchair athlete.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Tom Brady’s Missing Super Bowl Jersey Located

trump12

Are you aware  that the mystery of Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey has been solved? When asked, President Trump said he was certain Tom would want him to have it. Seems he got it by issuing an Executive Order.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Donald Trump Signs Super Bowl Executive Order

trumporder

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Colin Kaepernick’s Protest: Good Cause, Bad Practice?

(Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

(Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

In the lead up to the 2016 National Football League season San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is getting much more attention for his sideline protest than for his performance on the field. As you have no doubt heard, Kaepernick is refusing to stand up for the pre-game playing of the American national anthem. He states that the anthem represents a country that discriminates against people of colour and he therefore will not stand for its playing.

They say there is no “I” in “Team”, but does that apply to making political statements as well as playing the game itself?

This has sparked a debate not about racism, but about Kaepernick’s choice of protest method. While there has been a vocal backlash against his refusal to stand, including posted videos of people burning his jersey, others have supported his stance, including several fellow NFL players. CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill said Kaepernick was principled and went on to defend his actions.

Interestingly here in Quebec there was a time not so long ago when some people attending sports events chose to sit during the Canadian national anthem. Many of those who sought sovereignty for the Province of Quebec deemed Canada to be the oppressor and therefore would not stand for the anthem. Of course it was pointed out to them that the currency they used also was Canadian and if they found that offensive there would be no shortage of takers should they wish to jettison their cash! I don’t seem to see this anymore as a generation has passed and the momentum of the sovereignty movement has been slowed by economic realities.

Also, national anthems represent many facets of a country, by protesting one do you protest them all? 

The question remains: is Kaepernick’s a legitimate means of protest? Clearly no one can question his cause, the issue is how he is going about things. When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their gloved hands while on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics they were representing themselves in an individual sport. Kaepernick wears a uniform and plays a team sport, perhaps he should have explained his intentions to his teammates prior to acting. They say there is no “I” in “Team”, but does that apply to making political statements as well as playing the game itself? Also, national anthems represent many facets of a country, by protesting one do you protest them all? 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Real Madrid and Costa Ricans in Montreal

I can’t claim to be a big football (soccer) fan, but I do watch the big events like UEFA and the World Cup. Regardless of my lack of knowledge, the words Real Madrid are well known to me. Like the New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens, the team from Spain is known the world over.

Wouldn’t you know it, I just happen to have a houseful of visiting Costa Rican in-laws. One of whom is a huge fan of  Navas.

Currently the team is in Montreal training for three exhibition games in the USA next week. There has been significant interest in the visit including fans waiting outside the hotel seeking autographs and photos.

The team’s goalkeeper is Keylor Navas who is from Costa Rica. Wouldn’t you know it, I just happen to have a houseful of visiting Costa Rican in-laws. One of whom is a huge fan of Sr. Navas. So last evening off they went to the hotel, team jerseys and Sharpies in hand, to seek out their home hero. It was with mixed feelings that they returned. While they had missed the team’s return to the hotel, they had met someone with the team and explained their desire to meet the Costa Rican player. The man told them to come back in the morning and he would see what could be done.

Being cynical I had my doubts about this, but off they went again to the hotel early this morning. Sure enough this fellow was good to his word. After waiting for an hour outside, they were brought inside to meet Sr. Navas in the lobby.

In an era when many sports figures adopt an almost superhuman attitude towards their fans, this encounter was a breath of fresh air.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Brandon Prust: The Edward Snowden of the NHL

Canadiens Brandon Prust tries to ignore referee Brad Watson's goading

Canadiens Brandon Prust tries to ignore referee Brad Watson’s goading

In recent years the National Hockey League has taken strides to clean up its act, namely by attempting to totally eliminate fighting. Fine, but it may now want to take a look at its officials if it wants to be taken seriously.

Is the situation not a wee bit arse-end foremost when Montreal Canadiens player Brandon Prust blows the whistle on an NHL referee, pun fully intended, and he’s the one in hot water?  It would seem to me that the league has no grounds to levy any punishment against Prust as he didn’t criticize the quality of an official’s judgement, but rather called into question that official’s intention to perform his duty in an unbiased manner, based on what the official said. In baseball terms Prust is not arguing balls and strikes, but rather bringing to light referee Brad Watson’s attitude that flies in the face of fair officiating. No official who goads a player into a penalty by swearing at him and threatening to ‘run him out of the building’ should be allowed to continue in his position.

Would the NFL accept an on-field official telling a player he is going to be singled out for special treatment? The NBA? I think not.

I understand there is a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that states that what happens on the ice stays on the ice. But that agreement requires two gentlemen; frankly if Wilson did in fact say the things Prust alleges he did, he has no place officiating in the NHL and it behooves the league to take action. In a move reminiscent of  Edward Snowden, Prust has exposed the NHL’s tiered system of refereeing that must be dealt with forthwith.

In addition, Watson’s colleagues should want the league to act, lest they be tarred with the same brush. If they do not distance themselves from Watson, and this biased system of refereeing is in fact widespread, the league has a huge problem on its hands.

Would the NFL accept an on-field official telling a player he is going to be singled out for special treatment? The NBA? I think not.

 

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Super Bowl XLIX: But What if He Had Caught the Pass?

Butler_Catch

Let me suggest that the same Pete Carroll would have been hailed as a genius. A modern day Vince Lombardi. A ballsy guy.

It’s almost 48-hours since the end of Super Bowl XLIX and the so called “stupid call” heard round the world. Just in case you missed it, the Seattle Seahawks, trailing by three points with twenty seconds left, had an opportunity to punch the ball into the end zone from the one-yard line and virtually ensure themselves of a victory.

They have one of the best running backs in the game, Marshawn Lynch, so this was a gimme, a no brainer, the proverbial slam-dunk. But for reasons known only to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, they decided to throw the ball instead. Sure enough it was intercepted and the New England Patriots were able to run out the clock and hold on to the lead and victory.

CarrollThe criticism of Carroll’s play choice has been nothing short of cacophonous; many stating it is the worst play call ever. But part of me likes to play the role of devil’s advocate, so let me put this to you: what if the pass wasn’t intercepted? What if the receiver snagged the ball in the end zone and gave the Seahawks a three point lead with only twenty seconds left?

Let me suggest that the same Pete Carroll would have been hailed as a genius. A modern day Vince Lombardi. A ballsy guy. He would have explained that with all the attention being paid to Marshawn Lynch and his running skills, passing the ball was the way to go.

I think the problem was as much one of execution – I don’t think the ball was well thrown – as play selection.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Patriots vs Colts: A Blow Out But Not a Blow Up

Football

There is a bit of family lore that has my now late father, as a young lad, playing soccer with a bunch of friends. During the course of the pick-up game he managed to collide with another player resulting in his shoulder being dislocated. Of course that was only diagnosed some hours later as my father, though unable to play, remained on the sidelines until the game came to an end. Why didn’t he seek medical attention sooner? Simple: they were playing with his ball. Rather than put an end to everyone’s fun by taking his ball and leaving, he waited until it was all over to go home and then on to the hospital.

It is understandable that when kids play sandlot soccer, or any other game, one of them has to supply the required ball, bat, puck or other equipment. However once the ultimate has been achieved, the major leagues, the ‘Bigs’ I’d like to think that a neutral third-party i.e. the league would be responsible for supplies.

Or perhaps the National Hockey League could allow goaltenders to supply the pucks. I imagine they would be the size of dinner plates; hard to shoot and easy to see.

Last Sunday’s NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots, a team I have followed for years, and the Indianapolis Colts may have been a blow-out, but it most certainly was not a blow-up. In what has become known as DeflateGate the Patriots are being accused of under-inflating balls thereby making them easier to catch when wet – it was raining.

An investigation has been launched and although it’s too late to do much now – perhaps a fine and the loss of a draft pick is what most think will happen – should the Pats be found guilty, they will sure look bad. But the NFL will look even worse.

It seems to me this whole thing could have been avoided by getting rid of the silly practice of allowing each team to use its own balls when on offense. No doubt these balls are inspected by the officials, but just the idea opens to door to controversy. To say nothing of special balls put into play for kicking!

What if Major League Baseball allowed pitchers to bring their own baseballs in from the bullpen? Get it scuffed just the way you want it for maximum grip, maybe a little tweak here and there. I’m exaggerating, but while the home team is responsible for a game supply of balls, it is the umpires who see to it that every pitch is thrown with an identical baseball.

Or perhaps the National Hockey League could allow goaltenders to supply the pucks. I imagine they would be the size of dinner plates; hard to shoot and easy to see.

LoonieI understand that home field/ice/court advantage gives teams some wiggle-room. If a baseball team is chock full of speedy runners, the infield grass can be left a wee bit long to slow down any bunted balls, making them harder for field. Canadian one dollar coins, or Loonies, can be frozen into the centre ice face-off dot, essentially guaranteeing an Olympic hockey victory or two!

The NFL should do away with “team” balls, if only to give the appearance of neutrality.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

NHL Tie-Breaking: How About Zamboni Races?

Pre-Season NHL experiment with Zamboni racing to decide ties

Preseason NHL experiment with Zamboni racing to decide ties

If you ask me, and no one has, just leave the damned game tied. Give each team a point and go home. It worked for donkey’s years. However, if you must decide a game, if a clear winner and loser is your desire, then please decide the game by playing the game, not just one aspect of it.

The NHL General Managers are convening in Toronto for a powwow today. On the agenda is a look at how overtime is handled in today’s game. This year a couple of new ripples have been put into effect including a “dry scrape” of the ice after a 60-minute tied score. The ice-resurfacing vehicle, perhaps a Zamboni (remember that’s a brand name), scrapes the top of the ice to remove the excess snow that has accumulated during the third period. No water is applied as that would take too long to dry and the game would lose any sort of momentum. This does result in better quality ice, but involves a 2 – 3 minute wait.  The GMs will have a gander at how this is going so far, they will also consider having three-on-three hockey during the overtime instead of the current four-on-four. All in an effort to avoid deciding games with a shoot-out.

If you ask me, and no one has, just leave the damned game tied. Give each team a point and go home. It worked for donkey’s years. However, if you must decide a game, if a clear winner and loser is your desire, then please decide the game by playing the game, not just one aspect of it.

… baseball does it right: if the score is tied after regulation, they keep going until it is broken, but they do so by playing the very same rules all the way. There are three strikes and three outs in the 17th inning, just as there were in the seventh. They don’t play first-third and home; and they don’t have a home run derby to decide the outcome.

The GMs should take a look at baseball. As the grand-daddy of tie breaking, baseball does it right: if the score is tied after regulation, they keep going until it is broken, but they do so by playing the very same rules all the way. There are three strikes and three outs in the 17th inning, just as there were in the seventh. They don’t play first-third and home; and they don’t have a home run derby to decide the outcome.

The NHL and NFL have opted to decide ties by playing a bastardized version of the game: four skaters against four, too much importance to the coin toss: If regular-season games are important, what’s the rush to decide them? Is there another league renting the ice/field after you?

In my humble opinion, if we are going to decide games not by playing them but by playing a part of them, or going to a shoot-out, then let’s just take all the players off the ice thereby reducing injuries due to fatigue, and determine the winner via Zamboni Races! This will cause team travel coordinators nightmares as each team will now have to transport a vehicle with them, but the fans will love it!

IMHO

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+