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Sports Against The Grain.


I'm always amazed with the Toronto Sports Scene. Not necessarily the teams as much as the prevailing opinions. Some issues are completely and totally beyond reproach. Certain stances that should inspire lively debate don't even create a ripple. Isn't this the antithesis of what sports should be about?

What's even more engaging with respect to this issue is that I happen to think most of these stances are incorrect. Since I'm being more vague than a Katie Holmes sound byte about her private life, allow me to elaborate.

Here are three common and essentially universally accepted opinions about professional sport in Toronto.

The Raptors might as well fold if they can't re-sign Chris Bosh.

If you don't mind, I'm just going to lob a few questions onto the figurative court here:

Can you think of one game this season punctuated by Chris Bosh asserting himself in the fourth quarter? The ONE win? That was Mike James, who yesterday, uttered this beauty, "You have to learn to lose together, before you can win together". Thanks, Mike! Does anyone know Mike James' PR person? I want to book him for some speaking engagements.

If Bosh is the same age as Dwyane Wade, one year younger than Amare Stoudemire and one year older than Lebron James, when exactly is that "franchise level" step going to happen?

Who takes more game deciding shots this year: Chris Bosh or Charlie "Powder" Villeneuva?

Has there ever been a 1-14 team in the history of sports with a spectacular, can't-miss player?

Quick disclaimer: The Raptors are my favorite team and I try to write objectively when discussing them. Having said that I'd like to see an amendment to the most recent NBA collective bargaining agreement that demands Vince Carter wear an adult diaper whenever in uniform.

The Blue Jays overpaid for B.J. Ryan.

When most people think of the sensational Blue Jays teams from '85 through '93 they remember Robbie Alomar, Joe Carter, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Juan Guzman, Mookie Wilson, Tony Fernandez and the splendiferous powder blue road uniforms. I think about Tom Henke's funky glasses, Duane Ward sweating like he's being interrogated by Jack Bauer and - most importantly - the two of them slamming the door in the 8th and 9th. If not for them we have two less World Series' Championships. Incidentally, that would leave us with zero.

So I guess my point is: You cannot even consider winning without a solid, intimidating and completely insane closer. Welcome to Toronto, Mr. Ryan. They should have given you six years and let you shoot seagulls with a hunting rifle during the first five-innings of home games.

The Maple Leafs dropped the ball when they missed out on all of the "Big Name Free Agents" this summer.

This one really gnaws at me. The National Hockey League essentially, rebuilt their entire economic structure from the ground up. The result: The vast majority of the teams spent money like a lottery winner from Effingham, Illinois; without any solid knowledge of how the BRAND NEW economic landscape would ultimately take shape.

The early results see the Maple Leafs establishing themselves as a top five team in their conference. An encouraging statistic considering they played half their games without their best player.

Honestly though, the Leafs must be kicking themselves for not offering Roberts and Nieweundyk (9pts Total) a second year. They had to settle for Lindros, Allison, O'Neil (66pts Total) and oodles of cap space in '06. I can't wait until teams have to hold fire sales for players they can no longer afford and the entire city is walking around like they just popped a Viagra.

That'll be the day my friends, that'll be the day.


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