Toronto Musings.

In spite of the occasional bout with irrational anger, sports and entertainment give me such pleasure. Really, it's not entirely fair. Allow me to share:

In the NHL, you can fight. But, ahem, you can't head-butt, you certainly can't spit, can't call people names and you can't - under any circumstances - fight with a brace on your left wrist, lest you cut someone.

Don't you wish that a similar set of principles could be applied to various aspects of everyday life? I do.

For example: you can steal from your company, but you can't yell at your boss, smoke near the building or take an extra fifteen minutes for lunch.

The immortal Dennis Quaid's unbelievably awful, ill-timed and simultaneously hilarious (because of the aforementioned qualities) joke about Brokeback Mountain during the Golden Globes. Here's the transcript. Although seemingly impossible, this whole situation is made even better when you consider that Quaid, in all likelihood, didn't even write this joke; which brings me to my larger point. Never ever piss off someone who controls a teleprompter. Seriously, could you think of anything more fun than having complete autonomy over a teleprompter during an awards show with no fear of repercussions? I mean, other than a remote control fart machine?

Solid outing by the Leafs Saturday night! Just remember the team is a transition period as they wait for the implications of the salary cap to become readily visible. More than one member of the media proclaimed this morning that this team was at least two years away from getting to the playoffs. Umm, guys? John Ferguson's plan all along has been to assemble a team essentially from scratch - Sundin is the only integral piece with an ugly contract past this year - with his own coach - Paul Maurice - and his own personnel in place. Remember this next season when the Leafs have a young, talented roster, financial flexibility and three solid goaltenders (none of which have the last name Belfour). Having said all this, if John Ferguson panics and ends up dumping Kyle Wellwood for a 36 year-old with a large salary, he should be beaten with a Louisville Slugger by Troy Glaus.

I'm not sure if anyone else has gotten a chance to listen to Sam Mitchell on the Fan 590's morning show every Wednesday at 9:00, but this is the first instance of can't miss radio since Tarzan Dan was spinning the dials on AM 640 back in '92. Coach Mitchell either has a terribly sophisticated sense of humor or he really doesn't like Landry and Stellick. Hopefully, it's a little of both.

Wednesday's segment was singularly great. A quick recap:

Landry and Stellick casually admitted not watching "one-minute" of the game on Tuesday night right before Sam came on the air. In the sports media industry this is the rough equivalent of casually joking to a liberal Hollywood audience that the most significant piece of cinema they have produced in the new millenium rhymes with "chick flick". (Sorry, I can't let it go.)

Coach Mitchell comes on the air around 9:06 (6:06 am pacific time) from Portland with an "I am going to choke the PR person at MLSE that set this up when I get back to Toronto" vibe.

Stellick asks a rudimentary question followed by Coach Mitchell retorting, "let me ask you two geniuses a question..." This absolutely infuriates Landry, who fires back, "why do you have to disrespect us like that, Sam?" Except, the exchange is so thoroughly dominated by Mitchell that Landry has to voice his displeasure with a mocking, half-kidding tone in his voice; you can almost picture him giving the microphone the finger while Mitchell talks.

What followed was a Mitchell led lecture fit for a fourth-grade gym class.

There simply aren't enough adjectives to do it justice. Wednesday's at 9. Trust me.

Speaking of the Raptors, here's another Dennis Quaid impersonation: Mo Pete is accusing Kobe Bryant of assault after he torched him for 81 points last night. (Muffled talking.) This isn't the first time Kobe has been accused of assault. (Silence.) Let's just say his previous accusation rhymes with cape. (Crickets.) Umm, next paragraph.

Onto a former Raptor: Antonio Davis should probably swallow his pride and apologize to the man his wife upbraided at the Knicks / Bulls game last week. This isn't a personal affront to Davis even though he did parlay two half-decent seasons into a ludicrous contract that colossally over-valued his worth as a player, and led him to inadvertently give Vince Carter the impetus for his eventual exit, by tanking the beginning of the '03 season and demanding a trade. Honestly, it isn't. If I went to a game, had a few beers, and exhibited my right to criticize and applaud the athletes on the court, it might be somewhat traumatizing to be confronted by a 6'9 man with a neck larger than my quadriceps, after his wife spent the previous ten minutes doing her best impression of Tyra Banks on speed.

There's more Kendra Davis jokes here, but I'm pretty sure I'd have to pay Dave Feschuk royalties.

While we're on the subject of Raptors tanking it in hopes of a trade, I'd like to give a shout out to my man Jalen Rose. As we speak, Jalen is making a push to be dealt to a contender before the trading deadline on February 23rd. If this DOES NOT happen, prepare yourselves for a comedy goldmine. I'd take bets that Jalen starts sitting on the bench with a bottle of Veuve instead of Gatorade by March 31st. Perhaps he'll even start wearing an eye-patch with a picture of Barney on it to eradicate his depth perception. The possibilities are limitless.

Ah, good times.


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