Toronto, Vancouver And The NFL Playoffs.

The fiery debate on Toronto Sports Radio and Television over the past 5 days - aside from whether or not Pierre McGuire will eventually have an aneurysm during a game - is whether the fans in Vancouver were offside (pun, intended) booing the American National Anthem.

Bob McKenzie went so far as to ask permission "to editorialize for a moment" so he could reprimand all the jaded fans on the west coast. Bob, if nothing else, thanks for asking permission. (Also, you're screaming all the time!)

I say, let them slide. For goodness sake's, let the poor people of Vancouver off the hook. Why? Well, has anyone SEEN what's been going on in Vancouver recently?

For starters, public enemy number-one in Van-Town is a 72-year old businesswoman named June Gordenia Matheson. Ms. Matheson has been the target of hate mail, death threats and projectile dog poop (not kidding) since she cut down three large trees obscuring her view of the English Bay. This in spite of admitting her guilt, paying the fine, selling her home, her business and donating an additional $20,000 to the park she "poisoned". Wow. Did someone ban caffeine in British Columbia?

On the sporting landscape, the Canucks have lost eight of ten, their goalie Dan Cloutier (that everyone hates) is injured, John Ferguson Jr. is about to con them into taking Ed Belfour and 9 bottles of gin for Todd Bertuzzi, and their captain, Marcus Naslund, is still Swedish. (Just kidding.)

If past Olympics are any indication the Provincial Sales Tax should be around 23 - 28% by 2012, and the Tories have taken a slight lead in the federal election.

Oh, and its been raining, since October.

We should all be thankful that the Junior's won last night, otherwise it's a safe bet that people at the game would have hurtled themselves from the upper-deck.

On a serious note - the only thing that bothered me about this incident was people like Gord Stellick (among others) questioning the whole tradition of playing the national anthem before games. It would be a welcome query if everybody and their brother hadn't taken the virtually unanimous stance post-9/11 that national anthems preceding sporting events had "never been more important".

At the risk of sounding like Bill O'Reilly, 9/11 was less than four and a half years ago! What's the shelf life for definitive statements in the sports world? Three years? A year? This is why sports should have a constitution. (I'm only partially kidding... Ok, I'm serious.)

Normally Steve-O is buying an Export during the national anthem, so I don't really care; but just so we're clear, it would awfully refreshing to hear someone qualify something they said by first stating they are contradicting their previous position. Some might even call it professional.

One more thing before I go, and if you don't like the NFL or gambling, stop reading!

I have always wanted to pick NFL Games in a forum where everyone reading could have a clear knowledge why I don't gamble anymore. Past that, "Randall The Handle" is one bad weekend away from moving to Nunavut and becoming a custodian. (I may or may not want his job.)

Washington @ Tampa Bay -2.5 / Pick: Tampa Bay
There's always one team in the in NFL that goes on an unbelievable hot streak - that is an aberration compared to rest of their season - and makes the playoffs at the last possible moment; then, they get shellacked in the first round.

Jacksonville @ New England -7.5 / Pick: Jacksonville
The Pats are going to win this baby, by 7.

Carolina @ New York (No Line) / Pick: New York
I'll be watching the Raptors game when this is on and pondering the moral conundrum wishing harm on Vince Carter causes me.

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati + 3 / Pick: Cincinnati
So the Bengals mailed it in for the last two weeks of the season. So what? If I were the Bengals I would have mailed it in too. For example, now that my picks are done I'm not even going to write a proper finishing paragraph for this post. I'm just going to end it.

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