The topic dominating the sports shows today in this country is head shots and what to do about them. Matt Cooke's hit on Marc Savard came at just the right time as NHL GM's are meeting in Florida with this issue front and center on the agenda.
There's no more joking around with this issue. It is one that is serious in nature, and it is one that if something isn't done soon will be tragic. Someone is going to get killed because of a head shot. Its just a matter of time.
You can't take checking out of the game. The Ovechkin hit on Jagr at the Olympics was a thing of beauty. The Cooke hit on Savard was sickening. It is something that didn't need to happen.
If NHL GM's were serious about getting rid of this, they would say one thing. If you are found guilty of a blatant hit to the head, you can consider yourself done for at least 10 games. If you do it again, tack another 20 on the board. If its a head shot that isn't considered serious in nature (ie: play isn't stopped to revive an unconscious player or have him taken off on a stretcher) its a 5 minute penalty and a game misconduct. There must be a zero tolerance penalty and there must be an attitude that we don't care who is guilty of said crime. If its Crosby or Ovechkin or Boogaard or Parros, you must pay the crime if found guilty.
The other thing that must happen is you have to soften the equipment. Shoulder pads and elbow pads are far too hard. You have to find a way to make these pieces of equipment less dangerous.
Sidney Crosby is not helping the NHL. Canada's Olympic hockey hero has turned down a chance to appear on the David Letterman show. Why? Crosby is one of the faces of the NHL. He is a promotional tool. Going onto the show will help the image of the NHL--an image that got a big boost at the Olympics. Sid doesn't have the flair that Alex Ovechkin has, but he has a duty to the NHL to help promote them at every chance he gets. Do you think Wayne Gretzky ever turned down an opportunity to promote the game. Even if it was something he didn't want to do, he did it. I've heard stories of Gretzky getting to places on the road way after midnight and running into fans wanting an autograph. Wayne was tired and knew he needed to get some shut-eye, but he signed every autograph he could and left everyone smiling. Sid needs to have a sit down with Wayne.
We talk about streaks in sport and what ones are the best ever. I think two records that will never be broken are Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak and Wayne's 92 goal season. Another record that may never be broken is one where we don't know the actual number yet, but one that is very impressive. The University of Connecticut womens basketball team beat Notre Dame 59-44 Monday night. Its their 71st straight victory. What makes this streak amazing is that in all 71 games, this team hasn't been challenged as they have won all 71 by 10 points or more. No last second foul shots, no beating the buzzer, no pressure at the end. This is quite an amazing run.
Still on the topic of womens basketball, a big congratulations to Dave Taylor and the U of R Cougar hoopsters for earning yet another trip to nationals. I don't care what anyone says, I think the U of R womens program is the best one in Canada and it has been for years. Taylor has just continued to take this team to a point where getting to the CIS championships is now almost expected. Christine Stapleton turned the Cougar womens basketball prgoram into one of prominence, Jeff Speedy took the torch from Christine when she left and continued its run of excellence and now Taylor is doing the same. Here's hoping the girls can bring the title home. It would have been great to see them do it last year in front of their home fans, but hopefully there can be some kind of celebration at the CKHS albeit one year late.
Glenn Howard is unbeaten at the Brier. Should we be surprised? Why didn't any of the teams competing at the Brier break out those pants that the Norwegian curlers had.
Is Ricky Romero going into the 2010 season as the Jays ace?
How was the Pats sportsman dinner? Did Kevin Lowe tell Jordan Eberle he knows what stall he will have in the dressing room next year? Was one of the items at the silent auction, a stick and gloves used by Sid at the Olympics? How many bad jokes did Pedersen deliver?
I saw a sign on the weekend saying the place I was at was a "nut-sensitive" zone. I think I speak for all men when I say we are a "nut-sensitive" zone.
As you go into Tuesday, I leave you with this.....
Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid doing altogether.