Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, has some Tiger-related thoughts for us . . .
“Allow me to say something to the golf goofs who gushed all over Tiger Woods’ ‘greatest comeback ever’ win (two weekends ago). I do not want anyone to interpret this as minimizing the obstacles Woods had to overcome; I am not minimizing knee surgery or back surgery and the rehab processes that go along with each. I am a firm believer in the adage that ‘minor surgery’ is best defined as ‘surgery performed on someone else.’ Having said that, there are these annoying things known as ‘history’ and ‘facts.’ ‘History’ goes back in time before 1990; what follows here are ‘actual facts’ not ‘alternative facts.’
1. In 1949, there was a ‘pretty good golfer’ known as Ben Hogan. In those days there were no seat belts or air-bags in cars; Hogan was driving along on a highway (there were no Interstates then) and was hit head on by a bus. Hogan survived but came out of the crash with a doubly fractured pelvis, a broken ankle and several broken ribs. During surgery to repair some of that damage, he suffered blood clots that almost took the life that the bus had attempted to take. Ben Hogan spent two months in the hospital.
2. In 1950, about a year and a half after the accident, Ben Hogan won the US Open.”
You can find The Sports Curmudgeon right here.
ICYMI, the major junior hockey championship has been renamed Memorial Cup Presented by Kia, with Kia Canada having cut a five-year deal with the CHL. The best part of this announcement is that Sportsnet announcers can drop MasterCard Memorial Card from their vocabulary. But will they refer to it as the Memorial Cup presented by Kia every time they mention it?
“It’s official,” writes Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets, on his blog. “The 2018-2019 campaign will go down as the worst start to the season in Kelowna Rockets franchise history. A 4-1 loss in Seattle (Saturday) night dropped the team’s record to 1-7-0-0 after 8 games. That mark is worse than the 2006-2007 start, when the team had a win and a shootout loss (1-6-0-1) in their opening eight games. That season the team missed the playoffs for the only time in franchise history.” . . . If you are so inclined, the whole sad story is right here.
Turned on the TV on Sunday evening and noticed the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the big screen once again. With them being a Stanley Cup favourite this season, we can get ready for a whole lot of Leafs. If you’re wondering why, give Dave Shoalts’ recently released book — Hockey Fight in Canada — a read.
Two WHL teams definitely went all-in last season. . . . The Swift Current Broncos went on to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions. They have opened 0-6-0. . . . The Regina Pats were the host team for the Memorial Cup and tried to build a contender — they lost the final 3-0 to the QMJHL-champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan. This season, the Pats have opened 1-5-0.
As the new NHL season got started, Jason Brough of TSN had a message for fans: “Let’s please strive to be more respectful and kind on Twitter. We’re all hockey fans. We’re all here for the same reason. The Leafs suck. Thank you.”
The U of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team visited the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks on Saturday night. Despite holding a 55-9 edge in shots, North Dakota had to go to OT for a 3-2 victory, thanks to a PP goal from F Rhett Gardner, who is a native of Moose Jaw.
“A mother in Ladue, Mo., filed a federal age-discrimination lawsuit after her son, a junior, was cut from the Horton Watkins High School junior-varsity soccer team,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “The judge immediately ruled it offside, then sent her off.”
The Alabama Crimson Tide, under head coach Nick Saban, whipped the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, 56-14, on Sept. 29. It was, uhh, 49-0 at the half. After the game, Saban ripped into the Alabama student body, saying: “I can honestly say I was a little disappointed there weren’t more students at the last game.” . . . To which the afore-mentioned Perry noted: “And the students, for their part, were no doubt disappointed the Tide was playing Louisiana-Lafayette.”
Having watched the Portland Winterhawks skated to a 5-3 victory over the host Kamloops Blazers on Friday, I’m thinking the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights may want to cut a deal to get F Joachim Blichfeld from the San Jose Sharks. There’s no doubting that Blichfeld and F Cody Glass, taken sixth overall by Vegas in the NHL’s 2017 draft, have some chemistry. Blichfeld, 20, has signed with the Sharks, who returned him to Portland rather than have him play in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda.
Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ general manager and head coach, has always been a big fan of his new assistant coach, Don Hay. But Johnston told me Friday night that he is in awe of Hay’s work ethic. Portland has a young team and, Johnston said, Hay is always available for the players and always on the ice for individual work after practices. Of course, Hay used that work ethic to become the WHL’s winningest head coach in terms of regular-regular-season and playoff victories.
“What do you call long-time Manitoba curler BJ Neufeld playing third for Alberta skip Kevin Koe?” asks RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, before answering: “Sweeping with the enemy.”
“Forecasts in Calgary for the Oct. 5 U of Manitoba Bisons-Dinos university football tilt: possible snow and an unseasonable low of -5C?” Currie noted. “Oddsmakers had the foot-long hotdogs at four inches.”
On Wednesday, the Kelowna Rockets were named the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup. On Sunday, they held an open house at Prospera Place as the selling began. “We only have room for 900 people to buy a pair of tickets, before we cap season-ticket sales,” the Rockets said on their website. Of course, anyone buying season-tickets will have the first option on those same seats for the 2020 Memorial Cup. The increase in season-ticket sales and having the accompanying money in the bank is one of the reasons teams want to play host to the tournament.