Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh, Shut Up, Already

Or, What I Think About Steve Williams.

Look, I get that it's no fun being fired and I get that it must have felt good  to get a chance to caddie for a guy who beat the guy who fired you.

But for all that is good in the world, stop acting like all you did was make sacrifices for Tiger and never got anything in return. You have a squiggilion dollars and you are famous. Arguably, both of those things go away without Tiger Woods. 

So take the high road and focus on how great a run the two of you had, a run that was bound to end at somepoint.

Or better yet, say nothing at all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Baseball Preview

WH and I are in the final stages of planning for our summer vacation, a 21 day road trip loop from Alberta to Ontario and back again via Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Grand Forks, Marquette, Espanola, Miller Lake, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, La Crosse, Rapid City, Billings and Lethbridge.

Whenever we travel, we do our best to squeeze in a professional baseball game and this year is no exception!  On July 14th, we will see the Blue Jays play the (hated) Yankees at Rogers Centre in TO and THEN, on July 16th, we will see the Chicago Cubs play the Florida Marlins... AT WRIGLEY FIELD!

It is possible that I am just a weeeeee bit excited.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts on the US Open

Rory McIlroy is a very impressive young man.  Stunning golf swing (seriously... ridiculous), calm cool demeanor, gracious with the media.  Clearly, he is on the way to a fantastic career and it will be great fun to watch him for years and years to come.

I think, however, that we need to dial back the sweeping statements about his place in history just a wee bit. Fair enough to make comparisons between this tournament and  Tiger at Pebble Beach.  Fair enough to make comparisons between young Rory and young Tiger.  But I have heard people make unequivocal statements in the last week that Rory will eclipse Tiger in terms of tournaments won. One commentator even said that he believed Jack's record was in jeopardy.  Seriously?!  Rory has three tournament wins; it's a bit early to crown him Best Ever.

I also think that just handing Rory all the trophies for all the tournaments until the end of time is a disservice to the significant number of other young men on the tour with impressive golf swings, exciting personalities and loads of potential.  What would be truly exciting for the next decade of golf, more than Rory winning everything everwhere, would be if that cadre of players pushes each other every single week and crowds leaderboards with close and exciting play. I think that the potential for great rivalries alone is enough to wish for exciting parity on the course in the years to come. 

So, Dustin, Bubba, Ricky, Lee, Graeme and the others. Bring it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A few shorts...

... to get back into sports blogging.

1. The Stanley Cup final is on right now, the Boston Bruins vs. the Vancouver Canucks, and it is turning in to a very exciting series!  Vancouver is currently up 3-2 in the series, but they are back in Boston for game 6, where the Canucks have played poorly, losing both previous games in Boston in the series by a combined score of 12-1.  At least the Cup isn't decided on goals for/against.

2. The NBA finals are on at the same time and while I care very little about the NBA, I am still keeping one eye on the series to see if the Mavericks can close it out on the hated Heat. Every time I see Lebron James on TV, I want to poke him in the eye.  COME ON, DIRK NOWITZKI!

3. To golf, the US open is in a week and it should be a very interesting tournament, given how wide-open the field is.  It would be great fun to see Steve Stricker finally win one, and Phil is motivated to win his first US Open, I think, but I would love to see one of the young guys take it - Rory or Luke Donald or Dustin Johnson. I confess though, I miss Tiger and his current struggles are hard to watch.

4. My own golf game is coming along well! I actually shot a 50 on one nine earlier this year, and have been consistently under 60 all year.  It's nice to finally see my progress reflected in the score!  WH and I are driving to Ontario later this summer and will stop a few times to golf along the way. Should be fun to play some new courses!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's...

...Play Ball!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More on Mike Weir

Here's more information from TSN on Mike Weir's adventures.

Seems that the outlook is more optimistic than I originally thought!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sad day for Canadian golf

Oh Mikey...

The struggles with injuries that have plagued Canadian golfer Mike Weir for the last couple of years have finally caught up with him in a significant way. Last season, due to injuries, Mike finished the year outside of the magic top 125 who gain/keep their fully-exempt status for the following year.  Mike was given a special condition by the tour because of the injury, however, and had a certain number of events this season to make the amount of money that was the difference between where Mike finished last year (~150) and where he needed to finish (125) - a sum of roughly $250,000. This weekend's Honda Classic was Mike's last chance to make up the difference, but with only ~10,000 in earnings in the first events of the season, his prospects were grim.

And indeed, in the end, it was not to be. Very very rough first two rounds of the tournament leave Mike in last place at a whopping +22.  Nowhere near good enough to make the cut, let alone make it into the top 5, which is where he would have had to finish to take home the money needed. 

So what happens now?  As I understand it, Mike will lose his fully-exempt status on the tour.  He can continue to play on sponsor's exemptions and of course, as a previous winner of the Master's, he will be at Augusta in April. If he can play well enough in the events that are available to him to get into the top 125 by season's end, I believe he will regain his card for next year. Alternatively, he could enter qualifying school later this year to attempt to gain re-entry that way. 

But one has to wonder if, with the poor play and the continuing injury challenges, he will pack it in and call it a career.  If he did, he would have much to be proud of, including the win at Augusta and stellar representation of the international team at the President's Cup. But I can't help feeling sad about it, both because Mike seems like a nice guy but also because he would leave the game without a Canadian heir apparent. I know, I know, there's Stephen Ames, but for some reason Ames has never been received as warmly by Canadian golf fans as Mike has been.  There's something about the way Ames carries himself that has kept Canadians from really being willing to call him "ours." 

Anyway, stay tuned, folks. I'm sure that much will be said about Mike Weir in the days to come and his future will become clearer. But for the time being, this golf fan is sad.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

*Blows dust off blog*

Cough Cough

Wow... three months since a sports-related post?!  Shocking!

It's not because I haven't been playing attention, believe me!  Here are a few thoughts about the sports landscape as I see it:
  • I think that there will not be a bigger issue for sports in the next decade than the issue of head injuries.  Certainly for football and hockey, the short and long term impacts of head injuries are becoming increasingly worrisome.  And I'm not sure bringing this up because Sidney Crosby has been out for two weeks now with what was described as a minor concussion.  The evidence has been mounting that the risk of head injuries is too great not to put in greater protections for players.  Yes, hitting and tackling and fighting and all of that stuff are important aspects of the games in question, but if those actions are causing 40 year old guys to have 80 year old brains, then we must figure out a way to do them more safely.  I think it begins with greater punishments for the infractions, automatic penalties and fines even for accidental hits.  And it follows with significant funding for research into improved neck and head protections in the equipment that should then be made mandatory.  These are scary injuries with scary long-term consequences. They need to be treated as such. 
  • Nice to see Tiger Woods back on the course this week and by all accounts, with a much improved swing.  Tiger now has a Canadian connection, as the coach of that new swing is Sean Foley, who was born in Burlington, Ontario.  If Tiger has success this year, Canada will take credit. 
  • It is hard to live in a city with a young hockey team.  I think that the Oilers are on their way up but they are in the process of going through a learning and maturing process as a team that makes for some very long nights.  Taylor Hall sure is fun to watch though.  
  • It was very fun to watch all retrospectives of Gretzky's career this week for this 50th birthday.  I had forgotten just how incomparable he was on the ice and I loved watching all of the highlights of him scoring goals that left goalies totally baffled.  We won't see another like him in our lifetimes.  
Anyway, that seems like enough for a first post back.  Pitchers and catchers report in a little over a month! Woot!