By: Kevin Adshade
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is a smart man. Seriously. So when he woke up this morning and and saw the calender had turned to December, he must have realized,"Hey! It's December! Time is running out!"
As the NHL lockout drags into December with no reasonable hope in sight, I figure that Dec. 15 is a reasonable deadline for the two sides to come to an agreement. If not, they should just bag the whole season, Bettman should hand in his resignation because he is obviously not fit for office. I once read an anecdote – I can't remember from which book – about an elderly hockey fan somewhere in Ontario who passed away during what was supposed to be the 2004-'05 NHL season, which was wiped out due to labour strife. The man's pre-arranged obituary decried the loss of his passion, was critical of Bettman and the powers that be, and expressed hope that Wayne Gretzky should rightfully take Bettman's place as NHL commish.
At the time, I thought it was a cute little idea but hardly realistic; now I can see the merit in it: the players obviously have a high regard for Gretzky, he loves the game with a passion and even the owners respect him – as much as they could respect any player, I imagine.
If you can read between the lines of a Globe and Mail article that appeared this week, there are too many NHL teams losing money (one can't help but think that many of them are franchises that came into existence during Bettman's dubious southern U.S. experiment), and the wealthy NHL franchises certainly don't want to share with their weaker sisters, so they want the players to cough up significant amounts of cash. That's just a hunch and nothing more, but it makes sense.
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Last Sunday's Grey Cup game, Canada's football championship, was notable for two things: the booing of Justin Bieber during his half-time performance (you see, football fans have good taste in music) and the fact that Toronto could experience something it doesn't experience very often – a championship parade. The game itself was not particularly memorable; the Toronto Argonauts slowly pulled away, the Calgary Stampeders did next to zero on offence. The Argos closed the book on the 2012 CFL season by seizing control early and never taking their foot off the accelerator. Oh, and all of us at this massive Grey Cup party I attended thought Burton Cummings' version of the national anthem was maybe the lamest rendition we ever heard by someone who is supposed to be a professional.
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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Often, I'll partake in that quaint yester-year activity I like to call "listening to the radio," flipping between CBC, the local station and the station out of Antigonish, depending on whatever they happen to be playing at the time. Sometimes you have to listen to stuff you don't like very much, then they'll throw you a complete surprise, something you never thought of bringing up on Youtube, like they did a few Sundays ago when XFM played "Hey, Deanie" by Shaun Cassidy, which I used to like when I was a little kid but had forgotten had actually existed. (I still like Shaun Cassidy and I can still listen to the Partridge Family. Oh, and shutup with the snickering.)
Anyway, you do that often enough and you're bound to hear Kelly Clarkson. I don't really mind Kelly Clarkson – or more to the point, I've heard worse – but it seems every song she's ever recorded has the same central theme: my ex-flame treated me bad, it's over now and I'm hurtin', but I'm a tough woman... so on and so forth. So after hearing about half-a-dozen songs about her ex-boyfriends, I began to think that maybe it isn't them, that maybe it's Kelly. Just throwing that out there, because we've all known someone who goes through relationships like the Toronto Blue Jays go through managers, and they're always whining about their latest ex, but maybe it's really they who are the problem.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.